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ETSU Consensual Relationship Policy

Description

The proposed ETSU Consensual Relationship Policy was drafted by a diverse committee of concerned faculty and staff.  In their deliberations the committee considered guidance from federal and state authorities, Title IX law and practice, policies in place at public and private universities, and guidance from the American Association of University Professors.  The drafting of a policy was particularly important given that there are several “policies” appearing on campus and the committee felt that it was important to establish one clear policy for this important issue.  The policy prohibits consensual romantic relationships  between an Evaluative Authority  and an individual over whom he or she has specified powers.


Posted on: 1/19/2017
Closes on: 2/19/2017
Archived on: 2/19/2018


The Request for Comments has been closed

Comments


I’m not in favor of the “Consensual…” policy as proposed.  People meet people when they meet them—mostly unintended and unplanned.  What feelings arise following that isn’t ETSU’s business unless they—or the behaviors resulting therefrom—interfere with business.  I favor a policy employed at a university where I previously worked that accepted consensual romantic (or other) relationships but placed responsibility squarely on the organizational superior of the relationship—burden of proof for all things possible to arise as resting squarely on this party to the relationship.  In other words, such relationships were not prohibited but parties were cautioned as to possible consequences.



Commentor: Michael Smith
Submitted on: 2/13/2017
On behalf of: Individual Faculty

The definition provided currently on consensual relationships pertains more to the purpose of the policy than the new one.

Also, the current policy is more detailed and fulfills the purpose of preventing a consensual relationship during a period of time that a direct authority figure has some sort of control over an individual under them.

The purpose listed on the proposal uses words like "abuse" and "pressured" on the part of the "evaluative authority". Why would words like that be used in a policy about consent?

The proposed policy refers to "evaluative authority" which should be "direct evaluative authority" to be more clear about the role .  Through court rulings, the law states that government cannot prohibit consensual relationships. The students are over 18 years of age and are considered adults in the eyes of the law who can legally consent to a relationship. If the policy is not written with more detail, it can potentially be used against the institution. 

The proposed policy mentions "reporting" a consensual relationship. There is no guarantee this information will remain private. If it is disclosed, private relationships may be revealed which can lead to other repercussions, divorce or disclosing sexual preferences. The current policy is clear that if a pre-existing relationship becomes a conflict of evaluative authority, it needs to be disclosed so the University can remove the issue. For example, if a Faculty member’s wife wants to take a class, it is structured that the Faculty member can never be her teacher.  

I disagree with changing the current policy. There are too many holes in the proposal.



Commentor: Kristin France
Submitted on: 2/3/2017
On behalf of: Individual Staff

The last sentence is too open ended, immediately assumes guilt without due process for not doing something, and should be deleted.  "If an Evaluative Authority fails to report, then the university will investigate the relationship as if it is non-consensual and the university will take the appropriate disciplinary actions."  A variety of additional reasons for why this is poorly phrased have already been discussed in the comments.

In addition, since "the ability to prove special consideration or treatment" is part of the definition, why is this limited to romantic issues only?  There are other relationships that can lead to favoritism.  What about family, children, relatives, even friends from the gym or in your running club, church, etc?   The policy as written should not go forward and I 2nd Masino's thoughts that the original policy was more than adequate to deal with sexual harrassment.  This policy goes way beyond that.  There has to be some trust faculty will uphold profressional standards without having to report to the "Evaluative Authority" about any possible conflict of interest.  



Commentor: William Trainor
Submitted on: 1/30/2017
On behalf of: Individual Faculty

I am on the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate as well as overall University Committee regarding Consensual Relationships. Unfortunately, I am in the minority of Committee members against the proposed policy.  While I agree ETSU should adopt one universal policy to address Consensual Relationships on campus, I strongly oppose and reject the current proposed policy.  

I strongly oppose the proposed policy in its current format on legal and moral grounds.  I have serious legal questions regarding the broad generic nature of the verbiage being utilized in this draft as well as concerns regarding potential “what ifs”.  I have grave concerns this policy will be implemented with very little “true” discussion of policy merits and even if the policy is open for discussion campus wide, the policy will be implemented regardless of faculty concerns and feedback.  I have concerns the proposed policy in current format is so generically broad that it could be interpreted as backdoor to completely ban all consensual relationships.  Based on Committee input, I have concerns parties are not adequately staying within the boundaries of the definition of “consensual”. Parties 18 and over have a guaranteed constitutional right to make decisions on this matter and recent United States Supreme Court decisions confirm that constitutional right.

