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Part 4. Personnel Policies

Section I. General Personnel Policies

B. Academic Freedom/Faculty Ethics (Updated 5/02)

1. Academic Freedom and Responsibility

Idaho State University affirms its belief that academic freedom should not be abridged or abused.

Institutions of higher education are conducted for the common good and not to further the interests of either the individual faculty member or the institution as a whole. Academic freedom is essential for the protection of the rights of the faculty member in teaching and of the student in learning. Freedom in research and teaching is fundamental to the advancement of truth. Academic freedom carries with it responsibilities correlative with rights.

a. Teaching

The faculty member is entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing the subject material, but should not introduce matters not germane to the subject material.

b. Research

The faculty member is entitled to freedom in research and the publication of the results. However, research for pecuniary return, when that research is a part of the faculty member's assigned duties or when the research involves use of institutional facilities or resources not usually available to the general public, may be undertaken only with prior written approval by the President or designee.

c. Responsibilities

Membership in the academic community imposes on administrators, faculty members, other University employees, and students an obligation to respect the dignity of others, to acknowledge the right of others to express differing opinions, and to foster and defend intellectual honesty, freedom of inquiry and instruction, and free expression on and off the campus of an institution.

Each faculty member of the institution is a citizen, a member of a learned profession, and a representative of the institution. When speaking or writing as a citizen, the faculty member should be free from institutional censorship or discipline. However, as a member of the academic community and a representative of the institution, the faculty member should at all times be accurate, should exercise appropriate restraint, should show respect for the opinions of others, and should make every effort to indicate that he or she is not an official spokesperson for the institution. Furthermore, each faculty member must refrain from using institutional resources for the furtherance of his or her interests or activities which are not a part of the assigned responsibilities to the institution.

2. Statement on Faculty Ethics

The 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 responsibilities to their subjects are to seek and state the truth as they see it. To this end they 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 they may follow subsidiary interests, these interests must never seriously hamper or compromise their freedom of inquiry.

As teachers, the professors encourage the free pursuit of learning in their students. They hold before the students the best scholarly standards of their disciplines. They demonstrate respect for the students as individuals, and adhere to their proper roles as intellectual guides and counselors. They make every reasonable effort to foster honest academic conduct and to assure that their evaluations of students reflect their true merit. They respect the confidential nature of the relationships between professors and students. They avoid any exploitation of students for their private advantage and acknowledge significant assistance from them. The professors protect the students' academic freedom. As colleagues, the 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. They accept their share of faculty responsibilities for the governance of their institution.

As members of their institution, the professors seek above all to be effective teachers and scholars. 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. They determine the amount and character of the work they do outside their institution with due regard to their paramount responsibilities within it. When considering the interruption or termination of their service, they recognize the effect of their decision upon the program of the institution and give due notice of their intentions.

As members of their community, the professors 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 institution. When they speak or act as private individuals they avoid creating the impression that they speak or act for their college or the University. As citizens engaged in a profession that depends upon freedom for its health and integrity, the professors have a particular obligation to promote conditions of free inquiry and to further public understanding of academic freedom.

3. Board Conflict of Interest and Ethical Conduct Policy

Faculty members, along with the staff of the University, are also subject to the Board's Conflict of Interest and Ethical Conduct Policy as contained in the Board's Governing Policies and Procedures.

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