Faculty Standards of Conduct and related procedures

Faculty Standards of Conduct (from Section II.B. of the Faculty Handbook, revised March 1, 2018)


Yale University’s mission is to create, disseminate, and preserve knowledge through research and teaching. The Yale faculty2 bears primary responsibility for preserving the conditions necessary to advance this mission, including protection of the freedom of inquiry; participation in the governance of the University; the application of fair and consistent standards and processes in matters of promotion and tenure; and adherence to a shared set of principles governing faculty members in relation to each other, to their students and trainees, and to the University and its staff members. Yale faculty members understand the common-sense and reasonable responsibilities that arise from:


Their Role as Educators. The integrity of the teacher-student relationship is crucial to the University’s educational mission. This relationship vests considerable trust in the faculty member, who, in turn, bears authority and accountability as mentor, educator, and evaluator. When acting in their role as teachers, members of the Yale faculty treat students and trainees with respect.3 They set an example of academic integrity and educate their students and trainees in the requirements of honest scholarship. They evaluate their students’ and trainees’ work solely on the basis of its intellectual merit and adherence to course or program requirements. They maintain proper professional boundaries and never exploit the unequal institutional power inherent in the relationship between faculty member and student or trainee.


Their Role as Scholars. As scholars, members of the Yale faculty devote their professional lives to seeking and disseminating knowledge, using the tools and resources provided by the University and the larger community. To protect their colleagues, their students, the University, and the record of knowledge in their field, and to preserve respect for scholarship in the larger community, members of the Yale faculty conduct and publish their research and writing with scrupulous honesty, and they do not allow pecuniary or other improper influences to compromise the integrity of their scholarship.


Their Role as Members of the Yale Community. The overriding professional obligation of all full-time faculty members is to Yale and to its mission of creating, disseminating, and preserving knowledge. Faculty members recognize that the preservation of the University as a self-sustaining community of scholars requires that they accept their share of responsibility for University governance and that they comply with University policies. Faculty members participate constructively and without discrimination in hiring and promotion decisions. By freely associating themselves with the University, members of the faculty affirm their commitment to a philosophy of mutual tolerance and respect. In furtherance of Yale’s mission, they have the right and obligation to criticize their colleagues, staff members, and the University, but they endeavor to do so without personal animus and without seeking to intimidate or coerce. Faculty members act as stewards of Yale’s resources and treat Yale property and funds with care and prudence.


Faculty members should seek in good faith to fulfill the responsibilities that arise from their various roles. These responsibilities form the overarching aspirations for our common work. They do not replace or supersede any other established Yale policies, such as those pertaining to academic misconduct, conflict of interest, discrimination, or sexual misconduct. Responsibility for addressing a complaint that a faculty member has failed to comply with the Standards of Faculty Conduct normally lies with the faculty member’s Dean. Deans may create and apply informal processes to resolve complaints of faculty misconduct, which may include the designation of a particular faculty member, such as a department chair, to receive and facilitate the resolution of complaints. Those who believe that a faculty member has violated the Standards of Faculty Conduct are encouraged to seek an informal resolution of the matter through the faculty member’s Dean. Such informal processes may result in sanctions beyond the inherent administrative authority of the Dean only with the consent of the parties to the dispute. If an alleged violation of the Standards of Faculty Conduct has not been resolved informally, or if the Dean was significantly involved in the matter under dispute, a member of the University community may ask the Provost to submit a complaint for formal faculty review under the procedures described in Section III.N. Such complaints will be considered only if the alleged violation is reckless or intentional and has caused serious harm to the University or to a member of the University community.

2. The Yale faculty includes all University administrators with faculty appointments.

3. For the purposes of [the Faculty Handbook], a student is a person enrolled in any Yale educational or training program. A trainee is a type of student, but the term is used separately here to emphasize the responsibilities that faculty members have toward post-doctoral fellows, medical residents, and persons in similar post-graduate positions. A teacher is anyone who holds a faculty position described in the Faculty Handbook and who teaches students or supervises trainees.