Faculty dating graduate students
A consensual romantic or sexual relationship between an affiliate and a student over whom the affiliate has supervision may undermine the integrity of the educational process and adversely affect the learning and living environment for the student in the relationship and for other students.The risks associated with relationships between an affiliate and a student include conflicts of interest, perceptions of undue advantage, and the potential for abuse of the inherent power differential.Therefore, Boston University’s policy is that no affiliate shall supervise a student with whom the affiliate has a consensual romantic or sexual relationship.Affiliates should avoid supervising any student with whom the affiliate has had a romantic or sexual relationship in the past.Any affiliate who has questions about this policy or a relationship with a particular student must promptly contact his or her supervisor, dean, or department chair, who will implement a management plan, as appropriate.Supervisors, deans and department chairs are encouraged to consult with the Executive Director of the Equal Opportunity Office about these issues.
“We were all incredibly distressed by that incident,” she said.
The regents approved the policy on a voice vote, with two of them -- Regent Velma Montoya and student Regent Matt Murray -- asking that their opposition be registered.
They and other critics said the policy was too broad and would be difficult to enforce.“This could be a legal nightmare,” Montoya said.
Binion added that the situation is especially clear-cut regarding law school deans because they are typically asked to write letters attesting to the good character of graduates before students are allowed to take the state bar exam. Lansing applauded the new policy and called it “long overdue.”Regulating consensual relationships between faculty and students is “an extraordinarily controversial issue,” she said.
The regents’ action “shows we are taking a stand against the abuse of these relationships.”But Murray, the student regent who is an undergraduate at UC Berkeley, said he opposed the policy for two reasons: He thought students had too little input in its development, and it went “too far” in regulating what he described as private relationships between consenting adults.
The new policy says it is unacceptable for professors to enter into a romantic or sexual relationship with a student for whom they have “or should reasonably expect to have in the future” any teaching, evaluative or supervisory responsibility.