The Staff Codes of Ethics is considered a positive and progressive step that enhances transparency and sound governance in college administration. The charter includes ethical and moral standards that promote fairness and transparency in the educational process.
The Charter of Credibility and Academic Ethics is primarily an ethical charter that helps faculty members deal with transparency, objectivity, integrity, and make sound decisions. Ethics are considered a necessity for civilized life and an essential requirement for organizing and stabilizing society, where strength is synonymous with rightness and rightness is synonymous with strength. The absence of ethics means the dominance of the law of the jungle and the destruction of human communities.
Discussing the etiquette and ethics of faculty members aims to achieve several objectives, including:
1. Developing the knowledge and awareness of faculty members about the etiquette and ethics of their profession.
2. Cultivating the value of voluntary commitment to the law among faculty members, through their commitment to the laws that govern their work as a positive commitment stemming from their conscience and conviction, rather than fear of punishment.
3. Establishing a code of ethics for faculty members (the Ethical Charter for Faculty Members) that draws its principles from higher values and established principles in divine laws.
4. Upholding noble and sound ethics recognized by a sound mind and approved by upright consciences.
5. The laws, regulations, and decisions that govern academic work and intellectual property.
Contents of the Charter:
1. Chapter One: Overview of the Ethical Charter for Faculty Members
1.1. Importance of the Ethical Charter for Faculty Members
1.2. Fundamental Principles Governing the Charter
1.3. Stakeholders and Implementers of the Ethical Charter
2. Chapter Two: General Professional Ethics for Faculty Members
2.1. Faculty Member's Relationship with Academic and Non-Academic Colleagues
2.2. Faculty Member's Relationship with Students
2.3. Professional Ethics in Teaching
2.4. Professional Ethics in Student Evaluation and Exam Administration
2.5. Professional Ethics in Supervising Theses and Projects
2.6. Professional Ethics in Research and Authorship
2.7. Professional Ethics in Accepting Gifts and Donations
2.8. Handling College's Private Property
3. Chapter Three: Academic Leadership
3.1. Ethical Responsibilities of the College Dean
3.2. Role of Academic Professors
4. Chapter Four: Decisions, Procedures, and Penalties in case of Violation of the Ethical Charter for Faculty Members
Chapter One: Overview of the Ethical Charter for Faculty Members
1.1. Importance of the Ethical Charter for Faculty Members:
This charter represents a set of values and ethics that should guide and regulate the evaluation process for faculty members, establishing clear boundaries for what is acceptable or unacceptable, permissible or prohibited within the university's work environment. The charter aims to establish rules and principles that govern and clarify the interactions with students, faculty members, support staff, the college, the university, and the community, ensuring the protection of their rights and safeguarding them against mistreatment or exploitation. It defines the ethical duties of faculty members and support staff towards themselves, their profession, their students, and their community, both within and outside the university. It urges them to adhere to the values of their profession and its ethics in their behavior and actions throughout their lives, through a set of standards that provide a framework for the expected conduct of faculty members and support staff in the practice of their profession.
1.2. Fundamental Principles Governing the Charter:
Based on the Ethical Charter for the Teaching Profession and the principles stipulated by the Ministry of Higher Education, the following principles and values should characterize faculty members:
Maintaining balanced and well-regulated relationships with others, as well as making fair and equitable decisions and actions.
Ensuring the management of the educational process is conducted with honesty and creating a safe environment that fosters a sense of comfort for faculty members and all employees.
Showing the utmost respect for others, fostering trust, protecting the privacy and confidentiality of faculty members, employees, and students.
1.2.4. Loyalty and Belonging:
Demonstrating loyalty to the college, its mission, working towards achieving its strategic objectives, and respecting the laws and regulations of the college.
1.2.5. Equality and Non-Discrimination:
Treating faculty members, employees, researchers, and students equally and without discrimination based on gender, social status, faith, race, or disability. Ensuring that all interactions are free from any form of harassment.
