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 and professional 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 or professional 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 and professional students acknowledge and agree to abide by these expectations.
General protocol for disciplinary procedures is as follows. For the specific guidelines of each graduate or professional program, consult the appropriate program handbook.
Code of Conduct Disciplinary Procedures
When it appears a rule of conduct or procedure has been broken and the program does not have a disciplinary procedure in place, the chair/director of the graduate or professional program will conduct an investigation concerning the allegation using the following guidelines:
- 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 or Professional Appeals Committee for their review and recommendation concerning the alleged code of conduct violation.
- The Graduate or Professional Appeals Committee is an ad hoc committee appointed by the Provost. It will consist of three members who are graduate/professional faculty, with one member who is from the program in which the student is enrolled but who is not involved in the incident.
- The appeal must be made to the Graduate or Professional Appeals Committee within 2 business days 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 or Professional 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 sanctions 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 or professional 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 or having access to materials not authorized for the completion of a quiz or test by the teacher, such as hidden notes, tape recorders, cell phones, cameras, text messages, wands, computers, or other electronic devices.
- Copying from another student during a quiz or test
- Copying another student’s assignment or project.
- Obtaining answers to quizzes and tests including those provided online and out-of-class.
- 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 quizzes and tests, including those provided online and out-of-class.
- 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 Provost 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. (Note: Adjunct faculty must consult with their immediate supervisor throughout the process and must include a full-time faculty member in all meetings with the student.)
- Following discovery of the suspected academic misconduct, 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 take place.
- Academic Integrity Incident Report
If the faculty member determines that a case of academic misconduct has occurred but cannot determine which student(s) is/are responsible (for example, when two essays are nearly identical, but it is uncertain who copied from the other), the teacher shall file an Academic Integrity Incident Report which includes the names of all the students involved. University-level sanctions are not imposed with an Academic Integrity Incident Report.
- Academic Misconduct Report
a. Faculty or staff should consult their immediate supervisor if they need help in determining an appropriate sanction.
b. If the decision is to impose only Class A sanctions, the faculty or staff member must:
i. inform the student in writing of the decision,
ii. file an Academic Misconduct Report to the Associate Provost, and copy the immediate supervisor,
iii. implement the sanction.
iv. If the Office of the Provost finds that the student has a prior incident of academic misconduct, further sanctions may be imposed.
c. If the decision is that the misconduct has earned sanction beyond Class A:
i. The faculty member, dean, associate provost, and chair or program director (if applicable) must jointly determine sanctions.
ii. The dean must file an Academic Misconduct Report (available in Pipeline on the Faculty tab) to the Office of the Provost and copy the dean of the student's major program and the faculty or staff member.
iii. The dean shall then provide to the student, in writing, a letter that includes specific charges, sanctions authorized by the associate provost, and notification of the right to appeal. A copy of this letter must be filed with the Office of the Provost.
d. The student shall have five business days from the formal notification of the academic misconduct to file a written appeal using the form available from the Office of the Provost (available in Pipeline on the Faculty tab).
The following statements apply to the appeal procedure:
- After formal notification of disciplinary actions, a student shall have five business days to file a request for an appeal with the Office of the Provost or forfeit that right. (See item 3(c) above.)
- The appeal must be filed on the appeal form available from the Office of the Provost. The Office of the Provost shall notify the dean and faculty member or staff regarding the appeal.
- 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 the appeal and no later than five business days of receipt of the appeal. (An exception may be made for extenuating circumstances. For example, the student or faculty member 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 the Provost 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.
- Questions and requests for clarification from the committee.
- 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 Associate Provost or Assistant Provost for 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, in closed session, the Academic Misconduct Committee, by a majority vote, shall determine whether or not the case has been supported. Within two business days the provost shall inform the student, the dean of the student’s major program, and the faculty member in writing of the committee’s decision.
- The Provost or the committee may set the terms and conditions of the sanction.
- All written documents and audio files related to the hearing must be filed as a complete package with the Office of the Provost.
- A student who has been suspended or expelled may not be on campus unless specific permission is granted by the Provost or the Vice President for Student Life. If campus housing is used by the disciplined student and the student has been dismissed, the Office of the Provost will notify the residence life coordinator.
VII. Academic Misconduct Committee
The Academic Misconduct Committee (AMC) shall be a standing University committee chaired by the Provost. 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 Associate Provost as an ex-officio member. A dean can nominate a student from the college as a substitute if a student committee member cannot participate. In addition to the quorum requirement, a minimum of ten members and a maximum of twelve members shall be present for any meeting.
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 the Provost 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.