Statement on Professional Ethics

Resolution Number: RF07-262
September, 2007

San Francisco State University Statement on
Professional Ethics

San Francisco State University creates and maintains an open, respectful
environment for teaching, learning, service, scholarship and creative work. SF State faculty facilitate and embrace the
understanding and appreciation of human diversity expressed in the array of
cultures, languages, religions, intellectual and political perspectives, ethnic
and racial backgrounds, abilities and disabilities, sexes, gender
identities, sexual identities and sexual orientations in our community.
The faculty fosters and maintains a collegial and cooperative
intellectual atmosphere that includes and appreciates differing viewpoints while
promoting academic freedoms.

To that end the Academic Senate endorses the Statement on Professional Ethics, from the American Association of
University Professors (AAUP
sets forth general standards serving as a
reminder of the varied responsibilities assumed by all members of our academic

  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 the 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
    roles as intellectual guides and counselors. Professors make every
    reasonable 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 their 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. 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.

***Adopted by the Academic Senate on November 27,