Code of Conduct
Code of Conduct
Harding University is unique by design and is a distinctly Christian university. Harding’s mission is to provide a quality education that will lead to an understanding and philosophy of life consistent with Christian ideals. Graduate students are expected to maintain the highest standards of morality, integrity, orderliness and personal honor. Harding University reserves the right to refuse admittance or dismiss any student whose lifestyle is not consistent with the Christian principles that this university represents.
Students are encouraged to live up to the high expectations and policies set forth in the handbook for the graduate program in which they are enrolled. The codes of conduct are designed to develop the optimum potential of each student. In making application to the University, graduate students acknowledge and agree to abide by these expectations.
General protocol for disciplinary procedures is as follows. For the specific guidelines of each graduate program, consult the appropriate handbook.
Code of Conduct Disciplinary Procedures
When it appears a rule of conduct or procedure has been broken, the chair/director of the graduate program will conduct an investigation concerning the allegation.
- If possible, the issue will be resolved with the program chair/director and the student.
- If not resolved between the chair/director of the program and the student, the student presents an appeal to the Graduate Appeals Committee for their review and recommendation concerning the alleged code of conduct violation.
- The appeal must be made to the Graduate Appeals Committee within 24 hours after the attempted resolution by the chair/director of the program and the student.
- The appeal shall be conducted in a fair and reasonable manner.
- All witnesses shall be required to affirm the truth of their testimonies.
- Presentation of evidence shall be as follows:
- Evidence that supports the charge against the student or organization.
- Evidence of innocence or mitigation by the accused.
- Rebuttal evidence by both parties.
- Closing statements by both parties.
- Both parties shall have reasonable opportunity for cross-examination of witnesses.
- The appeals will be open to the appealing party, representatives of the Graduate Appeal Committee and witnesses with relevant evidence to present. Only two eyewitnesses from each side may present their case, and neither legal counsel, guardian nor parents of the accused shall be permitted to appear before this committee.
Disciplinary sanction can range from a written or verbal reprimand to suspension or expulsion from the graduate program.
Questions in regard to code of conduct for graduate programs should be referred to the chair/director of the specific program.
Academic Integrity Policy
I. Our Integrity Covenant
We, the members of the Harding community, recognize that our covenant of integrity is with three parties.
First and foremost, students and faculty recognize their covenant with God. All morality is ultimately defined by the very nature of God, in whom all truth can be found. Desiring to reflect the heart and nature of Christ, we make a covenant with our God to be truthful and transparent.
Second, we acknowledge that we have a covenant with each other. By doing our own work, working hard, and receiving credit and recognition that represent effort and sacrifice, we create and maintain an atmosphere of excellence and fairness. As members, therefore, of this Christian community we covenant with each other to guard and protect our commonly held trust.
Third, integrity is a covenant that we make with ourselves. Our goal of being servants deserves our every effort to dedicate ourselves fully to those disciplines of study and research that will contribute to the formation of our character and our academic skills. Academic rewards obtained without personal and authentic effort rob us of both the spiritual and professional preparation that God desires.
Our academic integrity originates in the very nature of God, manifests itself in our commonly held and protected reputation, and reveals its value in the prepared Christ-like servanthood that results from a disciplined life.
II. Our Integrity Principle
Honesty: Using only authorized collaboration, information and study aids for assignments and testing. Being completely truthful in all academic endeavors.
Authenticity: Presenting only ideas and creative expressions that are unique, unless properly cited according to University guidelines. Submitting the work of another constitutes plagiarism.
Accountability: Holding ourselves to the highest ethical standards, and not allowing academic dishonesty in others to go unchallenged.
III. Our Integrity Pledge
I hereby pledge to God, to the Harding University academic community, and to myself that I will uphold godly standards of honesty, authenticity and accountability in all my undertakings.
