Adopted March 2009

The Code of Ethics adopted by Palmer College of Chiropractic comprises ethical principles and standards of conduct. The ethical principles are primarily drawn from the standards set forth by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) for the topics related to academic inquiry, students, colleagues, college and community. A parallel statement was drafted to cover patient care and other important considerations of the teaching clinics, an area not explicitly addressed by AAUP. Each ethical principle is accompanied by standards of conduct, which provide further elaboration and context to the ethical principles. Although weighted to the roles and responsibilities of faculty, instructional staff and administrators working in academic affairs, the principles and standards of this Code outline expected behavioral standards for all College employees.

Palmer College and its employees are obligated to uphold and enforce the Code of Ethics. Departures from the Code may give rise to disciplinary action by the College, and will be adjudicated in accordance with relevant language of the collective bargaining agreements, staff handbook faculty handbook, or administrative contracts specific to the College employee(s) involved.

Academic Inquiry

Ethical Principle

The AAUP Standards state:
"Professors, guided by a deep conviction of the worth and dignity of the advancement of knowledge, recognize the special responsibilities placed upon them …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."1

Standards of Conduct

  • Works continuously to improve the quality of our collective and individual contributions to the institution.
  • Exhibits integrity and intellectual honesty in academic work.
  • Holds the highest of academic standards and grows professionally by pursuing opportunities to advance in knowledge and insight.
  • Avoids conflicts of interest.
  • Follows accepted College protocols for research and scientific inquiry.


Ethical Principle

The AAUP Standards state:
"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 ensure that their evaluations of students reflect 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."1

Standards of Conduct

  • Provides an environment conducive to learning, free from exploitation, harassment, discrimination, intimidation or humiliation.
  • Interacts and evaluate students with fairness and respect.
  • Respects the confidentiality of student academic performance, demographic and personal information.
  • Understands that personal employee-student relationships are to be avoided and must be disclosed to the College.
  • Does not exploit students for private advantage.


Ethical Principle

The AAUP Standards state:
"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 debate and strive to be objective in their professional judgment of colleagues. Professors accept their share of faculty responsibilities for the governance of their institution."1

Standards of Conduct

  • Treats others with fairness and respect, and conducts oneself with dignity and restraint.
  • Does not engage in threatening or abusive behavior or language, verbal harassment or intimidation of other members of the Palmer community.
  • Offers fair and objective critique of another's professional work when asked or required to do so.
  • Conducts promotion and hiring practices that are fair and just.
  • Actively seeks ways of working together with other College employees to address the challenging issues that face the institution.
  • Does not misrepresent the credentials, views or work of other employees.


Ethical Principle

The AAUP Standards state:
"As members of an academic institution, professors seek above all to be effective teachers and scholars … 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."1

Standards of Conduct

  • Does not mislead or misrepresent facts to the College.
  • Does not interfere with College plans and practices.
  • Assumes personal responsibility for being informed of College and division policies; aspects of the Collective Bargaining Agreements, Handbooks, or contracts; and other information related to College employment.
  • Proactively reports any misinformation or errors regarding pay, benefits or personal data to the College.
  • Places high priority on contributing to the College community through involvement in events, programs, committees, advisory groups and other College service opportunities.
  • Does not engage in outside activities that conflict with the responsibilities and duties that accompany a College appointment.


Ethical Principle

The AAUP Standards state:
"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."1

Standards of Conduct

  • In their communities, employees will avoid misrepresentation of personal views as those belonging to the College.
  • Consider the effects of their public comments concerning the College and are accurate whenever accounts of the College are given.
  • Intentionally false statements are not be made by any College employee.
  • Keeps in mind the impact to the College when making decisions of scholarship, teaching, service, leaves of absence, or future employment.
  • Seeks opportunities to foster positive relationships between the College and the communities one serves.
  • Acts and speaks as a responsible citizen.

Teaching Clinics

Ethical Principle

With regard to teaching clinics, the Palmer College community endorses that all employees providing patient-centered care and student education in Palmer College Clinics will be guided by professional competence, honesty and by doing only that which serves the patient's best interest. In service to their patients and to their students, employees will hold inviolable the state statutes and rules regulating the practice of chiropractic and the policies and procedures of the College and its Clinics.

Standards of Conduct

  • Understands, anticipates and is responsive to the needs of patients and students, treating them with dignity and respect.
  • Maintains and respects the doctor-patient relationship, including appropriate professional boundaries.
  • Facilitates the involvement of patients in decisions regarding their health care and respects their right to make those decisions.
  • Practices sound clinical judgment while providing quality, best clinical practices-based care to those requesting one's services.
  • Honors the Palmer Clinics' stated provisions for patients' and students' rights, respecting the needs for privacy, security and confidentiality.
  • Continually strives to improve clinical competency through the employment of and contribution to scholarship.
  • Accurately documents patient care in a timely and consistent manner.
  • Utilizes appropriate diagnosis and treatment codes to sufficiently reflect the findings of the patient encounter, the services provided and the necessity for care.
  • Accurately represents Palmer Clinics' services in promotions, advertising and educational efforts.

1 Statement on Professional Ethics. American Association of University Professors. 

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