Chapter VI

Personnel and Professional Policies


Definition of "Faculty"

(Senate: 5/19/76; President: 5/28/76)

In reference to the definition of the term "academic administrative" and to Executive Order 301, "Grievance Procedures for Academic Personnel," the following persons are included in the definition of the term "faculty" and are eligible to serve in faculty governance:

  • Probationary and tenured faculty
  • Assistant Librarians and above
  • Persons in academic administrative positions
  • Counselors, SAO III and above
  • Full-time Coaches

Persons in the categories listed above are eligible to vote in university-wide elections.

The final determination of the eligibility of the various positions falling into the categories specified above shall be the responsibility of the Executive Committee of the Academic Senate.


(Administrative Code: Section 42701)

(Senate: 4/8/75, 4/15/03; President: 4/15/75, 4/6/04; Editorial Amendment: 8/01)

It is the policy of the Trustees that faculty be consulted on academic personnel matters. Each campus shall develop campus-wide procedures whereby only members of the faculty who are tenured, and such department/division chairs, school directors and academic administrators as the campus procedures shall provide, may participate at any level of consideration in the deliberations or vote on recommendations relating to appointment, retention, tenure, or promotion of faculty. The procedures shall provide that those making such recommendations should consider information from other faculty members and any other source, including, but not limited to, students. The campus-wide procedures shall be consonant with the regulations, policies, and procedures of the Board of Trustees and the Chancellor and shall be approved by the President.

All groups and individuals making recommendations relating to appointment, retention, tenure, or promotion of faculty shall accept the responsibility for making positive efforts to achieve the ideals set forth in the University's Statement of Diversity and Inclusivity.

Academic Freedom, Professional Ethics, and Faculty Rights

Principles of Academic Freedom

(Senate: 1/19/67; President: 1/31/67, 2/6/67)

  1. Faculty members are entitled to freedom of discussion in the classroom and on the campus. It is here assumed that discussion in the classroom is relevant to the subject matter taught, although no formula predetermining relevance either can or should be imposed.
  2. Faculty members are entitled to full freedom in research and in the publication of the results, subject to the requirement of adequate performance of duties.
  3. College or university faculty members are citizens and members of learned professions. When speaking or writing as citizens, they are free from institutional censorship or discipline. At the same time, they will recognize their responsibilities as members of learned professions.

The limitation of these statements to issues particularly affecting faculty members, in keeping with the scope of this Handbook, does not imply that issues of academic freedom affecting student members of the university community may not properly be brought before the Committee on Academic Freedom and Professional Ethics when such questions have not been resolved by the university administration.

Statement on Professional Ethics*

(Senate: 1/12/88; President: 7/25/88)

  1. Professors, guided by a deep conviction of the worth and dignity of the advancement of knowledge, recognize the special responsibilities placed upon them. Their primary responsibility to their subject is to seek and to state the truth as they see it. To this end, professors devote their energies to developing and improving their scholarly competence. They accept the obligation to exercise critical self-discipline and judgment in using, extending, and transmitting knowledge. They practice intellectual honesty. Although professors may follow subsidiary interests, these interests must never seriously hamper or compromise freedom of inquiry.
  2. As teachers, professors encourage the free pursuit of learning in students. They hold before them the best scholarly and ethical standards of their disciplines. Professors demonstrate respect for students as individuals and adhere to their proper roles as intellectual guides and counselors. Professors make every reasonable effort to foster honest academic conduct and to assure that their evaluations of students reflect each student's true merit. They respect the confidential nature of the relationship between professor and student. They avoid any exploitation, harassment, or discriminatory treatment of students. They acknowledge significant academic or scholarly assistance from them. They protect their academic freedom.
  3. As colleagues, professors have obligations that derive from common membership in the community of scholars. Professors do not discriminate against or harass colleagues. They respect and defend the free inquiry of associates. In the exchange of criticism and ideas, they show due respect for the opinions of others. Professors acknowledge academic debt and strive to be objective in their professional judgment of colleagues. Professors accept their share of faculty responsibilities for the governance of their institution.
  4. As members of an academic institution, professors seek above all to be effective teachers and scholars. Although professors observe the stated regulations of the institution, provided the regulations do not contravene academic freedom, they maintain their right to criticize and seek revision. Professors give due regard to their paramount responsibilities within their institution in determining the amount and character of work done outside it. When considering the interruption or termination of their service professors recognize the effect of their decision upon the program of the institution and give due notice of their intentions.
  5. As members of their communities, professors have the rights and obligations of other citizens. Professors measure the urgency of these obligations in the light of their responsibilities to their subjects, to their students, to their profession, and to their institution. When they speak or act as private persons, they avoid creating the impression of speaking or acting for their college or university. As citizens engaged in a profession that depends upon freedom for its health and integrity, professors have a particular obligation to promote conditions of free inquiry and to further public understanding of academic freedom.

