Appointments Made to Steering Committee on Sexual Assault

News subtitle

Geisel’s Leslie Henderson has been named chair of the committee.

the top of Baker Tower surrounded by snow covered trees
(Photo by Robert Gill)

Geisel School of Medicine Dean for Faculty Affairs Leslie Henderson, a professor of physiology and neurobiology, has been appointed to chair the Presidential Steering Committee on Sexual Misconduct.

Creation of the committee was announced last month. It is charged with identifying areas where Dartmouth should consider improvements to campus-wide policies and procedures regarding sexual misconduct and consensual relationships; ensuring greater clarity, consistency, and coherence among these College policies; and incorporating best practices and approaches for educational and training opportunities for all on campus.

Working with Henderson will be committee members Elizabeth Agosto, senior associate dean of student affairs; Victoria Blodgett, assistant dean for postdoctoral affairs at the School of Graduate and Advanced Studies; Evelynn Ellis, vice president for Institutional Diversity and Equity; Mark McPeek, professor of biological sciences; Allison O’Connell, Title IX officer; Brian Pogue, director of MS and PhD programs and professor at Thayer School of Engineering; Richard Sansing, associate dean for faculty and professor at the Tuck School of Business; Megan Sobel, senior associate athletics director; and Lucas Swaine, associate professor of government. Dana Scaduto, associate general counsel, will provide legal support to the committee.

The committee reflects the breadth of Dartmouth’s academic programs and the operational divisions that deal most closely with allegations of sexual misconduct. Arts and sciences faculty members were appointed by the arts and sciences’ Committee on Organization and Policy, and graduate and professional school members were recommended by their school deans. Staff members, representing divisions that deal with allegations of sexual misconduct, were appointed by their division leaders.

Committee members will seek input from the community, advice from expert practitioners, and information about peers’ best practices. In addition, members will involve representatives from all campus groups—students, faculty, and staff.

The committee will deliver recommendations to President Phil Hanlon ’77 and his senior leadership team, who will then make recommendations to the trustees. Updates on the committee’s progress will be made throughout its work.

An earlier working group has reviewed online training and prevention programs that could be offered to faculty and staff. The new committee will evaluate how best to launch this type of programming.

“Educating our community about sexual violence and gender-based harassment is an ongoing priority, and we hope to continue to expand the breadth and depth of our efforts,” says O’Connell. “This effort provides a new opportunity to build a foundation of knowledge in our community.”

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