Standard II - Ethics and Integrity

Ethics and integrity are central, indispensable, and defining hallmarks of effective higher education institutions.  In all activities, whether internal or external, an institution must be faithful to its mission, honor its contracts and commitments, adhere to its policies, and represent itself truthfully.

Assemble the following, as appropriate:

  • Recruitment and marketing materials (printed and electronic)
  • Public disclosure information required by the Commission and government entities (printed and electronic)
  • Institutional by-laws, guidelines, and policies.
  • Handbooks (student, faculty, employee, etc.)
  • Processes and procedures relevant to ethics and integrity

This standard includes the following Criteria, which explicate the standard and specify particular characteristics or qualities that are incorporated in the standard. The Criteria are not a simple checklist. When an institution does not demonstrate evidence of a particular Criterion, it may demonstrate through alternative information that it meets the standard.

Standard II Criteria Documents, Processes, and Procedures

1.  Commitment to academic freedom, intellectual freedom, freedom of expression, and respect for intellectual property rights. 

2.  A climate that fosters respect among students, faculty, staff, and administration from a range of diverse backgrounds, ideas, and perspectives. 

3.  A grievance policy that is documented and disseminated to address complaints or grievances raised by students, faculty, or staff. The institution's policies and procedures are fair and impartial, and assure that grievances are addressed promptly, appropriately, and equitably. 

4.  The avoidance of conflict of interest or the appearance of such conflict in all activities and among all constituents. 

5.  Fair and impartial practices in the hiring, evaluation, promotion, discipline and separation of employees.  

6.  Honesty and truthfulness in public relations announcements, advertisements, recruiting and admissions materials and practices, as well as in internal communications.  

7.  As appropriate to mission, services or programs in place:

a.  to promote affordability and accessibility, and;

b.  to enable students to understand funding sources  and options, value received for cost, and methods to make informed decisions about incurring debt.

8.  Compliance with all applicable federal, state, and Commission reporting policies, regulations, and requirements to include reporting regarding:

a.  The full disclosure of information on institution-wide assessments, graduation, retention, certification and licensure or licensing board pass rates;

b.  The institution's compliance with the Commission's Requirements of Affiliation;

c.  Substantive changes affecting institutional mission, goals, programs, operations, sites, and other material issues which must be disclosed in a timely and accurate fashion;

d.  The institution's compliance with the Commission's policies.


9.  Periodic assessment of ethics and integrity as evidenced in institutional policies, processes, practices, and the manner in which these are implemented.