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EIU Office of Internal Auditing

#11.1 - Consensual Relations

Approved: December 21, 2005

Monitor: President

The University has the primary responsibility to protect the integrity of the learning process, including the teacher-student relationship. For these reasons, the University prohibits consensual romantic or sexual relationships between educators/administrators/staff and students while the educator/administrator/staff member is in a supervisory academic position of power or authority over a student. Thus, the expectation of professors, instructors, graduate assistants, staff and administrators at Eastern Illinois University is to behave in a manner that reflects the highest level of professional and ethical responsibility and maintains the integrity of the teacher/administrator/staff-student relationship.

The relationship between teacher and student is the foundation of the academic mission of Eastern Illinois University. This relationship vests considerable trust in professors, instructors, and graduate assistants who, in turn, bear the responsibility to serve as mentors, educators, and evaluators to their students. The University normally has no interest in romantic or sexual relationships between individuals. However, a teacher-student relationship, in which the teacher is in a position of supervisory academic authority with respect to the student, carries the risk of a conflict of interest, breach of trust or abuse of power. These types of romantic or sexual relationships, even if consensual can:

  • Seriously compromise the student-teacher relationship, to which all faculty, graduate assistants, and instructors have primary professional responsibilities;
  • Seriously impair the educational environment, not only for the principals in the relationship but for the educators' other students;
  • Give rise to perceptions or charges of unacceptable discrimination by other students in regard to grading, references, or other resources and educational opportunities.

An educator/administrator/staff member is expected to take specific action to remove him or herself from all decisions and actions affecting a student as specified herein. Questions or concerns about these matters shall be addressed with the appropriate supervisory authority. Failure to abide by this policy constitutes misconduct and is subject to discipline under applicable University procedures and provisions of collective bargaining agreements.

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