Avenues for Reporting

Complaints and Reporting Policy for Yale University and the EPS Department

This document outlines mechanisms within the Earth and Planetary Sciences (EPS) Department and across Yale University for reporting discrimination or harassment of any kind. There are multiple avenues for reporting discrimination or harassment, both within and outside the department, and community members should use whatever avenue, or combination of avenues, for reporting they are most comfortable with.

Reporting mechanisms for discrimination and harassment complaints: Within EPS

Within the EPS Department, the IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Anti-Racism/Anti-Discrimination) Committee can lend advice, support, and guidance if there is a need to report instances of discrimination. However, the committee does not have an official reporting mechanism or disciplinary power. Community members are also encouraged to bring complaints or issues to the Department Chair, the Directors of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies, the Director of Postdoctoral Affairs, and/or to any faculty member on campus.

Department Chair: David Bercovici, david.bercovici@yale.edu

Director of Graduate Studies & IDEA Committee Chair: Maureen Long, maureen.long@yale.edu

Director of Undergraduate Studies: Mary-Louise Timmermans, mary-louise.timmermans@yale.edu

Director of Postdoctoral Affairs: Jun Korenaga, jun.korenaga@yale.edu

It is important to understand that all Yale faculty members are obligated to report any Title IX violations disclosed to them to the University Title IX office. However, this reporting obligation does not mean that faculty are obligated to disclose the identity of the person who reported the incident to them or the identity of any of the parties involved. Reports can be anonymized before reporting to the Title IX office at the request of the person who disclosed the incident, and no names are shared with the Title IX office without the consent of the disclosing or reporting party. The mandate to report incidents to the Title IX office extends to graduate students and postdoctoral scientists 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.

Reporting mechanisms for discrimination and harassment complaints: Outside EPS

At Yale University, racial discrimination and sexual harassment reporting policy can be found at https://oiea.yale.edu/policies-and-programs. Racial discrimination or harassment complaints can be reported to both the Dean’s Designee (https://student-dhr.yale.edu/deans-designees) and/or the Office of Institutional Equity and Access (OIEA). These groups may then employ a variety of means to help resolve concerns. These include (1) discussing options and providing support; (2) facilitating a mediated resolution through discussion and engagement; (3) providing training and education; (4) conducting a factual inquiry; or (5) conducting a formal investigation.

Talking about a problem with a member of the OIEA is not part of any formal grievance procedure, but the Senior Director can investigate a solution and help to resolve problems informally. The Office informs individuals about the availability of the University’s grievance procedures for students and employees. In cases in which the individual is not within a group of persons to which a formal grievance procedure applies, the Office will review a complaint. All inquiries are treated in a confidential manner (https://oiea.yale.edu/complaint-procedures).

In all cases, the first step for a Yale student seeking to report discrimination or harassment is always the same: contact either your Dean’s Designee or the OIEA. These two resources will work with you to further explain your options and the processes for addressing your concerns. Students (and other community members) can also make a complaint or report within the EPS Department by contacting the Department Chair, the Directors of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies, and/or Director of Postdoctoral Affairs.

According to Yale, “In many cases, complaints can be resolved informally through discussion-based resolution. If you want to file a formal complaint, you should work with the Office of Institutional Equity and Access which will review the options with you.” https://student-dhr.yale.edu/get-help-support

All complaints addressed to the OIEA can be made by email or in person with an appointment. At the moment, there is no anonymized way to report these complaints. In-person appointment requests and emails should be directly addressed to the Office of Institutional Equity and Access Senior Director Valarie Stanley (valarie.stanley@yale.edu). Information can be found at https://oiea.yale.edu/complaint-procedures.

There is no information on the process by which bystanders may file a report with Yale if they observe an act of racial discrimination. Within the department, bystanders are encouraged to bring concerns to the Department Chair, the Directors of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies, and/or Director of Postdoctoral Affairs.

Students, faculty, or staff with complaints or concerns related to disability or age discrimination are also encouraged to contact Valarie Stanley (valarie.stanley@yale.edu). Again, reporting within the department is also encouraged.

For sexual harassment, information about assistance and support, reporting an incident, and policies can be found at https://smr.yale.edu/. Information about the Title IX office can be found at https://provost.yale.edu/title-ix. Here is a summary of possible individuals to whom a report can be made, and the actions that will be taken with your report.

Who

How they can help

What they will do with the information you share

SHARE (Sexual Harassment and Assault Response & Education Center)

  • Offers information, advocacy, and support
  • Counsels via appointment, drop-in, or 24/7 hotline
  • Assists with accessing campus & community resources
  • Does not investigate
  • Will only share information if you wish, except in situations of imminent harm

Title IX Coordinators

  • Oversee all programs to address and prevent sexual misconduct at Yale
  • Explain options and pursue remedies and resolutions
  • Coordinate resources, interim measures, accommodations
  • Investigate to the degree possible consistent with your wishes
  • Required to take action in situations of acute threat to individual or community safety

UWC (University-Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct)

  • Explains options and pursues remedies and resolutions
  • Conducts formal hearing, which may result in disciplinary action
  • Conducts investigation after you file a formal complaint
  • Reports information to University Title IX Coordinator

Yale Police Department

  • Explains options and pursues remedies and resolutions
  • Provides assistance, services, and safety planning
  • Employs officer dedicated to sensitive crimes response
  • Conducts investigation after you file a criminal complaint
  • Reports information to University Title IX Coordinator

Responsible Employee (Faculty, administrators, CCEs for undergrads, other designated individuals)

Offers support and directs to campus resources

  • Does not investigate
  • Reports what information you share to the University Title IX Coordinator

Consequences for reported individuals

None of Yale’s webpages articulate potential consequences for individuals who have been credibly accused of racial discrimination, apart from clarifying that if informal mediations between parties by the OIEA are not satisfactory:

  • a report concerning another student may be referred to the student’s school for possible disciplinary action.
  • a report concerning a staff member may be referred to the staff member’s supervisor
  • a report concerning a faculty member may be referred to the faculty member’s dean who will address it according to the Faculty Standards of Conduct and related procedures.   

See https://student-dhr.yale.edu/complaint-resolution

Resources Available for Individuals Reporting

Yale highlights the following offices who can provide emotional support and guidance for individuals filing reports:

Available Title IX-related accommodations include:

  • Switching either you or the other person out of a shared class—into a new section, or sometimes a new class altogether
  • Temporarily or permanently changing room assignments
  • Issuing a “no contact order” in which people are forbidden from interacting
  • Having work re-graded in a course where there is a report of instructor sexual harassment
  • Allowing a student to withdraw from a course without penalty

Some accommodations and supportive measures can be implemented without the other person’s knowledge or involvement, if that is what you wish (https://sharecenter.yale.edu/post-assault-care).

Information in this document was compiled by the Yale URGE (Unlearning Racism in the Geosciences) Pod and the EPS IDEA Committee, Spring 2021.