Nearly 300 Faculty, Students Say Dartmouth Is ‘Racially Hostile’

Close to 300 Dartmouth College faculty and students have written a letter to the college leadership saying the institution is “racially hostile” and needs to take “concrete steps to unravel its built-in structural racism perpetuated through the superficial and short-term fixes that our senior leadership constantly applies to the problem.”

Philip J. HanlonPhilip J. Hanlon

In the letter to Dartmouth president Philip J. Hanlon, the college’s board of trustees and its senior leaders, faculty and students said that the institution should use this time of a national reckoning on race to “reorient the structural life” of the college.

The signatories to the letter said many of them met last month with the college leadership and presented a plan to “effectively address the high turnover among Black staff, the poor retention of Black faculty, the weakened state of the program in African and African American Studies (AAAS), the commonplace racial harassment of Black students on campus, the absence of Black leadership at the College, and, overall, the racially hostile working, living and studying conditions at the College.”

They also said a July 1 statement from Hanlon “falls very short” of the plan of action suggested.

“Our aim is to create an anti-racist Dartmouth committed to racial justice all the time, not only when horrific events of violence against Black people and other communities of color occur but also when the illusion that ‘everything is okay’ becomes normalized,” the letter said.