Faculty Code of Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct
To outline faculty rights, responsibilities, and conduct.
All persons with a tenured, tenure-track, or non-tenured faculty appointment; unclassified academic staff; and any person hired by the University to conduct classroom activities.
Article I. Title
This code shall be known as the Code of Faculty Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct. This code is based on the premise that both administrators and faculty share responsibility to create a climate suitable for scholarship, research, effective teaching and learning, and service. Except as otherwise provided by federal or state law, Board of Regents Policy, or provisions of the University Senate Code, University Senate Rules and Regulations, and Faculty Senate Rules and Regulations, no policy or action by the University or its faculty and staff may violate the rights, responsibilities, and standards of conduct established by this code. Substantive changes to this Code will be made only after approval by the Provost’s Office and Faculty Senate, subject to the ultimate authority of the Chancellor, as defined in KSA 76.714,715, and 725.
- The term “University” means the University of Kansas, and collectively, those responsible for its control and operation.
- The term “student” includes all persons taking courses at the institution, both full-time and part-time, pursuing undergraduate, graduate or extension studies.
- The term "faculty member" includes all persons with a tenured, tenure-track, or non-tenured faculty appointment; unclassified academic staff; and any person hired by the University to conduct classroom activities. Determination of a person's status as a "faculty member" or a "student" in a particular situation shall be determined by the surrounding facts.
- All other terms have their conventional meaning unless the text dictates otherwise.
Article III. Faculty Rights
The following enumeration of rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by faculty members as members of the University community or as citizens of the community at large. Subject to and to the extent permitted by law and Board of Regents policy, faculty shall have the following rights:
- Faculty members shall have the legal rights and privileges of citizens. Faculty members have the right to academic freedom and the right to freedom of inquiry, expression, and assembly.
- Faculty members shall have the right to impartial application of unit/department, school, and University policies.
- Faculty members shall have the right to participate in the determination of school, department, and University policies and procedures consistent with the principles of shared governance. Faculty members have the right to impartial treatment in the application of school, department, and university policies and decisions.
- Faculty members have the right to participate in the determination of their teaching, administrative, and other university assignments and responsibilities, subject to Faculty Senate Rules and Regulations (FSRR) 5.7.1 and 5.7.2 and applicable school and unit policies. This right recognizes that the proportions of time and energy devoted to teaching, advising, research, service, administration, and other responsibilities may vary from individual to individual, and for the same individual over time. Faculty members have the right to impartial treatment in the application of university policies and procedures for the evaluation of their performance of these responsibilities, including the right to participate in that evaluation.
- Faculty members have a right to be informed about personnel files that contain information about them. Faculty personnel files are maintained by the Provost’s Office, Human Resources, the college/school or comparable unit, and the department(s) or comparable units(s) in which the faculty member is appointed. Subject to the provisions of Faculty Senate Rules and Regulations (FSRR) 7.2, the faculty member shall have the right to examine the contents of such files and notify the Provost of any inaccuracies or missing information in the files.
- Faculty members have a right to be secure in their persons, offices, papers, computers, electronic files and effects against unlawful searches and seizures.
- Faculty members have a right to due process in all disciplinary matters. Faculty members have the right to peer judgment through the hearing process. The sanctions listed in Article VI of this Code may not be imposed upon a faculty member without notice of the charges against him or her and the opportunity to request a hearing before the Judicial Board or the Faculty Rights Board. The Judicial Board shall have jurisdiction if the recommended sanction is a “warning” or “restitution.” The Faculty Rights Board shall have jurisdiction in all other cases. If the faculty member requests a hearing, the University will stay imposition of the sanction pending disposition of the request. The opportunity for a faculty member to request a hearing before the Judicial Board or the Faculty Rights Board is subject to University Senate Code, University Senate Rules & Regulations, and Faculty Senate Rules & Regulations as applicable. The Office of University Governance can provide further information.
- Faculty members, groups, and organizations may invite and hear any persons of their own choosing, subject only to the requirements for use of University facilities, the University policies on fundraising, political activity, and solicitation, the Board of Regents policies on political activity and solicitation, and other relevant policies.
- University facilities shall be made available for assignment to faculty members, individually or in groups, even though not formally organized, subject to University and Board of Regents policies on facilities use. Preference may be given to programs designed for audiences consisting of members of the University community.
