Ethical Relationship Policy

Policy #: 
HRC 503.005
Executive Owner: 
Director Human Resources

The parties governed by this policy are as follows, employees (faculty, adjunct faculty, staff, student workers), and students.



The purpose of the policy is to provide guidance to situations where romantic and or sexual relations occur between parties, where one party has a supervisory, or evaluative authority over another.


There are inherent risks in any romantic or sexual relationship between individuals in unequal positions (such as faculty member and student or supervisor and employee). These relationships may, in reality, be less consensual than perceived by the individual whose position confers power or authority. Similarly, the relationship also may be viewed in different ways by each of the parties, particularly in retrospect. Circumstances may change, and conduct that was once welcome may, at some point in the relationship, become unwelcome.  

Even when both parties have initially consented to romantic or sexual involvement, the possibility of a later allegation of a relevant Policy violation still exists. AdventHealth University does not wish to interfere with private choices regarding personal relationships when these relationships do not interfere with the goals and policies of AdventHealth University. However, for the personal protection of members of this community, relationships in which power differentials are inherent (e.g., faculty-student, staff-student) are generally discouraged. They may also violate standards of professionalism and/or professional ethics.  

Consensual romantic or sexual relationships in which one party maintains a direct supervisory or otherwise evaluative role over the other party are inherently problematic. Therefore, persons with direct supervisory or otherwise evaluative responsibilities who are involved in such relationships must bring these relationships to the timely attention of the Human Resources Director and/or the Title IX Coordinator. The existence of this type of relationship will likely result in removing the supervisory or evaluative responsibilities from the employee or shifting a party from being supervised or evaluated by someone with whom they have established a consensual relationship. When an affected relationship existed prior to adoption of this policy, the duty to notify the appropriate people still pertains. 

This type of relationship includes Resident Advisors (RAs) and students over whom the RA has direct responsibility. While no relationships are prohibited by this policy, failure to timely self-report such relationships to the Human Resources Director and/or the Title IX Coordinator as required can result in disciplinary action for an employee. The Title IX Coordinator will determine whether to refer violations of this provision to Human Resources for resolution, or to pursue resolution under this Policy, based on the circumstances of the allegation.   


Parties - Any employee (faculty, adjunct faculty, staff, student workers), or students

Supervisory role- An employee to employee relationship where one party has supervisory authority over the other

Evaluative role - A employee to student relationship where one party evaluates (or has input on) a student's performance/grade



CommitteeDate VotedMinutes Code
Strategic and Operational PlanningWednesday, October 7, 202020:14
Approved by: 
Edwin Hernandez
Approval Date: 
Thursday, November 5, 2020
Effective Date: 
Wednesday, October 7, 2020
Review Date: 
Wednesday, June 29, 2022