Donahoe '82 advocates stability, inclusiveness

by Jessica Spradling | 4/29/03 5:00am

Editor's Note: This is the final part of a series profiling the platforms of candidates for the College's Board of Trustees.

Maintaining the "soul" of Dartmouth, while at the same time expanding the "intellectual vitality" characteristic of a university setting will be the focus of John Donahoe's '82 tenure if he is elected to serve on the Board of Trustees.

Donahoe said that, in general, he was pleased with the direction and leadership of both the former College President James Freedman and current President James Wright. He told The Dartmouth that he supports many of the ideals laid out in the Student Life Initiative as well as the Strategic Plan.

"The Greek System can be one part of an overall robust social life and social alternatives at Dartmouth," said Donahoe, who was a member of Chi Gamma Epsilon.

He also cited that belonging to a fraternity or sorority could be a "valuable learning experience" in that it provided students with leadership and entrepreneurial experience.

In light of impending budget reductions over the next several years, Donahoe said he feels the physical plant of the school should be expanded only after maintenance to the existing facilities has been taken care of. Donahoe said he would have to be better informed about the financial situation of the College before he could prioritize new facilities.

Donahoe said he felt the College should choose a few projects to do thoroughly as opposed to many that may stretch management too thin.

"At the most fundamental level, Dartmouth must remain one of the top educational institutions in the world. It is only by maintaining a top tier, globally-known reputation that the College will be able to continue to attract and retain the top faculty and highest potential students. This is the lifeblood of any institution of higher education," he said.

While Donahoe said he does not support the types of abrupt decisions such as the cancellation of the swimming and diving programs earlier this year, he felt that the College needed to be flexible about the future of its athletic programs.

"We need to decide what's realistic to support given the size of the College and to move toward that over time," he said.

Donahoe said he supported the College's new Student Budget Advisory Committee as long as it remained "one input that is weighed in and not the only one that is weighed in."

Much like fellow trustee candidate Elyse Benson Allen '79, Donahoe emphasizes "the ability to think in an integrative and interdisciplinary manner" in his statement, as well as "the ability to understand and work effectively with a wide diversity of people and cultures."

Donahoe will seek to foster this community of understanding and multiculturalism, as well as one which he says must have a "solid moral grounding and sense of self."

Donahoe said he felt that Dartmouth students could gain both of these traits through "discussion of world events and Dartmouth-related issues" in both "formal and informal mechanisms as well as the classroom environment and social alternatives."

"My experience has also been that it is important for an institution to proactively define a set of values or 'operating principles' that clarify what behaviors, actions and words are appropriate and acceptable in that community," he said.

Currently, Donahoe is the Worldwide Managing Director of Bain and Company, an international consulting firm. While at Dartmouth, along with being a brother at Chi Gamma Epsilon, Donahoe was a member of the junior varsity basketball team, a member of the Dragon Senior Society and president of Aquinas House. An economics major, he graduated magna cum laude and earned a place in the Phi Beta Kappa society.

After Dartmouth, Donahoe earned his MBA from Stanford Business School where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar.

Donahoe is married to Eileen Chamberlain '81, and they have four children.