In the ongoing effort to maintain a community that enables each person to reach his or her full potential, the University of Michigan has adopted a Standard Practice Guide outlining professional standards for members of the faculty.
In order to enable all members of the university community to thrive, there must be “an environment of trust, openness, civility and respect,” the policy says.
“This is more of a policy statement about what the university expects of the faculty, while many other SPGs focus on specific actions that will not be tolerated,” explains Chris Whitman, vice provost for academic and faculty affairs.
SPG 201.96 was initiated by the Office of the Provost, in conjunction with a faculty advisory committee. It was reviewed by the Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs before being included in the faculty handbook this fall.
“The university is firmly committed to a policy of prohibiting behaviors which adversely impact a person’s ability to participate in the scholarly, research, educational, patient care, and service missions of the university,” the policy says.
Schools and colleges may supplement the policy with unit-specific measures that enhance the policies expressed in the SPG.
“It is the intent of this policy to protect academic freedom and to help preserve the highest standards of teaching and scholarship in order to advance the mission of the university. This policy is specific to conduct which is not protected and covered under the principles of freedom of speech and academic freedom but rather conduct that the community would view as counter to its norms and expectations and which hinders other members of the community in the exercise of their professional responsibilities and academic freedoms,” the document says.