DRAFT 1 1 / 08 /0 0
The integrity of the University’s educational mission is promoted by professionalism that derives from mutual trust and respect in faculty-student relationships. Similarly, the University is committed to the principle of protecting the integrity and objectivity of its staff members in the performance of their University duties. It is therefore fundamental to the University’s overall mission that the professional responsibilities of its faculty and staff be carried out in an atmosphere that is free of conflicts of interest that compromise these principles. [For further information about conflicts of interest, please refer to the Conflict of Interest policy in the Operations Manual at II.18 and the Conflict of Interest in Employment policy in the Operations Manual at III.8.]
and/or sexual relationships where one member of the University community has
supervisory or other evaluative responsibility for the other create conflicts
of interest and perceptions of undue advantage
because of the inherent power
imbalance between the two parties.
There are special risks in any sexual or
romantic relationship between individuals in inherently unequal positions
(such as teacher and student, supervisor and employee). Such relationships may undermine the real or
perceived integrity of the supervision and evaluation provided, and the trust
inherent particularly in the student-faculty relationship. They may, moreover, be less consensual than
the individual whose position confers power believes. The relationship is likely to be perceived in
different ways by each of the parties to it, especially in retrospect.
Moreover, such relationships may harm or injure others in the academic or work environment. Relationships in which one party is in a position to review the work or influence the career of the other may provide grounds for complaint when that relationship gives, or creates the appearance of, undue access or advantage to the person involved in the relationship, or when it restricts opportunities or creates a hostile environment for others.
relationships also have the potential for other adverse consequences, including
the filing of charges of sexual harassment and/or retaliation under the
University’s Policy on Sexual Harassment if, for example, one party to the
relationship wishes to terminate the relationship to the other party’s
objection. In those circumstances when
sexual harassment is alleged as the result of a romantic and/or sexual relationship,
the existence of the relationship is not a per se violation of the Policy on
. However, the apparent
consensual nature of the relationship is inherently suspect due to the
fundamental asymmetry of power in the relationship and it thus may be difficult
to establish consent as a defense to such a charge. Even when both parties
consented at the outset to a romantic involvement, this past consent does not
remove grounds for or preclude a charge or subsequent finding of sexual
harassment based upon subsequent unwelcome conduct. ,
policy applies to consensual romantic and/or sexual relationships between
individuals of the same sex or of the opposite sex.
II. PROHIBITED RELATIONSHIPS
For the foregoing reasons, all romantic and/or sexual relationships between faculty and students in the instructional context are prohibited at the University of Iowa.
No faculty member shall have a romantic and/or sexual relationship, consensual or otherwise, with a student who is enrolled in a course being taught by the faculty member or whose academic work is being supervised, directly or indirectly, by the faculty member.
For definitions of “faculty” and “instructional context,” please refer
III. DISCOURAGED RELATIONSHIPS REQUIRING DISCLOSURE AND MANAGEMENT
In light of the potential for apparent and actual
conflicts of interest, the following relationships are strongly discouraged at the University of Iowa;
they are required to be disclosed and managed as indicated below:
a. Between faculty and students:
Outside of the instructional context, a faculty member who engages in a romantic or sexual relationship with a student must promptly disclose the existence of the relationship to his or her immediate supervisor if there exists a reasonable possibility that a conflict of interest may arise. When a conflict of interest exists or is likely to arise, such relationships appear to others to be exploitative of or create apparent advantage for the student, and may later develop into conflicts of interest prohibited by §II above in situations that cannot be anticipated fully.
A potential conflict of interest exists when the student is a graduate student in the same department or academic program as the faculty member, or is an undergraduate student and is majoring or minoring in the same department as the faculty member. A conflict of interest also may arise if the student is studying in a department separate from the faculty member. When a potential conflict of interest exists or is reasonably likely to arise, the faculty member must promptly disclose the relationship to his or her supervisor.
Once the relationship is disclosed, the immediate supervisor will evaluate the situation to determine whether an actual conflict of interest exists or is likely to arise and will develop a management plan to address the potential conflict of interest. The faculty member has the professional and ethical responsibility to remove himself or herself from any decisions that may reward or penalize the student involved and otherwise adhere to the management plan.
b. Between staff members and students:
Romantic and/or sexual
relationships between staff members and students employed under their
supervision are governed by the University of Iowa Policy on Conflict of
Interest in Employment (University Operations Manual III.8
) . (R elationships
between faculty and staff members where one faculty or staff member supervises
the other are also governed by that policy .)
It may sometimes be difficult to distinguish whether
the staff-student relationship exists in an employment or in an instructional
context. Where such an ambiguity exists,
the context will be assumed to be instructional and the relationship subject to
the prohibition set forth in §II above.
