Head of DarTalk steps down
Jules Pellerin recently retired from his full-time position as manager of Telephone Services, but the College will not hire a replacement.
Instead, George Newkirk, director of the College's purchasing department, which oversees Telephone Services, will assume Pellerin's duties while maintaining his own position.
Pellerin, 62, began working for the College as a lab technician in 1960 and moved into the purchasing department in 1963. He "picked up responsibility for Telephone Services" in the late 1960's, Newkirk said. Pellerin is currently on vacation and was unavailable for comment.
In January 1987, Pellerin became the first full-time Manager of DarTalk, according to Newkirk. At that time, the College did not have its own telephone service and Pellerin served as a liaison between the College and New England Telephone.
In 1989 Pellerin oversaw the installation of Dartmouth's in-house telephone system which is still in place today.
"We are our own phone company," Carole Clarke, coordinator of Telephone Services said.
Newkirk and Clarke both said establishing Dartmouth's independent telephone system was one of Pellerin's greatest accomplishments.
Under the old phone system, students were required to pay $45 to open a telephone account and $55 for each term of service, according to Clarke.
Although Newkirk will take over Pellerin's position as manager of Telephone Services, he said future expansion of the College's telephone system may necessitate hiring a full-time replacement.
"For the time being I'm going to be running Telephone Services," Newkirk said.
Newkirk said a lack of need for a full-time replacement rather than financial considerations prompted the College's decision.
"Jules set it up pretty nicely so it could be done this way," Newkirk said. "This is part of his accomplishments."
In recent months, Telephone Services has come under attack by students who criticize the department's policies and the overall quality of the service provided. Many of the candidates in this year's Student Assembly presidential campaign included reforming Telephone Services as part of their platforms.
Pellerin was "always concerned with what students had to say and what administrators and faculty had to say," Newkirk said.
Clarke said Pellerin was frustrated by student criticism of Telephone Services which she said stems from students not understanding the office and its policies. But she added that Pellerin's "good relationship within the department made it tough for him to leave."
"I think he has mixed feelings about retiring," Clarke said.