Ethical issues concerning professional behavior

Seeking ethical guidelines
Faculty members are role models for students, and there are ethical guidelines and standards for their behavior.  These standards insure that students and colleagues are treated fairly, equitably and with respect. 

Opening the dialogue
It is preferable to begin a dialogue about general situations that call for ethical decisions in order to help air options and provide opportunities to be proactive.  In spite of efforts such as these, some cases will arise where faculty members need to make decisions as situations unfold.  Considering some of the ethical issues faculty may face will help as you encounter difficult or challenging situations in your first years as a faculty member.

Changing Behavior with Data

Using Data to Change Student and Faculty Behavior About Academic Integrity
Fritz, J. & Viancour, T. (2008). Presented at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Conferences, University of Maryland
This conference presentation encourages faculty to report incidents of academic integrity in order to use the resulting data to change behavior.

The Ethics of Faculty Behavior: Students’ and Professors’ Views – Statistical Data Included
Morgan, B. L. & Korschgen, A. J. (2001). College Student Journal
This study examines differences in professors’ and students’ perceptions of the ethicalness of faculty behavior.

Culturally Relevant Training in Research Ethics and Standards (TRES)
Funded by National Institutes of Health (NIH), San Diego State University
The goal of Project TRES is to develop a comprehensive and culturally relevant human subjects training program for members of a research team conducting studies within the Latino community.  Although the site asks visitors to register, the curriculum is offered free in both Spanish and English, and can be used without registering.

Ethical Problems in Academic Research: A Survey of Doctoral Candidates and Faculty Raises Important Questions About the Ethical Environment of Graduate Education and Research.
American Scientist (November / December, 1993). Magazine of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society
The Acadia Institute Project on Professional Values and Ethical Issues in the Graduate Education of Scientists and Engineers, with NSF grant support, surveyed 2,000 doctoral candidates and 2,000 of their faculty from 99 of the largest graduate departments in chemistry, civil engineering, microbiology and sociology about their experiences with 15 different types of ethically questionable behavior. The articles identifies the ethical behavior, examines exposure to the behaviors, and suggests we need serious and ongoing attention to the values, ethical standards and actions connected with misconduct, and calls for standards to be outlined.

Evaluation of the Research Norms of Scientists and Administrators Responsible for Academic Research Integrity
Korenman, S.G., Berk, R., Wenger, N.S., & Lew, V. (January, 1998). JAMA
This article involved mailing surveys consisting of 12 scenarios in four domains of research ethics.  Respondents were asked whether an act was unethical, and if so the degree and appropriate punishments. Approximately 700 respondents demonstrated strong and similar norms of professional behavior, but differed in their approaches to an unethical act.

Examples of Ethical Standards

Statement on Professional Ethics
American Association of University Professors (AAUP)
This statement arises from the recognition that membership in the academic profession carries with it special responsibilities.

Ethical Responsibility of Faculty
California State University Fullerton
This statement outlines expectations for CSU Fullerton faculty.

Faculty Fellowships in Ethics
Edmond J. Safra  Foundation’s Center for Ethics, The Harvard University
Out of a need to help meet the growing need for teachers and scholars to address questions of moral choice in practical ethics in areas such as education, these fellowships bring together those with competence in philosophical thought with those in professional education to promote a perspective on ethics informed by both theory and practice.

Ethics and Academia: On Setting the Standard for Ethics in Organizations
W. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University
This is a video presentation by Marianne Jennings, W. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University

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