Employee-Student Consensual Relations

III.    Employee-Student Consensual Relations

The integrity of the teacher-student relationship is the foundation of the University’s educational mission. This relationship vests considerable trust in the teacher, who, in turn, bears authority and accountability as a mentor, educator, and evaluator. The unequal institutional power inherent in this relationship heightens the vulnerability of the student and the potential for coercion. The pedagogical relationship between teacher and student must be protected from influences or activities that can interfere with learning and personal development

Whenever a teacher is or in the future might reasonably become responsible for teaching, advising, mentoring, or directly supervising a student, an amorous relationship between them is inappropriate and should be avoided. In addition to creating the potential for coercion, any such relationship jeopardizes the integrity of the educational process by creating a conflict of interest and may impair the learning environment for other students. Finally, such situations may expose the University and the teacher to liability for violation of laws against sex discrimination.

For purposes of this policy, “direct supervision” includes the following activities (on or off campus): course teaching, examining, grading, advising for a formal project such as a thesis or research, supervising required research or other academic activities, and recommending in an institutional capacity for admissions, employment, fellowships or awards.

“Teachers” includes, but is not limited to, all tenured and non-tenured full-time, part-time and adjunct faculty of the University.  It also includes graduate and professional students and associates when they are serving as part-time acting instructors or in similar institutional roles, with respect to the students they are currently teaching or supervising.

“Students” refers to those enrolled in any and all educational and training programs of the University.  

This Policy also applies to members of the Cedarville community who are not teachers as defined above, but have authority over or mentoring relationships with students, including athletic coaches, supervisors of student employees, advisors and directors of student organizations, residential advisors, as well as others who advise, mentor, or evaluate students.

Where such relations rise to the level of Prohibited Conduct under this Policy, such reports will be addressed according to the procedures outlined in this Policy.  Employees or students with questions about this policy are advised to consult with the University’s Title IX Coordinator, or the Associate Vice President of Human Resources.