Academic and Behavioral Standards Policies
Student Conduct Philosophy
Procedures to be followed for Suspected Academic Standards Violations
Procedures to be followed for Suspected Violations of Standards of Behavior
University Conduct Review Procedures for Due Process for All Alleged Violations
Every student at Notre Dame of Maryland University is obligated at all times to abide by the Honor Code, to assume responsibility for her/his actions, to respect constituted authority, to be truthful, and to respect the rights of others, as well as to respect private and public property. In their academic activities, students are expected to maintain high standards of honesty and integrity and abide by the University's Honor Code. Alleged violations of the Honor Code are adjudicated in accordance with the established procedures of the disciplinary system.
Student Conduct Philosophy
In all student conduct proceedings, it is recognized that Notre Dame of Maryland University is an educational institution and not a court of law. Therefore, the concept of fair play will take precedence in all settings and the conduct philosophy shall be one of an educational approach. It is hoped that most conduct incidents can be settled early in the process. If a student is found to be violating the behavioral or academic expectations of the University, we work with the student to a) assist the student in confronting value questions surrounding the behavior, b) assist the student in understanding the causes for the behavior and c) help the student understand the importance of considering the consequences of the behavior, in advance, so that she/he will make more sound decisions in the future.
In all proceedings regarding a student's behavior, the student must be treated fairly. To assure this, the student has the following rights:
- to be notified of the charges
- to be heard
- to know the identity of those who filed a complaint (for violations of behavioral standards)
- to be notified of sanctions (if any) in writing
- to be notified of the appeals process.
The University reserves the right to determine the method (Honor Board Hearing or Conduct Review Committee) of adjudicating alleged violations of the academic and behavioral expectations policy.
Academic and Behavioral Standards
I. Academic Standards
- The Honor Code expects academic honesty. It assumes that all work submitted is one's own. Therefore, it is agreed that:
- Examinations and tests may be un-proctored except those administered to first-year students prior to Honors Convocation.
- A signed pledge on quizzes, tests and papers affirms the student's pledge of academic honesty. Faculty may request that students write: "I hereby affirm that I have neither given nor received unauthorized help on this exam, paper, or assignment." (Signature)
- All new students will sign the Honor Pledge in preparation for the Honors Convocation. This document will be kept on file in the office of the associate vice president for academic affairs.
- To safeguard the student, all class materials will be left in designated areas, and whenever possible, adequate space will be left between students' seats.
- Cellular telephones and other electronic devices, such as personal data assistants (PDAs), are not allowed to be used in testing locations. Laptops may not be used except when permitted by the instructor as part of the testing process.
- When a student leaves an exam room while taking the exam, she/he is to indicate this and the length of the absence on the examination paper.
- All exams are handed directly by the student to the faculty member in charge of administering the exam.
- No conversation is permitted during the testing period.
- Violations of the Academic Standards include:
- Cheating on tests, examinations, or other class or laboratory work.
- Plagiarism – unacknowledged appropriation of another's work, thoughts or ideas, and the unacknowledged incorporation of that work in one's own written work. This includes submitting work that was created, researched or produced by someone else.
- Falsification of Records or Data – knowingly and improperly changing grades on transcripts, grade sheets, electronic data sheets, class reports, projects and other academically related work.
- Unauthorized Reuse of Work – turning in of substantially the same work to more than one class without consent of the instructor involved.
- Misrepresentation in bibliography and footnotes.
- Dishonest use of computer facilities – unauthorized or unacknowledged use of a computer file, program, account or login name or password.
- Students taking courses at other colleges are required to acquaint themselves with the academic regulations of that university. Students from cooperating colleges taking a course from Notre Dame of Maryland University must sign the Honor Pledge and abide by the policies set by the University.
- Faculty members are expected to clarify the policy for dealing with Honor Code violations in their syllabi and to include in their syllabi the Honor Pledge.
II. Procedures to be followed for Suspected Academic Standards Violations
- A student who believes that an Honor Code violation has occurred should report the violation to the faculty member teaching the course. A student who reports a suspected violation shall not reveal the identity of the reported student to anyone else. A student who believes that an Honor Code violation has occurred should do at least one of the following:
- Encourage the suspected student to report herself/himself,
- Tell the suspected student that she/he is going to report the suspected student to the faculty member, and/or
- Report the alleged violation to the faculty member with or without notifying the alleged violator.
