Thursday, July 17, 2003
Abby Lunardini (510) 987-9004/cell (510) 332-7008


The University of California Board of Regents today (July 17) approved an amendment to the Faculty Code of Conduct that will effectively prohibit faculty from entering into consensual romantic or sexual relationships with any student for whom the faculty member has, or is likely to have, academic responsibility.

A faculty member found in violation of the new policy may face any of six different disciplinary sanctions, ranging from a letter of censure to dismissal from the university.

Although the faculty passed a resolution in 1983 that strongly discouraged faculty-student relationships and certain UC campuses already have policies that prohibit dating between students and their professors, this change will set a clear and enforceable standard for faculty conduct on all UC campuses.

Previously, the Faculty Code of Conduct only indirectly discouraged such relationships by instructing faculty to "avoid any exploitation, harassment or discriminatory treatment of students."

"A universitywide policy ensures that there will be a clear and consistent standard of behavior expected on every campus," said UC Academic Senate Chair Gayle N. Binion, who worked to draft the policy change.

Binion said that although she was confident that the vast majority of faculty members already recognize such a standard of behavior, it is still important that the policy be in place. "The very integrity of the university's educational mission is dependent on the accountability of the faculty member as a mentor, educator and evaluator," she said.

The Academic Assembly, the body that represents faculty throughout the UC system, voted to approve the policy change on May 28. The amendment to the Faculty Code of Conduct required final regental approval before being adopted as part of the University of California's academic personnel policy.

For the full text of the revised Faculty Code of Conduct, please visit: http://www.ucop.edu/acadadv/acadpers/apm/apm-015.pdf

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