Entering into a sexual, dating or romantic relationship (“Intimate Relationship”) when one individual has power or authority over the other may compromise freely given consent, put the academic and professional development of the individuals at risk, and seriously undermine the foundation of trust, fairness and integrity that is essential to NYU’s academic mission. Faculty, administrators, and others who educate, supervise, evaluate, employ, counsel, coach or otherwise make decisions or recommendations as to the other person in connection with their employment or education at the University, or who otherwise have actual or apparent authority over a student or subordinate, should understand the fundamentally asymmetrical nature of the relationship. In the context of the University’s educational and employment context, Intimate Relationships in circumstances where one individual has greater power or authority over another individual may raise sexual harassment concerns and can create perceptions of favoritism and preferential treatment. Such relationships are prohibited.

Intimate Relationships between the following individuals are specifically prohibited:

  • A faculty member and an undergraduate student;
  • A faculty member and a graduate student in the same discipline or academic program;
  • An academic or faculty advisor and an advisee;
  • A teaching assistant and a student in the teaching assistant’s class;
  • A coach and a student-athlete; and,
  • A manager/supervisor/dean and an employee over whom they have supervisory authority.

This list is not exhaustive; other circumstances in which one individual has greater power or authority over another may also violate this policy. In the employment context, supervisory authority means the ability to affect or impact an employee’s terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because the manager/supervisor/dean can take or impact action such as hiring, firing, promoting, disciplining, scheduling, training, or deciding how to compensate that employee.

If individuals already in an Intimate Relationship foresee the possibility of entering into a relationship of power or authority (for example, through one party enrolling in a program or a class, or taking up a new position), or where an Intimate Relationship arises in the context of an existing relationship of power or authority, the individual with supervisory, evaluative or other position of authority and power must notify the relevant supervisors, directors or deans immediately. The relevant supervisor, dean or director shall have the authority, in consultation with the Office of Equal Opportunity, to set reasonable conditions to eliminate both the substance and appearance of conflict of interest or abuse of power or authority; to prevent the establishment of direct authority; to minimize and attenuate indirect authority; or to grant an exception to the policy; provided, however, that exceptions will be granted only in extenuating and extraordinary circumstances. The relevant supervisor, dean or director may also take measures to prevent the deprivation of educational or employment opportunities for the student or subordinate, and will have the authority, in consultation with the Office of Equal Opportunity, to make exceptions to normal academic rules and policies as warranted by the circumstances.

Although it is recognized that the student or subordinate may be a full and willing participant in an Intimate Relationship, both the responsibility for adhering to this policy and the consequences for violating it fall upon the person in a position of power or authority, rather than the student or subordinate. Violations of this policy are referred to the appropriate disciplinary procedure based on the status of the employee in the position of greater power or authority over the other individual.

When allegations of sexual misconduct, relationship violence, or stalking arise in connection with an Intimate Relationship, the University will address such charges in accordance with NYU’s Sexual Misconduct, Relationship Violence, and Stalking Policy.

  1. Dates of official enactment and amendments: Jan 21, 2018
  2. History: N/A
  3. Cross References: Sexual Misconduct, Relationship Violence, and Stalking Policy