University Policies

Approval Date: April 27, 2015
Approved By: President

Consensual Amorous Relationships Policy

Policy Statement

The University’s commitment to higher values in higher education is reinforced by the expectation that faculty and staff adhere to the highest level of professionalism and excellence. The interaction between members of the campus community must be conducted with integrity. Toward that end, consensual amorous relationships between members of the campus community are strongly discouraged when a definite power differential exists.

Should such a relationship arise, the individual with power should be aware that in the event of a complaint, severe sanctions, up to and including termination, could result. Please note that a sexual relationship that does not constitute sexual harassment may nonetheless constitute a breach of professional obligation. If a conflict of interest is identified, at a minimum, arrangements must be made with appropriate supervisory personnel for objective decision-making with regard to the student, employee, or candidate.


This policy applies to faculty, staff, graduate and teaching assistants, and students.

    1. Consensual Amorous Relationship - A mutually agreed upon romantic, sexual, or dating relationship. This definition does not include married or civil union relationships.
    2. Conflict of Interest - When objective decision making has the reasonable potential to be compromised in connection with consensual romantic and/or sexual relationships between employees and students or candidates.
    3. Power Differential - Established when one party to the relationship has direct evaluative or supervisory authority over the other person. This includes, but is not limited to, employment and academic evaluations, grading, and having any degree of influence as to the determination of the other individual’s academic or employment performance, progress, or potential.
    4. Breach of Professional Obligation - A breach of professional obligation exists when one party to the relationship uses illegitimate criteria to make a decision that affects the evaluation, employment conditions, instruction, and/or academic status of the other party.

Violations of this policy should be reported to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access. An investigative finding of a violation may result in discipline or sanctioning in accordance with the relevant collective bargaining agreements or University policies. Complaints alleging a breach of professional obligation outside the purview of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access will be referred to the appropriate office.