The UNC Policy Manual


Adopted 03/15/96

Amended 07/01/07


Improper Relationships Between Students and Employees

               The University of North Carolina does not condone amorous relationships between students and employees.  Members of the University community should avoid such liaisons, which can harm affected students and damage the integrity of the academic enterprise.  Further, sexual relationships between unmarried persons can result in criminal liability.  In two types of situations, University prohibition and punishment of amorous relationships is deemed necessary: (1) when the employee is responsible for evaluating or supervising the affected student; (2) when the student is a minor, as defined by North Carolina law.  The following policies shall apply to all employees and students of the seventeen constituent institutions.

A.           Prohibited Conduct[1]

1.            It is misconduct, subject to disciplinary action, for a University employee, incident to any instructional, research, administrative or other University employment responsibility or authority, to evaluate or supervise any enrolled student of the institution with whom he or she has an amorous relationship or to whom he or she is related by blood, law or marriage.

2.            It is misconduct, subject to disciplinary action, for a University employee to engage in sexual activity with any enrolled student of the institution, other than his or her spouse, who is a minor below the age of 18 years.

B.           Definition of Terms

1.            "Amorous relationship."  An amorous relationship exists when, without the benefit of marriage, two persons as consenting partners (a) have a sexual union or (b) engage in a romantic partnering or courtship that may or may not have been consummated sexually.

2.            "Related by blood, law or marriage" means:

a.            Parent and child

b.            Brother and sister

c.            Grandparent and grandchild

d.            Aunt and/or uncle and niece and/or nephew

e.            First cousins

f.            Stepparent and stepchild

g.            Husband and wife

h.            Parents-in-law and children-in-law

i.             Brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law

j.             Guardian and ward


3.            "Evaluate or supervise" means:

a.            To assess, determine or influence (1) one's academic performance, progress or potential or (2) one's entitlement to or eligibility for any institutionally conferred right, benefit or opportunity, or;

b.            To oversee, manage or direct one's academic or other institutionally prescribed activities.


C.           Corrective Action. Violations of the provisions of Section A shall be addressed in accordance with remedial measures prescribed by each constituent institution; if disciplinary action is brought against an affected employee, it shall be conducted in accordance with existing institutional policies and procedures prescribed for prosecuting misconduct charges against members of the class of employment of which the affected employee is a member.

[1]At the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, it is prohibited misconduct for any employee to engage in an amorous relationship or in sexual activity with any enrolled student, except his or her spouse.