Dartmouth: Sexual Misconduct Allegations Don't Involve Research Subjects

Nov 10, 2017

Credit NHPR Staff

Allegations of sexual misconduct involving three professors in the Psychological and Brain Sciences Department at Dartmouth College do not relate to the professors' treatment of human research subjects, according to the college.



Neither Dartmouth nor the state Attorney General’s office have released details of their separate investigations into the three professors, including any specifics of the allegations or how each professor is involved.


The three men use human subjects, including undergraduate students, in their research. That’s lead to speculation that the alleged sexual misconduct may have involved people who participated in their studies. 


But that’s not the case, wrote Dartmouth President Phil Hanlon in a letter to students, faculty and staff Friday. “I want to stress that we have received no allegations, nor have we uncovered any evidence, to this effect,” he wrote, citing concerns about ethical and legal research violations. 


The attorney general’s office announced its criminal investigation into the three professors — Todd Heatherton, Paul Whalen and Bill Kelley — Oct. 31 after learning from Dartmouth that it had received allegations of sexual misconduct. At the time, Dartmouth had ongoing internal investigations into the three men and had limited their access to campus. 


“We are deeply troubled by these allegations,” Hanlon wrote in his email Friday. “We take these investigations seriously, and are committed to a thorough and fair process and an outcome that strengthens our community.“