 

I have advocated the current faculty senate policy is more than sufficient to address consensual relationships between faculty and students (“Romantic Relationships between Faculty and Students” http://www.etsu.edu/senate/facultyhandbook/section2.aspx).  I believe this policy should be adopted campus wide or at least be the starting place for drafting a policy. I have pasted the existing policy below:

Because those who teach are entrusted with guiding students, judging their work, assigning grades for papers and courses, and recommending students to colleagues, instructors are in a delicate relationship of trust and power. This relationship must not be jeopardized by possible doubt of intent, fairness of professional judgment, or the appearance to other students of favoritism.

One of the unstated tenets of the teaching profession indicating the commitment of its membership to a climate free from sexual harassment is the view that it is unwise and inappropriate for faculty who have or have had romantic relations with students to:

  1. teach such students in a class,
  2. supervise them in research or graduate work, or
  3. recommend them for fellowships, awards, or employment.

Prudence and the best interest of the students dictate that in such circumstances of romantic involvement, the student(s) should be aided to find other instructional or supervisory arrangements. Faculty should keep in mind that initial consent to a romantic relationship does not preclude a charge of sexual harassment in the future.

I have grave concerns the policy is against faculty and has no protection for faculty from students. I have concerns with the broad definition of “Evaluative Authority” as well as who determines if the faculty member meets the definition.

  • What if the faculty member believes the situation does not meet the criteria of Evaluative Authority and as such does not report the relationship?  At a later date, ETSU is made aware of the relationship, ETSU believes it does meet that definition and by default since it was not reported by the faculty member even though the faculty member at the time the relationship did not meet the definition of an evaluative authority, the relationship will by default be treated as non-consensual by ETSU.  Without clarification with this type of fact pattern, faculty would be defaulted into reporting any type of consensual relationship.

I have concerns with the following language “the ability to affect membership/participation or to provide special consideration or treatment”.  My concern is based on historical factual situations that exist on this campus as well as recent United States Supreme Court decisions regarding civil liberties as it pertains to a person’s ability to choose / not choose a relationship.  The language is so broadly defined it could conceivably encompass anything on or off campus as well as current and former consensual relationships.  In committee meetings and sidebar conversations, the assumption is student enrolled in a class of that faculty member.  What about other scenarios – the student is in the same college but doesn’t have courses with that faculty member? OR the mere status of being a student on ETSU in an unrelated discipline than the faculty member teaches.

 

I believe the existing policy should stay in place but if a new policy is implemented, the Evaluative Authority definition should be modified to avoid broad generic possibilities or struck completely.  Some may say ETSU could win a legal confrontation on some of my scenarios, my point is avoiding litigation.  Anyone could sue anyone in America for any reason, does not mean the party will prevail.  But litigation costs time and money. In ETSU’s stressed budget situation, why take the risks.  Rather spend time now resolving / tightening up the policy to avoid unnecessary litigation.  To help articulate my concerns I believe some examples highlighting “what ifs” may be helpful.

Example A:

Two parties decide to have a consensual relationship. One is a faculty, other is a student. The student degree program is unrelated to the faculty member teaching discipline. My notes from committee meetings and speaking with committee members individually is this would be deemed a non-evaluative authority scenario.  At a later date the consensual relationship ends.  The relationship does not end well for one party (hurt feelings, etc.).

  • Could the student state the presence of the faculty member on campus negatively impacts the student’s ability to participate in their education? I think a lawyer could capitalize on the language since it is so generically broad.  
  • What if the student and faculty member attend the same church off campus? Could the student state their ability to participate / be a member of the church is being negatively impacted because the faculty member attends the same church? Again I think a lawyer could capitalize on the language since it is so generically broad.

Example B:

Two parties are married. One is a faculty member here on campus. The parties divorce and the non-faculty member former spouse decides to take courses at ETSU.

  • Could the former spouse state the presence of the faculty member on campus negatively impacts the former spouse’s ability to participate in their education? I think a lawyer could capitalize on the language since it is so generically broad.

Example C:

Two parties are married. One is a faculty member here on campus. The non-faculty member spouse decides to take courses here on campus utilizing the ETSU tuition discount for spouses and dependents.

