Faculty Policy Regarding Off-Campus Travel with Students


Ex Corde Ecclesiae, the Apostolic Constitution on Catholic Universities, challenges the University of St. Thomas, as well as every Catholic university, to be an academic institution in which “Catholicism is vitally present and operative.”

1 The document further states: “In a Catholic university, therefore, Catholic ideals, attitudes and principles penetrate and inform university activities in accordance with the proper nature and autonomy of theseactivities.”

2By its very nature as a place of teaching and learning, St. Thomas should remain open to all human experience and be ready to dialogue with and learn from any culture. Like other universities, St. Thomas also embraces the academic freedom of faculty and students to engage in the search for truth. Moreover, one of the most important ideals flowing from our Catholic identity is that we respect both the inherent dignity and the rich diversity of the individuals who make up our community. With respect to faculty and staff, this means that St. Thomas accords deference to the different choices our faculty and staff live out in their personal lives.

When, however, faculty or staff members engage in university activities that represent the institutional face of the University of St. Thomas, the university’s

expectations for its members may be more circumscribed. When, for example, faculty and staff accompany students on university-sponsored off-campus student programs and activities, the university may rightly expect that faculty and staff behavior be congruent with Catholic values. 

Among these behaviors, St. Thomas faculty and staff are expected to model behavior consistent with Catholic values on marriage and sexuality. During

such off-campus programs and activities, a faculty or staff member will not share a room with an individual of either gender with whom he or she has a romantic relationship, and to whom the faculty or staff member is not married. St. Thomas will pay for expenses associated with living quarters for a faculty or staff member leading or teaching in an off-campus program. Only spouses or children may share these living quarters with faculty or staff members, and spouses and children are responsible for their own related travel and living expenses.

1John Paul II, Ex Corde Ecclesiae # 27.

2L’Université Catholique dans le monde moderne. Document final du 2éme Congrés des Délégués des Universités Catholiques, Rome, 20-29 November 1972, cg 1. As quoted in Ex Corde Ecclesiae # 14