UCFV Statement on Institutional Ethics*

* Note: The UCFV Statement on Institutional Ethics is under review.

The purpose of this statement is to identify the principal values of UCFV and to outline the conduct expected of members of the UCFV community**.

Values

Members of UCFV differ in age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, political persuasion and many personal values. However, they agree on the following values:

1. A respect for persons

Respecting persons implies recognizing that we are distinctive individuals with our own goals, beliefs, feelings, values and relationships, and that these have a vital place in one’s sense of dignity and autonomy. It does not imply carte blanche acceptance of any values, beliefs or goals, but does require that in our attempts to change a person’s beliefs or values, that we appeal to his or her capacity for independent judgement and ability to assess reasons.

2. Esteem for education

As a contemporary institution of higher education, we recognize the fact that people come to UCFV for a variety of reasons. But underlying all their purposes is a common one: an appreciation of the value of learning, of acquiring and increasing knowledge, of making the world a better place in which to live, of appreciating and creating works of beauty.

3. Collegiality and individual responsibility

Members of UCFV are individually accountable for their activities, but they also acknowledge a deep interdependence with others in achieving their goals. Consequently, we are co-operative, consultative and ultimately supportive of one another in our activities at UCFV.

4. Concern for the personal development of each member of the UCFV community

Members of UCFV are concerned for the personal development and general well being of other members of the community. We support the legitimate educational and professional development of each member of the UCFV community. We attempt to be inclusive in our teaching methods and curricula, and we strive to enable opportunities for professional and personal growth.

5. Non-maleficence

At UCFV every effort is taken to avoid actions and policies that cause unnecessary harm to others. Violence, abusive language, and willful damage to property are disapproved of in the strongest possible terms. We strive to maintain an institution that is free of racism, sexism and other forms of bigotry. If undue suffering has occurred, wherever possible we attempt to redress the harm. Further, we look very unfavorably on exploitation in all its forms.

6. Fairness

Members of UCFV strive to be fair in their dealings with others, especially where rewards and punishments are assigned. This includes student grades and reference letters, faculty and staff evaluations, and scholarships and awards. Criteria for rewards and punishments are to be clearly articulated, and the processes for administering rewards and punishments should be as transparent as possible. Relevant reasons should be given for one’s judgements. Furthermore, fairness requires that no one’s work be exploited; where someone has made a clear contribution to one’s work, one will acknowledge that contribution appropriately.

7. Honesty and Openness

At UCFV we can expect others to respect the value of truthfulness. This includes intellectual honesty as well as honesty in our relations with colleagues, subordinates and supervisors.

8. Freedom

Members of UCFV have academic and artistic freedom, which includes the freedom to investigate controversial views, to hold unpopular positions on controversial issues, and to present in class and in the wider community one’s controversial views. Members of UCFV have a positive duty to ensure that our institution encourages students, faculty, staff and administrators to use their own best judgement in choosing what to investigate and in the pursuit of truth within their investigations. Students, in particular, have a right to be free from indoctrination and other forms of miseducation that fail to respect the autonomy of the student.

Issues

Access

UCFV endeavours to provide equal access to educational opportunities for all students by knowing about and being sensitive to the various barriers that can limit an individual’s opportunities for educational growth, by being informed regarding the resources and supports available to students, and through advocacy of the issue of equal opportunity for education.

Confidentiality

Members of the UCFV community respect the privacy of others. They will not unreasonably disclose information with which they have been entrusted in the performance of their duties. In general, personal information is to be disclosed only for authorized purposes consistent with the purpose or reason for which the information was obtained or with the consent of the relevant individual. However, if disclosure of information will prevent serious harm to an individual or malicious damage to property, then the information may be disclosed to appropriate authorities, subject to the limitations imposed by the member’s professional code of ethics.

Conflict of interest and dual relationships

Members of UCFV avoid entering into dual relationships that compromise their responsibilities to the institution and other UCFV members. Members further recognize the responsibilities of being in a position of relatively greater power than another individual, and do not exploit such positions for personal gain.

Conflict resolution

Members of the UCFV community recognise the inevitability of personal and professional conflicts with other members and the impact that these conflicts may have on seemingly uninvolved students and colleagues. In recognition of these dynamics, members of the UCFV community embrace the responsibility to respond to these conflicts in positive and professional ways.

Conflict with the code of ethics of a member’s professional association

In the event that a member’s professional life is governed by the code of ethics of a professional association, the member will attempt to satisfy the guidelines of both the profession’s code and this Statement. If this is not possible, then the individual shall adhere to the code of ethics of the professional association.

Controversial issues

Controversial and sensitive issues are not to be avoided, but ought to be addressed rationally and in a manner that respects the beliefs and feelings of other people. Consequently, such discussions ought to encourage listening carefully to diverse views, the judicious consideration of evidence and argument, and the active search for good reasons for one’s own and others’ positions. As much as possible, the development of capacities for critical, imaginative and constructive thought ought to be promoted.

University college citizenship

The mission of the University College of the Fraser Valley can only be met through the collaborative efforts of a wide range of people, including professional administrators, Board members, community volunteers, faculty, staff and students. Through its policies and practices, UCFV encourages each member to be involved in the governance of the institution. Further, each member of UCFV contributes to the administrative, intellectual, athletic, artistic and social organizations and committees constitutive of UCFV according to her or his abilities, aptitudes, and talents

** The term “member of the UCFV community” is to be understood to designate administrators, staff members, faculty, students, Board members and voluntary associates of the university college, insofar as they are affiliated with UCFV.


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