- Faculty members, groups, or organizations may distribute written or electronic material on campus without prior approval so long as the distribution is consistent with University and Board of Regents policy and state and federal law. The person or persons responsible for such material must be clearly indicated.
- Faculty members have the right to pursue opportunities for improving their skills and developing their talents related to their responsibilities as teachers and scholars contingent upon the availability of resources and compliance with applicable University and Board of Regents policies (e.g., travel, conflict of interest, leaves, class schedules, etc.).
- Faculty members have the right to engage in a limited amount of outside work, for pay or without pay, in accordance with state ethics laws and Board of Regents and University policy on commitment of time, conflict of interest, consulting, and other employment.
- Faculty members have a right to legal defense as specified by the Kansas Tort Claims Act.
- Faculty members have the right to be evaluated annually according to University policy. Each faculty member shall receive from the departmental chairperson or dean a written statement evaluating his/her performance during the preceding year. Typically, the faculty member will be evaluated on teaching, scholarship, service, and/or professional performance consistent with University and unit expectations as set forth in Faculty Senate Rules and Regulations (FSRR) Articles VI and VII, the position, and approved allocation of effort.
- Tenured faculty may be removed only for cause, in cases of program discontinuation, or in cases of bona fide financial exigency consistent with Faculty Senate Rules and Regulations (FSRR) 6.1.2. The University will follow the University Senate Code, Faculty Senate Rules and Regulations, and University Senate Rules and Regulations as applicable in such cases.
- Faculty members have the right to utilize applicable grievance procedures without retaliation.
Article IV. Faculty Responsibilities
The responsibilities of the faculty as a whole are multiple and are not to be construed as limited to any specific list. The same is true of the responsibilities of individual faculty members. Nonetheless, the major responsibilities are traditionally divided into teaching, scholarship, service, and/or professional performance consistent with University and unit expectations as set forth in Faculty Senate Rules and Regulations (FSRR) Articles VI and VII, the position, and approved allocation of effort. These are the criteria used in awarding promotion and tenure, and they are also the criteria used in faculty evaluations. Each faculty member is expected to meet academic responsibilities at an acceptable level in all areas over time, including the additional faculty responsibilities outlined in Section 5 of this article.
- Faculty who teach are expected to teach courses in their department / school in accordance with the needs, requirements and expectations of the unit and the general requirements concerning the conduct of classes specified in various University regulations.
- Good teaching requires continual application and effort. Faculty who teach are expected to keep abreast of new developments in their fields and must maintain credentials as scholars so that they are part of the creative process by which the frontiers of knowledge and culture are continually being expanded. A teacher should be engaged with his/her particular discipline and should be able to convey to the students the value of the subject.
- Teaching duties of a professor include planning classroom and/or online activities as appropriate to the method of course delivery; preparing course syllabi; designing assignments and/or examinations; holding regular office hours or being available for consultation; supervising independent work undertaken by students; directing theses and dissertations; evaluating students: assessing and documenting student learning; advising; and developing and assessing curricula.
- A professor is expected to treat students with professional courtesy and to respect their rights, including, but not limited to, academic freedom and those rights as outlined in the Student Code of Rights and Responsibilities.
- Teaching responsibilities include prompt and regular presence during scheduled class hours whether in a physical classroom or online, as appropriate to the mode of course delivery. In the case of forms of online course delivery that do not involve regular meeting times for the entire class, teaching responsibilities include meeting unit expectations for other forms of student – teacher and student – student interaction. With the exception of illness or emergency, a faculty member must make satisfactory advance arrangements and obtain his/her chair’s or dean’s approval if he/she will be absent from class or unable to meet his/her online teaching responsibilities, or if he/she needs to change a class time or location. Such approval will be granted only if it is determined that these arrangements are made for sound academic reasons and do not cause undue hardship for any student and will be timely communicated to the students by the faculty member.
- Academic advising is a part of the teaching responsibility of faculty who teach.
Faculty members have the responsibility to engage continuously in scholarship consistent with University and unit expectations as set forth in Faculty Senate Rules and Regulations (FSRR) Articles VI and VII, the position, and approved allocation of effort. Scholarship encompasses not only traditional academic research and publication but also the creation of artistic works or performances and any other products or activities accepted by the academic or professional discipline as reflecting scholarly effort and achievement. Scholarship should be subject to the critical scrutiny of peers and should expand the frontiers of knowledge and culture.
