Important Announcement About Athletics

To the Dartmouth community,

Last July, we announced the elimination of five varsity athletic teams: women's and men's swimming and diving; women's and men's golf; and men's lightweight rowing. We made this difficult decision as one component of a broad institutional response to increasing financial pressure resulting from our looming structural deficit, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the desire for more flexibility in undergraduate admissions.

To determine which teams would be eliminated, Director of Athletics Harry Sheehy and his team established a series of factors and considerations to be used in their assessment. We have recently learned that elements of the data that Athletics used to confirm continued Title IX compliance may not have been complete. In light of this discovery, Dartmouth will immediately reinstate all five teams. Furthermore, in order to ensure that we are complying with the law and living up to our institutional values of diversity, equity, and inclusion, we have commissioned the following reviews:

  • Holland & Knight, a national law firm with expertise in Title IX compliance, will conduct a gender-equity review of varsity athletics. It will request and consider input from student-athletes and alumni, including those from the reinstated teams, as part of the review.
  • The Ivy League will conduct an NCAA compliance review of varsity athletics.
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers, Dartmouth's auditors, will conduct a process-and-control review of Dartmouth Athletics.

This comprehensive set of reviews will strengthen our practices and governance structures and ensure that Dartmouth Athletics is fully compliant with all Title IX, NCAA, and Ivy League policies.  The findings and recommendations will be delivered to the Board of Trustees Committee on Audit and Oversight and me.

At the conclusion of the reviews, we will publish an action plan and take any steps necessary to ensure compliance with Title IX and to address institutional goals, priorities, and challenges. More information about the decision and this process is available at

This has been a difficult year on numerous fronts. We know that many in our community have been disappointed by the decisions we have made within Athletics and across the institution. The news that the data used to confirm Title IX compliance in connection with the team eliminations may not have been complete only adds to that disappointment.

We sincerely apologize that this process has been, and continues to be, so painful to our current and former student-athletes and all who support them.

Through the actions above, we will make sure that any future decisions will be based on accurate data. Our sincere hope is that these reviews and team reinstatements will create an opportunity for us to come together as a community as we navigate the challenging times ahead.


Philip J. Hanlon '77