Faculty dating graduate students
This policy applies broadly to all “affiliates” who engage in “supervision” over “students” (all as defined below).“Affiliates” includes, but is not limited to University faculty, graduate and professional students, postdoctoral fellows and associates, coaches and athletic trainers, resident assistants, residence hall directors, academic advisors, teaching assistants, graders, and University staff and volunteers who supervise students.Spurred by a scandal that toppled UC Berkeley’s law school dean last year, University of California regents on Thursday approved a policy prohibiting professors and other faculty from having romantic or sexual relationships with their students.With the new policy, which takes effect immediately, the university joins a growing number of American higher educational institutions that have restricted such relationships, saying they may exploit students.“Just having this on the books will help change whatever behavior is problematic,” said Gayle Binion, a UC Santa Barbara political science professor who heads the university-wide Academic Senate.Therefore, Boston University’s policy is that no affiliate shall supervise a student with whom the affiliate has a consensual romantic or sexual relationship.
“The very integrity of the university’s academic mission is dependent on the accountability of the faculty member as a mentor, educator and evaluator,” she said. But six campuses, including Berkeley, have conflict-of-interest guidelines urging professors to recuse themselves from overseeing students with whom they are romantically involved.It would also require professors to recuse themselves from academic responsibility for students with whom the professors have an existing relationship.Faculty members found to have violated the rules would be subject to disciplinary action, ranging from written censure to demotion or dismissal.Nationally, colleges and universities have taken a variety of approaches to the issue, and the UC policy appears to strike a middle ground.Increasingly, institutions are trying to limit such relationships, although only a few -- notably the College of William and Mary in Virginia -- have banned all sexual liaisons between professors and undergraduates, as well as graduate students under their supervisors.
The integrity and professionalism of the teacher-student relationship is fundamental to the University’s educational mission.