Preamble: The Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC) is dedicated to improving the quality of life for individuals and society by promoting health, preventing and curing disease as well as caring for those who have illness, advancing biomedical research and educating tomorrow’s physicians and scientists. The School is also committed to promoting and ensuring a safe and respectful educational and working environment for its faculty, staff and students, that is free of harassment, and that maintains academic freedom [1]. The purpose of this code is to set forth with more clarity the School’s expectations for the professional conduct of its faculty. This is being done to create an environment that is characterized by civility and respect for all the members of the community, that supports the mission of the school, and that is free of behaviors that undermine the school’s mission.

The University and the Keck School of Medicine have in place policies and standards of conduct that govern the relationships among the members of the community. The USC Code of Ethics [2] outlines standards of conduct for all employees (faculty and staff), and the Faculty Handbook [3], as revised from time to time, addresses standards of conduct for the faculty. Faculty who practice at the Keck Medical Center are further governed by the expectations in the Keck Commitment Statement of Professional Standards [4] and the Keck School of Medicine Faculty and Resident Guidebook for Medical Student Teaching: Policies and Procedures. This Code is not intended to supplant any policy in place, but rather to provide clear guidelines for faculty that are consistent with existing University and Keck School of Medicine policies. If the Code conflicts with the Faculty Handbook, as revised from time to time, the Faculty Handbook prevails.

Code of Professional Conduct:

A partial list of university policies with which faculty are expected to comply may be found online at:

[1] Academic Freedom: The Keck School of Medicine is committed to the right of academic freedom and freedom of expression of its faculty, staff, and students, as that right is essential to creating an environment that assures the highest level of academic and scientific inquiry and investigation, and allows the in-depth exploration of important issues. With that right comes the responsibility to ensure that everyone has equal access to that same right. Not every situation demands taking this freedom to its most extreme limit, and so all faculty members are asked to use their best judgment in determining when and how to use this right.

[2] USC Code of Ethics –

[3] USC Faculty Handbook –

[4] Keck Commitment –