College faculty dating students

I can understand certain circumstances where the professor appears almost God-like and therefore is highly regarded by the student.The young person can feel in love and can fall prey to any manipulation on the part of the professor," he said. Cancro said that under such circumstances it is the professor's responsibility to maintain the boundaries of the relationship.A more stringent regulation, which would have banned romance between all professors and undergraduates, was voted down.A survey of Westchester colleges and universities revealed that no formal policies addressing faculty-student dating are in place, but many schools said that a prohibition against such relationships is implicit in other policies regulating professional conduct."We view this kind of relationship as inappropriate," said James Bryan, Dean of Students at Manhattanville College.Suzanne Kessler, Associate Professor of Psychology at SUNY Purchase.

Some say that the unequal power in a relationship between a student and a faculty member -- particularly one who is in a position to grade or make recommendations about the student he or she is dating -- is inherently exploitative.

A scenario that has been raising concern on college campuses might go something like this: He is a middle-aged English professor, an expert on Henry James, who appears worldly and sophisticated in his tweed jacket while lecturing to his class. The appropriateness of faculty-student dating is being discussed on campuses throughout Westchester, echoing a nationwide debate about whether such relationships should be tolerated, regulated or banned altogether.

She is an 18-year-old freshman, starry eyed and entranced by her teacher's apparent brilliance and sensitivity. Faculty members at the University of Virginia recently voted to prohibit sexual relationships between professors and the students they supervise.

This is a digitized version of an article from The Times’s print archive, before the start of online publication in 1996.

To preserve these articles as they originally appeared, The Times does not alter, edit or update them. Are they two consenting adults in love, or is it sexual harassment and exploitation?

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