Gender-Equity Review of Dartmouth Athletics Set to Begin

Dartmouth is also initiating two additional reviews of the department.

A national law firm with expertise in Title IX compliance will soon begin work on a gender-equity review of Dartmouth's NCAA Division I intercollegiate athletics program, President Philip J. Hanlon '77 and Interim Athletic Director Peter Roby '79 announced today.

On Jan. 29, Dartmouth announced that it was commissioning a comprehensive set of reviews of its athletics program to ensure that the institution is complying with Title IX, NCAA rules, and Ivy League policies; to strengthen athletics' practices and governance structures; and to live up to Dartmouth's institutional values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

Attorneys Janet Judge and Phil Catanzano of the Holland & Knight law firm will conduct the gender-equity review.

"We remain committed to working with our community in navigating these challenging times. As we embark on this process, your support remains critically important," President Hanlon and Roby wrote in a statement posted on the president's website.

"We are also initiating two additional reviews of Athletics—an NCAA compliance review to be done by the Ivy League, and a process-and-control review by PricewaterhouseCoopers, an external audit firm," they said.

The reviews were announced after Dartmouth in January reinstated five varsity teams that had been eliminated in July 2020. The reinstatement of women's and men's swimming and diving, women's and men's golf, and men's lightweight rowing came after Dartmouth learned that elements of the data Athletics had used to confirm continued Title IX compliance may not have been complete. Title IX is the federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in programs and activities at universities that receive federal funding.

The findings and recommendations of each of the reviews will be delivered to the Audit and Oversight Committee of the Dartmouth Board of Trustees and to Hanlon. At the conclusion of the reviews, Dartmouth will publish an action plan and take any steps necessary to ensure compliance with Title IX and to address institutional goals, priorities, and challenges.

The Holland & Knight review will include policies, procedures, and protocols as well as interviews. The firm will be requesting and considering input from student-athletes and alumni. Dartmouth will soon share information on a format for input and criteria for alumni participation.

"We encourage all who participate to do so candidly and without fear of retaliation," said Hanlon and Roby.

Susan Boutwell can be reached at susan.j.boutwell@dartmouth.edu.