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January 5, 2017

Revised policy on relationships going to Council

An updated consensual relationships policy will be brought to Senate Council this month.

Whether it will be presented with the endorsement of Faculty Assembly remains unclear. Earlier policy drafts failed to secure the Assembly’s support, with most faculty concerns centered on the lack of due process provisions, rather than on disclosure requirements and restrictions on certain relationships among faculty, staff and students. (See Dec. 8 University Times.)

Members of the Senate tenure and academic freedom committee (TAFC) reviewed a further-revised draft policy over the break and will discuss it in a committee meeting, TAFC co-chair Maria Kovacs told the University Times.

In the meantime, it remains uncertain whether the issue will be on Faculty Assembly’s Jan. 17 agenda.

With or without additional discussion by Faculty Assembly, the policy will be on the Jan. 25 Senate Council agenda, University Senate President Frank Wilson confirmed.

Commenting at Senate Council’s Dec. 14 session, Wilson said Faculty Assembly’s Dec. 6 “No” vote, albeit atypical, isn’t a negative.

“I think it will have produced a stronger policy than originally we were looking at,” he said.

“When we look back, once we’ve passed a consensual relationship policy that makes sense … we will say it was bumpier than we thought, it took longer than we thought, but it made us think about other issues associated with it,” Wilson said.

Rather than being a breakdown in shared governance, Wilson said: “It may have been a bump in the road, but it is an example of how shared governance can work.”

Faculty Assembly meets at 3 p.m. Jan. 17 in 2700 Posvar Hall. Council meets at 3 p.m. Jan. 25 in the same location.

—Kimberly K. Barlow          

Filed under: Feature,Volume 49 Issue 9

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