- The faculty member, suspecting that a violation has occurred, should speak to the student about the situation and keep an original copy of the work, if available. If, in the opinion of the faculty member, an infraction has occurred, the instructor may impose an appropriate sanction up to and including an "F" in the course. A student who is accused of academic dishonesty in a course may not withdraw from that course while the matter is being investigated. If found guilty of the violation, the student will be held to the sanction imposed by the faculty member. The option of withdrawing from the course with a "W" grade is only open to the student who has been exonerated. The faculty member will report any incident of academic dishonesty to the chair of the department of the course in which the incident took place and to the dean of the corresponding school. The faculty member will file all supporting documentation in the office of the dean of students. This record will be purged from the student's confidential file five years after the disposition of the case.
- For flagrant violations of the University's Academic Standards, the faculty member may also refer the matter directly to the Honor Board.
- If the student wishes to appeal the finding of the faculty member, she/he will report the incident and provide accompanying documentation to the chair of the department; within seven calendar days of receipt of the documentation, the chairperson (or the associate vice president of academic affairs if the chairperson is the faculty member reporting the violation) will write to the student and uphold or modify the original decision and file the decision in the office of the dean of students.
- The student may appeal the finding of the chairperson (but not the sanction) by contacting the associate vice president for academic affairs, who will convene a meeting with the faculty member, the chair of the department and the accused student.
- If resolved at this level, a letter outlining the result of the meeting will be sent to the student and to her/his advisor and filed in the student's confidential record in the office of the dean of students. This record will be purged from the file five years after the disposition of the case.
- If not resolved at this level or if the severity of the case warrants further sanctions, the accused student, the faculty member or the associate vice president for academic affairs may request that the matter be brought before the Honor Board.
- Students who commit second or subsequent violations of academic standards during their tenure at the University will be brought before the Honor Board.
Alleged violations reported anonymously will not be followed up. The identity of the reporting student will not be revealed.
III. Behavioral Standards
The Honor Code is also concerned with social accountability and assumes that all students are responsible for themselves, other students and their guests on the Notre Dame campus.
- Violations of the behavioral standards include:
- Not cooperating or complying with directions of University authorities acting in performance of their duties and/or failure to identify oneself to these persons when requested to do so.
- Violations of published University policies, rules or regulations, including, but not limited to, the Student Handbook, Student Organization Handbook, Residence Life Handbook, Undergraduate Catalog, Graduate Catalog or Student Association Constitution.
- Violating local, state, and federal law on University property or at University sponsored or supervised activities:
- Attempted or actual theft of, damage to, and/or trespassing on University property, property of a member of the University community or other personal or public property.
- Theft or other abuse of computer time, computer equipment or facilities, including illegal or unauthorized downloading of files.
- Hazing, defined as an act which endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student, or which destroys or removes public or private property, for those purposes of initiation, admission into affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in a group or organization.
- Illegal or unauthorized possession of firearms, explosives, other weapons or dangerous chemicals on university premises. Weapons of any kind are prohibited on University property.
- Unauthorized gambling, defined as playing games of chance for money.
- Sexual assault, which includes all forms of sexual contact--rape, inappropriate touching, etc.—carried out against the will of and/or without the consent of the victim(s). Also, assaults include both the actual use of force and/or the threat of force upon the victim. Rape is forced, manipulated or coerced sexual intercourse.
- Disruption of the Educational Process:
- Disruption or obstruction of teaching, research, administration and other University activities.
- Participation in campus demonstrations which disrupt the normal operations of the University and infringe on the rights of other members of the community.
- Personal Conduct:
- Conduct which is indecent, or encourages others to be disorderly or indecent, or creates a disturbance.
- Physical abuse, hate crimes, verbal abuse, sexual abuse, threats, intimidation, harassment, coercion, and/or other conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person, or is lacking respect for the worth or dignity of a person. (This includes racial, ethnic or sexual harassment or abuse.) For allegations involving sexual harassment, the procedures spelled out in the University's Sexual Harassment Policy will be followed.
- Abuse of the University's conduct review process, including but not limited to:
- Failure to obey the notification of a conduct review committee or University official.
- Falsification, distortion or misrepresentation of information.
- Attempting to discourage participation in, or use of, the conduct review process.
- Attempting to influence the impartiality of a member of a conduct review committee.
- Harassment and/or intimidation of a University conduct review committee member prior to, during and/or after the conduct review proceeding.
- Failure to comply with any sanction(s) imposed.
