Mirengoff Responds to Trustee Letter

At Power Line, below the fold:

Now, let’s address the trustees’ diversionary attacks on those of us who disagree with them. Are we “well-organized and well-financed?” I hope so, and we have been able to run a few ads, do some mailings (though the college won’t give us the full alumni mailing list), and establish a web-site. Not surprisingly, however, we are substantially outgunned by the Dartmouth establishment. For example, the pro-capitulation slate was able to place its glossy ad on the front page of the alumni magazine. Ours was somewhere in the back, as I recall.

Do we have a “political agenda?” I don’t know the politics of most of my fellow parity candidates, though I’m vaguely aware that not all of them share my take on politics. It’s possible that, as a group, some of our views of what’s good for Dartmouth differ from the views of the opposing slate. If so, that wouldn’t mean that we have a “political agenda” and our opponents don’t. In any case, the only “political” issue we can expect to be able to influence if elected is whether Dartmouth alums will retain the right to elect half of the college’s trustees. All of us think they should.

Is the lawsuit costing the college money to defend? Yes, but the trustees can put an end to that by adhering to the 1891 agreement. Indeed, assuming the trustees act with a modicum of good faith, they will try to settle the lawsuit if their slate loses this election. The trial court’s denial of the trustees’ motion to dismiss plainly signals that the trustees have a losing hand. Thus, the sensible course (if the trustees’ election gambit fails) would be to concede the issue of parity and to negotiate other issues they say concern them, such as expanding the board and reforming the election process. Unfortunately, the trustees have never shown an interest in negotiating. They prefer to dictate.

Finally, we come to the biggest red herring: who is paying for the effort to oppose the trustees’ power grab? As I understand it, funding comes through the Hanover Institute, a 501(c)(3) educational foundation that was founded and is run by Dartmouth College alumni. The Hanover Institute raises money primarily through letters sent to Dartmouth alumni. By an overwhelming majority, most contributions come from thousands of Dartmouth graduates. A few come from non-alumni who wish to lend support because they are offended by board’s power play, favor free and fair trustee elections, and/or agree with the Institute with respect to the primacy of undergraduate education, or similar issues.

Full post, here.