Code of Faculty Ethics and Responsibilities


October 1, 1992

Revision Date


A 30.01

Revision No.

  1. Faculty Members as Teachers

    1. The first responsibility of university teachers is the pursuit and dissemination of knowledge and understanding through teaching and research. They must devote their energies conscientiously to develop their scholarly competence and effectiveness as teachers.

    2. They must be conscientious in the preparation and organization of their subject matter and should revise this periodically in the light of developments in their fields.

    3. They must conscientiously strive to improve the methods of presentation of their subjects to their students.

    4. They must encourage the free exchange of ideas between themselves and their students.

    5. They must always be fair to their students. It is unethical for them to exploit students for their private advantage. It is unethical for them to utilize the work of students in a publication without appropriate attribution.

    6. They are guilty of unethical conduct if they act so as to prevent the fulfillment of these responsibilities by themselves or by other members of the academic community.

    7. They must keep in confidence all privileged information gained about a student, whether concerning academic progress, personal life or political and religious views. Nevertheless, they may reveal information about the academic standing of students in response to a request from a reputable source; they may refer to the student's character only insofar as this is relevant. When acting as referees, they must strive to be fair and objective.
  1. Faculty Members as Scholars

    1. All scholarly activity conducted within the University must have as its primary objectives:
      the increase of knowledge and understanding;

      1. the improvement of the scholarly competence of the teacher, and
      2. insofar as possible, the initiation of students into the academic disciplines.

        In view of the first objective, it is essential that faculty members be free to disseminate the results of their research through publication, lectures and other appropriate means.

    1. It is unethical for faculty members to enter into any agreement that infringes their freedom to publish the results of research conducted within the University precincts or under University auspices. Not withstanding this, faculty members may agree to delay, for a specific period of time, publication of the results of sponsored or contract research, provided that this condition is agreed to by the University.
  1. Faculty Members as Colleagues

    1. They have the obligation to defend the right of their colleagues to academic freedom. It is unethical to act so as deliberately to infringe that freedom.

    2. They should refrain from denigration of the character and competence of their colleagues. When presenting a professional judgment on a colleague at the request of an appropriate university committee or authority (e.g. a committee dealing with appointments, tenure, dismissal or research grants), or in any other forum, they have the obligation both to the colleague and to the University to be fair and objective.

    3. It is unethical to fail to respect the confidentiality of information about a colleague gained during participation in the work of committees such as those described in Section IV.1.

    4. They have the responsibility to acknowledge in their scholarly lectures and publications, academic debts to colleagues and students.

    5. It is unethical for them to exploit the unpaid work of colleagues for personal gain
  1. Faculty Members and the University

    1. In accepting a University appointment, faculty members assume obligations to the University in addition to their primary duties as teachers and scholars. They have the responsibility to participate in the life of the University, in its governance and administration through membership on committees and organizations at Board, Senate, Faculty and Department levels, provided that this participation is consistent with the discharge of their primary responsibilities and with their own abilities.

    2. It is unethical for them to accept an appointment to an administrative position (e.g. Department Chair, Dean, President) unless satisfied that adequate consultative procedures have been employed in filling the post.

    3. They have a responsibility to abide by the rules and regulations established for the orderly conduct of the affairs of the University, provided that these rules and regulations do not infringe the academic freedom of faculty and students or the principles of ethical conduct as set forth in this policy. At the same time, they have a responsibility to seek reforms which would, in their judgment, improve the University.

    4. It is unethical to fail to give proper notice of resignation of a faculty appointment, in accordance with the appropriate university regulations, or to accept another position involving conflicting obligations for a period covered under the terms of an existing appointment.

    5. Simon Fraser University endeavours to provide a working and learning environment that is supportive of scholarship and research and the fair treatment of all members of the University community. The basis for interaction among all members of the University is mutual respect, co-operation and understanding. Harassment of any kind violates fundamental rights, personal dignity and personal integrity. The University considers harassment to be a serious offence which is subject to a range of disciplinary measures up to and including dismissal or expulsion.
  1. Faculty Members and Conflict of Interest

    1. Faculty members should avoid the following potential conflicts of interest unless, after full consultation, they have the approval of the university officer to whom they are responsible:

      1. Authorize the purchase by the University of equipment, supplies or services from a source in which they or their families have a substantial interest;

      2. Hire any member of their immediate family as an employee or consultant for any project supported by funds administered through the University;

      3. Be associated with the management of any undertaking which hires or proposes to hire University personnel.
  1. Faculty Members and the Community at Large

    1. In statements outside the University, they retain the responsibility of seeking the truth and of stating it as they see it. However, they should make clear that except when specifically authorized to do so, they are acting in their own names and not in the name of the University.

    2. Secondary income: The time involved in any consulting or related work and the nature of such work, involving payment to the faculty member by any person or organization other than the University must be disclosed to the appropriate university authorities in accordance with existing university policies (see Policy A 30.04).

    3. When they enter into a special relationship with some sector of the community at large, as when they are engaged as consultants or when they conduct research under contract, they have a responsibility to ensure that these duties are consistent with their primary obligation to the University and in no way deleteriously affect their duties within the University.

      October 1, 1992