Dankprofessor’s Weblog

A weblog examining sexual politics in higher education and beyond.

Sex, desire and the absurd at FGCU

In an August 13, 2009 article the naplesnews.com reported in some detail on the Florida Gulf Coast University administration’s investigation of Professor Patrick Davis’s alleged involvement and upcoming marriage to a former student.  This article is required reading for anyone who is seriously interested in how a consensual relationship between a student and a professor in which neither the professor nor the student is the complainant ends up being subjected to investigation.

 In the situation under consideration, third party informants were the source of the complaints. I have previously argued that third party informants play a crucial role in the revealing of consensual student professor relationships.  In the present case, allegations about capricious grading are brought up.  The allegations should of course be investigated irrespective of whether there was a related sexual component.  However, as to be expected, it appears that the sexual component is treated as the primary component.  As the dankprofessor has repeatedly pointed out, universities should concern themselves with fairness in grading not what they may consider to be fair or foul sexual relationships.

The naplesnews.com article in passing cites the university’s non-harassment and anti-discrimination policy, which states that a conflict exists “when an individual evaluates or supervises another individual with whom he or she has, or desires to have, an amorous or sexual relationship.”

 Now this is a new one for the dankprofessor- a supervising individual is in violation of a non-harassment policy if said individual simply has a desire to have an amorous or sexual relationship with the supervised. Not acting on the desire is not enough; simply having the desire is adequate for disciplinary action. 

 So what is a desiring professor to do.  The only ethical action in this absurd scenario is for the professor to recuse himself or God forbid herself from supervising the student. The conforming prof could simply screen out attractive students from his classes.  Or in other words, get rid of attractive students.

I guess Florida Gulf Coast University reputation as a university that has sexually run amok is merited.

September 11, 2009 - Posted by | attractive students, consensual relationships, ethics, Florida Gulf Coast University, grading, higher education, sex, sexual politics, student professor dating

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