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Academic Senate

Academic Rights and Responsibilities


Academic Rights and Responsibilities

A Statement on Faculty Ethics

Developed by the LAVC Senate Academic Rights and Responsibilities Committee
Approved by the LAVC Academic Senate on May 15, 2008


Los Angeles Valley College faculty support the Los Angeles Community College District Academic Senate (DAS) Policy on Faculty Ethics, which was adopted by the Board of Trustees on February 8, 2006 as Board Rule 1204.12.  The DAS policy was based on the 1987 American Association of University Professors (AAUP) Statement on Professional Ethics and consists of statements regarding faculty responsibilities in five areas: the faculty's responsibilities toward their discipline, their students, their colleagues, their institution, and their communities.   The document may be viewed at this District website.

The Valley College faculty further support the ethical standards adopted in 1994 by the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (ASCCC)) as stated in its paper entitled "Faculty Ethics: Expanding the AAUP Ethics Statement."  The document presents seven areas of professional responsibility: 1) developing scholarly competence, 2) maintaining honest academic conduct, 3) insuring cultural and gender sensitivity: respecting students as individuals, 4) encouraging the free pursuit of learning, 5) creating a learning environment of trust and sensitivity, 6) establishing academic standards, and 7) maintaining academic freedom.  The complete text of the document is available at the Academic Senate of California Community Colleges website.


Any member or group of members of the Valley College faculty with concerns regarding faculty ethical conduct may contact the Chair of the LAVC Senate Academic Rights and Responsibilities Committee (a standing committee of the LAVC Senate) or contact the President of the LAVC Senate.

If the concern involves a complaint about possible faculty violation of ethical standards, the complaint must cite the particular standard(s) of the Faculty Ethics Statement (Board Rule standards 1 through 5 and/or ASCCC Paper standards 1 through 7) at issue, such as standard BR1 and/or ASCCC6.  Please read the entire text of the Board Rule and the ASCCC document before citing violation of any standards.  The Chair of the Academic Rights and Responsibilities Committee and the President of the Senate shall then confer and determine if the matter is within the purview of the Senate or the purview of another college authority, such as the AFT Faculty Guild or the campus compliance officer.  The matter will be referred to the appropriate college authority if it is outside the Senate's purview.

If the matter is within the Senate's purview, it is recommended that the Committee Chair and Senate President utilize recognized dispute resolution techniques to resolve issues and/or conflicts before taking any other action.  If these efforts are unsuccessful, the Committee Chair and Senate President shall then organize an Ethics Review Committee consisting of the following four (4) faculty members:

  1. Academic Rights and Responsibilities Chair or Senate President or designee,
  2. A faculty member from a pool of Senators who volunteer to serve on such an ethics review committee, but such a member shall not be in the same discipline as the faculty member charged with the violation,
  3. One at-large faculty member who is neither a Senator nor a member of the same discipline as the faculty member charged with the violation, and
  4. One faculty member chosen by the faculty member charged with the violation.

The members of the Ethics Review Committee shall select a chair.  The Ethics Review Committee will seek to resolve the matter in a timely manner through fact-finding, mediation and conflict resolution.

The Ethics Review Committee shall publicize its findings and recommendations in a written report.  The report may include a recommendation for the Senate to censure the faculty member for violation of faculty ethical standards.  This written report shall then be forwarded to all parties involved in the case.  All parties involved may submit a written response to the report from the Ethics Review Committee.  The written responses are submitted to the Chair of the Ethics Review Committee.  The written report and response(s), if any, shall then be distributed to all Senators.  A Senate meeting shall be convened at which the Chair of the Ethics Review Committee will present its findings and recommendations and any written responses from involved parties. The charged faculty member shall be given the opportunity to respond.  The purpose of this Senate meeting will be for the Senate to vote on the Committee's recommendations rather than to hear any new evidence or any new arguments.  However, the full Senate does have the usual options of modifying the recommendations or, if necessary, sending the report back to the Committee for further investigation.