The College Instructor’s Code of Conduct

A Code of Conduct is not just for your college students

It is Saturday afternoon, and I am putting the finishing touches on my 3rd installment of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective College Instructors.  As you will see, I bring up the issue of a personal, self-generated Code of Conduct for college instructors.

What occurred to me is that a self-generated code of conduct is an important form of soul searching that can help us all lead better lives.  For example, something I consider to be exemplary conduct is to lighten up the room you are entering and put a smile on people’s faces.  Is this the way others see me?  Once in a while, sure.  The point is that this is the way I want to be seen.  This is an element of personal conduct that I wish I mastered and one for which I strive.  Call it a stretch conduct goal if you will, but it is part of my personal code of conduct.  By the way, I don’t think we should beat ourselves up if we don’t always model the ideal behaviors we for which we strive.

With that bit of pontificating in mind, I am giving you a preparatory assignment, which you must complete before you have my permission to read my next post.  (Are you this tough on your students?)  In preparation for The 3rd Habit of Highly Effective College Instructors, which I will post tomorrow afternoon (Sunday, April 18), start working on your own Code of Conduct for your role as a college instructor.  What do you feel are the most important aspects of your conduct in that role?  You know, you should ask your students what they think and take their inputs into consideration.  Heck, I am making that part of your assignment.  However, I don’t want to keep any of you from reading my next post.  Therefore, in lieu of that assignment, you may take on an extra credit assignment, which is to submit a type written summary of all 44 of my previous posts.

Did I hear moans and groans?  I did; I know I did!  (Paul to self:  You want good student evaluations, don’t you.  Don’t blow it.)  Okay, I will give you one other option.  Be good to yourself.  Deal?  🙂

© 2010 Paul A. Hummel, Ed.D.

Posted April 17, 2010


About Dr. Paul A. Hummel, Ed.D.

My name is Paul Hummel, and I often introduce myself to others as a recovering engineer. If you are familiar with the Dilbert cartoons, let me simply say that I lived all of that. I started my college saga at Illinois Institute of Technology. Eventually, I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Engineering Management. I worked for many years in industry, and during this time I did some college adjunct teaching. During my career I held several managerial positions in industry, the last as Director of Technology of a division of a Fortune 500 corporation. Then, in 1996, with minimal planning or forethought, I found myself working as a manufacturing consultant on behalf of Elgin Community College (ECC). My career in higher education began to take shape. I fell in love with ECC and with the mission of community colleges in general. I worked fulltime and occasionally taught college courses for my institution and two other colleges. After a couple years I set a goal to move over to the “credit side of the college” and eventually become a college administrator. In 2006, having earned my doctorate in education, I achieved that goal. I was hired by Waubonsee Community College as Dean for Technology, Mathematics and Physical Sciences. I have had the great fortune of working at two excellent colleges. The insights I want to share are drawn from the various college positions I have held. At ECC, in addition to my consulting role, I coordinated non-credit professional development training programs for three years and spent four years advising students in the TRiO Student Support Services program. That position helped me understand college education from the perspective of today’s college students. After seven years at Waubonsee, I retired April 30, 2013. I now devote my knowledge and skills to upgrading and expanding the websites I created beginning with Adjunct Assistance. I have three other websites: College Teaching Tips, Keys for College Success and Lighthouse for Learning. A lot of work lies ahead for me in terms of upgrading and expanding each of these websites, but I could not be more excited about fulfilling the vision I have for helping college instructors and their students succeed.

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