  • If the non-faculty member spouse decides to pursue a divorce action against the faculty member, could the spouse threaten harm to the faculty member employment under this policy to gain leverage in a divorce proceeding (as an attorney – it may seem far-fetched but in divorce matters, there is not much I haven’t seen people willing to try to gain the upper hand).  
  • Could a third party student claim the tuition discount program is a form of favoritism and as such the policy is negatively impacting them?

Example D:

Two parties decide to have a consensual relationship. The student is not enrolled in any courses taught by the faculty member. However, due to the generic broad definition of “evaluative authority” they disclose the relationship. Both parties are married to other parties.

  • Is the list of disclosed consensual relationships privacy protected from freedom of information requests or objectionable to a basic subpoena? If the list is disclosed and negatively impacts the marriage of either party - is ETSU liable to litigation for forcing disclosure of a matter that by law is not illegal (immoral and illegal are different).  What if one of the parties is a resident of NC? For those that don’t know – NC is one of the few states left that has on its books having a relationship with a married party while the parties are still married / not legally separated is grounds for criminal prosecution and civil litigation. The forced disclosure of the relationship – is this a 5th Amendment violation?

These are just quick examples and trust me lawyers could find more.



Commentor: Anthony Masino
Submitted on: 1/23/2017
On behalf of: Individual Staff

Not meaning to be flippant, but…

  1. The use of the adjective “both” in the paragraph defining “Consensual relationship” implies an institutional editorial preference and/or policy limitation toward traditional pair bonding; the inclusion of that particular word could possibly become problematic in a multiple partner situation.
     
  2. In the same paragraph, while the intent of the phrase “the relationship is of a romantic or sexual nature” is understood, I am personally a bit vexed as to why there must be an expectation of either romance and/or sex within a close relationship and why this couldn’t be incorporated as a special case into a larger conflict of interest policy. 

    Part of the overall purpose of the clarified policy is to establish meaningful and enforceable social limitations and boundaries that ultimately protect not only a well-articulated set of typical victim classes but also those that fall under the Evaluative Authority class.  While in the minority, relationships wherein the Evaluative Authority becomes a directed “target of opportunity” (See Amber Kinser’s COM Dean scenario) are not uncommon.  These types of “reverse power” relationships—initiated by the less powerful party—typically fall under the umbrella of classic “quid pro quo” conflict of interest scenario.  The proposed policy must not assume that only sex or romance (or even both) must be involved.  Insofar as there are existing policies prohibiting Evaluative Authorities from soliciting and/or accepting gifts, tributes, presents, or, for that matter, other “Emolument, Office, or Title;” this proposed policy should inform those in a position of being in the Evaluative Authority class to be cognizant of and avoid all forms—sexual and non-sexual—forms of conflicts of interest.
     
  3. The last line—“If an Evaluative Authority fails to report, then the university will investigate the relationship as if it is non-consensual and the university will take the appropriate disciplinary actions”—seems very problematic.  It presupposes malicious behavior and does not clearly define a process of due diligence and resolution.  I would be much more comfortable wordsmithing it along the lines of:

    “When an Evaluative Authority fails to report a consensual romantic &/or sexual relationship, upon being informed of said relationship, the university will (a) consider the relationship “non-consensual” and a conflict of interest, (b) investigate—in accordance with established policies and procedures ensuring due diligence and due process—the nature of the relationship and circumstances thereof and, (c) if necessary, take appropriate disciplinary action(s) per the controlling policy(s).


Commentor: William Hemphill
Submitted on: 1/20/2017
On behalf of: Individual Faculty

After reading Dr. Brown's comment it occurred to me that the policy is not clear as to whether "Evaluative Authority" (and conflict of interest) are to be determined objectively or subjectively. To illustrate with a purely hypothetical example: suppose an undergraduate student began a relationship with a future Dean of the College of Medicine based on the student's subjective belief that the relationship could aid the student in a future bid for admission to the medical school. By a subjective test, the Dean would be an evaluative authority in the student's mind. Assume further than the Dean knows nothing of the student's relationship agenda.  As required by accreditation rules, the Dean in fact has zero authority over admissions, and likely would have no connection to an undergraduate's curriculum. Accordingly, by an objective test the Dean would not be considered an "Evaluative Authority." Yet - would ETSU want to be in a position of saying to the world that this relationship is acceptable because the Dean is not an evaluative authority over the student?

 

 



Commentor: Thomas Schacht
Submitted on: 1/20/2017
On behalf of: Individual Faculty

I am in favor of this policy and consider it clear and easy to understand.



