Although, as we saw yesterday, MUW has had its share of legal issues, perhaps no college in America is as encumbered by alumni litigation as Dartmouth College, with its ongoing battles over control of alumni seats on the governing board of the institution.
To give a full accounting of the history of this conflict would require many more hours than I have for blogging. People who want a snapshot into the cases can dive in mid-stream by reading about the latest lawsuit. The Dartmouth, the school's student-run paper, reported on the legal wrangling today (November 25, 2008):
As with Mississippi University for Women, there is a technical and legal aspect to the case, and a functional aspect as well. The legal issue here is whether an 1891 agreement between the Association of Alumni and the College is binding, and if so whether it has been "breached."
The operational issue of the case has to do with
- the degree to which alumni representation in institutional governance should be systematized and prescriptive, and
- who gets to decide when it's time to review that system, and how it can be changed.
This one is far from over and I'll try to check in on proceedings in Hanover from time to time. Although it's a serious issue for the college and its alumni, some people are trying to keep it in perspective; the IvyGate blog referred to the new litigation as "the most boring lawsuit ever. Again."
Photo of Dartmouth's Baker Memorial Library by Andrew Walsh, courtesy of Creative Commons.