Standards of Conduct and Civility

Policy Type: 

I. Policy Title: Standards of Conduct and Civility

II. Who Does This Policy Affect:

All Henry Ford College Board of Trustees, faculty, staff, employees, students, vendors/contractors and visitors

III. Purpose
The purpose of this Policy is to promote a welcoming, positive, healthy and safe work and learning environment at Henry Ford College ("College").

IV. Policy Statement

Henry Ford College (HFC) recognizes that respect and professionalism are the foundation of the Henry Ford College Community (“Community”). This Community includes, the Board of Trustees, employees, contracted employees, contractors and visitors (“Community Members”). The work of the Community is guided specifically by two of the four HFC values:

We demonstrate INTEGRITY through

  • accountability;
  • responsible stewardship;
  • ethical conduct;
  • honest dialogue; and
  • sustainable practices.

We show RESPECT for one another when we

  • collaborate and rely on teamwork;
  • celebrate diversity and inclusiveness;
  • maintain transparent practices;
  • show kindness, compassion and empathy;
  • are flexible and show patience; and
  • are engaged and committed to our shared work.

All Community Members are expected to support compliance with applicable College policies and procedures as well as applicable laws, rules, and regulations and are encouraged or required to report noncompliance.

We value all members of our Community, and we know that a civil and considerate environment is integral to the health and well-being of all members of our Community. Because of these values, the College encourages Community Members to interact with each other in a civil manner. Employees are expected to avoid situations that may cause a concern as to their actions, integrity, or motives. Bullying is prohibited.

While we recognize freedom of expression in scholarly pursuits and teaching activities, such freedom carries with it a responsibility to be accurate in speech and writing and to maintain civility, even in cases of disagreement and heated argument. Disagreement and informed debate are valued in an academic community. Use of good judgment, based on high ethical standards, should guide the behavior of all members of the College community.

A. Compliance and Reporting

Community Members who have reason to believe noncompliance has occurred are encouraged to report the incident(s) and all relevant information to an appropriate College authority. He or she is urged to report the noncompliant activity to his or her immediate supervisor when noncompliance is suspected, observed, or otherwise made known. If there is reason to believe the supervisor may be involved in the noncompliance, the report should be made to the next-higher level of management or to other College authorities, such as the Office of Human Resources.

If the noncompliance concern involves the President, the matter may be reported to the Chair of the Board of Trustees. If the noncompliance concern involves a Board member, the matter may be submitted to the Chair of the Board of Trustees. If the noncompliance concern involves the Chair of the Board of Trustees, the matter may be directed to the Vice-Chair of the Board.

In cases where reporting noncompliance is mandated by law (i.e. Title IX), all Community Members are obligated to report the incident(s) and all relevant information to an appropriate College authority.

Reporting may also be done via the BIT link on the HFC website at

Reports made in good faith are protected under the College Policy on Non-Retaliation and such reports will not jeopardize the reporting person's status.

B. Violations

When an employee, faculty or staff member's conduct varies from the expectations of this Policy, it is the responsibility of the administrator who supervises the person engaging in the unacceptable behavior to address it. Members engaging in noncompliant behavior may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination, consistent with Henry Ford College’s disciplinary procedures and applicable collective bargaining agreements.

V. Definitions

A. What Does It Mean To Be Civil?

As a Community Member, it is important to interact with each other with respect and consideration and avoid unacceptable behavior. Civility is about more than merely being polite, although being polite is an excellent start. Civility is about politely listening and seeking common ground as an initial point for dialogue when differences occur, while at the same time, recognizing that differences are enriching. Through positive, respectful communication, one person has the power to improve morale, productivity and teamwork.

B. What is Bullying?

“Bullying” is broadly defined as a course of conduct where a person willfully and repeatedly exercises power or control over another with hostile or malicious intent. Specifically, bullying in the workplace is defined as behavior that is intended to threaten, to intimidate, to humiliate or to isolate members of the working environment that undermines an employee’s reputation or job performance. Workplace bullying behaviors may include, but are not limited to, verbal abuse, name-calling, spreading rumors, nonverbal conduct that is threatening, humiliating, or intimidating, interference in work or sabotage that prevents work from getting done.

C. What Is Expected Behavior?

In furtherance of our commitment as a welcoming community, all members of the College Community should treat each other and visitors to the College with dignity, courtesy, and respect. Interactions should take place with politeness and consideration.

In the workplace, it is encouraged that interactions among employees be professional and work related. Corrective actions may be necessary by managers to improve work performances of employees. When addressing corrective actions, employees/managers should use appropriate language and exhibit behavior that is professional and directly related to the task at issue. Civility requires that employee feedback be delivered in a respectful, private and courteous manner.

In the academic setting, and in all other interactions at the College, conversations, concerns, complaints and conflicts should be addressed in a manner that sets a good example and is consistent with HFC's values of open, honest, and respectful dialog of issues and concerns. For example, and without limitation, civil conduct may include:
a. Speaking in tones of voice that are appropriate for the circumstances,
b. being respectful of others’ right to express their views, especially when you disagree, and
c. managing conflicts with others in a respectful manner rather than in a confrontational manner.

Subtle or overt behaviors can also influence how a message is received. All Community Members should be aware of their conduct.

D. What Is Unacceptable Behavior?

Incivility may include a broad range of unacceptable behaviors. For example, behavior that is unprofessional, intolerant, rude, threatening to another by actions or comments, using language that is inappropriate, or is designed to cause humiliation or degradation, fall within this category.

Uncivil behavior may be either unintended, or deliberate. It may be one event, or it may be a series of events. It may involve abusing one’s position or authority. It is conduct that a reasonable person would find offensive or unacceptable under the circumstances.

In the workplace, treating an employee with inappropriate conduct or words has an impact on all employees in the workplace. Examples of inappropriate conduct include, but are not limited to:

a. shouting at an employee
b. using abusive, aggressive, or foul language directed at the employee(s)
c. displaying physical acts of aggression, such as slamming doors, throwing objects
d. humiliating, degrading, demeaning, insulting or intimidating the employee

Although incivility may be subjective or unintentional, preclude the addressing of such incidents under this policy.

In the academic environment, discussions and disagreements are encouraged. If those exchanges escalate into behavior that is disrespectful, such as name calling, this behavior needs to be addressed by the parties involved or a Community Member with administrative authority.

The President, or his/her designee, shall develop a non-comprehensive list of prohibited behaviors/actions to guide the College community on what may be considered unacceptable conduct. Listing every conceivable example of unacceptable conduct is not possible. The actions of the College Community Members should be governed by treating others with respect and dignity.

VI. Responsible Party for Interpretation/Review
Human Resources
Office of Campus Safety

VII. Related Documents

• Non-Retaliation Policy

• Computer Systems Acceptable Use Policy

• Student Conduct Policy

• Use and Regulations of College Property for Expressive Activities

  • Standards of Conduct and Civility Procedures

VIII. Policy History

a. Adopted by Board: August 14, 2017

March 22, 2022 – Reviewed with no changes.

This policy supersedes and replaces any and all policies related to this subject

Adopted Date: 
Monday, August 14, 2017
Board Approved