15.020. Amorous Relationships. The policy regarding amorous relationships is set forth in the following manner.
15.020.1. General. The University's mission is promoted by professionalism, which is fostered by an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect. These are diminished when persons in positions of authority abuse or appear to abuse their authority, as in the case of amorous relationships between faculty and students.
15.020.2. Rationale. An amorous relationship between a faculty member and a student is generally wrong when the faculty members has professional responsibility, such as grading or advising, for the student. Such a situation increases the chances for abuse of power. The University will view it as unethical if faculty members engage in amorous relationships with students enrolled in their classes or subject to their supervision. The behavior is, in most cases, unethical even when the relationship is consensual (i.e., both parties have consented), because the voluntary consent of the student is in doubt, given the power imbalance in the student-faculty relationship. Even if consent were to be shown, a clear conflict of interest would still exist which might create the appearance of discrimination or favoritism in grading or access to educational opportunities.
15.020.3. Coverage. Relationships between a graduate student and an undergraduate student, when the graduate student has some supervisory responsibility for the undergraduate, are covered by this policy. Relationships between a student and an administrator, coach, advisor, program director, counselor, or residential staff member who has supervisory responsibility for that student also are covered.
15.020.4. Requests for Exceptions. A request for a specific exception to this policy may be made by an employee to his or her supervisor, who may approve or deny the request.
15.020.5. Disciplinary Actions. Faculty or employees engaged in unethical conduct of the type described in this policy are subject to the normal disciplinary procedures of the University. Such unethical conduct may or may not involve sexual harassment as proscribed by the Sexual Harassment Policy.
Source: Resolution of the Board dated June 27, 1992
Cross-reference: Section 15.010 of the Code