Creating a healthy atmosphere within the college, eliminating any means of threat, and establishing a safe and professional learning environment, free from exploitation or abuse of power.
1.2.7. Professional Integration:
Defending what is beneficial and useful to faculty members and students, supporting the college's mission and goals, avoiding conflicts of interest, respecting the independence of others, and promoting scientific research.
1.2.8. Confidentiality and Privacy:
Maintaining the confidentiality of information regarding colleagues, employees, or students and only sharing it with authorized individuals. Respecting the confidentiality of obtained information and not using it to harm others, except when it is necessary and in the best interest of reporting violations that may harm the educational process and public interest.
1.3. Stakeholders of the Ethical Charter:
- University administration
- College deans
- College vice deans for education and student affairs
- Department heads
- Faculty members and support staff
- Exam control heads and members
- Exam supervision committees (handover and delivery committees)
- Exam committee heads
- Observers and monitors
- College staff
- Quality Assurance Unit
- Assessment and Examination Systems Development Unit
- University administration
- College deans
- College vice deans for education and student affairs
- Department heads
- Assessment and Examination Systems Development Unit.
Ethics of Faculty Members
2.1 Relationship of Faculty Members with Colleagues and Non-Colleagues:
1. Faculty members should respect others regardless of their occupation, job position, administrative role, political, racial, or religious differences.
2. No faculty member should provoke students to criticize another faculty member.
3. Faculty members should direct voluntary criticisms of a criticized colleague by students to the faculty member first and then to the dean of the college.
4. Faculty members should not criticize their colleagues in a way that diminishes their efforts in performing their duties.
5. The appropriate means for complaints against faculty members is the Vice President for Academic Affairs or the established grievance committee for faculty members. In addition, faculty members should consider discussing the matter with their misguided colleagues as a first step before resorting to complaints.
6. Faculty members should acknowledge and give credit to their colleagues if they quote or use any of their intellectual efforts.
7. Faculty members should form professional judgments about their colleagues, free from personal judgments.
8. Faculty members should accept a fair share of the responsibility for managing the college institution.
2.2 Relationship of Faculty Members with Students:
1. Faculty members should not exploit students for personal interests.
2. Faculty members should avoid engaging in discussions that involve racism, politics, religion, nationality, or any other discussions that may lead to racism within the college.
3. Faculty members' judgment of students should be solely based on academic performance, independent of matters unrelated to performance such as personal, racial, religious, political activities, or personal beliefs.
4. Faculty members should be mindful of the boundaries in their relationship with students, ensuring that it does not develop into an inappropriate situation beyond the professional relationship between the teacher and the student.
5. Faculty members should not interfere with the intellectual freedom of students in any aspect of life, as long as that freedom does not violate ethical, social, and academic principles.
6. Faculty members should handle students with utmost wisdom when dealing with any violation of credibility and academic ethics, ensuring fairness and equality among them.
7. Faculty members should treat students with special needs within the academy with care and facilitate the educational and learning process for them.
2.3 Professional Ethics in Teaching:
1. Faculty members should deliver the assigned scientific material without delving into unrelated topics.
2. Faculty members should adequately prepare for lectures.
3. Faculty members should inform students of their working hours on campus and maintain their availability during those hours for communication with students.
4. Faculty members should refuse any assistance to students outside the scope of the college, with or without compensation.
5. Faculty members should provide adequate academic advice and guidance to students.
6. Faculty members should not cancel any lectures or training sessions, except for compelling reasons that prevent their attendance.
7. Faculty members should adhere to the schedule of lectures, both in terms of starting and ending time.
8. Faculty members should maintain confidentiality regarding student performance and provide specific criticisms without discussing them even with colleagues unless there is an academic basis for such discussion.
