University Code of Ethical Conduct

California Health Sciences University is committed to maintaining a campus environment that offers a wide range of professional, social and cultural opportunities and where the well-being of students and University personnel is the primary focus of all decision making and actions. In order to ensure that the highest ethical standards are maintained, the California Health Science University Board of Trustees adopts and enforces the following statements of ethics and conduct for all members of the University community, including but not limited to its Trustees, Officers, administration, faculty, staff, students, volunteers, vendors, agents, contractors, and third-parties associated with the University.

Statement of Mission and Values

CHSU exists to improve the health care outcomes of people living in the Central Valley by: (1) inspiring diverse students from our region to commit to health care careers that serve our region; (2) developing compassionate, highly trained, intellectually curious, adaptive leaders capable of meeting the health care needs of the future through a performance-based education; and (3) empowering people to teach, serve, research, innovate, and practice collaboratively in areas of skill and expertise.

In all decisions, members of the CHSU community are encouraged to and supported in relying upon the key values of CHSU as guiding principles. The University Code of Ethical Conduct (“Code”) does not address every possible situation. Instead, the Code sets forth the principles and values upon which all decisions should be made. The Code builds upon these key principles and values to establish policies and procedures designed to create an effective and supportive learning and working community that promotes the mission of developing compassionate, highly trained, intellectually curious, and adaptive leaders that are empowered to teach, serve, innovate, and practice collaboratively to make CHSU the health sciences educator of choice in Central California.

The Code rests on the foundation of core principles and values. By following these core principles and values, all members of the CHSU community will build a university of high moral, ethical and professional standards. All members of the CHSU community will uphold this Code by following these core principles and values:


CHSU keeps promises and fulfills just expectations. By aligning our beliefs, thoughts and actions, we adhere to the highest ethical and professional standards in education, research and healthcare.

Acting with integrity means personal accountability for and commitment to ethical decision making, honesty, fairness and respect for others, while avoiding even the appearance of misconduct or impropriety.


CHSU strives to achieve the highest quality in all that we do by using evidence-based methods, teamwork, critical reasoning and continuous reflection on performance.


CHSU strives to contribute positively to each other, students, patients, university and community, through a culture of trust, respect, transparent communication, cooperation, cheerfulness, gratitude, and shared victories.


CHSU respects, embraces and harnesses the strengths of the many cultural backgrounds, languages, experiences and viewpoints of our students, faculty, staff and the community which we serve.


CHSU offers opportunity and resources to explore and pursue courageous innovation that matters for our students, faculty, staff, patients and community.


CHSU conscientiously utilizes our resources – human, material and financial – in a highly efficient, effective, forward-looking and sustainable manner.


CHSU values and invests in an assessment-driven culture that prioritizes growth and self-development. We strive to realize the potential of every student, faculty, staff and community member through our individual and collective learning opportunities, decisions, policies and priorities.

Governing Statutes

The University’s Board of Trustees has adopted governing statutes which include this Code of Ethical Conduct, a statement on Non-Discrimination and Equal Opportunity, a statement on Confidentiality of Information, a statement on Due Process, and a statement on Fiscal Management and Accountability. All members of the University community are bound by these governing statutes. These statutes form the foundation of the University’s policies and procedures.

Law and Policy Compliance

At CHSU we are committed to maintaining high professional and ethical standards and expect all community members to comply with all applicable laws, regulations, and institutional policies. Institutional policies and procedures are made available to members of the University community through the University website and through specific information portals.

University policies and procedures are designed to ensure compliance with legal and regulatory requirements with specific application to CHSU business. Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that all policies and procedures are followed within their department and all members of the University community are expected to abide by the policies and procedures of the institution, including this Code.

The Office of General Counsel is responsible for assisting members of the University community with understanding, implementing, and following laws and regulations within the course of University business and designates specific staff members and committees with operational oversight of specific compliance functions. Question or concerns about the application or interpretation of University policies should be directed to the Office of the General Counsel.


CHSU is committed to providing teaching, scholarly activity, research and service in a dedicated and professional manner. Accordingly, CHSU requires all community members to conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times. Our University’s reputation is an asset that can make us successful. It is of paramount importance that each community member treats each other with the utmost of respect and consideration not only during working hours, but after hours as well.

All members of the University community are expected to demonstrate professionalism in their interactions and daily activities. At CHSU, faculty and staff pledge their best efforts to ensure high quality, future-directed educational programs for students by sustaining and increasing expertise and continuous improvement of their ability to facilitate learning. All members of the campus community are expected to hold themselves to the professional virtues of honesty, compassion, civility, integrity, fidelity, and dependability and to maintain high professional standards in all interactions. We celebrate exemplary behavior and will not tolerate unprofessional behavior.

Use of University Resources

The University recognizes and supports advances in technology and provides an array of technology resources for employees to use to enhance student learning, facilitate resource sharing, encourage innovation, and to promote communication. While these technologies provide a valuable resource to the University, it is important that employees’ use of technology be appropriate to support the University Mission.

