Ethical Pursuit in Academe



All members of the University of Alaska Anchorage community and the University itself must engage in continual civil discourse.  Ethical behaviors advance learning, discovery and engagement.  This code of conduct is supported by the administration of UAA.  Integrity requires the maintenance of standards of personal and professional behavior of the highest order.  

University of Alaska Core Values

UAA Strategic Plan 2017 defines the Core Values of the University of Alaska Anchorage.
In the performance of its mission, UAA places the greatest emphasis on these core values:

  •  Academic Freedom and Diversity
  •  Affordable Access and High Quality
  •  Student Success and Community Engagement
  •  Innovation and Creativity
  •  Cooperation and Collaboration
  •  Sustainability and Stewardship
  •  Integrity and Accountability
  •  Effectiveness and Efficiency

UAA Graduate School Core Values

The Graduate School, in cooperation with the schools and colleges of the University of Alaska Anchorage, offers leadership, service and learning opportunities for students that focus on:

  • Providing access to excellent Postsecondary education at all levels for all Alaskans, including those in remote communities and those from under-served populations
  • Promoting collaboration among Major Academic Units and campuses to create stronger programs to serve Alaska.
  • Developing Alaska's workforce
  • Increasing persistence and graduation rates of students
  • Educating students to become informed and responsible citizens
  • Respecting and contributing to the preservation of Alaska Native cultures, languages, and values.
  • Embracing the cultural diversity of Alaskans and promoting understanding of others
  • Advancing scholarship, research, and creative activity by faculty, students, and staff

Research Integrity and Compliance

The University of Alaska Anchorage has adopted policies and practices to ensure adequate stewardship of resources, ethical and reasonable conduct, proper respect and concern for societal issues and adequate safety and protections. A complete listing of the Research Integrity and Compliance policies is available on-line.  The responsibilities for compliance can be divided among three categories within UAA:

  1. Those that apply to the Institution as a whole irrespective of sponsored programs, i.e. Affirmative Action or Occupational Safety
  2. Those that entail accounting and fiscal responsibilities with respect to sponsored programs, i.e. accounting standards, or audit requirements
  3. Those that entail special ethical or safety considerations related to the conduct of research, i.e. human subjects research, use of animals, radiation safety, etc. The policies of Responsible Conduct in Research (RCR) help to guide these responsibilities.

Ethics of Teaching

  • Honesty
  • Promise-Keeping
    •  Promise-keeping requires the instructor to fulfill the "promises" made at the beginning of the semester. Syllabi, assignments, grading principles, and class and office hour schedules involve promises made to students.
  • Respect for Persons:
    • Teachers ought to encourage mutual respect among students. Additionally, instructors ought to show respect and common courtesy for students both during interpersonal interactions and in responding promptly to students' need for guidance and feedback.
  • Fairness
    •  Recognizing the inherent subjectivity involved in grading, instructors ought to ensure that their grading practices are as objective as possible by creating and adhering to unambiguous criteria.

An additional resource on the subject of ethical teaching is in a special edition issue of the journal New Directions for Teaching and Learning titled Ethical Dimensions of College and University Teaching:  Understanding and Honoring the Special Relationship Between Teachers and Students.  The journal defines nine principles of professional responsibilities for faculty:

  1. Content Competence
  2. Pedagogical competence
  3. Appropriate dealing with sensitive topics
  4. Contribution to student development
  5. Avoidance of dual-role relationships with students
  6. Maintenance of confidentiality
  7. Respect for colleagues
  8. Valid assessment of students
  9. Respect for Institution

Resources on the Topic of Ethics

Ethical issues permeate science.  Graduate Students encounter these issues in a variety of ways.  We have attempted to gather some helpful information on this subject.

How to Survive Graduate School and Start your Career in Science/Engineering (2004) This handbook for Graduate Research Ethics Education are essays on relationships of Graduate Students to advisors, mentors, faculty committees, academic research groups and external collaborators.  The Graduate Handbook is offered at a cost of $10.00 each through the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics through the University of Indiana.
A helpful paper on the subject of ethics as it relates to research can be found on the website of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.  UAA has provided the link to this paper which was written by David B. Resnik, J.D., Ph.D. titled "What is Ethics in Research and Why is it Important?".