Human Resources

E.4 Relationships with Students

Policy No. E. 4.00

Date of Issue 7/2/2014

As an institution of higher education dedicated to fostering the dignity of each person, the university seeks to create an environment that is free of exploitation and unlawful harassment or discrimination as well as any appearance of conflict of interest or favoritism. In furtherance of the foregoing, the university prohibits consensual relationships of a dating, intimate, romantic and/or sexual nature between a university employee and (i) any undergraduate student, as the difference in institutional power and the inherent risk of coercion are too great, and (ii) any graduate student when the employee is in a position, actual or apparent, of power or influence over the student, including, but not limited to, supervisor and student-employee, instructor and student, adviser and student, graduate assistant and student, and coach and student-athlete. In addition, the university strongly discourages consensual relationships of a dating, intimate and/or sexual nature between a university employee and a graduate student even when no power relationship or ability to influence exists, as any such relationship may give rise to the perception of favoritism or bias, which undermine the spirit of trust and mutual respect that is important in an educational environment.


For purposes of this policy, a “student” includes any individual enrolled, or eligible to continue, in any part-time or full-time undergraduate or graduate program of the university, and a “consensual relationship” means a relationship of a dating, intimate, romantic and/or sexual nature entered into with the consent of both parties.


This policy does not, and is not intended, to alter, but rather is in addition to, any and all federal and state laws and other university policies regulating interpersonal conduct.