Trustees Celebrate Irving Institute, Arts and Humanities

Dartmouth campus
Photo by Joshua Renaud ’17 

Members of the Dartmouth board of trustees, in Hanover for their regular fall meeting, joined President Phil Hanlon ’77 at the announcement celebrating the launch of the College’s ambitious center for teaching and research: The Arthur L. Irving Institute for Energy and Society.

Also attending the event were Arthur Irving, chairman of Canada-based Irving Oil, his wife, Sandra, and their daughter, Sarah ’10 Tuck ’14. The Irvings, along with Irving Oil and the family’s foundation, have donated $80 million to start the institute. More than 200 people, including faculty, students, and others were at the outdoor gathering.

“This is truly an historic day for our campus. Few challenges are more consequential than meeting the energy demands of the future in a way that sustains our planet,” said President Hanlon. “The Arthur L. Irving Institute for Energy and Society at Dartmouth will approach this issue from all perspectives, applying a liberal arts approach to solutions that look not just at science or engineering or policy, but at the impact of energy-related decisions on all of our human systems: environmental, societal, political, and financial.”

Several other donors have contributed to the institute. During the ceremony, trustee Chair Bill Helman ’80 thanked the donors—Judith M. and Russell L. Carson ’65 and Cecily M. Carson ’95; Kathryn and Richard Kimball ’78; Kristin and John Replogle ’88; and Lori Weinstein and Martin J. Weinstein ’81. Along with an anonymous donor, they have contributed $33 million, bringing the total raised to $113 million. The College plans to raise a total of $160 million to fund the project, which will connect, mobilize and empower Dartmouth’s base of talented faculty across arts and sciences, and at the Tuck School of Business and Thayer School of Engineering, who are already deeply engaged in work on energy.

During plenary and committee sessions, board members discussed academic innovation, strategic priorities, and campus planning. Participating in the meetings were new members Jeffrey Blackburn ’91, James Jackson, and Erica Schultz ’95.

Board members joined faculty from arts and humanities for a reception at the Black Family Visual Arts Center and a performance by Bandaloop, a dance troupe of visiting artists who perform, using building façades as their stage. Trustees also attended the opening of the Hood Museum of Art Downtown, a Main Street location which will host art exhibitions while the museum is under construction.

Trustees joined students and faculty at a barbecue and other events to mark the inauguration of Dartmouth’s new house communities, and later joined faculty for a reception at the Tuck School of Business. They also met with the student leaders from the Divest Dartmouth group to discuss the students’ proposals.

In conversations about commitment to academic excellence and attracting and retaining excellent faculty talent, board members discussed the importance of maintaining Dartmouth’s competitiveness. They endorsed the following statement in support of Hanlon’s commitment to competitive compensation for Dartmouth faculty:

“With a focused dedication to academic excellence, Dartmouth is committed to recruiting and retaining faculty who are internationally preeminent as scholars and teachers in their disciplines. In order to provide the intellectual and pedagogical environment in which Dartmouth faculty can optimally thrive and contribute to their fields as well as to the Dartmouth community, compensation must be competitive in relations to select peer institutions. The Dartmouth Board of Trustees endorses a faculty compensation strategy that provides appropriate, fair, and competitive salaries that support and reflect the high standard of academic excellence at Dartmouth. We support President Hanlon’s commitment to competitive compensation for Dartmouth faculty. The Administration should determine the details and approach of the faculty compensation strategy and we endorse the Administration’s intent to benchmark against the mean faculty salaries at comparison schools.”

Also at the meeting, board members heard from Tuck Dean Matt Slaughter and Thayer Dean Joe Helble about possible development in the west end of the campus to better integrate their schools in tandem with a commitment to strengthening a link to computer science and a common foundation in the liberal arts. Hany Farid, chair of computer science, participated in the discussion.

West end planning—still in the conceptual phase—comes as College leaders look at projects in distinct areas of campus. Work is underway in the arts and innovation district on the expansion and renovation of the Hood Museum of Art, and planning continues for future renovation of the Hopkins Center for the Arts. The goal of a campus master plan, of which west end planning and ongoing review of other areas is a part, is to identify future opportunities, but without a set timeline or budgetary commitment.

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