Boundary issues in academia: Student perceptions of faculty - student boundary crossings

Ethics and Behavior 17 (2):117 – 129 (2007)
Abstract
Boundary crossings in academia are rarely addressed by university policy despite the risk of problematic or unethical faculty - student interactions. This study contributes to an understanding of undergraduate college student perceptions of appropriateness of faculty - student nonsexual interactions by investigating the influence of gender and ethnicity on student judgments of the appropriateness of numerous hypothetical interactions. Overall, students deemed the majority of interactions as inappropriate. Female students judged a number of interactions as more inappropriate than did male students, and with a few exceptions, Mexican American and Anglo American students were similar in their ratings of the appropriateness of faculty - student interactions. These findings suggest that universities need to be proactive in establishing guidelines concerning faculty-student boundary crossings.
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