Code of Professional Conduct

Code of Professional Conduct:

Texas A&M University School of Public Health

 

The School of Public Health is committed to promoting and ensuring a safe and respectful educational and working environment for its faculty, administrators, staff, students, and the lay and professional communities with whom we work.[1]It should be one free of harassment, bullying, or intimidation. The purpose of this code is to set forth the School’s expectations for professional conduct. In no way does it place limits on academic freedom or, in the language of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), represent an obstacle to the fundamental academic “right to dissent from the judgements of colleagues and administrators.” The AAUP stresses, “Criticism and opposition do not necessarily conflict with collegiality.”[2]This code is intended to foster an environment that is characterized by civility and respect for all the members of the community, that supports the mission of the School and University, and that is free of behaviors that have the purpose or effect of undermining the School’s or the University’s climate, mission, or morale through unreasonable interference with the employment, work, or educational performance.

Code of Professional Conduct

  1. Treat everyone (including, but not limited to, faculty, administrators, staff, building personnel, and students) with respect, civility, and fairness.
  2. Treat everyone without bias or discrimination based on dimensions of diversity including age, gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, health condition, marital status, parental status, genetic information, professional status, or personal connections.
  3. Teach, conduct research, conduct administrative business, and engage with the professional and lay community with competence, honesty, and the highest ethical and professional standards.
  4. Resolve conflicts and counsel colleagues and subordinates in a non-threatening, constructive, and private manner whenever possible and when not in conflict with other TAMU policies.
  5. When in a supervisory role, provide clear direction, timely feedback, and constructive suggestions and opportunities for improvement or remediation when it comes to professional comportment.
  6. Follow TAMU policies and procedures pertaining to faculty, students, and staff (including but not limited to student rules,[3]committee expectations and responsibilities, reporting guidelines, etc.) and promptly address violations of institutional policies by reporting or cooperating with investigations and audits as called upon.

Examples of behavior that faculty, administrators, staff, and students must refrain from include but are not limited to:

  1. Disrespectful behavior towards all members and guests of the SPH and the broader University community, including but not limited to faculty, administrators, staff, building personnel, and students.
  2. Loss of civility that interferes with the working and learning environment (examples commonly cited in model guidelines include shouting, personal attacks or insults delivered either face-to-face or through others, throwing objects, slamming doors, or other physical displays of temper).
  3. Unprofessional interpersonal interactions, including requesting that professional colleagues, staff or students perform personal favors or do things that either violate policy or compliance standards (see examples in Professors Behaving Badly).[4]
  4. Unwanted physical contact with others or threats of such contact.
  5. Sexual harassment, as outlined by TAMU, or anyharassment including harassment based on age, gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or other dimensions of diversity. (As noted below, such behavior is reportable to the University.)
  6. Mistreatment of faculty, administrators, staff, building personnel, students, or professional or lay community members, including, but not limited to, making remarks (in face-to-face or online venues like social media) with the intent to cause offense, public embarrassment or humiliation, denying reasonable opportunities for training or advancement, or giving lower evaluations than earned.
  7. Retaliation based on formal or informal measures to address concerns about professional conduct or retaliation based on professional disagreements.

 

[1]Adapted from USC, Keck School of Medicine, Code of Professional Conduct for Faculty. See also http://provost.umich.edu/faculty/handbook/handbook.pdf and University Rule 12.01.99.M2and University Statement on Academic Freedom, Responsibility, Tenure, and Promotion, section 4.4.3.2.

[2]American Association of University Professors, “On Collegiality as a Criterion for Faculty Evaluation,” 2016. https://www.aaup.org/report/collegiality-criterion-faculty-evaluation.

[3]http://student-rules.tamu.edu/rule24.

[4]John M. Braxton,‎ Eve M. Proper,‎ Alan E. Bayer, Professors Behaving Badly: Faculty Misconduct in Graduate Education1st Edition (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011).