Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Dartmouth Review 25th

This will be about as far as I get from IT here. But, given that it's the 25th anniversary of The Dartmouth Review, a newspaper I helped found, and that Dartmouth has just had a very significant trustee election, I guess I should say something.

TDR wasn't the first of the alternative right-of-center or libertarian college newspapers of the early eighties, but it became one of the more influential, if not one of the better mannered. I got involved with the founding through a friendship with Greg Fossedal who was the an editor of The Daily Dartmouth, the campus daily. I wrote about it long ago here. The precipitating event was the election of an "unoffical" trustee candidate. It's thus perhaps more than a bit fitting that we've just seen Todd Zywicki and Peter Robinson elected as the latest slate of trustee candidates running in opposition to the official ones. (T.J.Rodgers, the CEO of Cypress Semiconductor was elected in opposition to the administration in 2004. It has not been a good couple of years for the official slate.) Their positions haven't been political per se. Rather, they've spoken to directions that Dartmouth should take and principles that Dartmouth should have.

I won't go further into the arcana of Dartmouth governance and policies here. Trustee disputes at Dartmouth go back to the Dartmouth College case, argued by Daniel Webster, and a seminal US Supreme Court case in contract law. Suffice it to say that it's somewhat satisfying to see an institution like TDR still involving students 25 years later. It's never been about shadowy outside funding sources-rather TDR has always been supported primarily by Dartmouth's own alumni-but, rather, about students thinking and writing and questioning conventional wisdom. Which seems for the good. Wah-Hoo-Wah.

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