From the College Handbook 220.09 Code of Ethics
- Family relationships and relationships of a romantic and/or sexual nature between a faculty member and a student can present conflict of interest in violation of the New York Public Officers Law. As there may be a perception of favoritism and as such relationships can undermine the trust upon which the educational process depends, ethical principles preclude individuals from evaluating the work or academic performance of those with whom they have these relationships. Since a conflict of interest may exist in such a relationship, the faculty member should notify his or her immediate supervisor so that arrangements can be made to eliminate the conflict.
- Family relationships and relationships of a romantic and/or sexual nature between members of the College community other than students can also present a conflict of interest in violation of the New York Public Officers Law responsibility for, the other. As there may be a perception of favoritism and as such relationships can undermine the trust upon which professional relationships are built, ethical principles preclude individuals from evaluating the work of those with whom they have these relationships. The party with the power or status advantage may not officially approve or recommend, or vote on such approval or recommendation of, the appointment, reappointment, promotion, or salary adjustment of the other, nor may that party evaluate the performance of the others.
(Approved by President Clark, April 1, 1994)
What To Do If You Are In A Consensual Relationship
Consult our institution’s policy immediately above. It is important to know where we stand on the subject.
- Determine if you are in violation of the policy. Be aware, however, that regardless of our institution’s policy the fact that a relationship was at one time consensual is no defense in the event of subsequent charges of sexual harassment or retaliation.
- Determine whether an ethical conflict of interest exists. You may have a direct conflict of interest if you are in a position to:
- determine the person’s grade;
- give or withhold credit for an academic project;
- hire or fire the person; or
- recommend or refuse to recommend the person for a job, graduate school, promotion, etc.
- If a direct conflict of interest does not exist, determine whether there is any sort of indirect conflict which could result in a similar ethical dilemma as that presented by the direct conflicts. There may be an indirect conflict of interest if you are in a position to:
- Influence colleagues on behalf of or against the person; or
- Cause others to feel disadvantaged because of your actions on behalf of the person.
- Act to remove the conflict of interest immediately. This may be accomplished in a number of ways, including withdrawing from the supervisory position over the person if possible, or ending the relationship.
- Report the relationship to a supervisor or administrator to ensure that all conflicts have been adequately resolved.