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UM to limit faculty-student relationships

The University of Michigan Union
Wikimedia Commons
University of Michigan student union

The University of Michigan's updated sexual misconduct policy is expected to include a ban on faculty members having romantic or sexual relationships with undergraduate students. The policy also would prohibit faculty from having romantic or sexual relationships with any graduate or professional student in the same discipline or academic program as themselves.

Rick Fitzgerald is a spokesman for UM.

"This was the right time to review this policy as we were reviewing other policies and looking at what else needed to be done," says Fitzgerald. He says the policy is in line with that of peer universities.

The revisions are expected to be finalized and announced in February. As well, a revised sexual misconduct policy will include the right of cross-examination during disciplinary hearings related to allegations of sexual misconduct. The update taking effect in January follows a federal appeals court ruling.

Catherine Shaffer joined Michigan Radio in 2014. She works in the newsroom and specializes in stories related to the life sciences, health, and technology. Catherine earned a bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from Michigan State University and a Master’s from University of Michigan. Prior to Michigan Radio, Catherine has worked as a freelance writer, mainly in focusing on biotechnology and the pharmaceutical industry, since 2001. She is also an award-winning fiction writer. When not at work, Catherine enjoys being in the outdoors and practicing yoga.