Consensual Amorous Relationships

The relationships described below are mutually consenting ones. Unsolicited and unwelcome advances of a sexual nature may violate the university’s discriminatory harassment policy. (See section III.F.2. below)

Consensual Amorous Relationships with Colleagues

Because amorous relations between administrators or faculty members and other faculty members or support staff whom they supervise may create the appearance of a conflict of interest, administrators and faculty members are advised against participating in amorous relationships with those whom they supervise. Similarly faculty members should avoid situations requiring them to supervise those with whom they currently have an amorous relationship. Whenever such a situation arises or is foreseen, the faculty member shall report the situation promptly and seek advice from an appropriate administrative officer, who should take steps to insure unbiased supervision or evaluation of the person supervised.

Consensual Amorous Relationships with Students
Relationships with Undergraduate Students Prohibited

The university prohibits any faculty member, including part time faculty, from knowingly engaging in a consensual romantic and/or sexual relationship with any undergraduate student enrolled in a degree-seeking program.

Relationships with Graduate or Professional Students

The university prohibits any faculty member, including part time faculty, from knowingly engaging in a consensual romantic and/or sexual relationship with any graduate or professional student enrolled in a degree-seeking program in the School or, in the case of Arts & Sciences, any department or program in which the faculty member has taught, plans to teach, or holds an appointment.

The university also prohibits such relationships between those graduate or professional students with whom the faculty member has, at the time the relationship begins, any evaluative, collaborative or supervisory role, whether this role is direct or indirect. The phrase “evaluative, collaborative or supervisory role” refers to many faculty roles, both within and outside the classroom, and in all university-sponsored academic, co-curricular, and extra-curricular activities, including but not limited to teaching research collaboration, employment of research assistants, academic advising, coaching (athletics, drama, etc.), advising student activities, service on evaluation committees that confer or recommend the conferral of awards, prizes and other forms of recognition, and thesis committees. A faculty member who is involved in a consensual amorous relationship that does not otherwise violate this policy (including a relationship the appropriate Dean has exempted from this policy) shall recuse him- or herself from any subsequent activity that entails any evaluative, collaborative or supervisory role as defined above with respect to such student.


The Deans of the School or Faculty where a faculty member has a primary appointment may grant an exemption from this policy for good cause shown, but only after the Dean has ensured that the relationship so exempted does not impair the education of any student(s) and does not give rise to a conflict of interest. Any such exemption must be in writing and must specify any conditions the Dean has imposed to ensure satisfaction of the criteria listed in the previous sentence. A faculty member who has been granted such an exemption must recuse him- or herself from any “evaluative, collaborative or supervisory role” that may arise during the existence of the relationship.

When determining whether there is good cause, the Dean shall consider: various factors including the actual or possible connection, if any, between the faculty member’s official duties and the student’s program of study, the feasibility of imposing conditions that prevent any conflict of interest or other detriment to the educational function, and whether the faculty member and student are in a marriage or involved in a committed relationship that predated the appointment of the faculty member and/or the enrollment of the student in the relevant degree- seeking program.

Members of the university community who believe that violations of this policy have occurred may initiate a complaint with the appropriate department chair or academic Dean (see III.F.4. below). A complaint alleging that a Dean or other academic administrator has violated this policy may be filed with the Provost or President.

Complaints must be filed no more than two years after an alleged violation.

Violations of this policy will be considered misconduct on the part of a faculty member and will be subject to institutional sanctions, including possible termination of the faculty member’s appointment. Treatment of allegations and imposition of sanctions will be governed by procedures specified in sections III.F.1. and III.F.4. of the Faculty Handbook.