Commentor: Evelyn Couch
Submitted on: 1/20/2017
On behalf of: Individual Staff

The policy, as written, is unclear. What constitutes a "potential conflict of interest?" As written, that  is undefined. I have a problem with the next statement "If an Evaluative Authority fails to report, then the university will investigate the relationship as if it is non-consensual and the university will take the appropriate disciplinary actions." What do you mean by non-consensual? I won't speculate but regardless, this is undefined. As written, this is a vague and troubling policy, and needs to be revisited in my opinion.

I am also in agreement withDr. Kinser, and the language of "probhibited" and the policy is problematic. Overall, this policy appears to be attempting to micromanage faculty relationships at a level a university should never even consider.



Commentor: Russell Brown
Submitted on: 1/20/2017
On behalf of: Individual Faculty

I am opposed to the language of "prohibited."  Romantic relationships among consenting adults cannot and should not be dictated in this way.  It is unreasonable and intrusive and cannot be policed effectively or fairly.  The most a university should be doing is strongly discouraging such relationships and, as they have in the proposed policy, place the larger responsibility on the party with greater institutional authority.  

Prohibiting is deeply problematic and encourages a kind of surveillance across the campus that we certainly do not need in these nationally turbulent times.  We have enough outside interference already with what gets to count as an intimate relationship and how acceptable it is.  This is a slippery slope if I ever saw one.

The language of prohibition must be resisted mightily.  It is dangerous and really is an oversimplification of a very complex matter.

It is clear the policy is meant to protect students, staff, and faculty from exploitation, harassment, or a potentially hostile learning or working environment by a current or former relational partner who has evaluative authority over them.  I agree that this is important. 

Yet there are problems related to timing, surveillance, ambiguity, and evaluative authority vulnerability that are not accounted for in the policy because the policy lacks nuance. 

Consider, for example:  an Associate Professor and a Full Professor in the same department become romantically involved before the Assoc Professor goes up for promotion.  Because the Full Professor is by definition on the promotion committee and would evaluate the Assoc Prof, this would be considered a ‘prohibited’ relationship.  Telling these mutually consenting adults that they are prohibited from sleeping together or marrying would be absurd.  It would be highly inappropriate and overreaching.  The policy suggests that when the time comes for the promotion review, the Full Prof could recuse her/himself from the review committee.  But how would this relationship be policed in the meantime?  Would it?  Aren’t promoted faculty often evaluating the activity of those with no or less promotion?  What is the point at which the “evaluative authority” is established and hence the point at which the relationship is surveilled?  What if the two faculty members in this case were simply very close friends, but some outside other determines that they are romantically involved and that the relationship is non-consensual, and then initiates “disciplinary actions”?  The policy states on line 11 that it is intended to “protect all parties involved from being in a vulnerable position.” What is the policy for protecting the faculty member in this situation?

Consider another view:  An intimate relationship seems to be building between someone and their “evaluative authority” and they agree to break it off and therefore have nothing to report.  But, as so very often happens among adult human beings, the intimacy pull is too strong between these two adults, despite their efforts and someone sees them kiss while off campus.  Now the evaluative authority will be investigated for nonconsensual intimate engagement?  And wouldn’t that then lead to charges of sexual harassment or assault?  Does the policy, in fact, “protect all parties involved from being in a vulnerable position”?

Consider too that identifying when a “relationship” begins is quite complicated. Identifying when it becomes “romantic” is more so, even for the parties involved (hence the often-invoked query, “So…are we dating or what?”  These matters often result in the two parties having not named their currently ambiguous relationship.  Are outside others more credible in their assessments or guesses about who is “romantically involved” at a given moment than the employee and the evaluative authority are?

Consider a situation in which someone is in a long-established relationship with a fellow ETSU employee. The former has an opportunity to take on an administrative role and increase her/his salary and status.  But the unit over which this person would have “evaluative authority” includes her/his relational partner.  And there is no way to move the relational partner to another unit because her/his work is specialized.  Does the potential administrative opportunity get denied?  Does this well-established couple then have to choose between a salary bump for one and the resignation of the other?

Consider a situation in which a top job candidate is offered a position with “evaluative authority” and they negotiate a position for their partner.  The department conducting the search does in fact have a position that the partner could fill.  Does the department have to give up the opportunity to hire their top candidate?

