Code of Ethics
A special Ethics Committee at Bifröst University rules on whether the Code of Ethics has been violated. See the chapter Organisation, penalties and means of complaint.
General provisions on life, work and studies in the academic community
Members of the academic community defend the University’s honour and endeavour to conduct their work in a manner that strengthens the University’s reputation. The academic community joins forces to ensure that the University can perform its role to the fullest extent possible in the spirit of this Code of Ethics.
Students and staff of the University may criticise the University’s policies and procedures without hindrance and strive to promote the free exchange of opinions within the University and in society. Criticism shall be communicated in an objective and fair manner.
In their work and studies, members of Bifröst University shall be attentive of their responsibility to society, the environment and nature; show each other respect; and engage in sincere cooperation.
Employees shall maintain the confidentiality of students’, applicants’ and co-workers’ personal affairs. Caution shall be shown when affairs of students or co-workers are under discussion.
Students and staff shall take care that no one is subjected to discrimination based on gender, disability, age, religion, beliefs, racial or ethnic origin, sexual orientation or other parameters. The University makes reasonable adjustments to accommodate different needs, as applicable.
Bullying is not tolerated in the academic community, nor gendered and sexual harassment and violence of any kind. Witnesses to discrimination, violence or harassment shall notify university authorities, in consultation with victims.
Teaching, research and learning
Teachers, researchers and students engage in the quest for knowledge with integrity and objectivity. They shall emphasise professional practices, critical thinking and factual debate.
Teachers, researchers and students work according to their own convictions, independently of with whom they are collaborating or who is financing their activities. All interests that might arouse suspicions of non-objectivity must be divulged.
Teachers, researchers and students shall not present the intellectual property of others as their own. They respect copyright and cite sources according to accepted scientific methods.
Teachers, researchers and students are critical of themselves and exercise caution in their work. They do not falsify or distort information, data or research findings and avoid mistakes and errors of all kinds. They shall acknowledge any mistakes and do all in their power to make amends for them.
Teachers shall divulge any connections with students that could disqualify them from making decisions on course assessment or other matters of potential importance.
On teachers and teaching
Teachers contribute to student education through careful guidance, appropriate professional demands, encouragement and good example. They conduct their teaching, guidance and training in accordance with the University’s rules on teaching and examinations.
Teachers respect students’ rights and are guided by students’ interests.
Teachers make fair demands of their students and conduct assessment of studies with care. If a suspicion of student misconduct arises, teachers are responsible for pursuing the matter in accordance with the rules of the University.
Teachers provide students with timely information on the demands that they or the University make of students. They shall honour their obligations towards students and deliver grades and feedback within the expected time frame under the rules of the University.
Teachers are conscious of their position as mentors and role models and shall not misuse their position in interactions with students.
Researchers and research
The University, the Board of Governors, administrators and employees shall respect the full freedom of research and expression of academic staff.
Employees who engage in research and academic work have a duty to maintain and impart their professional knowledge. They thereby contribute to the advancement of their discipline.
Those who conduct research shall respect and acknowledge others’ contributions to research. They shall not appropriate students’ ideas and shall always note student contributions to research. They shall ensure that the interests of research participants are protected in full.
Teachers, researchers and (where applicable) students shall publish their findings in a public venue. They shall publish their findings under their own name as academics at the University or in the name of the research institutes at the University. Individual employees may not express the opinion of Bifröst University, except as appropriate in the context of their role or positional authority.
Researchers working at the University shall respect the moral rights of the University and acknowledge their position at the University in publishing research on which they have worked while permanent employees of the University, unless they are clear reasons to do otherwise.
Students and learning
Students treat their teachers, other employees and fellow students with consideration, civility and respect.
Students shall behave honestly in completing assignments, theses and examinations and encourage their fellow students to do the same.
Students shall always use valid documents in making applications, such as valid certificates, diplomas and references relating to their studies or work.
Employees and services
Employees shall strive to demonstrate good will, fairness and respect towards students and co-workers.
Employees shall at all times provide students and colleagues with pertinent information concerning them according to the best of their knowledge, and they shall take care to ensure that information is as correct as possible. Employees shall not make unsubstantiated claims. They shall acknowledge limitations to their knowledge and seek to obtain further information or refer queries to appropriate parties.
Employees and students shall be careful to take good care of assets or valuables of the University with which they are entrusted or have at their disposal due to their work or their studies. Such goods may not be used for private gain.
Organisation, penalties and means of complaint
A special Ethics Committee operates at Bifröst University, which rules on whether the Code of Ethics has been violated. The Ethics Committee consists of three individuals who neither work nor study at Bifröst University. The Rector appoints the Ethics Committee, upon receiving the approval of the University Council. It is permissible to cooperate with other universities in matters of the appointment of the Ethics Committees and the development of the Code of Ethics.
The Committee receives comments and complaints from parties inside and outside the University. Opinions of the Committee extend to employees, students and others who play a role in the academic community and their actions within the academic community, both inside and outside the University. The Committee does not initiate cases itself.
In handling of a case, the Committee shall be mindful of the principles of the Administrative Procedures Act on data collection, moderation and the right to object.
Rulings of the Committee shall be reasoned and categorically state whether a violation of the Code of Ethics has occurred or not. The Committee may also submit an opinion as to whether specific behaviour or conduct is worthy of scrutiny, even if it may not constitute a violation of the Code of Ethics.
Violations of the Code of Ethics will lead to a reprimand for a first offence, but serious or repeat violations of the Bifröst University Regulations or other rules of the University may also be punishable by expulsion from the University or termination of employment.
The Committee does not decide on penalties for violations. Penalties are determined by the Rector or other designated parties within the University’s administration.
Processing and entry into force
This Code of Ethics enters into force upon being signed by the Rector, following the appropriate consultation process within the University.
All new employees and students shall be familiarised with the Code of Ethics. The Code of Ethics shall be accessible on the University’s website.
The Ethics Committee consists of the following individuals, who also constitute the Ethics Committee of the Agricultural University of Iceland.
Þórdís Ingadóttir, chair // Associate Professor at Reykjavík University
Daði Már Kristófersson // Professor at University of Iceland
Jón Ásgeir Kalmansson // Adjunct Lecturer at University of Iceland
Reviewed at a meeting of the Board of Governors of Bifröst University, May 9th 2019
Reviewed at a meeting of the University Council, May 15th 2019
Approved by the Rector, June 4th 2019
This is a translation of the document Siðareglur. In the event of any discrepancies between the translation and the original text, the original shall take precedence.
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