Middle States Commission on Higher Education Characteristics of EXCELLENCE in Higher Education Requirements of Affiliation and Standards for Accreditation Online Version – Revised March 2009
Standard 6: Integrity
In the conduct of its programs and activities involving the public and the constituencies it serves, the institution demonstrates adherence to ethical standards and its own stated policies, providing support for academic and intellectual freedom.
Pennsylvania State Universityʼs statement on Academic Integrity by the Council of Academic Deans
Academic integrity mandates the pursuit of teaching, learning, research, and creative activity in an open, honest, and responsible manner. An academic community that values integrity promotes the highest levels of personal honesty, respect for the rights, property, and dignity of others, and fosters an environment in which students and scholars can enjoy the fruits of their efforts. Academic integrity includes a commitment neither to engage in acts of falsification, misrepresentation, or deception, nor to tolerate such acts by other members of the community.
Policy AD47 GENERAL STANDARDS OF PROFESSIONAL ETHICS
F. As members of the community, professors have the rights and obligations of all citizens. They measure the urgency of these obligations in the light of their responsibilities to their respective subjects, to their students, to their profession, and to their institution. When they speak or act as private persons they avoid creating the impression that they speak or act for their respective colleges or the University. As citizens engaged in a profession that depends upon freedom for its health and integrity, professors have an articular obligation to promote conditions of free inquiry and to further public understanding of academic freedom.
Faculty and staff members of the University shall exercise the utmost good faith in all transactions touching upon their duties to the University and its property. In their dealings with and on behalf of the University, they shall be held to a strict rule of honest and fair dealings between themselves and the University. They shall not use their positions, or knowledge gained therefrom, in such a way that a conflict of interest might arise between the interest of the University and that of the individual. Faculty and staff members shall disclose to the administrative head of the college or other unit in which they are employed, or other appropriate administrative officer, any potential conflict of interest of which they are aware before a contract or transaction is consummated.The Responsible Drilling Alliance is renewing the demand made in the original letter to Dr. Spanier for Penn State to publicly dissociate from these three discredited papers. The accreditation review offers an opportunity for Penn State to develop procedures to insulate research from corporate advocacy. Such procedures, if well designed, would be a template for other research institutions to avoid these issues while protecting academic freedom. The University of Buffalo recently garnered a firestorm of criticism when it released a paper by the same “Penn State” authors. Dr. Easterling, in his response letter, said that Penn State had requested that the Marcellus Shale Committee release the reports under their own name but they refused. It would be informative for Penn State and the MSCHE to review Penn Stateʼs contract with the Marcellus Shale Committee to determine how the university might better protect its reputation in the future. Please refer to the attached case documents for further elaboration and documentation. Contact Jon Bogle Ralph Kisberg 201 East Third Street Responsible Drilling Alliance Williamsport, PA 17701 Board President 570-772-0151 firstname.lastname@example.org copies: President Erickson, Pennsylvania State University Dean Easterling, College of Earth and Mineral Science Karen B. Peetz, President of Board of Trustees Open Letter email: Letter and other materials also being sent as PDF files to recipients.