IV. Violations of Academic Integrity
Violations of academic integrity, also called academic misconduct, include, but are not limited to, the following offenses:
- Cheating: Use or attempted use of unauthorized materials, information or study aids in any academic exercise. Such infractions include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Using materials not authorized by the teacher, such as hidden notes, tape recorders, cell phones, cameras, text messages, wands, computers, or other electronic devices, for the completion of a quiz or test.
- Copying from another student during a quiz or test
- Copying another student’s assignment or project.
- Obtaining answers to online quizzes and tests.
- Plagiarism: Representing the words, ideas or data of another as one’s own in any academic exercise. Plagiarism is a type of stealing, whether done deliberately or by mistake. Such violations include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Purchasing a paper from an electronic source or other entity.
- Downloading a partial paper or an entire paper from the Internet and submitting it as one’s own or allowing someone else (including tutors) to write, or significantly rewrite, a paper and then submitting it as one’s own.
- Using ideas, paraphrases, and/or direct quotes from a source without clear documentation of that source.
- Recycling a paper from a concurrent class or a class that was previously taken in high school or college without the permission of the instructor to do so.
- Copying verbatim from a source without using quotation marks, even if the source has been cited.
- Copying, in part or in whole, from a print source, media broadcast or recording, or the Internet or other electronic media without proper acknowledgement of the source.
- Copying another person’s sentence style and structure, key words, organizational plan, or unique words or ideas without proper documentation.
- Fabrication: Falsification or unauthorized invention of any information or citation in an academic exercise. Such misconduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Taking a course, test or quiz for another student.
- Fabricating source information within an assigned paper and/or on the works cited page.
- Fabricating lab or research information.
- Submitting collaborative and/or group work as one’s own, unless the instructor has given permission for students to do so.
- Completing another student’s class assignment for the student.
- Collaborating on out-of-class assignments with students, professors, family members and/or friends when the instructor intended for students to work independently.
- Claiming to have attended an assigned function, such as a service activity, a performance, a job interview, a home visit, a symposium, an observation, or a lecture without having attended the function or performed the actual service.
- Lying to a University employee about assignments or attendance.
- Making unauthorized use of University letterhead.
- Forging a signature for academic purposes.
- Attempting to change an assigned grade or other information on any official University document, data source or electronic item.
- Aiding and abetting academic dishonesty: Intentionally helping or attempting to help another student commit an act of academic dishonesty. Such misconduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Allowing another student to copy one’s work and to submit the work as his or her own.
- Stealing an exam or quiz from an instructor or copying a test or quiz and/or sharing it with other students.
- Sharing test questions with another student who has not taken the test.
- Giving answers to online quizzes and tests.
- Sharing test results in a non-proctored test environment in which an honor code is imposed.
- Failing to challenge dishonest conduct witnessed in other students.
- Conduct unbecoming a professional while participating in a practicum, internship, field experience, or any similar academic experience. Such academic misconduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Identifying oneself as a Harding student in off-campus locations for unauthorized academic, professional or personal gain (for example, using a student nursing ID badge to gain access to a hospital area for non-educational purposes).
- Violating the legally protected privacy of employees or patients in learning environments.
- Disregarding policies of work environments in which learning occurs.
- Acting in a manner that violates course policies or policies of the academic division.
- Theft, abuse, hoarding or concealment of academic property. Academic property includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Library resources and materials
- Laboratory equipment and supplies
- Departmental or class resources
- Tests and quizzes
Students should refer to their specific program student handbook for additional information on this subject.
V. Sanctions for Academic Misconduct
One or more of the following consequences shall result when academic misconduct has been determined:
Class A Sanctions (Course Level)
- Repeating of the assignment or completion of an additional assignment, with possibly less credit awarded in either case.
- Lowering of the grade on the test or assignment, possibly to “F” or zero.
- Lowering of the grade for the course, possibly to “F.”
- Immediate removal from the course with either a “W” or an “F” placed on the transcript.
Class B Sanctions (Program Level)
- Placement on disciplinary academic probation.
- Suspension or expulsion from a specific degree program.
