In the past two years, particularly in the recent era of #MeToo, a number of peer universities have re-evaluated policies related to consensual relationships between faculty and students, faculty and staff, teachers and students, teachers and staff, and junior faculty and senior faculty. Whereas prior policies have tended towards allowing exceptions for consensual relationships except in situations of direct supervision, more recent policies are significantly more restrictive. For example, the University of Michigan is developing revised policies overseeing faculty-student relationships based on a recent report by a working group of faculty with ex officio administration representatives. The new policies will ban faculty amorous relationships with undergraduate students, graduate students and post-doctoral students where there is any chance that the faculty has or will have supervisory influence. For graduate students, that would include faculty and students in the same program or department. Other universities, such as Harvard and MIT, generalize beyond faculty to people with unequal direct authority (e.g. graduate students over undergraduates,
The current IU policy, as laid out in Code of Academic Ethics, considers sexual relationships to be in violation if either of the following two
- Relationships in the Instructional Context. A faculty member shall not have an amorous or sexual relationship, consensual or otherwise, with a student who is enrolled in a course being taught by the faculty member or whose performance is being supervised or evaluated by the faculty member.
- Relationships outside the Instructional Context. A faculty member should be careful to distance himself or herself from any decisions that may reward or penalize a student with whom he or she has or has had an amorous or sexual relationship, even outside the instructional context, especially when the faculty member and student are in the same academic unit or in units that are allied academically.
The task force will examine the new University of Michigan report, and other academic reports or policies that are relevant, and make a recommendation to the UFC Executive Committee addressing whether IU should update and change the current policy on consensual relationships no later than May 1, 2019.
The task force will be comprised of one representative from each of the following: IU Bloomington, IUPUI, the IU regional campuses, the Medical School, and the Graduate Faculty Council. Appointees should have experience and/or expertise on committees related to student affairs, faculty affairs