Yale Sees Rise in Sexual Misconduct Complaints in Fall Semester As Policy Changes Loom Large


In Fall 2018, Yale University received 162 complaints involving sexual misconduct – the most in school history, according to the school’s Provost Office.

A report released on March 13, 2019 says the New Haven Ivy League school received a record-setting number of complaints from students. University Title IX officials have attributed the steep rise in reports to the #MeToo movement, as well as the school’s increased resources for addressing such matters. Schools across the country are reporting similar trends.

For Yale, the numbers show:

  • Between July 1 and December 31, 2018, the school’s Title IX Office received 162 sexual misconduct complaints submitted by students – nearly twice the number of complaints submitted in Spring 2017, when 82 sexual misconduct cases were reported to the school, and slightly higher than the 154 reported in the previous semester.
  • Of the 162 complaints, 40% were classified as sexual harassment, 34% as sexual assault, 12% as stalking, and 6% as intimate partner / domestic violence.
  • The majority of complaints (104) were submitted by undergrads, while 22 grad / professional students were listed as complainants.
  • Women submitted 121 sexual misconduct complaints, men 25, and “other gender identity” students 14.

Though Title IX proceedings are administrative in nature, 16 of the cases from Fall 2018 were referred to the Yale Police Department. Additionally, over 50 complaints were dropped or never pursued, and nearly 90 were reviewed by the school’s Title IX coordinators. Only 4 complaints were brought before the University Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct.

Campus Policy Overhaul

Yale has published data on sexual misconduct claims since January 2012, shortly after the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights issued its “Dear Colleague Letter” issuing guidance on how institutions of higher education should be handling Title IX offenses. However, the new report comes at a time when scandals, social movements, and pending policy changes are shining the spotlight on some of the nation’s top universities.

As a member of the Association of American Universities, Yale will participate in the second campus sexual climate survey, an effort intended to provide insight about sexual misconduct within individual schools across the nation. Like many other colleges, it faces uncertainty about regulatory changes under Title IX, particularly as the Education Department looks to overhaul current policies for how schools conduct investigatory and disciplinary proceedings.

Because the first survey yielded “extremely disturbing” results, according to University President Peter Salovey – about 16% of students reported that they had been victims of sexual misconduct – the new survey will shed light on the effectiveness of campus adjudication policies – at Yale and other schools nationwide.

Representation in Title IX Proceedings

Our Ohio Trial Attorneys at Koffel Brininger Nesbitt focus our practice on protecting the rights and futures of individuals who face all types of criminal and / or administrative allegations. Be they criminal charges involving sex crimes and sexual assault, or administrative proceedings at colleges and institutions over Title IX offenses, any allegation involving sexual misconduct can have severe and lasting consequences.

If you have questions about your rights and how our firm can be of assistance in any Title IX or criminal matter involving sexual harassment or sexual violence, call (614) 675-4845 to speak with a lawyer.