POL-U1600.06 Prohibiting Consensual Intimate Personal Relationships Between Supervisors And Supervisees

Dates and Approval

Effective Date:

December 11, 2012

Revised Date:

February 8, 2021

Approved by:

President Bruce Shepard

Who does this policy apply to?

This policy applies to all persons employed by the University.


The University’s mission is promoted by professionalism in supervisor-supervisee relationships, which require an environment of mutual trust and respect. Actions that negatively impact this environment undermine professionalism and fulfillment of the University’s mission. In addition to consensual personal relationships between supervisors and supervisees that are intimate (emotionally or physically) or romantic or sexual in nature being in violation of this Policy, they also may result in claims of sexual harassment (see POL-U1600.04). This is because the voluntariness of the consent may be questionable due to the power differential that exists between supervisors and supervisees. This differential makes such relationships vulnerable to exploitation and claims of exploitation.


Intimate Personal Relationship

A romantic or sexual relationship or an emotional or physical relationship that has sexual or romantic overtones.


An employee of the University who supervises or evaluates or has authority in a supervisory chain of one or more permanent or temporary University employees, including student employees.


A University employee, including a student employee, whose work is supervised and evaluated by another employee of the University, or who is in the supervisory chain of command of another person in the University.

Policy Statements

1. University Prohibits Intimate Personal Relationships between Supervisors and Their Supervisees.

Intimate personal relationships between supervisors and their supervisees are prohibited because of the trust accorded to the supervisor by the supervisee. Supervisors have power over supervisees through evaluating and judging their work performance, making recommendations for future employment, or conferring any other benefits.

2. University Provides Guidance If You are in a Family or Significant Other Relationship with a Supervisor/Supervisee.

For guidance if you are in a family or significant other relationship with a supervisor/supervisee, see POL-U5410.01 Employing Family Members and Significant Others.

Policy Contact

Office of Civil Rights and Title IX Compliance

More Office of Civil Rights and Title IX Compliance policies

Policy Information