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Seven Massachusetts Universities Listed in the Kangaroo Court ‘Hall of Shame:’ U. Mass at Dartmouth the Worst Offender

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Contact: Rebecca Stewart

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Seven Massachusetts Universities Listed in the Kangaroo Court ‘Hall of Shame:’ U. Mass at Dartmouth the Worst Offender

WASHINGTON / December 21, 2021 – Seven Massachusetts schools have been on the losing end of a growing number of judicial decisions for campus sexual harassment cases.  The cases involved a broad range of due process failings, including lack of timely notification of allegations, guilt-presuming investigations, overly biased hearings, sex discrimination against male students, and a presumption of guilt.

Most egregious was the Harnois v. University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth lawsuit. Plaintiff John Harnois was a disabled veteran who enrolled at the University to pursue a doctorate in Oceanography, and maintained a 4.0 GPA during his first year of graduate studies.

The Harnois case attracted extensive negative publicity for the college. One legal analysis concluded tartly, “One would be hard-pressed to find more egregious allegations than those in Harnois.”

In his ruling, Judge Richard Stearns exposed the witch-hunt style methods utilized by the school’s Title IX office:

“During its investigation, UMass Dartmouth’s Title IX office asked two female students in Harnois’s graduate program to file complaints against Harnois, but both refused to do so. Eventually, the Title IX investigator contacted every female student in Harnois’s classes in search of derogatory information.”

In addition, six other Massachusetts schools have been found by judges to have violated basic due process, fundamental fairness, Title IX, and/or contractual obligations:

  • University of Massachusetts, Amherst – 1 judicial decision
  • Amherst College – 1
  • Boston College – 1
  • Brandeis University – 1
  • Harvard University – 1
  • Western New England University – 1

The campus adjudications that are challenged in court represent a small subset of the total number of Title IX cases, suggesting that due process protections are under assault by Massachusetts institutions. A listing of the case citations is shown below.

More information about these and other judicial decisions is available in SAVE’s Analysis of Judicial Decisions Affirming the 2020 Title IX Regulations:


Case Citations

Name of College No. of Adverse Decisions Case Citation (in reverse chronological order)
University of Massachusetts System 2 Harnois v. University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, No. CV 19-10705-RGS, 2019 WL 5551743 (D. Mass. Oct. 28, 2019)

John Doe v. University of Massachusetts, No. 1:20-cv-11571 (D. Mass. April 28, 2021)                     

Amherst College 1 Doe v. Amherst College, no. 3:15-cv-30097-MGM (D. Mass. Feb. 28, 2017)
Boston College 1 John Doe v. Trustees of Boston College, 892 F.3d 67 (1st Cir. June 8, 2018)
Brandeis University 1 Doe v. Brandeis University, 177 F. Supp. 3d 561 (D. Mass. March 31, 2016).
Harvard University 1 Doe v. Harvard University, 462 F. Supp. 3d 51 (D. Mass. May 28, 2020)
Western New England University 1 Doe v. Western New England University, 228 F.Supp.3d 154 (D. Mass. Jan. 11, 2017)