Class C Sanctions (University Level)
- Placement on disciplinary academic probation.
- Suspension from the University for a designated time.
- Permanent expulsion from the University.
Additionally, one or more of the following consequences may result when academic misconduct has been determined in an academic support area:
- Loss of privileges in the academic support area.
- Monetary charges to cover all costs (repair, recovery, replacement, etc.) associated with the misconduct.
VI. Resolution of Academic Misconduct
The Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs (AVPAA) and dean or program chair shall be available to the faculty or staff member as consultants during the resolution process.
Investigation of Academic Misconduct
Incidents of alleged academic misconduct shall be resolved according to the following process:
- Following discovery of the suspected academic misconduct, within five business days the faculty or staff member shall meet with the student to discuss the allegation. (In extenuating circumstances, this contact may be by phone or email.) If new information is revealed at this meeting or if the student needs time to bring mitigating evidence, a second meeting should be scheduled within two business days. Faculty should consult their chair, dean or the AVPAA if they need help in determining an appropriate sanction.
- If the decision is to impose Class A sanctions, within two business days the faculty or staff member must: (a) inform the student in writing of the decision, (b) file an Academic Misconduct Report to the AVPAA, and (c) implement the sanction. If the Office of Academic Affairs finds that the student has a prior incident of academic misconduct, further sanctions may be imposed within 6 business days.
- If the decision is that the misconduct has earned a sanction beyond Class A:
- Within two business days, the faculty member and the immediate supervisor (program chair or dean of the academic division or appropriate staff person) must file an Academic Misconduct Report to the Office of Academic Affairs.
- Within two business days of receipt of the letter, the faculty member, supervisor, AVPAA and VPAA must meet to jointly determine sanctions.
- Within two business days of this meeting, the faculty member shall provide, in writing, a letter that includes specific charges, VPAA authorized sanctions, and notification of the right to appeal. A copy of this letter must be filed with the Office of Academic Affairs.
- The student shall have two business days from the formal notification by the faculty member to take one of two actions: (a) agree with the charges and any related sanctions that may be applied, or (b) file a request for an appeal with the Office of Academic Affairs (see Appeal Process below). This appeal must be filed in writing within two business days of receipt of the faculty letter or the student forfeits the right to appeal. An appeal form (available from the Office of Academic Affairs) must be completed and submitted.
The following statements apply to the appeal procedure:
- After formal notification of disciplinary actions, a student shall have two business days to file a request for an appeal with the Office of Academic Affairs or forfeit that right. (See item 5 above.)
- The appeal must be filed on the appeal form available from the Office of Academic Affairs.
- A student who fails to appear within 15 minutes of the arranged time for the appeal meeting shall forfeit the right to appeal.
- An appeal shall be scheduled before the Academic Misconduct Committee no sooner than the day following the receipt of request and no later than five business days of receipt of the request. (An exception may be made for extenuating circumstances. For example, the student may be out of state or out of the country, necessitating that the hearing be conducted upon his or her return.)
- A quorum must be present for the meeting. A quorum shall consist of a majority of committee members. (For a description of the Academic Misconduct Committee, refer to Section VII.)
- A document outlining the required order of the meeting is available from the Office of Academic Affairs and must be used during the meeting.
- The appeal shall be conducted in a fair and reasonable manner.
- All witnesses shall be required to affirm the truth of their testimony.
- Presentation of evidence shall be as follows:
- Support for the charge and sanction against the student.
- Support of the appeal by the student.
- Rebuttals by both parties.
- Both parties shall have reasonable opportunity for questioning of witnesses.
- If there is new information relevant to the situation under discussion, the decision, or the sanction, it shall be submitted for consideration before the closing statements by either party.
- Closing statements shall be made by both parties. New information shall not be submitted during this part of the proceedings.
