Community, civility and the search for knowledge and truth are the essence of University life. A community is a group of people who hold something fundamental in common. A University is a community whose common purpose is the creation, preservation and sharing of knowledge and understanding. The search for knowledge and truth requires a rational discourse. This, in turn, requires honesty and civility. Civility springs from the concept of respecting the rights of individuals. The community helps to protect the rights of the individual. Thus, the community promotes the civility necessary to engage in the pursuit of truth. The three are, thus, connected.
The primary participants of this community are administrators, students, faculty and staff, who themselves come from a variety of external communities. Before becoming a part of the community of scholars that is Missouri State University, whether as a member of the student body, faculty, administration or staff, one should understand the full nature of that choice. The community derives its strength from each individual. Each individual derives strength from his/her association with the community. The individual must sustain the community in order for the community to protect and sustain the individual. In order for this interaction to take place, the principles stated in this document must be the foundation for the community of scholars. Behaving civilly implies acting in a manner consistent with these principles and encouraging these behaviors in others. Adherence to the principles is voluntary and cannot be compelled. Choosing to accept the direction of the principles strengthens both the individual and the community, but only when the choice is not forced. Discovering the natural benefit of these principles is a virtue. These principles are of little use in themselves; they must be practiced.
The community of scholars that is Missouri State University is committed to developing educated persons.
It is believed that educated persons will accept responsibility to act in accordance with the following principles:
- Being open minded to embrace the benefits and richness that diversity and inclusiveness bring to the community of scholars and to recognize them as catalysts for educational excellence.
- Practicing personal and academic integrity. Being a full participant in the educational process and respecting the right of all to contribute to the "Marketplace of Ideas."
- Treating all persons with civility, while understanding that tolerating an idea is not the same as supporting it. Being a steward of the shared resources of the community of scholars.
Choosing to accept these principles suggests that each participant of the community refrains from and discourages behavior that threatens the freedom and respect each member deserves.