Earlier this week, Garth Saloner, dean of Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, announced he was resigning, due in part to a lawsuit against the university brought by a former professor -- one who happened to be the estranged husband of the woman the dean is dating, another professor at the business school.James Phills, who was let go from Stanford this year, alleges discriminatory treatment by the university due to his entanglement in the dean’s love life.The policy doesn’t ban these relationships outright but says that romances “between employees in which one has direct or indirect authority over the other are always potentially problematic.
You might get invited to some swanky faculty events attended by some intellectual greats. College professors are respected by their students, colleagues and community. It’s easy to visit your date at work: just sneak in the back of the class or audit a course. Stanford denies the claim, saying that Phills -- who had been a nontenured faculty member since 2003, several years after his wife was appointed to a tenured position -- was terminated for failing to return after multiple leaves of absence to work in Silicon Valley.The university in a statement said those leaves were “beyond what is normally allowed by university policy,” and that Phills “ultimately chose to continue his more lucrative employment at Apple.” Citing increased media attention surrounding the suit, and its potential to distract from the business school’s mission, however, Saloner announced he’s stepping down at the end of the academic year. Not according to Stanford, which -- unlike lots of universities -- actually has a policy governing faculty-faculty and faculty-supervisor relationships.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.(Just count the times this author uses the word “hero.”) Thus, the master/protégé dynamic cements power differentials that are simply too pronounced to create a healthy relationship, Not to mention the fact that grad-student/faculty relationships literally ruin careers: When a student and faculty member start sleeping together, rarely is it a well-kept secret; often, the student becomes a departmental pariah.I set out to ask some of Wake Forest’s most beloved professors, “What kind of dating advice do you have?” We all know our professors are pearls of wisdom in the classroom, but how smart are they really when it comes to the world of dating?I was alone, diagnosed with depression, and felt that my single status had everything to do with my ambition. two years ago because I felt it was a place where I could do my scholarship and have the possibility of having a social life. The primary focus of their day-to-day lives was their academic work.Our professors are used to answering tough questions every day, but this time, they got a curve ball.” When I got to campus, I said “I’m going to have to sacrifice and not have a social life for three years.” The potential for meeting someone and forming a relationship was close to nil. He thought I was too intense and stressed out all the time. ” There were just some things he couldn’t deal with, so the relationship ended. I cried in the last three years more than I ever have in my life. I don’t really want to do the club scene and I don’t feel like putting in the energy for dating.I’m more sensitive now and I want to draw closer to family. as a city and I can actually see myself living here long term, but socially it’s been really bad. I tried dating academics, but I found those kinds of relationships were too intense.Without support from fellow students (and, often, dismissed by the other professors in the department), many of these once-promising grad students wind up out of the discipline entirely.Resignation and litigation at Stanford point to complications when an administrator has a relationship with a faculty member in his or her unit, but few colleges have formal policies about such situations.An ongoing legal case resulting in a dean’s resignation from Stanford University raises questions about what policies or best practices govern employee romance.