Education

Dartmouth Sex Misconduct Scandal Claims First Faculty Victim

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Rob Shimshock Education Reporter
An embattled Dartmouth College faculty member retired Thursday amid a sexual misconduct investigation and will continue to be prohibited from entering campus property.

Former psychological and brain sciences professor Todd F. Heatherton resigned after the conclusion of the investigation launched in fall 2017 into Heatherton and two other professors, according to an email obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

“Heatherton, who has been on sabbatical leave, has elected to retire effective immediately, which College guidelines allow given his age and length of service,” Dartmouth president Philip Hanlon said in an email to the school community. “Dartmouth has not entered into separation or non-disclosure agreements with Heatherton and has made no severance payment to him.”

Dartmouth Dean Elizabeth Smith made a “recommendation that Dartmouth revoke Heatherton’s tenured appointment and terminate his employment,” according to the email.

“In light of the findings of the investigation and the dean’s recommendation, Heatherton will continue to be prohibited from entering campus property or from attending any Dartmouth-sponsored events, no matter where they are held,” noted the president.

Heatherton submitted a comment on the affair to Dartblog, a site run by Dartmouth alum Joseph Asch, suggesting that his alleged misconduct occurred when he was under the influence of alcohol.

“I retired because I thought it best for my family, the institution, and the graduate students involved,” the former professor stated. “I acknowledge that I acted unprofessionally in public at conferences while intoxicated. I offer a humble and sincere apology to anyone affected by my actions.”

The Ivy League institution also investigated Heatherton’s fellow psychological and brain sciences colleagues William M. Kelley and Paul J. Whalen. Dartmouth’s Council on Academic Freedom and Responsibility is reviewing recommendations pertaining to the latter two professors, who are currently on paid leave. (RELATED: Dartmouth Profs Investigated By Five Law Enforcement Agencies For Sexual Misconduct)

“By paying them, it seems to be condoning the acts,” Dartmouth junior Maggie Pizzo said in October 2017 to Boston.com.

All three professors’ research focused on sexual desire and attractiveness and are not the only university faculty members to have come under scrutiny for sexual misconduct allegations during the 2017-2018 school year. A tenured Harvard professor announced in March that he would resign after 18 sexual harassment allegations.

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