Principles of the Brown University Community

We, as members of the Brown University community – faculty, undergraduates, graduate and medical students, and staff – are dedicated to supporting and maintaining a scholarly community in which all share together in the common enterprise of learning.  As a central aim, Brown University promotes intellectual inquiry through vigorous discourse, both oral and written.

The fundamental principles that must necessarily undergird this aim include respect for the integrity of the academic process; individual integrity and self-respect; respect for the freedoms and privileges of others; and respect for University resources.  In becoming a part of Brown University, we accept the rights and responsibilities of membership in the University’s academic and social community, and assume the responsibility to uphold the University’s principles.

Respect for the Integrity of the Academic Process

The rights and responsibilities that accompany academic freedom are at the heart of the intellectual purposes of the University.  Our conduct as community members should protect and promote the University’s pursuit of its academic mission.  We are all, therefore, expected to conduct ourselves with integrity in our learning, teaching and research, and in the ways in which we support those endeavors.

Individual Integrity

In order to ensure that the University can dedicate itself fully to its academic and educational vision, it is expected that an individual’s personal integrity will be reflected not only in honest and responsible actions but also in a willingness to offer direction to others whose actions may be harmful to themselves or the community.  The University expects that members of the Brown community will be truthful and forthright.  The University expects that community members will not engage in behavior that endangers their own sustained effectiveness or that has serious ramifications for their own safety, welfare, academic well-being or professional obligations, or for that of others.

Respect for the Freedoms and Privileges of Others

We strive for a sense of community in which the individual growth of all members is advanced through the cultivation of mutual respect, tolerance, and understanding.  Brown University values and encourages individuality while also affirming the community dimensions of academic life. A socially responsible community provides a structure within which individual freedoms may flourish without threatening the privileges or freedoms of other individuals or groups.

The University is committed to honest, open, and equitable engagement with racial, religious, gender, ethnic, sexual orientation and other differences.  The University seeks to promote an environment that in its diversity is integral to the academic, educational and community purposes of the institution.

Respect for University Resources

All community members must respect the general resources and physical property of the University.  Such resources are assets in which community members have a vested interest, as these resources specifically support the institutional mission.

Standards of Conduct

The principles stated above are values that hold for the entire University community. Specific standards of conduct and procedures for redress of violations of those standards for each segment of the community can be found in the following University documents:

The standards and procedures for all students may be found in the Codes for Academic and Student Conduct, published by the Office of Student Life and the Dean of the College. All students are expected to have read the Codes for Academic and Student Conduct, to be familiar with the principles, and to sign a statement acknowledging their responsibility for the codes.

Medical students should look also to the Medical Student Standards of Behavior in the Medical Student Handbook, set forth by the Brown Medical School, for additional information.  Graduate students should also look to the Academic and Student Conduct Codes: Graduate Student Edition, published by the Graduate School, for additional information.

For specific information on rights and responsibilities, faculty should consult the Handbook of Academic Administration, which puts into practice the principles outlined in the document Faculty Rules and Regulations.

Policies and procedures guiding staff conduct may be found in the Employee Responsibilities and Rights Guidebook, provided by the Human Resources department.