Title

2.46.1 Definitions

Employee:  Any individual who receives a W-2 from Ithaca College (which includes both faculty and staff), with the sole exception of a student employee who does not have any teaching, evaluative, or other supervisory authority over other students.

Intimate Relationship:  An interpersonal relationship that involves physical and/or emotional intimacy of a sexual or romantic nature.

Supervisee:  An employee whose chain of supervision flows up to one or multiple supervisors.

Supervisor:  An employee whose responsibility includes the evaluation of supervisees, regardless of whether the supervisor is the direct supervisor of the supervisee or if there are additional supervisors in the chain of supervision between the supervisor and the supervisee. This also includes Resident/Apartment Assistants who have supervision over students’ living space.

Student:  Any individual enrolled in any course(s) at Ithaca College, including both undergraduate and graduate students.

2.46.2 Intimate Relationships Between Employees and Students

Prohibition

Employees have an ethical obligation to promote the College’s educational mission by fostering an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect. Given the inherent inequity that exists in the relationships between employees and students, as well as the potential for the appearance of exploitation and/or favoritism, no employee shall have an intimate relationship with a student. In addition, no employee shall engage in any action objectively intended to solicit an intimate relationship with a student.

No undergraduate or graduate teaching assistant shall have an intimate relationship with a student to whom the undergraduate or graduate teaching assistant is responsible for providing instruction, grading, evaluation, formal mentoring, or similar services.

Limited Exceptions

  1. Employees who have a pre-existing intimate relationship with a prospective student must disclose the relationship to the Office of Human Resources using the process described below in section 2.46.4 promptly after the employee becomes aware that the prospective student is admitted to the College. This situation will be evaluated and addressed under the criteria outlined in section 2.46.3 for the creation of a management plan that removes any supervisory, instructional or evaluative authority between the employee and the prospective student who becomes a student.
  2. Employees who have a qualified spouse or domestic partner who intends to enroll at the College must disclose the relationship to the Office of Human Resources using the process described below in section 2.46.4 promptly after the qualified spouse or domestic partner is admitted to the College. This situation will be evaluated and addressed under the criteria outlined in section 2.46.3 for the creation of a management plan that removes any supervisory, instructional or evaluative authority between the employee and the qualified spouse or domestic partner who becomes a student.
  3. Prospective employees who have a pre-existing intimate relationship with a student prior to accepting a position at the College must disclose the relationship to the Office of Human Resources using the process described below in section 2.46.4 promptly after the prospective employee is offered a position at the College. This situation will be evaluated and addressed under the criteria outlined in section 2.46.3 for the creation of a management plan that removes any supervisory, instructional or evaluative authority between the prospective employee who becomes an employee and the student.
  4. Where a benefits-eligible employee takes classes through the Employee Tuition Remission program and has an intimate relationship (whether pre-existing or not) with another employee, both employees must disclose the relationship to the Office of Human Resources using the process described below in section 2.46.4 promptly after the employee enrolls in a class at the College as this employee is now also defined as a student.  This situation will be evaluated and addressed under the criteria outlined in section 2.46.3 for the creation of a management plan that removes any supervisory, instructional or evaluative authority between the employee who becomes a student and the other employee. 
  5. Where an undergraduate or graduate teaching assistant has a pre-existing intimate relationship with a student to whom the undergraduate or graduate teaching assistant is responsible for providing instruction, grading, evaluation, formal mentoring, or similar services, the undergraduate or graduate teaching assistant must promptly disclose the relationship to the Office of Human Resources using the process described below in section 2.46.4. This situation will be evaluated and addressed under the criteria outlined in section 2.46.3 for the creation of a management plan that removes any supervisory, instructional or evaluative authority between the undergraduate or graduate teaching assistant and the student.

Violation

Employees who violate this policy are subject to disciplinary action, up to and including separation from the College.

Consent by the student to the intimate relationship does not absolve the employee from a violation of this policy.

2.46.3 Intimate Relationships Between Employees

Prohibition

Intimate relationships between a supervisor and their supervisee is prohibited unless (1) the intimate relationship is promptly disclosed as soon as possible at the onset of the relationship to Human Resources using the process described below in section 2.46.4, (2) a management plan that is acceptable to the Office of Human Resources and that removes any supervisory, instructional or evaluative authority between the supervisor and their supervisee is created, and (3) the management plan is followed by the supervisor and supervisee.  Any action by a supervisor which is objectively intended to solicit an intimate relationship with their supervisee is also prohibited.  

Limited Exception

If the intimate relationship between a supervisor and a supervisee existed prior to the effective date of this policy, both the supervisor and the supervisee have the responsibility to disclose the intimate relationship to the Office of Human Resources within five (5) business days of the effective date of this policy using the process described below in section 2.46.4.  This situation will be evaluated and addressed under the criteria outlined in section 2.46.3 for the creation of a management plan that removes any supervisory, instructional or evaluative authority between the supervisor and their supervisee.

Violation

Employees who violate this policy are subject to disciplinary action, up to and including separation from the College.

Consent by the employees to the intimate relationship does not absolve either employee from a violation of this policy.

2.46.4 Process for Managing Intimate Relationship Disclosures

Disclosure of an intimate relationship covered under section 2.46.2 or 2.46.3 must be promptly provided by sending an email to selfdisclosure@ithaca.edu or by submitting via webform at https://ithacaedu.formstack.com/forms/self_disclosure_form, or by making an oral disclosure in person to the Associate Vice President for Human Resources OR designated HR Business Partner as soon as possible at the onset of the relationship. If you are uncertain whether a relationship is covered by this policy, you are encouraged to err on the side of disclosure.

The email or webform submission should contain the following information: (1) the names of the individuals involved, (2) the roles or affiliation of the individuals involved relative to the College and to each other, and (3) any other relevant information that the employee would like to be considered.  In the case of an oral disclosure, the Associate Vice President for Human Resources or designated HR Business Partner is responsible for documenting the above information.

Disclosures will be reviewed by Vice President for Human Resources and Planning (or designee) who is responsible for determining whether a specific disclosure warrants convening a team representative of the college community to consider a possible mitigation or management plan for the intimate relationship covered under section 2.46.2 or 2.46.3.  This team composition will vary depending on the facts of a disclosure but may involve some combination of a representative from the following areas: Human Resources, Dean of Students, Academic Affairs, and Legal Affairs.  The team composition will be determined by the Vice President for Human Resources and Planning (or designee), who is also responsible for convening and chairing the team, if one is warranted.

Last updated: January 6, 2022