Statement on Confidentiality of UWC Documents

All members of the University community who are involved in a matter before the UWC should understand their obligations regarding the confidentiality of UWC documents.

The UWC’s procedures state that “all documents that are prepared specifically for use in a formal proceeding (‘Confidential Documents’) must be held in strict confidence.” The purpose of confidentiality is to encourage parties and witnesses to participate in UWC proceedings and share all the pertinent information they have to offer, which is essential to reaching a fair outcome. If parties or witnesses fear that Confidential Documents could be disclosed, then concerns about reputation, social tension, or retaliation may cause them to keep silent. Every member of the University community should recognize that breaches of confidentiality hurt the participants and have the potential to erode respect for the UWC process.

The UWC’s procedures allow parties to select an advisor with whom they can discuss all aspects of the proceedings, and the University understands that parties will seek support and advice from their families. We expect, however, that parties will impress on their advisors and families the importance of maintaining the confidentiality of documents prepared specifically for use in UWC proceedings. Parties may not disclose Confidential Documents to anyone other than their UWC advisors, family members, and attorneys, and parties must inform recipients that these documents are strictly confidential and may not be further disclosed. The University may take disciplinary action against any member of the Yale community who discloses or publishes a Confidential Document in violation of UWC procedures or who is responsible for the improper disclosure or publication of such documents by others.

Finally, breaching confidentiality may have legal implications. The circumstances surrounding allegations of sexual misconduct are often sharply disputed and have the potential to affect the reputations of the persons involved. The University believes that statements made in good faith as part of UWC proceedings are legally protected. 

Statements made outside of UWC proceedings may lack that protection and could lead to a legal claim against the person who makes them.   

If you have any questions regarding your responsibility to preserve the confidentiality of UWC documents, please contact UWC Chair Mark Solomon at mark.solomon@yale.edu or Secretary Aley Menon at aley.menon@yale.edu.