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Membership in the academic profession carries with it responsibilities for advancement of knowledge, excellence in teaching, the intellectual growth of students, high scholarship, and the improve­ment of society.  Faculty members must order and evaluate their activities in terms of their commitment to these goals, as well as in terms of their own per­sonal and professional development, and that of their discipline. Moreover, members of the faculty of Texas Woman's University have a special obligation to understand the nature of this institution of higher learning with its unique characteristics, philosophy and objectives, and they have a responsibility to participate in the life and operation of the University and the department and school or college of their appointment.  They should strive to improve the intel­lectual and practical effectiveness of the University by willing and thoughtful participation in its governance.

As an educational institution, Texas Woman's University does not wish to impose a rigid body of codified rules upon the members of its faculty.  The University does, however, have certain legitimate expectations concerning the conduct and investment of professional academics.  The following statements outline, in a general way, the obligations incumbent on the faculty members of the University.

As members of a learned profession and as officers of an educational institution, the special position of faculty in this community imposes special ethical obligations. See policy 3.01 "Professional Ethics" (Word).

Faculty members' pursuit of teaching excellence is a life-long commitment and includes the following specific responsibilities:

  1. Conduct their assigned courses in a manner con­sistent with the course content, class times and locations, and course credit as approved.
  2. Have a firm command of course content and keep current with new developments in their discipline.
  3. Design and evaluate conscientiously all student work with impartiality and complete grading in a timely fashion.
  4. Select teaching strategies that facilitate the learning process and communicate their subjects effectively.
  5. Provide each student with a syllabus or course guide (written or electronic) summarizing course objectives and requirements, textbooks and other sources to be used, assignments, and applicable attendance and grading rules.
  6. Maintain a classroom atmosphere conducive to intellectual inquiry and rational discussion.
  7. Monitor the integration of courses they teach with other courses and programs in their department and college or school.
  8. Avoid any discriminatory conduct based on such factors as race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age, or political beliefs. Faculty members may not refuse to enroll or teach students on grounds of their beliefs; nor should faculty members, by the authority inherent in the instructional role, force students to make particular personal choices as to political action or religion or their role in society.  Evaluation of students and the awarding of credit must be based on academic performance, rather than on personality, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, degree of political activism, or personal beliefs.

Faculty members shall be available to advise students about academic matters by means of regularly scheduled office hours and appointments. In performing this function, faculty members should make every reasonable effort to ensure that the information they transmit is timely and accurate.

Faculty members will be reasonably available to colleagues for purposes of discussing teaching methods, content of courses, departmental administrative matters, possible topics of scholarship, scholarly work in progress, and related matters.

Since teaching responsibilities allow for a flexible scheduling of time and a opportunity to pursue intellectual and professional interests relatively free from distraction, faculty members are expected to continue their professional development through research, scholarly writing, advanced study, continuing education, service, and/or original creative production as appropriate to their disciplines.

Although many duties within the University are performed by professional administrators, the faculty also has an obligation to provide institutional leadership. Thus, individual faculty have a responsibility to assume a fair share of that leadership, including participation in departmental and school or college faculty meetings and service on departmental, school or college, and university committees. Faculty are also expected to serve their academic, professional, and civic communities with their expertise.

Faculty members have an obligation to disclose any fraudulent or unethical activities occurring at the University to the appropriate dean, and, thereafter to follow the chain of command.

APPROVED: 6/88
REV: 3/04; ED: 4/09

page last updated 2/1/2013 1:47 PM