Faculty Handbook-3.6 Standards of Behavior

Faculty Handbook-3.6 Standards of Behavior

This section of the Faculty Handbook defines the standards of behavior to be followed by UAB faculty members.
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3.6 Standards of Behavior

In the continuing effort to maintain an effective and safe work/study environment and to comply with relevant federal and state laws, UAB has adopted a variety of policies governing faculty, staff, and student behavior. These policies were established to ensure acceptable standards of behavior. A key strategic goal of UAB is to create and maintain a positive, supportive, and diverse work/study environment where faculty, staff, and students can excel. To fulfill this goal, UAB expects that faculty, staff, and administrators will display professionalism as applicable to teaching, research and institutional service.

Spirited argument among faculty on technical or policy issues conducted within the normal modes of discourse in their area of academic expertise shall not be construed as unprofessional behavior. All faculty and administrators are charged with fulfilling these responsibilities as defined in this Handbook. All faculty are expected to practice the values outlined in the UAB Strategic Plan, ethically conduct teaching and research as described in the UAB Enterprise Code of Conduct and the Policy Concerning the Responsible Conduct of Research and Other Scholarly Activities . Further, all faculty are expected to promote health and safety in the workplace as described in the You & UAB Handbook and other UAB policy manuals and handbooks related to professionalism and standards of behavior.

On occasion, faculty may have disagreement with actions or decisions made within UAB by administration or other members of the UAB community.  Unless specific policies dictate otherwise, resolution through supervisory structure is generally recommended.  Section 2.19 provides guidance to determine if a grievance or if other policy may be applicable (Appendix F).  Additionally, the UAB Ombuds Office is a neutral resources available to all faculty, which is independent, confidential, and not part of any formal process.

UAB Faculty Senate endorses the AAUP Statement on Professional Ethics as stated below, which sets forth those general standards that serve as a reminder of the variety of responsibilities assumed by all members of the profession.” The Statement, “originally adopted in 1966, was approved by the Association’s Committee on Professional Ethics, adopted by the Association’s Council in June 1987, and endorsed by the Seventy-third Annual Meeting.”

I. Professors, 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 professors devote their energies to developing and improving their scholarly competence. They accept the obligation to exercise critical self-discipline and judgment in using, extending, and transmitting knowledge. They practice intellectual honesty. Although professors may follow subsidiary interests, these interests must never seriously hamper or compromise their freedom of inquiry.

II. As teachers, professors encourage the free pursuit of learning in their students. They hold before them the best scholarly and ethical standards of their discipline. Professors 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 ensure that their evaluations of students reflect each student's true merit. They respect the confidential nature of the relationship between professor and student. They avoid any exploitation, harassment, or discriminatory treatment of students. They acknowledge significant academic or scholarly assistance from them. They protect their academic freedom.

III. As colleagues, professors have obligations that derive from common membership in the community of scholars. Professors do not discriminate against or harass colleagues. They respect and defend the free inquiry of associates. In the exchange of criticism and ideas professors show due respect for the opinions of others. Professors acknowledge academic debt and strive to be objective in their professional judgment of colleagues. Professors accept their share of faculty responsibilities for the governance of their institution.

IV. As members of an academic institution, professors seek above all to be effective teachers and scholars. Although professors observe the stated regulations of the institution, provided the regulations do not contravene academic freedom, they maintain their right to criticize and seek revision. Professors give due regard to their paramount responsibilities within their institution in determining the amount and character of work done outside it. When considering the interruption or termination of their service, professors recognize the effect of their decision upon the program of the institution and give due notice of their intentions.

V. As members of their community, professors have the rights and obligations of other citizens. Professors measure the urgency of these obligations in the light of their responsibilities to their subject, to their students, to their profession, and to their institution. When they speak or act as private persons they avoid creating the impression of speaking or acting for their 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.