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When the campus was rocked by a sexual-harassment case involving a student and a professor last year, Yale College dean Richard Brodhead mused publicly that a good policy on student-teacher affairs might be to say, “Just don’t.” Now the University has said just that, banning sexual relationships between faculty members and the students they teach.
A committee chaired by Calhoun College master William Sledge and composed of both faculty and students began addressing the issue last March, and formulated the policy that the administration put into effect last month. The group separated the issue of teacher-student relationships from that of sexual harassment, proposing that such relationships be prohibited because they constitute conflicts of interest.
The new rule covers relationships between students and professors, between teaching assistants and undergraduates, and between graduate students and their professors. It makes allowance, though, for faculty-student couples who are not involved in a teaching relationship.
Although the policy has been generally applauded on campus, there were some reservations expressed about Yale’s interfering in consensual relationships. But Sledge says that while “no institution can control if people fall in love,” students and teachers who find themselves in that situation must “change either falling in love or the student-teacher relationship.”
Law Tally Sparks Crimson Complaint
Just a week before Yale and Harvard squared off on the football field, the universities' respective law schools were engaged in a battle of their own. Yale Law officials proudly announced the end of a capital campaign that raised $181 million—a record, they said—only to be challenged by Harvard Law School, which said it had raised as much or more in a campaign that ended in 1995.
Harvard claimed a total of $175 million when its campaign ended, but after news broke of Yale’s total, a Harvard spokesman pointed out that their gifts had since come in some $6 million higher than expected. Law School dean Anthony Kronman would have none of it, insisting to the Yale Daily News that one had to “compare apples with apples.” Getting into the November spirit, he added, “You can’t score a touchdown after the last whistle is blown.”
Record or not, the campaign was a resounding success for the Law School, exceeding its original goal of $130 million and garnering donations from 72 percent of alumni. “I think of us as the ‘little school that could,’” says Associate Dean Carroll Stevens. “We’re only a third the size of Harvard, after all. It’s a testament to the incredible loyalty of our graduates.”
About half of the money will fund the School’s ongoing renovations, which include a $45-million restoration and expansion of the law library. The rest will support a number of programs, including a loan deferral and forgiveness program for students who enter public service, and an expanded number of endowed professorships.
At 100, Yale Club Gets a Makeover
For a centenarian, the Yale Club of New York City looks better than it has in years. Buoyed by a $10-million loan guarantee from the University, the club, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in November, is in the midst of a renovation that is generating new life at the corner of 44th Street and Vanderbilt Avenue.
The most notable change is the refurbishment of the rooftop dining room, once a summer refuge from the heat but now the club’s year-round dining area. (The former main dining room on the 20th floor is now used as for banquets.) Elegantly redecorated (“You notice there’s not too much blue,” says general manager Alan Dutton), the room has proved popular, boosting both lunch and dinner business substantially. The club’s 150 guest rooms are also being renovated, and windows have been replaced throughout the building. Less visible changes include a new heating and air conditioning system. And finally, women’s restrooms have been installed in parts of the club where they were conspicuously absent.
The changes are part of an effort to keep the club “accessible to as broad a base of Yale alumni as possible,” according to Fred Leone '82, who has been president of the club for five years. “Dues and member spending won’t do it. Room rentals and banquet and dining facilities are our profit centers.” A black-tie crowd of more than 300 took part in celebrating the spruced-up club at its centennial ball on November 8.
University Liable in HIV Lawsuit
A jury has ordered the University to pay $12.2 million to a former resident at Yale–New Haven Hospital who contracted HIV from a needle prick ten years ago. The plaintiff, identified only as “Dr. Jane Doe,” said that Yale had failed to train her properly.
Dr. Doe, who is now 35 years old, had been a resident for seven weeks when her supervisor asked her to insert a catheter into an AIDS patient’s artery in August 1988. When blood spewed from the catheter after she removed the needle, Doe put her thumb over the opening to stop the bleeding, sticking herself with the nearby needle in the process. Her attorneys argued that she had not been told how to minimize the risk of the procedure, which she had performed only once before. Yale attorneys maintained that Doe had received excellent training and should have taken better precautions. They also said that the hospital, not the University, was responsible for her training.
“Hopefully this will send a message loud and clear that you have to train people,” said Doe after the jury announced its award, the largest ever in New Haven Superior Court. Yale attorney William Doyle said the University would appeal and suggested that the jury’s judgment was clouded by emotion. “We strongly disagree with the jury’s verdict,” said Doyle. “I’m afraid that sympathy carried the day.”
More Aid for Foreign Students
The effects of the University’s strong endowment performance will soon be felt worldwide, as Yale College increases its financial aid to international students by a third. Beginning with the Class of 2002, Yale will make an additional $100,000 per class available for financial aid and recruiting for undergraduates from countries other than the U.S. and Canada.
While American and Canadian applicants have long enjoyed a “need-blind” admissions policy, applicants from other countries have not been so lucky. Currently, about 13 percent of international students at the College receive financial aid, as compared to some 40 percent of American and Canadian students. At present, each class has a financial aid pool of $300,000 for international students, enough to assist between 13 and 20 students. Beginning with the Class of 2002, the amount will be increased to $380,000, with an additional $20,000 available for international recruiting. While the increase will by no means allow a need-blind policy for international students, it will mean more needy students can consider Yale.
