Professor dating student policy
Accordingly, no individual shall initiate or participate in institutional decisions involving a direct benefit or penalty (employment, retention, promotion, tenure, salary, leave of absence, etc.) to a person with whom that individual has or has had a sexual relationship.
He or she must take specific actions to remove himself or herself from all decisions and actions that may influence the career or status of the other employee.
The new policy comes at a time when sex and gender issues — all the ways that people define themselves, their sexuality, their relationships, and how they interact with one another — are relentlessly discussed on college campuses.
Billie Dziech, a professor at the University of Cincinnati who has studied and written about relationships between professors and students, said policies about such relationships are evolving. “Institutions wouldn’t go near it, just wanted to avoid pushback from faculty. There are many institutions that have what I personally would describe as very weak policies. What Harvard and an increasingly long list of universities has done is to have prohibitionist policies.” Dziech said some policies have earned complaints from students who would say, “‘Oh, we’re grownups, we can choose with whom we have sex.'” She said Harvard’s decision was courageous.
“In their relationships with students, members of the faculty are expected to be aware of their professional responsibilities and to avoid apparent or actual conflict of interest, favoritism, or bias.
When a sexual relationship exists, effective steps should be taken to ensure unbiased evaluation or supervision of the student.” In some ways, it’s easier for schools to ban such relationships so they’re not forced into taking sides — or acting as judge and jury — in cases where a student or faculty member complains about harassment, or worse, Dziech said.
They got some pushback from faculty questioning where to draw the line between protecting people from unequal relationships and unnecessarily interfering in people’s personal lives, she said.In cases where a conflict [of interest] is identified, the UEO [Unit Executive Officer] must develop a Supervisory Relationship Management Plan that redirects decision-making and bypasses involved parties.Such procedures must be agreed to in writing and approved through all administrative levels.An individual may not initiate or participate in institutional decisions involving a direct benefit or penalty to someone with whom that individual has had a sexual relationship.Relationships such as those between supervisors and their subordinate employees are inherently asymmetric.