Message from the Provost Faculty Success

Faculty Rights and Responsibilities

January 25, 2023
Academic Strategic Communications
Faculty Rights and Responsibilities

Editor’s note: The following message was sent today via email from Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Kimberly Andrews Espy and Faculty Senate Chair René Zenteno to all faculty:

Dear Colleagues,

We are excited to announce the publication of UTSA’s Faculty Rights and Responsibilities, which is a shared statement of our commitment to upholding the ethical, professional, and legal standards faculty use in their decision-making and actions to perform their jobs. Faculty privileges and protections rest on the mutually supportive relationships between their special professional expertise, academic freedom, and the central functions of the university, which are also the source of the faculty’s professional responsibilities.

Faculty Rights and Responsibilities is a result of a process that began with the university’s Campus Climate Survey in 2020. Findings from that survey indicated it would be beneficial to further elaborate standards of professional conduct. A review of our existing policies and documents confirmed this need. As such, a working group was convened by Academic Affairs through the division of Faculty Success that included faculty of all ranks and representation from faculty senators, department chairs, and associate deans. 

The working group consisted of the following faculty members:

  • Deepa Chandrasekaran
  • Jill Fleuriet
  • Marcio Giacomoni
  • Richard Hartley
  • Chad Mahood
  • Kelly Nash
  • Michael Newell
  • Jon Taylor
  • Heather Trepal

The working group met throughout Spring 2022 and, over the course of several discussions, verified through consensus that minimally acceptable standards do exist and that faculty can be held to these standards. The group examined conduct-related documents and policies at our peer institutions and other Texas universities and developed the draft of Faculty Rights and Responsibilities, which was shared with Academic Council and the Office of Inclusive Excellence for review during Summer 2022. The UTSA Faculty Senate had the opportunity to participate in the review process, and the Faculty Senate Executive Committee provided their comments and support in November 2022.

We thank the working group for its diligent work to create a document that further puts our values into practice, sets high standards of excellence, and fosters a climate in which all faculty are valued for their professional expertise in teaching, research and service.