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Hundreds to Gather in Protest of Potential Job Cuts at Dartmouth

February 4, 2010

HANOVER, N.H. - Dartmouth College Trustees and administration officials, lend us your ear! That's the message that hundreds of students, staff and community members will deliver tonight at a candlelight vigil in Hanover. The Ivy League college is facing a $100 million budget deficit, and the college president is set to meet with trustees tomorrow to discuss ways to close the budget gap.

Annelise Orleck is a professor of history at Dartmouth, and she says college officials have announced that hundreds of lay-offs are inevitable.

"This is not an area where there are a great many job alternatives. So these lay-offs could potentially be very disruptive to the local economy, as well as to the spirit of community on campus. It's a small campus. We tend to know everybody we work with, and that matters to us."

Olreck is one of 75 faculty members who have sent a letter to the college president offering alternatives to help with budget issues. According to statements issued by senior officials at the college, any job cuts would be to non-tenured support staff.

Dartmouth senior Eric Schilge is one of several students planning to attend the vigil. He started a group called "Dartmouth Students Standing for Staff," and he says he would like to see more transparency by college officials when it comes to the decision-making process.

"They can't go on behind closed doors without us having at least a picture of what they are proposing, because these people who could potentially lose their jobs are members of the Dartmouth family - they could potentially lose their homes, they could potentially have to move out of the area."

The vigil starts at 5 p.m. on Dartmouth Green, across from the Hanover Inn.

Monique Coppola, Public News Service - NH