Dartmouth's Daily Blog
News, commentary, criticism and praise for the College on the Hill, enlivened with history, culture and travel when we feel so moved.
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Board-packing Slate Candidate, John Mathias ‘69, Opines
In his column in today’s issue of The Dartmouth, the Board-packing candidate for president of the Association of Alumni John Mathias ‘69, makes a number of statements well off the mark.
Mr. Mathias begins his column, admirably, by talking about the need to “focus on undergraduate education” and “administer highly complex operations wisely and efficiently” with “institutional vision and dynamic personality.” Mr. Mathias almost seemed to be running on the ideas of recently elected Trustee Stephen Smith ‘88.
In any event the opinion piece quickly went south. Mathias started up with the old refrain that the lawsuit is frivolous and divisive, the same position he evidently takes on Trustee elections. Frivolous? A New Hampshire Superior Court Judge has ruled that the lawsuit has merit on 3 separate counts? Divisive? What is divisive about supporting the right of alumni to vote? See here for how the Association of Alumni lawsuit can be brought to an end in 9 seconds.
Next, Mathias attempts to polarize the issue by contending that somehow The Dartmouth Review is linked with the lawsuit. This is a deliberate obfuscation of the issue, and not a very good one at that. Firstly the Review was hardly around in 1891 when the contract for Parity was made. More importantly, the democratic right of alumni to vote for 50% of the Board of Trustees is not in any respect a partisan issue.
Then Mathias turns to the cost of the lawsuit, which even according to his assuredly partisan figures, costs significantly less than the hair that occupied the library last spring and summer.
Finally Mathias attempts to promote the diversity of his slate, a woefully inadequate claim. There is simply no getting around the fact that opposition to democracy is an inherent affront to diversity. Democracy, which is to say the right of alumni to elect members of the Board of Trustees (or the A of A for that matter), means the ability to consider persons with all types of ideas and opinions and backgrounds for the positions. It is decidedly regressive to believe that diversity might come from a handful of trustees handpicking (or packing as the case might be) their successors in a smoke-filled backroom.
Mathias calls for unity, but if Dartmouth unified in his direction we would have serious problems. In addition to being unified, it is also probably a good idea to be right. And what better way to ascertain rightness than to have free and fair elections? That is exactly what this debate is about. The Board-packing slate wants all the trustees to think alike, to think like them. The Pro-parity slate wants to preserve the right of all Dartmouth alumni to give their input and opinions and suggestions and criticism through the democratic ballot box.
Some thoughts in support of the lawsuit
An analysis of Parity
A little Board-packing satire
August 14, 2013
Breaking: Of Crips and Bloods and Memories of Ghetto Parties
History repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce, or sometimes it just repeats itself. From the New York Times on November 30, 1998: At Dartmouth College, white students at a ”ghetto party” dressed…
June 25, 2013
Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson’s War on Students Part (2/2)
Part 1, Part 2 Today’s post again recounts the events that befell the Freshman. However, the content of the Hanover Police department report reproduced in this space yesterday is supplemented by information from my own…
October 18, 2009
When Love Beckoned in 52nd Street
We were at San Francisco’s BIX last evening, enjoying prosecco, cheese, and a bit of music. A full year of inhabitation in Northern California has unraveled to me no decent venue for proper lounging, but…
October 9, 2009
D Afraid of a Little Competish
So our colleague and Dartblog writer Joe Asch informed me that the D has rejected our cunning advertising campaign. Uh-oh. The Dartmouth is widely known as a breeding ground for instant New York Times successes,…
September 4, 2009
How Regents Should Reign
As Dartmouth alumni proceed through the legal hoops necessary to defuse a Board-packing plan—which put in unhappy desuetude an historic 1891 Agreement between alumni and the College guaranteeing a half-democratically-elected Board of Trustees—it strikes one…
August 29, 2009
Election Reform Study Committee
If you are an alum of the College on the Hill, you may have received a number of e-mails of late beseeching your input for a new arm of the College’s Alumni Control Apparatus called…
- The Dartmouth College Case
- 2007 Trustee Election
- Dartmouth Constitution
- Sunday Morning Sinatra
- The Indian Wars
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