University resources are reserved solely for activities conducted in the fulfillment of the University mission and may not be used for personal purposes or private gain except where otherwise permitted by University policy. Incidental personal use of Information Technology services and resources, within the guidelines of University policy, is considered appropriate. University resources include but are not limited to communication devices, funds, facilities, equipment, staff, campus mail system, public spaces, etc. In any use of University property and or resources, community members are expected to comply with all laws, policies, and procedures and to accurately document and report permitted use of University funds and resources in the course of professional duties per the guidelines of specific University policies and procedures.

Conflicts of Interest

All employees shall recognize the potential for conflicts of interest and shall refrain from engaging in activities that may interfere with the University’s mission. Employees shall not use their positions for personal gain through political, social, religious, economic, or other influences when those activities interfere with the University mission. Financial endeavors on the behalf of the individual or the University that create or appear to create a conflict between the interests of the University and an employee are unacceptable.

Areas where conflicts of interest may arise include outside employment, relationships with external or commercial entities, the acceptance of gifts and or favors, through the acceptance and review of bids and vendor services, access to trade secrets and confidential information, and through outside service with competitive entities. Information, projects, or opportunities on which staff and faculty work as part of their job duties with CHSU are property of CHSU and may not be used for personal gain for as information for another company. Staff and faculty who engage in outside employment or believe a conflict of interest may exist in any business performed on the behalf of the University should report the potential conflict and or details of outside employment to the Office of Human Resources who will evaluate the potential conflict of interest.

Intellectual Honesty/Academic Integrity

Academic and intellectual honesty and integrity is expected from all members of the CHSU community. Any staff, faculty, student, prospective student, or alumnus found to have committed the following misconduct is subject to the sanctions outlined in the Honor Council section of the University Catalog and in applicable staff and faculty personnel policies. Unacceptable conduct is defined in the University’s policies applicable to students and employees.

Research Misconduct

CHSU prides itself upon its support and enhancement of educational, medical and scientific research. As such, acts of research misconduct will be taken seriously. Members of the University community, including students, who engage in research are required to comply with all applicable policies, procedures, laws, and regulations and to conduct themselves with integrity at all times. The University recognizes that research and scholarly activities are a proper and common feature of academia, contributing to the professional and academic development of the individual and extending the University’s triad mission of teaching, research, and service. Research must be conducted in a manner that shows appropriate respect for and protection of human subjects and in compliance with the United States Department of Health and Human Services Regulations, Protection of Human Subjects: title 45, Code of Federal Regulations, part 46 (45 CFR 46).

Respect for Others and Faculty/Student/Staff Interactions

Interactions between members of the CHSU community should be conducted with respect for the Code and in support of the University’s mission and values. Staff and faculty are expected to pledge their best efforts to ensuring a high quality, future-directed educational program for all students by sustaining and increasing expertise of the disciplines they teach and continually improving their ability to facilitate learning. All students, staff, administration and faculty are expected to hold themselves to the professional virtues of honesty, compassion, civility, integrity, fidelity, and dependability and to respect all individuals regardless of gender, race, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability or other protected class.

Faculty Responsibilities: All faculty are expected to engage in teaching, advising, scholarship, service to their College and university, community engagement and outreach, and, in the case of clinical faculty, practice. Faculty are expected to meet deadlines for submission of handouts, exam questions and answers, and other course materials; follow copyright law; adhere to course schedules; to be available for student conferences outside of class and to accommodate student requests for appointments outside of scheduled office hours whenever possible; and to provide ADA accommodations as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (1991) including but not limited to extra time and private space for examinations for students who need such accommodations. Additional faculty requirements and responsibilities may be found in applicable faculty policies.

Student Responsibilities: Students are expected to exert their utmost effort to acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors required to fulfill all educational objectives. The University has set forth academic regulations, which allow students to achieve their degree objectives, and policies, which dictate student conduct. Guidance regarding these matters may be found in University or college-specific policies and procedures. Students are expected to be familiar with all regulations that affect them and to abide by all University policies.

Romantic Relationships: Relationships of a romantic or sexual nature between faculty and the students they are responsible for the academic supervision, evaluation, or instruction of are prohibited regardless of whether or not the relationship is consensual. Additionally, staff and administration may not engage in relationships of a romantic or sexual nature with students for whom they mentor, advise, coach, evaluate, manage, or have direct responsibility for even if the relationship is consensual. Further, employees may not engage in romantic or sexual relationships with other employees which they supervise or manage. In rare circumstance, the Office of Human Resources, with approval of the President, may make an exception to this policy provided that appropriate conflict management and risk mitigation procedures are implemented and maintained. It is the responsibility of the faculty or staff member engaging in the romantic and or sexual relationship with a student to disclose the existence of the relationship to the Office of Human Resources. Failure to do so may result in corrective action.

College Specific Codes of Conduct and Professionalism

At times, specific colleges, programs, or constructive learning experiences may require certain University sponsored programs or activities to adopt and promulgate area specific codes of conduct and or professionalism. These codes of conduct and professionalism are intended to extend the value of the University Code to all learning endeavors and should be considered a continuation of this policy.

CHSU College of Osteopathic Medicine ("COM") has adopted the AOA Code of Ethics and all members of the COM community are expected to comply with the AOA Code of Ethics in addition to the CHSU Code.

CHSU College of Pharmacy (“COP”) has adopted a Code of Ethics and Professionalism applicable to all members of the COP community.