Compact for a Civil and Caring Academic Community

A compact is a set of principles shared by people engaged in a common purpose.  At Buffalo State, the Compact for a Civil and Caring Academic Community describes how those who live, study and work together as members of our college community should treat each other:  with civility and respect, with care and concern, and with a commitment to the academic purpose for which Buffalo State College exists.

Buffalo State’s Compact is not a fixed document nor a policy, a rule or a regulation.  Rather, it is an understanding about what is right in our community – what behaviors contribute to achieving our mission, vision and core values:

  • Our commitment to the intellectual, personal, and professional growth of students, faculty, and staff;
  • Our desire to be known as a caring academic environment where lives are transformed and each individual is valued; and
  • Our commitment to supportive and collegial relationships, respect for diversity and individual differences and opportunities for individuals to realize their full potential.

The compact is meant to foster conversation, interaction, and reflection on behavior as a way to promote understanding of self and others in the context of a shared community.  It should be used by anyone who wants to help promote the standards and expectations arising from its premise that Buffalo State is and should be a Civil and Caring Academic Community. 

The compact is based on the work of Ernest Boyer, former Chancellor of the State University of New York, who proposed six principles for creating strong campus communities:

  • Purposeful
  • Disciplined
  • Civil 
  • Caring
  • Just
  • Celebrative 

 A purposeful community:

  • Is committed to the educational mission
  • Shares academic goals
  • Aims to strengthen teaching and learning across all units, both in and outside the classroom

In a disciplined community:

  • Individuals accept their obligations to the group
  • Student conduct standards define acceptable behavior and are widely known
  • Academic conduct standards are clear and enforced

In a civil community: 

  • Freedom of expression is protected
  • High standards for civility with appropriate responses to violations
  • Students speak and listen carefully to each other
  • Awareness of how actions affect others
  • Respect for the rights and dignity of others

In a caring community:

  • Individuals support the well-being of others
  • Service to others is encouraged
  • Individuals are respected and social bonds are affirmed
  • Academic and personal support is provided
  • Students connect what they learn with how they live

A just community:

  • Celebrates diversity
  • Builds racial and cultural understanding
  • Is fair and equitable in practice
  • Encourages access and offers support

A celebrative community:

  • Values heritage and tradition
  • Celebrates success  and rewards accomplishment
  • Rituals connect to the community
  • Sense of belonging to something worthwhile and enduring