HANOVER, N.H. – Jan. 29, 2021 –Dartmouth and members of its recently-eliminated varsity women’s golf and women’s swimming and diving teams announced today that they have reached an agreement that Dartmouth will reinstate the teams, which it had eliminated in July along with three men’s teams; conduct a gender equity review of its intercollegiate athletic program beginning this year; and ensure that all aspects of its intercollegiate athletic program comply with Title IX in the 2023-24 academic year and beyond.
The agreement follows allegations in December from representatives of the two women’s teams that intercollegiate participation opportunities for women as compared to men were not equal at Dartmouth, in violation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in programs and activities receiving federal funding.
The gender equity review is to be completed no later than March 15, 2022. Based on that review, Dartmouth will adopt and implement a gender equity plan designed to ensure that all aspects of its intercollegiate athletic program comply with Title IX during the 2023-24 academic year and in future years. The plan will be publicly available on the Dartmouth athletics website.
“We are pleased to have reached agreement on this matter,” President Philip J. Hanlon ’77 said today. “Dartmouth is committed to offering equal opportunities in intercollegiate athletics regardless of one’s gender. It is, and always has been, our intention to ensure that we are complying with the law and fully living up to our institutional values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.”
“We are delighted that Dartmouth has agreed to reinstate the women’s golf and swimming and diving teams, conduct a gender equity review, and ensure that all aspects of its intercollegiate athletic program comply with Title IX,” said Arthur H. Bryant of Bailey & Glasser, LLP, the lead attorney for the female student-athletes. “Our clients, who stood up for their rights, are incredibly proud. They sincerely hope that Dartmouth will use this opportunity to become a model for gender equity in athletics nationwide.”
The agreement states that Dartmouth will begin the search for coaches for the women’s teams by Feb. 1 and that the teams, once formed and trained, will begin to compete as soon as practicable, in accordance with Dartmouth’s COVID-19 guidelines and Ivy League decisions on competition. The teams must remain in place at least through the 2024-2025 academic year, the agreement says.
As part of the gender equity review, Dartmouth will request and consider input from members and alumni of the two women’s teams and from all members of the Dartmouth community.
The agreement states that Dartmouth retains the right to adjust its intercollegiate athletic program as financial or other circumstances dictate, at all times retaining discretion as to how to achieve gender equity and Title IX compliance.
In addition to making the final equity plan public, Dartmouth agrees to make publicly available status reports on implementation of the plan by March 15 in the years 2023, 2024, and 2025.