U. of Illinois trustees to vote on intimate relations policy

May 2, 2020 GMT

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — A proposed policy at the University of Illinois would prohibit faculty and staff from having intimate relations with undergraduates and anyone they supervise.

The proposal is one of two that stem from a set of recommendations aimed at preventing sexual misconduct. Trustees are expected to vote on both policies at their May 21 meeting, according to The News-Gazette.

The proposed intimate relations policy states that disciplinary action will be taken if violated, and will also allow for exceptions.


Professor Kate Clancy said the problem with the policy is that it focuses on too small a part of harassment that women face on campus. She notes that sexual harassment isn’t always about sex, it is also gender harassment.

She said, however, there’s still some value to the policies “even if we’re only catching a couple fish in this net.”

Trustees had been planning to ban relations between graduate students and faculty and staff as well, but removed that provision after getting feedback from the university’s academic senate in Urbana.

The university also is planning on conducting background checks of future job candidates, looking specifically for any past sexual misconduct.