Harassment, Sexual Harassment and Related Policies


Amherst (from Faculty Handbook, Section IVA #3: Statement on Respect for Persons):

Harassment. Amherst College does not condone harassment of any kind, against any group or individual, because of race, religion, ethnic identification, age, handicap, gender or sexual orientation. Such harassment is clearly in conflict with the interests of the College as an educational community and in many cases with provisions of law.

Hampshire: Discrimination and Harassment Policy

Mount Holyoke (from Handbook of Faculty Legislation, Appendix I, p. 113)

Harassment Generally
Mount Holyoke College seeks to maintain free expression while protecting members of its community from harassment--including but not limited to harassment on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, or disability. Such harassment that targets an identifiable individual or group is clearly in conflict with the interests of the College as an educational community and may be in conflict with provisions of the law.

Smith (from Smith College Code of Conduct)

Harassment and Intimidation

The college prohibits sexual or any other kind of harassment or intimidation, whether committed by or against a student, faculty member, supervisor, coworker, vendor or visitor. Harassment has no place in our community, whether based on a person's race, sex, color, creed, religion, national/ethnic origin, age, handicap, sexual orientation or disabled veteran/Vietnam-era veteran status. See also the Policy on Sexual Harassment in Section 104 of the Administrative Staff Handbook and the Gender-Based and Sexual Misconduct Policy in the Employee Handbook.

University: No specific harassment policy

Sexual Harassment



Mount Holyoke

Smith (opens PDF)

UMass (opens PDF)

Related Policies

Amherst: From Faculty Handbook, Section IVA, #3. Statement on Respect for Persons

Consensual sexual relationships between faculty members and students (Voted by the Faculty, 1993). Experience has shown that consensual sexual relationships between faculty members and students can lead to harassment. Faculty members should understand the potential for coercion in sexual relationships with students with whom the faculty members also have instructional, advisory or supervisory relationships.

Even when such relationships do not lead to harassment, they can compromise the integrity of the educational process. The objectivity of evaluations which occur in making recommendations or assigning grades, honors, and fellowships may be called into question when a faculty member involved in those functions has or has had a sexual relationship with a student.

For these reasons, the College does not condone, and in fact strongly discourages consensual sexual relationships between faculty members and students. The College requires a faculty member to remove himself or herself from any supervisory, evaluative, advisory, or other pedagogical role involving a student with whom he or she has had or currently has a sexual relationship. Since the absence of this person may deprive the student of educational, advising, or career opportunities, both parties should be mindful of the potential costs to the student before entering into a sexual relationship.

In cases in which it proves necessary, the Dean of Faculty, in consultation with the Dean of Students and the chair (or head) of the relevant department, will evaluate the student's situation and take measures to prevent deprivation of educational and advising opportunities. The appropriate officers of the College will have the authority to make exceptions to normal academic rules and policies that are warranted by the circumstances.

Hampshire: (Provided by Hampshire Dean of Faculty Office) (Not available online without Hampshire login)

FROM: Faculty Handbook, July 2013 Pages, 20-21

VII. Miscellaneous

VIII. Statement of Professional Fitness

The contract of appointment of a faculty member may not be terminated by the College prior to the expiration of the term provided in the contract except for reasons of demonstrable institutional financial exigencies or for reasons directly and substantially related to the fitness of the faculty member in his or her professional capacity as a teacher or a scholar. One important factor in determining fitness is that personal relationships with students not impair the faculty member's ability to preserve objective judgment necessary to function as a teacher and evaluator. It must be recognized that the position of teacher necessarily embodies an unequal power relationship with students, and the faculty member must be careful to avoid any relationships with students, including those of a sexual nature, which abuse that power.

Mount Holyoke: Handbook of Faculty Legislation, Section 5, IB, p. 51.

B. Prohibition of Faculty – Student Romantic and Sexual Relationships
Romantic or sexual relationships between a College faculty member and a student jeopardize
the learning environment for that student and others. Such relationships, even when they
occur between consenting adults, raise serious concerns regarding unequal status and
power, validity of consent, conflicts of interest, and preferential treatment, among many
other concerns. Faculty members engaging in such relationships put at risk themselves, the
students, and the educational mission of the College.

Accordingly, faculty are prohibited from engaging in romantic or sexual relationships with all
College students, even if consensual. This prohibition includes relationships that occur when
the College is not in session or the faculty member or student is on leave. Such relationships
are prohibited regardless of whether the faculty member is directly teaching, advising,
evaluating, or supervising the student, and regardless of the age of the student.

Failure to abide by this policy will result in discipline to the faculty member, up to and
including dismissal from employment at the College.

The College will enforce this policy through the existing Grievance Procedures set forth by
the Compliance and Risk Management Department. Individuals who experience, witness, or
learn about possible violations of this policy or who have questions about this policy should
consult with the Dean of Faculty, Title IX Coordinator, Human Resources, the appropriate
department chair, the appropriate dean, or one of their designees. In turn, all department
chairs, deans, and designees are required to report possible violations to the Dean of Faculty.
If a report involves someone in the Dean of Faculty’s Office, the report should be addressed
to the Title IX Coordinator and the President.

Limited Exemptions: The Dean of the Faculty may grant exemptions from this policy under
reasonable circumstances. An automatic exemption to this policy applies when the spouse
or domestic partner of a faculty member enrolls as a student. When an exemption (including
an automatic exemption) is made, the Dean of the Faculty notifies the Dean of Students office
and makes arrangements, if necessary, to minimize any potential conflicts of interest.

 Smith: From Smith College Faculty Code, Appendix H.

"Because of their potential to damage the bonds of mutual trust and responsibility upon which this
intellectual community depends, sexual relationships between faculty members and students are
prohibited. Such relationships are prohibited when the faculty member is directly teaching,
advising, evaluating, or supervising the student, and they are prohibited in the absence of any
direct pedagogical relationship between faculty member and student; they are prohibited even if
the relationship is consensual; they are prohibited regardless of the age of the student. Failure to
abide by this policy will result in discipline to the faculty member, up to and including dismissal
from employment at the College."

Approved by vote of the Faculty on May 14, 2015


"In order to avoid any conflict of interest or abuse of authority, any faculty member who has any responsibility for supervision, evaluation, grading, advising, employment, or other instructional or supervisory activity related to a student or postdoc is prohibited from entering into a sexual relationship with that individual beginning with the effective date of this policy. For relationships that predate this policy or that began before the faculty member assumed the responsibilities, the faculty member must immediately disclose the relationship to their immediate supervisor and, if possible, remove himself/herself/themselves from these responsibilities.

Where a conflict of interest or potential conflict of interest or abuse of authority exists in the context of a sexual relationship between a faculty member and a student or post-doc predates this policy or arose before the faculty-student relationship or responsibility began, the faculty member involved shall notify their immediate supervisor. The supervisor shall have the responsibility of making arrangements to eliminate any conflict of interest that might prove detrimental to the University or to either party in the relationship, while at the same time maximizing the student/post-doc’s educational and professional opportunities. Violations of this policy should be reported to the faculty member’s supervisor, who will deal with the matter in accordance with University policy and relevant collective bargaining agreements.

Nothing in this policy should be construed to override or alter the campus Sexual Harassment Policy, http://www.umass.edu/eod/SexualHarassmentPolicy.pdf.

Questions about the Consensual Relationships policy should be directed to Associate Provost Michael Eagen.

For full policy, see here (opens PDF).