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The Dartmouth
June 19, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Anti-Berry profs win hearing

Art History Professor Joy Kenseth, the member of the College's Design Review Committee who is spearheading the drive to have the current plans for Berry Library modified, received an unexpected surprise yesterday morning -- an invitation to address her complaints to the Board of Trustees next week.

Kenseth said College Provost James Wright telephoned her yesterday to inform her that she would be given a chance to address the Board when it meets in Hanover on Nov. 14, as she said Tuesday she had hoped to do.

Wright's call to Kenseth came even before Kenseth had a chance to contact Wright or College President James Freedman to request a hearing with the Trustees. "Wright called me before I made a formal request for the meeting," Kenseth said yesterday. "I appreciated that."

Kenseth said she will meet with the provost tomorrow to discuss details of the meeting with the Trustees. But only she, along with one or two members of the Design Review Committee, will be given time in front of the Board to make a case as to why the current Berry plans should not be implemented as they stand now.

Both Wright and Freedman told The Dartmouth earlier this week that they are satisfied with the current plans and expected construction to begin in the spring as scheduled.

Wright commented on Monday that it is "certainly our intention to proceed with this plan in the spring. It is important to move the library ahead and have it completed on schedule."

In an attempt to reaffirm that there is widespread dissent about the current Berry plans, Kenseth said she will forward to the entire faculty a memorandum which was sent to Provost James Wright on June 3.

In this memorandum, nine members of the Design Review Committee -- which advises the president and provost on major architectural decisions -- state that architect Robert Venturi's intention to make the building look like a mill is "highly problematic" and recommend that the design be "fundamentally rethought."

The provost's office is in the process of preparing a description of the changes that have been made to the design since the memorandum, and Kenseth said she intends to forward this description along with the memorandum.