Article 17: Rights, Responsibilities and Professional Relationships

17.01 An appointment within Dalhousie University, and especially the right of academic freedom as provided in Article 3, carries with it a corresponding responsibility on the part of Members to use their freedom responsibly, with due concern for the rights of others, for the duties appropriate to a university appointment, and for the welfare of society. Members have a continuing responsibility to maintain intellectual vitality, to contribute to the work of their Departments, Schools, or Colleges and Faculties, and of the University, and to ensure that students have reasonable and adequate access to their attention.

Professional Ethics

17.02 It is the responsibility of Members to be fair to their students, to foster a free exchange of ideas, to avoid unjust or improper discrimination, and to avoid any exploitation of students, or other employees.

17.03 Members have the obligation to defend the right of their colleagues to academic freedom. It is unethical for them to act so as deliberately to infringe that freedom. Members must strive to be fair and objective when presenting a professional judgment of a colleague and refrain from unjust criticism of the character or competence of colleagues.

17.04 Subject to Article 18, Members have the responsibility to respect the confidentiality of information about a colleague gained during participation in a committee dealing with such matters as appointment, reappointment, promotion, tenure, continuing appointment, appointment without term, dismissal or in the discharge of other administrative duties or responsibilities.

17.05 Members shall not reveal information about students, whether concerning their academic progress, their personal life, or their political or religious views, except in the normal provision of grades or references within Dalhousie University or to another educational institution, or as may be authorized by the student concerned.

17.06 Members have the responsibility to acknowledge in their scholarly lectures and publications academic debts to colleagues and students. It is unethical to exploit the unpaid work of colleagues or students for personal gain.


17.07 The duties of Members holding appointments as professional librarians, instructors or professional counsellors are described respectively in Article 11, Article 12 and Article 13. For Members holding other appointments, Clauses 17.08 to 17.21, inclusive, apply.

17.08 The duties of Members will, unless otherwise specified in a Member’s letter of appointment, normally fall within the following categories:

(a) undergraduate and/or graduate teaching;

(b) research, scholarly, artistic and/or professional activity;

(c) academic administration within Dalhousie University;

(d) professional responsibilities outside Dalhousie University.

17.09 The duties of Members appointed to one of the research ranks specified in Article 10 may be adjusted to take due account of any special responsibilities associated with the research appointment. The duties of Members appointed to an academic administrative position as Chairperson or Head of a department shall be adjusted by agreement between the Member and the appropriate Dean to take due account of the special responsibilities associated with the academic administrative appointment. The duties of Continuing Education Members shall be adjusted to take account of the special duties and responsibilities for Continuing Education Members as described in Clause 37.05.

Annual Reports

17.10 Members have a responsibility to give an account of their duties described in Clause 17.08 (or in Article 11, 12 or 13 for professional librarians, instructors or professional counsellors respectively) by completing and returning such an annual report as may be requested by the Dean or Vice-President within reasonable time limits as specified by the Dean or Vice-President. The Parties agree that standardized annual accounts are not sufficient documentation of Members’ career development, neither are they sufficient documentation in consideration for promotion, tenure, or reappointment, and they shall not be used as such.


17.11 Members with teaching responsibilities have an obligation to make all reasonable efforts to develop and maintain their scholarly competence and effectiveness as teachers within the area of expertise in which they are employed, to prepare, organize, and present their subject matter so as to facilitate comprehension by their students, and to revise that subject matter when appropriate.

17.12 While it is recognized that there shall be consultation with and among Members on the assignment of teaching duties, once such duties have been assigned, it is the responsibility of the Member to teach the assigned courses to students duly registered in them in accordance with schedules and curricula as approved from time to time by the Department, School, College, Faculty or Senate.

17.13 Teaching responsibilities include reasonable availability for consultation with students out of class or laboratory hours. Members have a responsibility to inform students of their availability, and to endeavour to provide periods of time which are likely to be convenient for the students. Supervision of students, their research and practical work, thesis preparation and participation in the evaluation of theses, especially in the case of graduate teaching, are integral components of teaching responsibilities and Members’ workloads.

17.14 Members shall comply with procedures and deadlines for reporting and reviewing the grades of their students and with other regulations, procedures and deadlines as may be established or authorized by the Senate, Faculties, Schools, Colleges or Departments of Dalhousie University, provided these are consistent with this Collective Agreement and are published.

17.15 Members shall accept responsibility for participation in the academic operations of the University, including the supervision of examinations, academic counselling and registration of students.

17.16 Except as may be provided for in this Collective Agreement, or approved or authorized by the Senate or the Board, or for valid academic reasons, or for reasons beyond the Member’s control, Members shall not cancel or terminate scheduled instruction. Any cancellation or termination of scheduled instruction shall be reported to an appropriate administrative officer of the University, and every effort shall be made by the Member to notify the students in advance.

Research, Scholarly, Artistic and/or Professional Activity

17.17 All research, scholarly, artistic and/or professional activity conducted by Members in the course of their duties shall have as its primary objectives the increase of knowledge and understanding, artistic creation, the improvement of the scholarly or professional competence of the Member as a member of the academic staff of the University, and the improvement of teaching. When research, scholarly, artistic and/or professional activities are reviewed and assessed in relation to reappointment, tenure, promotion, or salary increases, they shall be assessed in relation to these primary objectives. Such review and assessment shall likewise take due account of the quality and not merely the quantity of such activities.

17.18 Unless otherwise specified in a Member’s letter of appointment, Members have the right and responsibility to devote a reasonable proportion of their time to research, scholarly, artistic and/or professional activities. Insofar as it is within its power, the University will endeavour to facilitate these activities.

17.19 It is the responsibility of Members to make the results of their research or scholarly activities available when appropriate for review and assessment in connection with reappointment, tenure, promotion, or salary increases. It is agreed that research, scholarly, artistic and/or professional activities may take a variety of diverse forms and contributions to the University may arise from a variety of accomplishments including, but not limited to, publications, unpublished papers, transcripts or tapes of broadcast material, films, and other art forms as appropriate to the subject matter of the Member’s work. Research carried out under contract may be considered as evidence of the Member’s scholarly activity or reputation, and it will be assessed as research if the results of the work are available to others and meet acceptable standards of scholarship as judged by peers.

Academic Administration Within Dalhousie University

17.20 The Parties recognize that the self-governance of the University depends upon the willing participation of Members in the activities of their Departments, Schools, Colleges, Faculties, and in the Senate and other bodies to which a Member may be elected or appointed. Insofar as such is consistent with their primary responsibilities in teaching and research, Members have the right and the responsibility to participate in such bodies when called upon to do so or when elected to such bodies. Service to the Association shall be treated neither more nor less favourably by Departments and other units of Dalhousie University than committee and similar duties performed for Departments, Faculties and Dalhousie University generally, for purposes of assessing and evaluating a Member’s contribution to academic administration within Dalhousie University.

Professional Responsibilities Outside Dalhousie University

17.21 Subject to Clause 17.22, Members have the right, and in some cases the responsibility, to participate in the activities of appropriate professional associations, learned societies or other bodies whose work is supportive of research, scholarship, artistic creation and/or professional development, insofar as such participation is consistent with their primary responsibilities within Dalhousie University or as may be provided elsewhere in this Collective Agreement.

17.22 In statements outside the University, Members shall not claim to speak on behalf of Dalhousie University unless specifically authorized to do so.