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University Adopts Policies on Evaluative Authority

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February 8, 2005

The University has adopted two new policies that address situations in which a faculty or staff member has evaluative authority over another member of the University community, who is or has been a romantic partner or family member. The text of the policies follows.

Policy Regarding Evaluative Authority Over Faculty or Staff

No faculty or staff member may have evaluative authority in such matters as employment, compensation, promotion, or termination over another faculty or staff member, who is the faculty or staff member’s spouse, domestic partner, relative or an individual with whom the faculty or staff member is having or has recently concluded a sexual relationship. For purposes of this policy, a relative is a blood relation, in-law, step or adoptive relative, as close as or closer than nephew or niece.

When a situation occurs that potentially violates this policy, the faculty or staff member with evaluative authority must report the relationship to his or her department chair, dean, the Department of Human Resources or the University Provost. If the person to whom the relationship is reported determines that such action is necessary, it is the responsibility of both the faculty or staff member with the evaluative authority and the individual to whom the relationship is reported to ensure that the evaluative authority is reassigned. If this is not feasible in a particular instance, the faculty or staff member and the individual to whom the relationship is reported must bring the matter to the attention of the Provost or the Associate Vice President of Human Resources. Failure to report a relationship is a violation of the policy.

http://www.northwestern.edu/provost/faculty/policy/eval_authority_f&s.htm
http://www.northwestern.edu/hr/policies/chap1pol2005.pdf

Policy Regarding Evaluative Authority Over Students

No faculty or staff member may have evaluative or supervisory authority (including the assignment of grades, the supervision of dissertations, or decisions relating to employment or financial support) over a student who is a relative or with whom the faculty or staff member is having or has recently had a romantic or sexual relationship.  If such a relationship exists or has existed between a faculty or staff member and a student over whom the faculty or staff member has evaluative or supervisory authority, the faculty or staff member must report the relationship to his or her department chair, dean, or the University Provost.  For purposes of this policy, a relative is a blood relation, in-law, step or adoptive relative, as close as or closer than nephew or niece.

If the person to whom the relationship is reported determines that such action is necessary, it is the responsibility of both the faculty or staff member with the evaluative or supervisory authority and the individual to whom the relationship is reported to ensure that the evaluative or supervisory authority is reassigned.  If this is not feasible in a particular instance, the faculty or staff member and the individual to whom the relationship is reported must bring the matter to the attention of the Provost. Failure to report a relationship is a violation of the policy.

http://www.northwestern.edu/provost/faculty/policy/eval_authority_stu.htm
http://www.northwestern.edu/hr/policies/chap1pol2005.pdf

Topics: People