Southeast Missouri State University

A. Professional Ethics

Professors, guided by deep convictions of the worth and dignity of the advancement of knowledge, recognize the special responsibilities placed upon them. Their primary responsibility to their subjects is to seek and to state the truth as they see it. To this end they devote their energies to developing and improving their individual scholarly competence. Professors 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 this freedom of inquiry.

Faculty members encourage the free pursuit of learning in their students. They hold before them the best scholarly standards of their discipline. 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 relationship between professor and student. They avoid any exploitation of students for their private advantage and acknowledge significant assistance from them.

Faculty members 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 the institution.

Faculty members seek above all to be effective teachers and scholars. Although they observe the stated policies and procedures of the institution, they maintain their right to criticize and seek policy revision. They determine the amount and character of the work they do outside the institution with due regard to their paramount responsibilities within it. When considering the interruption or termination of their services, individual faculty members recognize the effect of that decision upon the programs of the institution and give due notice of such intentions.

Faculty members have the rights and obligations of any citizen. They measure the urgency of these obligations in the light of their responsibilities to their subjects, to their students, to their profession, and to the institution. When they speak or act as private persons, they avoid creating the impression that they speak or act for the 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.

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