A community of students, faculty, staff, and administrators reflects the values of caring, respect, responsibility, gratitude, and service. The collective members identify and support the needs of the students and the program goals of the college. Not only do students have opportunities for involvement in a wide range of activities, including residence life, campus publications, religious affairs, cultural conferences, leadership training programs, social and recreational activities, service programs in the community, student organizations, intramurals, and athletics, they also participate in the administration and operation of programs.
In 1981, the Board of Trustees reaffirmed the college community’s principles of integrity and of responsibility to shared commitments and standards. These principles continue to be vital to the operation of the college and are integral to its educational philosophy. Central to this philosophy are the concepts of individual development and responsibility, commitment to community and profession, and centrality of learning, faith, and values. The principles provide guiding ideals from which standards of conduct are derived for each of the groups that constitute the active college community— students, faculty, administrative staff, and support staff. Although the principles are common to all, their translation into specific standards, rules, and policies depends upon the special roles and responsibilities that the members of each group assume in an academic community. Professional standards and obligations further strengthen and support the principles of the whole community, which constitute the foundation of the college’s judicial structure. The standards, rules, and policies of the community’s four primary constituent groups comprise the cornerstones for that structure.
With the revision of the judicial system in 1988-1989, Austin College reaffirmed its commitment to the ideal of community membership, to individual responsibility, common goals and expectations, and the highest standards of integrity. The college also has recognized the special roles and responsibilities of its constituencies and has affirmed the specific standards and codes of conduct of the groups. These commitments and affirmations are expressed in two fundamental statements of principle:
The College Principle of Shared Commitments and Purposes
Persons who participate in the life of Austin College—as students, faculty, or staff—are expected to support the shared commitments and purposes of the college as expressed in the Charter, the Mission Statement, and the Statement of Commitment and Principles. Individuals also are expected to abide by the shared standards of the college community and the standards and codes of conduct of their respective groups within the community. The commitments, purposes, and standards of the college and its constituent groups are central to the partnership between individual members and the institution.
The College Principle of Integrity
It is the responsibility of each individual to act with honesty and integrity in personal, social, and academic relationships, and with consideration and concern for the entire college community and its members. Individuals and groups should not engage in conduct, which causes harm to other individuals or the community as a whole.
Academic Integrity Principle
In keeping with its educational mission, Austin College places a high value on academic integrity and does not tolerate cheating and other forms of abuse of the academic process. The faculty and officers of the college assume that entering students, in accepting admission to Austin College, are aware that they will submit themselves to a high standard of academic honesty, and agree to follow the norms and procedures by which the college observes and enforces this standard.
The judicial policies of the college for students, faculty, and staff are contained in the college’s Operational Guide. These policies include the “Non-Academic Code of Student Conduct,” “Student Academic Integrity Policy and Procedures,” “Student/Instructor Disagreements on Course-Related Issues,” “Judicial Guidelines and Procedures for the Faculty,” and the “Policy on Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, and Sexual Violence,” which apply to the entire campus. The Operational Guide also includes judicial policies and procedures for administrative and support staff. The Environment (the student handbook) and Outback Guide include policy information that pertain to students. The Outback Guide serves as a communication tool providing faculty, staff, and students with campus-wide information including campus crime statistics, affirmative action statement, sexual harassment policy, and graduation rates.