Dartmouth trustees adopt new sexual misconduct policy

Dartmouth College

HANOVER — Dartmouth College is moving to a new sexual misconduct policy covering students, faculty and staff, though it will take months to fully implement.

College trustees met last weekend to vote on the new policy, according to Diana Lawrence, Dartmouth’s associate vice president for communications.

The full policy has not yet been made public.

“Although the new unified policy has been approved, it mandates changes to existing processes and will require employee training, and it is not yet in place,” Lawrence said in response to an inquiry. “We are working on an implementation plan and will share the policy with our community as part of that plan. We expect the new policy to take effect before the end of the year.”

This vote on the new policy comes after several months of consultation and revisions with input from the college community, said President Phil Hanlon. It also comes as the college is entering into mediation in a $70 million sexual harassment and assault class action lawsuit.

“This single policy creates clear and consistent expectations to ensure a reliable and impartial institutional response to sexual misconduct claims, and it establishes appropriate processes for adjudicating potential violations of the policy,” Hanlon said.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court last year, alleges that the school allowed for a culture of drinking, rape and sexual harassment for years in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences.

The lawsuit claims that former professors Todd Heatherton, William Kelley and Paul Whalen subjected women to sexual harassment that included groping, sexting, alcohol-fueled hot tub parties and rape.

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