Faculty members have a responsibility to demonstrate ethical and responsible behavior in the design, conduct, and reporting of academic scholarship consistent with the standards of their disciplines. Faculty have a responsibility to act as positive examples of responsible scholarship for students and developing scholars.
Service is expected of all faculty and covers activities in a number of different areas.
- Service to the Academic Department or Research Unit. It is essential that all members of the unit share in the work necessary for the effective functioning of the unit. Thus, each faculty member has the responsibility to participate regularly and fully in that unit.
- Service to the School and the University. Faculty members are expected to serve on school and University committees.
- Service to the Profession. Faculty members are expected to be active in their professional fields. This includes belonging to and taking part in the professional activities of their field on the local, regional, national or international levels, as appropriate to the discipline.
- Service to the community, state, nation, world. The use of academic expertise to help community, state, nation and world is appropriate service, although the extent to which one contributes outside the University depends on one’s field, inclination, opportunity, and other relevant factors.
- Professional Performance
For library faculty and some unclassified academic staff with faculty equivalent rank, responsibilities include the performance of professional activities consistent with stated University and unit expectations for the position as set forth in Faculty Senate Rules and Regulations (FSRR) Articles VI and VII. Faculty members are expected to perform professional responsibilities satisfactorily, with due diligence, and in conformance with professional standards.
- Additional Faculty Responsibilities
In addition to the responsibilities listed above, faculty members shall:
- Be aware of federal and state law, Board of Regents, and University policies and regulations and comply with them.
- Respect the confidential relationship between the University and its students by preserving the privacy of all records relating to students and protecting student information from improper disclosure.
- Receive prior approval from the Office of the Chancellor when distributing written or electronic materials for solicitation purposes. Refrain from the use of campus mail and campus electronic communications devices for political purposes.
- Use technology in a responsible manner in accordance with guidelines and policies.
- Refrain from knowingly furnishing false information to the University, or forging, altering, or misusing University documents or instruments of identification.
- Respect the rights and academic freedom of students, staff, and faculty members.
- Refrain from engaging in behavior in the discharge of duties that violates commonly accepted standards of professional ethics as defined, for example, in the statement of professional ethics adopted by the 52nd Annual Meeting of the AAUP, April, 19661. Abusive or unprofessional treatment of students, faculty, or other members of the University falls within this category, e.g., see the University policy on consenting relationships. Also proscribed is any form of discrimination, including sexual harassment, as outlined in federal and state law and University policy.
- Refrain from plagiarism, misrepresentation, and fraud in performance of responsibilities.
- Refrain from committing an act that involves such moral turpitude as to render the faculty member unfit for his/her position. As used in this section, conduct involving moral turpitude means intentional conduct, prohibited by law, which is injurious to another person or to society and which constitutes a substantial deviation from the accepted standards of duty owed by a person to other persons and society.
- A leave without pay for up to three years may be granted by the chief executive officer of the employing institution when such is judged by the chief executive officer to be in the best interest of the institution. No leave may be granted to any employee who has accepted a permanent position with another postsecondary education institution.
- Any extension of a leave without pay beyond three years requires the approval of the Board. The chief executive officer of the employing institution shall provide documentation of extraordinary circumstances justifying the extension of such leave beyond three years.
- Leaves without pay shall not be regarded as a break in service; however, such leave shall not count toward the earning of sabbatical leave nor shall other than a scholarly leave count toward the tenure probationary period. Scholarly leave shall count toward the tenure probationary period unless the employee and the institution agree in writing to the contrary at the time the leave is granted.
- During a leave of absence without pay, an employee's eligibility for health insurance shall be determined by and be in accord with the policies, rules and regulations of the State Employees Health Insurance Commission.
Article VI. Sanctions
Sanctions constitute disciplinary action. Sanctions therefore do not include written or verbal feedback from an administrator concerning one’s performance or behavior such as those resulting from annual or other University performance evaluations. Faculty who fail to fulfill the responsibilities specified in Article IV of this Code may be subject to sanction. As stated in Article III.7 of this code, sanctions may not be imposed upon a faculty member without notice of the charges against him or her and the opportunity for a hearing or appeal before the Judicial Board or the Faculty Rights Board. The Judicial Board shall have jurisdiction if the recommended sanction is a “warning” or “restitution.” The Faculty Rights Board shall have jurisdiction in all other cases. If the faculty member requests a hearing, the University will stay imposition of the sanction pending disposition of the request. Sanctions of censure, suspension, or dismissal shall be applied only after the faculty member has the opportunity for a hearing before the Faculty Rights Board.
