Policy Details

Date of Last Update

Approved By
  • University Academic Senate / Provost

Responsible Office
Provost Office


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Professional Ethics

SG 3.05

  1. Policy Statement
  2. History

Policy Statement

Professional Ethics

The University recognizes that membership in the academic profession carries with it special responsibilities and that the University bears a responsibility for articulating and maintaining ethical standards. The University normally handles questions concerning propriety of conduct internally by reference to either faculty committees convened to review particular infractions or to standing committees such as college personnel committees.

A.    Human Subjects Review

All projects within Grand Valley State University involving research on human subjects require review and approval by the Human Research Review Committee.  To view the procedure for review and approval, go to the Research Compliance & Integrity website.

B.    Animal Research

Grand Valley State University (GVSU) policy and federal law require a review of research projects for humane treatment and judicious use of vertebrate animals. Vertebrate animals include wild, captive, domestic, and laboratory fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. At GVSU, this review is conducted by the GVSU Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC).  Principal Investigators must obtain approval from the IACUC before initiating any research, testing or instructional project involving the use of vertebrate animals. To view the procedure for gaining approval, see the information at the Institutional Animal Care and Use website.

C.    Handling Allegations of Misconduct in Research

Misconduct in research, scholarship, and creative activities means fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, or other practices that seriously deviate from those commonly accepted within the academic community.  Grand Valley State University has established and abides by uniform policies and procedures for investigating and reporting instances of alleged or apparent misconduct.  To view the policies and procedures, go to the Research Misconduct Procedures link.

D.    Professionalism in Professor-Student Relationship

Each faculty member is expected to respect the confidential nature of the professor-student relationship and avoid any exploitation of students for private and/or professional advantage. In keeping with its responsibility to provide a congenial atmosphere in which all students have an equal opportunity to learn, the University disapproves of and seeks to eliminate discriminatory behavior directed against individuals. Such behavior, which may take the form of statements, jokes, examples, and illustrations that reveal stereotypic and discriminatory attitudes, is considered inappropriate.

E.    Outside Employment

Since faculty and staff members are required to fulfill their responsibilities completely and effectively, any outside employment which a faculty or staff member wishes to undertake must be approved in advance by the appointing officer.

Faculty members should annually review the nature of any outside employment with their unit head. In addition, teaching at other colleges should have the prior approval of the unit head.

Information about faculty obligations and Rights in published material, inventions and secret processes, the Oath of Teachers, and Research Integrity can be found in Board of Trustees' Policies BOT 4.1.10.


November 20, 2019 - Updated with GLEV recommendations

March 11, 2019 - 3.05 C Handling Allegations of Misconduct in Research language updated

January 7, 2019 - FH 3.04 A-E retitled to SG 3.05

May 30, 2018 - FH 3.04c:  delete “Grand Valley State University Policy and Procedures for” in title