(All-University Policy)

An amorous or sexual relationship between a student and a faculty member, a graduate teaching assistant or another University employee who has educational responsibility for that student may impair or undermine the ongoing trust needed for effective teaching, learning and professional development. Because of the faculty member, graduate assistant or other employee’s authority or power over the student, inherently conflicting interests and perceptions of unfair advantage arise when a faculty member, graduate teaching assistant or other employee assumes or maintains educational responsibility for a student with whom the faculty member, graduate teaching assistant or other employee has engaged in amorous or sexual relations.

It is, therefore, the policy of Michigan State University that each faculty member, graduate teaching assistant and other University employee who has educational responsibilities for students shall not assume or maintain educational responsibility for a student with whom the faculty member, graduate teaching assistant or other employee has engaged in amorous or sexual relations, even if such relations were consensual. Whether such amorous or sexual relationships predate the assumption of educational responsibility for the student, or arise out of the educational relationship, the faculty member, graduate teaching assistant or other employee shall immediately disclose the amorous or sexual relationship to the relevant unit administrator, who shall promptly arrange other oversight for the student.

In unusual circumstances, the achievement of the affected student’s academic requirements may necessitate continued oversight of the affected student by the faculty member, graduate teaching assistant or other University employee who has engaged in amorous or sexual relations with that student. In such circumstances the unit administrator shall, therefore, have authority, after consulting the affected student, to permit the continued oversight of the affected student by the faculty member, graduate teaching assistant or other University employee, provided that the faculty member, graduate teaching assistant or other University employee shall not grade or otherwise evaluate, or participate in the grading or other evaluation of, the work of the affected student, and that the alternative arrangements for grading or evaluating the affected student’s work treat the student comparably to other students.

  • Academic Council
  • April 23, 1996
  • Board of Trustees

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¹ The Board of Trustees approved this policy statement on November 8, 1996. The Board of Trustees adopted a subsequent motion which emphasized the view of the Board that consensual amorous or sexual relations between faculty and students are discouraged.

² Other relevant policies include “Supervision of Academic Work by Relatives” and “Conflict of Interest in Employment”.