Ethics defines the moral value of human conduct and the rules and principles that ought to govern it. The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU), being a publicly-funded institution, is accountable to the public and hence is committed to the maintenance of high ethical standards in all aspects of its operation. All staff members of the University are therefore expected to behave with integrity and conduct themselves honestly and in an appropriate manner. They shall comply with the relevant policies and regulations of the University when performing their duties and in their dealings with all persons in an official capacity. In addition, while academic freedom and freedom of speech are cherished and upheld at PolyU, staff members should not conduct themselves in a manner which brings, or may bring, their own reputation as a University staff member or the University itself into disrepute without reasonable excuse. This General Code of Ethics (the Code) applies to all staff members of the University. It is intended to serve as a set of guiding principles for the everyday conduct of all staff members of the University. It embodies the standards of ethical conduct which the University expects from its staff members in their behaviour, judgements and relationships with others. The Code is underpinned by the following core values and summarised into six general principles. As an aid to understanding and applying the principles, examples for the illustration of each principle are set out in the Elaborations on the General Principles.
- Core Values
The University is committed to the core values of institutional autonomy and academic freedom. Responsible exercise and enjoyment of the right to freedom of speech must however entail respect for the rights of others and compliance with the policies and regulations of the University and the laws of Hong Kong.
- General Principles
- Demonstrate Commitment to Work
A staff member shall demonstrate a sense of commitment and responsibility to all work which he/she undertakes and shall perform to the best of his/her ability.
- Be Impartial and Fair
A staff member shall strive to uphold impartiality, apply the principle of equal opportunities and fair treatment, and give recognition where due. A staff member shall not abuse his/her authority or power.
- Act with Integrity and Honesty
A staff member shall act with integrity and honesty. A staff member shall not engage in any act of falsification, distortion, misrepresentation or favouritism. A staff member shall not offer, solicit or accept advantage in association with his/her employment or make use of professional privilege or institutional resources for pursuing advantage. A staff member shall not engage in any conduct or activities which may adversely affect the University’s good name.
- Avoid and Declare Conflict of Interest
A staff member shall avoid putting himself/herself in a position that may give rise to a conflict of interest and, if involved in such a situation, shall ensure that his/her interest is disclosed and that his/her judgement in performing his/her duties will not be affected.
- Manage Confidential Information Properly
Except for in the proper performance of his/her duties and as required by law or with the prior written consent of the University, a staff member shall not use, disclose or divulge confidential information including, but not limited to, restricted University information, obtained in the course of his/her employment.
- Respect Others
A staff member shall respect the rights of others. A staff member shall not engage in any conduct which may be discriminatory.
- Demonstrate Commitment to Work
- Compliance and Breach of the Code
- Staff members should exercise sound judgement in complying with the Code, and should not compel or encourage others to act in breach of the Code. In subscribing to and abiding by the Code, a staff member is expected to take into consideration all the principles in the Code and to act in a manner consistent with the Code. Furthermore, he/she should discourage and try to prevent malpractice by others. Staff members are encouraged to report any unethical conduct of colleagues to the appropriate authorities.
- Violation of the Code may lead to disciplinary action in accordance with prevailing policies.