*Statement adopted by the 73rd Annual Meeting of A.A.U.P. reprinted from Academe, July/August 1987, p. 49.

Faculty Rights

(Senate: 1/19/67; 10/16/84, 2/21/89; President: 12/6/67; 2/21/84, 8/31/89; Editorial Amendment: 9/00, 8/01)

The enumeration of the following rights does not preclude the existence of other rights not specified here.

  1. The faculty member has the right to be fully informed at the time of appointment, and at reasonable intervals thereafter, of the terms and conditions of employment, including the opportunities for advancement, tenure, and promotion; the opportunities and terms governing sabbatical and other leaves of absence; and terms and conditions of retirement; the grounds for dismissal; and all related rights of, and lawful restrictions on, the faculty.
  2. The faculty member may choose to affiliate with any social, political, or religious groups which that faculty member in good faith believes to be consistent with the principles of American government.
  3. In the classroom, the faculty member has the right and often the obligation to present controversial issues that are relevant to that faculty member's teaching.
  4. It is a faculty right and obligation to participate in faculty government. The faculty cannot surrender this right by appointing or electing faculty members to committees by virtue of their administrative position, or by constituting committees with the dual role of establishing policy and also administering policy. Faculty committees in each department/division/school shall have the responsibility for policy recommendation and shall report directly to the college dean.
  5. If any material other than that submitted by the faculty member is to be placed in a faculty member's permanent file, that individual shall be provided with a copy of such material prior to the placement and thereupon shall have the right to provide a written response which will be included in the file. Anonymous accusations shall be summarily dismissed (and destroyed, if a document) and shall not be used in any proceedings.

Related Procedures

A faculty* member who finds that a question relating to academic freedom or professional ethics cannot be resolved at the department/division/school or college level may:

  1. Submit the question in writing to the Chair of the Committee on Academic Freedom and Professional Ethics through the Administrative Assistant to the Academic Senate (see the charge to the Committee on Academic Freedom and Professional Ethics, Chapter II); or
  2. File a request for review with the President.

*See Section 1 of Article III of the Constitution of the Faculty, Appendix B. For the purpose of seeking the services of the Committee on Academic Freedom and Professional Ethics, "faculty" as defined in the Constitution is expanded to include visiting professors and those holding part-time assignments. This position is consistent with that taken by the AAUP. "Both the protection of academic freedom and the requirement of academic responsibility apply not only to the full-time probationary as well as to the tenured teacher, but also to all others, such as part time and teaching assistants, who exercise teaching responsibilities." (AAUP Policy Documents and Reports, 1973 edition, page 4)

Protection Against Misconduct in Research

(Senate: 7/10/90, 5/31/16; President: 9/13/90, 10/3/16)

Governing Documents: 42 Code of Federal Regulations Public Health Service Policies on Research Misconduct (Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service 42 CFR PART 50, RIN 0905AB91); CSU Executive Order 890; Articles 18 and 19 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the California State University and the California Faculty Association.

Misconduct in science (or research in any discipline) means fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, or other practices that seriously deviate from those that are commonly accepted within the scientific (academic) community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research. It does not include honest error or honest differences in interpretations or judgments of data.

California State University, Los Angeles (Cal State LA), is committed to excellence in teaching, research and public service, as well as to the conduct of these activities with the highest possible ethical standards. This document establishes policies for handling allegations of research misconduct. Procedures for handling allegations of research misconduct are found in Cal State LA Administrative Procedure 102.

Cal State LA is guided by ethical principles when members of its academic community engage in research, scholarship and creative activities, and complies with pertinent federal and state regulations. Individuals who wish to report instances of research misconduct should promptly do so by notifying the Research Integrity Officer.

While portions of this policy specifically address requirements of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Research Integrity, which has oversight of research sponsored by the Public Health Service, the general procedures contained herein apply to all research activity conducted by Cal State LA staff, faculty, and students, regardless of the source or amount of funding for that activity.

