Trustees approve $385 million budget

by Phil Salinger | 6/22/06 5:00am

The Board of Trustees finalized the College's budget for fiscal year 2007, broadened Dartmouth's nondiscrimination policy and re-elected three of its members at its meeting in Hanover June 8-11, held before the Trustees participated in Commencement exercises on June 12.

The Board approved the College's 2007 operating budget of $384.9 million, a figure that does not include the budgets for Dartmouth's professional schools.

According to a press release, the priorities set forth in the College budget include expanding the faculty to reduce class size, maintaining competitive faculty compensation, supporting the financial aid program and the various construction projects around campus and expanding information technology resources.

Within the budget, the Board allocates hiring funds, but has no say over how those funds are to be split between departments.

"It's certainly not the Board's decision to decide where the positions are to be allocated," College President James Wright said. "It's a Board matter to make sure that the faculty is large enough to deal with the modern student body."

The Trustees also voted to include "gender identity or expression" and any military or veteran status as prohibited bases for discrimination in the nondiscrimination policy. The previous policy included gender and Vietnam-era veteran status, but not gender expression or military history from a non-Vietnam era.

Wright said that Dartmouth has always interpreted the policy's ban of sex discrimination to encompass gender expression and therefore the purpose of the policy change is more symbolic than practical.

"I hope that we've always judged people on their merits and not on any false indexes and I hope we continue to do that," Chairman of the Board Bill Neukom '64 said.

Wright stressed that the expansion of the policy to include any military background demonstrates the College's commitment to not disadvantaging people based on military background.

"I believed it was important that we broaden the policy to make clear that the College does not discriminate on the basis of an individual's military or veteran status, for Vietnam-era veterans or for any veterans," he said.

The Trustees also approved an institution-wide budget, allocating $24.1 million for real estate development, $20.1 million for Dartmouth Medical School facilities, $9.4 million for Tuck School of Business programs and $3.4 million for Thayer School of Engineering projects.

In response to a proposal by the Medical School to add a curriculum in biomedical science, the Board approved a new Ph.D. program in experimental and molecular medicine. The curriculum's design aims to promote an interdisciplinary focus at the boundary of basic science and clinical medicine, according to the release.

The Trustees also voted to extend Neukom's tenure as chairman for another year, an opportunity the chairman says he is looking forward to.

Neukom said that one of his focuses will be to examine how the expansion of graduate programs at Dartmouth can contribute to the College's fundamental mission of undergraduate education.

"It seems to me that if we're going to provide the world's best undergraduate learning experience, that experience can be enriched by having graduate programs and having the faculty and students in those programs be a part of the Dartmouth community," said Neukom, who has been chairman since 2004.

The Trustees also re-elected Christine B. Bucklin '84 and Pamela J. Joyner '79 for four-year terms on the Board.

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