Final year will focus on capital campaign, sustainability

by Kate Farley | 9/24/08 4:26am

College President James Wright has no intention of relaxing his efforts on new

and ongoing projects, he said, as he plans to push projects forward with the same

vitality of years past, if not with increased energy. Wright's agenda includes

continuation of the Campaign for the Dartmouth Experience, sustainability efforts

and review of campus social spaces.

"There's no doubt that this is not the place for me to set off on some broad

expansive vision," Wright said, but added that while he plans to concentrate primarily

on initiatives that are already underway, he is still willing to put new ideas

on the table.

"I'm not at the legacy point yet," Wright said. "It's my final year and it's

an opportunity to move things along. I might be a little more impatient with my

colleagues if there's something I want to move along because it's my last chance

to do it."

Wright said he hopes to successfully complete several projects that are currently

underway, including the Campaign for the Dartmouth Experience, a seven-year capital

campaign spearheaded by Wright. The fundraising efforts reached $1.1 billion in

June 2008 and the campaign is on track to reach the $1.3 billion goal by December

2009.

Wright also said he hopes to increase sustainability efforts by designing expansion

plans during the coming academic year.

"[The College] has a history of commitment to the environment and to the outdoors,"

he said. "We have pride in the [Dartmouth Outing Club], in efforts taken to

protect our natural areas such as the land grant and Moosilauke, pride in student

environmental work."

Wright said he is interested in furthering efforts to use more locally grown

food at the College and also in making plans for expanding and replicating the

Dartmouth Organic Farm.

Regarding the ongoing issues concerning campus social spaces, Wright said he

was pleased with current progress on the issue, including the acquisition of houses

for Alpha Xi Delta sorority and Alpha Phi sorority and the creation of two committees

to address the issue. He said he plans to work with Dean of the College Tom Crady

to make plans to more effectively use existing spaces on campus, including those

that will be in the soon-to-be-constructed Class of 1953 Dining Commons and the

renovated Thayer Dining Hall.

"The longer term thing that certainly does go beyond my presidency is other types

of new construction," Wright said, explaining that he envisioned future common

areas to be constructed with gender-balanced social space in mind.

Wright will give his final report to the general faculty at a meeting scheduled

for this October. Although he had not yet finalized the specific content of his

report, Wright said he expects to give a presentation about planned projects for

the academic year, as he has done in meetings past.

"I'm not going to use it as a farewell address, because there will be another

time for that," he said.

Wright said he also planned to spend part of his last year engaging with students.

"What I enjoy most is to meet and talk with students--you all are a source of

tremendous energy and pride for me," he said. "I intend to take advantage of opportunities

to spend time watching you perform and play and just talking with you."