Consensual Relationships FAQ
The intent is to eliminate any and all potential consensual relationships for faculty or staff with undergraduate students; otherwise, the intention is only to bar consensual relationships where exercise of authority exists.
The hire of the couple would not be a policy violation as, until one is appointed as dean, there would have been no exercise of authority between the two. Assuming that, at that time, the division employing the partner/spouse falls underneath that dean, the incoming dean has responsibility to disclose to the provost’s office, which will initiate a management plan to eliminate any exercise of authority.
In this scenario, the policy would require the immediate consideration and creation of a management plan.
Unless the staff member falls within the chain of exercise of authority by the faculty member, or vice versa, there would be no triggering of the policy.
If the positions are such that an exercise of authority would exist in either direction, then the individual with the authority must report immediately to the dean (for faculty) or the vice president for human resources (for staff) for appropriate steps to be taken under the policy.
Hiring a couple within the same department is not prohibited under this policy. If one becomes chair at some point, the chair and the dean must adopt a management plan before the chair appointment begins.
Dating is considered a consensual relationship under this policy.
It is the clear intent of this policy to not allow any such consensual relationship to be initiated. If the two individuals believe that a relationship may be inevitable, then the individual with the authority must report to the dean (faculty) or vice president for human resources (staff) for remediation and resolution. One of the individuals may need to change positions in order to resolve a potential policy violation. Failure to report the developing relationship would constitute a policy violation, as opposed to reporting immediately and seeking resolution.
No, exercise of authority includes any influence on academic standing and progress. For example, voting to confer a degree upon a graduate student would constitute exercise of authority.