Consensual Relationships

Policy Number: 
OUS 17
Responsible Office: 

Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost: (541) 346-3186,

Enactment & Revision History: 

Became a UO policy by operation of law on July 1, 2014.

Adopted by the SBHE September 9, 2005.


State Board of Higher Education administrative rule OAR 580-022-0055 requires institutions to take steps to ensure that employees do not participate in employment decisions, supervision, or grievance decision-making over family members. Consistent with that policy, the Board recognizes the potential conflict of interest that occurs when romantic or sexual relationships develop in which there is an inherent power differential between the parties to the relationship. Accordingly, whenever such potential conflict occurs, any employee involved in such a relationship has a duty to disclose the relationship and to cooperate in institutional efforts to prevent an actual conflict. Institutions shall develop policies to address problems that may result from consensual relationships.

Institution policies shall:

  1. Establish procedures for eliminating conflicts of interest related to consensual relationships.

Consensual relationships to which this policy applies are those romantic, intimate, or sexual relationships where one of the parties has institutional responsibility for or authority over the other or is involved in evaluation of the other party, whether the other party is an employee or a student.

  1. Institutional policies must contain provisions:

  • Requiring an employee in a consensual relationship to advise a higher level administrator of the relationship and to cooperate in eliminating any actual or potential conflict of interest resulting from the relationship;

  • Notifying and encouraging employees and students where they can express concerns regarding actual or potential conflicts of interest resulting from consensual relationships;

  • Identifying the risks and conflicts associated with consensual relationships, and

  • Prohibiting retaliation against persons who report concerns about consensual relationships.

  1. Campus-wide educational programs.

The policy shall be broadly and regularly disseminated to the entire campus. Institutions shall also offer training to faculty and administrators and ensure that those resolving actual or potential conflicts of interest resulting from consensual relationships or responding to concerns regarding consensual relationships have the training and knowledge necessary to fulfill their responsibilities. Institutions shall periodically assess the effectiveness of their notification and training processes.