- Sanctions shall be commensurate with the severity of the offense. Accordingly, determination of appropriate sanctions should take into account whether a faculty member intentionally and willfully failed to meet a responsibility or whether a faculty member made a good faith attempt to meet a responsibility. Repeated infractions of one’s responsibilities are more serious than initial infractions of the same type.
- One or more of the following sanctions may be imposed. Sanctions, listed below in order of severity, need not be applied serially, and a more serious sanction may be applied without a less serious one having been previously applied.
- Warning. Notice in writing that continuation or repetition of conduct found wrongful, within a period of time stated in the warning, may be cause for more severe disciplinary action.
- Restitution. Reimbursement for damage to or misappropriation of property. This may take the form of appropriate service or other compensation.
- Recommendation of Censure. Recommendation to the Chancellor that a faculty member be formally reprimanded.
- Recommendation of Suspension. Recommendation to the Chancellor that a faculty member be excluded from teaching and other specified privileges or activities without pay for a definite period not in excess of two years.
- Recommendation of Dismissal. Recommendation to the Chancellor that a faculty member be dismissed from the University.
1The 73rd Annual Meeting of the AAUP (1987) endorsed the following "Statement on Professional Ethics" and it was revised in 2009. It is a revision of a statement originally adopted in 1966. Many other professional organizations also have adopted codes by which unethical conduct can be judged.
- Professors, guided by a deep conviction of the worth and dignity of the advancement of knowledge, recognize the special responsibilities placed upon them. Their primary responsibility to their subject is to seek and to state the truth as they see it. To this end professors devote their energies to developing and improving their scholarly competence. They accept the obligation to exercise critical self-discipline and judgment in using, extending, and transmitting knowledge. They practice intellectual honesty. Although professors may follow subsidiary interests, these interests must never seriously hamper or compromise their freedom of inquiry.
- As teachers, professors encourage the free pursuit of learning in their students. They hold before them the best scholarly and ethical standards of their discipline. Professors demonstrate respect for students as individuals, and adhere to their proper roles as intellectual guides and counselors. Professors make every reasonable effort to foster honest academic conduct and to ensure that their evaluations of students reflect each student's true merit. They respect the confidential nature of the relationship between professor and student. They avoid any exploitation, harassment, or discriminatory treatment of students. They acknowledge significant academic or scholarly assistance from them. They protect their academic freedom.
- As colleagues, professors have obligations that derive from common membership in the community of scholars. Professors do not discriminate against or harass colleagues. They respect and defend the free inquiry of associates, even when it leads to findings and conclusions that differ from their own. Professors acknowledge academic debt and strive to be objective in their professional judgment of colleagues. Professors accept their share of faculty responsibilities for the governance of their institution.
- As members of an academic institution, professors seek above all to be effective teachers and scholars. Although professors observe the stated regulations of the institution, provided the regulations do not contravene academic freedom, they maintain their right to criticize and seek revision. Professors give due regard to their paramount responsibilities within their institution in determining the amount and character of work done outside it. When considering the interruption or termination of their service, professors recognize the effect of their decision upon the program of the institution and give due notice of their intentions.
- As members of their community, professors have the rights and obligations of other citizens. Professors measure the urgency of these obligations in the light of their responsibilities to their subject, to their students, to their profession, and to their institution. When they speak or act as private persons they avoid creating the impression of speaking or acting for their college or university. As citizens engaged in a profession that depends upon freedom for its health and integrity, professors have a particular obligation to promote conditions of free inquiry and to further public understanding of academic freedom.
Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs
University of Kansas
1450 Jayhawk Boulevard
Strong Hall, Room 145
Lawrence, KS 66045
12/14/2022: Updated contact section.
09/15/2016: Revisions approved by Chancellor.
09/08/2016: Revisions approved by Faculty Senate.
09/06/2016: Revisions approved by Faculty Executive Committee (FacEx).
1994: Revisions adopted by the Faculty Council (predecessor to the current Faculty Senate) and approved by the Chancellor.
1992: Revisions adopted by the Faculty Council (predecessor to the current Faculty Senate) and approved by the Chancellor.
1981: Revisions adopted by the Faculty Council (predecessor to the current Faculty Senate) and approved by the Chancellor.
1971: Adopted by Faculty Senate.