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.With the changing scope of federal regulations and increased scrutiny regarding sexual assault and harassment on college campuses, more and more institutions are strongly discouraging and even banning consensual romantic relationships between students and faculty members.The closer administrators get to the faculty, the more complicated things become, however, Olivas said.

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Policy notwithstanding, it's "very hard to prohibit personal relationships, especially between colleagues," he said.

That's in part because faculty members enter and leave the administrative ranks more fluidly than they do in other sectors.

How in situations like this, or just between colleagues, can you prohibit relationships, even if those relationships could ultimately be problematic?

” From the faculty perspective, the American Association of University Professors also has no policy regarding faculty-faculty or faculty-supervisor relationships.

Cotton said most institutions don’t have a firm policies articulating these concerns.

But he said avoiding employee-supervisor relationships is certainly a “best practice.” (As a side note, Peter Capelli, the George W.

Still, adhering to policy didn’t inoculate Saloner from being implicated in a lawsuit, or the related media scrutiny -- including a story in .

And outside experts said they weren’t surprised, since these relationships transcend regulation.

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.