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Professors to Vote Today on Folt Attempt to Limit Observers at Faculty Meetings
Here’s a curious issue. In my own experience and that of several faculty members, and as this space hase previously noted, Dartmouth faculty meetings have traditionally been open to everyone who is interested in attending them. The capacity of Alumni Hall is ample, the people in attendance — professors, students, administrators, journalists, alumni, members of the public — cordially intermingle in the seating area, and an atmosphere of respectful decorum has always prevailed.
The Folt interim administration has put on today’s meeting agenda a resolution to limit attendance at the meetings by non-faculty members to no more than 100 outsiders and oblige these observers to be seated in a separate area. The faculty will vote on the matter at today’s meeting at 3pm in Alumni Hall.
However, some members of the faculty note that this resolution is only boilerplate; that this type of restriction has been put in place in the past on a regular basis. They speak with a conviction equal to that of professors for whom this resolution is a new issue. Who to believe?
It doesn’t matter. Let’s look at the issue ab initio. Do we really need such restrictions at meetings where issues of great moment to all of the College’s stakeholders are discussed and decided? I’d answer no, and I hope that members of the faculty vote accordingly. This is an excellent opportunity for them to register their support for the values of transparency and inclusiveness. There is no valid justification for these rules that I can think of. And you?
Addendum: A classmate comments on the proposed changes:
This is being done to exclude the inquiring press. I would vote against the whole package. What have we got to hide? Faculty discussions should be open to all College constituencies and observers should be admitted up to the limit of the room. If a sensitive matter arises (e.g. the treatment of a disciplinary case where privacy is required), we can go into executive session. This is a Stalinist set of rules.
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)
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 interviews, a review of…
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…