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Duke University considers policy banning all undergraduate-faculty romantic relationships

April 23, 2018 GMT

Duke University is considering a new policy that would prohibit all romantic relationships between undergraduate students and faculty.

The Academic Council will vote on the proposed change on May 10, according to an article published in The Chronicle, an independent news website at the university.

According to the article, the proposed amendment to the faculty handbook prohibits all undergraduate-faculty sexual and romantic relationships and limits relationships between faculty and graduate students to circumstances where the faculty member does not have supervisory roles over the student. Violations may result in counseling, suspension, demotion or termination of the faculty member.


The new policy would be stricter than the current policy, which only bans consensual relationships between faculty and students if the faculty is in any sort of “situation of authority” over the student, such as an advisor or professor.

One exception applies to graduate students and faculty who study and work in different schools, or departments, at Duke.

Under the proposed policy, relationships between faculty and graduate students would not have to be reported in those cases. If they are in the same school but not in supervisory roles, they would have to be reported.