Freedom of expression is one of the hallmarks of effective shared governance in the University. The Western Michigan University Faculty Senate is dedicated to fostering productive, vigorous and meaningful dialogue and debate in an environment of civil discourse that respects various points of view. To guide our efforts and appreciate the meaning and practical applications of civil discourse as we strive to advance the Academy, the Faculty Senate approved a general aspirational statement related to civility.
Western Michigan University is committed to creating and sustaining an environment that honors the inherent dignity and worth of all members of the WMU community. Respectful behavior expressed verbally, textually, visually, and physically should be the norm in all university communications and venues including classrooms, meetings, offices, workplaces, forums, events, social media, and residential communities.
As an institution of higher education, we welcome a diverse range of perspectives and opinions and uphold the importance of civil debate. We fully support the free exchange of ideas and beliefs, as well as the expression of provocative or unpopular ideas. It is through this process that we generate knowledge and deepen our understanding of humanity.
Freedom of thought and expression may create conflict, strong emotions, and divergent ideological positions. While these effects are expected and welcomed, all members of the community have a responsibility to behave in a manner that does not harm others nor creates a hostile environment. Behavior that attacks, humiliates, belittles, or conveys hatred towards others diminishes our thriving and safe university environment.
Each member of our academic community is encouraged to be thoughtful and sensitive in their choice of words and behaviors. We should be aware of how our behavior affects others. Furthermore, we carry a responsibility to challenge those who communicate intolerance, hatred, and bigotry. Words and actions matter. Everyone is asked to do their part in creating a healthy and positive university community and a culture that truly values each member’s uniqueness, experiences, and perspectives.
Ad Hoc Civility Committee
Develop a general, overarching, statement on civil professional interactions expected of Western Michigan University faculty, administrators, and staff.
Robert Wertkin, Chair
Ex Officio Member
Faculty Senate Executive Board
Appointed Faculty Members
Civil and Construction Engineering
Center for English Language and Culture for International Students
Integrative Holistic Health and Wellness
Blindness and Low Vision Studies
Finance and Commercial Law
Educational Leadership, Research and Technology
Human Performance and Health Education
Interdisciplinary Health Programs
Appointed Administrative Members
Lee Honors College
College of Arts and Sciences
Academic Collective Bargaining
Appointed Staff Members
College of Health and Human Services
Nathifa Davis Sligh
WMU Public Safety