Meredith College is committed to providing a learning, living and working environment that is respectful, fair, equitable, and free of harassment, discrimination and bias. In keeping with these values, and to avoid compromising conflicts of interest, favoritism, coercion, abuse, and breaches of professional standards, or the appearance thereof, the College prohibits specific consensual relationships described below, to avoid undermining a healthy environment. A consensual
relationship is any relationship, either past or present, which is romantic, intimate, or sexual in nature, and to which both parties consent to enter into, including dating, asking for a date, hugging, kissing, marriage, and other forms of contact.
Virtually all faculty, staff and administrators are or can appear to be in a position to exercise power or authority, directly or indirectly, over a student, whether that student is enrolled in their class, subject to their direct supervision, or has some form of business to transact with offices of the College. The College prohibits any employee from entering into a consensual relationship with a student, regardless of the student’s status (graduate or undergraduate), age or field of
study. Individuals shall be classified as a student once enrolled in one or more courses and continue as such until they graduate or otherwise separate from the College.
In addition, the College prohibits an employee from entering into a consensual relationship with another employee (faculty, staff or administrator), a contracted employee, an intern, a volunteer or a trustee, while one individual has supervisory responsibilities or institutional authority over the other individual, or when there could otherwise be a potential, real or perceived conflict of interest due to the nature of the work performed by either individual.. This includes, but is not limited to, relationships between direct supervisors and their staff, department heads and employees within the department, tenured and non-tenured faculty, and faculty and staff.
If an employee had a past consensual relationship with a student or employee, contractor, volunteer or intern, the employee cannot supervise them. It is understood that there may occasionally be situations where a current or previous consensual relationship pre-exists the employment, enrollment or other given status of the individuals involved. In such instances, the employee(s) are required to disclose the relationship to the appropriate division head or Office of Human Resources at the time of application, hire, promotion, enrollment or other point of status change. If an exception to this policy is approved, measures will be taken by the College to ensure that one individual is not involved in teaching, advising, mentoring, providing professional services,
supervising or would otherwise have decision-making responsibilities over the other individual.
The College reserves the right to take employment actions deemed appropriate, in its sole discretion, to prevent conflicts of interest and other concerns resulting from such relationships, including those actions necessary due to violations of this policy, to include not appropriately disclosing a relationship in a timely manner. Such actions may include reassignment, termination of offer, dismissal of one or more of the individuals involved, or other actions deemed appropriate by the College.
This policy does not alter or modify any other existing College policies. The College expects professional behavior of its employees at all times.