Complaint Resolution

Yale encourages students to bring forth their concerns and has worked to enhance school-based and non-adversarial, dialogue-oriented responses. In many instances these mechanisms are effective in resolving concerns. The deans’ designees are available to assist students and resolve concerns through non-adversarial means. Students who, nonetheless, want to pursue a formal complaint may use the following procedures.

For more information about these procedures and whether they are applicable to your complaint and circumstances, please contact your dean’s designee, the Office for Equal Opportunity Programs or others with whom you feel comfortable. For graduate and professional students, your dean of student affairs is another good resource for determining your options. Yale College students may also consult their residential college deans or heads of college for assistance in accessing the appropriate resources. 

Most of the procedures available to address student complaints encourage students to start with informal resolution, as matters can often be addressed through conversation or mediation. However, an informal approach is not appropriate in all circumstances and is not necessary for bringing a formal complaint. Note that the formal complaint procedures require that formal complaints must be filed within 45 days after the action complained of, except in the case of formal complaints brought to the University-Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct. There are no time limits on raising complaints that seek informal resolutions. 

Making a complaint against another student

Students with complaints of discrimination or harassment against other students, other than complaints of sex-based discrimination or sexual misconduct, should contact their dean’s designee, the Office for Equal Opportunity Programs, or speak with their dean of student affairs to talk about the nature of the incident or situation and to discuss whether the matter is appropriate for disciplinary action under the school’s disciplinary policies and procedures (Yale College students may also speak with their residential college deans or heads of college for assistance in accessing the appropriate resources). Students also have the option to use the President’s Procedure for Addressing Students’ Complaints of Racial or Ethnic Harassment if they have a complaint against another student that is related to racial or ethnic harassment.

Making a complaint related to sex-based discrimination or sexual misconduct

Students with complaints related to sex-based discrimination or sexual misconduct are encouraged to speak with the staff at the SHARE Center or with a Title IX Coordinator to review their options and available resources. Students may also contact the University-Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct (UWC) to discuss the UWC’s formal complaint process for sexual misconduct complaints.  Information that may be useful to you is available on the Sexual Misconduct Response & Prevention website. 

Making a complaint against a member of the faculty or administration of your school

Students may use A Dean’s Procedure for Student Complaints to make a complaint against a member of the faculty or administration in their schools. This longstanding procedure may be used for all types of complaints against faculty and administrators, including those alleging discrimination on the basis of race, sex, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression. The dean’s procedure is not a disciplinary process; disciplinary matters are addressed by the dean through the designated disciplinary procedure  . Complaints about sexual misconduct may be brought to a  Title IX coordinator or to the University-Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct. Some schools have adopted school-specific versions of this procedure. Please consult your dean of student affairs for your school’s version of the Dean’s Procedure. Yale College students may also consult their residential college deans or heads of college. 

Making a complaint against a member of the faculty or administration in another school (or who is not under the authority of the dean of your school)

Students may use the Provost’s Procedure for Student Complaints to make a complaint against a member of the faculty or administration or an employee that is not under the authority of the dean of their school, such as against faculty, administrators, or employees in another school of the university. This procedure may be used for all types of complaints including those related to race, sex, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression. The Provost’s procedure is not disciplinary process; disciplinary matters are addressed by the Provost through the designated disciplinary procedures. Complaints about sexual misconduct may be brought to a Title IX coordinator or to the University-Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct.

Making a complaint against any member of the Yale community related specifically to racial or ethnic harassment

As an alternative option, students may use the President’s Procedure for Addressing Students’ Complaints of Racial or Ethnic Harassment to make a complaint related to racial or ethnic harassment against any member of the Yale community. Students may contact a member of the President’s Committee on Racial and Ethnic Harassment to initiate this procedure. 

The President’s Committee on Racial and Ethnic Harassment has existed for many years as an alternative university-wide procedure available to any student who believes that any other member of the Yale community has harassed him or her because of race or ethnic origin. Although the formal process is called upon only rarely, this additional avenue of recourse reflects Yale’s commitment to maintaining a racially and ethnically diverse community in which all members can expect fair treatment. The Committee chair is available to students to discuss matters of university significance relating to discrimination and harassment.