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3.4 Policy on Consensual Personal Relationships Affecting University Teaching, Mentoring and Supervisory Functions

3.4 Policy on Consensual Personal Relationships Affecting University Teaching, Mentoring and Supervisory Functions Approved by Academic Council on October 11, 2007 and Administration on October 11, 2007.

Intent: University of the Pacific is committed to maintaining a learning and work environment that is free from unlawful harassment and other potentially adverse affects that can arise from consensual personal relationships among those who are participating in teaching, mentoring and supervisory functions at the University. Separate, but similar policies apply to faculty members; graduate students and teaching assistants; and staff/administrators, respectively. The policy below applies to faculty members.

Consensual personal relationships in the course of teaching, mentoring and supervisory functions at the University may interfere with the ability of the teacher, mentor or supervisor to act fairly and without favoritism or may contribute to the perception among other persons of unfair actions or favoritism.

Policy:  Faculty/Student Relationships and Faculty/Staff Relationships: Effective on September 1, 2007, a faculty member who is employed by Pacific may not participate in a consensual personal relationship with a student or staff member of the University for whom the faculty member provides or may (by virtue of University assigned position or functions) reasonably be expected in the future to provide teaching, mentoring or supervision.

Faculty/Faculty Relationships: Effective on September 1, 2007, a faculty member who is employed by the University may not commence a consensual personal relationship with another faculty member for whom s/he then provides supervision as Chair.

Faculty members who are already in a consensual personal relationship with another faculty member within the same department/academic unit as of the time supervision as Chair (or faculty member authorized to act in a supervisory role) would commence, will be in compliance with this policy and with related portions of the University’s Conflict of Interest and Commitment Policy, if they in writing promptly inform the cognizant dean of the relationship and conform to the standards of behavior stated in correspondence received from the dean.

In addition, in all cases (whether or not the two faculty members are within the same department) a faculty member must recuse her/himself from any committees that evaluate the other faculty member with whom s/he is or who has been in a consensual personal relationship and identify the reason for recusal.

Child or Relative in a Class: When a child or other personal relative of the faculty member (or of another University individual who is performing course-related teaching) is enrolled in a University course that the faculty member (or such other University individual) is assigned to teach, the faculty member will be in compliance with this policy when he/she does not engage in favoritism to the student and acts appropriately to avoid the appearance of favoritism.

Definitions:  Consensual Personal Relationships: Dating, marital, domestic partner, sexual and similar personal relationships that may be consensually undertaken by both individuals.

Such relationships do not include the usual and customary socializing at the University of teacher-student; mentor-mentee; supervisor-employee; faculty member-graduate student; co-workers; and supervisor-student employee.

Employee:  Anyone employed by Pacific as faculty, staff or student worker, full-time or part-time, regular, temporary or adjunct.

Teaching and Mentoring:  Teaching and mentoring includes course teaching, advising, participating in grading or other academic evaluation. 

Supervision:  Assignment, direction, evaluation, participation in appointment, promotion and tenure evaluation committees, and enforcement of rules and policies, for those engaged in University-related work such as undergraduate and graduate students, teaching assistants, faculty members and staff members. 

Effective date:  September 1, 2007

Consequences of violations:  Perceived violations of this policy should be referred to the dean or Provost. The Dean shall notify the Provost of the situation and attempt to resolve the situation, if the Provost concurs that the Dean do so. The Dean shall report to the Provost any informal resolution achieved. Only the Provost has the authority to initiate procedures for faculty discipline and those procedures are set forth in the Faculty Handbook.

Contact:  Questions regarding this policy should be referred to the cognizant dean. Human Resources will provide support to the dean.