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SAN FRANCISCO — Spurred by a scandal that toppled UC Berkeley's law school dean last year, University of California regents on Thursday approved a policy prohibiting professors and other faculty from having romantic or sexual relationships with their students.With the new policy, which takes effect immediately, the university joins a growing number of American higher educational institutions that have restricted such relationships, saying they may exploit students."Just having this on the books will help change whatever behavior is problematic," said Gayle Binion, a UC Santa Barbara political science professor who heads the university-wide Academic Senate. colleges -- has had no systemwide ban on faculty-student dating.Those who abuse their power in the context of an Amorous Relationship where there is Educational or Employment Supervision and Evaluation violate their duty to the University community.
When such a complaint is brought forward, the Dean normally conducts an inquiry and, if appropriate, submits his or her findings and recommendations to the President under paragraph IV.
Binion, who helped draft the policy, said that while she believes most faculty members already recognize such standards of behavior, it was important for the university to take a clear stand."The very integrity of the university's academic mission is dependent on the accountability of the faculty member as a mentor, educator and evaluator," she said. But six campuses, including Berkeley, have conflict-of-interest guidelines urging professors to recuse themselves from overseeing students with whom they are romantically involved.
The regents approved the policy on a voice vote, with two of them -- Regent Velma Montoya and student Regent Matt Murray -- asking that their opposition be registered.
The following paragraphs set forth rules applicable to members of the faculty in certain areas in which written policies have been promulgated.
The policies printed here are not intended to be exhaustive or to supplant commonly held understandings in areas not covered by these paragraphs.