Stephen Smith ’88 Enters Trustee Race

Smith has tossed his hat in the ring to run as a petition candidate. Copied below is the press release announcing Smith’s candidacy.

He has until January 31 to collect 500 signatures, leaving just 15 days. If you are interested in helping him get onto the ballot, click here.

Good morning.

My name is Stephen F. Smith, and I graduated from Dartmouth in 1988.
I am a law professor at the University of Virginia.

It is my pleasure to announce that I’m running as an independent
petition candidate for the College Board of Trustees.

As I see it, there are three major issues in this campaign.

First, should Dartmouth be a “university” or a “college”? President
Wright says that Dartmouth is “a university in all but name.” I
respectfully yet strongly disagree. Dartmouth must remain a college, in
both name and fact. Undergraduate teaching–not research–must come first
if Dartmouth is to be the best college in the world. Students shouldn’t be

shut out of the courses they need for their majors, nor should students be
forced to sit in large impersonal lecture halls. Instead of investing in
bureaucracy, we should invest in the people who make Dartmouth great:
students and professors.

Second, does genuine freedom of expression exist on the Dartmouth
campus? For years, Dartmouth has had a de facto speech code: if a student
says or writes something “offensive,” the student can be punished. Under
pressure from a free speech watchdog group and independent trustees, the
College has taken those statements off its website. Is the speech code
really gone, or has it just gone underground? When President Wright
condemns students who say “offensive” things as “bullies,” as he did just a

few months ago, it’s clear that we have more work to do on free speech.
Students should not be forced to check their free speech rights at
to censor what they say to avoid giving “offense” to someone–when they
onto the Dartmouth campus.

Third, should the College disciplinary process be reformed? I share
students’ concern about a COS process that can ruin their careers but
students the most rudimentary due process protections. Students should not

have to live in fear of being “Parkhursted” by a Star Chamber court. Now
more than ever, as more and more students are being summoned before COS,
bewildering COS process shrouded in secrecy should be reformed to give
students a full and fair hearing.

I look forward to discussing these issues and others of concern to the

Dartmouth family over the months to come. It is my sincere hope that this
will be a campaign of ideas, and that the unpleasantness and personal
attacks that characterized last year’s battle over the proposed alumni
constitution will not be repeated. In my opinion, Dartmouth deserves
than that, and I call upon other candidates for the Board to join me in
pledging to run a clean campaign.

If elected, I pledge to work closely and collegially with the
administration and other members of the Board of Trustees to preserve what
we find so special about Dartmouth–and to make the Dartmouth experience
very best college experience in the world.

Please see the attached documents and my
campaign website for more information.

Thank you. Best regards, SFS ’88