The Department of Education had accused Yale University of violating Title IX by not having an adequate system for reporting and resolving incidents of sexual harassment and assault.
To settle a Title IX civil rights complaint, Yale University has agreed to take a wide range of actions to improve its handling of charges of sexual misconduct.
The voluntary agreement, announced Friday by the US Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, resolves 16 complainants’ charges that the university violated Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 by not responding adequately to sexual-misconduct reports.
Title IX, which marks its 40th anniversary this month, requires gender equity in educational settings that receive federal funding.
The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has been actively pushing for a wider understanding that sexual harassment and assault are violations of Title IX. It sent guidance to universities and schools last year detailing their obligations to create an environment that treats alleged victims sensitively, deals promptly with charges, and works to prevent such behavior.
“Students cannot learn if they don’t feel safe, and sexual harassment and sexual violence interfere with a student’s right to receive an education free of discrimination,” Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Russlynn Ali said in a conference call with reporters Friday.