In the interest of maintaining high standards of professional conduct, and of avoiding behavior that could interfere or could easily be construed to interfere with the discharge of an employee’s professional responsibilities, Wittenberg University does not condone intimate sexual relationships between a university employee and a student or between a supervisor and a subordinate. This policy applies even when the parties have consented at the outset to enter into the relationship. This policy applies to an employee and a student even when no apparent professional relationship exists at the time because the potential always exists for the involved employee to be placed unexpectedly into a position of responsibility concerning the student (e.g., instruction, evaluation, counseling, advising).
The university employee found to be involved with the student or the supervisor found to be involved with the subordinate, in violation of this policy, will be held accountable and may be subject to discipline, up to and including dismissal, in a manner consistent with other university policies. Because by law faculty members are employees of Wittenberg University, they are included in all portions of this policy. They remain subject to the obligations of their adopted Statement of Professional Ethics.
Exclusions and Clarifications: Relationships between individuals married to each other (or equivalent domestic partnerships) are exempt from this policy.
Part-time student employees of Wittenberg are not considered “employees” as described above. This policy does not apply to a supervisor and an employee who is not a subordinate.
A Wittenberg student who within one year after graduation becomes employed by the university and is dating a Wittenberg student at the time of employment is not expected to end that relationship unless the job responsibilities include supervision, instruction, counseling, or advising. This includes any position where the employee has authority over the student in the decision of any matter that may directly affect the academic status, evaluation, employment or promotion of a student.
When such a pre-existing relationship exists, the new employee must notify his or her immediate supervisor and the associate vice president for human resources at the time of his or her employment. If the pre-existing relationship ends, the employee is subject to this policy and is prohibited from entering other romantic relationships with students.
NOTE: The Professional Code of Conduct for Staff in Student Development prohibits its members from dating students in any circumstances.
(Adopted April 14, 1998 - Faculty Meeting; Amended Cabinet Meeting, June 1999)