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  Cornell University

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Office of the Dean

The University of Rochester Case


400 Professors Boycott UofR Urging Students not to Attend  (Washington Post, November 2017)

A Blacklisting Response by the Brain and Cognitive Science Community  (Inside Higher Education, November, 2017)

The UoR Harassment Case is Complicated and That’s the Point  (Wired, September, 2017)

UofR Professor Accused of 14 Counts of Sexual Harassment  (USA Today, September,2017)

Scientists Sexual Harassment Case Sparks Protests at UoR  (Nature, September 2017)


The UoR Policy

From page 11 of  the UoR Faculty Handbook

For the purposes of this policy, intimate relationships include sexual, romantic, or close family relationships.  Where a power difference exists, such as between a faculty member and a student, intimate relationships have the potential to expose both parties to conflict of interest, and can have adverse effects on the climate of a department or program.

Faculty members shall not accept academic authority over any student or postdoc with whom they currently share an intimate personal relationship, or with whom they have shared such a relationship in the past. Some examples of exercising academic authority include teaching, mentoring, supervising, making professional recommendations, and taking actions to affect grades, grants, honors, and admission to academic programs. Questions regarding what constitutes academic authority, as well as other aspects of this policy, should be directed to the University Intercessor.

Faculty members shall not enter into romantic or sexual relationships with undergraduate students of the University, nor shall they enter into such relationships with any members of the University community (including all students and postdocs and prospective students and postdocs) over whom they exercise academic authority.  Faculty members should err on the side of disclosing a relationship to the Intercessor if there is any doubt about whether they exercise academic authority.

Exceptions to the policy may be made only when there exists a written plan to manage the professional relationships for the protection of the parties involved.  Such a plan must be approved by the Office of Counsel, and may be developed in consultation with the Intercessor; it will be shared with other relevant authorities (Department Chair, Dean, etc.) as well as with the other member of the relationship in question.  Failure to report an intimate relationship of the type described above may subject the faculty member to disciplinary action and also the forfeiture of the protections of indemnification by the University in the event of legal action.

Related UoR policies:

Conflicting Relationships Policy: Nepotism and Consensual Romantic Policies

Policy Against Discrimination and Harassment

Last Updated: November 26, 2017 at 3:33 pm