Ethics

Policy no. I-4
Effective date: 01/01/2008
Scope: faculty, staff and student employees

Policy Statement

Case Western Reserve University believes that a shared code of ethics among all employees strengthens the overall quality of the university community. Therefore the university leadership has adopted the following ethic statements as legitimate and appropriate to the university's identity, reputation, and culture.

Conduct and Intellectual Honesty

A norm of expected conduct shared by all in the university community will be governed by truthfulness, openness to new ideas, and consideration for the individual rights of others, including the right to hold and express opinions different from one's own.

The university's mission rests on the premise of intellectual honesty: in the classroom, the laboratory, the office, and the solitary examination desk. Without a prevailing ethic of honor and integrity, not only in scientific pursuits but in all scholarly activity, the very search for knowledge is impaired. In these respects, each employee -- especially but not exclusively faculty -- must regard oneself as a mentor for others.

These principles make it possible for the larger society to place trust in the degrees conferred, the research produced, the scholarship represented and disseminated, and the critical assessments made of the performance of students and faculty, as well as judgments of staff and administrators.

To safeguard the standards on which everyone depends, each employee must accept individual responsibility for behavior and work, and refrain from taking credit for the work of others.

The culture of a university also requires that the rights of all be protected, particularly by those entrusted with authority for judgment of the work of others.

Being a human community, the university is subject to human failings, ambiguities, and errors. It is therefore the responsibility of the bodies regulating the affairs of faculty, students, and staff to maintain processes for judging and resolving instances where these principles may have been violated. However, all such systems depend for their effectiveness, in turn, on the acceptance of common norms of conduct--the ties of trust which bind the university community together.

Computing Ethics

Computing and Information Technology (IT) resources are to be used for processing of legitimate university business and communications. Access to and usage of computing and IT places a responsibility on each authorized employee to conduct computing business in the same ethical manner that is required of all other conduct. The ethical use of computing and IT resources is governed by the Case Acceptable Use Policy. The Vice President for Information Technology Services has determined operational policies as an implementation of the Case Acceptable Use Policy, which addresses issues associated with: 1) legal use of licensed software, 2) protection of sensitive information from disclosure, 3) legitimate use of hardware/software/periphery devices, 4) legitimate access to and use of valid data, 5) asset management, 6) privacy issues, 7) respect for and safeguarding of user credentials (e.g. userID and passwords), 8) appropriate use of e-mail as an efficient communication tool, including minimal appropriate personal use and 9) legal and compliance issues pertaining to the use of network resources (e.g. internet). More specifically, employees are prohibited from accessing or using the internet or email and university’s computing resources, for any unlawful or unethical purposes including but not limited to violence;gambling; discriminatory, offensive, harassing statements, language or behavior; sending or soliciting sexually oriented messages or images; operating a business; or printing of copyrighted material.

Conduct or statements made utilizing university computing or IT resources should not violate any university policies. Supervisors should define and communicate university and departmental expectations on personal use of university’s computing and IT resources.

Professional Relationships

Employees are to avoid or remove themselves from situations that may compromise their authority by making decisions favoring one's own gain or gain for personal friends or family members. The specific areas of concern include contract awards, accurate record keeping, hiring, or performance review and compensation decisions. Employees are to avoid circumstances that favor an individual rather than the university's interests.

Policy Administration: All supervisors

Reference: Faculty Handbook >>, Student Service Guide, Conflict of Interest Policy and Procedure (I-3, I-3a) , Acceptable Use Policy, Relationships in the Workplace Policy (I-10)