Handling Alleged Misconduct in Research

Cal State LA will respond to all reports of research misconduct in a timely and appropriate manner. If the complaint has merit, Cal State LA will promptly take actions to prevent recurrence and remedy the effect of research misconduct, to the extent possible. Persons who are found to have engaged in research misconduct may be subject to subsequent reprimand and/or disciplinary action, following procedures specified in collective bargaining agreements between the California State University Board of Trustees and the employee’s relevant bargaining unit, university policies and procedures applicable to non-represented staff, policies and procedures of University Auxiliary Services, Inc., or the CSU Student Conduct Procedures, as applicable.  In determining whether an action violates this policy, the totality of the circumstances shall be considered.

Cal State LA will not retaliate nor tolerate retaliation against parties reporting alleged research misconduct. This policy prohibits retaliation against complainants and requires the university to address and counter any retaliatory acts. Reports of retaliation will be handled in accordance with the relevant collective bargaining agreement and/or campus administrative procedure.

Statement of Diversity And Inclusivity

(Senate: 3/9/93; President: 5/14/93)

Universities traditionally have been a haven for diverse ideas and values. A logical and, indeed, necessary extension of that noble purpose is that universities also be productive environments for persons of diverse cultures. All students must not only have access to our institutions of higher learning, but also within those institutions, all students must have the quality of experiences that nurture success. Ultimately, students must be prepared to live thoughtful and productive lives in the kind of world they will enter upon graduation. However varied the nuances of a university mission, one goal must be universal: to build a just society, rich in cultural and ethnic diversity and respectful both of the individual and of the values shared by the society.

California State University, Los Angeles, has a long history of having the most diverse student population of any college or university in the nation. It continues to provide meaningful access not only for students from traditionally underrepresented groups, but for faculty, staff, and members of university advisory boards as well. The challenge for Cal State L.A. is the challenge for America, from its earliest to the present time: to replace the presence of exclusivity with a deep respect for and trust in the average person. However, what must never change is the American ideal of inclusivity, of hope and of opportunity for all; and Cal State L.A. is committed both to the principles and achievements that support and expand that ideal.

Inclusivity and diversity within the University require that the campus be an example to which the surrounding community aspires. Persons who have been traditionally underserved actively participate in institutional governance and actively espouse and protect the rights and freedoms of all individuals. In this vein, specific efforts to strengthen diversity and inclusivity at Cal State L.A. include:

  1. Recruitment and retention of students from traditionally under served populations;
  2. Recruitment, retention and promotion of faculty, staff and administrators with due respect for gender, ethnicity, disability and sexual orientation;
  3. Curriculum, pedagogy, research, scholarship and creativity that incorporate diversity of cultures, languages, and traditions and, thereby enhance the critical, analytic and creative skills of students and improve the quality of the educational experience;
  4. Maintenance of an academic governance structure and the operation of that structure according to ideals of individual rights and freedoms and of communal responsibility;
  5. Allocation of resources in service of the campus mission, goals and efforts cited above; and
  6. Systematic University-wide assessments of the challenges and achievements in all efforts to strengthen diversity and inclusivity.

Statement of Responsibility for Providing Student Advisement

(Senate: 10/28/81; President: 1/20/84)

Faculty are expected to provide academic advisement and to assist students in selecting appropriate courses and planning a program of study. Faculty shall provide advisement to students seeking information about a discipline as well as provide academic advisement to students who have declared their major.

Office Hours

(Senate: 2/28/89, 5/13/08; President: 8/31/89, 6/12/08; Editorial Amendment: 8/01)

The purpose of office hours is to provide opportunities for student-faculty interaction outside the classroom. Faculty members must schedule no fewer than four office hours per week at times convenient to themselves, their students, and their department/division/school. Tenured and tenure-track faculty with reassigned or released time and temporary faculty shall schedule office hours on a pro-rata basis.

Faculty Responsibilities

(Senate: 5/6/65, 2/26/85, 2/28/89; President: 5/27/65; 3/22/85, 8/31/89; Editorial Amendment: 9/00, 8/01)

Employment as a faculty member at California State University, Los Angeles includes the teaching of assigned classes, research and related professional efforts appropriate to successful professional advancement, the advisement of students, and service with other faculty members in groups organized to carry out the objectives of the University.

Membership on the faculty presumes a position of leadership and service in the cultural, scientific, and industrial life of the society of which the University is a part. Consequently, the University encourages participation in those activities which offer opportunities for leadership and service. These activities may include serving as a consultant for industry or government agencies, performing research supported by outside agencies, serving as an officer in professional groups, preparing materials for publication, participating in the political life of the community, conducting exhibits of creative activities, performing in the creative artistic endeavors of the community, lecturing in fields in which the faculty member has attained a degree of excellence, serving on various councils of private and public agencies, and other comparable functions.

