Consensual Relations Policy
Wentworth seeks to maintain a professional and ethical educational environment. Actions of faculty members (including adjunct faculty), professional staff members, and academic administrators that are unprofessional are inconsistent with Wentworth’s educational mission. It is essential that those in a position of authority not abuse the power with which they are entrusted. Employees should be aware that consensual dating or sexual relationships with a student or fellow employee may result in claims of sexual harassment because the voluntary nature of the consent may be questioned when a power differential exists between the individuals in the relationship.
A consensual dating or sexual relationship between a staff employee, a member of the faculty (including adjunct faculty) and a student or an employee that the staff/faculty directly supervises is prohibited when the staff/faculty has any current or foreseeable professional responsibility for the student or the employee. Voluntary consent by the student/employee in such a relationship is suspect, given the fundamental nature of such a relationship. Moreover, others in the work or learning environment may be affected by such behavior. Therefore, it is deemed unprofessional, inappropriate, and a violation of Wentworth policy for any member of the faculty, professional staff or academic administration to engage in a dating or sexual relationship, whether or not consented to, with a student or employee whom the faculty, professional staff or academic administration member instructs, evaluates, supervises, or advises, or over whom the faculty, professional staff or academic administration member is in a position to exercise authority in any way, now or in the foreseeable future.
A violation of this prohibition may result in disciplinary action including dismissal for unprofessional conduct, following the appropriate discipline procedures.