Faculty-Employee/Student Relationships

adopted: Mar-1976
last revised: Feb-2019

The College strongly discourages sexual and/or romantic relationships between its employees and students in all contexts. In light of the potential for misunderstanding, morale problems, or abuse arising from consensual romantic or sexual relationships, it is the policy of the College that faculty members and other employees may not have evaluative, supervisory, or other authority over a student with whom the employee is having or has had a romantic or sexual relationship. To avoid the appearance of impropriety, Richland employees are prohibited from teaching members of their household, spouse, children, parents, or any other individual with whom he/she has or has had, a personal, nonprofessional relationship, including romantic or sexual relationships. If such a relationship exists or has existed, the faculty member or employee must report the relationship to his or her supervisor and to Human Resources immediately. Failure to report the relationships could result in disciplinary action, including termination. If the person to whom the relationship is reported determines that reassignment or other mitigating action is necessary, it is the responsibility of both the faculty member/employee and the individual to whom the relationship is reported to ensure that the evaluative or supervisory authority is reassigned or other appropriate mitigation action is taken. In the event that only one faculty member teaches a course in which they have a personal relationship with a student they will need to work with their respective Dean and Vice President to determine an appropriate course of action to mitigate any potential conflicts of interest with the student. A final agreement for an appropriate course of action will be submitted by the Vice President to the President for action.