Frederick University aspires to abide by the strictest policies and practices related to the ethos and professional ethical conduct stemming from its vision statement. It has put in place a series of policies and directives that serve its mission as summarized below:
Inclusion in Governance
The university strongly believes in inclusive representation of its community in the operations at various levels. This is clearly embedded in its Charter which implements the following principles:
- all academic bodies (Departments, Schools, Senate) are headed by elected representatives
- in all bodies of governance adequate representation from students is present
- the Senate, the supreme academic body, comprises solely of students and elected academics with the exception for the inclusion of the Director of Administration and Finance
- at the University Council, the supreme administrative body, there is equal representation between appointed members and elected representatives from students, academics and administrative personnel.
To succeed in its mission it is paramount that the University allows the free and open exchange of ideas and it is thus committed to upholding the values of academic freedom and freedom of expression. These values are specifically safeguarded in the University’s Charter under article 4(a) which specifies that all members of the university community can develop new ideas without fear of sanctions or censorship and article 4(b) which specifies that all members of the university can freely express themselves. Therefore, the University policy explicitly specifies that all faculty members may freely pursue any intellectual or artistic enquiry and can thus publish or exhibit their work and intellectual endeavors without being subject to censorship or intimidation. This freedom is extended to academic practices for teaching purposes where both faculty and students are freely allowed to express their opinions. Furthermore, members of the community are allowed and encouraged to express their opinions and beliefs in the public domain freely as long as they do so in their personal capacity and not representing the University. It is clarified that this freedom is not without limits as defined by the current Laws; for example, speech that is libelous, slanderous, incites violence, harassment of individuals or minorities and so forth is not permitted. In such cases and when public speech is deemed purposefully wrong or misleading and brings the organization to disrepute may lead to disciplinary action.
Stemming from the policy of academic freedom, the University is committed to serve as a beacon of free thought and free speech and allows its premises and functions to be used as an open societal platform for promotion and exchange of ideas by various formally or informally organized bodies, both within the confines of the community as well as the society at large. The University reserves the right to deny platform to actions that are deemed unlawful and/or incite hate or violence.
Academic Integrity refers to the obligation of all parties involved in the academic process in acting with the values of honesty, respect, fairness, trust and responsibility. It involves the generation, use, and communication of information and ideas in an ethical, honest and responsible manner. Academic Integrity constitutes a core value for Frederick University and it is thus committed to ensuring that the highest standard of Academic Integrity are maintained.
The Academic Integrity Policy of the University: a) promotes the development of Academic Integrity culture among the University community, including the students, academics and the administrative staff, b) supports the development of Academic Integrity awareness, c) provides the mechanisms and procedures for the prevention and detection of academic misconduct and d) provides the framework for disciplinary measures and actions for academic misconduct.
A detailed document describing the Academic Integrity Policy of the University is available to the students and the personnel through the university portal. Detailed information on various matters pertaining to academic integrity, including use of software and other IPR, plagiarism policies, use of antiplagiarism tools, are transparently available to students and consist of parts of Course Outlines provided to students at the start of each course.
Clearly, for the application of any disciplinary action related to violations of academic integrity regulations due process is followed including the right to audience and appeal by the accused party.
Equal Opportunities – No discrimination
Frederick University is committed to being an equal opportunities organization, as clearly stipulated in article 4(d) of its Charter. Additionally, the university adopts a no-discrimination policy as explicitly expressed in article 4(c) of its Charter and no discrimination or bias, whether obvious or tacit, should exist in its community in relation to ethnicity, race, color, religion or belief, disability, gender, or sexual orientation.
Stemming from this commitment, a series of policy statements are adopted as summarized below:
- Establish clear guidelines on non-acceptable behavior and mechanisms for allowing the submission and review of complaints
- Maintain due processes for examining grievances that adhere to core principles of fair investigation
- Support actions for educating the university community, as well as the society at large, on discrimination issues and track performance
- Record information relating to equality issues including but not limited to matters of representation and progression and gender issues, including gender pay gaps
Discrimination is considered to be any act that treats a member of the community, whether an employee, a student, or a visitor, differently with adverse effects due to its ethnicity, race, color, religion or belief, disability, gender, or sexual orientation. Harassment is considered to be any unwelcome verbal of physical conduct that makes the subject feel insulted, humiliated or intimidated.
An exhaustive description of all behaviors that would constitute discrimination and harassment is not possible but examples of such a behavior includes:
- Publicly or privately insulting a person for their ethnicity, race, color, religion or belief, disability, gender, or sexual orientation
- Ridiculing a person and/or promoting insulting jokes based on the person’s identity or physical characteristics
- Unwanted touching or physical conduct with a person
- Physical assault
- Stereotyping behaviors based on a group that a person may belong in
- Not accepting or questioning a person’s right to self-definition in terms of gender and/or sexual orientation
- Use of electronic messages or social media to circulate texts or images, including text or images of sexual nature, that degrade, ridicule or harass individuals
- Threaten individuals on repercussions for the purpose of silencing or intimidating them
Within the above definition, the university includes actions that can be considered as abuse of power. Abuse of power is considered to be any behavior that would be deemed unexpected or unnatural should the relation of power a person holds over another person not exist. A manager asking a subordinate employee or a teacher asking a student to conduct personal errands is an example of abuse of power.
