East Hawaii News

UH Adopts New Policy Prohibiting Consensual Faculty-Student Relationships

April 5, 2016, 2:57 PM HST
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UH photo.

UH photo.

The University of Hawai’i system has issued a new executive policy that prohibits consensual relationships between faculty and students.

UH President David Lassner announced the policy Tuesday, which he says expands on the school’s former policies.

Included in the policy is the following:

“The University prohibits initiating or engaging in a new consensual relationship between employees and between employees and students wherein a power and control differential exists, including but not limited to situations in which one member has an evaluative and/or supervisory responsibility for the other. The University views these consensual relationships where a power and/or control differential exists as inadvisable and fraught with risk, especially when students are involved. It is important to note that the potential for sexual harassment exists in consensual relationships when there is a power and/or control differential.”

Lassner said the policy was created through a small group he set up to review the system’s current policies and those at other institutions around the country, as well as through student, faculty, staff, and union input.

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“The new policy takes a best-practice approach in recognizing and managing consensual relationships, while also balancing the privacy interests of individuals and supporting the values, mission, and goals of our university,” Lassner said in a statement.

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In addition, Lassner noted that the policy is part of the school’s effort in “strengthening our policies and programs on Title IX and the Violence Against Women Act.”

UH’s updated policy can be reviewed here.

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