Ethics & Traditions of Academia*
  • Searching For and Teaching Truth is the common commitment of all in Academia.

  • Academic Freedom, meaning the right to pursue and teach truth as one's scholarship dictates, is required for the scholar to keep this pledge.

  • Wisdom and Knowledge have no private ownership in Academia; they must be disseminated to enlighten all.

  • Plagiarism, claiming credit for the contributions of others, is unprofessional.

  • Equality is a cardinal rule in Academia. In a properly functioning community of scholars, despite differences in tenure, assignment and scholarly focus, no hierarchy exists.

  • Mutual Respect and Civility are comerstones of professional ethics. To harass, denigrate, or discriminate against a colleague or student is unprofessional.

  • Shared Power is carefully guarded tradition in the organization and operation of academic institutions. Power flows upward, rather than top-down as in a business or military organization.

  • Persuasion, rather than dictation, is the process of leadership--in both teaching and administration.

  • Verifiable Facts and Critical Reasoning shape group and individual actions. Dogma, bigotry, expediency, and political correctness have no standing as criteria in the search for truth, in teaching, or in academic administration.

  • Institutional Integrity is Protected. Professors fulfill their responsibilities in full measure, submerging personal ambitions when they conflict with orderly and proper institutional operations.


* Condensed and updated, by Lindley J. Stiles, fromm the American Association of University Professors, "Statement on Professional Ethics", published in Academe, July-August, 1-7.


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©2001 Lindley J. Stiles