Trustees to address curriculum

by Dax Tejera | 11/14/03 6:00am

The Trustees of Dartmouth College will convene this weekend for a two-day meeting of the Board and its committees to discuss matters pertaining to the faculty, curriculum, finance and facilities.

The 16-member Board, including New Hampshire Governor Craig Benson and College President James Wright, is scheduled to discuss and take action on several fronts, according to Vice President for Public Affairs William Walker. Among the proposals facing the Board are changes in curriculum requirements for Western and non-Western cultures courses. The faculty has addressed the matter extensively and is seeking the approval of the Board, as is required for any change in curriculum.

There will be discussion on the status of the facilities expansions that were announced by President Wright at Convocation earlier this year. Particular attention will be placed on the Engineering Sciences Center, which has progressed furthest since the building campaign was introduced, as well as the planning and progression of the new residential spaces designated for Tuck Mall and north of Maynard Street, Walker said.

The trustees will be provided with the final financial statement for fiscal year 2003 and will formally close the books on the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2003. They will not, however, take any action on the development of the upcoming 2005 fiscal year budget at this meeting. Administrators will nonetheless be prepared to address specific financial matters and brief the Board on how it plans to strengthen the College's financial outlook.

According to Walker, this weekend's agenda also calls for extensive discussion and planning for a comprehensive fundraising campaign, which will include a capital campaign that is set to commence officially in the near future.

A report on admissions and financial aid is on the Board's agenda, though no action is expected to be taken on the matter.

The Board of Trustees meets officially every quarter. Typically, trustees devote particular attention to matters of the faculty during the November meeting. Student issues are usually addressed during the Board's spring meeting.

The trustees will be meeting informally with various members of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences this weekend, dealing with several issues that will eventually fall under the jurisdiction of the Dean of the Faculty Michael Gazzaniga '61. A discussion with recently tenured faculty members is scheduled.

Much of the business of the trustees will take place in committee meetings that will be held throughout campus, the proceedings of which will be reported to the Board as a whole. The basic standing committees of the Board include the Development, Executive, Facilities, Finance and Investment Committees.

The Board of Trustees is granted final authority under the College's original charter, as defended by Daniel Webster in 1818, to establish such "ordinances, order and laws as may tend to the good and wholesome government of the said College." It exercises that authority on appointments of faculty and principal administrators, acquisition and disposition of real estate, establishment of compensation scales and awarding the College's degree to its qualifying graduates.

Board Chair Susan Dentzer '77 was not available for comment.