Board votes not to reelect Zywicki ‘88
By Turia Lahlou And Susan Matthews, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Dartmouth's Board of Trustees voted not to reelect Trustee Todd Zywicki '88 for his second term on the Board at its April meeting this weekend. The Board also evaluated campus-wide budget cuts and fundraising efforts at its meeting, calling for an 11-percent cut from Dartmouth Medical School's $230-million budget by 2011 in an effort to meet College-wide budgetary objectives.
The other six trustees whose first terms had ended were reelected this weekend. Reelection for a second term, which is decided by the Board, is usually routine.
Zywicki could not be reached for comment by press time.
Zywicki's tenure on the Board has been marked by controversy. Along with the other three alumni-elected trustees who were nominated by petition, Zywicki was a signatory on an amicus brief filed in support of the 2007 Association of Alumni lawsuit against the College.
The Board voted to reprimand Zywicki in January 2008 after he called former College President James Freedman "truly evil" in an Oct. 27, 2007 address at the John William Pope Center, a higher education think tank.
He is the only trustee to have been reprimanded by the Board for his conduct, Association President John Mathias '69 said in an interview.
"Zywicki was invited [to the Pope Center] because he was a Dartmouth trustee," Mathias said, adding that he was outraged by Zywicki's "pointedly anti-Dartmouth" comments.
Mathias said he did not know the reasoning behind the vote, but that he felt that Zywicki's "disgraceful" remarks justified the Board's decision.
"I can only say that each of the trustees who voted, voted with individual thinking and did what he or she thought was in the best interest of Dartmouth," Board Chairman Ed Haldeman '70 said in an interview with The Dartmouth.
Mathias said he did not believe the vote was politically motivated because the other two petition candidates up for reelection were confirmed.
The DMS budget cuts come as administrators and a small group of trustees work to develop a "strategic plan" for the school, according to a College press release. College President James Wright said in an interview that he did not know when the plan will be finished. DMS will also institute a new student service fee, pushing the total cost of tuition and fees up 8.9 percent for the 2010 fiscal year.
The Board meeting also included a report by Vice President for Development Carolyn Pelzel on the Campaign for the Dartmouth Experience, which has raised $1.17 billion to date -- 90 percent of its $1.3 billion goal.
The Campaign, which began in November 2004, will continue through the end of the 2009 fiscal year, Haldeman said in the interview.
"I just feel very fortunate that we started the campaign when we did, and that we've already gotten 90 percent of the way to our goal," he said, referencing the current economic crisis.
The financial climate could affect the campaign's completion, Wright said in the interview, although he noted that "nobody is looking at not meeting goals."
"I don't think that any of us can predict what is going to happen in this economic environment," Wright said. "The extent of [donors'] generosity is very limited today."
The Dartmouth College Fund, which contributes to the College's operating budget, totaled $24.5 million as of March 30, Pelzel announced. She said she hopes to meet the Fund's $40-million goal by the end of the fiscal year.
"A number of alumni and parents are stepping forward with exceptional gifts in recognition of the College's dependence on the Fund," she said in the press release.
The Board also approved the sale tax-exempt bonds totaling $165 million to support construction projects, including the Class of 1978 Life Sciences Center and the renovation of the New Hampshire residence hall, according to the press release. The Board additionally authorized the construction of a loading dock for the Hopkins Center for the Arts, Wright said.
The Board saw a presentation on the proposed Visual Arts Center at the meeting, but the Center remains under review until the Board receives a detailed financial plan, Wright said. The Center would house the studio art and film and media studies departments.
The 2009 Affirmative Action Plan, which includes the racial and gender breakdown of the institution's workforce, was also approved, according to the press release.
Dartmouth's tenured and tenure-track faculty across its four schools totaled 1,229, of which 34 percent were women and 10.7 percent were minorities, as of Nov. 1, 2008.
Dartmouth continues to employ the most non-medical female faculty of the six surveyed members of the Ivy League, according to the release.
Alumni-elected Trustees Peter Robinson '79 and T.J. Rodgers '70 could not be reached for comment by press time.