This issue is much, much trickier than the policy as currently written is allowing for, and the language of “prohibition” needs to be revised and the policy needs to be nuanced.



Commentor: Amber Kinser
Submitted on: 1/19/2017
On behalf of: Individual Faculty

The policy itself is unclear. I suggest the following changes (I have underlined my additions and included my comments in brackets).

The university prohibits a relationship between an Evaluative Authority and any other individual over whom he or she has a form of authority. Such a relationship implies a conflict of interest. Any consensual relationship that constitutes a potential conflict of interest must be reported to the Evaluative Authority’s supervisor by the Evaluative Authority [what about the individual who happens to be under the authority of the Evaluative Authority? Could he or she report it?]. The conflict of interest must be resolved [who has to resolve it?]. If an Evaluative Authority fails to report the conflict of interest, then the university will investigate the relationship as if it were non-consensual and the university will take the appropriate disciplinary actions against the Evaluative Authority.



Commentor: Ana Grinberg
Submitted on: 1/19/2017
On behalf of: Individual Faculty

I think this draft is not ready for adoption and has the potential to create huge problems. Reasons are set forth below.

[1] Re: definition of "evaluative authority": [a] it would help if the concept of "conflict of interest" was referenced in the definition of evaluative authority. This would make clear the nature of the potential problem. [b] I don't think authority over non-university employment should count unless some other university authority is also involved. For example, if a faculty member employs someone in an outside business, but has no university-connected authority over that person, then I think a relationship is outside the scope of the university's legitimate interest; [c] The list of potentially conflicting roles should include "admissions," whether at ETSU or some other institution; [d] As written, the proposed definition of "evaluative authority" would include any student who has the ability to evaluate faculty (e.g. SAI's). Accordingly, unless the policy is to be applied asymmetrically, both parties in any prohibited student-faculty relationship would be equally guilty of violating the policy. I don't believe this is the intended spirit of the policy. The policies of other institutions emphasize the concept of unequal power to place responsibility solely on faculty. I think ETSU's policy would be clearer and stronger if this issue were clarified. If ETSU's policy is intended to acknowledge the perils of unequal power, then I think it should plainly say so.

[2] As written, the policity "prohibits a relationship between an Evaluative Authority and another individual." This language is troubling in its vagueness and lack of specificity. Taken literally, "another individual" applies to anyone on the planet.  At a minimum, I think the wording of the proposed policy should require that "another individual" have a recognized connection to the university. Although one might argue that this is implicit, I think it is unwise to have a policy that leaves such matters to the imaginative inferences of the reader. In my opinion, the policy should specify that the "other individual" to whom it applies must have a nexus to the university and that the relevant Evaluative Authority against which a conflict will be judged should relate to university activities. 

[3] In relation to the issue of "connection to the university," I cannot determine from the policy whether or how it applies to volunteers. The university's position has been that the Faculty Handbook does not apply to volunteers. To the extent that volunteers provide student evaluations or letters of recommendation they may qualify as "evaluative" authorities. If our operating principle is that the Faculty Handbook does not apply to volunteers, then on what basis could the university act if, say, a volunteer faculty preceptor in a community clinic had a covered relationship with a student? For anyone who thinks this is an unlikely issue, I would invite historical reflection on the circumstances that led to changing the name of ETSU's medical school. 

[4] Although the title of the policy refers to "romantic or sexual relationship" the policy itself fails to define "relationship." To avoid problems down the road due to potential for perceived discrepancy between the title of the policy and its content, I would suggest that the content of the policy specify the type of relationship that is prohibited. For example, if a faculty member hires a student to babysit, mow a lawn, or work in a private business, and has no other connection to the student, is that employment relationship covered by the policy (with or without an additional romantic or sexual component)?

[5] The policy requires that any Evaluative Authority report "any relationship that constitutes a potential conflict of interest" and that "the conflict of interest must be resolved." However, no procedures or criteria are specified for reporting or for determining when a conflict is "resolved." Must a report be in writing? Must a report be acknowledged by the person to whom it was made? What information must be included in a report (for example, must the names of all parties be disclosed, must the precise nature of a potential conflict be set forth)? Who is responsible for identifying potential conflicts following a report? What happens if a report identifies some but not all potential conflicts? What does it mean for a conflict to be "resolved"? Must a conflict be completely eliminated, or it is sufficient for the conflict to be managed? Who decides whether a conflict is "resolved". what criteria are applied, and are determinations subject to any form of appeal? What if a report is made and there is no response from the supervisor? Is there a time-frame within which a decision-maker must respond to a report of potential conflict of interest? Between the time of report and the time of supervisory response, is there a default presumption as to whether the reported relationship is acceptable or unacceptable?

