The University

Mission Statement

Cal Poly fosters teaching, scholarship, and service in a learn-by-doing environment where students and faculty are partners in discovery. As a polytechnic university, Cal Poly promotes the application of theory to practice. As a comprehensive institution, Cal Poly provides a balanced education in the arts, sciences, and technology, while encouraging cross-disciplinary and co-curricular experiences. As an academic community, Cal Poly values free inquiry, cultural and intellectual diversity, mutual respect, civic engagement, and social and environmental responsibility.

Faculty Code of Ethics

Cal Poly has adopted the AAUP Statement on Professional Ethics as the Faculty Code of Ethics for this campus. 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 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 their freedom of inquiry.

As teachers, professors encourage the free pursuit of learning in their students. They hold before them the best scholarly and ethical standards of their discipline. 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 reflects 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.

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, professors 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.

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. 

As members of their community, professors have the rights and obligations of other citizens. Professors measure the urgency of these obligations in the light of their responsibilities to their subject, 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.

Academic Freedom

Cal Poly recognizes and supports the principle of academic freedom, by which each instructional faculty member, researcher, librarian and counselor has the right to teach, to conduct research, and to publish material relevant to that faculty member's discipline, even when such material is controversial. The University also guarantees to its faculty the same rights shared by all citizens which include:

  • the right to free expression,
  • the right to assemble, and
  • the right to criticize and seek revision of the institution’s regulations.

At the same time, the faculty should recognize an equally binding obligation to perform their academic duties responsibly and to comply with the internal regulations of the University.

Each faculty member is expected to recognize the right of free expression of other members of the university community; intolerance and personal abuse are unacceptable.  Faculty shall not claim to be representing the University unless authorized to do so.  Cal Poly endorses the nationally recognized definition of academic freedom from the American Association of University Professors (AAUP): The 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure with 1970 Interpretative Notes, as follows:

  1. Teachers1 are entitled to full freedom in research and in the publication of results, subject to the adequate performance of their other academic duties; but research, for pecuniary return, should be based upon an understanding with the authorities of the institution.
  2. Teachers are entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing their subject, but they should be careful not to introduce into their teaching controversial subject matter which has no relation to the subject.2 Limitations of academic freedom because of religious or other aims of the institution should be clearly stated in writing at the time of appointment.
  3. College and university teachers are citizens, members of a learned profession, and officers of an educational institution. When they speak or write as citizens, they should be free from institutional censorship or discipline, but their special position in the community imposes special obligations. As scholars and educational officers, they should remember that the public may judge their profession and institution by their utterances. Hence, they should at all times be accurate, should exercise appropriate restraints, should show respect for the opinions of others, and should make every effort to indicate they are not speaking for the institution.
  • 1 The footnote from the 1940 Statement states: “The word ‘teacher’ as used in this document is understood to include the investigator who is attached to an academic institution without teaching duties.” Reference: AAUP: The 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure with 1970 Interpretative Notes, adopted by the Council of the American Association of University Professors in April 1970 and endorsed by the Fifty-sixth Annual Meeting as Association policy,
  • 2The footnote from the 1970 Interpretative Notes on the AAUP Statement reads: "The intent of this statement is not to discourse what is 'controversial.'  Controversy is at the heart of free academic inquiry which the entire statement is designed to focus.  The passage serves to underscore the need for teachers to avoid persistently intruding material which has no relation to the subject."

Academic Senate

The Academic Senate office is located in Building 38, Room 143 (756-1258). The Academic Senate participates in the formulation, recommendation, and continuing review of the general policies affecting educational matters and academic issues.

Policies, Regulations, and Collective Bargaining

The University operates under the guidance of the Board of Trustees of the California State University. The Trustees have established regulations in Title 5 of the California Administrative Code. In addition, University policies and procedures are published in the Campus Administrative Policies (CAP).

The Higher Education Employer-Employee Relations Act (HEERA) provides that wages, working hours, and terms and conditions of employment are to be negotiated between the Board of Trustees and the collective bargaining agent. The California Faculty Association is the exclusive representative for the faculty unit. The Faculty Unit 3 Agreement is between the CSU Board of Trustees and the California Faculty Association (otherwise known as the Faculty Contract or Memorandum of Understanding--MOU). The agreement applies to Faculty Unit 3 employees (including coaches, counselors (SSP-AR), instructional faculty, lecturers, and librarians).

Employee Relations Bulletin Boards

Employee Relations Bulletin Boards have been installed throughout the campus to display materials regarding collective bargaining. The locations of these bulletin boards are listed below in order of the easiest route for a single person to post along:

  • Human Resources; Bldg. 01(Next to Room 109/110)
  • Faculty Offices East; Bldg. 25(Next to Room 230)
  • Fisher Science; Bldg. 33 (Opposite Room 263)
  • Faculty Offices North; Bldg. 47 Corridor 36E (Across from Room 31)
  • Erhart Agriculture; Bldg. 10 (North of Room 138)
  • Facility Services; Bldg. 70 (Wall across from men’s bathroom in main hall)
  • Grounds Building; West of Bldg. 70 (Past electrical shop, next to entrance)
  • Farm Shop; Bldg. 9 (Next to Entrance)
  • College of Agriculture, Food, & Environmental Sciences; Bldg. 11 (Next to Room 228)
  • Kennedy Library; Bldg. 35 (Opposite Room 109, left of elevator)
  • College of Engineering; Bldg. 13 (Next to Room 220)
  • Orfalea College of Business; Bldg. 3 (Next to Room 427)
  • Walter F. Dexter Building; Bldg. 34 (Next to Room 250)
  • Labor Council Office; Bldg. 38 (Room 141)
  • Engineering East; Bldg. 20-1 (Next to Room 212)
  • Frank E. Pilling Computer Science; Bldg. 14 (Next to Room 111)
  • Graphic Arts; Bldg. 26 (Near Room 212B)
  • Power Plant; Bldg. 40 (Employee Break Room near Boiler Room)
  • Health Center; Bldg. 27 (Room 181)
  • Physical Education; Bldg. 43 (Adjacent to Room 451/452)
  • Davidson Music Center; Bldg. 45 (Opposite Room 114)
  • Residence Hall Services Office; Bldg 110 (Tenaya Hall—in the back)
  • University Housing; Bldg. 31 (Room 107)

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