Princeton updates its policy regarding sexual and romantic relationships between faculty and graduate students

by the Office of Communications

During the Faculty Meeting on Monday, April 1, faculty voted to approve a policy that prohibits all faculty from initiating or engaging in romantic or sexual relationships with graduate students. Previously, faculty were prohibited only from initiating or engaging in romantic or sexual relationships with graduate students over whom they had advising, instruction or supervisory responsibilities. The new policy includes exemptions for pre-existing relationships.

“This is an important step in ensuring that we create a safe, respectful and equitable learning environment for everyone on campus,” Dean of the Faculty Sanjeev Kulkarni said in an email to faculty. 

Existing University policy already prohibits all romantic or sexual relationships between faculty and undergraduates. 

“It is important to note that this prohibition, and therefore any disciplinary consequences, fall entirely on the faculty. That is, this policy change will not result in any disciplinary consequences for graduate students,” Dean of the Graduate School Sarah-Jane Leslie said in a statement emailed to graduate students. 

The policy changes were put forth by the Faculty Advisory Committee on Policy, following recommendations from the Faculty-Student Committee on Sexual Misconduct. The complete revised policy is available under “Rules and Procedures of the Faculty” on the Dean of the Faculty website.