Professors Dating Students: No Class

Last year the University of California system banned professors from dating their students. The college of William & Mary banned such liaisons in 2001. Several Florida universities restrict such relationships.

USF, however, isn’t one. And the question, in the age of sexual harassment complaints and suits, is should it?

And the answer is: “No.”

No, they shouldn’t formally ban such relationships; everyone is a legal adult, although some only technically so.

But, no, they shouldn’t date. Of course not. A non-platonic professor-student relationship is wrong for all the obvious reasons. Most importantly, it’s inherently exploitative.

But does this really have to be codified? Better to follow the rule of thumb: Professors shouldn’t date those they have leverage and influence over — whether as a grade-wielding instructor, a truth-espousing guru or a life-defining mentor. Show some class.

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