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Academic Professional Guidelines (1994)
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Academic Professional Guidelines
A. The Student and Postdoctoral Associate
B. The Professor
C. The Administration - Responsibilities to Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Associates
D. The Administration - Responsibilities to the Professor
E. Professional Service Associates in Academia
The first edition of the Academic Professional Guidelines was meant to be an extension of the broader "Professional Employment Guidelines" of the ACS to provide assistance on special issues that are of concern to chemical scientists in the academic environment. Shortly after publication of the first edition, it became obvious that we had unintentionally omitted reference to undergraduates in an academic research situation.
This second edition of the Academic Professional Guidelines, prepared by the Council Committee on Professional Relations, seeks to correct this oversight. Responding to input from professors and administrators in a number of chemistry departments in the U.S., modifications to the first edition included substituting the term student for graduate student, and recognizing the fact that undergraduates should be involved in the research process.
The Guidelines deal with the obligations and responsibilities of students, postdoctoral associates, professors, and administrators. It is obvious that no single document can provide guidance for all situations that may arise, nor is it likely that the guidance offered will always be agreeable to all concerned. It is the intention of the Committee that originally drafted and subsequently revised these Guidelines to continue periodic revisions in light of experience and additional comments.
The American Chemical Society, as the world's largest association of professional scientists, has the opportunity to set an example for all. It is the Committee's hope that these Guidelines will be implemented and observed as fully as possible.
1. First Edition
Approved by the Council April 17, 1991
Adopted by the Board of Directors August 25, 1991
2. Second Edition
Approved by the Council March 16, 1994
Adopted by the Board of Directors June 3, 1994
The Academic Professional Guidelines are intended to provide key guidelines for students, postdoctoral associates, professors, mentors, and academic administrators concerning professional relationships in the academic environment. These guidelines outline some of the obligations and reasonable expectations for individuals as they interact in this unique environment.
It should be noted that a graduate student or postdoctoral associate in chemistry generally meets the ACS definition of a chemist and a professional. The term Professor is a generic term referring to all ranks in the academic research and teaching hierarchy. For brevity, the expression "chemist" or "student" is employed in these Guidelines to encompass biochemists, chemical engineers, and others in chemistry-related sciences who meet the ACS definition of a chemist. For completeness, undergraduate students are included in this definition even though they have not yet reached the formal definition of a professional.
Responsibilities to the Professor and the Institution
The student or postdoctoral associate should fulfill the responsibilities as may be required by a teaching or research position.
The student or postdoctoral associate should maintain honesty, integrity, and diligence in the conduct of research and in the completion of academic courses.
The student or postdoctoral associate should consult the supervising professor at appropriate intervals regarding progress and should openly discuss relevant technical and administrative problems. If a problem cannot be resolved with the professor, the student or postdoctoral associate should seek further guidance from an appropriate higher academic and/or administrative level.
The student should diligently pursue coursework and, where appropriate, thesis research. included in this obligation is the timely completion of manuscripts and a dissertation. Full-time graduate students should normally complete the Ph.D. degree requirements in 4-5 years.
Responsibilities to Students and Postdoctoral Associates
The professor should give full attention to teaching, recognizing that the dissemination of knowledge is a primary function of an academic institution. In this role as educator, the professor should stimulate the students' interest, broaden their outlook, and encourage a sense of inquiry.
The professor should provide a constructive research environment, giving regular guidance, direction, and periodic evaluation to students and postdoctoral associates. This communication should concern the progress of the research and provide feedback regarding the status relevant to the project, as well as constructive suggestions toward resolution of any difficulties encountered.
The faculty advisor should strive to help develop the initiative and independent thinking of students and postdoctoral associates within the scholarly environment of an academic institution.
The professor shall advise and assist students and postdoctoral associates in areas of career development. The special obligation to provide guidance to the undergraduate should be recognized.
The professor shall strive to supervise the graduate student so that the research can be satisfactorily finished in a reasonable amount of time. The target for a Ph.D. program would be 4-5 years for a full-time graduate student. If the professor sees that the student is not making satisfactory progress in the degree program, the professor should inform the student that a problem exists and offer the student the opportunity of changing research problems or professor. This discussion should occur as early as possible in the student's career.
The professor should recognize the research contributions of students or postdoctoral associates by appropriate acknowledgment or co-authorship status in publications. Professors should be aware of their institution's policy toward intellectual property, such as authorship, patents, and copyrights, and should inform the students and postdoctoral associates of that policy.
Responsibilities to Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Associates
Upon admission to the graduate program or acceptance of a postdoctoral position, each student or postdoctoral associate should be informed in writing of the financial support that normally may be expected during the period of graduate study or postdoctoral research.
The institution or department should provide formally established, published mediation services to resolve disputes promptly and should inform graduate students and postdoctoral associates of the available institutional grievance procedures. These should be structured to provide due process.
The institution should establish and disseminate information about copyright and patent laws, and should establish and disseminate a policy regarding intellectual property.
Responsibilities to the Professor
The AAUP "Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure" (1940), "Statement on Procedural Standards in Faculty Dismissal Proceedings" (1958), "Statement on Procedural Standards in the Renewal or Nonrenewal of Faculty Appointments" (1971), and "Statement on Professional Ethics" (1987) provide a framework for the institution in its relationship with professors.
The professor should be informed in writing of the rules for evaluation of a candidate for reappointment, promotion, and tenure, as well as of the grievance procedure, which should guarantee due process. An expeditious grievance procedure should be in place so that, if invoked, it may be completed before any final action concerning the professor is taken.
The administration should provide the professor with fair compensation and fringe benefits, a manageable teaching load depending on the mission of the school, adequate facilities in which the duties of the professor can be carried out, and a governance framework providing for input and participation of the faculty.
Many academic institutions employ chemists in service-oriented and long-term research positions that are essential to the fulfillment of the research and teaching functions of the college or university. These employees, although generally nontenured, are professional career chemists, and their titles and treatment should reflect this. They should be governed by the provisions of the ACS Professional Employment Guidelines. Because they also interact with faculty and students to provide data and to develop new ideas, their contributions should be appropriately acknowledged.