Faculty Statement of Ethics

(Adapted from the AAUP 1966 Statement on Professional Ethics and the 1970 Statement of the Association's Council on Freedom and Responsibility. Adopted by the Senate of the University at Albany on May 5, 1986, University Senate Bill No. 8586-17.)

Faculty members, as teachers, scholars, administrators, colleagues, and community members, have special responsibilities by virtue of the diverse roles they assume in their professional and personal lives. The following statement sets forth general principles intended to serve as a guide for faculty as they fulfill their professional responsibilities.

Article I.

Faculty, guided by a deep conviction of the worth and dignity of the advancement of knowledge, recognize the special responsibilities placed upon them. Their primary responsibility to their subject is to seek and to state the truth as they see it. To this end they devote their energies to developing and improving their scholarly competencies. They accept the obligation to exercise critical self-discipline and judgment in using, extending, and transmitting knowledge. They practice intellectual honesty. Although they may follow subsidiary interests, these interests must never seriously hamper or compromise their freedom of inquiry.

Article II.

As teachers, faculty encourage the free pursuit of learning in their students. They hold before them the best scholarly standards of their disciplines. They demonstrate respect for the student as an individual, and adhere to their proper roles as intellectual guides and counselors. They make every reasonable effort to foster honest academic conduct. They respect the confidential nature of the relationship between professor and student. They avoid any exploitation of students for private advantage and acknowledge significant assistance from them. They protect students' academic freedom. Evaluation of students and the award of credit must be based on academic performance professionally judged and not on matters irrelevant to that performance.

Article III.

As colleagues, faculty 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. They accept their share of faculty responsibilities for the governance of their institutions.

Article IV.

As members of their community, faculty have the rights and obligations of any citizens. They measure the urgency of these obligations in the light of their responsibilities to their subjects, to their students, to their professions, and to their institutions. When they speak or act as private persons, they avoid creating the impression that they speak or act for their colleges or universities. As citizens engaged in a profession that depends upon freedom for its health and integrity, faculty have a particular obligation to promote conditions of free inquiry and to further public understanding of academic freedom.