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From the Desk of the Chancellor – August 14

In a university community, we have the responsibility to protect students, staff, faculty, and visitors, as well as the integrity of the institution itself, and we do it often through policies. Given events of the last year, and because we are continuously welcoming new members to campus, it is important to communicate periodic reminders of university policies.

Today, I want to draw your attention to the IU Policy on Consensual Relationships. The relationship between faculty and students is at the core of the teaching/learning process and must be protected against the potential for abuse. Similarly, when supervisors and employees are involved in romantic relationships, the work environment is adversely affected.

The university's policy is clear. Amorous or sexual relationships where there is an imbalance of power (faculty/student or supervisor/employee), and where one is the judge of another's performance, are always inappropriate. They call into question whether the relationship is truly consensual. They can be subject to exploitation or preferential treatment. They can create a conflict of interest and raise suspicions of favoritism. The short answer is, just don't do it.

IUPUI's many professional schools have policies and codes about relationships (physician/patient, social worker/client). They are guided by the basic principle that we have an ethical obligation to behave responsibly as academics and professionals.

I also want to reiterate my "From the Desk of the Chancellor" message of January 17, earlier this year, which is a reminder that any suspicions of child abuse must be reported according to the guidelines below.

  • If you perceive an immediate danger or an obvious crime in progress, call 911 and report it to law enforcement right away.
  • If actions involve a child, the state of Indiana has a legal requirement in certain circumstances for individuals to make a report to the Department of Child Protective Services. The department has excellent information on reporting requirements at its web site: http://www.in.gov/dcs/2971.htm.
  • For non-emergency situations, contact the IUPUI police at (317) 274-7911. Our officers can help assess the situation and decide what further action is necessary.

Thank you for all you do to make IUPUI a better community.

Comments? Write chancllr@iupui.edu.