When a university has been around since before the founding of the United States, you can bet administrators have dealt with a scandal or two. Harvard is currently embroiled in an ongoing lawsuit in which a group alleges the school discriminates against Asian American applicants in their admissions process. A former Yale University dean was axed after placing racist reviews on Yelp. A former Columbia University student who was accused of rape and was subsequently cleared by the university faced a PR nightmare when the student who accused that student of rape carried a symbolic 50-pound mattress around campus in protest. Princeton University has been grappling with its fraught racial history. The list goes on. And yet these schools, nevertheless, they persist. Because these schools are Ivy League schools; they are centuries-old enduring institutions of higher learning.
Some Dartmouth Students and Alumni File Suit Against School
We were recently asked if today’s news out of Dartmouth College will hurt the school’s reputation — or even this year’s application figures. As our readers may have read, some current and former Dartmouth students have filed suit against the school — seeking $70 million — for allegedly breaching its duty to protect them from the sexual harassment they endured by three former professors in Dartmouth’s psychological and brain sciences department and for failing to comply with Title IX in creating an environment void of gender-based discrimination. As our loyal readers know, we have a crystal ball at Ivy Coach; it’s remarkably prophetic. But we do not need to have a look at our crystal ball to know that this case will not adversely impact Dartmouth’s reputation nor will it negatively impact the school’s application figures — not this year, next year, or any year in the future.
Dartmouth’s Reputation Will Remain Intact
You see, scandal strikes every university in America. Some universities, of course, respond better than do others (remember the Duke University lacrosse scandal of 2006?). But if a school is a member of the Ivy League, these schools, well, they have a certain amount of protection. These schools will always be members of the Ivy League. So, yes, it’s not a good look for a school to be sued by some current and former students for allegedly not taking proper action to address sexual harassment in one of their academic departments. But Dartmouth will still be Dartmouth, irrespective of the court’s judgement in this case. And, yes, Harvard will still be Harvard.