University Wide Committee (UWC) on Sexual Misconduct

The University-Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct —commonly called the UWC—addresses allegations of sexual misconduct of every kind and is available to students, faculty and staff across the University (there are a few exceptions, but the UWC will direct those cases to the appropriate venue). The UWC is made up of faculty, staff, and students from across the University, all of whom have been trained on the dynamics of sexual misconduct as well as on Yale’s policies and procedures. There are over 30 members, from which small panels are constituted to hear specific cases. 

The UWC is a new body, announced in 2010 and formed in 2011 by the Provost, after a period of self-study. It is very unusual in its jurisdiction across the university and across the faculty | student | staff divides. By centralizing this work Yale has been able to provide extensive resources and training for the Committee, to help ensure that reports of sexual misconduct are resolved swiftly and justly.

SHARE will help set up a meeting with the UWC, if you like, or you can contact the UWC yourself. The Chair (David Post, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology), and the Secretary (Aley Menon) and Associate Secretary (Anita Sharif-Hyder) are available for exploratory conversations, as are any of the core group members. You can send an email to any UWC member, or call their administrative line, to initiate a conversation.

The UWC procedures are somewhat technical, but they can be worth reading to get a better sense of how the committee operates. Of course, SHARE, Prof. Post, or any of the core committee members would be happy to give you those details too, and to answer any questions.

What’s the difference between “formal” and “informal” UWC complaints?

Formal Complaint Informal Complaint
  • Full investigation, with fact finder and hearing panel
  • Limited or no investigation; no adjudication
  • Will lead to a formal determination of whether or not sexual misconduct has occurred; may lead to disciplinary action (expulsion, suspension, probation, reprimand) and/or other remedies as available in informal complaints
  • Focused on providing a remedy for the complainant that is acceptable to the respondent (a warning conversation with the respondent, a no-contact agreement, a recommendation for counseling, a change in housing, etc.)
  • Documentation: preserved in confidential university records; depending on findings, sanctions may be recorded in respondent’s file
  • Documentation: preserved in confidential university records only
  • No time limitations
  • No time limitations
  • With some exceptions, completed within 60 days
  • Can happen very quickly, often within a week or two
  • Under limited circumstances, may be appealed once
  • Can be reopened as necessary to address ongoing or emergent issues
  • Does not preclude a subsequent formal complaint at the request of complainant