Dartmouth Releases Sexual Misconduct Survey Results

News subtitle

Data from students, and faculty and staff indicate some campus climate improvement.

Aerial view of campus in fall

(Photo by Eli Burakian ’00)


The results of two 2021 Dartmouth sexual misconduct surveys show that incidents of sexual misconduct and gender-based harassment and violence are down among students compared with 2017, and that the prevalence of these harmful incidents is low among faculty and staff, according to new data from the Title IX Office, which is part of the equity and compliance arm of the Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity.

The surveys—one of all students, the other of faculty and staff—were conducted in April 2021. Because this is the first time faculty and staff were surveyed, there are no past data with which to compare their results.

The student survey found a substantial increase in the percentage of students who have knowledge of the services and resources offered at Dartmouth for those affected by sexual misconduct, with 73% of students in 2021 agreeing or strongly agreeing that they know where to go to get help on campus, up from 61% in 2017.

In the 2021 survey, 10.8% percent of all students, including from the graduate and professional schools, report having experienced completed or attempted nonconsensual sexual contact by physical force or incapacitation since entering Dartmouth. The percentage was 15.8% in 2017, and 13% in 2015.

The results indicate that there has been progress since the last student survey in 2017, says Kristi Clemens, assistant vice president for equity and compliance, and Title IX coordinator.

“Even so, the rates of sexual assault and misconduct continue to be unacceptable, and there remains a disproportionate impact on female, transgender, gender-queer, and nonconforming students, emphasizing the continued need for prevention and education efforts,” she says.

Clemens also notes that the survey was administered about a year after pandemic-related social distancing went into effect. “The survey results do not provide a definitive way to distinguish between changes that stem from substantial Dartmouth programming and interventions since 2017, and changes that might be the result of a reduction in student contact during a pandemic year,” she says.

The 2021 survey of faculty and staff shows 1.2% percent report having experienced completed or attempted nonconsensual sexual contact by physical force or incapacitation in their time at Dartmouth, with 0.2% saying this has happened since the beginning of 2020.

Clemens noted a question about students’ confidence in how people would react to someone making a report indicated more trust in fellow students compared to faculty and staff. “Overall, confidence in the reactions of other people is high, students in 2021 have more confidence in each other compared to 2017,” she says.

In response to the surveys, which were designed and administered by Dartmouth’s Office of Institutional Research, the Title IX Office released a 2021 climate and sexual misconduct action plan that builds on the policies already in place for preventing and reducing sexual misconduct and harassment in all forms. The recommendations include:

  • Hire an assistant director for training by spring 2022 to design a curricular approach to training on all forms of harassment and discrimination.
  • Advocate for intentional inclusion of restorative justice practices in informal resolution.
  • Build relationships with populations that may hesitate to report sexual misconduct.
  • Begin cultural and racial sensitivity training for all staff across campus who work on any aspect of sexual misconduct.

The Title IX Office plans to survey students, faculty, staff again in winter/spring 2022. The results of both 2021 surveys, executive summaries, FAQs, action plan, and other supporting materials are available on the Office of Institutional Research website.

Find information on reporting, support, training, and other services on the Title IX Office website.

Bill Platt