The annual election of Alumni and Tyng Trustees is in full swing. Here pdf is the ballot, for the non-alums among our readers. The election is, obviously, a farce, mainly because the College refuses to allow candidates to address substantive issues in their write-ups, much less to campaign in any meaningful fashion. Over the next five years (the term of an Alumni Trustee) the College will face a variety of challenges, difficult decisions — about international admissions, alumni giving, academic departments, and so on — that the Trustees will be asked to weigh in on. Why can’t we know what the candidates think before we are asked to choose among them?

The reason, obviously, is because the College does not care what you think and would prefer not to solicit opinions from, much less rile up, the alumni. You should all write your checks and shut up. And that goes double for the alumni trustees! The last thing that the Administration — and the controlling trustees with terms of 10+ years — want is to have an Alumni Trustee join the board, convinced that she has a mission to change X about the College.

So, go ahead and cast your ballot, selecting someone because she was “the general manager of a residential and commercial property company” rather than the candidate who “serves on the executive committee of the music and entertainment industry chapter of the City of Hope National Medical Center” or the candidate who is the “chairman of the board of directors of The Carter Burden Center for the Aging” because, obviously, the first candidate is the most qualified!

The elections for 6th grade president in my daughter’s elementary school were more substantive than the election for Alumni Trustee at Williams College. At least those candidate actually told the voters what they thought about the proposal to change the schedule for recess!

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