Title

4.4 The Faculty's Obligations, Rights, Academic Freedom, and Code of Ethics


4.4 The Faculty's Obligations, Rights,
Academic Freedom, and Code of Ethics

As an educational institution, the College does not wish to
impose a rigid body of codified rules upon the members of its
faculty. The following statements outline, in a general way, the
obligations incumbent on faculty members of the College.


4.4.1 Academic Freedom and
Responsibility

The College and its faculty support the concept of academic
freedom and accept no limitations of academic freedom as it is
described below in the excerpted and abridged statement from the
American Association of University Professors and the Association
of American Colleges:

Academic Freedom1

  1. Teachers are entitled to full freedom in research and in the
    publication of the results, subject to the adequate performance of
    their other academic duties; but research for pecuniary return
    should be based upon an understanding with the authorities of the
    institution.
  2. Teachers are entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing
    their subject, but they should be careful not to introduce into
    their teaching controversial matter which has no relation to their
    subject. (The intent of this statement is not to discourage what is
    "controversial." Controversy is at the heart of the free academic
    inquiry which the entire statement is designed to foster. The
    passage serves to underscore the need for teachers to avoid
    persistently intruding material which has no relation to their
    subject.)
  3. College and university teachers are citizens, members of a
    learned profession, and officers of an educational institution.
    When they speak or write as citizens, they should be free from
    institutional censorship or discipline, but their special position
    in the community imposes special obligations. As scholars and
    educational officers, they should remember that the public may
    judge their profession and their institution by their utterances.
    Hence, they should at all times be accurate,2 should exercise appropriate
    restraint, should show respect for the opinion of others, and
    should make every effort to indicate that they are not speaking for
    the institution.


4.4.1.1 Academic Authority and
Responsibility

Subject to other provisions of the Ithaca College Policy
Manual
and the ultimate authority of the Ithaca College Board
of Trustees, the faculty have primary responsibility for such
fundamental areas as curriculum and instruction. These areas
include, but are not limited to, such matters as academic policies;
courses and programs; academic requirements; and standards for
matriculation, admission, and academic standing.

Subject to the limitations described above, the faculty also
have primary responsibility for faculty personnel matters,
including, but not limited to, evaluation of faculty; establishment
and review of planning unit, school, and College faculty personnel
policies; definition of staffing needs and recruitment of faculty;
and recommendations for reappointment, tenure, and promotion.

Faculty personnel actions, changes in or additions to
curriculum, and changes in policies and procedures related to
curriculum and personnel matters require faculty review and
recommendation as specified in other sections of the Ithaca
College Policy Manual
.

In addition to the responsibilities listed above, there are
other areas in which the faculty participate with the
administration and other members of the College community. These
include the selection of administrators and definition of the
institutional needs of the College.


4.4.1.2 Professional Ethics

The College and its faculty accept the statement of professional
ethics published by the American Association of University
Professors and reproduced below, except as it conflicts with other
statements in the Ithaca College Policy Manual.

Statement of Professional Ethics3

  1. 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 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.
  2. 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
    role as intellectual guides and counselors. Professors make an
    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.
  3. 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 the
    institution.
  4. 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.4 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.
  5. 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.


4.4.2 Indemnification

A faculty member faced with litigation arising from the
performance of college-related professional responsibilities is
entitled to legal defense and the coverage of any damages awarded
to plaintiffs unless, in the determination of the president, the
faculty member did not act in good faith, within the normal scope
of the faculty member's duties, or in a non-malicious manner.


4.4.3 Violations of Faculty Rights,
Academic Freedom, and Professional Ethics

Disputes involving a charge that a faculty member's rights or
academic freedom have been abrogated or that professional ethics
have not been maintained are to be settled through the established
grievance procedures in section 4.16 of Volume IV of
the Ithaca College Policy Manual. While affirming academic
freedom as a right, the College recognizes that, in some
circumstances, questions of academic freedom become enmeshed in
questions of professional incompetence, misconduct, or
irresponsibility. In the effort to distinguish between these
sometimes confused issues, the guiding principle is that charges of
professional incompetence, misconduct, or irresponsibility shall
not be used to limit academic freedom, nor shall appeals to
academic freedom be acceptable as a shield for professional
incompetence, misconduct, or irresponsibility.

1 AAUP
Policy Documents & Reports, 1990 edition, pages 3-4,
5.

2 The
College and its faculty interpret this phrase to mean that faculty
should strive to be accurate in their political utterances.

3 AAUP
Policy Documents & Reports, 1995 edition, pages
75-76.

4 This
sentence refers to the responsibility described in section
4.5.2.

August 12, 2002