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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,
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
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.