Wright a Responsible Leader

by John Engelman | 3/7/06 6:00am

To the Editor:

I write in response to Joe Asch ['79]'s op-ed, "Wright Must Be Replaced" (March 1). Of course, Mr. Asch is entitled to his opinion, but I find it incredibly presumptuous of him to speak to what he believes "has become common wisdom among alums and most informed members of the College community: Jim Wright must leave the Dartmouth Presidency before any more long-term damage is done to the College."

Where does he come up with this assertion? I don't know who Joe Asch is talking to, but I suspect it is the "usual suspects," a relatively small group of disgruntled alumni of the College from among the over 60,000 living alumni.

He certainly doesn't speak for me, nor does he speak for most of my Dartmouth friends, classmates, fraternity brothers and other Dartmouth alumni with whom I am in touch.

I am not always in agreement with President Wright, but on balance, I think he has done an outstanding job. Yes, we have lost some excellent faculty members during his tenure, but that has been the case during the tenure of every Dartmouth president. We have also hired some excellent faculty members during the past seven years, enticing them away from other quality institutions. That is the way the game is played in higher education.

We have also seen the long overdue construction and renovation of major facilities; a recommitment to athletics; a strengthening of residential life, including the Greek system; the successful beginning of a record-breaking capital campaign; extraordinarily high levels of student satisfaction and record numbers of applicants.

All in all, a pretty good record, and one in which all alumni should have pride.