15.3 Responsibilities to Scholarship
The faculty member's responsibilities to scholarship derive from the university's commitment to truth and the advancement of knowledge. Furthermore, society has a vital stake in maintaining the university as an institution where knowledge can be sought and communicated regardless of its popularity, its political implications, or even its immediate usefulness. Faculty members have an ethical responsibility both to make full appropriate use of that freedom in their teaching and research and to guard it from abuse. More specifically:
- Faculty members are committed to a lifetime of study. Although no one can know everything, even about a limited subject, faculty members must constantly strive to keep abreast of progress in their field, to develop and improve their scholarly and teaching skills, and to devote part of their energies to the extension of knowledge in their area of competence.
- Faculty members have the responsibility of being unfailingly honest in research and teaching. They must refrain from deliberate distortion or misrepresentation, and must take regular precautions against the common causes of error.
- In order to maintain or increase effectiveness as a scholar, a faculty member may find it advantageous to assume certain obligations outside the university, such as consulting for government or industry, or holding office in scholarly or professional societies. Such activities are appropriate in so far as they contribute to the faculty member's scholarly development, or at the very least, do not interfere with that development. On the other hand, acceptance of such obligations primarily for financial gain, especially when such activities may be incompatible with the faculty member's primary dedication as a scholar, cannot be condoned.