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Sunday, November 18, 2018

Dartmouth Allowed 3 Professors to Sexually Harass and Assault Students, Lawsuit Charges

Nell Gluckman
The Chronicle of Higher Education
Originally published November 15, 2018

Seven current and former students sued Dartmouth College on Thursday, saying it had failed to protect them from three psychology and brain-science professors who sexually harassed and assaulted them. In the lawsuit, filed in a federal court in New Hampshire, they say that when they and others reported horrific treatment, the college did nothing, allowing the professors’ behavior to continue until last spring, when one retired and the other two resigned.

The 72-page complaint, which seeks class-action status, describes an academic department where heavy drinking, misogyny, and sexual harassment were normalized. It says that the three professors — Todd F. Heatherton, William M. Kelley, and Paul J. Whalen — “leered at, groped, sexted,” and “intoxicated” students. One former student alleges she was raped by Kelley, and a current student alleges she was raped by Whalen. Dartmouth ended a Title IX investigation after the professors left, and, as far as the complainants could tell, did not attempt to examine how the abuse occurred or how it could be prevented it from happening again, according to the complaint.

In a written statement, a Dartmouth spokesman said that college officials “respectfully but strongly disagree with the characterizations of Dartmouth’s actions in the complaint and will respond through our own court filings.”

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