Statement Regarding President Kim’s Initial Budget Proposal

I am impressed that President Kim is dealing with Dartmouth’s fiscal crisis is a manner that is strategic, humane and dedicated to not only to maintaining, but improving, the College’s excellence as an undergraduate teaching institution.

It’s also impressive that President Kim has been consistently open in explaining the origins of the crisis and its consequences, sending out messages and holding one meeting after another with faculty, students, the community and alumni where he has exposed himself to questioning and invited recommendations.

The plans announced Monday call for no reductions in faculty or academic programs, an increase of 10 percent in financial aid, maintenance of needs-blind admissions and layoffs of just 76 workers this year.

Far bigger staff cuts were widely feared and it’s significant that President Kim, Senior Vice President Steve Kadish and Provost Carol Folt have demonstrated their concern for the College and community by donating 10 percent of their salaries to the Dartmouth College Fund and an employee hardship fund.

Many of the details on savings have yet to be spelled out in the areas of administrative reorganization and restructuring, program reductions and revenue. I will be interested in learning what exact programs the administration will put into place. As a trustee, I would do my best to evaluate and oversee them.

However, the overall approach being taken by President Kim is to contain the fiscal crisis by making Dartmouth better—more efficient and “green” in its operations and administration and more “student friendly” by consolidating services. It’s important that no sports programs will be eliminated.

I am impressed that Dartmouth has increased revenue from federal research grants by 45 percent in the past year, indicating that the faculty has successfully competed for money available under the American Recovery and Re-investment Act (Stimulus Program). It’s important that the College join with other institutions to insure that Congress and the Obama administration continue increasing federal R and D funding on a permanent basis—a crucial investment in improving America’s economic competitiveness. As a longtime advocate of R and D increases, I hope to offer advice in that effort.

For more on President Kim’s plans, see