Faculty Statement of Principles

Faculty Statement of Principles (As adopted April 16, 1996)

  1. Preamble

1.1       The Faculty of the Department of Political Science is committed to upholding the highest professional standards in its research, teaching, and service activities.  The purpose of this Statement is to advance the goals of the Department, as described in its Mission Statement of 28 June 1995.  Many of the matters mentioned in this Statement are addressed in university policies and collective agreements, to which this Statement is necessarily supplementary.  Of particular relevance are the University’s statement on Academic Freedom and the University’s policies on Discrimination and Harassment and on Conflict of Interest.

1.2       For the purpose of this Statement, the term “faculty” applies to all regularly-appointed faculty of the Department, as well as to any visiting faculty (resident for research or teaching purposes) or sessional or part-time instructors of political science courses.

1.3       This Statement of Principles is to be reviewed and reaffirmed on a regular basis. New members of the faculty, as well as any visiting faculty or sessional instructors, will be made aware of the Statement and their responsibility to uphold its principles.  This Statement shall be reproduced in the Department’s annual Undergraduate and Graduate Handbooks.

  1. Principles

2.1       Faculty members shall treat students, staff, and faculty with fairness, civility, and respect.

2.2       Faculty members have an obligation to defend their rights and the rights of their colleagues and students to academic freedom.  It is thus incumbent on the faculty, individually and collectively, to maintain working and learning environments that are conductive to the free and open exchange of ideas and scholarly debate.

2.3       Faculty shall act, individually and collectively, to promote working and learning environments that are free from discrimination and harassment.

2.4       Faculty members shall seek to discharge their instructional responsibilities with academic integrity, scholarly competence, and pedagogical effectiveness.  Faculty members shall be conscientious in their attention to their classes and students.  Expectations, requirements, and standards of evaluation should be clearly communicated in a timely manner and should be upheld and applied equitably and consistently regarding all students.

2.5       Faculty shall strive to be fair, objective, and balanced in their evaluation of students and colleagues.  Oral and written evaluations, e.g. letters of recommendation or assessments of course assignments or examinations, shall be provided in a professional manner and shall contain and be based only on information relevant to their intended purposes.

2.6       Faculty members shall respect and protect the confidentiality of information about colleagues, staff, or students as mandated by university policies, government regulations, and general standards of professional conduct.

2.7       Faculty members shall seek to avoid any potential conflicts of interest that might arise involving the possibility of their personal material gain or involving their relationships with students, other faculty or university employees.  Perceiving the possibility of a conflict of interest, a faculty member should declare this and seek guidance from the Head or appropriate university official as to the appropriate action.

2.8       Faculty members have the responsibility to acknowledge appropriately their academic or intellectual debts to colleagues and students.

2.9       Faculty, individually and collectively, have a responsibility to be informed of relevant university policies, to participate in establishing and implementing effective departmental policies, and to support members of the department, especially the Head, in carrying out their duties on behalf of the Department.

2.10     The Department shall facilitate timely, responsible, and constructive dealing with student complaints and appeals.  Faculty shall support and participate in complaints and appeals processes in good faith and shall not engage in retaliation against any persons who participate in such processes.