Monday, August 9, 2010

Would you take this oath?

An Australian expert on university management has proposed a pair of "Hippocratic oaths," one for university faculty, another for university administrators. Here's the text of the faculty oath:

To the best of my ability I will support open, independent and systematic inquiry, high standards of learning, and the creative and responsible uses of knowledge. In doing so I will:
1. Dare to know: seek to establish truth and knowledge, and to contest false claims.
2. Teach well: teach in light of accepted standards, student needs and current research.
3. Be public-spirited: engage in public projects and debates where I have needed expertise.
4. Be responsible: take care not to misinform, or let others be misled by my claims.
5. Be transparent: disclose the evidence, methods and contributions relied on in my work.
6. Be collegial: share my learning with scholars and students, and seek to learn from them.
7. Be respectful: show courtesy to those who, in good faith, misunderstand or disagree.
8. Be open-minded: be ready to amend my views in light of new evidence or insight.
9. Be impartial: rely only on accepted criteria when judging others or their work.
10. Be scrupulous: declare any conflict of interest that may bias my scholarly judgment.

So is this a fair representation of the ethical obligations of faculty? Would you take this oath yourself?

1 comment:

  1. I'm not trying to toot my own horn here -- there are many ways in which I could be a better teacher. However, it strikes me that I do all of these things already, though I perhaps come up a bit lacking in (3).

    What struck me, though was this -- the thought that if these 10 criteria for teachers are considered so controversial that we need to make a pact to follow them, then as a professional group we've got problems.


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