Standards of Professional Ethics for Faculty and Academic Freedom

Policy number: 2.1

Policy section: Academic Affairs

Revised Date: December 16, 2019

1.  Policy Statement

It is the policy of this University to support the academic freedom of faculty subject to standards of professional ethics.

2.  Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to set forth guidelines and expectations for standards of professional ethics for faculty as they interact with students, colleagues, and members of the community and to support academic freedom for faculty in teaching and research/creative activity.

3.  Standards of Professional Ethics for Faculty and Academic Freedom

  1. The professor, guided by a deep conviction of the worth and dignity of the advancement of knowledge, recognizes the special responsibilities placed upon him/her. The primary responsibility to the subject is to seek and to state the truth as one sees it. To this end the professor is devoted to developing and improving scholarly competence. The professor accepts the obligation to exercise critical self-discipline and judgment in using, extending, and transmitting knowledge. The professor practices intellectual honesty. Although one may follow subsidiary interests, these interests must never seriously hamper or compromise the faculty member's freedom of inquiry.
  2. As a teacher, the professor encourages the students' free pursuit of learning. Holding before them the best scholarly standards of the discipline, the teacher demonstrates respect for the student as an individual, and adheres to the proper role as an intellectual guide and counselor. He/she makes every reasonable effort to foster honest academic conduct and to assure that his/her evaluation of students reflects their true merit. The teacher respects the confidential nature of the relationship between professor and student, avoids any exploitation of students for private advantage by acknowledging significant assistance from them, and protects their academic freedom.
  3. As a colleague, the professor has obligations that derive from common membership in the community of scholars. The colleague respects and defends the free inquiry of one's associates. In the exchange of criticism and ideas, due respect is shown for the opinions of others. The professor acknowledges academic debts and strives to be objective in the professional judgment of colleagues. One's share of faculty responsibilities for the governance of the institution is accepted.
  4. As a member of his/her institution, the professor seeks, above all, to be an effective teacher and scholar. Although the professor observes the stated regulations of the institution, provided they do not contravene academic freedom, he/she maintains the right to criticize and seek revision. In determining the amount and character of the work one does outside the institution, due regard is given to the paramount responsibilities within the University. When considering the interruption or termination of one's service, the professor recognizes the effect of the decision upon the program of the institution and gives due notice of his/her intentions.
  5. As a member of the community, the professor has the rights and obligations of any citizen. The urgency of these obligations is measured in the light of the responsibilities to the subject, to the students, to the profession, and to the institution. When speaking or acting as a private person, the professor avoids creating the impression of speaking or acting for the college or University. As a citizen engaged in a profession that depends upon freedom for its health and integrity, the professor has a particular obligation to promote conditions of free inquiry and to further public understanding of academic freedom.

4.  Questions

Questions regarding this policy are to be directed to the Office of the Provost.

Revised: December 16, 2019

Adopted: June 1, 1994