Maitripa College is committed to fostering a learning environment characterized by professional behavior, fair and impartial treatment, high ethical standards, and a safe and harmonious campus conducive to academic and spiritual growth. Consensual romantic, intimate or sexual relationships are of concern to Maitripa College when there is a difference in power or institutional responsibility between the adults due to the nature of the student-teacher relationship in both academic and religious contexts. Consensual relationships between faculty and students, or between employers and employees, can involve a conflict of interest that can: compromise the integrity of the exercise of institutional responsibility or impaired objectivity in supervisory, evaluative, or advisory duties; create the potential for abuse of the authority; or cause problems due to the perceptions of third parties. Actual or perceived conflict of interest can adversely affect other members of the College community, and may be disruptive to the collegiality and mutual trust that are essential for the effective functioning of an academic and religious institution.
Therefore, it may constitute an abuse of power or conflict of interest for: faculty members to engage in sexual or romantic relationships with students enrolled in their classes or otherwise subject to their direct supervision or evaluation; staff members or work supervisors to engage in sexual or romantic relationships with students subject to their direct supervision or authority.
Maitripa College recognizes the value of harmonious, healthy relationships between consenting adults who wish to share their intellectual and religious commitments and aspirations in a committed partnership. When the parties recognize they share a responsibility for upholding the mission and vision of Maitripa College, such relationships may positively contribute the establishment and applicability of Tibetan Buddhism in American culture.
Nonetheless, Maitripa College prohibits faculty and staff from initiating or acquiescing to sexual or romantic relationship with a student enrolled in a course being taught by the faculty or staff member or whose work is being evaluated or supervised by the faculty or staff member.
Maitripa College strongly discourages consenting sexual or romantic relationships between faculty and student or staff and employee outside the instructional context, but if it should arise, the faculty or staff member should immediately take appropriate action and cooperate with appropriate arrangements as defined below to mitigate potential or actual conflict of interest.
- Faculty or staff member must immediately inform their supervisor and/or the President, and distance or recuse themselves from any evaluative role in relation to the student.
- Faculty or staff will cooperate with their supervisor or an ethics committee to make appropriate arrangements, defined in the State of Oregon as, “an action reasonably calculated to remove or substantially mitigate a conflict or a potential conflict of interest or abuse of power, taking into account the interests of the University, the parties to the relationship, and others actually or potentially affected.”
- (A full list of the possible appropriate arrangement is available upon request.)
- In addition to the appropriate academic arrangements, both the faculty member or staff and the student or employee shall jointly with their supervisor discuss and take appropriate steps to mitigate impact of their relationship upon student body and the larger Maitripa community.
Failure to inform supervisors, abide by appropriate arrangements, or a pattern of serial incidences on the part of the senior, may reflect failure to take seriously the college position to strongly discourage romantic or sexual relationships with juniors, violate faculty member’s professional obligations, and potentially indicate unwillingness to perform satisfactorily the responsibilities of the position.
Complaint and Sanctions Process
Complaints by students with standing to allege a violation of this rule, or by third parties alleging adverse effect by the relationship, and investigation and sanctions shall be handled in accordance with procedures set forth in the State of Oregon codes by which Maitripa College abides, documentation of which and discussion of may be provided by staff upon request.