Statement of Professional Ethics and Responsibilities

Policy Memorandum No. 7

Recommended by the Commission on Faculty Affairs: May 9, 1978
Approved by University Council: June 5, 1978
Approved by the President: June 5, 1978

The University Council and Commission on Faculty Affairs have recommended the statement printed below for the benefit of faculty. This statement of professional ethics and responsibilities is intended to serve as a guide for new faculty and as a reinforcement for the ideals and goals of experienced faculty. It is by no means comprehensive and should not be construed as an administrative instrument. The statement has been endorsed by the Faculty Senate. Although this statement does not reflect a policy change, it will appear in the FACULTY HANDBOOK and may be indluced in th compilation of policy memoranda, which some offices are maintaining.

A STATEMENT OF PROFESSIONAL ETHICS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

A faculty member, because of his position, has an opportunity and a responsibility to be a model for his students. Indeed, a faculty member cannot expect honesty, integrity, or a commitment to any other value from his students until he has demonstrated complete commitment to such values. Such a commitment can be displayed by observing the highest standards of professional behavior and community citizenship. In particular, a faculty member should:

  1. Prepare his courses so that he brings the best achievements in his field to the students' attention and make each course a significant educational experience that is challenging to all students.

  2. Present the subject matter fairly and objectively, recognizing differing views and not allowing his personal biases to be given in the form of objective information.

  3. Specify expectations and standards, and assign grades in a manner consistent with the students' attainment of these expectations and adherence to these standards.

  4. Make a thorough and useful criticism of student work and return written work and examinations on a timely basis. The faculty member should be available for consultation on a schedule that is accessible to most of his students.

  5. Uphold the academic freedom of his students and promote an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect.

In addition, as a member of the University community, the faculty member recognizes his responsibilities to the University, his colleagues and his profession. He should:

  1. Give credit to colleagues or students who have made a contribution to published work or oral presentation. Particular sensitivity should be shown in the preparation and submission of research papers which find their basis in graduate student theses or reports.

  2. Exhibit full intellectual honesty in the collection and presentation of research data, avoiding any manipulation of such data to support preconceived conclusions.

  3. Make every effort to gain first-hand knowledge of a colleague's written work or teaching manner and effectiveness before commenting on it and avoid undue criticism of the research or teaching of colleagues, especially in the presence of students.

  4. Provide references for colleagues or students candidly and promptly.

  5. Not use his University affiliation to promote himself or his ideas in a context unrelated to his professional competency.


President's Policy Memorandum

URL: http://purl.vt.edu/vtdocs/policies/ppm07