Graduate Student Academic Conduct Code
1. Philosophy of Discipline
The objective of the College of Engineering in enforcing academic rules is to promote an academic community in which learning can best take place. This atmosphere can be maintained only when every student believes that his or her academic competence is being judged fairly and that he or she will not be put at a disadvantage because of the dishonesty of someone else. Penalties imposed should be carefully determined so that they are no more or no less than is required to maintain the desired atmosphere. In defining violation of this code, the intent is to protect the integrity of the educational process.
2. Definition of Academic Misconduct
Academic misconduct occurs when a student intentionally misrepresents his or her academic accomplishments or hurts other students' chances of being judged fairly for their academic work.
3. Violations of This Code
Violations of this code are those that constitute an attempt to be dishonest or deceptive in the performance of academic work in or out of the classroom or to alter academic records or to collaborate with another student or students in an act of academic misconduct, such as the following.
- Cheating on Examinations: Cheating is defined as any attempt by a student to alter his or her performance on an examination in violation of that examination's stated or commonly understood ground rules.
- Plagiarism: Plagiarism is any attempt by a student to represent the work of another as his or her own. This violation includes copying the answers of another student on an oral or written examination or copying or substantially restating the work of another person or persons in any oral or written work without citing the appropriate source, collaborating with someone else in an academic endeavor without acknowledging his or her contribution, unless collaboration is specifically permitted for the particular endeavor.
- Misrepresentation or Falsification of Data presented for surveys, experiments, and so on.
- Theft of an Examination: Theft is defined as stealing or otherwise discovering and/or making known to others the content of an examination that has not yet been administered.
- Forgery, Alteration, or Knowing Misuse of graded examinations, grade lists, or official University records or documents, such as transcripts, letters of recommendation, and so on, or alteration of examination or other work after submission.
- Theft or Destruction of Examinations or Papers after submission for the purpose of covering up possible poor performance or to cause harm to another student.
- Failure to Comply with the Sanctions imposed under the authority of this code.
- Conflict of interests between GTFs and Undergraduates.
A. Proceedings before the Graduate Committee are initiated when instances of suspected academic misconduct are reported to the Chairman of the Committee. If the Chairman determines there is sufficient evidence to indicate an infraction of the academic conduct code may have occurred, the case is forwarded to the Committee. The Committee consists of a Chairman, four faculty members (one from each of the departments within the College) who are appointed by the Dean. The Committee shall have jurisdiction (1) over every alleged act of academic misconduct on the part of (a) any Graduate student enrolled in the College and (b) any student enrolled in a course taught in the College, whether that student is enrolled in the College or some other school at this University or any other college or university, and whether that course is taught during the regular academic year or in Summer Term as well as (2) every alleged act of academic misconduct pertaining to documents or course credits earned in the College by any person. This jurisdiction shall include any student enrolled in the ENG course whether in a degree program or not.
B. The College Graduate Committee shall inform the student by letter on the following matters:
- The charges;
- The date, time, and location of the hearing;
- The fact that he or she may be advised by a person of his or her choice, and that he or she may call witnesses on his or her behalf if these witnesses can provide information that is relevant to the case; but, the advisor, if there is one, has no right of direct participation in the proceedings;
- The fact that he or she shall have the right at the hearing to question the person bringing the charges on behalf of the College and all witnesses and to examine all documents which have been introduced as evidence; and
- The fact that an audio recording will be made of the hearing and that he or she may make their own audio recording and have the right to obtain copies of the audio recording of the hearing at actual cost.
- A member of the Committee shall be excused if the case might involve a conflict of interest (i.e., kinship, etc.).
- The Dean may appoint pro tempore members to replace regular members who are unable to attend or have been excused. Such pro tempore members shall vote and participate only in the specific hearing to which they are appointed.
- A representative from the home college of any non-ENG student shall be invited to attend the hearing and the Committee deliberations, but will not vote.
- The quorum for hearings shall be four voting members of the Committee.
- The Chairman shall be counted as a voting member, but shall cast his or her vote only in order to break a tie vote.
