Statement on Ethics - P&S

Effective: Policy moved to Policy Library from P&S Handbook
Reviewed and Updated: March 2, 2018
Contact: University Human Resources (UHR)


This policy pertains to employees in the Professional and Scientific (P&S) classification.

Policy Statement

In becoming members of the Professional and Scientific (P&S) staff at Iowa State University, individuals have accepted responsibilities (1) to the university, (2) to colleagues, clients and students, and (3) to the larger community which the university serves. Individual members of the P&S staff are the primary arbiters of their own ethical conduct. They must distinguish between those minor and inconsequential conflicts which are unavoidable in a free society, and those conflicts which are substantial and material.

Relationship to the University

In supporting the mission of the university, the roles of individual P&S staff depend upon their respective professions and the department to which they are assigned. P&S staff abide by the ethics statements of their own professions and the policies of their departments and the university. They maintain the right to use appropriate means to seek revisions to those statements and policies.

Although individual activities may differ, P&S staff members maintain high standards of professional competence and meet qualitative standards of performance. They seek and participate in appropriate professional development activities.

P&S staff members seek to advance the welfare of the university through accountability for the proper use of institutional funds, personnel, equipment, and other resources. Outside activities are pursued with due regard to university policies and to each individual's responsibilities.

Relationship to Colleagues, Clients and Students

P&S staff have obligations that derive from common membership in the university community. P&S staff members promote standards of ethical behavior among colleagues. They foster the spirit of collegiality and contribute to a supportive work environment. They are respectful and cooperative in dealing with colleagues, students, and general public.

P&S staff members seek to collaborate and share expertise with others in the university community. In the exchange of ideas and criticisms, they encourage input and respect the opinions of others. P&S staff accurately acknowledge contributions to their work made by others and strive to be objective in professional review or evaluation of the work of their colleagues. They are committed to provide fair access for all to opportunities, rewards, and desirable conditions of work.

P&S staff members abide by established standards for use and release of confidential information. P&S staff members ensure that all information conveyed to students, colleagues, and the public is factual and in appropriate context.

Exploitation, discrimination, abuse, harassment, and insensitivity are always wrong. It is the responsibility of P&S staff members to strive to eliminate them whether they are unconscious or conscious, covert or overt, while taking care to respect the rights of others.

P&S staff members avoid any personal involvements that might compromise their professional responsibilities. In the event a personal relationship exists, develops, or has existed between a P&S staff member and a student, colleague, or client that goes beyond the professional role, it is the responsibility of the P&S staff member to take appropriate actions to avoid any conflict, or apparent conflict of interest between personal and professional concerns.

Relationship to the Community

As members of the extramural community, P&S staff members have the rights and obligations of any citizen. These include the right to organize and join political or other associations, convene and conduct public meetings, and publicize their own opinions on political and social issues. When speaking or acting as a private person or member of a group, P&S staff members should not create the impression that they speak or act for the university.

When speaking as private citizens, P&S staff members should be free from institutional censorship, discipline or reprisal affecting their professional careers. However, in the exercise of these rights, they measure the urgency of any obligation in light of their responsibilities to their professions and to the university.