Jackie Cannon ’20
Following the release of a Worcester Magazine article detailing accusations of sexual misconduct against College of the Holy Cross Professor Christopher Dustin, Professor Dustin has been placed on academic leave. This information was shared in a January 30 letter to the campus community, six days after the release of the magazine article.
In this letter, Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, S.J., president wrote that Dustin “was found responsible and sanctioned for violating our policy” following an investigation. The sanctions included removing his title as Dean of the Faculty and prohibiting him from having one-on-one contact with female students, according to Worcester Magazine.
Fr. Boroughs stated that Dustin was placed on leave for this academic semester because of “new allegations pertaining to a previous academic year.” The letter did not include the details of any allegations against Dustin.
The Worcester Magazine article provided more specifics, including allegations of “romantic advances and explicit sexually-charged comments, which eventually gave way to intimidating behavior and an abuse of power.” Dustin was the thesis advisor for the student, who stated that Dustin’s language became increasingly sexual and hostile.
The student made her allegations in April 2017, after which a 20-month investigation ensued where Dustin maintained his positions as dean and professor. Following this, Dustin received the previously mentioned sanctions, including the removal of his title as dean.
The release of this article prompted frustration and concern for students and members of the campus community, who felt that the College’s failure to inform them of this investigation and the allow of Dustin to continue meeting alone with female students was a threat to the safety of students, which they expressed on the Instagram account @SexualAssaultontheHill.
This concern eventually led students to hold a two-day sit-in in Fenwick Hall, as students demanded the administration be held accountable for the safety of the campus community. The results of the sit-in as pertaining to Dustin were unclear, as there were legal reasons the administration was not able to comply with every demand, which they will explain in a future email.
The Spire will continue to report as new details are released.