- A hearing shall proceed in the absence of the accused student only if the Committee is satisfied that proper notice was given and that there is no legitimate cause for the absence.
- The hearing shall be recorded by audio recording. The records are to be preserved for at least one year, and as much longer as necessary to provide evidence for appeals or recourse to courts.
- The order of the hearing shall be as follows:
- Presentation of charges and evidence by the individual (s) who gave evidence to the College of possible Conduct Code infraction
- Statement by the accused student
- Examination of material evidence and/or witnesses by the Committee and by the accused student
- After excusing the accused student, advisor and witnesses, deliberation of the Committee:
- Formulation of the judgment by a majority vote of the members present.
- Assessing the appropriate penalties if a judgment of guilty has been rendered on any of the counts.
- In as much as the hearing does not have the force of a court hearing, the Committee is not bound by legal rules of evidence.
- The hearing shall not be public and information gained at the hearing shall be treated as privileged information by all participants. This rule does not bar disclosing of the findings and recommendations of the Committee to those authorized to receive such information. In as much as this provision is for the protection of the accused, it does not bar him or her from disclosing the proceeding if he or she so wishes.
- By written request of the accused student to the Chairman, a limited number of specified visitors may be allowed to attend the hearing.
- The hearing shall be conducted with proper decorum. The hearing may be recessed at the option of the Chairman if:
- Additional evidence or witnesses are needed.
- It is apparent that a fair hearing cannot be held because of disturbances, illness, or similar causes.
- The Chairman of the Committee shall, from time to time, but in no case less frequently than once a year, make public the facts and decisions of all cases that come before the Committee. The Chairman shall choose the vehicle that in his or her judgment is the most efficient with regard to dissemination of said information to the University Community. In no case, however, shall the Chairman, reveal the name of any student, professor, instructor, or course involved in a case that has been heard by the Committee. The names of the members of the Committee may be included in the Chairman's report.
D. Committee's Recommendation
The complete recommendation, including a statement of the charges, evidence, and judgment, shall be transmitted to the Associate Dean as soon as possible, but no later than five business days after the hearing at which the judgment was made. The Associate Dean, who imposes sanctions, shall review the report and the appropriateness of the recommended sanctions. In case of doubt he or she may refer the matter back to the committee for further consideration and/or elaboration or request the transcript or recordings of the hearing and/or evidence. However, the factual findings of the Committee shall not be replaced by more damaging ones unless the Associate Dean has submitted new evidence for a re-hearing. Similarly, the Associate Dean shall not impose more severe sanctions than those recommended by the Committee. In the case of non-ENG students, the Associate Dean shall transmit the Committee recommendations to the Dean of the college of the student. In the event that the Dean of said college shall deviate substantially from the recommendation of the Associate Dean of ENG, the latter may, upon the recommendation of the Committee, and after consulting with the Dean of the other college, prohibit the student in question from taking courses in the College of Engineering for a period of time that shall reflect the intent of the original recommendation.
E. The Associate Dean shall notify the student (and his or her parent or guardian if the parent or guardian has the right to access the student's record, according to the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act) by registered letter with return receipt, of the judgment and penalty imposed. The letter shall also inform the student of the procedure of appeal, as discussed in section VI.
F. Non-ENG Violations
When ENG students are called before the academic conduct committee of another college in the University, the following procedure is followed.
- The Dean shall notify the other college that an ENG representative should be present at the hearing and deliberations.
- After such hearing, the Dean shall review the report and judgment and refer the case to the Chairman. Unless special problems are apparent which should be discussed by the Committee the Dean shall reach a judgment and assess an appropriate penalty.
- The ENG Associate Dean shall notify the ENG student (and his or her parent or guardian if the parent or guardian has the right to access the student's record, according to the Family Education, Rights and Privacy Act) by registered letter with return receipt, of the judgment and penalty imposed. The letter shall also inform the student of the procedure for appeal. A copy of this letter shall also be sent to the Dean of the college in which the hearing was held.
A. The Graduate Committee on Student Conduct shall have jurisdiction in all cases involving violation of this code within the College of Engineering.
B. No penalties for academic violations listed in C below may be applied by or in the name of the College of Engineering except in accordance with this code; specifically, students shall not be penalized for academic misconduct except though recommendations of the Committee to the Associate Dean (complaints about improper treatment or recommended sanctions may be made to the Associate Dean).
C. If the accused is found guilty, the following penalties may be recommended, in order of increasing severity. The College deeps a record indefinitely of all violations of the academic code of conduct. This information is available only to authorized inquiries.
For violations of a minor nature or mitigated by special circumstances.
- A copy of the reprimand shall be kept on file but shall not be recorded on the student's permanent academic record. Past reprimands may be considered in imposing sanctions for further offenses.
- The reprimand places no restriction on the student's participation in academic or nonacademic College or University activities.
For violations deemed serious enough to warrant some abridgment of the student's rights and privileges.
- Probation is given for a specified period of time.
- A notice of disciplinary probation is sent to the parent or guardian if the parent or guardian has the right to access the student's record, according to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
- The student's probation is recorded on the student's permanent academic record for the period of probation. However, a record of this violation is kept by the College indefinitely.
- Disciplinary probation prohibits the student from being an officer in any recognized all-University or College student organization.
- Probation may be coupled with appropriate disciplinary activity (e.g., community service work assignment) at the discretion of the Graduate Committee.
- After expiration of the probation period, information on such probationary status is to be supplied to those outside of the University only after written approval by the student.
For violations deemed serious enough to warrant separation of the student from the University community for a limited time but not serious enough to warrant expulsion.
- Suspension is given for a period from one to four terms.
- A notice sent to the parent or guardian if the parent or guardian has a right to access the student's records, according to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
- The student's suspension is recorded on the student's permanent academic record for the period of suspension. However, a record of this violation is kept by the College indefinitely.
- Suspension may be coupled with appropriate disciplinary activity at the discretion of the Graduate Committee.
- After the expiration of the suspension period, information on such suspension status is to be supplied to those outside the University only after written approval by the student.
For extremely serious academic misconduct, when it is the opinion of the Committee on Student Conduct that the presence of the student constitutes a substantial and continuing threat to the maintenance of a satisfactory academic atmosphere.
- Notice is sent to the parent or guardian of a student if the parent or guardian has a right to access the student's records, according to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
- Expulsion is recorded permanently on the student's academic records.
- Expulsion is permanent.
For fraudulent use of college transcripts or degree certificates or similar serious misconduct.
- Recommendations of the Committee may include, but are not limited to, withholding of transcripts, removal of suspension of rights and privileges of the degree, or legal suit by the Trustees.
- Action is recorded on the student's academic record card for a specified period or permanently, as recommended.
D. Students shall receive a copy of the Code at the time of the student's first registration at the College. The College Bulletin indicates avalability of the Code in the College Graduate Office.
A. A student may appeal the judgment of the penalty to the Associate Dean. This appeal must be written.
B. The Associate Dean shall review the documentation or refer the appeal to the Graduate Committee for clarification and comments.
C. Appeals are only considered when there is evidence that was not considered by the Committee during the hearing, or if the hearing was not conducted properly.
D. The Associate Dean reserves the right to require a rehearing if he or she feels it is appropriate. The procedure at a rehearing is the same as at the original hearing.
E. If there is a rehearing, a recommendation to the Associate Dean is to be made.
F. Before making a decision concerning the appeal, the Associate Dean may conduct his or her own investigation, if he or she has doubts about the recommendation of the Committee.
G. Based on the new evidence considered or investigation conducted during the appeal, the Associate Dean has the right to dismiss the charges, or decrease the sanction, or uphold the original finding.
H. Appeals that have been denied by the Associate Dean may be addressed to the College Dean who will review the evidence and either conclude the sanctions imposed by the Associate Dean are appropriate or he/she may decrease or dismiss the sanctions.
I. Appeals denied by the College Dean may be addressed to the Provost.
J. All appeals must be submitted within two weeks of the notification of the Committee's decision, in the case of appealing to the Associate Dean, or of the Associate Dean's decision, in the case of appealing to the College Dean, or of the College Dean's decision in the case of appealing to the Provost.
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