Wright: I’ve got lawyers too

President Wright blitzed out to the Dartmouth Community this morning. It was in response to the AoA’s announcement last night.

Statement by President James Wright

You may have read in the The Dartmouth this morning that the Executive Committee of the Association of Alumni, by a divided vote, decided last night to have the Association file a lawsuit against the College concerning the governance changes adopted by the Board of Trustees earlier this month and to seek an injunction to prevent the Board from filling any of the new charter trustee seats authorized by the Board.

I am deeply disappointed that some members of the Association Executive Committee have decided to take this action, which can only harm the College. Although the Association’s formal legal complaint has not yet been served on the College, the College has been advised by its attorneys that the Board has full authority to enlarge the Board as it did and make the other governance changes that it authorized, and that there is no merit to the legal claims asserted by the Executive Committee members who voted to bring the suit. The College is well-prepared to respond to this legal action.

Ed Haldeman, Chair of the Board, has asked me to share the following statement with all members of the College community:

“While I respect the many different views held by Dartmouth’s alumni on
governance issues, I think it’s regrettable that a small group of individuals would cause the Alumni Association to file a lawsuit against the College, particularly when there is no legal basis for the suit. It’s certainly not in the best interest of the College or its students for Dartmouth to be tied up with costly and counterproductive litigation. I would hope instead that thoughtful alumni and friends of Dartmouth would come together in support of our common goal of continuing to build on Dartmouth’s world-class academic programs.”

While the action by some members of the Executive Committee to sue the College is ill-advised, I hope that it will not prove a distraction to the good work of the faculty, students, and staff. Dartmouth is in great shape and we need to continue to focus on continuing to provide the best experience possible for our students.

A couple of thoughts: Haldeman argues, “It’s certainly not in the best interest of the College or its students for Dartmouth to be tied up with costly and counterproductive litigation.” I think most alumni would say that it’s not in the College’s best interest to be controlled by an unaccountable cabal of Harvard wannabes.

Also, I find it deeply disturbing that, as a student, money I pay to the college is funding Jim Wright’s self-serving interests.