Professional Ethics and Responsibilities

(MUPIM 5.3/OAC 3339-5-03)

The University Senate, on February 13, 1969, adopted the “Statement on Professional Ethics” of the American Association of University Professors.

“The professor, guided by a deep conviction of the worth and dignity of the advancement of knowledge, recognizes the special responsibilities placed upon them. The professor’s primary responsibility to his or her subject is to seek and to state the truth as they see it. To this end they will devote their energies to developing and improving their scholarly competence. The faculty member accepts the obligation to exercise critical self-discipline and judgment in using, extending, and transmitting knowledge. They practice intellectual honesty. Although he or she may follow subsidiary interests, these interests may never seriously hamper or compromise their freedom of inquiry.

As teachers, professors encourage the free pursuit of learning in students. Teachers exemplify the best scholarly standards of their disciplines. They demonstrate respect for students as individuals, and adhere to their proper roles as intellectual guides and counselors. Professors make every reasonable effort to foster honest academic conduct and to assure that their evaluations of students reflect students’ true merit. Faculty members respect the confidential nature of the relationship between professor and student. They avoid any exploitation of students for their private advantage and acknowledge significant assistance from them. Professors protect their academic freedom. No faculty member shall be obliged to make the academic work of students available for inspection by any third party in the absence of compulsory legal process, without bona fide academic reasons, or without the express written consent of the student.

As colleagues, professors have obligations that derive from common membership in the community of scholars. They respect and defend the free inquiry of their associates. In the exchange of criticism and ideas they show due respect for the opinions of others. They acknowledge their academic debts and strive to be objective in their professional judgment of colleagues. Professors accept their share of faculty responsibilities for the governance of their institution.

As a member of their institution, the professor seeks above all to be an effective teacher and scholar. Although they observe the stated regulations of the institution, provided they do not contravene academic freedom, they maintain their right to criticize and seek revision. Faculty members determine the amount and character of work they do outside their institution with due regard to the paramount responsibilities within it. When considering the interruption or termination of their services, professors recognize the effects of their decision upon the program of the institution and give notice of their intention.

As members of the community, professors have the rights and obligations of any citizen. They measure the urgency of these obligations in the light of their responsibilities to their subject, to their students, to the profession, and to the institution. When they speak or act as private individuals they avoid creating the impression that they speak or act for the college or university. As citizens engaged in a profession that depends upon freedom for its health and integrity, professors have a particular obligation to promote conditions of free inquiry and to further public understanding of academic freedom.”

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