The College of Business and Public Administration presents Faculty-Student Relationships: What are the Boundaries? with Rebecca M. Chory, PhD, of Frostburg State University on Friday, Sept. 22 at 5 p.m. in the auditorium of the EWU Spokane campus.
Faculty-Student Relationships: What Are the Boundaries?
Rebecca M. Chory, Ph.D.
The contemporary higher education climate and its concomitant student-as-consumer orientation have pushed student recruitment, retention, and attainment to the top of many institutional priority lists. To engage the all-too-frequently disengaged student, professors are encouraged to more personally connect with students and to assume multiple roles with them, often outside of the classroom. This role expansion typically involves professors as mentors, advisors, and research or internship supervisors. However, the engagement initiative also urges more social faculty-student interactions, such as students visiting professors’ homes, socializing with faculty, and discussing personal problems with them. Professors are expected to care about students as individuals, with some parties recommending schools emphasize their caring versus teaching functions during recruitment.
In this presentation I will discuss the changing nature of professor-student relationships, including the potential risks associated with relationships that cross traditional boundaries. I will present evidence indicating that certain types of instructor-student relationships and instructor efforts to connect with students are associated with student incivility and academic dishonesty. Finally, I will consider the implications of the trend encouraging more personal instructor-student relationships for the occupational prestige of the professorate and the occupational identity of its members.