2.4 Professional Ethics in Student Evaluation and Exam Organization:
1. The university professor should adhere to a set of responsibilities and fundamental behaviors.
2. Continuous or periodic evaluation of students should be conducted, providing them with evaluation results for their benefit in correcting or strengthening their progress as needed.
3. Parents should be notified of evaluation results in cases that require it, such as placing a student on a warning list or providing a final chance, according to the policies of the educational institution.
4. Fairness and quality should be pursued in designing exams, aligning them with what is taught and learned, and capable of sorting students' levels based on their excellence.
5. Accuracy, fairness, adherence to regulations, and discipline should be maintained during examination sessions.
6. Cheating is strictly prohibited, and cheating and attempted cheating shall be punished.
7. Exams should be organized in a way that allows for the application of fairness and justice at the same time.
8. Relatives should not be involved in the exams of their relatives.
9. Only qualified and trusted individuals should be assigned to correct the answer sheets.
10. Utmost accuracy should be observed in correcting the answer sheets while maintaining the confidentiality of names unless the system allows otherwise.
11. The process of monitoring the results should be organized to ensure complete accuracy and confidentiality.
12. The results should be presented to the examination committee without disclosing the names for decision-making purposes.
13. The results should be announced simultaneously from a single source.
14. The review of results should be allowed in case of any grievances, with thorough investigation of the complaints.
15. Cumulative assessment should be applied whenever possible to achieve a greater degree of fairness.
2.5 Professional ethics in student evaluation and supervision of dissertations and projects
1. Faculty members should ensure fair evaluation among male and female students in a purely academic manner without favoring any party over the other.
2. Faculty members should consider the supervisory burden on dissertations and projects to ensure educational and supervisory quality.
3. Faculty members should guide students toward modern study and research methods and alert them to anything that aims to enhance the quality of scientific research and adhere to internationally standardized criteria.
4. Faculty members should inform students of their results and provide them with a research background and references through the use of feedback.
5. Faculty members should inform students about academic ethics in scientific research and intellectual property rights and report any violations of academic ethics in scientific research for investigation.
2.6 Professional ethics in research and authorship
1. Directing research toward benefiting knowledge, society, and humanity is a fundamental ethical commitment.
2. Scientific integrity in conducting research and authorship requires researchers to attribute ideas and work solely to themselves. The extent of benefiting from others' work should be known and specified accurately. The ethical requirement of scientific integrity is to document the sources with precision to avoid ethical violations.
3. Quotations should clearly indicate the source, and the extent of the quotation should be unambiguous and free of confusion. The accuracy in conveying or stating the words of others is a highly sensitive issue.
4. Texts should not be altered in a way that impairs the intention of the original author, whether intentionally or unintentionally.
5. In collaborative research, the roles of collaborators should be clearly stated, and the inclusion of names should not be for the purpose of flattery or assistance.
6. Data should be collected carefully and impartially by researchers. Ethical research necessitates dealing with ideas without regard to names or individuals.
7. Data should be presented clearly, and research should be written with sufficient details to enable other researchers to reproduce experiments and verify the results.
8. Updating data in prescribed publications for students should be done to familiarize them with contemporary circumstances.
2.7 Professional ethics in accepting gifts and donations:
Accepting gifts and donations diminishes the reputation and professional ethics of faculty members, keeping them in a suspicious position. Therefore, faculty members or any staff at the academic institution should adhere to their professional and ethical conscience and refrain from accepting anything illegal from any other person. Faculty members should follow the following precautionary measures:
1. Faculty members, like all staff members in the college, should refrain from accepting gifts and donations from suspicious sources or from individuals with a bad reputation or those who raise ethical concerns that compromise honor and integrity. Avoiding the acceptance of such gifts and donations is much better than the benefits that can be obtained from them.
2. Any donations or gifts received by the college must be publicly announced, and their use should also be publicly disclosed. It is advised to seek the advice of the college council regarding their optimal utilization, as well as any grants received from foreign countries, whether educational or financial in nature.