However, the degree of participation in such activities is not unlimited. The primary responsibilities of the faculty member are to teach, to perform research, and otherwise to further the objectives of the University. Membership on the faculty is a full-time position and the responsibilities involved in being a faculty member assume the use of the major portion of the faculty member's time and energies in university work.

If a member of the faculty works outside the University, that work must not detract from full-time service to the University. This service is expected to include regular participation in creative effort at the University but outside the classroom, of such a nature that it enhances the professional development of the faculty member and reflects credit on the University. Research or consulting activities outside the University must not interfere with this effort.

Limitations are difficult to assign fairly. Many faculty members teach one or more nights a week at the University. Others spend a considerable amount of time off campus supervising student teachers or doing fieldwork supervision. These are part of the teaching assignments. Many research activities require time spent off campus and, if these activities are not for pay in addition to the salary received for teaching at the University, they may also be part of the teaching assignment. Nevertheless, some guidelines are essential to protect the students, the University, and the society which the University serves.

A faculty member must meet all assigned classes as scheduled; share the advisement load of the department/division/school; hold office hours as scheduled; regularly attend department/division/school, college, and university meetings; and serve on such department/division/school, college, and university committees as required by election or appointment.

Incompatible Activities

(Senate: 5/6/65, 2/26/85, 2/28/89, 6/2/15; President: 5/27/65; 3/22/85; 8/31/89, 10/13/15; Editorial Amendment: 9/00, 8/01)

A faculty member must not engage in incompatible activities, which are defined below. Engagement in such activities shall be regarded as unprofessional conduct:

  1. Activities which are pursued chiefly for economic value are not specifically prohibited but are nevertheless discouraged, except as such activities are involved in the management of private affairs. The discretion and judgment of appropriate department/division/school committees and department/division chairs or school directors shall prevail on these points, subject to review as provided below. In addition, a faculty member must not engage in any outside activity in which there is a conflict of interest with primary responsibilities as a university professor.
  2. Other activities are incompatible only when conducted excessively, as defined below. Activities such as part-time teaching at other institutions, consultation or research performed outside the University, the sale of creative efforts, and public lecturing are examples. Faculty members must not engage in outside activities of any kind to the extent that these conflict with their primary obligations to the University by affecting their performance adversely.

It shall be the responsibility of the appropriate department/division/school committee and the department/division chair or school director to assure that all faculty members meet their responsibilities to the University as outlined above.

All faculty members appointed full-time at the University shall be required to provide a written statement to the appropriate admininstator of all outside employment, where such outside employment is expected to amount to more than one hundred sixty (160) hours per semester for faculty holding academic year or ten (10) month appointments; one hundred ten (110) hours per quarter for faculty holding academic year or ten (10) month appointments; or one hundred twenty (120) hours per three (3) month period for faculty holding twelve (12) month appointments.

Interpretation of "an excess level of outside activity" will be operational, defined as "that level of activity which conflicts with a faculty member's obligation to the University by affecting performance adversely." Inquiries in writing regarding the nature or level of a faculty member's activities may be directed to the department/division/school committee and department/division chair or school director by the dean of the college, the college Faculty Affairs Committee, or the President.

Any faculty member whose outside activities are considered incompatible by that faculty member's department/division/school will be apprised orally of this judgment by the department/division chair or school director so that the individual may take appropriate remedial action. If such action is not taken by the faculty member after a reasonable period of time, it is the obligation of the department/division/school committee and department/division chair or school director to initiate proceedings according to the policy then in force for the handling of cases involving unprofessional conduct.

The above statements are an interpretation of the state policy concerning activities which are inconsistent, incompatible, or in conflict with duties as an employee of the State of California. The general statement concerning state policy follows.

In protecting the integrity of the California state service, the law includes standards of conduct with which state officers and employees are expected to comply. Section 19990 of the Government Code requires that: "A state officer or employee shall not engage in any employment, activity, or enterprise which is clearly inconsistent, incompatible, in conflict with, or inimical to his duties as a state officer or employee or with the duties, functions or responsibilities of his appointing power or the agency by which he is employed.

"Each appointing power shall determine, subject to approval of the board, those activities which, for employees under his jurisdiction, are inconsistent, incompatible or in conflict with their duties as state officers or employees. Consideration shall be given to employment, activity, or enterprise which:

  1. involves the use for private gain or advantage of state time, facilities, equipment and supplies; or the badge, uniform, prestige or influence of one's state office or employment, or
  2. involves receipt or acceptance by the officer or employee of any money or other consideration from anyone other than the state for the performance of an act which the officer or employee, if not performing such act, would be required or expected to render in the regular course of hours of his state employment to render in the regular course of hours of his state employment or as a part of his duties as a state officer or employee, or
  3. involves the performance of an act in other than his capacity as a state officer or employee which act may later be subject directly or indirectly to the control, inspection, review, audit or enforcement by such officer or employee or the agency by which he is employed, or
  4. involves such time demands as would render performance of his duties as a state officer or employee less efficient.