- The appeal shall be open to the appealing student, the involved faculty member(s), and eyewitnesses with relevance to the alleged misconduct. Only two eyewitnesses from each side may present their case, and neither legal counsel, guardian, spouse nor parents of the student shall be permitted to appear before this committee. The Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs or Dean of Graduate Programs shall attend the appeal as an involved administrator but shall not have a vote in the decision-making process of the committee.
- An audio recording of the appeal proceeding shall be made.
- Following the appeal hearing, the Academic Misconduct Appeals Committee, by a majority vote, shall determine whether or not the case has been supported. The committee shall inform the student, the faculty member, and the faculty member’s supervisor of its decision. This decision shall be final. Verbal notification must be followed by written notification within one business day of the hearing.
- The Vice President for Academic Affairs or the committee may set the terms and conditions of a suspension from the University and readmission.
- All written documents and audio files related to this hearing must be filed as a complete package with the Office of Academic Affairs within two business days of the hearing.
- A student who has been suspended may not be on campus unless specific permission is granted by the Vice President for Academic Affairs or a Student Life dean. If campus housing is used by the disciplined student, the residence life coordinator must be notified of the decision.
VII. Academic Misconduct Committee
The Academic Misconduct Committee (AMC) shall be a standing University committee chaired by the Vice President for Academic Affairs. The AMC shall consist of the Vice President for Student Life, one faculty member per college nominated by the dean, one student per college nominated by the University Student Association or the Honors College, and the AVPAA as an ex-officio member.
The specific responsibilities of the AMC are to review the decision and sanction(s) imposed prior to the appeal to determine if (1) the investigation was conducted fairly and followed prescribed procedures, (2) the decision was based on sufficient evidence, (3) the sanction was appropriate for the violation, and (4) any new evidence that comes to light is sufficient to change the decision or sanction.
VIII. Official Records of Academic Misconduct
An Academic Misconduct Form shall be completed for each instance of academic misconduct.
The Office of Academic Affairs shall ensure maintenance of the official records related to academic misconduct.
As in the case of any policy and policy guidelines, Harding reserves the right to change them or to make appropriate revisions, additions, amendments or corrections. Faculty and students will be notified of any substantial changes.
Academic Grievance Procedure
Academic Grievance Procedure
This section covers graduate and professional students only. Procedures for undergraduate students may be found in the Harding University Undergraduate Catalog.
If a student believes that he or she has reason to question the decision of a faculty member with regard to the final grade received in a course or the unreasonable denial of academic progression, a procedure has been established to resolve the grievance. Please note that the following academic grievance policies and procedures do not include matters of academic misconduct. These matters are covered in the section titled “Academic Integrity Policy.”
I. ACADEMIC GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE
This student-initiated procedure is as follows:
- The student must register his or her complaint in writing to the faculty member within seven business days following the alleged incident, except that if the grievance involves a final grade, it must be filed within ten business days after final grades are posted by the Registrar. Within the written complaint, the student must set forth reasons and grounds for the grievance.
- Upon receipt of the complaint, within two business days the faculty member must meet with the student (in person, by telephone, or by email) and strive to resolve the problem.
- If a resolution cannot be reached, then it is the student’s responsibility to register the complaint in writing with the department chairman or dean of the program within three business days of the meeting with the faculty member.
- Upon receipt of the complaint, the department chairman or dean of the program must meet with the faculty member and the student (in person or by telephone) within two business days and strive to resolve the problem.
- If a resolution cannot be reached during this meeting, then the faculty member must document in writing the efforts made to seek resolution and that a resolution has not been achieved. This document must be shared with the student and the department chairman or dean of the program within two business days of the failure to reach a resolution.
- If the student remains dissatisfied, then within two business days of being notified that a resolution has not been met, it is the student’s responsibility to initiate the grievance appeal procedure (below).
NOTE: A file of all written documents must be maintained by the dean or department chairman. The faculty member must forward copies of all written documents to the dean or department chairman at each step of this process.
