Movies about professors dating students
Taylor said the existing policy has “so many hoops and steps and hoops and steps” that “it would be the best thing to say this is not an appropriate thing for faculty members to be engaged” in.
It also would underscore that “we as faculty have this incredibly privileged role in trying to seek truth and new knowledge and invite students along in doing that as well,” he told the council at its most recent meeting.
A revision of harassment policies, however, involves “the totality of Duke” including its health system and involves “the university as an employer going first,” Taylor said.
Appendix Z, the dating policy, now says faculty and students shouldn’t have a consensual relationship when the student is under the faculty member’s authority.
UNC-CH bars employees, professors and teaching assistants included, from evaluating or supervising anyone they’re related to or having an “amorous relationship” with.
It also bars employees from have sex with any student who’s younger than 18.
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The simplest of all possible changes would thus bar graduate teaching assistants from dating undergraduates, just as it would bar professors from dating them.
But now “there is no policy about undergrads dating grad students,” and “that is not something we would be interested in changing,” Taylor said, noting that the only existing prohibition covers relationships between a teaching assistant and someone they have authority over, as in a class section.
The committee is focused on the university’s tenure-track and non-tenure track professors, he added.
In theory, relationships can bleed over into the classroom if a dean gives permission.
But it warns both students and faculty that a relationship can be career-altering, that a blooming relationship can force changes in class enrollments and that deans hold the ultimate power to “terminate the situation of authority.” The Duke policy is more complex than its counterparts at UNC-Chapel Hill and N. State University, which track with UNC system policy.
Behind-the-scenes work on that is underway, and is on a track separate from the issue of the dating-students policy, Taylor said.