President’s Statement on Certain Personal Relations and Professional Conduct
The basic function of a University is the discovery and transmission of knowledge – activities which are founded upon the free and open exchange of ideas. In order for this to happen, members of the campus community -faculty, students, and staff – need to be guided by a strong commitment to principles of mutual respect, trust and professional codes of conduct.
Of particular concern are the sexual relationships between persons of unequal power: for example, a faculty member with a student, or an administrative supervisor with his or her employee. Such relationships are generally considered unwise because they present serious ethical concerns. Many professional codes of conduct actually prohibit sexual relationships that occur within the context of one’s profession.
Accordingly, faculty, students, and staff are warned about the possible costs of even an apparently consenting relationship. There is doubt that any such relationship can truly be called “consenting” unless the participants have equal power within the workplace or the classroom. Further charges can always be levied of conflict of interest or favoritism.
All members of the University community are urged to give very serious attention to this matter.