Professional Conduct

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Teachers College, Columbia University
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The Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Community Affairs

Civility Policies

Rights, Responsibilities and Guidelines for Professional Conduct for Faculty and Staff


Expression.Employees have the right to express themselves within their work areas as long as the expression does not disrupt the business of the College.For example, small religious pictures or ethnic clothing are usually acceptable but the use of a walkman/discman is not.

Professional development.Employees have the right to seek training and additional work-related skills.The College will pursue training and staff development strategies within its resources.

Problem Resolution.Employees have access to problem resolution in procedures. Procedures for such disputes are contained in "various appropriate" policy documents available through Human Resources.

Safety.Employees have the right to a safe and healthy workplace and to be informed of any hazardous working conditions.

Civility.Employees have the right to be treated with civility by supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates.The College will pursue available strategies within its resources for reducing tensions that may cause incivility.

Freedom from violence.Employees have the right to be protected from violent behavior.Violent behavior toward faculty, staff, students, or visitors to the College is neither condoned nor acceptable.Such behavior may provide immediate grounds for dismissal for cause and legal action.

Freedom from sexual harassment.The employee has the right to work without sexual harassment.The College has a responsibility to educate its staff about the College's sexual harassment policy, and the procedures used under this policy to protect accused and accuser. 

Freedom from discrimination.The employee has the right to be treated without bias. The College has the responsibility to treat with equal concern and fairness all persons without regard to their race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, citizenship status, veteran status, disability, or any other criterion specified by federal, state or local laws.



Basic Expectations.

To ensure individual well-being, professional growth and a positive campus environment, all employees are expected to: 

  • Use their skills and training to perform to the best of their abilities.
  • Exercise initiative and creativity in seeking better and more efficient ways of getting their jobs done.
  • Respect the rights of all members of the College community.
  • Comply with safety rules and exercise common sense to ensure a safe work environment.
  • Conduct themselves in a manner that reflects favorably on the College.
  • Act with honesty, integrity and professionalism.
  • Cooperate respectfully with co-workers and all members of the College community within the limits of their discretion.
  • Serve students, clients, community members, trustees, visitors, and guests with courtesy and concern.
  • Observe the rules and procedures of the College and the department in which they work.Employees are also expected to respect and observe the rules of other departments with which they interact when these rules are brought to their attention.
  • Telephone etiquette.Employees are required minimally to answer all calls with their name and the name of the department.
  • Practice good personal hygiene, and exercise moderation in clothing, hairstyles and general appearance.

College Services Available for Personal Use

TELEPHONE. College telephones are for use in the conduct of College business.Personal telephone calls should be limited to those which are absolutely necessary and should be as brief as possible.

All calls made are listed monthly by extension.Employees should identify all personal calls on these lists and return them to the Telephone Office.These calls are then charged on employee accounts.Because of paperwork costs, monthly personal bills less than one dollar will not be charged to the employee's account.All personal calls should be noted whether or not the total exceeds one dollar.[Note, because of TC's billing system, all calls that ring for more than 20 seconds--about five rings--are billed.]

Personal calls are calls that do not relate to Teachers College business.Family situations not caused by conditions at Teachers College may result in personal calls.Changes in working hours authorized by Teachers College may result in calls that should be charged to the department.

For more information, please contact the Office of Telecommunications

Location: 54 Thorndike Hall

Telephone number: (212) 678-3456

Office Hours: 9am-5pm