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Capital Investments w/o Capital Gifts?
What’s $115 million for a building between friends? From the Valley News August 18 edition (off-line):
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center officials unveiled plans to the Lebanon Planning Board this week for a six-story addition just south of the main entrance that could have considerable influence on the way research is conducted at Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine.
The proposed 158,000-square-foot building would border the Rubin and Borwell buildings. It would serve as a facility for “translational research,” a growing science that seeks to relay research findings to applied medical practices. Rick Adams, media relations manager for DHMC, said the project would cost around $115 million and would be paid for using mixed sources of funding, primarily through endowment funds and borrowing. [Emphasis added]
The article has no mention of fundraising, donations by alumni, or any kind of gift by a corporation or government grant. And it seems that the entire institution will be on the hook for this money, not just Dartmouth Medical School. That is more than worrisome. The Trustees seem to be addicted to debt, believing, I guess, that low interest rates now allow the College to sell huge quantities of bonds with the thought that future administrations will pay them back.
Of course, if the economy turns south, if donations dry up, if we face deflation, or if the College is forced to lower tuition because the higher ed bubble bursts, we’ll still have to repay these bonds and their 4% interest coupons. I hope that our MBA Trustees deal with the College’s growing leverage better than Wall Street banks and other financial organizations dealt with their decision to borrow huge amounts of money against limited assets.
Addendum: Here’s a mascot suggestion: The Dartmouth Bear Stearns! (Ya ya, then we would be the BSers for short.)
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…
August 23, 2009
Fare Thee Well, Tom Crady
And now Dean Tom Crady has precipitously announced his departure from the College after only 20 months on the job. How to read this? By way of background, prior to coming to Dartmouth, Crady had…
May 31, 2009
Kangaroo Court, Indeed
In an interview with The Dartmouth, alumni-elected trustee T.J. Rodgers ‘70 explained his reasons for declining to participate in future evaluations of trustees up for “re-election,” namely the “kangaroo court” nature of such discussion in…