Retaliation against any complaint, whether deemed with merit or not, is not tolerated. The university will monitor the treatment that complainants receive after a complaint is made and resolved in order to ensure that no adverse actions are taken against him by the accused or others in power.
The university’s primary goal is to educate its community and immerse it in the values it upholds. To this end, we understand that in several occasions members of the community, for various reasons, may inadvertently act in a discriminatory fashion. Our primal goal is to correct this through educating and improving individuals and not promote an antagonizing environment of fear. However, it is clarified that the university will not tolerate behaviors of repeated offense or discriminatory actions done with malice and/or intend.
For any discrimination complaint, due process is followed to ensure that (a) the complainant and the accused have the right to freely express and defend their positions as well as appeal to any decision reached (b) no penalty, discrimination or retaliation is made towards either the complainant or the accused until a decision is reached (c) the process, until is conclusion is safeguarded by confidentiality. All the above are achieved through the operation of disciplinary committees that follow specific procedures to reach a conclusion and suggest sanctions which are then rectified by competent bodies. For example, when the accused is a faculty member, the process is dictated by articles 72 and 73 of the Internal Regulation for Teaching and Research Staff, whereas if the accused is a student, the process is defined in articles 38 to 41 of the Students Internal Regulation.
Gender equality actions
The university is committed to eliminating gender pay gap. It also adopts a policy goal of having a minimum of 30% representation of women in all top governing bodies.
For the 2019-20 academic year, the university has 40% women representation in its Council and 50% of the top management positions are held by women. In academic management, 35% of chaired positions (Rector, Vice-Rectors, Deans, Presidents) are held by women. The university has a low percentage in women representation in Professorships and this has been set as a key gap to address.
The university aims to have the gender pay gap less than 5% in all posts and take into account any such gaps when applying salary increases. In relation to gender pay gap tracking, the university has a positive record in gender cap in management (9% higher for women). For administrative staff the gender pay gap is negligible. For academics, the gender pay gap is 4%. Although the gap is considered acceptable, it arises due to the lack of female academics at the rank of Professor. Analysis of salaries by rank shows that gender pay gap is <2%.
Quality Assurance Policy
Frederick University is committed in providing high quality education and services relevant to its mission, to the business sector, the industry and the society. The University has developed and applies a quality assurance policy which addresses all three core pillars of its registered mission: education, research and contribution to society. Through this policy, the University strives in achieving a continuous improvement of the quality of (a) its programmes of study, including the curriculum, students and graduates, academic staff and infrastructure, (b) the research output of its academic staff and creation of new knowledge, (c) the administrative services and (d) the service to the business sector, the industry and the society.
The quality assurance policy of the University relies on self-assessment activities and promotes the development of quality culture among the academic and the administrative staff, through its implementation and the continuous training of the academic and administrative staff on issues related to quality.
The internal quality assurance process constitutes an academic process and it is not controlled or restricted by non-academic bodies. At the university level the internal quality assurance process is regulated and overseen by the Internal Quality Committee, while the academic staff, the administrative staff and the students are represented in the Committee.
A summary of the Quality Assurance Policy and System of the University is available here. A detailed document describing the Quality Assurance System of the University is available to the academic and administrative staff of the University through the university portal.
The University pledges to maintain an ethical contact, both internally relating to its operations and investments, as well as externally.
Internally, primary focus is assigned to the adoption of fair employer practices. In addition to non-discrimination policies adopted, the university wishes to abide by the same principles:
- Offer to all employees minimum living wages
- Strive to ensure that the average pay of its employees at various groups is above the market average for comparable work
- Require that all service providers the university enters into contracts with adhere to all legal requirements regarding their employees including minimum wages, appropriate insurance and social contributions.
Information related to market salaries in education are not publicly available for the private sector. Though data collection conducted internally on starting salaries where information can be obtained more easily, for both academics as well as administration, there is high confidence the university offers employment packages better than the market average.
Externally, the university is committed in assisting and promoting policies for the sustainable growth and improvement of the planet. Since entering the UN SDSN, the university has revised its Strategic Plan in order to update its 2-year action plan with targeted actions that address the following:
- education actions and incorporation in the educational process of all SDGs and their importance
- active engagement with the society for raising awareness on all important global challenges such as climate change, sustainability, equality, poverty reduction and health promotion, human trafficking and more.
- progressive improvement of the university operations in terms of reuse and recycling, energy consumption and climate footprint, use of natural resources.
Furthermore, Frederick adopts a zero tolerance approach to bribery, money laundering and any other form of corruption. Statements of ethical contact are signed by all officials of the university forbidding the direct or indirect offer of payments to a public official or other individual in the private sector that may be considered to fall within the definition of bribery. In addition, a strict framework is enforced on the university conduct relating to gifts and/or facilities to pubic bodies, foreign government representatives and individuals from the private sector. All such activities are transparently recorded in the organization’s accounts. The university accounts are externally audited by reputable accounting firms to ensure due practices are followed.