123 votes

How to avoid being falsely accused of harassment by a student?

Frankly, it is not clear to me why you are so concerned about being falsely accused of sexual harassment. Yes, there is a chance of this happening, but the chance is very small, even compared to ...
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121 votes
Accepted

How to avoid being falsely accused of harassment by a student?

I am not sure if my experiences are common, but as a faculty member in a psychology department I have had a number of unique and uncomfortable experiences with female students. I have described the ...
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  • 103k
119 votes

How to deal with an advisor who wants a "friendlier" relationship with me than I do?

I don't know if a meeting at which you "set the agenda" would be particularly helpful at this stage. It might make him feel "attacked", put him on the defensive, and he may retaliate against you in ...
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  • 107k
74 votes

How to avoid being falsely accused of harassment by a student?

While it is nice that the other people show consideration for all women who are harassed, they do not seem to fully appreciate the position of the many men who are falsely accused. Someone in another ...
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  • 1,698
71 votes
Accepted

What physical contact, if any, is acceptable between a supervisor and a student?

In general, I refrain from initiating any physical contact other than handshakes or "congratulatory" gestures such as high-fives or fist bumps. This allows the student to control the level of ...
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  • 172k
69 votes

How to deal with an advisor who wants a "friendlier" relationship with me than I do?

Preliminaries: You are in a tough spot and I don't think that any course of action is ideal or without risk. If you can accept this "messiness" and commit to a reasonable course of action, you'll ...
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  • 7,203
68 votes

How to deal with an advisor who wants a "friendlier" relationship with me than I do?

Whatever you do, please ignore the advice given by some people here to demonstrate your 'unavailability' to your advisor by talking about having a boyfriend, or having your boyfriend or some male ...
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  • 3,222
55 votes

How to avoid being falsely accused of harassment by a student?

If you read the news lately more closely, you will see that almost no one believed the past individual accounts of harassment, and it took about a dozen simultaneous accusations for anyone to even ...
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  • 8,301
52 votes

How to deal with an advisor who wants a "friendlier" relationship with me than I do?

I think a lot of advice that people are giving is unwise. While I am sure they wish to be helpful, I am not sure they are qualified. I have been active in the women in technology community for 25 ...
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50 votes

How to deal with an advisor who wants a "friendlier" relationship with me than I do?

I am not convinced that he wants a romantic relationship with you. Rather he is boosting his ego by flirting with you and actually enjoys flirting with you. Your response need to be adequate to the ...
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  • 617
47 votes

How does a professor lose their tenure over a sex scandal which he was not involved in?

The Dean of the medical school is not being fired because he was involved in sexual crimes. He is being fired because he poorly handled the Title IX investigation. He utterly failed to ensure the ...
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  • 51.2k
45 votes

How to avoid being falsely accused of harassment by a student?

Perhaps think of this the same way you think of avoiding being run over as a pedestrian. There are obvious precautions you should definitely take, such as looking both ways before crossing a road, ...
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41 votes

As a TA, I had sex with someone who turned out to be one of my students, what do I do?

Note: I'm a department chair at a US university. The following represents my thoughts about your question assuming you are in the US. I will stick to comments pertaining to university policy. I am not ...
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  • 171k
40 votes

Teaching a student (as a TA) when there is flirting, etc. and mutual interest

I am performing my job, but I am worried that if things go bad with us she'll claim sexual harassment. What should I do? Don't let things go bad. I.e., stop talking about sex, try to hide your ...
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36 votes

What leverage do universities have over sexual violence in fraternities?

As it turns out, membership in fraternities is not, in general, strongly correlated with rape. Rather, it appears that a large percentage of sexual assault is committed by a very small fraction of ...
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  • 182k
35 votes

What physical contact, if any, is acceptable between a supervisor and a student?

I'm glad you asked the question, since I was very struck by the answer as well: as I indicated in a comment, I am rather confident that the sentiment expressed there that hugs are always okay is ...
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32 votes

I was sexually assaulted by a professor writing me a LOR for grad-school applications. What should I do?

That's really awful, and I'm so sorry someone whose job it is to help you instead put you in this difficult position. When you applied for your masters program did you have strong letters from ...
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  • 30.5k
28 votes

I was sexually assaulted by a professor writing me a LOR for grad-school applications. What should I do?

I'm very sorry about what you're going through. The key to the answer I'm about to offer to your question is the following general observation: the people in academia are not robots. Despite how it ...
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  • 171k
28 votes
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Allegations of harassment by a faculty member and reporting?

As Allure points out, opinions on this matter will vary, so let me note some points that I think are important here, and also offer an opinion that is slightly to the contrary of some other answers. (...
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  • 46.1k
24 votes

As a TA, I had sex with someone who turned out to be one of my students, what do I do?

Assuming you are in the United States, you are currently in an extremely vulnerable situation from a legal and academic perspective. If I were you, I would immediately report yourself to your ...
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  • 39.8k
23 votes

Can professors have romantic relationships with post-docs?

Policy on this may vary from institution to institution, so those would need to be specifically consulted. However, the whole "when is a romantic relationship taboo?" question hinges most importantly ...
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  • 331
22 votes

How should I deal with being harassed by my supervisor in a non-work situation?

First, I would recommend that you put away any feelings of guilt and responsibility, and instead begin planning to protect yourself. Unfortunately, it appears likely that your supervisor is a ...
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  • 182k
22 votes

Toxic, harassing lab environment

First of all, not all research labs are like that. You can find better work environment elsewhere, perhaps even have luck in the same University. The academic world, however, is extremely small, and ...
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20 votes

What physical contact, if any, is acceptable between a supervisor and a student?

Some of this may depend on the age of the students, the relevant law of the country, and policies of the institution. I'm replying from a USA-centric, adult, and parent viewpoint. I am a USA ...
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  • 11.8k
20 votes

One of my professors made a rape joke. What should I do?

Speak with the professor, and give them the benefit of the doubt. Ask for an appointment, and bring another student if you feel uncomfortable doing it one-on-one. Most professors (hopefully) would not ...
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  • 52.7k
18 votes

Teaching a student (as a TA) when there is flirting, etc. and mutual interest

As a female student who is currently VERY interested in one of her TAs, I have to agree with what everyone is saying: DO. NOT. ENGAGE... Wait until you are no longer teaching her (and there is no ...
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  • 181
18 votes

Is it ethical to have a relationship with a student after my supervision of him is complete?

The ethical, and safe, thing to do -- now, actually -- would be to look for another faculty member to pass this thesis supervision responsibility to, because your objectivity has been, or could be ...
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  • 38.7k
18 votes
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A female professor was found responsible for sexual harassment – what can happen to the signatories of a letter in support of her?

Could such professors who signed the letter be at risk of losing their tenure, because the letter could now constitute a form of retaliation and defamation of the victim (the male student)? Any ...
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17 votes

Can professors have romantic relationships with post-docs?

Can professors have romantic relationships with post-docs (in the same department)? Yes, they most certainly can (and should, if they feel like it - take that, @GEdgar...), provided that one is not ...
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  • 171k
17 votes
Accepted

Toxic, harassing lab environment

I'd suggest changing labs as soon as you can. It's understandable that you're afraid of the next lab having the same problems, but based on your previous experience there's a good chance it will be ...
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  • 30.5k

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