The Journal weighs in on alumni constitution ‘reforms’

The Wall Street Journal‘s editorial on the antidemocratic alumni constitution is now available for non-subscribers. From the article:

In 2004 and 2005, however, Dartmouth alumni were finally offered genuine choices. Over three successive Trustee contests, independent candidates bypassed the official channels and got onto the ballot by collecting alumni signatures. Each of the petition candidates–T.J. Rodgers, a Silicon Valley CEO; Peter Robinson, a former Reagan speechwriter and current Hoover Institution fellow; and Todd Zywicki, a law professor–ran on explicit platforms emphasizing academic standards, free speech and Dartmouth’s acute leadership crisis. All three were unexpectedly elected by wide margins despite intense institutional opposition. Not only did the trend give expression to the general alumni discontent over how Dartmouth is being run (a rare thing in academia), but a critical mass was also building for more muscular stewardship, and, with it, fundamental change.

Dartmouth’s inner circles, quite naturally, loathe all of this. And so the Alumni Council–the representative body of sorts for the whole–decided there was nothing to be done but change the rules. At issue is a new proposed constitution, cooked up in 2004 and constantly altered in response to events, that would “reform” the incorporation of the Trustees.