Professional Boundaries



For Full Time and Teaching Faculty, and
Adjunct Faculty, and
Administrative Staff with Faculty Rank, and
Academic Support Staff with Faculty Rank

A.     Professional Boundaries Policy

All faculty, including any university staff employees with teaching responsibility or any position of authority with students as described below, are expected to maintain appropriate professional boundaries in their relationships with students. In keeping with the Elon University mission, faculty and staff relationships with students must maintain a central focus on student learning and development. Inappropriate relationships that potentially jeopardize the centrality of this focus are contrary to the mission of the University and counterproductive to the educational process. Intimate relationships between faculty and students or staff and students, even of a consensual nature, are inherently problematic due to the unequal status of faculty and students or staff and students. Therefore, any employee with teaching responsibility or other position of authority in relation to students may not engage in such inappropriate relationships with students. Pre-existing relationships are exempt from this policy.

B.     Definition of inappropriate relationships and positions of authority

An inappropriate relationship is any romantic or physically intimate liaison. Positions of authority include, but may not be limited to, teaching, evaluating, supervising, coaching, or advising a student or student group.

C.     Complaint Procedures

Procedures for students to follow in reporting an alleged violation of the professional boundaries policy may be found in the Student Handbook.

D. Grievance Procedures

Faculty who are found to be in violation of the Professional Boundary Policy and who wish to contest the finding should follow the faculty’s general grievance policy (see III-18, A, 5).