University Grievance Procedures

The University’s Grievance Procedures are a manifestation of Yale’s firm commitment to the policies of equal opportunity and fair treatment in a complex and integrated community. It is of course hoped that in this community, good will and mutual respect will suffice to resolve most grievances. However, the procedures are designed to provide redress in cases that cannot be so resolved. They go beyond the requirements of the law. They emphasize that the University will not condone racial or sexual harassment or any other act of discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, or sexual orientation. At first glance the procedures listed or printed in this supplement may seem both numerous and complicated. However, they result from the fact that the University comprises Yale College, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and ten professional schools, each of which is composed of a faculty and student body and many different departments and work situations. The procedures have been individually designed to provide appropriate processes to address different kinds of complaints in this complex environment.

Except where explicitly noted, each of the grievance procedures outlined below may be used to pursue a complaint of discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability or sexual orientation. In addition, other types of complaints may be addressed by certain of these, e.g., infringements upon any individual’s right to free expression or unfair treatment in a situation not characterized by the kinds of discrimination specified above. Concerns that seem not to be covered by these procedures may always be pursued with an individual responsible for that area of concern, such as with a supervisor or dean or departmental chair

The brief descriptions below are intended only to identify the procedures, and members of the community should consult the full text of each procedure for its governing provisions. Copies of all grievance procedures are available in the Office for Equal Opportunity Programs. If any member of the Yale Community is unsure as to which of the procedures is available or how to proceed under any particular procedure, he or she should consult with the Office of the General Counsel or with the Office for Equal Opportunity Programs.

Three of these procedures, the Dean’s Procedure for Student Complaints, the Provost’s Procedure for Student Complaints and the President’s Procedure for Addressing Students’ Complaints of Racial or Ethnic Harassment are printed in their entirety below.

For Students

General Grievance Procedures

There are in Yale College, the Graduate School, and the professional schools, general student grievance procedures for complaints about various issues, including but not limited to complaints of discrimination. For example, these procedures might be used to address an apparent infringement of an individual student’s right to free expression or a complaint about unfair or arbitrary treatment, whether or not it is characterized by a specific kind of discrimination. It must be understood, however, that since an instructor’s evaluation of the quality of a student’s work is final, these procedures do not apply in disputes about a grade assigned, unless it is alleged that the determination of the grade resulted from unlawful discrimination. Similarly, these procedures do not apply to any matter inherent in the academic freedom of an instructor, such as, for example, in regard to the syllabus or contents of a course of instruction.

There are two general student grievance procedures. The first is the Dean’s Procedure for Student Complaints. This is the available procedure if the person complained of is a member of the faculty or administration of the student’s school. The second, the Provost’s Procedure for Student Complaints, is the appropriate procedure if the person complained of is not a member of the faculty or administration of the student’s school and therefore not subject to the authority of the student’s dean.

In a case where more than one procedure is available, a student may pursue his or her complaint by means of only one procedure; that is, procedures for redress of a complaint may not be used simultaneously or seriatim.

Complaints of Sexual Harassment

The University defines sexual harassment as follows: Sexual harassment is antithetical to academic values and to a work environment free from the fact or appearance of coercion. It is a violation of University policy and may result in serious disciplinary action. Sexual harassment consists of nonconsensual sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature on or off campus, when: (I) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a condition of an individual’s employment or academic standing; or (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for employment decisions or for academic evaluation, grades or advancement, or (3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creating an intimidating or hostile academic or work environment. Sexual harassment may be found in a single episode, as well as in persistent behavior. Conduct that occurs in the process of application for admission to a program or selection for employment is covered by this policy, as well as conduct directed toward University students, faculty or staff members.

Complaints of sexual harassment by a student in Yale College, the Graduate School, the Divinity School, the School of Medicine or the School of Nursing against a faculty member or administrator in his or her respective school must be pursued in accordance with the procedure for complaints of sexual harassment adopted by that school and available at the respective school’s Dean’s Office. Each of these schools has created a grievance board, with established procedures, both informal and formal, for addressing student complaints of sexual harassment. Complaints of sexual harassment by students in other schools may be pursued by means of the general student grievance procedures described above.

