New Faculty-Student Relationships Policy
April 27, 2004
The University has been considering and has now adopted a new policy regarding faculty-student relationships. This policy has been developed following substantive discussion among faculty, students, administrators, and the Regents.
The new policy strongly discourages romantic and/or sexual relationships between faculty members and students. The policy states, "If a romantic and/or sexual relationship occurs or has occurred between a faculty member and a student for whom the faculty member has supervisory responsibility, an inherent conflict of interest arises. When a conflict of this nature occurs, the faculty member must disclose the relationship so that a resolution to the conflict can be sought."
Faculty members have the responsibility for many professional roles with students—instructor, mentor, research advisor, supervisor, scholarly colleague, and collaborator. These relationships are the heart of education and learning in a university environment.
The new policy is intended to protect the educational relationships of faculty members and students, and applies to anyone who has supervisory responsibility for students in an educational setting, including Graduate Student Instructors. We urge all faculty members, students, and everyone in the University community who interacts with students to become familiar with the policy.
The policy is available on the Standard Practice Guide website under 601.22, Faculty-Student Relationships (PDF format, 120 KB). A list of frequently asked questions and answers about the policy and contact information are available on the Office of the Provost website.
Mary Sue Coleman
Paul N. Courant
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs