In previous communications we have expressed to you our commitment to address concerns raised by the disclosures of past sexual misconduct by Exeter faculty. We continue to cooperate with the police and we are providing information we receive directly to them for investigation. That said, we know questions remain, and we need to confront them. This week the Trustees approved additional steps that will help secure our path forward, and we want you to be aware of them.
The national law firm of Holland & Knight has been retained as independent counsel to investigate on Exeter’s behalf any allegations received since March 30. This new step will ensure that Exeter is fully and directly aware of the facts so we can take appropriate action. We urge anyone with information about possible sexual misconduct to contact Beth Deragon of McLane Middleton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 603-628-1490 so that the information can be given to both Holland & Knight investigators and the Exeter Police Department.
Holland & Knight will also undertake a comprehensive review of our current policies and procedures for ensuring the safety and security of our students to ensure that they are best-in-class. We have extensive policies, procedures, and training programs in place to help recognize the signs of harassment or assault, and to take appropriate action to prevent inappropriate sexual behavior. We are committed to taking whatever additional steps may be needed to make Exeter the safest possible place for our students.
The Trustees have engaged outside experts to conduct a thorough review of Exeter’s collective handling of the Schubart sexual misconduct matter. Diana Lloyd, a partner at the law firm of Choate, Hall & Stewart, will lead this effort. We will keep the Exeter community informed, and share action items with you at the conclusion of the review.
We are currently talking with prominent victims’ assistance organizations about establishing a partnership that will help us meet the needs of victims and those around them. This effort can also help address the deep remorse many faculty, staff and alumni feel over the events that transpired here. We believe this can open new pathways to honesty and accountability, helping us achieve a restored sense of justice and healing in our community.
While this work will take time, we are fully committed to maintaining trust in the Exeter we love so much. We know that many still have questions, and we will do our best to answer them, but please understand the importance of protecting the integrity of any ongoing investigations. We also encourage you to use the website as a resource moving forward, since we will be posting updates there as warranted.
We have entered a period of sincere reflection about our school's history and culture. This time of introspection and reckoning with painful past events offers important lessons for us today and as we look to the future.
Lisa MacFarlane P'09, P'13 Principal Instructor and Instructor in English email@example.com 603-777-3401
Eunice “Nicie” Panetta '84 President of the Trustees firstname.lastname@example.org
Phillips Exeter Academy 20 Main Street, Exeter NH 03833