The Ethics of Faculty-Student Friendships

Teaching Philosophy 24 (1):1-18 (2001)
Abstract
Friendship between professors and students have the potential for hurting those involved and can be hurtful to the larger society in which they occur. This paper examines what sort of boundary lines can be drawn for appropriate faculty-student relationships by considering three arguments against faculty-student friendships. After rejecting these arguments on the grounds that they rely upon a flawed conceptualization of friendship, the paper, drawing on William Rawlins’s theory of friendship, argues that faculty-student relationships are neither desirable nor undesirable per se. However, if such relationships do arise, it is possible that they can be conducted in an ethically responsible and professionally appropriate way
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