Problem Statement:Academicians such as scientists contribute to the research of knowledge, to the free disclosure of knowledge, to students’ training, and to public service with their special knowledge and skills. Academicians’ ethical responsibilities and values have a very important place in the development of universities’ functions, which, in turn, play a very fundamental role in the development of societies and humanity. Recently, within the scope of ethics, studies have focused on developing professional ethical codes, which have gained increasing attention. Within this frame, the problems of this study involve the opinions of academicians in Turkish state universities in relation to the extent that they adopt ethical responsibilities to their profession, colleagues, students, university and community.
Purpose of Study: The aim of this research is to determine the opinions of academicians in Turkish state universities in relation to the extent that they adopt ethical responsibilities to their profession, colleagues, students, university and community, and to what extent their colleagues fulfill these responsibilities.
Methods: This study was designed to be a descriptive survey. The universe of this study consists of 14058 academicians; 387 academicians were included in the research from Engineering, Medicine and Education Colleges. The data were collected with five scales including academic responsibilities. In order to form the scales, a comprehensive review of handbooks published by 50 universities from 13 countries was made.
Findings and Results:Academicians adopt the responsibilities to profession, colleagues, students, university and community “completely,” whereas they are of the opinion that their colleagues adopt these rules “to a great extent.” Most adopted and fulfilled responsibilities by faculty are related to “responsibilities to students.” However, they adopt and fulfill their responsibilities towards their profession to a relatively lesser degree. Associate professors are more sensitive to their responsibilities to their professions than assistant and full professors are.
Conclusions and Recommendations: With this research, it is concluded that academicians least often adopt and fulfill the responsibility of whistleblowing any unethical practices to the authorities. In preventing unethical behavior, it is necessary to grasp the importance of whistleblowing as a virtuous behavior in academia; it should be encouraged as much as possible. This role will be undertaken by the ethical commissions or university administrations. Perceptions of academicians significantly differ from each other in relation to the “academic discipline and title” variables. Associate professors and academicians from colleges of medicine adopt their academic ethical responsibilities the most. In preventing unethical behaviours within the university, ethics training, professional ethics, science philosophy and research methods should be a part of the curriculum in all graduate programs and disciplines.
Key Words:Academic ethics, academic responsibilities, academic code of ethics