Statement of Professional Standards


Elon Faculty members embrace the values of academic freedom and liberty of conscience, which are consistent with the Elon University Mission Statement and the University’s historic affiliation with the United Church of Christ. Elon faculty members accept and promote the aims and objectives of the University, show an overall concern for its welfare, and assume the following responsibilities.

As educators and scholars, the members of the faculty agree that the following principles represent the standards we aim to achieve in fulfilling our professional obligations to our students and to Elon University.

Standards with Respect to the Classroom


  • To deal seriously and conscientiously with the teaching assignment, including careful planning and preparation of courses, regularity in meeting scheduled classes, clear explanation to students about course requirements, and fair and impartial grading
  • To recognize that students deserve respect as individuals and have rights that must be protected; to have a concern for academic and personal problems of individual students, to give mature advice, to treat students courteously, and to use with professional discretion personal information about students which may come to the faculty member's attention
  • To cooperate in strengthening and implementing the honor system on campus
  • To seek ways to improve teaching effectiveness, through means such as exploring new ways of presenting academic subject matter, motivating students, improving methods of evaluating student achievements, constantly re-evaluating teaching methods and on-going writing and research following Elon’s teacher-scholar model
  • To recognize that the faculty member serves as a model and exercises a great influence on students and therefore must strive to set high standards in academic excellence and in personal integrity
  • To recognize that in his/her influential classroom role the faculty member should not take advantage of his/her position by repeatedly introducing into class discussions subject matter outside the scope of the course

Standards with Respect to the Profession


  • To seek and to state the truth in their subject as they understand it
  • To keep up-to-date with developing knowledge in their academic discipline
  • To advance knowledge in their academic discipline and to do so with integrity
  • To conform to current guidelines set forth in the document "Ethical Principles and Review Procedures for Human Participants in Research" available from the Office of Sponsored Programs or the Institutional Review Board in all research involving human subjects

Standards with Respect to the Institution


  • To demonstrate respect for the right of students, administrators, and other faculty members to hold divergent opinions
  • To seek ways to strengthen the educational program of the University at large
  • To participate in committee, departmental, and faculty meetings and in traditional and special University functions
  • To assume a fair share of faculty committee assignments
  • To avoid discussion with students of suspected incompetence, misconduct, lack of personal or professional integrity, or other possible shortcomings of another faculty or staff member, unless acting in an official capacity
  • To fulfill conscientiously all the contractual obligations for the period of time agreed and to give the University reasonable notice when resigning to accept another position
  • To be clear when making public statements that such statements do not represent the views of Elon University unless authorized to do so

In addition to these standards, Elon faculty members further recognize that, in order to protect our students and the institution, conduct must be carried out within certain boundaries.

  • All employees with teaching responsibility or any position of authority with students must avoid inappropriate relationships with students. An inappropriate relationship is any romantic or physically intimate liaison. Positions of authority include, but may not be limited to, teaching, evaluating, supervising, coaching, or advising a student or student group. Pre-existing relationships are exempt from this policy.
  • All employees with teaching responsibility or any position of authority with students must avoid any kind of overt sexual harassment or implicit sexual discrimination.
    • Overt sexual harassment may be described as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other physically expressive behavior of a sexual nature where submission to or rejection of such conduct by a student may be used as the basis for academic decisions.
    • Implicit sexual discrimination or harassment may be described as conduct which has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual's academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or demeaning educational environment.
  • All faculty members must avoid any exploitation of students for the faculty members’ private advantage, including the acceptance of compensation for tutoring students under their professional jurisdiction.

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