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POLICY #6.28
SUBJECT: Faculty Professional Responsibility


The purpose of this Policy is to describe the professional responsibilities of faculty members toward students and colleagues, and to provide a mechanism for discipline of faculty members when responsibilities are breached.




  1. This code of professional responsibility provides that persons having a formal association with the institution shall not violate the academic freedom or constitutional rights of others, or the rules, regulations, policies or procedures of Southern Utah University (SUU) or the State Board of Higher Education. Failure to meet professional responsibilities shall constitute serious misconduct and result in appropriate disciplinary action as set forth below.
  2. Faculty Responsibilities to Students
    1. Ensure that the content and rigor of each course is generally consistent with benchmark academic standards, as determined by the respective department and/or accrediting body.
    2. Faculty members will meet scheduled classes, including final examinations, and be well prepared to meet their teaching responsibilities as described in Section IV.A. above.
    3. Faculty members will maintain regular office hours during which they are available for consultation with students and will otherwise make themselves accessible to students whenever reasonably possible.
    4. Evaluation of student performance will occur promptly, conscientiously, and without prejudice or favoritism. Evaluation criteria will be stated in the course syllabus. The criteria for evaluating student performance shall relate to the legitimate academic purposes of the course.
    5. Faculty members will avoid the misuse of class time and will not present their own views on topics unrelated to the subject matter of the course. If faculty members find it pedagogically useful to advocate a position on controversial matters, such will be reasonably articulated and professional sensitivity will be exercised.
    6. Faculty members will provide a respectful atmosphere and not reward agreement or penalize disagreement with their views on controversial topics.
    7. Faculty members will not use their positions, authority, or relationships with students to obtain uncompensated labor for their own private or pecuniary gain. They shall not ask students to perform services unrelated to legitimate requirements of a course.
    8. Faculty members will not plagiarize the work of any student. When faculty members and students work together, appropriate credit and attribution will be given to the students. Faculty members shall not limit or curtail the right of students to publish or otherwise communicate the results of their independent scholarly activities.
    9. Faculty members will maintain confidentiality in regard to student records and other professional interactions in accordance with SUU policy as well as federal, state, and/or local laws.
    10. SUU faculty members will not participate in conduct or relationships with students, which could place the faculty member in a conflict of interest or in a position to be accused of prohibited discrimination or harassment.
  3. Faculty Responsibilities to Colleagues
    1. Faculty members will be informed and knowledgeable about developments in their field of academic expertise.
    2. Members of the faculty will not permit the appearance that they are authors of work done by others.
    3. Faculty members will not exploit their position for personal or pecuniary gain when acting as supervisor of the professional work of other persons.
    4. Faculty members will exhibit "reasonable care" in meeting their commitments to their associates while engaged in joint research or other professional effort with other persons.
    5. Faculty members will report the results and conclusions of their research or professional activities with professional integrity.
  4. Faculty Responsibilities to the Institution
    1. Faculty members will recognize that their position and role at the institution will identify them with the institution and places them in a position to positively or negatively affect the institution’s reputation.
    2. Faculty members will exercise their academic freedom consistent with the provisions of institutional policy, recognizing that its attributes impact faculty colleagues, the students, and the institution.
    3. Members of the faculty will exhibit on-going commitment to the institution in the areas of teaching standards, scholarly/creative contributions, community service, and collegiality.
  5. Disciplinary Action for Failure to Meet Professional Responsibilities
    1. Procedures
      1. Recommendations for disciplinary action will be made in writing, including the justification for the disciplinary action.
      2. Recommendations will be made by the Department Chair to the Dean; or by the Dean, in consultation with the appropriate Department Chair, to the Provost depending on the nature or severity of the conduct giving rise to the recommendation.
      3. The Dean or Provost will review the recommendation to initially determine if it is supported by adequate factual cause.
        1. If not, it will be returned for additional information, or denied.
        2. If so, a notice of the recommendation will be forwarded to the faculty member for review and written response. If supported by cause and severity, the Provost (with Presidential approval) may place the faculty member on administrative leave pending response and resolution.
        3. The faculty member may request an in-person meeting with the Dean or Provost as part of their response.
      4. The Dean or Provost will review the faculty member’s written response. If a meeting is requested by the faculty member, or if the Dean or Provost elects to have a meeting, one will be scheduled and the faculty member will be notified of time and place.
      5. A copy of the recommendations given to the faculty member and the faculty member’s opportunity to respond in writing to the recommendations, provide the requisite due process upon which the Dean or Provost can determine that a breach of professional responsibility has occurred, and to implement disciplinary action as deemed appropriate in the circumstances.
    2. Disciplinary actions will usually be considered and implemented as provided below; however, the order is not mandatory and severity of conduct can necessitate a more severe disciplinary action:

      Disciplinary Actions
      Sanction Initiated By Reviewed By Approved and Implemented By
      1. Verbal censure Department Chair Dean Dean
      2. Written reprimand Department Chair Dean Dean
      3. Reassignment of duties Department Chair Dean Provost
      4. Probation (not exceeding one year), to which reasonable provisions may be attached Department Chair Dean Provost
      5. Suspension without pay (not exceeding one year) Dean Provost
      6. Dismissal Dean Provost President/Board of Trustees
    3. Generally, the faculty member will be required to make restitution (payment for property damages, service lost, etc.) or remedy a situation created by the respondent's violation of University policy.




The responsible office for this Policy is the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs.


Date Approved: March 26, 2004

Amended: January 13, 2012