Dartmouth Board of Trustees Approves Equal Access Policy

The Dartmouth College board of trustees unanimously accepted on Tuesday a "statement of purpose" calling for the eventual implementation of an equal access admissions policy, while deciding at the same time not to take any action on the policy for at least a year.

A. Alexander Fanelli, executive assistant to the president of Dartmouth, said yesterday that the "basic reason for the change seems to be that many strongly qualified women applicants are being turned down because there is no place for them," adding that "the college is jammed as is."

The trustees' statement came after a Dartmouth faculty committee on admissions recommended earlier this month a gradual increase in the number of women students from 1000 at present to 1400 over the next five years, Fanelli said.

Fanelli said yesterday that the delay of one year was made "in a response to a request made by the alumni council.

The council, which represents the interests of the alumni, asked the trustees to defer any change in the admissions policy for a year, in order to research the problem and publicize it to the alumni, Ray N. Rassenburger, president of the alumni council, said Wednesday.

J. Michael McGean, secretary of the alumni council, said yesterday that "most of the alumni tend to be conservative when it comes to their alma mater, and resist change."

The alumni council does not have any power over the actions of the trustees, but McGean said that a possible loss of alumni support may have prompted the one-year delay.

Money Away From Harvard

"We want to keep all quarters away from Harvard," McGean said jokingly.

Dartmouth became co-educational in 1972 under guidelines requiring enrollment of at least 3000 men and as many women as possible, according to Fanelli.

Physical capacity of the college has limited the number of women to about 1000.

Edward T. Chamberlain, the director of Admissions at Dartmouth, said yesterday that the guidelines recommended a review of coeducation at Dartmouth after four years.

Chamberlain said that the number of women applicants has remained constant over the last two years at about 2000.

In contrast to Fanelli, Chamberlain said that, "No large number of strongly qualified women are being turned down."

Half of the sixteen-member board of trustees are former members of the alumni council, McGean said, adding that, "when one is a trustee, he must follow his conscience and not personal reasons."