The new policy, which applies to Harvard College and its graduate school but not its law or medical schools, bans sexual relationships between faculty and undergraduate students in an effort to define appropriate behavior more clearly and adhere to the requirements of Title IX, a federal education law that bars discrimination on the basis of gender.
The previous policy discussed “unequal status relationships,” discouraging professors from having relationships with students who were enrolled in their classes.
Other universities already have similar bans in place.
The University of Connecticut, by a unanimous vote of the school's board of trustees last week, has decided that from now on sexual interactions between students and professors are prohibited. The UConn students aren’t in session to comment but, given that the prohibition comes after the revelation that a longtime music professor at the university was in the habit of “visiting freshmen dorms [and] providing drugs to students” it’s probably safe to say that no one is sincerely opposed to a policy adjustment—on campus or off.
This could apply to entire departments or schools within the university.
The University Senate, which represents faculty, approved the revision 76-11 with four abstaining.
But, if you play your cards right during the semester, you can get your professor interested, learn a little more about him or her, and start a relationship with an educated professional.
Harvard University said on Thursday that it was changing the sexual and gender-based harassment policy for its Faculty of Arts and Sciences to prohibit faculty and undergraduate students from engaging in romantic relationships of any kind (PDF).
Arizona State University faculty voted Monday to toughen a policy on dating between faculty and students. In many cases, colleges prohibit relationships only in instances where the professor has “direct, supervisory authority” over the student. The previous policy at Connecticut was to "strongly discourage" any relationship in which there was some sort of "power imbalance between the parties." In fact, the vast majority of American colleges have no specific prohibition against relationships or sexual interactions between professors and their pupils, though many have suggested that they may not be such a good idea.The revision now goes to ASU's legal counsel for review and then to ASU's administration for approval.ASU's faculty senate last fall rejected a proposal that would have banned romantic relationships between faculty and all students, unless the faculty member received an exception from the provost. They also questioned what impact reporting a relationship with a student to the provost would have on an individual's career, such as efforts to get tenure.