Dan Zenkel ’80, Dartmouth Alumni Councilor
Report on October 2015 Alumni Council Meeting
Late last month, I represented our class at the Alumni Council’s fall meeting. A link to the detailed minutes of the meeting is here. My report follows.
I joined the Council in the summer of 2013 before President Hanlon’s September inauguration. In the past two years, he laid out an ambitious set of plans and priorities – among them the Academic Cluster Initiative, the post-doctoral fellows program, the development of living learning communities and the Moving Dartmouth Forward Initiative. The focus has now shifted to execution.
Substantial progress has been made toward the goals set forth in the Moving Dartmouth Forward Initiative (the “Plan”), announced in January. Outlined below are steps taken to date, which were discussed at the Council’s meeting and in a report recently issued by a Review Panel set up as part of the Plan.
- In the fall of 2016, every Dartmouth undergraduate will be assigned to one of six designated house communities, a cluster of dorms to which they will maintain affiliation throughout their undergraduate experience. The house communities are intended to provide students with a sense of continuity, identity and a deeper residential experience. Professors have been chosen to lead each community.
- $1 million has been allocated for the 2015-2016 academic year to support social, academic and intramural student programming in the house communities and around campus.
- A four-year sexual violence prevention and education program is under development.
- A draft, on-line “Consent Manual” has been completed.
- A Dartmouth-specific safety smartphone app for students has been developed. The app provides emergency communication options, anonymous reporting capabilities; and GPS location for authorized “friends,” as well as other features.
- Greek houses were informed in the Spring of 2015 that they must have male and female faculty advisors and active alumni boards. To date, seven organizations have identified a pair of advisors.
- An on-campus ban on possession or consumption of hard alcohol by undergraduates took effect on March 28. The ban appears to be having an impact, with transports to the hospital as a result of high blood alcohol content trending downward by over 20 percent since the beginning of spring term.
- A new Dartmouth Community Citizenship Pledge was finalized at the end of the summer. Students entering in the class of 2019 and new transfer students signed the pledge during orientation.
- The Plan calls for the conduct and publication of two regular climate surveys each year. Dartmouth joined with 26 member universities to conduct the AAU Sexual Assault Climate Survey in the spring of 2015. Dartmouth has retained Rankin and Associates to conduct a comprehensive study of faculty, staff, and student views about the College’s living, learning, and working environment during the 2015-16 academic year.
Other News Of Note:
- Dartmouth’s endowment returned 8.3 percent for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2015.
- Ann Root Keith, Chief Operating Officer for Advancement, reported that in terms of the percentage of alumni who donated to the college last year, Dartmouth ranked second nationally – behind only Princeton – with 43.4 percent. Yale was a distant third, with 28 percent participation.
- Save the date! The Second Annual Alumni Day of Service will be held on May 7, 2016, and the Council encourages all alumni to participate. Please register to help lead these mobilization efforts as a service project coordinator or to simply volunteer on that day. A great opportunity for Dartmouth alumni, family and friends to give back to their local communities and strengthen alumni connections.
- Dartmouth on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Head Football Coach Buddy Teevens recently appeared on Stephen Colbert’s new CBS show to demonstrate a robotic tackling dummy – designed to eliminate concussions during football practices. The project originated at the Thayer School of Engineering. Watch the video.
Finally a question for you:
Seeking Your Stories of Lifelong Learning, Beginning at Dartmouth
To what extent did an intellectual experience or experiences you had while an undergraduate at Dartmouth continue to resonate after you graduated — whether in the work you do, or have done, or in your life overall?
Please send any responses to me via e-mail.
Thank you for taking the time to read this report. Please feel free to write or call with any questions, comments or concerns. My contact information is below.
Best wishes to you and your loved ones for a happy Thanksgiving.
Archive of Alumni Council Updates
Dartmouth Alumni Council
Hanover, NH 03755