Two senior administrators of The Dartmouth Institute placed on leave, barred from campus

by The Dartmouth Senior Staff | 7/31/18 11:23pm

Updated 08/01/18 at 7:45 p.m.

Elliott Fisher, director of The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, and Adam Keller, TDI’s chief of strategy and operations, have been placed on administrative leave following a complaint about workplace conduct. The pair have been barred from College property, according to an email from College spokesperson Diana Lawrence. An investigation into the complaint is currently underway, as is a search for an interim TDI director.

Faculty and staff at the Geisel School of Medicine were informed Tuesday afternoon by an email from Geisel dean Duane Compton that Fisher and Keller had been placed on leave. The email noted that Compton could not provide any more details about the investigation or the complaint.

In follow-up emails, Lawrence confirmed that the leave is paid, and was only implemented Thursday. She also confirmed that an external investigator will be looking into the complaint.

TDI is an academic center that provides research on the delivery of healthcare and seeks to improve it, in addition to offering master’s and doctorate degrees in public health and health policy.

Fisher, an international leader in the field of health policy, has served as TDI director since 2013. In addition, he is a professor of family and community medicine at Geisel, which he joined in 1986. His work has focused on investigating the efficacy of healthcare and healthcare spending across the country. He helped coin the term “accountable care organizations,” which incentivize doctors and hospitals to work together to provide quality care while minimizing unnecessary spending. ACOs were included as a healthcare model under then-President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

Keller has been associated with TDI for over 20 years, serving as an administrator, research director, instructor, faculty colleague and advisor. He has also previously served as executive vice president of finance and administration and vice president for health affairs at the College, as well as associate dean and chief operating officer at the Dartmouth Medical School (now the Geisel School of Medicine).

Other faculty have also been put on leave over the past year. Last fall, psychological and brain sciences professors Todd Heatherton, William Kelley and Paul Whalen were placed on paid leave over accusations of sexual misconduct, pending an investigation by an external investigator. After Dean of the Faculty Elizabeth Smith recommended that each of the three have their tenure revoked and their employment terminated, Heatherton chose to retire while Kelley and Whalen resigned.

Neither Fisher nor Keller had responded to requests for comment at press time.

This article will be updated as more information becomes available.