II. GRIEVANCE APPEAL PROCESS
- If, after completion of the procedure set forth above, the student believes that the grievance has not been equitably resolved, he or she may file an appeal in writing with the appropriate dean. This document must set forth the grounds and reasons of the appeal. It must be submitted to the dean within two business days of notification that a resolution has not been achieved.
- The dean must immediately notify the involved faculty member of the student’s appeal and, upon notification, the faculty member will have three business days to respond in writing to the allegations.
- Additionally, within four business days of receipt of the student’s appeal, the involved dean must appoint an ad hoc Grievance Committee consisting of three faculty members and notify the faculty member and the student of the date and time at which they must appear before the committee for a formal review of the allegations and issues.
- The review must be held within seven business days of the receipt of the appeal. (An exception may be made for extenuating circumstances. For example, the student may be out of state or out of the country, necessitating that the review be conducted upon his or her return.)
- The dean shall chair the appeals session but shall not have a vote.
- The session must be conducted in a manner ensuring substantial fairness, and it will not be restricted by the rules of evidence common to court proceedings.
- A document outlining the required order of the process is available from the Office of Academic Affairs and must be used during the session.
- All witnesses will be required to attest to a statement regarding the accuracy of the information to be given.
- The session will be open only to the faculty member, the student and eyewitnesses. Neither the student’s parents, spouse, guardian, nor legal counsel will be permitted to appear before the Grievance Committee except as eyewitnesses.
- Review proceedings (excluding the deliberations of the committee) will be tape-recorded.
- Each party will make a brief opening statement.
- The faculty member will then present support of the grade assigned or the denial of academic progression. Then the student will be permitted to present information in support of the alleged grievance.
- Thereafter, both sides will be permitted to present rebuttal information. Throughout the session, the faculty member and the student will have reasonable opportunity for orderly questioning of the eyewitnesses. Support may be presented in the form of eyewitnesses or documents relevant to the issues to be determined by the committee.
- At the conclusion of the presentations, both sides will be permitted to make closing statements.
- Once the session is adjourned, the committee will have three business days to reach a final decision. The decision of the committee will be by majority vote.
- The dean must submit the decision, in writing, to the faculty member, the student, and the AVPAA.
NOTE: The dean must submit a file of all written documents related to the Grievance Appeal meeting to the Office of Academic Affairs.
III. FINAL APPEAL OPTION
- Within two business days of its receipt, the decision of the Grievance Committee may be appealed by the faculty member or the student to the Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA).
- Upon receipt of the appeal and within two business days, the Vice President for Academic Affairs will (a) order preparation of a transcript of the Grievance Committee meeting, and (b) appoint an ad hoc Appeal Committee composed of three persons, none of whom served on the initial Grievance Committee.
- Written documentation, including the transcript of the Grievance Committee meeting, must be distributed to the ad hoc committee members at least two business days before the final appeal session.
- The final appeal session must be held within seven business days of receipt of the final appeal.
- The Vice President for Academic Affairs will serve as the chairman for the committee. The responsibility of the Appeal Committee will be to review the record (transcript and all documents) of the Grievance Committee and to render a decision, based on a review of the record, whether procedures have been followed appropriately.
- There will be no opportunity for presentation of new or additional support before the ad hoc Appeal Committee.
- The Appeal Committee may take one of the following actions:
- Affirm the decision made by the Grievance Committee, in which case the decision is final.
- Remand the decision of the Grievance Committee for additional support, reconsideration and redetermination. The redetermined decision of the Grievance Committee is subject to further appeal to the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
- Reverse the decision of the Grievance Committee and render their own decision, in which case their decision will be final.
- Upon final decision of the Appeal Committee, the student will have exhausted his or her right of appeal within the University.
IV. OFFICIAL RECORDS OF ACADEMIC GRIEVANCE PROCEEDINGS
The Office of Academic Affairs shall ensure maintenance of the official records related to academic grievance proceedings.
As in the case of any policy and policy guidelines, Harding reserves the right to change them or to make appropriate revision, additions, amendments or corrections. Faculty and students will be notified of any substantial changes.