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VN Criticizes Tight-lipped Trustees
In an on-line editorial today, the Valley News criticized the College’s refusal to disclose the fees paid to Trustees who manage part of the endowment. The Editorial Board’s conclusion:
Let’s not forget that the Dartmouth endowment enjoys the considerable benefit of a tax exemption. The government, on behalf of taxpayers, has agreed to forgo revenue it would otherwise earn by taxing endowment income because the endowment supports an enterprise deemed to serve the public good — in this case, education. Under those circumstances, taxpayers have a right to insist that endowment activity isn’t serving other, nonpublic purposes, such as the undue enrichment of connected parties.
It’s certainly easy to grasp why Dartmouth wishes to pursue these investments. The college happens to have on its board some of the nation’s most successful investors. Or perhaps it’s not happenstance. In any case, the aim of the committee that makes investment decisions is to maximize returns. Accordingly, the committee does not want to deprive itself of the opportunity to invest in promising funds simply because they are under the control of trustees. So the college has put in place several procedural safeguards — including the requirement that trustees recuse themselves from investment decisions involving their own funds — and has invested freely and, judging by recent results, wisely.
So, just to ensure the continuation of this favorable climate, wouldn’t it make sense for the college and regulators to go out of their way to provide the basic information needed to assure everyone that these transactions aren’t self-serving? Seems as though they’re doing the opposite.
The paper continues to do a good job shining a bright light on this issue.
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…