Colorado School of Mines Graduate Student
Statement of Values and Responsibilities
November 3, 2011
We, the graduate students of the Colorado School of Mines, as distinct members of the campus community, in
order to help promote a collegial, respectful, and academically sound environment, endorse the values and
responsibilities enumerated below. We will strive to fulfill the provisions outlined in this document, as we
believe these lay a solid foundation for faculty and students to build a vibrant and genuine intellectual
The guidelines articulated below are intended to provide a framework of guidance for navigating the rich and
complex interactions between graduate students and faculty. The intended audience is the graduate student
body, though faculty members may find it to be a useful resource as well. Nothing in this document can, or is
intended to replace good-faith communication and cooperation between students and faculty. Rather, it is our
intent to reinforce the importance of this cooperation, and to provide support and guidance to graduate students
for this cooperation. As such, this document is not legally binding, but rather a statement of principles to be
used to help guide both faculty and students. These principles should not be cited in formal grievance processes,
but should instead empower graduate students to identify and resolve potential conflicts and understand their
responsibilities in maximizing the potential of their graduate education.
We recognize that graduate students, as students, budding scholars and oftentimes institutional employees, serve
in many different and potentially conflicting roles. Expectations and protections associated with each of these
roles are defined by a variety of sources (e.g., Board Policy, Human Resources, Office of Graduate Studies,
Departments and Divisions, federal and state regulations, professional societies, etc.), and are not repeated
below. Within this context, some of the principles articulated below may be contradictory to policies stated
elsewhere when applied to individual situations. In application to these situations, it is not the intent of this
document to justify violation of any institutional, regulatory or governmental policy/requirement, but again to
provide a framework for understanding and resolving potential conflicts within the confines of complying with
the relevant institutional, regulatory and/or governmental requirements.
Graduate Student Responsibilities
We have a responsibility to conduct ourselves in a manner befitting a representative of the university.
Our behavior should be a credit to our program, the university and ourselves. We have the
responsibility to respect and uphold all relevant university policies regarding professional conduct.
In our role as students, we have a responsibility to read, be familiar and comply with all of the rules and
regulations defined in the Graduate Bulletin. In our role as employees, we have the responsibility to
read, be familiar and comply with the employment policies defined by the Office of Graduate Studies,
the Office of Human Resources and, if available, the hiring program.
We have the responsibility to fulfill any teaching and research obligations to the best of our knowledge,
training, and ability; to carry out our job responsibilities in a conscientious and timely manner; and, to
perform these duties in accordance with all relevant university, state and federal rules and regulations.
It is our responsibility to provide accurate and honest reporting of research results and to uphold the
ethical norms promulgated by the institution and our professional societies in research methodology
and scholarship. We acknowledge the importance that ethics plays in our professional careers, and as
such, it is our responsibility to become educated on this topic.
We have a responsibility to devote appropriate time and energy toward achieving the advanced degree in
which we are enrolled.
We have a responsibility to communicate regularly with faculty members and advisors, especially in
matters related to our research activities and our progress toward degree.
We have the responsibility to understand our role and to do our part in the development of the
relationship between a faculty mentor and a graduate student. This includes having an awareness of
time constraints and demands imposed on faculty members and program staff. We recognize that one
faculty member may not be able to fulfill all of a student’s mentoring needs. In these instances, we
have the responsibility to seek assistance from multiple individuals and organizations as needed.
We have the responsibility to take ownership of our experience and the direction of our educational
program, to be familiar with and meet program requirements, and define our unique research path. We
understand that while graduate advisors may guide students on our journey, it is our responsibility to
create the most enriching graduate experience we can.
We have the responsibility to educate ourselves on the availability of financial support, whether it be
through the university via teaching or research assistantships, or through fellowship programs
supported by governmental agencies (e.g. National Science Foundation).
Graduate Student Expectations
We should have the opportunity to openly and respectfully express our views, and, to the level of our
desire, participate in the university community. As graduate students, we may govern ourselves
through a university-sanctioned organization, currently the Graduate Student Association.
We may expect to interact with those faculty members who will enrich our graduate education. We
recognize, however, that establishing a mentor-mentee relationship is mutual and to be successful
requires enthusiastic participation by the potential faculty mentor. We cannot compel a faculty
member to become a mentor.
We should expect timely information related to degree requirements, and the availability and likelihood
of financial support.
We may expect that academic advisors be available to establish and maintain a mutually agreeable
schedule of evaluation and supervisory meetings, either remotely or in person. This expectation
extends to include reasonably prompt email response and communication, especially when advisors
are working away from campus.
We expect reasonable confidentiality in our direct communications with professors and in any
discussion of performance or behavioral issues. The substance of these communications and issues
should be shared with others on a need-to-know basis only.
We should receive objective and timely evaluations of progress-toward-degree based on criteria that are
understood by both the advisor and the student. Reasons for unsatisfactory performance should be
clearly communicated in writing. Students should be given a fair opportunity to correct or remedy
deficiencies in academic performance in compliance with the policies defined in the Graduate
We should be included in the co-authorship of publications that are based on activities to which we have
contributed sufficient intellectual capital, as defined by our academic advisor(s). To avoid potential
misunderstandings, as early as possible, faculty and students should agree upon authorship positions
commensurate with levels of contributions to a particular work.
We should have the opportunity to provide evaluations of professors, both within the classroom
environment and as faculty mentors, without fear of retribution.
Should we feel that we are assigned tasks thoroughly outside the scope of our academic or professional
development program, we may strive to resolve this issue at an informal level. If it cannot be resolved
informally, we may seek to resolve the issue with Human Resources.
Program and Institutional Responsibilities
Provided we maintain good academic standing and are making satisfactory progress toward our intended
degrees, the degree program to which we have been admitted has the obligation to provide us with
opportunities to continue to make progress toward degree with a goal of timely completion.
Each program should communicate degree requirements clearly. Currently enrolled students should be
notified in writing of changes in program requirements or administrative processes, and how existing
students will be “grandfathered” into the new system.
Upon entry into a degree program, new students should be provided a thorough description of the
requirements, qualifications, and applicable deadlines necessary for academic employment, training or
financial support at the university.
The university, departments, and programs shall strive to enhance financial aid and the acquisition of
other resources to support research-based graduate education. This includes maximizing institutional
resources and seeking support from outside the institution.
It is the responsibility of the institution, departments and faculty mentors to provide students with
meaningful opportunities for professional training. This training should include socialization into the
norms of the discipline, information about professional associations and conferences, job interview
skills, career options, standards of conduct and professional ethics, and the basic intellectual skills
required to be successful practitioners of the discipline. In turn, we will endeavor to participate in
The version of this document dated November 3, 2011 has been endorsed by the Graduate Student Association
and members of the faculty as represented by the Graduate Council and Faculty Senate. It has not been
approved for inclusion in the Graduate Bulletin. Any modifications to the document must be approved by the
Graduate Student Association, Graduate Council, and Faculty Senate. Any modifications made to this document
without going through these channels will cease to carry the endorsement of both the faculty and the graduate