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Community message on ongoing investigations

November 10, 2017

To the Dartmouth community,

Last week, we shared the news that the New Hampshire Attorney General's Office is conducting a criminal investigation of alleged sexual misconduct on the part of three professors in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. At the same time, we reaffirmed our commitment to completing our own independent investigations. To preserve the integrity and procedural fairness of our investigations, and to respect the privacy of all parties involved, we cannot currently comment on particular allegations. However, I want to share as much as I can about the process we are pursuing.

At the heart of the investigations we have been conducting is an extensive fact-finding process led by an experienced external investigator. As part of that independent review of the sexual misconduct allegations we received, we have been giving all parties ample opportunity to present information to the investigator, to suggest witnesses, to respond to allegations that emerge, and to review and comment on preliminary findings. We are determined to complete these investigations, wherever they may lead, and the entire process as quickly as possible. But we will not sacrifice fairness or rigor for speed. For the sake of all of those involved, we are committed to doing this right.

When we receive reports from our internal investigations, we will determine appropriate next steps, in keeping with any faculty governance procedures that may apply.

Because the three faculty members work in the same department and have collaborated on some research involving human subjects, media reports have intimated that the professors may have violated legal requirements or ethical standards relating to the treatment of individuals who participated in their studies. I want to stress that we have received no allegations, nor have we uncovered any evidence, to this effect.

Dartmouth continues to cooperate with law enforcement officials on their separate investigation. The attorney general has concluded that no threat to the public exists in this matter. Preserving the safety of our community remains our top priority. In addition to the law enforcement contacts the attorney general has made available, please remember that Dartmouth's sexual respect website offers assistance and resources to those in need.

In all matters involving allegations of sexual misconduct, it is our policy to provide parties making such reports with an array of support services and options. In particular, we encourage them to notify law enforcement, and we facilitate that contact if they wish to file a report. If they decline to pursue that option, we take very seriously our legal and ethical obligation to respect their wishes. For that reason, we honor reporting parties' wish for confidentiality unless we believe there is imminent danger to the community.

I would like to conclude by emphasizing that we are deeply troubled by these allegations. We take these investigations seriously, and are committed to a thorough and fair process and an outcome that strengthens our community. I appreciate your patience as this process continues.

Sincerely,

Phil Hanlon '77
President

Last Updated: 11/10/17