College TDI investigation results in demotion of prominent professor, resignation of administrator

by The Dartmouth Senior Staff | 4/30/19 10:54am

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Elliott Fisher, a professor at the Geisel School of Medicine, will remain on the Dartmouth faculty.

by Kassaundra Amann / The Dartmouth

A prominent Dartmouth professor and well-known health policy expert will be removed from his directorship of The Dartmouth Institute as the result of a College workplace conduct investigation, College spokesperson Diana Lawrence confirmed in an email statement to The Dartmouth.

Elliott Fisher, who had served as TDI director since 2013, will remain on the Dartmouth faculty, but his office will be relocated to a different building. He will also lose his endowed professorship, Lawrence wrote.

“[Fisher] will return to active Geisel faculty status to pursue research, education, and service in accordance with expectations for a tenured professor; however, he will no longer be director of TDI or hold the John E. Wenneberg Distinguished Professorship,” Lawrence wrote.

In addition, Adam Keller — TDI’s chief of strategy and operations and a former College executive vice president who was also a subject of the investigation — has resigned from his post. The Valley News, which first reported the investigation’s conclusion, reports that Keller had been planning to retire from his position since last October.

Lawrence wrote that the content of the investigation report was a “confidential personnel matter” and declined to speculate on what she described as “possible related legal issues.” 

The Dartmouth first reported last August that the College had placed Fisher and Keller on administrative leave following a workplace conduct complaint. Lawrence told The Dartmouth at the time that the leave was paid and that the inquiry would be conducted by an external investigator. TDI is a program associated with the Geisel School of Medicine that focuses on health policy research and graduate-level education.

Lawrence wrote that Fisher’s paid leave will end effective today, and that he and Keller will now be allowed to enter campus and attend Dartmouth events. TDI has been led by an interim director, Anna Tosteson, since October.

In addition to having been director of TDI, Fisher also serves as a professor of family and community medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine — a position he has held since 1986. Fisher’s research focused on healthcare spending and the efficacy of healthcare and helped create the term “accountable care organizations.” Accountable care organizations incentivize doctors and hospitals to collaborate to reduce spending while maintaining a high standard of care. President Barack Obama’s 2010 Affordable Care Act included ACOs as a healthcare model.

Previously to his tenure at TDI, Keller was the College’s executive vice president of finance and administration and vice president for health affairs, as well as associate dean and chief operating officer at the Dartmouth Medical School (which has since renamed Geisel School of Medicine).

Neither Fisher nor Keller could be reached for comment as of press time.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

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