Smith Takes Election: Lone Pine Revolution Continues

Stephen Smith ’88 has won a seat on the Board of Trustees of Dartmouth College. The College’s website reports that Smith took home 55% of the vote—Dartblog reminds us that that’s a new high, topping T.J. Rodgers ’70 54% from 2004. Voter participation was also historically high with 28 % of alumni taking the time to vote; 37% voted in the recent constitutional referendum, and 25% have taken part in the most recent trustee elections. I talked to Smith around a month about various issues, take a look at that article for an overview of what problems he believes the College is currently facing.

Smith is the fourth straight petition candidate elected in the last three trustee races. Alumni dissatisfaction with the direction the College is taking is palpable. Over at DartWire Ned Kenney ’10 argued that if Smith won, it would only be because of Wright’s entry into campus politics in the fall— because of Wright’s intervention, so the argument goes, the issue of free speech was again in the spotlight. I agreed with him, making the same argument myself to several people, but with Smith winning so convincingly it appears that this would be the wrong conclusion to draw. It is more likely, it now seems, that dissatisfaction with the administration is broad in its scope, making this election all the more important as rumours of President Wright stepping down in a few years circulate Hanover.

Dartmouth’s Board of Trustees is unique in that nearly half of its members are voted onto the Board by alumni. The Board currently consists of 18 trustees, 8 elected, 8 appointed, as well as two additional members, namely, the Governor of New Hampshire and the President of the College. In 2003, the Board voted to slowly expand to 22 from the current 18. As it stands after the current election, 4 of the 18 Trustees were petition candidates.

For more reading, here is William F. Buckley Jr.’s biographical sketch/endorsement of Smith.

Once the percentage of votes the other candidates received is made known, I will post them here.

Here are some numbers:

18,186 voters
32,941 votes cast (Dartmouth uses an approval voting system)
9,984 votes cast for Smith

UPDATE: I’ve been informed by Roland Adams, the administration’s press secretary, that the percentage of votes received by the other candidates will not be made public. This is standard practice.

CORRECTION: In 2003 the Board of Trustees voted to expand from 16 trustees to 22. The current size of the board is 18 trustees (ex officio members included).