Policies and practices that guide professional behavior

It is critical to be aware of policies regarding behavior and procedures on your campus.  A search of “policies and procedures” on most campus websites is a good beginning for locating campus policies. Be particularly attuned to privacy (FERPA), harassment, and guidelines for research involving human subjects outlined by a campus Institutional Review Board (IRB). If you are unable to locate a policy, take the initiative to contact an administrator or the department or division that governs the area of concern to determine what policies apply to faculty behavior.

Example policies
The following links represent a sampling of policies that guide professional behavior, but the list is not complete or exhaustive. Be sure to complete your own search for policies as soon as you know where you will be joining the faculty.

Example Privacy Policies

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
This federal law protects the privacy of student education records, and applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.

California Code 1798, Information Practices Act
This state law requires the collection, use, maintenance and dissemination of information according to specific provisions.

Example Disability Support and Accommodations Policies

CSU Policy on Disability Support and Accommodations – Executive Order 926
California State University system
Executive Order 926 is a compilation of statewide-related policies and procedures for disability support and accommodations.  It formalizes and documents responsibilities for the oversight of systemwide activities, including policy and procedural development and compliance and monitoring.

Example Policies Protecting Human Subjects

Human Subject Protection Program
San Diego State University
This site outlines the application process for submitting proposals to the Institutional Review Board, contains form templates and protocol outlines, provides training in ethics related to human subjects research, and invites visitors to the site to join the SDSU Human Subject Protection Program Facebook Group.

Example Copywright Policies

U.S. Copyright
United States Copyright Code
There are a number of laws contained in Title 17 of the United States code related to copyright issues.  Faculty work is governed by these laws. 

Electronic File Sharing and Protection of Electronic Copyrighted Material
California State University system
Executive Order 999 (2007) outlines the commitment of the CSU to be consistent with federal laws governing copyright protection.  These include the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, the Teach Act of 2002, and all subsequent amendments. 

Example Academic Honesty Policy

CSU Systemwide Academic Honesty Policy
California State University
This systemwide Executive Order 1006 (2007), Student Activities, under Student Judiciary, outlines expectations for faculty members with regard to academic honesty.  This policy requires that after faculty members address the infraction of policy with the student in the context of a course, the case must be considered by the campus judicial affairs office for possible further action through submission of a form outlining the infraction, student name, action taken and a recommendation concerning further action to the Provost or Vice President for Student Affairs.

Example Campus Academic Honesty Policies

Academic Cheating and Plagiarism
Department of Computer Science, San Francisco State University
This site offers a basic definition of academic cheating, the location of plagiarism policies, penalties, and some examples of inappropriate behavior.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism at SF State
San Francisco State University
This site points out where relevant documents are located, policies that govern plagiarism, the challenges of plagiarism, and suggests how Turnitin software addresses the issue and can even be used to help students identify their own errors prior to turning a paper in for a class.

Academic Honesty
Center for Excellence in Teaching, University of Southern California
This site offers definitions, how to prevent dishonesty, and where to get help with the problem for faculty members at USC.

Acceptable Use Policy for Electronic Communications

CSU San Bernardino Acceptable Use Policy for Electronic Communications
California State University San Bernardino
This policy was outlines definitions and aspects of the policy related to purpose, legal basis, scope, disciplinary action, reporting procedures and access.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Acceptable Use Policy for Electronic Communications
California Polytechnic University San Luis Obispo
This policy offers a general preface that outlines the sort of climate Cal Poly seeks to foster, and contains a chart outlining the history of the development of the policy which has been regularly updated.

Harassment in Employment Policy

Policy Prohibiting Harassment in Employment, Retaliation for Reporting Harassment or Participation in a Harassment Investigation – Executive Order 927
California State University system
Executive Order 927 broadens the scope of what was once the CSU’s systemwide sexual harassment policy to one that prohibits unlawful harassment based on any statutory category protected by the Fair Employment and Housing Act.  It protects employees, applicants, and independent contractors from unlawful harassment. The prohibition against harassment of students is established by each campus, and is not covered by this systemwide policy.

Example Campus Policies

CSU Policy on Sexual Harassment
California State University
This is an example of a 2005 systemwide policy that includes students, employees, and those who apply to be students and employees, and includes an outline of the complaint procedure.

California Faculty Association (CFA) Contract
California Faculty Association
This CFA site contains the latest version of the contract ratified by the CFA membership and the CSU Board of Trustees, along with bargaining issues, grievances, and faculty rights information. The contract governs all aspects of faculty life in the CSU.


Mediation in Academia: Practicing What We Preach
Doelker, R.E. Jr., Chairman and Associate Professor, Dept. of Social Work, University of West Florida (2007).
Conflict resolution quarterly, Vol. 7, Iss. 2, p. 157-161

This paper addresses the use of mediation in academia as a valuable technique for resolving conflict that exists between individuals or among groups.


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