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3 Dartmouth Professors Under Investigation For Sexual Misconduct

Incidents of alleged sexual misconduct are oftentimes said to be "open secrets" on college campuses.
Posted at 10:08 PM, Oct 31, 2017

This past year, high-profile allegations spotlit issues of sexual misconduct in HollywoodD.C. and Silicon Valley. Pretty soon, that spotlight could hit another major community: higher education.

On Tuesday, spokespeople from Dartmouth College announced a joint criminal investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct. The allegations target three psychology and brain sciences professors.

The accused faculty members are on paid leave with restricted access to the campus. The investigation is ongoing, but the issue of alleged sexual misconduct at the hands of college faculty goes beyond Dartmouth's case.

In a 2015 survey, one in 10 female graduate students and one in five transgender or genderqueer graduate students reported being sexually harassed by a faculty member. In many cases, researchers and reporters found campus knowledge of faculty members' alleged sexual misconduct to be "open secrets."

Reluctant administrations, lack of transparency and most notably tenure protections can all help shield faculty members from facing discipline due to allegations of sexual misconduct.

Even if evidence is found to support allegations, many accused faculty members remain on paid leave. Some are even able to resume teaching.

Earlier this year, in response to allegations of a University of Rochester professor's sexual misconduct, 1,100 professors and academics from around the world wrote in an open letter: "Both students and colleagues are telling many of us that they have come to expect sexual harassment to be a 'normal' and unavoidable part of academic life."