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Author Topic: Power Dynamics  (Read 316 times)

Funt Solo

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Power Dynamics
« on: 23 December, 2021, 04:07:01 PM »
James Franco admits sleeping with students from his acting school and has paid out $2.2m to settle a class action lawsuit.

I found this article interesting because clearly the dial has shifted in terms of what's considered acceptable, which I saw because when I taught at a higher education institution a couple of decades ago a senior member of staff told me it was perfectly okay to sleep with the students, as long as one recused oneself from making academic continuation decisions at board meetings.

This had come up because one of my colleagues had started a relationship with one of his students - was grading their work and they'd then moved in together. He'd pushed for leniency at a board meeting and was overruled.

My personal view at the time was that the conflict of interest engendered by such a relationship meant that I wouldn't start one. Not that I'm some kind of saint - it just seemed like a really stupid idea.

Given Franco's payout (and the seemingly shifting dial of power dynamic recognition), I assumed that higher education institutions would have clear rules in place by now, but apparently only a few do ...

'Abuse of power': should universities ban staff-student relationships?

Should they?
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Barrington Boots

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Re: Power Dynamics
« Reply #1 on: 23 December, 2021, 04:20:23 PM »
Definitely. As a teacher, Franco (or anyone) is in a position of trust and authority. They're basically taking advantage of that position, and so abusing that power. It's no different if it's an academic tutor, acting coach, sports coach etc. doing it. And even if it wasn't an abuse of power, it's totally unprofessional.

In discussion of this elsewhere I've seen a lot of 50-something men in academia have been saying there's nothing wrong with shagging a load of 19 and 20 year olds which is entirely what I'd expect them to say.
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