Frequently Asked Questions about Amorous Relationships and Nepotism

These FAQs supplement the policies on Amorous Relationships (III.A.1) and Nepotism (III.B.3).

  1. If two individuals work in the same department or college, and one of them has a higher position within the department but doesn’t directly supervise the other, are they prohibited from being in an amorous relationship?
  2. If I had an amorous relationship with someone before they became my supervisor, and the relationship has been over for a while, do I need to report it now that they supervise me?
  3. Does anyone else have educational responsibility over a student other than faculty, TAs and RAs?
  4. Is a one-night stand considered an amorous relationship?
  5. I am a faculty member, and a graduate student that I’m in an amorous relationship with needs a class in order to graduate that only I teach. What can we do?
  6. At a party, I hooked up with someone in my department, but we stopped before things went very far. I’m not his supervisor, but I have a say in our department’s promotion process. Do we have to report what happened?
  7. I am the PI for a project and would like to have my daughter, who is a graduate student, work on the project with me. Is this okay?
  8. When I reviewed my class roster for the coming semester I noticed that my nephew will be one of my students. Is this allowed?
  9. Is there a form that my department needs to use when requesting an exception to the nepotism policy?

Q1. If two individuals work in the same department or college, and one of them has a higher position within the department but doesn’t directly supervise the other, are they prohibited from being in an amorous relationship?

A supervisor includes someone’s immediate supervisor and all supervisors at higher levels within the organizational lines of the particular department or unit of employment. If the individuals are in the same organizational line then an amorous relationship is prohibited.

Q2. If I had an amorous relationship with someone before they became my supervisor, and the relationship has been over for a while, do I need to report it now that they supervise me?

Yes. Even though the relationship is over, it may be appropriate to bring the fact that a previous relationship existed to the attention of the individual above your supervisor. Doing so allows for alternate arrangements to be made to prevent issues in the workplace.

Q3. Does anyone else have educational responsibility over a student other than faculty, TAs and RAs?

Yes. Additional individuals with educational supervision and evaluation authority over students include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Coaches, assistant coaches
  • Academic advisors
  • Employees within the Office of the Dean of Students
  • Employees involved in financial aid awarding and administration
  • Principal investigators

Q4. Is a one-night stand considered an amorous relationship?

Yes, so it must be reported.

Q5. I am a faculty member, and a graduate student that I’m in an amorous relationship with needs a class in order to graduate that only I teach. What can we do?

Disclose the relationship to the department head, who will determine the appropriate course of action.

Q6. At a party, I hooked up with someone in my department, but we stopped before things went very far. I’m not his supervisor, but I have a say in our department’s promotion process. Do we have to report what happened?

You need to let your coworker’s supervisor know that the two of you had a brief amorous relationship, since you have influence in his employment progress and potential. Details of what happened aren’t necessary, but arrangements will need to be made to ensure there are no issues in the workplace.

Q7. I am the PI for a project and would like to have my daughter, who is a graduate student, work on the project with me. Is this okay?

No. A PI has administrative authority over everyone else working on the project. Therefore, in the absence of a waiver, your individuals with whom you have a personal relationship cannot work on the project.

Q8. When I reviewed my class roster for the coming semester I noticed that my nephew will be one of my students. Is this allowed?

No. Faculty members, TAs and RAs should not have academic responsibility for anyone with whom they have a personal relationship, as defined in the policy. Arrangements will need to be made for your nephew to take a different section of the class.

Q9. Is there a form that my department needs to use when requesting an exception to the nepotism policy?

No. A memo or letter format is preferred. Be sure to clearly explain why an exception is desired and include all required approval signatures.

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