Address to the Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Welcome to the first Faculty of Arts and Sciences meeting for the academic year 2021-22. This has been a great start to the academic year. The campus is just so filled with excitement and appreciation amongst the students, especially to be back in person in the classroom and to be doing all of the co-curricular and extracurricular activities that they love, and amongst the parents and alumni who are equally appreciative and have been flooding back to campus for Homecoming a couple weeks ago and for Parents Weekend coming up.

I especially want to thank and congratulate all of you in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences for leading the return to in-person teaching and for working with classroom scheduling to ensure that all classes could meet, despite the renovation work being done and the record number of students enrolled. So well done and, as I said, much appreciated, not just by me, but by parents and students and alumni all together.

For those of you who are friends of Joe Helble, the Dartmouth contingent was down [in Pennsylvania] on Friday for his installation as President of Lehigh University, and it was a heartwarming day. Joe was extremely happy, as you might imagine, and they're extremely happy to have him at the helm. I was honored to be able to speak at his installation, and it was just a great day. So all of you who are friends might send him a note of congratulations.

A reminder about the state of the College address so that will take place at the annual meeting of the General Faculty on November 1. At that time, I'm going to take the opportunity to look back over the last eight years at our efforts to elevate academic excellence—how we've gone about it and, through the lens of some key indicators, how successful we've been. I would encourage everyone to attend. It's always a great moment to sit back and look at the look at the College and the trajectory we're on.

[Today,] I want to give you a brief update on The Call to Lead campaign. This past week we announced two significant gifts to undergraduate financial aid; in fact, one was rolled out earlier today. These two gifts are examples of the impact of The Call to Lead that's now being felt very tangibly across campus, including broad-based support for the people, programs, and places within Arts and Sciences.

Let me start with the people. The Call to Lead has enabled faculty expansion through new professorships such as the Hueston Professorship in the department of Native American Studies, the recently funded Neukom Professorship in Computer Science, and the almost 20 faculty cluster lines that are in Arts and Sciences. Also included in the Campaign is support for faculty research and teaching through the expanded Burke funds and the Kimball gift to support scholarly work in the humanities.

The Call to Lead is enabling us to create new postdoctoral programs to bring talented and diverse outstanding new PhDs to our campus with the Society of Fellows Program, the Rosenwald U.S. Foreign Policy and International Security Fellows, the recently funded expansion of the Neukom Fellows, the Mellon postdocs, which have now ended, but are being replaced by the new early career fellowships, including the new E. E. Just early career fellowships in STEM that have already been funded. Beyond postdocs, The Call to Lead is bringing us support for graduate students enabled by the naming gift of the Guarini School of Graduate and Advanced Studies.

In terms of investing in people, undergraduate financial aid is the single largest campaign priority, and we're making great progress. We have secured funding at this point to raise the family income at which a student receives a scholarship fully supporting tuition from $100,000 a year to $125,000 a year. Through the Campaign, we've created 300 new scholarship endowments for undergraduates. Also, we've ensured scholarship support for any financial aid eligible undergraduate to participate in off-campus programs, including study abroad; that was the gift that was announced earlier today.

We have made significant progress toward our goals of restoring need by blind admissions for international students and eliminating loans from the financial aid packages for all students. These are two pieces of unfinished business, but we're making great headway on both. 

Our investments in Arts and Sciences people have been matched by investments in Arts and Sciences programs that help students, faculty, and staff reach their full potential and come together around some of the most urgent issues of the day. Some examples include the Wright Center that supports the study of technology to advance the rule of law; pilot funding for the International Security Institute; a multimillion-dollar gift to expand the activities of the Arctic Institute; the Irving Institute for Energy and Society; an enhanced FYSEP program to support the success of low-income, first-generation undergraduates; endowed funding for the Magnusson Center, which supports undergraduate entrepreneurial activities; and endowment to secure and expand the activities of the E. E. Just Program.

And, finally, The Call to Lead supports an expansion and renewal of the spaces in which the outstanding academic work within Arts and Sciences takes place: the amazing CECS building that will be a new home for Computer Science, Anonymous Hall that houses several Arts and Sciences departments, as well as the Guarini School; the magnificent renovation of Dartmouth Hall, which is underway; the growth and renewal of the Hood Museum, which includes expansion of the spaces that support the teaching you do with the art; and then great progress towards the first phase of renovating and expanding the Hop.

So that was just a reminder of [some of] the things and much, much more being enabled by The Call to Lead campaign and, as I said, the impact is now becoming very tangible on campus. Over the past weekend, we hosted a set of generous and dedicated supporters to witness this impact for themselves. A number of Arts and Sciences Faculty participated in the weekend events, and I want to thank all of you who [did].

With so much of the campus feeling the impact of The Call to Lead, I am delighted today to pass along the news that we've reached a notable campaign milestone. We have now raised $3 billion to support our strategic vision. This milestone is especially notable given our size. Approximately 30 university campaigns have topped the $3 billion mark. And only Dartmouth and Caltech have done so with fewer than 100,000 living alums. We are punching way above our weight, and I want to recognize the efforts of the many, many people who have made this possible, but especially Bob Lasher and his team. And, most importantly, please note that we have no intention of slowing down. We have important unfinished business in this Campaign, and we [won't stop] until that work is complete.

I'm going to turn now to our next agenda item and introduce Shontay Delalue, who is the inaugural Senior Vice President and Senior Diversity Officer at Dartmouth. Shontay arrived on campus on July 1, and she has hit the ground running, already making significant impact.

Before she speaks, I want to say just a few words to thank all of you on the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, for your efforts to expand the diversity of the faculty. I've looked through and been impressed by the Arts and Sciences Inclusive Excellence Report that was published last March. I want to recognize the leadership of Michelle Warren and the efforts of Tim Baker and the other staff members who helped pull this honest, thorough, and thoughtful report together.

I've also seen the list of exciting, new, innovative courses that are being mounted this year on topics of Racial Inequality, Racial Justice, and Anti-racist Activism, as well as the eight searches that have been authorized by Dean Smith related to race, racism, and racial justice as part of the Dean's diversity initiative. We have much more to do in advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion on campus, and we will only get there through collective commitment and effort. For that reason, I want to commend the effort that you have been making as faculty of Arts and Sciences, and I want you to know it has been recognized and appreciated.