Statement of Responsibility

The Montana Western community values personal and academic freedom and embraces the ideals of academic honesty and integrity. All members of the campus community have the personal responsibility to promote an atmosphere of civility in which the free exchange of ideas and opinions can flourish. We do so by learning from individual and collective differences and respecting every person.

Civility Standards at Montana Western

Civility is not a sign of weakness…let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belaboring those problems which divide us.---John Fitzgerald Kennedy

It should consistently be remembered that all Montana Western employees and students are working under the following set of standards for the betterment of the University, its employees, and its students. It is the responsibility of each of us to live up to these standards. All of the expectations below apply to face-to-face as well as virtual interactions. This document is expected to be congruent with objectives of the 2013-23 Strategic Plan.


  • Trust what others say is genuine and honor their word

  • Talk to, not about, others


  • Model respectful treatment of others by treating others as you would like to be treated

  • Be generously understanding and accepting of diverse ways of thinking, teaching, learning and accomplishing things

  • While discussions may become heated and passionate, they should never become mean, nasty or vindictive in spoken or printed or emailed words, facial expressions, or gestures


  • Employ active listening by giving undivided attention to speakers, allowing them to complete their thoughts before you respond to them

  • Use “I” statements in conversations so others know you own your own words

  • Talk face-to-face with others as much as possible, especially on areas of disagreement


  • View conflicts as learning opportunities to understand why individuals hold conflicting viewpoints

  • If someone informs you that you are doing something offensive, frustrating, or wrong, try and understand what they are telling you without getting angry with them

  • Externalize conflicts; do not view conflicts as between individuals but as between ideas


  • Be accountable and take ownership of all your communications and other actions; do not make unauthorized anonymous one-way communications to or about others

  • Never involve students or community members in campus politics to gain support for your point of view or to gain personal allies

  • If someone is doing something you find offensive, disruptive, frustrating, or wrong, tell them clearly, calmly, and politely

  • Be kind to others at all times