Consensual Sexual Relations Policy

Board of Trustees Approved - September 27, 1999

Sexual relations between students and faculty members, or between students and other university employees, with whom they have an academic or evaluative relationship, are fraught with the potential for exploitation. The respect and trust accorded a professor or a supervisor in an academic or evaluative role make voluntary consent by the student suspect. Even when both parties initially have consented, the development of a sexual relationship renders both faculty member or supervisor and the institution vulnerable to possible later allegations of sexual harassment, in light of the significant power differential that exists between students and faculty members or supervisors.

In their relationship with students, members of the faculty or university employees who supervise students are expected to be aware of their professional responsibilities and avoid apparent or actual conflict of interest, favoritism, or bias. No faculty member or supervisor may participate in the evaluation of a student’s performance or any decisions that may reward or penalize the student if a sexual relationship exists or has existed between the student and that faculty member or supervisor.