Professor dating a former student

Posted by / 05-Jul-2020 19:35

At the College of William and Mary in Virginia, all dating between professors and undergraduates was banned.

This is the direct result of a former instructor writing an embarrassing article about his affair with a student.

The original post, for example, states that “Lawyers date their clients all the time.” In fact, they don’t, and when they do, they are probably violating their ethics rules, which prohibit lawyers from dealings with clients that interfere with independent judgment and create conflicts of interest. On “Dating Glory,’ one commenter offered genuine insight.

The statement also implies a similarity that doesn’t exist, for the professor-student relationship’s duties and expectations are very different from those of attorneys and clients. “Professor X” correctly pointed out that professors were obligated to maintain a position of authority, objectivity and judgment as mentors and teachers of the whole student body, and had a duty to their schools not to allow their trustworthiness to be undermined by having intimate relationships among the same group that they were supposed to be supervising and advising. The created when a supervisor/manager/leader indulges in intimate relations with someone over whom they have authority, status and power—and every professor has authority over every student, in class or out— undermines the institution and the profession, by sending the false message that such relationships are standard, approved, and implicitly desirable in the culture where they occur.

Will the professor consciously or subconsciously be easier on the friends of his student lover if they are in his class?

A teacher always has superior power over any student by virtue of his or her position of authority, and it is an abuse of that power to use it to entice students into dates or bed.

And like the commenter who focused narrowly on the “consenting adult” factor, it is naive to ignore the extended conflicts such relationships create.

“I understand that it’s not a good idea to form relationships with professors while still in the class (favoritism, etc.).

But why is it such a big deal when a prof becomes involved with a student who will never be his student again?

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At Ohio Northern University, the faculty handbook dictates that “faculty and staff members should not have sexual relations with students to whom they are not married.” At the University of Michigan, romantic relationships are not forbidden but are considered to be a violation of ethics if the faculty member supervises the student.