3. Faculty members must refrain from engaging with any entity or individual involved in such disgraceful acts.
4. Faculty members are prohibited from accepting personal gifts or donations, especially from individuals who have a direct relationship with the work of faculty members.
5. Faculty members must adhere to the official academic policy regarding the acceptance of gifts and donations.
2.8 Dealing with college public properties:
1. Faculty members must exercise caution when dealing with public properties in the college, such as projectors, college computers, printers, and document scanners.
2. Faculty members should not use college tools for personal purposes and should demonstrate a spirit of participation in the college's public properties.
3. Faculty members should guide students to always be mindful of both public and private properties of the college.
3.1. Ethical Responsibilities of the College Dean:
Some may think that the dean's dealings are mainly with professors and staff, and therefore, they are not responsible for the ethical development of students. In reality, the dean has a greater responsibility than any other professor. They are responsible ethically as a professor and ethically as a dean. I will explain their responsibilities as a dean below:
3.1.1. Determining the leadership style to be followed in managing the college:
The dean largely decides the leadership style to be followed in managing the college. This leadership style directly reflects the overall atmosphere and organizational environment of the college. It is unreasonable for this style to be dictatorial, silencing dissenters and encouraging those who agree, while talking about democracy and dialogue. We expect professors to be examples of democratic behavior and open to others' opinions in their interactions with their students and colleagues.
We cannot claim to uphold freedom of speech and then close the doors to dialogue. Developing the values of democracy and dialogue among professors and students requires an appropriate climate and actual practice, so that everyone learns from the beginning the importance of forming independent opinions, the necessity of listening to these opinions, and expressing opinions freely through legitimate channels. Oppression and repression only create followers.
3.1.2. Developing values of discipline, commitment, and respect for time:
The dean is responsible for developing values of discipline, commitment, and respect for time through organizing the college, regulating behavior, scheduling classes, managing appointments in general, ensuring everyone fulfills their duties, holding people accountable for shortcomings, taking corrective measures, punishing those at fault, and rewarding the diligent. All of this behavior promotes and reinforces values of discipline, commitment, justice, time management, accountability, and responsibility. Therefore, the dean has an ethical role with everyone, including professors, students, and employees. If schedules become disrupted, classes overlap, application deadlines become confused, and the commitment to performing duties wavers, and accountability and punishment falter, it becomes difficult to talk to students about the importance of discipline and commitment. The disciplined may lose their discipline, and the committed may neglect their duties.
3.1.3. Developing values of justice, equality, and equal opportunities:
A dean who deals with professors, students, and employees with fairness and impartiality contributes to the development of values of justice, equality, and equal opportunities. However, a dean who favors certain individuals at the expense of justice, overlooks the mistakes of privileged individuals, and leans towards those in power, spreads a culture that is hostile to justice and equality. This dean raises students to accept injustice and waste their rights, committing a significant professional error regardless of their claims of justice and equality.
3.1.4. Fostering a culture of fair competition:
Related to the above, the dean is responsible for fostering a culture of fair competition that provides equal opportunities for everyone to excel, develop talent, and prove their merit. In doing so, they contribute to creating and supporting a community of equal opportunities within and outside the university. The dean should recognize, encourage, nurture, and reward excellence, thus instilling the value of appreciating excellence, accepting others' achievements, and legitimately striving to catch up with them without resentment or malice.
3.1.5. Promoting ethical culture and reinforcing professional ethics:
The relationship between the dean and the parents is a fertile field for achieving the goals of promoting ethical culture and reinforcing professional ethics. Through this relationship, the dean ensures their commitment to the public interest of the students, which is a fundamental professional commitment. It deepens the concept of shared responsibility with parents for the proper ethical upbringing of students. It also emphasizes the importance of values such as dialogue, cooperation, and problem-solving, both educational and non-educational. Additionally, it emphasizes the importance of other values such as the importance of scientific study, the scientific method, systematic diagnosis, decisive decision-making, effective follow-up, justice, equality, and love. The list of these values is long and difficult to exhaust. In conclusion, the dean is professionally responsible for developing all these positive values in society, and their relationship with parents is an extremely convenient and automatic channel for fulfilling this responsibility, at least partially.
