The Harvard rule change, announced Thursday, replaced a previous policy -- which frowned on such relationships but did not ban them. That policy, according to Harvard, "did not explicitly reflect the faculty’s expectations of what constituted an appropriate relationship between undergraduate students and faculty members."
Harvard professor Alison Johnson led the committee that changed the policy.
"We are certainly not the first university to institute such a ban, and I think most universities expect their faculty to refrain from such relationships, whether or not they formally ban them," Johnson told the Los Angeles Times.
How many U.S. colleges and universities that have instituted such a rule is unclear, but according to Bloomberg Business,
The University of Southern California addresses the issue with
a narrower policy.
The university "strongly discourages" physical relations between faculty and students, but there is no ban, according to its 2014 faculty handbook.
"These relationships may put either party at risk," the USC handbook says. "They can create a perceived lack of freedom to give meaningful consent about the relationships."
USC officials on Thursday
shared the handbook with The Times but did not expand on the subject.
"Faculty and supervisors should seriously consider the risks to their own professional and private lives, as well as those created for the student or supervisee before entering into such a relationship," according to the handbook.
Hayward added in in a follow-up email that "employees who violate the policy are subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal."
The University of California sees entering into a romantic or sexual relationship with any student "for whom a faculty member has, or should reasonably expect to have in the future" as unacceptable, according to the institution's faculty code of conduct. Officials did not elaborate beyond sharing the code of conduct.
California State University does not have a "system-wide policy" concerning relationships between professors and undergraduates, said spokesman Mike Uhlenkamp.