a tale of working at yale


Freedom of expression, harassment, and cowardly malevolence

Although freedom of expression had long been an explicitly protected policy of Yale University, for more than ten years during the 1980s and 90s the Yale Center for International and Area Studies (YCIAS) waged a campaign of harassment against a clerical worker for having spoken or written critically about certain administrative practices that she had observed, practices detrimental to both people and the institutions: deception, duplicity, and violations of University policies.

The harassment was conducted by a network of middle- and high-level administrators, led by senior faculty directors, that extended beyond the YCIAS. It lasted so long because of the indifference, the tacit assent, and sometimes the participation of some of the highest officers of the University. It thrived because the perpetrators exploited an underlying classist environment separating workers from those they supported.

This website, first published in 1998 and republished here in full, contains the major documents relevant to the case, with some background exposition, much of it part of the public record. The core materials, submitted to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), are written directly and as simply as possible in the first person.

Materials are organized in three main groups plus — and new to this edition — a personal postscript with behind-the-scenes material.

[The NLRB documents are part of the public record and under the Freedom of Information Act are available to members of the public upon request.]

Last updated 11 March 2022 (Friday) at 18:45:43 EST