[6] If an Evaluative Authority fails to report, "then the university will investigate the relationship as if is it non-consensual." What exactly does this mean? Is this a statement about university jurisdiction (i.e. treating the situation as if a sexual harassment claim had been made, triggering the existing policy for investigation of such matters) or is it a statement about a factual presumption that the university will make (i.e. presuming that the relationship is non-consensual)? If this refers to a factual presumption, is it a rebuttable presumption? For example, if an investigation occurs and both parties affirm that the relationship is consensual, is that the end of the matter? under some circumstances, an investigation limited to whether the relationship is consensual would be silly (for example, if the parties are married). Limiting the focus of investigation to a question of whether the relationship is consensual misses the point. A non-consensual sexual relationship is a crime -- the focus of this policy is not on determining whether rape has occurred (that is a law enforcement matter) but rather on whether a relationship constitutes a conflict of interest.

 



Commentor: Thomas Schacht
Submitted on: 1/19/2017
On behalf of: Individual Faculty

Thank you for encouraging people to avoid doing something that could lead to a lot of trouble or suffering for them and others.  Two thoughts:

  1. The first sentence in the policy says, "The university prohibits a relationship between an Evaluative Authority and another individual – this is a conflict of interest."  Do you mean a consensual romantic relationship?
  2. The second sentence makes me wonder if perhaps you mean something broader: "Any relationship that constitutes a potential conflict of interest must be reported to the Evaluative Authority’s supervisor by the Evaluative Authority."

Is this really a conflict of interest policy?



Commentor: William Kirkwood
Submitted on: 1/19/2017
On behalf of: Individual Staff

It is kind of funny that the policy per se only references "a relationship" and not a "consensual relationship," since the whole point of the policy is to address romantic and intimate relationships.  As it stands, the policy per se specifies that any relationship between an evaluative authority and another individual is a conflict of interest; which of course makes no sense.

In general, the whole first sentence under "Policy" needs to be re-written to say something like:  "The university prohibits a consensual relationship between and Evaluative Authority and the affected evaluated individual."



Commentor: Wallace Dixon
Submitted on: 1/19/2017
On behalf of: Individual Administrator

Please provide further guidance on how exactly to achieve resolution of an issue, perhaps by giving examples.  Also, please indicate a contact person or office who can help find resolutions and/or advice.  Regarding "appropriate disciplinary action", what exactly would that be and who would determine the level of appropriateness?

One more observation:  when using the reference "the University", meaning a specific university such as East Tennessee State University, the word "university" should be capitalized.  If you are referring to any university, then it would not be capitalized.  Ex:  the policy of the University will follow that of other TBR universities.



Commentor: Loretta Thomason
Submitted on: 1/19/2017
On behalf of: Individual Staff

I think the policy should include the word "consenual" before the word relationship. There are many other kinds of relationships that take in the workplace or educational environment.



Commentor: Emily Lemieux
Submitted on: 1/19/2017
On behalf of: Individual Staff

Thanks for the opportunity to provide feedback.

If the evaluative authority fails to report the relationship, it should absolutely be investigated and concluded as appropriate; however, I don't think failure to report should necessitate the relationship be investigated as "non-consensual."  This implies/confers a whole range of complicated issues that may not apply.



Commentor: Jon See
Submitted on: 1/19/2017
On behalf of: Individual Staff

I believe that this clearly defines the relationship, states ETSU policy and the appropriate action path for involved parties and ETSU supervisory personnel. 

Would be useful for clarification



Commentor: Susan Creek
Submitted on: 1/19/2017
On behalf of: Individual Staff

I think this is an important step for the university to take, as I've heard of a few inappropriate faculty/staff and student relationships, where the students in question felt 'trapped' with regard to how to handle problem issues that arose, for fear of retribution in terms of grades, letters of recommendation, reputation within the department/office and/or amongst peers, etc. I think it might be appropriate to include phrasing that indicates an end to the prohibition, when Evaluative Authority is no longer possible (e.g., the student graduates with no intention of entering a graduate program within the Evaluative Authority's department/college).



Commentor: Christopher Dula
Submitted on: 1/19/2017
On behalf of: Individual Faculty