XIV. Rules Regarding Intimate Relationships
d. Relationships between Faculty or Employees and Students
Amorous, dating or sexual activity or relationships (“intimate relationships”), even when apparently consensual, are inappropriate when they occur between a faculty member or employee and any student for whom he or she has a professional responsibility. Those relationships are inappropriate because of the unequal power dynamic between students and faculty members and between students and employees who advise or evaluate them, such as athletic coaches or workplace supervisors. Such relationships necessarily involve issues of student vulnerability and have the potential for coercion. In addition, conflicts of interest or perceived conflicts of interest may arise when a faculty member or employee is required to evaluate the work or make personnel or academic decisions with respect to a student with whom he or she is having an intimate relationship. Finally, if the relationship ends in a way that is not amicable, the relationship may lead to charges of and possible liability for sexual misconduct.
Therefore, faculty members and other employees are prohibited from engaging in intimate relationships with students for whom they have a professional responsibility, including undergraduates, graduate and professional students and postdoctoral fellows.
For purposes of this Section, professional responsibility for a student means responsibility over any academic matters, including teaching, counseling, grading, advising for a formal project such as a thesis or research, evaluating, hiring, supervising, coaching, making decisions or recommendations that confer benefits such as admissions, registration, financial aid, other awards, remuneration, or fellowships, or performing any other function that might affect teaching, research, or other academic opportunities.
e. Relationships between Supervisors and Employees
Many of the concerns about intimate relationships between faculty members or employees and students also apply to relationships between supervisors and employees they supervise. Those relationships therefore are strongly discouraged. Supervisors shall disclose any such relationships to their supervisors in order to avoid or mitigate conflicts of interest in connection with the supervision and evaluation of the employees with whom they have an intimate relationship. Mitigation may involve the transfer of either the supervisor or employee, reassigning the responsibility to evaluate the employee to a different supervisor, or other appropriate action.
For purposes of this Section, supervising an employee means supervising in an employment setting, including hiring, evaluating, assigning work, or making decisions or recommendations that confer benefits such as promotions, raises or other remuneration, or performing any other function that might affect employment opportunities.