Dating his ethics instructor

09-Jun-2017 10:00

Does the base motive for money unduly contaminate the noble motives to help students? The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) agrees in their statement on the issue.

After all, it makes sense that professors who have taught a course for a long time have developed ideas, ways of expressing relationships among ides, and ways of communicating from which students would benefit.

That said, two of my colleagues married former students when the student was of age and had been out of school for at least 2 years.

One lasted years and two sons while the other ended in divorce within a year of the marriage vows.

After a couple of years of pestering the publisher and author, I was invited to join the editorial team.

From that day forward, I began to put any money I made from students at my school (even students in other professors' classes) into a scholarship fund, to help students buy textbooks or other materials.

I’ve encountered lots of people—students, friends, colleagues, and publishing professionals—who think it’s automatically a conflict of interest for professors to assign their own books. After all, conflicts are inherent in virtually all professional activities.

In my vulnerable state, I felt pulled toward a path that had long interested me: Buddhism.“Keep coming to class,” the teacher told me as I left that night. “I don’t want to mess it up.” Before I’d left for Japan, I’d looked for a How Sangha Drew Kino Mac Gregor Away from the “Spiritual Desperation” of a Drug-Fueled Party Scene But he persisted, and I said yes, and we quickly fell into a relationship.

When he emailed three weeks later asking if I’d like to meet for coffee, I was taken aback. His social media status had recently changed from “in a relationship” to “single.” I was curious. It was exciting to share love, community, and a spiritual practice. Less than a year after moving in with him, he grew distant. I was devastated, but not surprised, when he told me, “We need to move out.” Of course, by “we” he meant me.

The AAUP says, “In some cases, indeed, students enroll in courses because of what they know about the professor from his or her writings and because they hope to engage in discussion with the professor about those writings in the classroom.” And all that money involved?

The AAUP says, “More often than not, the profits are trivial or nonexistent.” My joke wasn’t that funny after all. Lots of professional ethics codes prohibit professors from exploiting their students for personal gain, and sometimes motives do get out of balance.

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