VOCES CLAMANTIUM: Zywicki’s Perspectives
Published on Wednesday, April 29, 2009
To the Editor:
Although I consider the trustee oath a terrible idea -- the College would be a lot better served, I'm convinced, if the Board threw open the windows, letting in some sunshine and fresh air, instead of shuttering itself away -- I recognize that the oath requires me to keep my mouth shut about Board deliberations. Those would include the discussions last month that led the Board to deny Todd Zywicki '88 a second term.
Board deliberations are one matter. My opinions of Mr. Zywicki's service are another.
Todd Zywicki asked searching questions. He insisted upon honest analysis. In a body dominated by bankers and businesspeople, he offered the insights of a professional academic. He reminded us again and again of our responsibilities to students, the faculty, alumni and the law. He proved informed, hard-working, dedicated and utterly committed to genuine debate. Mr. Zywicki proved a superb trustee -- superb.
Those are, as I say, my opinions.
Peter Robinson '79, Trustee
To the Editor:
As usual, Todd Zywicki '88 engages in distortions, misstatements of facts and outrageous accusations, not unlike his speech to the John William Pope Center in October of 2007. Here are just a few examples:
Zywicki states in his letter that he doesn't know why the Board decided not to reappoint him to a second term, but speculates that it may have had something to do with what he characterized as "off-the-cuff" remarks he delivered at the Pope Center. To call his remarks off-the-cuff is incredibly disingenuous.It sure looked and sounded like a prepared speech.
That speech contained lies, distortions and irresponsible hyperbole. He apologized for calling former Dartmouth President James Freedman a truly evil man, but did not apologize for the other untrue and ridiculous statements contained in the speech.To lambaste Dartmouth College in such a manner, in a public forum, is surely a violation of his fiduciary responsibilities as a Trustee.
Zywicki resurrects the canard that a speech code existed at Dartmouth prior to the election of T.J. Rodgers '70 to the Board . This is not true. I challenge anyone to produce a copy of that "speech code." If it existed, it had to be somewhere in print -- in the student handbook, the rules and regulations of the College -- somewhere. But no one has been able to find it. Please point it out to us, or drop this unfounded accusation.
Todd Zywicki is entitled to his opinions. He is not entitled to play fast and loose with the facts, and he is certainly not entitled to a second term on the Board of Trustees.
John Engelman '68
Member of the Association of Alumni