While close working relationships are encouraged among faculty, staff, and students, the University strictly prohibits all faculty and staff, including graduate research assistants, from pursuing sexual relationships with undergraduates who they are currently supervising or teaching. It is misconduct, subject to disciplinary action, for an individual to exercise direct supervisory, evaluation, instructional, and/or advising responsibilities, or participate in hiring, retention, promotion, or award decisions, for someone with whom there exists an amorous relationship or to whom they are related by blood, law, or marriage. Both the fact and semblance of any exploitation must be avoided. The relative difference in power – actual or perceived – in working relationships must be recognized by faculty and staff and not be employed to anyone’s advantage or disadvantage. Even in relationships that appear consensual, both the power and the trust embedded in the role of teacher renders dubious that student’s purported consent.
It is misconduct, subject to disciplinary action for a University employee to engage in sexual activity with any enrolled student of the institution, other than his or her spouse, who is a minor below the age of 18 years.
The University strongly discourages sexual relationships between faculty
or administrators and graduate students, as well as between staff members
and any subordinates whose work they supervise. Anyone involved in a
sexual relationship with someone over whom he or she has supervisory power
must recuse himself or herself from decisions that affect the evaluation,
employment conditions, instruction, and /or academic status of the subordinate