"Each state officer and employee shall during his hours of duty as a state officer or employee and subject to such other laws, rules or regulations as pertain thereto, devote his full time, attention, and efforts to his state office of employment."

Political Activities

Like other citizens, employees of California State University, Los Angeles may participate as private citizens in political activities and in the political process. However, state employees may not participate in such activities and processes in the name of the state. Thus, employees may not represent themselves in their personal political activities as acting in their capacity as state employees either expressly or by reasonable implication through use of their state employment title. The law also prohibits the use of state time and resources (including state materials, equipment, facilities, and services) in supporting or opposing any political candidate or issue being considered by the electorate of the state or any political subdivision of the state. The California Supreme Court has said:

". . . in the absence of clear and explicit legislative authorization, a public agency may not expend public funds to promote a partisan position in an election campaign . . . A fundamental precept of this nation's democratic electoral process is that the government may not 'take sides' in election contests or bestow an unfair advantage on one of several competing factions." [Stanton v. Mott 17 Cal. 3d 206; 130 Cal. Rptr. 697 (1976)]

Violation of the policy of political neutrality may subject the employee to disciplinary action and civil liability for misappropriated state time and resources.

Conflict of Interest

(Senate: 8/8/67, 5/3/88, 5/11/99; President: 9/11/67, 6/6/88, 8/12/99)

The University accepts the principles of the joint statement of the Council of the American Association of University Professors and the American Council on Education, "On Preventing Conflicts of Interest in Government-Sponsored Research at Universities."  The University will ensure compliance with all State and Federal agency requirements regarding disclosure by faculty members of existing or potential conflicts of interest involving for profit entities and government agencies.

The Agreement between the Board of Trustees of the California State University and the California Faculty Association addresses issues related to the amount of outside employment that a faculty member can accept and the procedures of reporting such employment (Article 35).

Principal investigators of projects sponsored by for-profit foundations shall file a Statement of Economic Interest at the time of application, at the close of the project, and annually during the project. This form is available in the Office of the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research. If the Statement of Economic Interest indicates a potential conflict of interest, there shall be a review by the Committee for Conflict of Interest for Principal Investigators.

In the event of inconsistency between University policy and government agency policy regarding conflict of interest, the latter will be deemed to preempt University policy to the extent necessary to ensure full compliance with State and Federal mandates.

Conflict of Interest in Faculty-Assigned Course Materials

(Senate: 2/9/16; President: 4/14/16)

        Governing Document: California Government Code, Section 87100

The assignment of appropriate course materials is an integral part of a faculty member's regular duties. Course materials include, but are not limited to, textbooks, software/applications, subscriptions, and supplies. Faculty members should make decisions concerning textbooks and other course materials primarily on the basis of educational criteria without regard to financial or other incentives. Faculty should assign materials that best meet the instructional goals of their courses, and therefore may conclude that what they have created for a course best realizes these instructional goals. However, faculty members may not profit financially from the assignment of instructional materials in any course taught at Cal State LA, with the exception of the following:

  • Peer-reviewed books and textbooks.
  • Self-published texts (printed or electronic), software, manuals, and other faculty authored materials adopted by departments and programs outside of Cal State LA.

It is the individual professional responsibility of all faculty members to make a reasonable effort to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest that could give their students or the public served by the University reasons to question the propriety of their professional judgments. If requested, faculty members shall provide written disclosure statements addressing any conflict of interest regarding faculty assigned course materials.

Faculty members may not collect money from students for course materials of any kind. Therefore, any course materials, including textbooks may not be sold by faculty members directly to students. No royalties may be received by the faculty member for preparing or editing a course pack of published material. Permission to use copyrighted materials must be obtained and the cost of copyright fees may be built into the selling price.

Attendance at Commencement and Honors Convocations

(Senate: 10/30/73, 5/5/87; President: 11/20/73, 5/14/87; Editorial Amendment: 8/01)

All full-time faculty members have a professional responsibility to support graduation and honors convocations through attendance in academic regalia. Each department/division/school shall arrange for attendance by each full-time member of the faculty.

Academic Senate | Faculty Handbook | Chapter 6 TOC | Index Search | Back to Top