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  Cornell University

The University Faculty

Office of the Dean

Consensual Relationships Policy Committee

The Committee has produced two consensual relationships policies: CRP-A and CRP-B. They are identical except in one respect. CRP-A prohibits sexual and romantic relationships between faculty and graduate/professional students if both are affiliated with the same graduate field or degree program. CRP-B allows for  such relationships provided there is disclosure and an appropriate recusal plan. Post a comment on this alternative or anything else.

For the busy reader:

One-page synopsis of everything.

15-Minute Slide Presentation

“Rationales FAQ” that explains the choices made by the Committee.

“Situations  FAQ” that covers what the proposed policies  “say” about various situations.

Printable pdfs of  CRP-A and  CRP-B for easy sharing.

The Faculty Senate will vote on these alternatives  April 25 using this ballot.  The Assemblies have been asked to do the same before April 27. The Committee’s Final Report to the President will take these votes into consideration and will be online May 1.

Background, Prior Committee Work,  Community Input

The Consensual Relationships Policy Committee has these members, this charge, and this outreach timeline. We post informal agendas and minutes for all our meetings .

The current policy has been a topic of concern at Cornell  for the last two years. There is a history of failed and proposed legislation during this period. We offer this background material and these links to existing policies at over 50 peer institutions.

The Committee started its work by formulating  a set of ten “Q-questions” that are assembled in the table below. Clicking on a question takes you to a web page where you can    anonymously post your “answer”. Talking points are used to focus the dialog.

Q1 Why is it important to have an effective consensual relationships policy?
Q2 What defines risky behavior and the “radius” of authority?
Q3 What needs to be said about power differentials?
Q4 How should a consensual relationships policy relate to a harassment policy?
Q5 What needs to be said about pre-existing relationships?
Q6 What about faculty-undergraduate relationships?
Q7 What about student-student relationships where one has authority over the other?
Q8 What would make a disclosure mechanism effective?
Q9 What  is required for effective enforcement and adjudication?
Q10 Are there effective strategies for managing conflict of interest?

In March we produced a  public rough draft  of a proposed policy. It was presented in the Faculty Senate (slides) and all the other Assemblies. The community was able to post comments on each of the draft’s  six sections:

1. Reasons for the Policy
2. Terminology and Scope
3. Rights and Restrictions
4. Disclosure
5. Getting Help
6. Enforcement Procedures




Last Updated: April 19, 2018 at 6:17 pm