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Romantic and Sexual Relationships Between Faculty/Staff and Graduate Students

Columbia University’s educational mission is promoted by the
professionalism of its faculty-student relationships. This professionalism is reflected not only in the quality of the intellectual exchange between faculty and students but also in the nature of their interactions as members of a community of scholars. The academic freedom traditionally accorded to members of the faculty imposes a correlative obligation of responsible self-discipline, one that acknowledges the power they exercise over students and the importance of protecting against its abusive or exploitative use. Romantic and sexual relationships between faculty and students pose a threat to academic professionalism as they compromise the faculty members’ judgment of students. More importantly, because of the power differential, romantic and sexual relationships between faculty and students are highly susceptible to being experienced as non-consensual or coercive. The University adopted a policy prohibiting relationships between faculty and undergraduate students in 2018. The policy below addresses romantic relationships between faculty and graduate students.

 

Should a romantic or sexual relationship with a student lead
to a charge of sexual harassment or sexual assault against a faculty member, the University is obligated to investigate and resolve the charge in accordance with the Columbia University Employee Policy and Procedures on Discrimination and Harassment, Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking, a copy of which may be found online at: http://eoaa.columbia.edu/. Questions regarding the Romantic and Sexual Relationship Policies or the Employee Policy and Procedures on Discrimination and Harassment, Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence and Stalking should be directed to EOAA, 103 Low Memorial Library, 212-854-5918, eoaa@columbia.edu.

 

To see the full text of this policy, please use the link on the right.