POL 04.20.06 - Interpersonal Relationships among Faculty, Staff and Students
Authority: Board of Trustees
History: First Issued: September 15, 1995. Last Revised: September 21, 2007.
UNC Policy Manual 300.4.2 Employment of Related Persons (Anti-Nepotism Policy)
UNC Policy Manual 300.4.2.1[G] Guidelines on Implementing Anti-Nepotism Policy)
UNC Policy Manual 300.4.1 Improper Relationships between Students and Employees
UNC Code: Appendix I.C.
Contact Info: Vice Provost For Equal Opportunity & Equity (919-515-4559)
1.1 At the heart of the University experience is the interaction among faculty, staff and students. Interactions among members of the University community can and should be the occasion for enhancing freedom, demonstrating integrity and encouraging mutual respect. This policy serves to further these goals and to uphold the University's high standards of professional and ethical conduct. The intent of this policy is to provide assurance that all students and employees are able to learn or work in an environment where they can be objectively supervised, instructed, or evaluated. This policy defines appropriate and inappropriate conduct with respect to interpersonal relationships among faculty, staff, and students.
2.1 Amorous Relationship
A relationship when, without the benefit of marriage, two persons voluntarily have a sexual union, or engage in a romantic partnering or courtship that may or may not have been consummated sexually.
2.2 Related Persons
Persons who are related to another as parent/child, grandparent/grandchild, husband/wife, brother/sister, aunt/uncle, niece/nephew, first cousin, and domestic partner. Also included as related persons are the step, half and in-law relationships as appropriate based on the above listing as well as guardian/ward and anyone living in the same household or whose relationship is so closely identified with another as to suggest a conflict. In cases of related persons other than blood relatives, the policy continues to apply after the termination of the relationship until such time as there is no effect upon impartiality.
2.2.1 Familial Relationship
A relationship between two related persons.
2.3 Educational Responsibility
Responsibility that includes but is not limited to teaching a course; directing an independent study, thesis, or dissertation; participating on a graduate advisory committee; employing a teaching or research assistant; making decisions regarding grades, honors, or degrees; considering disciplinary action for a student; or any other action that assesses, determines, or influences academic performance, progress, or potential.
2.4 Employment-Related Decision
A decision that includes but is not limited to one relating to the search, selection, or appointment of an individual to employment; establishing the terms and conditions of employment; establishing compensation; evaluating work performance; voting for or otherwise considering reappointment, promotion, or tenure; issuing disciplinary action; or any other action that assesses, determines, or influences work performance, career progress, or other employment status.
3. PROHIBITED CONDUCT
3.1 Relationships with Students
Students look to faculty members and other members of the University who serve in leadership or mentor roles for guidance and depend upon them for advice, assessment and advancement. An amorous relationship or familial relationship between a student and either a faculty member, graduate assistant, or other University employee who has evaluative or supervisory responsibility for that student can impair or undermine the ongoing trust needed for effective teaching, learning and professional development. Both the fact and semblance of any exploitation must be avoided because such relationships raise concerns about consent and fair treatment of students. Therefore, it is misconduct, subject to disciplinary action, to engage in an amorous relationship with any enrolled student for whom an employee has any instructional, research, administrative or other University employment responsibility, or authority to evaluate, supervise, or otherwise have educational responsibility for. Additionally, it is misconduct, subject to disciplinary action, for an employee, incident to any instructional, research, administrative or other University employment responsibility, or authority to evaluate, supervise, or otherwise have educational responsibility for an enrolled student with whom the employee has a familial relationship.
3.1.1 Sexual Activity with a Minor
It is misconduct, subject to disciplinary action, for any University employee to engage in sexual activity with any enrolled student of the Institution, other than his or her spouse, who is a minor as defined by North Carolina law.
3.2 Relationships with Employees
Standards for the selection, compensation, promotion, discipline and other terms and conditions of University employees are based on an employee's qualifications, ability, performance, and conduct. Employees look to their superiors for guidance and depend upon them for coaching, evaluation and career advancement. An amorous relationship or familial relationship between two employees, in which one employee may make an employment-related decision that directly affects the other, can impair or undermine the ongoing trust needed for effective departmental operation and individual professional development. Both the fact and semblance of any exploitation must be avoided because these relationships raise concerns about consent and fair treatment of employees. Therefore, it is misconduct, subject to disciplinary action, for a University employee, either individually or as a member of a group or committee, to participate in or make any employment-related decision that will directly affect an employee with whom he or she has an amorous relationship or familial relationship.
4. DISCIPLINARY ACTION
If disciplinary action is brought against a University employee for a violation of this policy, such disciplinary action shall be conducted in accordance with existing University policies and procedures for pursuing disciplinary action against members of the category of employees of which the affected employee is a member.
Questions concerning this policy may be referred to the Office for Equal Opportunity, Human Resources, or the Office of General Counsel.