5.48 Appropriate Faculty/Staff/Student Relationships

(adopted 6-8-2020)

East Central College prohibits romantic relationships between any two individuals when one individual has supervisory or evaluative authority over the other individual, or where there is inherently unequal power between the individuals.

Procedures (adopted 6-8-2020)

5.48.1     Definitions

Romantic Relationship – Any amorous relationship, including, but not limited to, any sexual or dating relationship or any other close, personal relationship that could adversely affect an employee’s impartiality.

5.48.2     Procedures

  1. In order to prevent a conflict of interest, favoritism and/or the perception of a conflict of interest or favoritism, the College prohibits romantic relationships between any two individuals when one individual has supervisory or evaluative authority over the other individual. This includes, but is not limited to, romantic relationships between any employee and any student, or between a supervisor and a directly supervised employee.
  2. Such relationships are prohibited even where the relationship is understood as consensual by both parties involved. Consent may be difficult to assess in a context where a power differential exists between the individuals involved in the relationship (e.g. faculty/student, supervisor/employee).
  3. Individuals involved in a romantic relationship prohibited by subpart (a) of this policy have the duty to immediately disclose the relationship to Human Resources (for relationships involving two employees) or to the employee’s administrator (for relationships involving a student and faculty member or a student and staff member).
  4. Individuals must remove themselves from all decisions or actions that may influence the evaluation, career, or status of the other individual with whom they have or have had a romantic relationship. Such decisions include, but are not limited to, employment evaluation, hiring, termination, promotion, salary, discipline, grading, advising, tutoring, recommending, and/or counseling.
  5. In the best interest of the institution, the College will take immediate steps to eliminate any supervisory or evaluative role between the individuals involved in a romantic relationship. This may be accomplished by reassigning an employee, by reassigning supervisory/evaluative duties to another employee, and/or by making alternative arrangements for the grading, evaluating, or advising of a student.
  6. Written permission for exceptions to this policy may be granted by the President in limited circumstances, including, but not limited to, students in selected programs.

5.48.3     Consequences

Employees who violate this Policy will be disciplined, up to and including employment termination according to Policy 5.2 Employee Conduct and Discipline.