Considering Findings of Professional Misconduct

The policies governing promotion and tenure are set out in University's Handbook for Appointed Personnel (UHAP) 3.3, while the policies for continuing status and promotion are set out in 4A.3.  Those policies specify that

The University expects the highest standards of professional conduct, as detailed in the Statement on Professional Conduct in UHAP 7.01.01  This Statement sets out the expectation that faculty will uphold scholarly standards, maintain intellectual honesty, and “respect the dignity of others," including their “right to express differing opinions.”  In assessing professional conduct, reviewers may consider documented violations of other University policies, including those on Research Integrity, Nondiscrimination and Anti-Harassment, Misuse of University Assets, and Workplace Violence.  Formal reprimands and findings of professional misconduct should be assessed against how they affect a candidate’s teaching, research, service, and other assigned duties.

As noted in the University Handbook for Appointed Personnel 3.3.02B, reviewers may decide to consider annual reviews when reviewing candidates who have been formally reprimanded for research and other forms of professional misconduct.  If annual reviews are considered, then consideration should also be given to any written response or appeal that may have been submitted by the faculty member.

Promotion committee members, department heads, and deans should understand that the UHAP provisions on considering professional misconduct clearly distinguish general concerns about candidate’s collegiality from violations of university policies and reprimands for behaviors that directly affect candidates’ teaching, research, and service.  As noted in the American Association of University Professionals’ On Collegiality as a Criterion in Evaluations, “collegiality is not a distinct capacity to be assessed independently of the traditional triumvirate of teaching, scholarship, and service.  It is rather a quality whose value is expressed in the successful execution of these three functions.”  Violations of professional conduct should be assessed against how they affect a candidate’s effectiveness in working with students, fellow researchers, and external and internal collaborators to achieve the goals set out in their assigned duties.

Questions on this policy and related procedures should be addressed to Asya Roberts in the Office of the Provost at 626-0202 or