Montana State University
Academics | Administration | Admissions | A-Z Index | Directories

Montana State Universityspacer Mountains and Minds
MSU AcademicsspacerMSU AdministrationspacerMSU AdmissionsspacerMSU A-Z IndexspacerMSU Directoriesspacer

Contact Us
Please address comments about content to:

> NASC Accreditation  > NASC Standards
Standard Nine
Institutional Integrity

The institution adheres to the highest ethical standards in its representation to its constituencies and the public; in its teaching, scholarship, and service; in its treatment of its students, faculty, and staff; and in its relationships with regulatory and accrediting agencies.

9.A.1 The institution, including governing board members, administrators, faculty, and staff, subscribes to, exemplifies, and advocates high ethical standards in the management and operations and in all of its dealings with students, the public, organizations, and external agencies.

9.A.2 The institution regularly evaluates and revises as necessary its policies, procedures, and publications to ensure continuing integrity throughout the institution.

9.A.3 The institution represents itself accurately and consistently to its constituencies, the public, and prospective students through its catalogs, publications, and official statements.

9.A.4 Institutional policy defines and prohibits conflict of interest on the part of governing board members, administrators, faculty, and staff.

9.A.5 The institution demonstrates, through its policies and practices, its commitment to the free pursuit and dissemination of knowledge consistent with the institution's mission and goals.

9.1 Policy on Institutional Integrity

Background. By academic tradition and by philosophical principle, an institution of higher learning is committed to the pursuit of truth and to its communication to others.

To carry out this essential commitment calls for institutional integrity in the way a college or university manages its affairs which can be seen in the way it specifies its goals, selects and retains its faculty, admits students, establishes curricula, determines programs of research, and fixes its fields of service.

The maintenance and exercise of such institutional integrity postulates and requires appropriate autonomy and freedom.

Put positively, this is the freedom to examine data, to question assumptions, to be guided by evidence, to teach what one knows--to be a learner and a scholar. Put negatively, this is a freedom from unwarranted harassment which hinders or prevents a college or university from getting on with its essential work.

A college or university must be managed well and remain solvent, but it is not a business or an industry. It must be concerned with the needs of its community and state and country, but an institution of higher learning is not a political party or a social service. It must be morally responsible, but, even when church- related, it is not a religion or a church.

A college or university is an institution of higher learning. Those within it have, as a first concern, evidence and truth rather than particular judgments of institutional benefactors, concerns of churchmen, public opinion, social pressure, or political proscription.

Relating to this general concern corresponding to intellectual and academic freedom are correlative responsibilities. On the part of trustees and administrators, there is the obligation to protect faculty and students from inappropriate pressures or destructive harassments.

On the part of the faculty, there is the obligation to distinguish personal conviction from proven conclusions and to present relevant data fairly to students because this same freedom asserts their right to know the facts.

On the part of students, there is the obligation to sift and to question, to be actively involved in the life of the institution, but involved as learners at appropriate levels. The determination and exercise of proper responsibilities will be related to the students' status as undergraduate, professional, or graduate students.

Intellectual freedom does not rule out commitment; rather it makes it possible and personal. Freedom does not require neutrality on the part of the individual or the educational institution--certainly not toward the task of inquiry and learning, nor toward the value systems which may guide them as persons or as schools.

Hence, institutions may hold to a particular, social, or religious philosophy, as may individual faculty members or students. But to be true to what they profess academically, individuals and institutions must remain intellectually free and allow others the same freedom to pursue truth and to distinguish the pursuit of it from a commitment to it.

All concerned with the good of colleges and universities will seek ways to support their institutional integrity and the exercise of their appropriate autonomy and freedom. In particular, the regional commissions, which have a particular responsibility to look at an institution in its totality, will always give serious attention to this aspect and quality of institutional life so necessary for its well-being and vitality.

Adopted 1966/Revised 1978

Supporting Documentation for Standard Nine

Required Exhibits:

1. Statements or policies on academic freedom.

2. Statements or policies on conflict of interest.

3. Policies which guarantee fair treatment of faculty, administration, staff, and students.

4. Copies of print and electronic promotional materials.

5. Code(s) of conduct, statement(s) of ethical behavior.

View Text-only Version Text-only Updated: 08/09/2002
© Montana State University 2006 Didn't Find it? Please use our contact list or our site index.