To set forth the official policy of Georgia Health Sciences University pertaining to consensual “amorous” or romantic relationships between members of Georgia Health Sciences University community.
Amorous relationships that might be appropriate in other circumstances can be inappropriate when they occur between a faculty member, officer or supervisor of Georgia Health Sciences University, and any student, subordinate employee or patient for whom he or she has a professional responsibility. GHSU expects all members of the GHSU community to exercise appropriate discretion and judgment with regard to personal interactions. When one person has a professional relationship toward another, or stands in a position of authority over another, even an apparently consensual amorous relationship may lead to sexual harassment or other breaches of professional obligations.
In addition, amorous relationships that are mutual and consensual may be viewed by others as exploitative and may thus adversely affect the educational or work environments. In particular, such relationships can create general conflicts of interest and the fear from fellow students or co-workers of unfair treatment in terms of grades, promotions, etc.
GHSU’s position is that it is unwise and inappropriate for faculty members, staff, and supervisors to have amorous relationships with students, employees and patients whom they have authority to supervise, evaluate or treat, even in cases where there is or appears to be mutual consent. Therefore, GHSU prohibits all faculty and staff, including graduate assistants, residents and fellows from pursuing amorous relationships with students whom they currently supervise or teach, or whom they know that they will supervise or teach in the future. In addition, GHSU prohibits any individual in authority from participating in discussions and decisions that affect the compensation, evaluation, employment conditions, instruction, and/or academic status of any subordinate with whom he or she has or had an amorous relationship.
Reporting: Any individual in authority who is or has been involved in an amorous relationship with a person whom they may be called upon to evaluate, must promptly report this fact to his or her supervisor. The supervisor will then arrange to see that the individual in authority does not evaluate nor participate in discussions and decisions that affect the compensation, evaluation, employment conditions, instruction, and/or academic status of the subordinate involved. Any individual in authority who violates this policy is subject to disciplinary action commensurate with the offense.
Any person who believes that a faculty member, graduate assistant, resident or fellow is involved in an amorous relationship with a person under his/her direct authority or supervision should report the perceived relationship to the Provost, Director of Student Affairs or Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education. Any person who believes that a staff member is involved in an amorous relationship with a person under his/her direct authority or supervision should report the perceived relationship to the Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Officer or Director of Human Resources.
GHSU reserves the right to take appropriate action when disruptive conduct, job performance problems, or actions that reflect poorly on the institution result from amorous relationships. Due process rights will be afforded to any individual suspected of violating this policy, as set forth in the Faculty Manual, Employee Handbook, or Student Handbook, as applicable.