Should Professors Be Allowed To Date Students? One Professor Says 'Yes'Play
Professor-student relationships are nothing new. Movies have featured them, books have centered on them. Occasionally they've led to marriage. But they've also led to power struggles, charges of coercion and abuse of power.
Now, an increasing number of schools are outright banning relationships - even consensual ones - between professors and undergraduates. The list of schools with these policies in place has grown to include Stanford, Harvard, Yale, The College of William and Mary, the University of Connecticut and Northwestern University.
Laura Kipnis, a professor in Northwestern's School of Communication, criticized her school's policy in a controversial essay in the Chronicle of Higher Education, arguing that the ban assumes that professors are predators, and also that these policies infantilize students.
Her essay was met with outrage by some students, two of whom filed a Title IX suit against her, claiming Kipnis was retaliating against students at her school who had filed a complaint against a professor. They also said she created a "chilling effect" on students' ability to report sexual misconduct. The suits were eventually investigated and dismissed, and she responded with a second Chronicle of Higher Education article, responding to her critics and outlining what happened after the suits were filed.
Kipnis joins Here & Now's Robin Young to discuss the articles and the firestorm they created.
- Laura Kipnis, cultural theorist and critic, and a professor in Northwestern University's School of Communication. She tweets @laurakipnis.
This segment aired on June 17, 2015.