Dartmouth owes success to President Wright

by John Engelman | 9/27/07 5:08am

To the Editor:

To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, "well Joe, there you go again." In the winter of 2006, Joe Asch '79 wrote an op-ed for The Dartmouth calling for College President James Wright's resignation ("Wright Must Be Replaced," March 1, 2006). Clearly that screed gained no traction among the trustees and alumni of Dartmouth, so now Asch tries again ("Time for Wright to Step Down," Sept. 26).

I will leave it to others more familiar with the operations of the College to address some of Asch's allegations. I would only point out the following:

Several weeks ago the Wall Street Journal interviewed Trustee T.J. Rodgers '70. (I think it is safe to assume that Asch is a strong supporter of Rodgers.) In the interview, Rodgers says, "Dartmouth is the best undergraduate school in the world." He doesn't say "was;" he doesn't say "could be;" he says "is."

Wright has been at Dartmouth for nearly 40 years, serving as a faculty member, department chair, dean of the faculty, provost and president. The academic/educational model that Rodgers calls the "best in the world" is not new. It has developed over many years -- years during which Wright has played an important leadership role at the College.

Certainly some, and perhaps much, of the credit for this success can be attributed to his leadership, including his tenure as College president.

Asch says it's time for Wright to step down. Perhaps it's now time for Joe Asch to shut up!