Close personal relationships policy
Intent and objectives
The University expects staff members to maintain the highest professional standards when fulfilling the duties. This places an obligation on staff to act appropriately when a conflict arises (or could be seen to arise) between their duty to the University and their close personal relationship with a student or a staff member.
This policy aims to
- support ethical and professional conduct of staff
- safeguard staff members’ work relationships as teachers, academics, supervisors or administrators
- secure the interests of students enrolled in University programs and staff of the University, in particular by providing an equal educational opportunity for all
All staff and students. This policy has particular relevance to academic staff and postgraduate students.
If a staff member has (or initiates) a close personal relationship with a student or another (potential) staff member, it is the staff member’s responsibility to remove themselves from any real or perceived conflict of interest. This policy applies regardless of who initiates the relationship.
Where a staff member is currently involved or has recently been involved in a close personal relationship with a student, that staff member must not take any part in any academic or administrative decision making processes in respect of that student. Such processes can include:
- selection for entry to the University
- selection for any undergraduate or postgraduate program offered by the University
- assessment procedures
- classification for honours
- selection for any scholarship or prize
- honours or postgraduate supervision
Staff are responsible for removing themselves from the resulting potential conflict of interest with no disadvantage to the student concerned, in line with the Personal relationships between staff and students procedure.
Staff members must not take any active part in any formal employment or academic assessment processes in respect of another staff member (or potential staff member) with whom they have a close personal relationship. Such processes may include but not limited to the following:
- recruitment and appointment
- direct reporting relationship
- staff development opportunities
- conditions of service
- planning and development review
- performance appraisal
- research grant assessment
Breach of policy
Failure by a staff member to remove themselves from any conflict of interest can lead to disciplinary action on the ground of misconduct or serious misconduct.[Next: Supporting documents and information]