Professional Standards for Faculty
The following types of behaviors may be subject to professional sanction, including discipline up to and including dismissal in accordance with the appropriate procedures.
These behaviors include oral, written, visual, or physical actions by a member of the faculty that, according to a reasonable person standard:
a) Have the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s employment or educational performance; and/or
b) Have the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, offensive or abusive climate for an individual’s employment, academic pursuits, living environment, or participation in a University activity.
Some examples of conduct that may violate this policy include, but are not limited to: threatening behavior, actions, or comments; bullying behavior (defined as a persistent pattern of negative behavior based upon a real or perceived power or status imbalance which belittles another member of a unit); undue interference with functions or activities sponsored or authorized by the University; forcible detention, threats of physical harm to, or harassment of another member of the University community; and behavior that results in a hostile working or learning environment. This list is not exhaustive, and faculty may be subject to sanction and disciplinary action for any type of conduct which, although not specifically enumerated, meets the standard for unacceptable faculty behavior set forth above under a) or b).
III. Alleged Violations of this Policy
Alleged violations of this policy should be reported on a timely basis to an administrator (e.g., Dean, Chair or Director in an academic unit, Academic Human Resources, or the immediate supervisor of the person alleged to be in violation of the policy). This administrator must ensure that appropriate action is taken to address the situation. If warranted, a prompt inquiry shall be undertaken, and the faculty member shall be afforded an opportunity to respond to the allegations against him or her prior to a determination as to whether the policy has been violated. Such responsive information will be considered prior to this determination.
Prior to the imposition of any significant sanction or disciplinary action, to ensure that a level of peer review has occurred, the administrator shall consult with a relevant faculty executive or advisory committee. Each unit will determine the process by which peer review can be effectively and efficiently achieved and the appropriate sanction or sanctions recommended. Concerns regarding alleged unprofessional conduct may arise from a pattern of behavior and interactions, or from a single significant event. The faculty who provide the peer review should look at the totality of the circumstances and not just the precipitating event.
The University will take appropriate steps to ensure that a person who, in good faith, reports or participates in a resolution of a concern brought forward under this policy is not subject to retaliation. In addition, subjecting such a person to retaliation is itself a violation of this policy. A person who knowingly and intentionally files a false complaint under this policy may be subject to University discipline.
Violation of this policy may result in appropriate sanction or disciplinary action. If dismissal of a faculty member is proposed, the matter will be addressed through the appropriate procedure (e.g. Regents’ Bylaw 5.09, SPG 201.12). A faculty member who is sanctioned or disciplined under this policy has the right to appeal such action under the applicable procedure, typically the school/college faculty grievance procedure.