Faculty Responsibilities | Stark Faculty Handbook | Kent State University

Faculty Responsibilities

Because of the missions of the University and Kent State Stark, and the close relationship of the Campus with the local communities it serves, the primary responsibility of the faculty assigned to this campus is instructional, with emphasis placed on classroom teaching and its concomitant responsibilities. In addition, individual faculty members should pursue an appropriate program of professional growth and development within a particular instructional discipline. Finally, “university citizenship,” service activities that make significant positive contributions to the advancement of the educational, scholarly and governance missions and operation of the University, is a responsibility and concern of all regular full-time faculty members.

1.    Professional Ethics

Faculty members are bound by the Faculty Code of Professional Ethics (revised), as set forth in the University Policy Register. Kent State Stark embraces the institutional core values as noted in the University Policy Register—namely, that academic freedom is necessary to the mission of the faculty of a university, and that professional responsibility is a logical correlative of this freedom. Faculty members have responsibilities to the students they are teaching, to the University, and to the profession. Codes of conduct governing the behavior of both faculty and students are summarized in Section V of this handbook.

a.    Harassment. Kent State Stark is absolutely committed to the principles of freedom of expression. Members of the University community have the right to hold, vigorously defend, and promote their opinions. The maintenance of civility is crucial to the learning community. Therefore, Kent State Stark is also committed to maintaining an educational and employment environment free from hostility, intimidation, or harassment based on such attributes as race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, gender and/or sexual orientation, or on any other basis, to the extent that they are not covered in the University Policy Register.

b.    Equal Opportunity. Kent State Stark committed to equal opportunity for all members of the campus community. Policies associated with this commitment can be found in the University Policy Register.

c.    Drugs, Alcohol and Tobacco. Kent State Stark Campus, like the University, is committed to following state and local laws concerning alcohol and tobacco use on campus, to maintaining a workplace free of illegal drugs, using as a guideline the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989 (Public Law 101-226). Specific guidelines for both faculty and student conduct with respect to alcohol and drugs can be found in the University Policy Register (e.g., sections 3342-6-60, 3342-4-09 through 3342-4-11) and in the Digest of Rules and Regulations.

2.    Responsibilities to Students

As summarized in the University Policy Register, the “central responsibility of a faculty member is to attempt to impart a knowledge and understanding of a field of study, to develop in students appropriate and relevant skills, and to do so in accordance with the best standards of scholarship and pedagogy in the discipline.” As summarized in the Regional Campus Handbook, faculty members are expected to serve as “role models to students to help them define and support campus-wide standards of integrity.”

a.    Instruction. In meeting these responsibilities, faculty members are expected to maintain professional standards as they conduct their classes. Summaries of expected behavior can be found in the University Policy Register and the Regional Campus Handbook. Specific information about syllabi, office hours, etc., can be found on the Stark Campus website.

b.    Letters of Reference for Students. It is both an expectation of the teaching contract and a professional duty to provide students with letters of reference when requested. If there are reasons why a faculty member cannot in good faith provide such a letter, he or she may refuse, but this should be a rare occurrence and never simply for the convenience of the instructor. In writing letters of reference for students, faculty should exercise care in formulating their opinions and bear in mind that under Public Law 93-380 (1/1/75) students have the right to inspect all references in their files.

3.    Responsibilities to the Campus

Faculty members are expected to serve on committees relating to the operation of the campus. A description of campus committees is available from the Council Secretary. Faculty members report to the Kent State Stark Dean and are directly accountable to the Dean in all matters except those pertaining to course content and mode of instruction, primary responsibility for which rests with the Kent Campus department or school.

4.    Responsibilities to the University

a.    Conflicts of Interest. Faculty members at Kent State Stark are bound by the University policy regarding conflict of interest of University employees, as set forth in the University Policy Register.

b.    University Policy Regarding Obtaining Outside Employment. Outside activities of a professional nature are encouraged if the activities are consistent with the individual’s responsibilities to the University and in furtherance of the aims of the University. Indeed, the University recognizes that one mark of an individual’s distinction is the esteem in which he or she is held by those outside the University who may request services, professional judgments, or expertise. No individual, however, should accept employment or pursue other activity of a professional or nonprofessional nature that compromises his or her responsibilities to the University. (See University Policy Register). Faculty must seek permission of the Dean before pursuing outside employment.

c.    Use of Human Subjects or Live Animals in Research and Teaching. Faculty members are bound by the University policy regarding academic research involving use of human subjects or live animals for investigation, as set forth in the University Policy Register. In brief, faculty must submit a required form and secure approval from the appropriate Review Board before engaging in research that involves human subjects or live animals.

5.    Responsibility to the Profession

Faculty members are responsible for maintaining professional standards with respect to research, dissemination of research, and interactions with colleagues as outlined in the University Policy Register.