Policy on Consensual Romantic or Sexual Relationships between Faculty and Students | Physics Faculty Handbook | Kent State University

Policy on Consensual Romantic or Sexual Relationships between Faculty and Students

Terminology

For the purposes of this policy, the term “faculty member,” refers to all those who teach and/or do research at the University including (but not limited to) Faculty, NTT Faculty, part-time faculty, adjunct faculty, research associates, and teaching assistants.

The term “student” refers to a person enrolled at Kent State University in any capacity.

Policy:

The Department’s educational mission is promoted by professionalism in faculty/student relationships, and professionalism is fostered by an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect. Actions of faculty members and students that harm this atmosphere—which occurs when those in positions of authority abuse or appear to abuse their authority—undermine professionalism and hinder fulfillment of the Department’s mission.

Therefore:

The Department believes that romantic and/or sexual relationships between students and faculty members are unadvisable and should be avoided. Nonetheless such relationships between a student and a faculty member are not prohibited, but the following policies shall apply:

Romantic and/or sexual relationships, and the pursuit thereof, between faculty members and students are prohibited whenever the faculty member has direct professional responsibility for or authority over the student.  Positions of professional responsibility or authority include, but are not limited to: course instructor; academic, thesis or dissertation advisor; individual investigation supervisor; examining committee member.

Relationships of this nature must be disclosed, in writing, to the Department Chairperson at the earliest possible opportunity.

The Department Chairperson, in consultation with the FAC, shall determine which professional responsibilities are prohibited when a romantic and/or sexual relationship exists between a faculty member and a student.