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Department Values

The Geneseo department of Physics and Astronomy affirms our commitment to the Values of the College, and agrees that our actions should further be informed by the following set of shared values:

  • Respect  - We encourage a climate where all members of our community are valued equally both inside and outside the classroom.
  • Integrity - We embrace high standards of moral character by practicing personal responsibility and by pursuing ethical choices, even in the face of adversity. 
  • Excellence - We aspire to create and sustain a thriving environment in which the principles and practice of physics and astronomy are realized through exemplary teaching, learning, and creative scholarship.
  • Empathy -  We promote an atmosphere of understanding for differing perspectives and compassion towards others.
  • Diversity -  We recognize that having a broad range of identities makes the department stronger, and strive to support and include all members of the community while acknowledging the individuality of each person.  
  • Transparency - We promote open, honest, and timely communications in departmental and classroom policies and procedures, valuing broad input and respecting the need to keep information confidential when necessary.
  • Academic Freedom - We strive to support the free and unhindered pursuit and dissemination of knowledge through critical thinking and open dialogue.
  • Community -  We encourage organization of and participation in activities and events within the department that foster a sense of belonging and investment.

Departmental Expectations for Inclusivity

The promotion of a safe, supportive, and welcoming climate conducive to the pursuit of academic privileges is everyone’s responsibility, including faculty, staff, and students. In addition to the policies applicable to every member of the Geneseo community, the Department of Physics and Astronomy commits itself to the following set of shared behaviors: 

  1.  All persons teaching,  and learning and working within the Geneseo Physics community are expected to conduct themselves in a responsible, ethical, and considerate manner at all times within the confines of the department, or when representing the department elsewhere.  
  2. We work to ensure that all members of the Physics community are treated with dignity and respect inside and outside of the classroom. Behaviors that undermine our mission, including bullying, harassment, and sexual harassment, are not tolerated. 
  3. We will foster a departmental culture that is free of prejudice based on personal identities and does not tolerate bigoted behavior. We commit to educating ourselves about racism and other systemic prejudices, promoting involvement in activities that combat them, and becoming allies to protected groups to which we do not personally belong. It isn’t enough to not be racist, we must be anti-racist.  
  4. The work and contributions of members of the Physics community will be evaluated impartially, based solely upon academically relevant criteria, while understanding that one’s identity and academic effectiveness can be interconnected.  All criticism and praise will be kept professional and constructive.
  5. Members of the Physics community commit to appropriate action if they notice an incident that poses a threat to health, safety, or sense of belonging.  This can start with a respectful conversation, if possible, but may also include reporting to a trusted third party such as:
    1. a faculty member or advisor;
    2. the chair of the department; and/or
    3. appropriate campus office (Dean of Students, Office of Diversity and Equity), e.g., via campus reporting forms.
  6. We understand that this is a living document and commit to returning to it regularly to reaffirm its sentiments and to make updates as needed.

We understand that no person is perfect or without inherent personal biases; we commit to acknowledging them and working to lessen their impact on those around us.