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Section 32: Policy on Consensual Teacher (Faculty or Resident)-Student (Resident or Student) Relationships

The relationship between teacher and student is the foundation of the academic mission of the University. This relationship vests considerable trust in the teacher, who, in turn, bears the responsibility to serve as mentor, educator, and evaluator. In discharging this responsibility, teachers are accountable for behaving in a manner that reflects the highest levels of professional responsibility, recognizes the dignity and worth of each person at the University, and protects the integrity of the student-teacher relationship.

Teacher-student relationships carry risks of conflict of interest, breach of trust, abuse of power, and breach of professional ethics. For these reasons, teachers must not engage in any consensual sexual relationships with a student while the teacher is in a position of supervisory academic authority with respect to the student. Nor may a teacher assert any supervisory academic authority with respect to a student who was the subject of a previous consensual sexual relationship. This prohibition extends to consensual sexual relationships between a graduate or professional student and an undergraduate when the graduate or professional student has some supervisory academic responsibility for the undergraduate, to consensual sexual relationships between department Chairs and students in that department, to consensual sexual relationships between graduate advisors, Program Directors, and all others (each of whom is considered a teacher) who have supervisory academic responsibility for a student and that student.

Housestaff members who currently have, have previously had, or have developed a personal or familial relationship with a student should not have any involvement in the academic assessment or the supervisory academic activity of that student.  If a resident or fellow is uncertain as to whether a particular relationship disqualifies them from having involvement in the academic assessment of that student, the Executive Associate Dean for Medical Education should be consulted. 

The Emory University School of Medicine Policy on Faculty and Housestaff with Potential Conflicts in Student Assessments can be found at the following site:

The deans, department Chairs, and other administrators should respond to reports of prohibited sexual relationships by inquiring further and, if such reports appear to be accurate, initiating appropriate disciplinary action or remedial measures against the teacher involved. Egregious breach of this policy is adequate cause for termination under paragraph 12(C) of the Statement of Principles Governing Faculty Relationships.

Non-consensual sexual relationships are prohibited by the non-discriminatory harassment policy.

Updated October 4, 2016