Zywicki's 'flagrant neglect'

by Gene Garthwaite | 12/4/07 12:50am

To the Editor:

Where does one begin to respond to Todd Zywicki '88's egregious and dishonorable remarks? ("Zywicki draws fire for remarks," Nov. 26) A Dartmouth education centers on acquisition of knowledge and critical thinking in a context of civility that allows for expression of differences. His remarks qualify for "Flagrant Neglect" -- a grade abandoned over three decades ago that was even lower than an "E."

History professor Marysa Navarro and I are now in our 40th year at Dartmouth, and we have served under the presidencies of John Sloan Dickey, John Kemeny, David McLaughlin, James Freedman and James Wright, all of whom shared -- or share -- a passion for Dartmouth, even though each presented -- or presents -- differing visions for maintaining Dartmouth's quality and reputation. Moreover, each of these presidents has made important contributions in the continuity of excellence, and has operated within a context established by the Board of Trustees. Zywicki's remarks betray not only his ignorance of Dartmouth's history but also the nature of the College today, which incidently has been a university since the 18th century. Importantly, his remarks call into question the appropriateness of his continuing on the board.

To characterize Freedman as "truly evil" is beyond imagining. As an individual and as a president, Freedman held to the highest academic and moral standards and civility. Such characterization is not only reprehensible but raises the essential question of the very meaning of language itself.

Zywicki has failed his alma mater and has brought dishonor on himself -- and he now helps chart the future of Dartmouth as a trustee?