The number of international students has been on the rise even without the increase: 5.6 percent of the Class of 2001 came from countries other than the U.S. and Canada, compared to only 1.7 percent of the Class of 1996. “We’ve seen a dramatic increase in representation from other countries, and it’s the result of focused recruitment,” says Dean of Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid Richard Shaw.
Shaw says the additional money will “enhance our opportunities to get students from places where we haven’t been,” such as the Third World, but that admissions goals are still based on “attracting the best and brightest, no matter where they’re from.”
$1.7 Billion Later, a Victory Party
The University officially marked the end of the five-year, $1.7-billion “and for Yale” capital campaign (See “Made It!” Yale Alumni Magazine, Oct. 1997) on October 25 with a gala event in Woolsey Hall followed by dinner and dancing in Commons. Some 950 volunteers and University officials attended.
President Richard C. Levin offered special acknowledgement of the efforts of those who led the campaign, including Vice President for Development and Alumni Affairs Terry M. Holcombe '64, who retired from Yale last month, and former President Benno C. Schmidt Jr., who was given a standing ovation.
“The whole purpose of this event was simply to say ‘thank you’ to the people who made this campaign a success,” said AYA Director of University Relations Judith Cole.
Grad Student Held as Impostor
Two years after a Yale undergraduate was found to have forged his junior-college transcript and letters of recommendation, a first-year graduate student was arrested in December on charges that she had done the same. But unlike the previous student, Lon T. Grammer, who was weeks short of graduation before his ruse was discovered, Tonica Jenkins was found out in less than a semester.
Both Grammer and Jenkins appeared before New Haven Superior Court Judge Richard Damiani on December 23. Grammer accepted a plea bargain under which he will pay back $12,000 to Yale but avoid jail time. Jenkins, 22, entered a not-guilty plea.
Jenkins, who was enrolled in the neurosciences track of the biological and biomedical science program, is alleged to have supplied false straight-A transcripts from Cuyahoga Community College in California and Central State University in Ohio. Police also allege that her three recommendation letters—two from apparently non-existent Central State professors—were falsified. In addition to forgery charges, Jenkins has been charged with larceny for accepting a $10,600 financial-aid grant and a $4,500 stipend from the University.
Sources told the New Haven Register that Yale officials became suspicious after Jenkins twice said she was unable to take exams because of an upset stomach. They found that she had never attended Central State and that she was less than an A-student at Cuyahoga.
Yale spokesman B. Jay Cooper points out that University officials “caught this early” and emphasizes that prosecution is part of a deterrent strategy. “We have a two-track protection process,” he says. “One is the admissions process itself. The other side is what you do if it does happen, and we’re pursuing the stiffest penalties possible.”
Time to Sell Tobacco Stocks?
Law professor and ethical-investment authority John Simon has always urged institutions not to sell stocks for ethical reasons. He argues that they should instead use their investment influence to effect change in corporate policies. But the Yale Daily News reported in December that, at least where tobacco stocks are concerned, Simon has changed his mind.
Simon is one of the authors of The Ethical Investor, a 1972 book that sets guidelines for universities in dealing with ethical issues—guidelines that the Corporation has formally adopted as policy. When a Corporation member recently asked Simon to take a fresh look at how those guidelines relate to tobacco, the Daily News says, Simon responded in a letter that he now thinks Yale should divest.
Simon would not discuss the letter, saying it was confidential, but said “I think the guidelines tell a clear story,” pointing to passages that discuss “rare cases where you should sell.” The guidelines reflect Simon’s preference for “voice”—retaining stocks and exerting influence on companies—over divestment. They recommend divestment only when it appears that such influence is unlikely to produce results or that corrective action by the companies would have adverse effects on their stock.
As of last June 30, Yale’s endowment included nearly $16.9 million in tobacco holdings, less than one-third of one-percent of the endowment total. But other universities, including Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Northwestern, and Tufts, have removed tobacco stocks from their portfolios entirely.
Restoration Eyed for Dilapidated Davies Mansion
Abandoned, its windows covered with plywood, the landmark Davies Mansion dominates its hilltop site near the Divinity School like something out of The Addams Family. (In fact, it was scouted as a location for a sequel to the film.) After the threat of demolition, a costly fire, and, some say, University neglect, the house is at last slated for a renovation. But first, the University must come up with appropriate use for the 130-year-old Italianate house.
“We’re committed to putting some money behind it,” says University planner Pamela Delphenich. “We'd like to find a partner with a viable use for the property.” Delphenich says that estimated costs for the project range from “a few million” to as much as $12 million for a full-scale restoration.
Designed by noted New Haven architect Henry Austin, the imposing house on seven acres has sat empty since 1972, when the University bought it from the Culinary Institute of America, which had used it as a cooking school. In the mid-1980s, the University considered demolishing the house, but decided against it after protests from preservationists. In 1990, the third floor and roof of the house were badly damaged in a fire.
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