A few of these principles deserve particular attention at the present moment. HSE University employs thousands of staff members who are experts in their respective fields and maintain a variety of political views. As citizens, they have the right to express their personal views. The HSE Statement of Values openly says that ‘the university does not restrict employees and students from forming and expressing personal political opinions. However, any political discussions taking place within the walls of the university are to be investigative and impartial in nature, as well as based on the search for substantive arguments.’
The University closely follows the principle of political neutrality and non-involvement in politics. The composition of HSE’s faculty members and staff, which includes hundreds of international colleagues working at the university, attests to this fact. We believe that a classroom is not a place for political activism and campaigning. We advocate for the principles of rigorous academic thinking and respect for opinions based on professional analysis, responsibility, and partnership. The university does not hire or fire employees on the grounds of their political views. In its human resources policy, it strictly abides by professional reasoning and makes decisions on a competitive basis. The university preserves its professional independence and is not involved in confirming previously formulated conclusions, no matter whose interests they serve. Disputes in this area are resolved on a collegiate basis with a broad involvement of the academic community of the university, including HSE University Academic Council and its commissions.
Critical thinking as one of the cornerstones of university education lies at the foundation of our independent professional judgments. In order to preserve our professional independence, it is imperative that we maintain our professional standards through openness, continue the university’s integration into global academic and educational networks, as well as actively utilize external evaluation tools for our operations and achievements.
In our work, we are committed to providing the most favourable conditions for the development of each member of our team. The university will continue providing comprehensive support to its employees. However, we expect our colleagues to avoid mixing their personal views and values with the university position. Each team member has to strive to promote the HSE University reputation. If an employee’s public appearances, including statements in mass media or social media, address issues that cause considerable controversies in society and are beyond the objective coverage of HSE University’s professional outcomes, the employee must avoid using the university name, and he or she must also inform the interviewers and other persons providing coverage for such presentations, that the use of the university name is prohibited. We expect each employee to uphold these academic ethical standards in all of their endeavors and to avoid damaging their colleagues’ reputation and the university in general, let alone doing this intentionally.
At the same time, we would like to acknowledge once again that we are an integral part of Russian society. Our position is not one of an observer, but rather that of an active participant in social development. We value and foster the desire for creative public and professional engagement in each of us. We are not afraid to take risks in innovation and to open new opportunities for ourselves and the others. We believe it is right to pinpoint problems in our lives honestly and openly, and to work to redress them. We use our organizational experience and potential to share the accumulated practices and knowledge and try to make our research and best teaching materials available to the general public.
We educate new generations of professional and academic elites for Russia and many other countries, and that is why the principles and the atmosphere of academic independence and solidarity will be consistently preserved at HSE University. Non scholae sed vitae discimus – Not for school, but for life do we study!
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