The Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University at Buffalo is a community dedicated to supporting excellence in scholarship and professionalism in all areas of computing. As a community, we are bound together by humanity, diversity, equity, inclusiveness and integrity.
As a member of the CSE community, whether you are faculty, staff, or student, you are expected to treat everyone with the dignity and respect they deserve as a human being.
This applies equally to face-to-face in-person interactions, on-line anonymous interactions, and everything in between. You should be respected and treated with dignity. Likewise, you must treat others with respect and dignity.
People have differences of opinion. Differences can and should be debated, in a civil, respectful manner. When debating, however, we should acknowledge and own the effects of our expressions. Intent is not the same as impact, and we should be ready to own the impact of our expressions on others even if it was not our intention.
This also applies to those impacted by the products of our work, be they software applications, hardware devices, algorithms, or beyond. We have an obligation to ensure that the products of our work are safe, respect individual privacy and agency, are transparent in what they do, work equally well for everyone, and are constructed to the highest professional standards.
Innovation and discovery are born from curiosity, from exploring new ideas to taking novel perspectives. Heterogeneity fosters robustness: more possible scenarios are likely to be considered. In contrast homogeneity leads to brittleness: bias in testing scenarios or training data leads to bias in results.
This means that diversity of opinions and experiences should not only be welcomed but valued for the strength and productivity they confer upon an organization.
People exhibit diversity along many dimensions including diversity in appearance, culture, medical, societal, and personal aspects. Each difference between individuals provides the opportunity to contribute fresh insights, novel approaches, and complementary skills, which are the currency not just of the academic realm but the marketplace economy as well.
Without equity, individuals may be prevented from contributing for reasons unrelated to their expertise. Barriers which exclude or hinder full engagement must be identified and minimized.
In order to achieve true diversity, all must feel valued and welcomed. CSE aims to create and maintain an inclusive environment, recognizing that the diversity of our department requires a shared commitment to ensuring that everyone feels welcome and can succeed.
“The academic degrees and the research findings produced by our department are worth no more than the integrity of the process by which they are gained. If we do not maintain reliably high standards of ethics and integrity in our work and our relationships, we have nothing of value to offer one another or to offer the larger community outside this department, whether potential employers or fellow scholars.”
—Peter D. Scott, CSE Eminent Professor Emeritus
Integrity is the basis of trust. Without trust the community has no value.
Through integrity, you demonstrate the value of your academic and professional training; representing yourself as a trustworthy professional and as a representative of the department.
By following the ethical standards of the professional societies (such as the ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct, the IEEE Code of Ethics, and the SEAS Code of Professional Conduct), you further assert the integrity to be a positive contribution to the future of technology and society.
By maintaining dedication to integrity, the merit of your accomplishments hold more value.
In concert, these ideals are the foundation for effecting positive change in the world and contribute to personal and professional growth and success.
These principles are our polestar. They shall guide our actions and our interactions as we strive to foster an environment in which all our community members can reach their full potential.
For any questions or to clarify any of the value statements, please contact our committee: