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Faculty Ethics and Advisory Committee

The Faculty Ethics and Advisory Committee shall consist of seven faculty members nominated by the Faculty Senate. Members of the committee shall serve for overlapping two-year terms. The chairperson shall be elected each year and shall be a tenured faculty member. In the event that a graduate student is accused of unethical behavior, as defined by the Statement on Professional Ethics, with the concurrence of the accused, a graduate student, appointed by the Graduate Student Association, shall serve on the committee, but only for those meetings or pans of meetings during which a graduate student's behavior is being considered.

(a) The Faculty Ethics and Advisory Committee's (hereinafter referred to as Committee) function is to informally investigate the facts and make recommendations when a faculty member has been accused of conduct inconsistent with the Statement on Professional Ethics (Appendix IV). When a faculty member has been so accused he or she must first seek resolution of the problem from the chairperson, if any, and if still unresolved the dean, and on up through each authority in turn the same as provided for termination cases by Sec. 9 (a) of the Policy on Academic Freedom and Tenure. When the matter is still unresolved, the Committee may be called into action in either of two ways: 

    • (i) By the President of the University, the Vice President for Academic Affairs of the University, or the Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure, when the assistance of the Committee’s informal investigatory function on issues of professional ethics is desired. When a reference to the Committee has been made under this subsection (I), the Committee shall report its recommendations, and the reasons therefore, to the Administrator or Committee making the reference, and to any other parties deemed appropriate by the Committee.

  • (ii) By a faculty member, graduate, teaching, research, or project assistant who believes that she or he has been accused of unethical conduct. The Committee may, at its discretion, refuse to respond to requests for investigation made by individuals under this subsection (ii), and this discretion may be exercised by the chairperson when it is not convenient to call a meeting of the Committee. It is intended that the Committee investigate only serious accusations which have or may have done damage to the accused's reputation. It is not intended that the Committee be used as a weapon in personal conflicts. When a reference to the Committee has been made under this subsection (ii), the Committee may confer with and report to the President of the University, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the applicable dean or chairperson, or department at the discretion of the investigating panel.

(b) Investigations by the Committee shall be conducted by panels of three members. Panels shall be selected by the chairperson. 

(c) The Committee may informally investigate a situation even though it is also being heard by the Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure. In such a case the Committee should normally confer with the Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure about the matter. 

(d) The Committee's recommendations and reports, if any, may be made in any form the panel chooses. The panel should confer with the person or Committee requesting informal investigation about the appropriate form of report.