3.1.6. Regulating evaluation processes and combating corruption factors:
The dean is responsible for regulating exams and student evaluation to combat any cheating or attempted cheating, as well as combating any leniency or unjustified stubbornness. By doing so, the dean fulfills their professional responsibility and also contributes to the dissemination of justice, integrity, and diligence among students and professors alike. They directly and indirectly support the academic status and scientific reputation of the college and the university.
3.1.7. Creating a scientific and psychological climate:
The dean is responsible for creating a scientific and psychological climate in which professors feel safe and secure, where creativity, innovation, freedom of opinion, and freedom of thought are expected from them. The dean should encourage professors (and students) in their excellence and uniqueness, provide them with respect and meet their legitimate requests promptly. Here, I would particularly emphasize the importance of dealing with young professors with love and care, as well as the importance of dealing with senior professors with respect and reverence. The dean is responsible for creating an environment where retired professors feel that they are fulfilling a noble mission and carrying out important duties, and where their contributions and achievements are truly valued. There are dozens of areas for such utilization.
3.1.8. General order and public etiquette in the college:
The dean is responsible for maintaining public order and etiquette in the college. This is self-evident as we live in a state governed by the law. However, I would like to emphasize that the dean's interpretation and implementation will have a significant impact. The concept of public order is broad, and the dean's approach will play a crucial role in shaping the college's identity and the prevailing culture within it.
3.1.9. Efficient utilization of available resources:
The dean is professionally responsible for the efficient utilization of available resources, especially public funds. Therefore, caution and accuracy in spending, in procurement or allocation decisions, and in the formation of practice committees, bid opening committees, evaluation committees, and receiving committees are necessary. All these committees play a role in safeguarding public funds.
The dean also has a responsibility to exercise complete integrity when dealing with any resources made available to the college through specialized units, grants, research funding, or other sources. The dean must be trustworthy in their management. The impact of this trustworthiness (or lack thereof) goes beyond the immediate circumstances to affect the overall climate of the college, and the subsequent effects on professors, administrators, students, and ultimately, the entire community. I am speaking here about these effects, whether they are positive or negative.
3.1.10. Implementing a human resources policy aligned with values and ethics:
The dean is responsible for implementing a human resources policy that aligns with general professional values and ethics. For example:
If it comes to appointment, follow the law and adhere to public policies, and always try to choose what is best.
If it comes to professional development, strive to provide professional development opportunities for everyone according to their capabilities and expectations, and take professional development seriously with dedication and responsibility.
If it comes to motivation, use all available financial or moral incentives to achieve sufficient motivation and maintain the momentum in scientific and educational activities at the college.
If it comes to monitoring and performance evaluation, be diligent in monitoring, honest in reporting, and fair in evaluation.
(And this is a general rule) If it comes to forming selection committees, evaluation committees, research examination committees, scientific committees, sector committees, or any other committees that have an impact on individuals and at the same time have an impact on the university, it is necessary to ensure careful selection and objectivity.
If it comes to signing corrective penalties, the dean should not forget that the goal is correction, not revenge or "settling scores."
If it comes to promotions, the dean must consider both professional and human obligations, not proceed with promotion procedures without professional merit, and not delay promotion for personal reasons, always prioritizing the public good and the interest of the teacher deserving promotion.
- Developing the second tier and providing opportunities for young leaders:
The dean of the college is responsible for developing the second tier and providing opportunities for young leaders (here we are talking about the dean, but it should be noted that the discussion in this section is about all university leaders, and the observations apply to everyone).
