4-7: Faculty-Student Relationships

Policy Overview

The integrity of the faculty-student relationship is vital to the mission of the College. Faculty should make every effort to encourage learning and foster academic growth. Faculty should demonstrate respect for students and use their best efforts to promote the highest standards of academic conduct. Faculty Members may not supervise, evaluate orteach a student with whom the Faculty Member has a consensual relationship, or who is a near relative of the Faculty Member.

Scope and Applicability

This policy applies to all Faculty Members and students. Definitions“Consensual Relationship” means, for the purpose of this Policy, any dating, romantic or sexual relationship. “Evaluating” means, for the purpose of this Policy, any situation in which the Faculty Member sits in judgment of the student, for example, on a committee determining an award, scholarship, program admission, eligibility for financial aid, disciplinary action of any kind, etc. “Faculty Member” means, for the purpose of this Policy, all people who teach at the College, including all Faculty Members and instructors. “Near Relative” shall have the definition provided in Policy 4-6,

Policy Statement

The unequal power inherent in the faculty-student relationship heightens the vulnerability of the student and increases the potential for coercion or other forms of inappropriate conduct. The faculty-student relationship often goes beyond educator and evaluator and may include a role as mentor and trusted adviser or counselor. While these interactions are valuable, they also increase the need to ensure the integrity of the relationship is respected.

Personal Relationships

A Faculty Member is prohibited from teaching, evaluating, or supervising a student with whom the Faculty Member has a consensual relationship or who is a near relative of the Faculty Member. A Faculty Member is prohibited from having a consensual relationship with any student who is a minor under the age of 18. A Faculty Member is obligated to report to his or her supervisor that a student, with whom the Faculty Member has a consensual relationship or is a near relative of the Faculty Member, intends to enroll in the Faculty Member’s class. The President may grant an exception to the prohibition on such enrollment to allow a student to enroll in the class of a Faculty Member with whom the student has a consensual relationship or is a near relative of the Faculty Member if there is a compelling academic interest involved, such as the class is required to complete a course of study, and if it is possible for another Faculty Member to grade and evaluate the students’ work in that class. In such a case, the Faculty Member will be responsible for explaining the nature of the situation and the reason requiring an exception to this policy. Criteria for grading and measures to address any other potential conflicts of interest will be discussed with the student, the Faculty Member, and the Faculty Member responsible for grading the student’s work, and finally determined by the Faculty Member’s supervisor. A Department Chair may grant anexception to this policy to allow a student to enroll in the class of a Faculty Member with whom the student has a consensual relationship or is a near relative of the student if the class is a non-credit course or is being audited and the Faculty Member will not perform any formal evaluation of the student’s work.

Corrective Action and Disciplinary Action

A Faculty Member who violates this policy may be subject to Corrective Action or Disciplinary Action up to, and including, termination of employment as set out in Policy 4-44, Employment of Faculty Policy. The discipline imposed will depend on the severity of the violation and the circumstances of the situation.

KS/RSK

Approved by the SFCC Governing Board:5/22/08