The underlying reasons why academic policies are ignored, not enforced, or overruled are often not clearly understood. In many cases, faculty do not follow policies due to self-interest. Administrators or senior executives sometimes do not appreciate academic nursing policies because of lack of knowledge and/or competing demands with donors or associates or are unsupportive because they do not want additional conflict or work. In the end, nonadherence to sound and just academic policies is an ethical and legal matter. Following an evidence-based continuous quality improvement model and just culture principles can potentially positively impact student outcomes and graduate new nurses who are prepared for today’s complex healthcare environment. Failure to follow academic nursing policy that has the goal of safe patient care has significant adverse implications.
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- Go to chapter: Incivility: Faculty on Faculty and Academic Nursing Administrator on Faculty, Their Subordinates
Although the incivility of students appears to have garnered the most attention in the literature, the problem with faculty incivility cannot be ignored or minimized. The deterioration of student civility has real parallels to what is happening among faculty in general and nursing faculty in particular. Faculty on faculty incivility has many implications. Faculty-to-faculty incivility can technically be both legal (e.g., rudeness, passive-aggressive behaviors, belittling) and illegal (e.g., defamation, libel, harassment). This chapter provides suggestions for improving civility among nursing faculty and academic nursing administrators. A faculty witness to bullying behavior by faculty toward students should make every effort possible to speak to that individual directly. If the violation observed is severe or unethical, then one has to report the activity through normal administrative channels.
The notion of tenure has been in place since the 12th century. Tenure protects faculty members by safeguarding academic freedom, ensuring a fair process prior to dismissal, and providing job security. This chapter discusses that tenured faculty and administrators use best practices as well as the advice outlined in Good Practice in Tenure Evaluation: Advice for Tenured Faculty, Department Chairs, and Academic Administrators. A consistent, fair, and transparent process is in the best interest of the tenure candidate, faculty, administrators, and the university. Knowledge of the promotion and tenure process is essential to success for nursing faculty. The majority of nursing faculty comes to the academic setting from the clinical environment. Consequently, the tenure and promotion process may not be familiar to junior nursing faculty prior to their entry into the academy, so it is important for faculty to familiarize themselves with the tenure requirements and institutional culture.
- Go to chapter: Neutrality, Confidentiality, and Independence: The Role of the Ombudsman When a Student Files a Complaint
Neutrality, Confidentiality, and Independence: The Role of the Ombudsman When a Student Files a Complaint
The use of some type of Ombudsman is prevalent in academia and is one of the roles in the field of alternative dispute resolution (
ADR). An ADRprogram may also lie outside a university setting; for instance, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission requires one at every federal agency. The first type of Ombudsman is the classical Ombudsman, which “emphasizes statutory independence from governmental control, the power to investigate complaints, and the authority to publish findings and recommendations”. This chapter discusses some instances in which this type of Ombudsman is prevalent in the university setting. Gottehrer and Hostina (1998), in Essential Characteristics of a Classical Ombudsman, indicate the classical Ombudsman role must have the four following characteristics: independence; impartiality and fairness; credibility of the review process; and confidentiality. The second type of Ombudsman is the organizational Ombudsman, whose roles are similar to those of the classical Ombudsman.
This chapter demonstrates that the domain of faculty academic freedom is not nearly as expansive as is sometimes presumed. It is actually private citizen speech that is protected by the First Amendment and not necessarily speech conducted by employees, even when the employer is a university or college. Furthermore, it is likely the university, not the faculty member, that is entitled to the freedom from constraints. The courts give great deference to educational institutions to conduct their educational enterprise without great interference from the courts, and that includes deciding what is taught in classroom. Although the court could not determine whether the student claim in this case was truthful or the faculty claim was truthful, nonetheless, it seems logical to us that if community college could have provided confirmation of professor’s classroom speech by other students in the classroom at the time, then defendant’s case would have been much stronger.
People can say bad things—even things that are racist—without it creating a legal liability for the university or its administrators. Universities should note the value that the court’s decisions have placed on the existence of accessible harassment policies and complaint procedures. To minimize liability for harassment, colleges and universities should make their anti-harassment policies and procedures clear, publish and disseminate them as widely as possible, and provide training to potential complaint handlers and faculty, staff, and students. Complainants should be treated with respect and compassion, and be given anonymity when possible and protection from retaliation. Respondents should receive due process during the investigation. University administration is responsible for publicizing and implementing a stringent sexual and racial harassment policy in addition to educating all constituencies in promoting a zero tolerance for student harassment.
In academia, rights under the law can acquire new and added dimensions. It is likely, for example, that a faculty member’s university prohibits him from punching colleague or student—it’s far enough removed from academic freedom to be punishable as a violation of the university’s code of conduct. One could be suspended or even lose a job. That’s a matter of contract law: when that faculty member took the job, one agreed to live by the rules of the university. This chapter discusses ombudsman and mediation. It describes internal administrative hearings by the college of university. The chapter also provides a brief description about arbitrations, agency proceedings, trials, parties, pleadings, and discovery. Finally it discusses motions practice and pretrial proceedings, and posttrial proceedings and appeals.
The testing environment has become extremely complex. Nursing faculty has a duty to develop and administer psychometrically sound examinations in an environment that values academic integrity. This chapter provides an overview of some guidance on test protocols or students which are different from test administration policies for faculty. It includes a short primer on basic psychometrics in test scoring. The chapter also provides a background on use of the Standardized Patient (
SP) Testing, an overview of some of the current controversies in test taking, and finally a very lengthy legal case study. To achieve an optimal testing environment, faculty will require significant development on test construction and training on item analysis to write and evaluate test items. Knowledge of testing and measurement coupled with a strong ethical compass are important for a trustworthy testing environment and educational system.
Adjunct faculty can be an asset in the classroom and clinical area as they bring a great deal of clinical and executive expertise. Adjunct faculty should be treated with respect and regard for the expertise they bring to the discipline. Adjunct faculty orientation, mentorship, and development programs are critical to adjunct engagement and success. If problems arise, direct communication, university counsel consultation, and additional mentoring are required to address any potential or actual issues. There is a persistent shortage of nurses that is precipitated in part by a shortage in nursing faculty. This issue is further compromised by the unavailability of or limited clinical placements in healthcare facilities. The lack of clinical placements forces the nursing faculty to shift the skills learning process from the healthcare environment to the clinical learning laboratory in nursing schools.
Empiric findings have identified that contextual factors influence the amount of academic dishonesty that occurs in universities. In addition, faculty members need to implement and employ such codes and policies and hold students accountable when there is academic dishonesty. It is imperative that faculty prevent academic misconduct/dishonesty in a proactive manner rather than address academic misconduct in a reactive manner—for example, by discussing the importance of doing one’s own work, by making students read and sign an integrity code at the beginning of a course, and by requiring students to sign an integrity warranty whenever they submit a paper or take a test. Detailed policies related to proctoring, academic honesty, standardized exams, and the testing environments will assist with the deterrence of academic misconduct, as will publication of what penalties the student will receive whenever an act of academic dishonesty is discovered.