The dean should direct the professors and staff that serving the community is an essential part of the university's responsibility and guide university activities in a way that promotes this responsibility to the fullest.
- Developing and preparing new leaders, or the second and third generation of leaders, is a primary professional responsibility of university leaders. Although some university leaders prefer the status quo, most of them recognize their responsibility in this regard, as intergenerational communication represents the continuity of the university institution itself, its stability, structure, and policies.
Academic leaders of the college should make every effort to establish a set of official and unofficial standards that guide the behavior of professors and staff, meaning that they develop a set of principles and rules that reflect the ethics and manners of the profession and serve as a reference and guide that everyone adheres to. In general, the dean should develop and implement ethical policies in his work, in line with general ethical principles, so that anything not covered by specific regulations is guided by known ethical standards and principles.
3.2. Professional responsibility of the university professor:
3.2.1. Document of Values and University Traditions:
Professorship is not just a profession. It is a method that one is trained in until it becomes part of the professor's being and a chosen and committed path. Its foundation is free logic, and its means are experimentation and choice. Professors are the elders of their profession, the ones who have opinions about it and are responsible for its development and progress. A university professor only reaches professorship after a long practice of scientific work related to their field of expertise until they occupy a prominent position in it. When consulted, they indicate what is correct, and when they are referred to, it is based on evidence and experience to determine the discourse. The professor works with scientific research, believing in it and being detached from other professions, living logically in their research, behavior towards people, and themselves. They do not accept anything that logic does not approve, as they reject any idea that does not have logical evidence, whether it is a deductive or empirical conclusion. Accepting an idea does not mean absolute surrender; instead, the professor examines and discusses it, distancing themselves from impulsiveness and arrogance. They view all matters critically, not in search of flaws and shortcomings, but with a desire for what is better and more complete. They set their sights on the fact that today's realities are the dreams of the recent past. They do not become biased towards a discovery or an idea; therefore, there should be no bias in science. While they welcome new ideas and innovations, they also look towards more serious horizons.
3.2.2. The Professor's Responsibility for the Ethical Growth of Their Students:
The professor is a role model and an example. They send influential ethical messages through everything they say and do within and outside the university. Their professional responsibility for the ethical growth of their students may be more critical than their responsibility for their academic or intellectual growth. In fact, the shortest path to their students' excellence is their ethical growth. Therefore, the university professor is responsible professionally and ethically for the students' comprehensive ethical growth. What is mentioned about their professional responsibility in other aspects of their work undoubtedly has an indirect impact on the ethical growth of their students. However, I preferred to allocate a separate space for this matter in order to provide further clarification and specification of the ethical standards of the university professor in this regard.
As mentioned earlier, the university professor is the role model that others look up to, especially their students and colleagues. People often forget that the university professor is human like them and imagine them to be flawless and without weaknesses. While there is undoubtedly a great exaggeration in this perception, it imposes a significant responsibility on the professor as well. This responsibility lies in the professor's diligent efforts to present a good model in their words and actions that their students can emulate. It does not only refer to the model of scientific endeavor and commitment but extends to include all aspects of the professor's personality, including their attire, gait, speech, and interests.
The university professor is responsible for making every direct and indirect effort to instill in their students sound values and good ethics, especially values of progress such as the value of time, excellence in work, accepting others and diversity, constructive dialogue, self-criticism, and following the scientific approach.
The university professor must recognize their multiple roles in relation to their students and equip themselves to fulfill these roles with efficiency and effectiveness. They should genuinely practice these roles to fulfill their significant responsibility in the moral upbringing of their students. Some of these roles include the role of a teacher, mentor, friend, colleague, father, corrector, and leader.
3.2.3. The Professor's Participation in Student Activities:
The university professor is also expected to participate in various student activities, not only
for enjoyment or to encourage talents but also to creatively employ them in the ethical and moral development of students. This is an ethical and professional responsibility of the professor that should not be neglected.