The University of Kansas Medical Center is committed to serving the healthcare needs of the citizens of Kansas, the region, and the nation by providing exceptional educational opportunities for careers in the health professions; comprehensive services that enhance health and wellness; ongoing support of the state and the nation's health service systems; and continued development and dissemination of new knowledge through research and education.
The Academic Mission of the Institution is Preeminent KUMC has the academic experience at its center-the faculty, curriculum, library, classroom, and laboratory. Students can expect their teachers to possess knowledge of the subject to be studied, to use effective teaching approaches, to hold students to high standards of performance, and to use fair, clearly articulated evaluation practices. Students can expect KUMC to offer a curriculum that provides a coherent intellectual experience and prepares them to provide current and future health care to the nation's citizens. The ability to access information technology and resources at KUMC is an integral part of learning. Interactions between students and their environment--whether it be in the library, classroom, or laboratory--shape attitudes, readiness to learn, and the quality of the KUMC experience.
Students are individuals. No two students come to KUMC with the same expectations, abilities, life experiences, or motives. Therefore, students will neither approach their learning at KUMC with equal skill and sophistication, nor will they make equally appropriate choices about the opportunities encountered. This uniqueness in students is also a resource to be tapped; their talents and skills should be used to improve the quality of life at KUMC.
It is imperative that students learn to recognize, understand, and celebrate human differences. KUMC must help its students become open to the differences that surround them: race, religion, age, gender, culture, physical ability, language, nationality, sexual preference, and life style. These matters are best learned in collegiate settings that are rich with diversity and must be learned if the ideals of human worth and dignity are to be advanced. The student body, faculty, and staff should both reflect and appreciate diversity.
Any expression of hatred or prejudice is inconsistent with the purposes of higher eucation in a free society. As long as bigotry in any form exists in the larger society, it will be an issue at KUMC. In the KUMC community, bigotry must be forthrightly confronted.
Although students are at KUMC to acquire knowledge through the use of their intellect, they feel as well as think. Students are whole persons. How they feel affects how well they think. While students are maturing intellectually, they are also developing physically, psychologically, socially, aesthetically, ethically, sexually, and spiritually, which is true regardless of age. Helping students understand and attend to these aspects of their lives will enhance their academic experiences.
Learning is an active process. Students learn most effectively when they are productively, intellectually, and thoughtfully engaged in their work in the classroom, in the clinical setting, in the laboratory, and in student life. A democracy requires the informed involvement of citizens. Citizenship is complex; thus, students benefit from a practical, as well as an academic understanding of civic responsibilities. Active participation in institutional governance, partnerships with patients, community service, curriculum reform, and collective management of their own affairs contributes significantly to students' understanding and appreciation of civic and health care responsibilities.
Physical disability, financial hardship, family circumstances, medical and psychological problems, and inadequate academic skills are examples of situations that often affect learning. Whenever possible, KUMC should assist students when such circumstances interfere with learning.
KUMC is a collection of sub-communities including schools and departments, as well as service, religious, social, and peer groups. Healthy communities are settings where students learn to work together, make and keep friends, care about the welfare of others, balance freedom and responsibility, and appreciate human differences. Quality communities encourage friendships, intimacy, intelligent risk taking, and allow members to freely share and examine values.
Students need encouragement and freedom to explore ideas, to test values and assumptions through experience, to face dilemmas of doubt and perplexity, to question their society, and to criticize and receive criticism. Hence, the doctrines of academic freedom and free speech that are central to the classroom must extend to other areas of campus life. KUMC should encourage the ideological exploration of ideas and avoid policies or practices that bind the inquiring minds and spirits of students, faculty, and staff. KUMC faculty, staff, and students should not fear recrimination for engaging in such behaviors.
Students learn responsibility when they bear the consequences of their own actions and inactions in an environment marked by caring and support. If in the process of KUMC creating this optimal learning environment, students believe that their rights, based on these assumptions and beliefs, have been violated, they should make contact with a faculty or staff member at KUMC for future exploration or direction. The Student Handbook is a resource for this purpose.
The assumptions and beliefs, which are the foundation for Students' Rights and Responsibilities, form a framework for creating and insuring an optimal learning environment and acknowledge that the mission of the University of Kansas Medical Center is preeminent.
To accomplish these ideals, "...a spirit of community conducive to mutual trust and responsibility among students, faculty and staff..." (Professional Integrity System for the Nursing School, 2005, p.1) must be present. "Since 2000 the KU School of Allied Health has made unprecedented strides in its central mission to develop tomorrow's leaders in allied health through exemplary education, research and service" (A Vision of Excellence: Sharing our Accomplishments, 2004). "Our students will mature into exceptional critical thinkers who can analyze difficult problems, formulate effective plans for action, and provide optimal clinical care for their patients (University of Kansas School of Medicine 2005 Annual Report). Professional development in the graduate school "enhances placement of KU graduates by fostering a better fit between graduate students' goals and eventual academic employment" (2004 Graduate Student Annual Report).
If you think your rights as a student have been violated or if you would like more information, please contact any of the following individuals: the Dean of Students, Associate Dean for Nursing, Associate Dean for School of Medicine, Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, Associate Dean for School of Health Professions or an Equal Opportunity/Disability Specialist. The assumptions and beliefs which form Students' Rights and Responsibilities are based on and developed from A Perspective on Student Affairs, National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, 1987, and Reasonable Expectations, National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, 1994, in consultation with students and the Dean of Students from the University of Kansas Medical Center. This document was endorsed by the Student Governing Council of the University of Kansas Medical Center after discussion with the student governing groups from the four schools at the University of Kansas Medical Center.