When Law Schools Look the Other Way at Profs Who “Date” Students

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Do you know a faculty member who propositions students?  If you’ve spent any time in academia, my guess is that the answer is “Yes.” Does that faculty member think he (or she) is propositioning students?  My guess is the answer is, “Probably not.”

Have you ever reported a colleague who propositions students?  Invites students on “dates”? My guess is the answer is, “No.”  Notwithstanding the academy’s reputation for leftist intervention of all sorts, profs tend to respect wide zones of privacy in personal matters.

If you have reported a colleague who propositions students or invites them on “dates,” does the administration investigate?  My guess is the answer is, “No.”  At least in law schools, I’ve heard the refrain, “Everyone is an adult here.  Faculty members don’t really have any power over students in an anonymous grading system.”  To me, that’s just willful ignorance of power differentials.  

Yesterday’s Chronicle of Higher Education News Blog included this article  detailing  a lawsuit brought by students at  East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania against University administrators for, among other things, failing to investigate properly claims against a University VP.  

Deans and directors, listen up.  Looking the other way now means looking at a subpoena later.

-Bridget Crawford

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