Dartmouth Faculty Calls for More Details of Budget Cuts

Dartmouth College faculty members called on the administration for a second time to provide more detailed accounting of the Ivy League school’s budget shortfall that led to cuts in jobs, benefits and financial aid.

Arts and Sciences faculty members met today to review documents provided May 20 by the school about the reductions, which were taken to erase a projected $96 million budget gap. They said the documents lacked detail, and, in a voice vote, passed a resolution requesting the school report back before the first faculty meeting of the 2011-2012 academic year.

The faculty had passed a resolution at a May 9 meeting demanding the Hanover, New Hampshire-based college produce a “detailed accounting” of the budget cuts since 2009. Professors have grown frustrated that the administration of President Jim Kim hasn’t been “transparent” in explaining the source of the cuts, after several requests, said Ronald Green, a religion professor who proposed the May 9 resolution as well as the one approved today.

The Dartmouth administrators feel they have provided the faculty with everything they’ve requested, and will honor any new requests, said Justin Anderson, a spokesman for the college.

“We feel like we’ve been responsive,” Anderson said. “We’re eager to hear exactly what it is they want.”

Student Loans

Dartmouth expected to have a $96 million deficit in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2012, because of a 20 percent drop in the value of its endowment in 2009, according to the documents. Dartmouth anticipates a $2.6 million surplus in fiscal 2012, according to the documents.

To cut spending, the college fired 40 workers, bought out an additional 115 and eliminated 82 vacant positions. To save $12.7 million annually, it reduced money for raises and shifted more health-care costs to employees. Dartmouth also reinstated student loans, replacing outright grants, for families earning more than $75,000 a year.

“We have turned the corner and closed the gap through significant hard work, savings and new revenues across the institution,” according to the documents handed over to the faculty late last week. “Going forward, our budget projections are in balance through 2014.”

Dartmouth, founded in 1769, has about 5,800 students and is the smallest institution in the Ivy League, a group of eight private northeastern universities. Graduates include U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and his immediate predecessor, Henry Paulson, as well as Jeffrey Immelt, chief executive officer of General Electric Co., based in Fairfield, Connecticut.

To contact the reporter on this story: Oliver Staley in New York at ostaley@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jonathan Kaufman at jkaufman17@bloomberg.net

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