9000 Yale University Policy Against Discrimination and Harassment

Responsible Official: 
Associate Vice President for Institutional Equity, Accessibility, and Belonging
Responsible Office: 
Office of Institutional Equity and Accessibility
Effective Date: 
August 1, 2021
Revision Date: 
August 1, 2021

Policy Sections

9000.1 Yale University Equal Opportunity Statement

9000.2 Accessing Campus Resources and Reporting

Scope

Consistent with Connecticut and federal law, this policy applies to students, faculty, and staff, as well as to conduct by third parties (i.e., individuals who are not students, faculty, or staff, including but not limited to guests and consultants) directed toward University students, faculty, or staff members while on campus or participating in Yale programs or activities.

Policy Statement

As defined in this policy, Yale prohibits Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation.  These forms of conduct undermine Yale’s mission and its commitment to diversity, equity, and belonging.

Reason for the Policy

Yale University is committed to maintaining a non-discriminatory learning and working environment for students, faculty, and staff.  Yale adopts this policy with a commitment to preventing and addressing Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation, consistent with Connecticut and federal law.

Definitions

Discrimination

Discrimination means treating an individual adversely in University admissions or in the conduct of educational programs or employment based on sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, age, disability, status as a special disabled veteran, veteran of the Vietnam era or other covered veteran, or membership in any other protected classes as set forth in Connecticut and federal law (“protected characteristics”).

Harassment

Harassment means subjecting an individual to objectively offensive, unwelcome conduct based on any of the protected characteristics, when such conduct (i) is severe, persistent, or pervasive and (ii) has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with the individual’s work, academic performance or participation in university activities or creates an intimidating or hostile environment.  Harassment may be found in a single severe episode, as well as in persistent behavior.  Harassment is evaluated using a “reasonable person” standard.

For more information specific to sexual and/or gender-based Harassment and other forms of sexual misconduct, refer to the Yale Sexual Misconduct Policies and Related Definitions.

Retaliation

Retaliation means any adverse action taken against a person who has reported a concern, filed a complaint, and/or participated in an investigation pursuant to this policy.  Retaliation includes conduct that would discourage a reasonable person from engaging in activity protected under this policy.  Retaliation may be present even where there is a finding of “no responsibility” on the underlying allegations of Discrimination or Harassment.  Retaliation does not mean good faith actions lawfully pursued in response to a report of Discrimination or Harassment.  In determining whether an act constitutes Retaliation, the context of the act will be considered, including the individual’s exercise of free expression in accordance with Yale’s free expression policies.1

Policy Sections

9000.1 Yale University Equal Opportunity Statement

The University is committed to basing judgments concerning the admission, education, and employment of individuals upon their qualifications and abilities and affirmatively seeks to attract to its faculty, staff, and student body qualified persons of diverse backgrounds.  In accordance with this policy and as delineated by federal and Connecticut law, Yale does not discriminate in admissions, educational programs, or employment against any individual on account of that individual’s sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, age, disability, status as a special disabled veteran, veteran of the Vietnam era or other covered veteran.

University policy is committed to affirmative action under law in employment of women, minority group members, individuals with disabilities, special disabled veterans, veterans of the Vietnam era, and other covered veterans.

Inquiries concerning this policy may be referred to Valarie Stanley, Director, Office of Institutional Equity and Accessibility:

  • equity@yale.edu;
  • 203-432-0849; or
  • 100 Wall Street, William L. Harkness Hall, 3rd Floor.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 protects people from sex Discrimination in educational programs and activities at institutions that receive federal financial assistance.  Questions regarding sexual Harassment, sexual misconduct and Title IX may be referred to the University’s Title IX Coordinator, Stephanie Spangler:

Inquiries may also be made to the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, 8th Floor, 5 Post Office Square, Boston MA 02109-3921; telephone 617-289-0111, fax 617-289-0150, TDD 800-877-8339, or ocr.boston@ed.gov.

9000.2 Accessing Campus Resources and Reporting

A. Informal Resolution

In a diverse academic community, disagreements and conflicts may arise, which may or may not rise to the level of a violation of this policy.  Many issues can be resolved by direct communication between the individuals involved.  This is particularly true when there is no power disparity between the parties involved.  Seeking the help of a third person to assist with the conversation (such as a supervisor, department chair, Discrimination and Harassment Resource Coordinator, dean, or similar person) can be helpful.  Respectful dialogue regarding the issue may bring about appropriate resolution.

B. Resources for Dialogue, Support, Informal Resolution, and Investigation

The University offers a variety of resources that may be helpful in resolving an individual’s concerns by determining an appropriate and supportive course of action.  A complete list of resources is available online.  As described herein, the Discrimination and Harassment Resource Coordinators, the Office of Institutional Equity and Accessibility (“OIEA”), and the Title IX Coordinators specifically have been charged by the University with receiving and responding to concerns about Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation under this policy.

Discrimination and Harassment Resource Coordinators

  • Discrimination and Harassment Resource Coordinators2 have been identified by the Dean of each college and school as community members with the responsibility to receive concerns and offer advice and guidance related to diversity and inclusion, Discrimination and Harassment, Retaliation, and equal opportunity.  Discrimination and Harassment Resource Coordinators may also help facilitate informal resolution.  This may be an individual’s best “first stop” in discussing a concern related to Discrimination, Harassment, or Retaliation, particularly as Discrimination and Harassment Resource Coordinators will be knowledgeable about resources specific to their school or college.  Discrimination and Harassment Resource Coordinators.

The Office of Institutional Equity and Accessibility (“OIEA”)

  • Any individual who would like to report a concern of Discrimination, Harassment and/or Retaliation may contact the Office of Institutional Equity and Accessibility (“OIEA”).  OIEA staff are available to discuss concerns, University resources, and options for resolution, including informal resolution.  Where appropriate, OIEA staff are also available to conduct investigations into complaints of Discrimination, Harassment, and/or Retaliation committed by faculty or staff members.3  Talking with someone at OIEA about a concern or making a complaint does not automatically launch an investigation.  It can, however, be an important step to alerting the University about a concern and getting assistance to resolve it.4  Office of Institutional Equity and Accessibility.

Title IX Coordinators

  • Title IX Coordinators are available to consult with members of the community about their concerns and questions related to sex- or gender-based Discrimination or sexual misconduct.  Coordinators can review options, identify supportive measures, and connect individuals with other campus resources, such as the SHARE Center or the Yale Police.  Yale College, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and the professional schools have each designated a senior administrator or faculty member as a Deputy Title IX Coordinator.  The Title IX Coordinator within your school or unit may be best able to help you.  You may, however, contact any of the Title IX Coordinators.  Title IX Coordinators.

Notes

1 Yale’s policies and procedures related to Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation are not intended to infringe free speech or the free expression of ideas.

2 Formerly “Deans’ Designees.”

3 For concerns regarding students (i.e., where a student is identified as the person accused of misconduct), OIEA generally will refer the matter pursuant to the established procedures within each college or school for addressing student conduct.

4 An individual may request that the University not disclose their identity to anyone else, including the person accused of misconduct.  The University strives to preserve the privacy of information shared where maintaining such privacy does not conflict with Yale’s obligation to appropriately respond to reports and eliminate Discrimination, Harassment, and/or Retaliation.