HANOVER — Dartmouth College announced this week it is putting an interim management structure in place at the Outdoor Programming Office in the wake of a report that found significant errors made during a spring hike.
Student Arun Anand, 21, of Pennsylvania, was missing for two nights in the area around Mt. Moosilauke during the May hike, resulting in a large-scale search-and-rescue operation that included the use of National Guard helicopters, dozens of volunteers, and New Hampshire Fish and Game and law enforcement personnel scouring the area for Anand.
The college has so far repaid the state close to $19,000 to cover the search expenses.
The college’s own report on the hike found serious problems, and New Hampshire Fish and Game Col. Kevin Jordan said there were at least three potentially fatal errors made on the hike. Timothy Burdick, the director of the Outdoor Programming Office, stepped down when the college report was released last month.
Associate Dean for Student Life Eric Ramsey will oversee administrative operations and OPO Assistant Director Rory Gawler and Paul Teplitz will serve as co-directors, according to a statement released Tuesday by the college.
Teplitz supervised the outdoor program at Harvard University for the past nine years. He also spent six years with the North Carolina Outward Bound School.
Brian Kunz, the longtime OPO deputy director who retired last year, will serve as a consultant and adviser to the office. Keene Middle School teacher Willow Nilsen is also joining the program.
“Our out-of-doors program is foundational to the Dartmouth experience and its success is very important to all of us,” Ramsey said.
Ramsey said the OPO will be seeking feedback from students about what they want to see from the program going forward. The college will begin the search for a permanent OPO director in the fall.