IV. EXAMPLES OF PROHIBITED AND DISCOURAGED RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN
FACULTY AND STUDENTS
1) Student B is in a class taught by Professor A. The Consensual Relationships Policy prohibits a romantic or sexual relationship between these two parties in the instructional context. When the class has concluded and Professor A has submitted the final grades, this policy may continue to prohibit Professor A from engaging in a romantic or sexual relationship with Student B, or may discourage such a relationship, depending upon the academic affiliation of Student B and the likelihood that a conflict of interest may arise.
2) Professor A and Student B, a
graduate student in Professor A’s department, are involved in a romantic
relationship. This policy prohibits
Professor A from teaching and supervising Student B, and mandates disclosure
and management of
3) The partner of Professor A enrolls in an academic program at the University offered by the same college in which Professor A’s department is located. If the partner enrolls in the same academic program or department as Professor A, this policy requires Professor A to disclose the relationship and that any potential conflict of interest be managed to ensure that Professor A does not teach or supervise the partner, or involve himself or herself in any decision that may reward or penalize the partner. If the partner’s academic program operates independently of Professor A’s department, Professor A would not be required to disclose the relationship unless the potential for a conflict of interest might arise.
4) Graduate Student C and Graduate Student D are married and enrolled in the same academic program. This policy prohibits D from enrolling in a class taught by C (as instructor, teaching assistant, or grader) and vice-versa. If C (or D) were to complete his or her graduate program and acquire the status of faculty member (such as adjunct professor, visiting professor, or assistant professor) in the same department, this policy would apply as in Example 2. C would be required to disclose the relationship to the DEO and remove himself or herself from any decisions that may reward or penalize Graduate Student D.
For the purposes of this policy, the terms set forth below are defined as follows:
a. Faculty or faculty member means all those who teach at the University, and includes graduate students with teaching responsibilities and other instructional personnel. This term also includes faculty, staff members, and graduate assistants whose duties include supervision or evaluation of a student’s academic work.
b. Instructional or instructional context means a context that involves academic instruction or evaluation or supervision, direct or indirect, of a student’s academic work. These terms also include employment situations where the primary motivation for participation by the employee is instructional. Such situations include, but are not limited to, the employment of medical residents, teaching assistants, and student research assistants.
1. Who may
A complaint alleging a
violation of this Policy may be
filed by any
person. “Any person” includes, but is
not limited to, any third party who believes that a conflict exists or that he
or she may be or may have been disadvantaged by virtue of the existence of a
romantic and/or sexual relationship prohibited by this Policy. The process may also be initiated by the
Office of the Provost of the University (for relationships involving faculty),
by the Office of the Vice President for Finance and University Services (for
relationships involving staff), or by the Office of Affirmative Action, or by
the designee of any of those offices.
Consensual relationships that are terminated by one party to the
objection of the other party may also lead to separate claims of sexual harassment
which may be filed pursuant to
the procedures outlined in the Policy on Sexual Harassment.
Complaints alleging a
violation of this Policy are to be
filed with and
investigated by the Office of Affirmative Action consistent with the
requirements and provisions for complaints filed
pursuant to the University of Iowa Policy on Sexual Harassment (University
Operations Manual II.4) and the procedures applicable to complaints filed under
that Policy (University Operations Manual II.5).
3. Process for
The Office of Affirmative Action will investigate the complaint, giving both the complainant and respondent an opportunity to be heard, and make a finding as to whether there is a reasonable basis to believe there has been a violation of this Policy.
In those cases where the
is a faculty member, the Office of
the Provost will review the finding of the Office of Affirmative Action and
will determine whether formal disciplinary action will be pursued.
In those cases where the
is a staff member whose duties include supervision or evaluation of a student’s
academic work, the decision to pursue formal disciplinary action, as well as the decision regarding the formal disciplinary action to be pursued, will be made by
the Provost in consultation with the vice president responsible for the unit
employing the charged staff member.
4. Applicable procedures
ny Except as specifically modified by other provisions
of this Policy,a appeal of disciplinary
actions resulting from violations of this Policy by:
faculty appointments will be governed by the Faculty Dispute Procedures
(University Operations Manual III.29) and the portion of the Procedures dealing
with faculty ethics (University Operations Manual III.15).
Professional and Scientific
staff members will be governed by the Policy Establishing Grievance Procedures
for Professional and Scientific Personnel (University Operations Manual
Graduate assistants will be governed by the Graduate Assistant
Dismissal Procedure (University Operations Manual III.12.4).
Staff under union
contract will be governed by the relevant contract.
1 1 - 08 -0 0