Complaints of Racial or Ethnic Harassment

The President’s Procedure for Addressing Students’ Complaints of Racial or Ethnic Harassment is available to any student for the sole purpose of addressing a complaint of harassment on account of race or ethnic origin by any member of the Yale Community. It is thus available as an alternative to students who might otherwise use either the Dean’s or the Provost’s procedure for student complaints.

Copies of these procedures are available at the Office of the Dean of each of the graduate and professional schools and in the Office of the Dean of Yale College.

For Faculty

The review procedures for members of the faculty are published in the Yale Faculty Handbook. Those review procedures are available to individual faculty members who believe they have been treated in a manner inconsistent with University policies on reappointment or promotion including the University’s policy against discrimination in matters of reappointment or promotion on the basis of race, color, religion, age, sex, disability, sexual orientation, or national or ethnic origin. The Handbook also specifies the procedure for faculty who believe they have been treated in an unfair or discriminatory manner in connection with professional matters other than reappointment or promotion. Complaints of sexual harassment by a faculty member may be pursued in accordance with the review procedures set out in the Faculty Handbook.

For Postdoctoral Fellows at the School of Medicine

Postdoctoral fellows with appointments at the School of Medicine may use the “Grievance Policy and Procedures for Postdoctoral Fellows of the School of Medicine” when the individual believes he or she has been treated in a manner inconsistent with University policies or when the individual believes he or she has been discriminated against on the basis of race, color, sex, age, disability, religion, national origin, sexual orientation or status as a Vietnam era veteran. Complaints of sexual harassment by postdoctoral fellows may be pursued in accordance with the School of Medicine Grievance Procedures for Complaints of Sexual Harassment.

Copies of the procedure are available from the Office of the Dean of the School of Medicine.

For Staff

Managerial and Professional and Other Staff Members Excluded from Bargaining Units

The Staff Grievance Procedure, which is published in the Yale University Personnel Policies and Practices Manual, f is available to all regular and temporary managerial and professional employees, as well as those clerical and technical and service and maintenance employees who are excluded from Local No. 34 or Local No. 35 bargaining units.

This procedure is available whenever covered employees believe that they have been treated in a manner inconsistent with University policies or believe they have been discriminated against on one of the bases enumerated above or on the basis of their status as a Vietnam era veteran.

Copies of the procedure may be obtained from the Director of Placement and Staff Relations, 155 Whitney Avenue.

Staff Covered by the Bargaining Agreement with Local No. 34

Article XXXVI, Grievance and Arbitration Procedure, of the Agreement between Yale University and Local 34, Federation of University Employees, may be used to address any claim by an employee whose position is covered by the Agreement that the Agreement has been violated, including, but not limited to, the Article on Fair Treatment of Staff Members.

Copies of the procedure are available at the Labor Relations Office, 155 Whitney Avenue, Central Area Human Resources Office, 155 Whitney Avenue, the Medical Area Human Resources Office, 153 College Street, and the Library Personnel Office, Sterling Memorial Library, 120 High Street.

Staff Covered by the Bargaining Agreement with Local No. 35

The grievance procedure for members of the Local 35 bargaining unit, which appears as Article XV of the Agreement between the University and Local No. 35, is available to address disputes about the interpretation, applications, or alleged violations of any of the provisions of the Agreement, including, but not limited to, the Article on Nondiscrimination.

Copies of this procedure are available at the Labor Relations Office, 155 Whitney Avenue.

Special Education Teachers at the Cedarhurst School

Article XX, Grievance and Arbitration Procedure, of the Agreement between Yale University and Local 933, AFP, AFL-CIO, may be used to address any claim by a member of that bargaining unit that the Agreement has been violated, including, but not limited to, the Article on Non-Discrimination.

Copies of the procedure are available at the Labor Relations Office, 155 Whitney Avenue.

Staff Covered by the Bargaining Agreement with the Yale Police Benevolent Association

Article XVI, Grievance Procedure, of the Agreement between Yale University and the Yale Police Benevolent Association (YPBA), may be used to address any claim by an employee whose position is covered by the Agreement that the Agreement has been violated including, but not limited to, the Article 1, Section 3 nondiscrimination provision. Copies of the procedure are available at the Labor Relations Office, 155 Whitney Avenue.

Complaints Against Members of the University Police Department

A complaint against a member of the University’s Police Department is to be pursued in accordance with the procedure specified in the Yale University Police Department Manual. Copies of the procedure are available from the Office of the Secretary, Woodbridge Hall.