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Principles of Practice for University and College Periodicals Editors

Approved by the CASE Board of Trustees in November 2005

The university or college periodical publication, most often a magazine, is vital to the prosperity of its institution. By documenting the institution's vigorous culture on campus and off, the periodical engages its readers—alumni, parents, members of the local community, faculty, and staff—both intellectually and emotionally, nurturing a relationship that leads to participation in the life of the institution and continued financial support.

The periodical fulfills its mission best by exemplifying the values of its institution. It earns the trust of its sophisticated, well-educated audience through respect for truth, fairness, free inquiry, and the presentation of competing ideas.

The following principles are intended to assist university and college periodicals editors to fulfill their roles in a manner that will benefit their institutions, their profession, and the academic community as a whole.


Ethical Principles

College and university periodicals editors have a fundamental obligation to:

  • Advance the mission and well-being of their institutions in an ethical and socially responsible manner.
  • Reflect the basic values of educational institutions, including an abiding respect for diverse viewpoints and a firm commitment to the open exchange of ideas.
  • Maintain scrupulous standards of accuracy, fairness, editorial integrity, taste, and sensitivity.
  • Place the welfare of the institution above personal gain, avoid conflict of interest, take responsibility for their decisions, and treat colleagues and the public with courtesy and respect.

Operational Principles

College and university periodicals editors are most successful at advancing their institutions when they:

  • Understand and support the institution's mission and strategic goals.
  • Work collaboratively within agreed-upon frameworks of authority and responsibility.
  • Lead the determination and development of the content of the publications for which they are responsible.
  • Strive to achieve the highest editorial and literary quality in their publications.
  • Build relationships of trust and respect with other institutional communicators and members of the advancement team.
  • Recognize their responsibility as stewards of a key communication instrument, and advocate for strategies that maximize readership and ensure the periodical's effectiveness.
  • Conduct research that informs their understanding of the audience for their publications and measures progress toward established communication goals.
  • Address inaccuracies or misunderstandings in a professional and expeditious manner.
  • Welcome ideas and criticism from readers and campus colleagues through open and professional communications.


These principles are intended to supplement and complement the CASE Statement of Ethics adopted by the CASE Board of Trustees in 1982.