The day after I received an e-mail from the Committee to Nominate Alumni Trustees (CNAT) urging me to vote in their election, I wrote a letter with comments on the process to PAW, but it turns out that my comments were too late for pre-vote publication. It doesn’t matter: I’d guess that the administrative procedures that have been in place for a long history of previous elections won’t be changed any time soon, and so these comments can serve as applicable to the next election cycle just as well.  

CNAT is the group that, in past years, declined to explain to me how they chose the slate of candidates, and more recently refused to explain what the governance platforms of the nominees are and why these positions aren’t considered suitable for publication along with their suitably impressive CVs. I can get more governance-policy information from most of the corporate shareholder proxy mailings in which I’m asked to vote on various management matters or board candidates. For 40 years, at least, there have been governance-quality and -direction questions, raised by alumni groups or individuals, to which the several administrations have responded shabbily, dismissively, or not at all.

I won’t even comment, beyond just noting it, on the remarkable contrast in recent decades between the obvious excellence of Princeton education and research in the hard sciences, ­without “benefit” of intensive command-and-control from Nassau Hall, and the level of front-office social ­engineering in areas ranging from membership in the eating clubs to sex in the dormitories.  

Maybe one of PAW’s highly skilled Fourth Estaters can explain why I should participate in the next CNAT “election.”

Martin S. Harris Jr. ’54