By Quanecia Fraser—
A revised policy now prohibits relationships between faculty and students at Texas A&M University system schools, including Tarleton State University.
A&M System Chancellor John Sharp approved revisions to regulations on sexual misconduct at A&M System schools. Sections three and four of System Regulation 07.05.01 Consensual Relationships states that university employees are “prohibited from pursuing or having a consensual relationship with an undergraduate student at that institution.” Employees who violate this rule can face disciplinary action, including dismissal.
Exemptions are allowed but only under certain conditions. Section three of the regulation states that employees can request exemption “from the president or designee of the member for whom the employee works.” The president or designee will then sign the documentation of exemption and put it in the employee’s personnel file.
The revised regulation also includes added definitions of “employee” and “student.”
An employee is defined as “an individual holding a full or part-time position of system employment, including graduate assistants.” Employees in this case do not include student workers, according to the regulation.
A student is defined as “an individual who is currently enrolled at a system university” and a consensual relationship is defined as “a mutually agreeable amorous, romantic, and/or sexual relationship.”
Last spring, Texan News reported about Tarleton history professor Dr. Michael Landis being accused of inappropriate behavior by multiple female students. However, A&M Vice Chancellor of Marketing and Communications Laylan Copelin says that those accusations are not the reason for the revised regulations.
In an e-mail to Texan News, Copelin wrote: “The System regulations are not in response to any particular case, but it was felt that the policy changes were in the best interest of our students.”
Regarding Title IX violations which can include sexual misconduct, Tarleton State University spokeswoman Cecilia Jacobs provided this statement to Texan News:
“Tarleton State University is working with The Texas A&M University System to implement tougher sanctions for students, faculty and staff responsible for serious Title IX violations. Safety of the entire Tarleton family is top priority for the university.”
Link to Consensual Relationships Regulation:
Link to Texas Tribune article:
Links to Texan News reporting of Dr. Landis’ accusations: