To me, being a faculty involves many things.
First and foremost is being a teacher. To me, academia in its core is about providing an environment for the pursuit of knowledge and personal growth. Faculty, as teachers, can and should serve as guides to the students in this endeavor. As such, faculty should create an inclusive environment of mutual respect in which this growth can happen. Faculty need to challenge students to improve, while at the same time allowing them to fail as part of the process. Faculty need to also provide students with fair, impartial feedback on their progress.
In their capacity as teachers, faculty should also serve as mentors to students. This means that they should become involved in their students’ lives beyond the requirements within the classroom. They should advise students on questions about the students’ future and current work. They shall serve as role models not only in terms of professionalism, but also in terms of being engaged citizens.
A further part of being a faculty is a faculty’s own pursuit of knowledge through research. To me, faculty have the responsibility not only to convey current knowledge to whoever is interested, but rather also to further our knowledge as a society. In their pursuit of knowledge, faculty need to proceed with utmost integrity. It is a researcher’s responsibility to document and disseminate his or her approach and the results of the work. They are responsible for the safety and well-being of any human or animal subjects involved in their research. Furthermore, faculty need to consider the effect of their research on the environment.
The life of a faculty should also be a life of service, both to their universities as well as to society as a whole. This aspect should not end with the service as molders of young minds in the role of teacher, nor with the service to society that new discoveries can bring. Instead, faculty should also become involved within their community and help with creating a better, more inclusive society.