The report of the Presidential Task Force on Enrollment Expansion has been published on the Office of the President’s website by President Phil Hanlon ’77, who posted the report today and acknowledged the work of the task force members.
“The trustees and I extend our most sincere thanks to the members of the task force and, in particular, to its co-chairs—Dean of the Faculty Elizabeth Smith and Dean of the College Rebecca Biron—for their leadership,” President Hanlon wrote in a message to the College community that was posted with the report.
In addition to Biron and Smith, the task force members were Trustee Dave Hodgson ’78; Associate Professor James Feyrer; Professor Mark McPeek; Professor Reiko Ohnuma; Professor Scott Pauls; and Associate Professor Andrea Tarnowski. Chris Hardy, a special assistant to the president, and Lynn Stein, a fellow from the American Council on Education who is spending at year at Dartmouth, assisted the committee.
On the basis of the report, Hanlon recommended to the Dartmouth Board of Trustees that the size of the undergraduate student body remain at its current level, and at their meeting last month the trustees approved his recommendation.
Hanlon created the task force last August and charged the group with exploring the opportunities and challenges of increasing the size of the undergraduate student body as a way for the College to have a greater impact in the world and increase flexibility in shaping incoming classes.
One of the report’s conclusions is that before any expansion, the College should address existing needs, including adding student housing; creating more faculty office space and improving existing faculty offices; adding parking spaces; and increasing student services. “To maintain our competitive position and prepare for successful growth, we should invest now to strengthen specific aspects of the current undergraduate experience,” the report says.
Improvements in these and other areas are underway, Hanlon wrote.
“This is a period of historic investment in meeting current campus needs and pursuing bold ambitions for the future of Dartmouth. Each of you has a role to play in that effort, and I look forward to your continued partnership and collaboration,” he wrote.
Hanlon’s letter lists projects currently in the works, including:
• Exploration of sites on which to build additional residence halls;
• Renovation of Dana Hall, which will provide additional faculty office and parking space;
• Planned expansion and relocation of the computer science department and the Dartmouth Entrepreneurial Network (DEN) to a proposed building to be shared with engineering, opening classroom and office space in Sudikoff Hall and 4 Currier, and doubling the number of parking spaces in the west end;
• Implementation of a triage system that allows any student to see a mental health counselor within several days (enhancement of student mental health services is one of the priorities in the upcoming capital campaign);
• Creation of classroom and other learning spaces in what had been administrative offices in Blunt Alumni Center (the Office of Alumni Relations will remain in the building);
• Increasing the amount budgeted for renewal of facilities by $1.5 million a year and directing this funding to projects that will improve academic and infrastructure facilities; the budget is shy of what is needed to correct the renewal backlog, but this annual increase will make a significant difference over time.
Susan J. Boutwell can be reached at email@example.com.