#MeToo Fallout in Academia

Dartmouth Professors, Dartmouth Psych Professors, Dartmouth PBS Professors

Dartmouth College has been investigating three of its psychological and brain sciences professors (photo credit: Derrick Smith).

In October of 2017, we reported on an investigation related to sexual misconduct of three Dartmouth College professors of psychological and brain sciences, an investigation sparked by the #MeToo movement. As we reported back then and as we’ve reported since, it’s not as though Dartmouth is alone in addressing sexual misconduct of certain professors. More recently, we reported on a Harvard professor of economics facing a state-level investigation for alleged sexual and gender-based harassment. But we figured we’d update our readers on the status of the investigation at Dartmouth.

One Dartmouth Professor Retires, Another Resigns

Of the three Dartmouth professors of psychological and brain sciences who were under investigation, only one currently remains under investigation. Professor Todd Heatherton, who was previously under investigation, has since retired. Due to his age and tenure at the College on the Hill, he was eligible to retire with full benefits from the university. However, in spite of his many contributions to the field of psychological and brain sciences (he is among the most notable names in the discipline of social psychology), Heatherton will not be eligible for a faculty emeritus position nor will he be allowed to step foot on Dartmouth’s campus in the future.

Of the remaining two professors, Paul Whalen has resigned effective immediately. Unlike Heatherton, Whalen was not eligible for retirement. As announced to the Dartmouth College community in an email from the school’s president, Phil Hanlon, “Whalen’s resignation follows a recommendation by the dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Elizabeth F. Smith, which was endorsed by the faculty-elected A&S Review Committee, to revoke Whalen’s tenured appointment and terminate his employment on the basis of the findings of an investigation by an experienced external investigator. Dartmouth has not entered into separation or non-disclosure agreements with Whalen and has made no severance payments to him. Whalen, who had been on paid leave since last fall, will continue to be prohibited from entering campus property and from attending any Dartmouth-sponsored events, no matter where they are held.” Professor Bill Kelley remains under investigation. While under investigation, Kelley is on paid leave and restricted from setting foot on Dartmouth’s campus.

What do our readers think of Dartmouth’s swift and decisive actions to address this alleged misconduct? Let us know your thoughts by posting a Comment below. We look forward to hearing from you!

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