Policy on Professional Ethics Governing Faculty/Student Consensual Romantic or Sexual Relationships

The University of St. Thomas is committed to fostering a learning, working, and living environment that promotes the personal and professional growth of students and faculty and honors the dignity of every member of our community. Central to the life of the Academy are the professionalism and integrity of its faculty. It is the responsibility of the faculty to refrain from violating the dignity, trust and rights of those whom they serve. Truth and respect, indispensable to the well-being of the University, are violated when in romantic or sexual relationships with students; even if those relationships are consensual.

University of St. Thomas faculty, whether full or part-time, must not engage in consensual romantic and sexual relationships with students, since the faculty member is in a position of professional authority with respect to the student. It is understood that a faculty member has the primary obligation to discourage such a relationship and to discontinue the relationship if it should develop. A faculty member who violates this prohibition will be subject to disciplinary action ranging from verbal warning to suspension or termination of employment.

The Vice President for Academic Affairs, or his or her office designee, shall be responsible for investigating complaints of violation of this policy. Confidentiality will be maintained in any investigation to the extent consistent with the need to conduct a thorough investigation. Nothing in this policy shall be construed to affect any rights a faculty member otherwise possesses to challenge any disciplinary action which may be imposed for violation of this policy.