University Policy Statements

Statement on Equal Opportunity

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, race, color, religion, age, disability, status as a special disabled veteran, veteran of the Vietnam era or other covered veteran, or national or ethnic origin; nor does Yale discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.

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 these policies may be referred to Valarie Stanley, Director of the Office for Equal Opportunity Programs, 221 Whitney Avenue; 3rd Floor, 203-432-0849.

Title IX Coordinators

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.

The University is committed to providing an environment free from discrimination on the basis of sex. Yale provides many resources to students, faculty and staff to address concerns relating to discrimination on the basis of sex, which includes sexual misconduct.

Stephanie Spangler, Deputy Provost for Health Affairs & Academic Integrity, oversees and provides leadership for the activities of the Title IX coordinators, the administrators who carry out investigations, compliance-related responsibilities and reporting. She also leads the University’s efforts in relation to campus climate and gender, and oversees education and training campus-wide on sex discrimination and sexual misconduct.

Each School and Yale College has a senior administrator assigned as a Title IX coordinator to resolve complaints and address issues of gender-based discrimination and sexual misconduct within that school. Additionally, Valarie Stanley, director of the University’s Office for Equal Opportunity Programs, serves as the University’s Title IX coordinator for employees (including both staff members and faculty). All coordinators report to Deputy Provost Spangler. Their responsibilities include:

  • Tracking and monitoring incidents, including sex discrimination and sexual misconduct;
  • Ensuring that the University responds effectively to each complaint; and
  • Where appropriate, conducting investigations of particular situations.

Coordinators are knowledgeable about, and will provide information on, all options for complaint resolution. They also work closely with the Sexual Harassment and Assault Response & Education Center (SHARE), the University-Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct (UWC), and the Yale Police Department (YPD).

Together, the coordinators play an integral role in carrying out the University’s commitment to provide a positive learning, teaching and working environment for the entire community.

To send questions or comments, e-mail TitleIX@yale.edu.

Statement on Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is a form of sexual misconduct and 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: (1) 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. In addition, conduct by third parties (i.e., individuals who are neither students nor employees, including but not limited to guests and consultants) is covered by this policy. Both men and women are protected from sexual harassment, and sexual harassment is prohibited regardless of the sex of the harasser. Sexual harassment is a matter of particular concern to an academic community in which students, faculty, and staff are related by strong bonds of intellectual dependence and trust. If members of the faculty, whether professors or teaching fellows, or other Yale employees, introduce sex into a professional relationship with a student, they abuse their position of authority.

For additional information about University policies on sexual misconduct, see the Sexual Misconduct Response Web site, including the page Definitions of Sexual Misconduct, Consent and Harassment.

Policy on Teacher-Student Consensual Relations

The integrity of the teacher-student relationship is the foundation of the University’s educational mission. This relationship vests considerable trust in the teacher, who, in turn, bears authority and accountability as a mentor, educator, and evaluator. The unequal institutional power inherent in this relationship heightens the vulnerability of the student and the potential for coercion. The pedagogical relationship between teacher and student must be protected from influences or activities that can interfere with learning and personal development.

Whenever a teacher is or in the future might reasonably become responsible for teaching, advising, or directly supervising a student, a sexual relationship between them is inappropriate and must be avoided. In addition to creating the potential for coercion, any such relationship jeopardizes the integrity of the educational process by creating a conflict of interest and may impair the learning environment for other students. Finally, such situations may expose the University and the teacher to liability for violation of laws against sexual harassment and sex discrimination.

Therefore, teachers (see below) must avoid sexual relationships with students over whom they have or might reasonably expect to have direct pedagogical or supervisory responsibilities, regardless of whether the relationship is consensual. Conversely, a teacher must not directly supervise any student with whom he or she has a sexual relationship. Undergraduate students are particularly vulnerable to the unequal institutional power inherent in the teacher-student relationship and the potential for coercion, because of their age and relative lack of maturity. Therefore, no teacher shall have a sexual or amorous relationship with any undergraduate student, regardless of whether the teacher currently exercises or expects to have any pedagogical or supervisory responsibilities over that student.

Teachers or students with questions about this policy are advised to consult with the University’s Title IX Coordinator, the Title IX Coordinator of his or her school, the department chair, the appropriate dean, the Provost, or one of his or her designees. A student or other member of the community may lodge a formal or informal complaint regarding an alleged violation of this policy with the University’s Title IX Coordinator, with the Title IX Coordinator of his or her school, or with the University-wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct.

Violations of the above policies by a teacher will normally lead to disciplinary action. For purposes of this policy, “direct supervision” includes the following activities (on or off campus): course teaching, examining, grading, advising for a formal project such as a thesis or research, supervising required research or other academic activities, serving in such a capacity as Director of Undergraduate or Graduate Studies, and recommending in an institutional capacity for admissions, employment, fellowships or awards. “Teachers” includes, but is not limited to, all ladder and non-ladder faculty of the University. It also includes graduate and professional students and postdoctoral fellows and associates only when they are serving as part-time acting instructors, teaching fellows or in similar institutional roles, with respect to the students they are currently teaching or supervising. “Students” refers to those enrolled in any and all educational and training programs of the University. Additionally, this policy applies to members of the Yale community who are not teachers as defined above, but have authority over or mentoring relationships with students, including athletic coaches, supervisors of student employees, advisors and directors of student organizations, Residential College Fellows, as well as others who advise, mentor, or evaluate students.

For information about University resources in cases of sexual assault, please contact the Sexual Harassment and Assault Response & Education Center (SHARE) at 432-2000 or visit the SHARE Web site.