An opening in the groves of academe


It seems to me that the weakest link in academia is the failure of Boards of Trustees to adequately exercise their fiduciary and managment oversight. Too often internal election procedures assure that rubber stamping boards are elected .Tenured faculty and partisan interests run roughshod over  ever weaker administrators in the absence of  properly functioning boards.
So it is welcome news that with the aid of an internet campaign, two critics of the policy direction at Dartmouth have won slots on the Board over candidates certain to have simply added their imprimatur to acts of  the ever weakening Administration.
The Weekly Standard has been covering the story. And the Boston Globe weighs in:

The victory of two dark—horse candidates for Dartmouth College's board of trustees this week has revived a struggle over competing visions for the future of the small Ivy League campus.

Peter Robinson, who wrote speeches for Ronald Reagan and is a fellow at the Hoover Institution, and Todd J. Zywicki, a George Mason University law professor who contributes to a libertarian—leaning web log, ran on platforms that were scathingly critical of the administration, saying it has become too politically correct and has stifled fraternities, de—emphasized athletics, and shortchanged teaching in favor of research.

''Dartmouth's leadership has turned its back on [its] great legacy," Zywicki wrote in his campaign statements. ''The administration has enlarged class sizes, starved the athletic program, and attacked the sororities and fraternities."

Robinson and Zywicki, who gathered 500 signatures each to win a place on the ballot without the approval of an official alumni council, represent a vocal strain of conservative Dartmouth alumni who for more than a decade have contended that the university has gone astray. It is unclear what percent of alumni share their views or what kind of influence their presence on the board will have on Dartmouth's future.

Clarice Feldman  5 14 05