Open Menu Close Menu Open Search Close Search

These policies apply to faculty, staff, students, and community members.

Relationships with Students Policy

The Relationships with Students Policy seeks to maintain a professional work and educational environment where those in positions of authority do not abuse or appear to abuse the power with which they are entrusted in their relationships with students.

Policy Statement

Tufts University seeks to maintain a professional work and academic environment dedicated to promoting excellence in learning, teaching and research. To advance that mission, it is essential that those in positions of authority do not abuse or appear to abuse the power with which they are entrusted. Faculty members, academic administrators and other staff members exercise power over students in many ways: through their teaching, grading, evaluating, mentoring, coaching, advising and recommending of students for further studies or future employment opportunities.


Accordingly, no employee of the university shall enter into a romantic or sexual relationship with any undergraduate or with a graduate, professional or non-matriculated student over whom that employee has academic or professional responsibility. Given the power asymmetry of the parties, the university regards such relationships as inherently coercive, constituting a conflict of interest and an abuse of authority under this policy. This policy applies even when the relationship is considered consensual by the parties involved and may, notwithstanding the consensual nature of the relationship, also result in violations under the sexual harassment and sexual misconduct policies.

Defining Relationships

As used in this policy, the terms faculty or faculty member include all those who teach at the University and other instructional personnel, including graduate students with teaching responsibilities. Academic administrators include all staff in a position to counsel, direct or influence the academic performance of students. Staff includes all those who work for the University and who may supervise or direct the work of students and/or student employees.

Policy Violation

A violation of this policy may result in disciplinary action. A violation of this policy could also violate other university policies such as the Non-Discrimination Policy or the Sexual Misconduct Policy


If the person involved in a possible policy violation is a faculty member, the issue should be brought to the attention of the appropriate dean of the college/school. If the person involved is a staff member or academic administrator, the issue should be brought to the attention of the Executive Director of OEO, the Vice President for Human Resources or the dean of the college/school employing the staff member or administrator.

In addition, you may also report such conduct through the university’s anonymous hotline, Ethicspoint, at 1-866-384-4277 or online.

Preferred Name Policy

Tufts University recognizes that members of the Tufts community may prefer to use names other than their legal names to identify themselves. Tufts University acknowledges that a “preferred name” may be used on certain University records as long as the use of the preferred name is not for the purposes of misrepresentation or otherwise prohibited by state or federal law.

A preferred name is the first and/or last name by which a person prefers to be identified that is not the same as their legal name. For example, a preferred name may be a professional name different from your legal name, a married, maiden or hyphenated name, a nickname or other variant.


Note that these procedures may be updated as new systems and improvements are implemented.


  • If you change your preferred name, your legal name will continue to be used in systems that require it. For example: financial records, government reporting, official University records medical records.
  • If you are an alumni, you should contact the alumni relations department of the school from which you graduated. You can also update your online community information.


Tufts University will handle reports of misuse of preferred names in accordance with existing policies and procedures. The University reserves the right to remove preferred names that violate University policies and to suspend that person’s privilege to select a preferred name.

Questions and Contact Information

The process for updating your preferred name is outlined on AccessTufts. Please note that there are separate instructions for students and faculty/staff. 

If there are concerns about discrimination or harassment connected to a preferred name, misgendering or other related matter, the Office of Equal Opportunity (for employees, students, patients, applicants, third parties or community members) may be reached at:, or at: 617-627-3298. 

Working with One Another Policy

Tufts University reaffirms its commitment to the principles of equal opportunity and equal treatment in education and employment regardless of a person's race; color; religion; sex; sexual orientation; gender; gender identity and expression; including a transgender identity; age; genetics; disability; veteran's status; ethnicity or national origin. In accepting either a faculty or staff position at Tufts, an individual agrees to share this commitment in the performance of his or her assigned responsibilities and in interaction with faculty and staff colleagues, students and community members. Similarly, students, by way of admittance into the Tufts community, also agree to share this commitment in their educational programs with other students, faculty, staff members and community members.

Tufts University strives to provide all staff and faculty with a work environment that is free of harassment or other unreasonable interference with the performance of their University duties. Tufts also strives to provide students and community members with an educational environment that is free of harassment or other unreasonable interference with the performance of their chosen academic responsibilities. We aspire to be a community in which mutual respect guides our day-to-day interactions. While the university respects an individual's right to self-expression, it expects that the rights and concerns of others who work and study at Tufts are respected as well. At Tufts, there is no place in the work or educational environment for conduct that demeans or belittles another person. For these reasons, harassment of any kind, including retaliation, is unacceptable.



Please contact your dean for the grievance procedures for your school or department.

For more on student rights and responsibilities, please refer to the available resource for your school or campus: