The Keck School of Medicine of USC’s Faculty Council has created a new code of professional conduct for faculty in an effort to create an environment of civility and respect for all members of the school’s community.

The Faculty Council, made up of nine elected members representing the clinical and basic science faculty, serves as a consultative body with the authority to survey the faculty and make studies, reports and recommendations on issues having a significant bearing on the work or status of the faculty.

“Members of the Faculty Council collaborated with the vice dean for faculty affairs to write this code of professional conduct,” explained Rima Jubran, MD, Faculty Council president and associate professor of clinical pediatrics. “We felt that is was important to clearly articulate the school’s expectations for the professional conduct of faculty in an effort to promote a safe and respectful work and educational environment for all.”

The code calls for faculty to treat everyone with respect, civility and fairness, and without bias or discrimination based on age, gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity; to teach, conduct research, and care for patients with competence, honesty and the highest ethical standards; to meet all professional responsibilities and obligations, and assure personal accountability for achieving performance expectations; to maintain all licenses and certifications required for their positions, participate in education and training as necessary to maintain professional competence, and be fit for duty during work time, including on-call responsibilities; and to complete all required university and clinically mandated training as appropriate for their job duties in a timely manner.

Judy Garner, PhD, vice dean for faculty affairs, said, “Our faculty serve not only as scholars, educators, and clinicians but also as mentors and role models for our medical students, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, residents, and clinical fellows. Since medical residents and students are asked to abide by codes of conduct, it makes sense their mentors and role models, the faculty, would also have a professional code of conduct. In addition, many of our peer institutions have these codes and we felt it was important to reflect that we all shared the same standards.”

Garner said the code of professional conduct was well received by faculty. The full code can be found at online at

— L. Alexis Young