2020 Report on Sexual Harassment at Yale: A Case Study on Jed Rubenfeld
STATEMENT TO PRESIDENT SALOVEY
Dear President Salovey,
We are writing today in the aftermath of the investigation into Jed Rubenfeld’s misconduct to urge Yale University to permanently suspend Jed Rubenfeld, release the findings of the investigation to the extent legally possible, and make critical changes in the University Wide Committee (UWC) Title IX Process.
Jed Rubenfeld’s unacceptable behavior is alleged to have happened at YLS for at least twenty years, with accusations ranging from sex with students to forcible kissing and groping. The first section of our report chronicles the documented history of Jed Rubenfeld’s case based on publicly available information, including news articles, online posts, course catalogues, and recordings of student performances.
Our study of Jed Rubenfeld’s case has uncovered critical problems in the UWC process. The changes we recommend today can be adopted by the University without violating federal or state law or contravening the recent Trump Administration rule changes to Title IX. First, we ask that the University adopt a system for tracking anonymous reports that will allow survivors to file an anonymous record of misconduct and be notified when other reports are filed for the same offender. Second, we reiterate our earlier advocacy asking the university to provide pro bono legal representation to all student-claimants and student-respondents in the UWC process, despite the university’s recent rejection of our request. Third, we ask that the UWC adopt a new framework for determining the result of an investigation that explicitly considers the safety of the broader Yale community.
Particularly in the case of Jed Rubenfeld, we ask that the University permanently remove Jed Rubenfeld from campus and release information regarding the nature of the allegations and findings of the investigation.
When Jed Rubenfeld is allowed to return to YLS and resume teaching, in just two years, he will still be dangerous. There is no reason to believe there will be any change in his behavior—the only change will be that all the students who are aware of his transgressions will have graduated, thereby impairing institutional memory. We do not want Jed Rubenfeld to prey on a new generation of students.
We urge the University to permanently remove dangerous faculty from campus and make changes to the UWC process that will support future survivors.
Yale Law Women Board, 2020-21