HANOVER — With its blue-chip roster of alumni, 10-figure endowment and annual high-school senior scrum for admissions, Dartmouth College seems stable and on course. But as 2016 comes to a close, the leaders of Dartmouth find themselves navigating some rough financial waters.
The college, which was founded 247 years ago, posted a net operating loss of $112 million during the fiscal year that ended June 30. A year earlier, the college experienced a $15.2 million loss.
That wasn’t necessarily the result of bad decision-making by those at the helm, said Rick Mills, the college’s executive vice president and top financial manager, who was interviewed in his office overlooking the Dartmouth Green.
Instead, Dartmouth — as is the case with its distant relation, Dartmouth-Hitchcock, the Lebanon-based health system — happens to be in a sector that is “undergoing really transformational change,” Mills said. “It’s not mismanagement at these institutions that are making us anomalous poor performers.”