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Chapter 330: Employee Conduct

330.065 Consensual Romantic Relationship Policy

Bd. Min. 12-15-06; Revised 6-19-14; Amended 2-9-17.

  1. For purposes of this policy, consensual romantic relationships exist when two individuals mutually and consensually understand a relationship to be romantic and/or sexual in nature. Direct evaluative or supervisory authority exists when one participant is personally involved in evaluating, assessing, grading, or otherwise determining the other participant’s academic or employment performance, progress or potential.
  2. The University of Missouri promotes an atmosphere of professionalism based on mutual trust and respect. The integrity of interaction among faculty, staff and students must not be compromised. When individuals involved in a consensual romantic relationship are in positions of unequal power at the university, there is a potential for a conflict of interest, favoritism, or exploitation. These relationships may be less voluntary than the person with greater power perceives, or circumstances may change and conduct that was once welcome may become unwelcome. The fact that a relationship was initially consensual does not insulate from a later claim of sexual harassment. Moreover, such relationships may lead to restricted opportunities, or the perception thereof, for others in the work or academic environment.

    In light of the foregoing, and to protect the integrity of the University academic and work environment, consensual romantic relationships between members of the University community are prohibited when one participant has direct evaluative or supervisory authority over the other because such relationships create an inherent conflict of interest, and may result in favoritism or exploitation. Examples of such relationships that are prohibited include, but are not limited to, employee (faculty, staff or student)/student and supervisor (faculty, staff or student)/subordinate, when those relationships involve direct evaluative or supervisory authority. In such cases, the individual in the evaluative or supervisory position has an obligation to immediately disclose the consensual romantic relationship to the individual’s administrative superior and to cooperate with the administrative superior in removing himself or herself from any such evaluative or supervisory activity in order to eliminate the existing or potential conflict of interest.
  3. Students or employees who believe in good faith that a violation of the foregoing policy has occurred are encouraged to promptly report the violation to the University. Students or employees who believe that such a violation has occurred may:
    1. Report the perceived violation to an appropriate University official;
    2. File a grievance, under the appropriate University grievance procedure; and/or
    3. In the event the reporting party believes one has been discriminated against based upon one’s sex, file a complaint with the Title IX Coordinator for the campus.

    The University will promptly investigate and appropriately resolve all such reports.
  4. A violation of this policy, regardless of the manner in which it is brought to the attention of the University, may lead to disciplinary action as appropriate, up to and including termination of employment, following appropriate processes for such discipline.

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