- Violation of law and University Standards:
If a student is charged with an off-campus violation of federal, state, local laws or University Policy, the conduct review process will be initiated and, if found responsible, sanctions will be imposed for the misconduct that demonstrated flagrant disregard for the University community.
IV. Procedures to be followed for Suspected Violations of Standards of Behavior
- Individuals are encouraged to discuss the offending behavior with the student involved and ask her/him to stop and/or report the violation to University officials who should report it to the dean of students. Anonymous tips/reports will not be followed up.
- If there is sufficient information regarding the allegation, a letter is sent to the student informing her/him of the specific allegation. This letter provides the time, place and date of a meeting with the dean of students.
- The initial meeting is used to
- Review the situation, to determine whether the behavioral standard was violated, and to determine if the matter can be resolved administratively by mutual consent of the parties involved.
- Explain the conduct review process, review options and discuss possible sanctions and consequences.
- If the allegation cannot be resolved, the student is notified in writing of the specific alleged violation, and the time, place and date of an Honor Board hearing. The time for the hearing shall be no less than five nor more than fifteen calendar days after the student has been notified. Maximum time limits for scheduling hearings may be extended by the dean of students or her designee.
V. University Conduct Review Procedures for Due Process for All Alleged Violations
The goal of the University's conduct review process is to ensure full, fair and timely response at the lowest level possible. If the matter cannot be resolved between the parties or by a conduct review process, then an Honor Board hearing will be convened by the dean of students.
- The purpose of the Honor Board hearing is to use a peer review process to determine whether the student(s) are responsible for violating the behavioral or academic standards, and, if responsible, assess/recommend a sanction(s).
- Both a student accused of violating the behavior or academic standards or an individual reporting an alleged violation may request that an Honor Board member not participate if either feels that the vote may be biased or prejudiced. Substantiation of the claim may be required and final decision rests with the dean of students and/or the associate vice president for academic affairs.
- The hearing will be conducted according to the following guidelines:
- Hearing will be conducted in private.
- Admission to the hearing by any other person shall be at the discretion of the dean of students and/or the associate vice president for academic affairs.
- If the alleged violation involves more than one student, the hearing of all students may be heard jointly. However, the dean of students and associate vice president for academic affairs may permit individual hearings.
- The individual bringing the alleged violation or the student accused of violating the academic or behavioral standards may be assisted by an advisor, who may be a student, administrator, faculty or staff member from Notre Dame of Maryland University. The advisor is not permitted to speak or to participate directly in the hearing. The party must notify the dean of students at least 48 hours prior to the hearing with the name of the advisor and if the advisor will be in attendance at the hearing. It is also the responsibility of the party bringing the advisor to notify the advisor of the hearing's time and location.
- The individuals involved and the Honor Board shall have the privilege of presenting witnesses. The party bringing forth witnesses must notify the dean of students at least 48 hours prior to the hearing with names of the witnesses and if witnesses will be present at the hearing. It is also the responsibility of the party bringing forth witnesses to notify the witnesses of the hearing's time and location.
- Pertinent records, written statements and any other evidence may be accepted for consideration by the Honor Board.
- All procedural questions are subject to the final decision of the dean of students and the associate vice president for academic affairs.
- After the hearing, the Honor Board shall determine, by a majority vote, whether the student has violated the behavioral or academic standards.
- The Honor Board's determination shall be made on the basis of whether it is more likely than not that the accused student violated the behavioral or academic standards.
- There will be a complete recording of the hearing, which is the property of the University. Deliberations will not be recorded.
- Failure to appear for a hearing will result in the hearing proceeding in the student's/students' absence. A student(s) will not automatically be found to have violated the behavioral or academic standards because the student(s) did not attend the hearing.
- The following sanctions may be imposed on a student found to have violated the behavioral standards:
- Disciplinary Warning – A notice in writing to the student who violated University policies and/or rules warning that future violations may result in more severe sanctions. This may include special conditions that are related to the particular violation.
- Disciplinary Probation – This sanction places the student on probationary status for a specified period of time, during which further violations of the Honor Code may result in Suspension or Expulsion. There may be special conditions that are related to the violation.
- Loss of Privileges – Denial of specified privileges for a designated period of time.
- Fines – Established and published fines may be imposed.
- Restitution – Compensation for loss, damage, or injury. This may take the form of appropriate service and/or monetary or material replacement.
- Discretionary Sanctions – Work assignments, service to the University or other related assignments.
