Dartmouth to Increase Efforts to Prevent Sexual Misconduct

A comprehensive plan will be announced next month, says President Philip J. Hanlon ’77.

Dartmouth will unveil a plan next month to build on the work College officials have done to prevent and address sexual assault, President Philip J. Hanlon ’77 wrote in an email to the College community today.

President Hanlon said the new program will be a comprehensive plan that will build on progress made through the Moving Dartmouth Forward initiative begun in 2015 and the Inclusive Excellence effort, which started in 2016.

“Let there be no doubt: Dartmouth is redoubling its efforts to ensure that every member of our community can thrive in an environment that is safe, welcoming, respectful, and inclusive,” wrote Hanlon in the email, which was also signed by Joseph Helble, provost; Duane Compton, dean of the Geisel School of Medicine; F. Jon Kull ’88, dean of the Guarini School of Graduate and Advanced Studies; Kathryn Lively, interim dean of the College; Rick Mills, executive vice president; Laura Ray, interim dean of Thayer School of Engineering; Matthew Slaughter, dean of the Tuck School of Business; and Elizabeth Smith, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

The institution’s leaders “join me in making a commitment to take the steps necessary to succeed and lead in this vital endeavor,” Hanlon wrote.

He said Dartmouth appreciates the bravery of the seven current and former students from the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences who last month sued Dartmouth, alleging that the institution did not adequately respond to sexual misconduct complaints.

“I admire the courage the students showed in bringing their complaints to our attention last year. I deeply regret that an environment existed on our campus that was so at odds with our values,” he wrote. “We owe it to the students who came forward in 2017, as well as to past generations of Dartmouth women and current and future students, faculty, and staff, to make our community the best it can be.”

The president said that he has heard “powerful stories from members of our community about the anger and pain evoked” by the lawsuit’s allegations. Dartmouth will soon file its answer to the suit’s allegations, he said.

“There is much work ahead,” Hanlon wrote. “Dartmouth will take the lead in saying, ‘No more.’ ”

Susan J. Boutwell can be reached at [email protected]