Sunday, January 18, 2015

On the rules governing the dating of students

An interesting discussion at a law prof blog.

My favorite comment is this one:
A colleague used to be a professor at UC Berkeley. A curmudgeon at heart. He once told me that many of his female students used to approach him and tell him "I'll do anything to pass this class. ANYTHING."
He bent over close and asked "Anything?", to which they would reply "Anything!"
He would then ask, in a very quiet voice, "Would you ... STUDY?"
My own view is that what really matters is having clear rules that are carefully written and precise. Lots of trouble can be avoided if everyone understands what the rules are and they are enforced as written.

If I were picking the rules, I would probably say no dating of undergrads at all until they graduate, mainly because I think this is the product that parents want to buy, and they are usually the ones paying. For graduate students, who are generally older and usually paying their own way, I would just forbid dating with faculty with a direct influence over the student (e.g. who teach them classes or are on their dissertation committee) until degree completion.

Regardless of the rules, in the current kangaroo court environment on most campuses, this is behavior to avoid.

Via instapundit.

Addendum: Harvard adopts a clear policy. We should do that at Michigan too, even if it is not the same policy as at Harvard.

Hat tip: ASAK

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