Dankprofessor’s Weblog

A weblog examining sexual politics in higher education and beyond.

The official Ohio State University policy on student professor consensual sexual relationships

After a 1 1/2 years of  consideration, evaluation and debate the OSU issued its formal policy on consensual sexual relationships between students and professors on July 1, 2006; the policy can be viewed here.  And a myriad of OSU documents relating to the process leading to adoption can be viewed here.

What ended up in the final policy was essentially proposed in the Work Group Report.  And it appears that the Work Group report was not criticized by anyone or any entity associated with OSU.  The dankprofessor believes that it has been only on the dankprofessor blog that the work of the Work Group has ever been directly criticized.  The reality was that the work of the Work Group was accepted as the final word.  A lot of huffing and puffing occurred when the Task Force released its report to the OSU community, and the changes that did occur were not ultimately of a substantive nature.  And last but not least the consensual policy became a subpart of  the sexual harassment policy of  Ohio State University.  

So now in 2008, faculty and students entering OSU can internalize the OSU sexual norms in a bureaucratized and dehumanized framework. No romance; no passion; no love.  If there be passion, love and romance between a student and a professor, it must be a secret love.  And as I am sure we all know, love will survive and is surviving at OSU.  Such came to be at OSU and so many other universities by the usage of fear tactics, fear tactics that included  farcical beliefs that the permitting of student professor sexual relationships has in some way undermined the quality of academic life.  The quality of academic life was never undermined by allowing for student professor sexual relationships at OSU or any other university.  What has been  diminished is the quality of life since freedom and consent and choice have been diminished and authoritarian thinking has formally replaced independent thinking, and an authoritarian  institutional bureaucratic “ethic” has replaced a personal ethical engagement.

If you wish, you can write to me directly at dankprofessor@msn.com
Guest commentaries should also be submitted for consideration to the same email address.

Barry M. Dank aka the dankprofessorTM
© Copyright 2008

January 9, 2008 - Posted by | consensual relationships, ethics, fraternization, higher education, Ohio State University, secrecy, sexual policing, sexual politics, sexual rights, student professor dating


  1. Dear dankprofessor and other readers,

    How long should I wait to date with my former professor? I graduated from his community college in December 2004 and I still have contacts with him. I met some men but I don’t like them as much as I like my professor. He likes me since the day we met in his class but I did care him so much when I was in his college. When I transfered to the university, I had a hard time (major issue – university changed my major without my knowledge after exit interview) then hard to find a job. I didn’t pay that much attention and time he deserved when he dealt with my stress/depression. Then, got a job then laid off and now got a new job again. My current job is only part-time and I am almost over late for marriage (I’m mid 30’s and he’s 10 years elder). Now, I am financially and emotionally OK so should I worried about the lawsuit or other negative issues about his professor career? I knew some professors from his department and I occasionally visited his office as we couldn’t go out.

    Please note that we discussed about marriage since beginning and he seems a committed person (e.g. he quit drinking beer after 2weeks I met him and he tried to show serious interest in my religion, cut his hair the way I like, etc.). You can see job loss/cuts in the news these days and he couldn’t leave this successful job (though he considered once). I don’t know what to do now so any suggestions would be helpful to be with him.

    Thank you.

    Comment by mya | March 8, 2008 | Reply

  2. Mya,

    You left the college 4 years ago; you have waited long enough. If you continue to have an interest in this professor, there is no reason not to act on that interest.

    Of course, it does take two to tango.

    Good luck,

    the dankprofessor

    Comment by dankprofessor | March 9, 2008 | Reply

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