The College has drafted a new policy forbidding consensual romantic and sexual relationships between students and faculty. Currently, the Faculty Handbook’s policy states, “The College strenuously discourages romantic or sexual relationships between faculty members and students, administrators and students, and staff members and students…A faculty member, administrator, or staff member who is involved in a romantic or sexual relationship with any student must disclose its existence to his or her department chair, dean or supervisor and must cooperate fully in making alternative arrangements for the supervision, evaluation, teaching, grading or advising of the student.” The policy will, however, grant exceptions in the case of spouses or domestic partners of faculty members enrolling as students.
If the draft goes through, potential violations of the new policy would be investigated by the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, and could result in disciplinary action such as leave without pay or even termination, as determined by the Dean of the Faculty.
Having been discussed by the Faculty Policy and Conference Committee, the draft has been presented to the Vassar Student Association Executive Board for review, and will continue to undergo consideration before any further action is taken.
An article is forthcoming in the next issue of The Miscellany News.