‘Moving Dartmouth Forward’ Conversations to Focus on Hanlon’s Vision


Dartmouth is about to begin a series of public meetings designed to give community members an opportunity to discuss and contribute to the initiatives President Phil Hanlon ’77 announced during fall term. The first meeting is set for February 3.

(Photo by Eli Burakian ’00)

The series, called “Moving Dartmouth Forward,” will feature a discussion about a different topic every other week. The Office of the President is sponsoring the series, which is open to all students, faculty, and staff.

“These dialogues will help engage the community around core ideas to move Dartmouth into the future,” says Hanlon. “I look forward to hearing what students, faculty, and staff think about where we’re going and how we’ll get there.”

The meetings are designed to foster community discussion and advance implementation of initiatives to ensure that Dartmouth remains the world’s finest undergraduate teaching institution while deepening the impact of its scholarship nationally and internationally. The events will provide an opportunity to share important information about the status of current institutional initiatives and address questions about Dartmouth’s future in the rapidly changing higher education landscape.

The topic at the first meeting, on February 3, is the D-Plan—the College’s year-round academic calendar of quarterly terms. Hanlon has called for a review of the D-Plan to help the College ensure that it provides the best academic and social experience for undergraduates.

This first event, featuring professors Bruce Sacerdote and Christiane Donahue as presenters, will be held twice on the same day to allow for broad participation across campus. Sacerdote, the Richard S. Braddock 1963 Professor in Economics, is currently chairing a faculty D-Plan Enrollment Study Group. Donahue, an associate professor of linguistics and director of the Institute for Writing and Rhetoric, is a member of the committee.

The D-Plan discussion, like all the meetings in the series, will take place from noon to 1 p.m., and again from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. A location for the meetings will be announced soon.

The College will broadly share information about the sessions on a number of news platforms. Also, Alumni Relations will explore with alumni around the country how to extend these conversations to the broader Dartmouth community.

Each dialogue will have one or more presenters who will provide a brief overview to set the stage for the community conversation. Presenters will discuss why these subjects matter to Dartmouth’s future, what relevant initiatives are in the works or being considered, and how they can be effectively implemented.

The second meeting in the series, on February 17, will feature Inge-Lise Ameer, senior associate dean of the College, and Michael Wooten, director of residential education, leading a discussion on enhancing Dartmouth’s housing options.

On March 3, Josh Kim, the newly appointed director of digital learning initiatives, will talk about the creative use of new learning technologies.

Other topics will include campus climate and safety; the job market and Dartmouth’s new Center for Professional Development; curriculum changes; and experiential learning. Dates for these sessions will be announced soon.

Hanlon last fall identified review of the D-Plan as an important topic. The way students customize their academic calendars and decide which terms they will be on campus affects larger questions of undergraduate enrollment equalization and the right to return to residence halls. It also impacts opportunities to offer programming during the summer and winter terms, when the College traditionally has fewer students on campus.

“We’re excited about having the entire community take part in these discussions about realizing the future opportunities that President Hanlon’s vision seeks to deliver,” says Tommy Bruce, senior vice president for public affairs. “The dialogues are a chance to more consistently engage the community in frank and open discussions.”

To share information about the Moving Forward series and other College news, Dartmouth is enhancing its internal communications platforms, says Bruce. The Office of Public Affairs will soon launch upgrades to Dartmouth Daily Updates (D2U) to better leverage the daily email digest in delivering important news about Dartmouth to the campus community. Plans are being developed to replace the current D2U system, which runs on outdated technology, with a new system that supports modern design and functionality.

Office of Communications