- Residence Hall Suspension – Separation of the student from the residence halls for a definite period of time, after which the student is eligible to return. Conditions for readmission may be specified.
- Residence Hall Expulsion – Permanent separation of the student from the residence halls.
- Disciplinary suspension from the University held in abeyance as per an established University Behavioral Contract – A Behavioral Contract indicates that the student has been suspended from the University; however, the suspension has been held in abeyance as long as the student abides by the specific details of her/his signed contract. The student is not in good standing with the University while on the contract. Suspension can be invoked immediately if further violations of the academic and behavioral standards occur.
- Disciplinary Suspension – Separation of the student from the University for a definite period of time, after which the student is eligible to return.
- Disciplinary Expulsion – Permanent separation of the student from the University.
- Notice Against Trespass – Notice that a student will be arrested if found on specified University premises. The student is no longer in good standing with the University. Suspensions, dismissals, and expulsions carry an automatic "Notice Against Trespass" on all University premises or as specified.
- Students who are found to have violated academic standards will be held to the sanction imposed by the faculty member or chair of the department. Additionally, the Honor Board may impose discretionary sanctions. These may include work assignments, service to the University or other related assignments, such as taking a course on proper research methods at the Library.
- More than one sanction may be imposed for a single violation.
- Other than disciplinary suspension or expulsion, disciplinary or academic sanctions shall not be made part of the student's permanent record, but shall become part of the student's confidential record. Upon graduation, the student's confidential record may be expunged of disciplinary action other than residence hall suspension, or expulsion, upon application to the vice president for student development.
- The following sanctions may be imposed upon groups or organizations:
- Those sanctions listed above in Section V, D-1, a through f.
- Deactivation – Loss of all privileges
- In each case where the Honor Board determines that the student has violated the behavioral or academic standards, the sanctions V, D-1, a through f, shall be determined by the Honor Board.
- The following sanctions may be imposed on a student found to have violated the behavioral standards:
- A decision reached by the Honor Board may be appealed by either party to the Committee on Student Development within five consecutive days of the decision. Appeals shall be in writing and should be given to the vice president for student development in the case of a behavioral standards violation or the vice president for academic affairs in the case of an academic standards violation.
- An Appeals Board, comprised of two students from the Committee on Student Development, two faculty members, and the vice president for student development (behavioral standards violation) or the vice president for academic affairs (academic standards violation), will hear the appeal.
- Except as required to explain the basis of new evidence, an appeal shall be limited to review of the recording of the initial hearing and supporting documents for one or more of the following purposes:
- To determine whether the original hearing was conducted fairly and in conformity to the prescribed procedures.
- To determine whether the sanction(s) imposed were appropriate for the violation.
- An excessive sanction when sanctions for similar violations under similar circumstances.
- The charged student(s) may appeal a decision based on E-3, a through c. The individual bringing the charge may appeal a decision based on E-3, b.
- In cases involving appeals by students accused of violating the behavioral standards, review of the sanction by the Committee on Student Development may not result in more severe sanction(s).
- Any student not following through on a sanction in the time frame allotted will be referred to the dean of students for a behavioral standard violation or the vice president for academic affairs for an academic standard violation.
- Interpretation and Revision
- Any question of interpretation regarding the Honor Code and behavioral standards shall be referred to the vice president for student development or to the vice president for academic affairs for academic standards.
- On-going review of the Honor Code shall be made by the vice president for student development and the Committee on Student Development.
- A disciplinary file is established for each student referred for disciplinary action. This file is maintained for five years from the last date of activity as a means of tracking the student's disciplinary status. In cases resulting in probation, behavioral contract, University suspension, dismissal, expulsion, and residence hall suspension, the disciplinary file will be maintained as a discipline record. Information from the record will be released upon the student's authorization. Suspension, dismissal or expulsion may be indicated on the academic transcript when the student authorizes the transcript release.
VI. Emergency Suspension
- In certain circumstances, the dean of students in consultation with the vice president for student development, or designee, may impose residence hall suspension or disciplinary suspension prior to a hearing before the Honor Board.
- Emergency suspension may be imposed only
- To ensure the safety and well-being of members of the University community or preservation of University property;
- To ensure the student's own physical or emotional safety and well-being; or
- If the student poses a definite threat of disruption of, or interference with, the normal operation of the University.
- During the emergency suspension, the student may be denied access to the residence halls and/or campus (including classes) and/or University activities or privileges as determined by the dean of students.