Perhaps schools turn a blind eye because law students are adults – in contrast to undergraduate students – and, in theory, they are thus freer to make decisions about whom to date, much like people who date co-workers.
It happens because in many academic disciplines—such as, of course, philosophy, which already enjoys a reputation for misconduct—there is a tendency for beginning scholars to have “philosophical idols,” as explained to me by Meena Krishnamurthy, an assistant professor at the University of Manitoba.A scenario that has been raising concern on college campuses might go something like this: He is a middle-aged English professor, an expert on Henry James, who appears worldly and sophisticated in his tweed jacket while lecturing to his class. The appropriateness of faculty-student dating is being discussed on campuses throughout Westchester, echoing a nationwide debate about whether such relationships should be tolerated, regulated or banned altogether.She is an 18-year-old freshman, starry eyed and entranced by her teacher's apparent brilliance and sensitivity. Faculty members at the University of Virginia recently voted to prohibit sexual relationships between professors and the students they supervise.A survey of Westchester colleges and universities revealed that no formal policies addressing faculty-student dating are in place, but many schools said that a prohibition against such relationships is implicit in other policies regulating professional conduct."We view this kind of relationship as inappropriate," said James Bryan, Dean of Students at Manhattanville College.