University of Idaho faculty leaders revise policy on professor-student relationships in wake of murder-suicide
The Associated Press
November 10, 2011
A new policy at the University of Idaho would strongly discourage relationships between faculty members and students following a murder-suicide, in which a professor killed a graduate student he had taught and dated, then took his own life.
Ernesto Bustamante resigned Aug. 19 and three days later, gunned down 22-year-old Katy Benoit outside her Moscow home, police said.
Faculty leaders on Tuesday approved revisions to university rules on faculty-student relationships. The move still needs approval from the full faculty and University President Duane Nellis, but it would be the first policy change in the wake of the deaths of Bustamante and Benoit.
The faculty is expected to take up the measure at a meeting Dec. 13, while Nellis issued a statement late Monday saying the move was expected.
"This is the kind of action that I expected the University of Idaho to take," Nellis said. "Our policies need to be as strong as possible and provide clear safeguards and guidelines for members of our university community."
Benoit met Bustamante last fall when she took his psychology course and by the end of the semester they were dating. Benoit told the university in June that her relationship with Bustamante ended after he had pointed a loaded gun at her head on three separate occasions, detailing the manner in which he would use it.