Extended Campus Code of Conduct
Statement of Ethics
We endeavor to fulfill the following expectations:
- To preserve academic honor and integrity by repudiating all forms of academic and intellectual dishonesty;
- To treat others with respect and dignity;
- To respect the rights and property of others;
- To act with concern for the safety and well-being of all our associates.
Webster University students are accorded the following rights to ensure positive educational results for each individual:
- Educational Environment: Students have the right to an environment conducive to their educational pursuits. This environment should be free from harassment and discrimination and free from any other unreasonable interference with their educational experiences. Webster University offers protection from discrimination to students in their educational programs, activities, and employment on the basis of race, sex, sexual orientation, color, creed, age, ethnic or national origin, or nondisqualifying handicap, as required by federal laws and legislation, including Title IX of the 1972 Educational Amendments.
- Assembly and Expression: Students have the right to assemble and express themselves freely in a lawful and orderly manner. (This right may be subject to the “Rallies, Demonstrations, and Public Assemblies” policy described herein.)
- Privacy: Students have the right to privacy as protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as amended (commonly referred to as the Buckley Amendment).
- Information: Students have the right to information pertaining to academic standing, course requirements, and graduation requirements.
- Participation in University Governance: Students have the right to participate in University governance through the Student Government Association, other student organizations, and through University-wide committees, as set forth in University policy.
- Joining Campus Organizations: Students have the right to join campus organizations, as set forth by respective organizations' constitutions and by University policy.
- Access to Disciplinary Procedures: Students have the right to utilize disciplinary procedures, as set forth in University policies.
- Search and Seizure: Students have the right to be secure from unreasonable search and seizure.
- Grievances: Students have the right to make their concerns or grievances known through the appropriate administrative channels as prescribed under the policies of the University.
When enrolling at Webster University, a student assumes responsibilities to fellow students, to the University, and to himself or herself. Students are responsible for conducting themselves in a lawful, civil, and responsible manner and for observing all University rules, regulations, and policies. This policy is intended to address concerns regarding the behavior of students who are members of the University community. These procedures are not intended to replace civil and/or criminal procedures. When necessary, the University will work with appropriate law enforcement officials to redress accusations of criminal activity.
For the purposes of the Student Code of Conduct, a student is defined as someone who has accepted an offer of admission to the University with a monetary deposit and is in the process of enrolling (i.e., summer registration program), is enrolled, or was recently enrolled as a part-time or full-time student. Student status remains in effect during any semester in which a person is or has been enrolled (regardless of whether they dropped or withdrew from that semester); during break periods between consecutive semesters of enrollment; and during the quarter/semester immediately preceding and immediately following enrollment until a diploma is conferred.
If the University becomes aware that a student or applicant is a convicted felon, or is required to register as a sex offender, the University reserves the right to immediately dismiss that student and/or prohibit that applicant from enrolling in future classes, or limit the access of that student to specific campus facilities, based upon a review of the crime committed by the student/applicant.
The following actions are defined by the University as unacceptable forms of behavior and are subject to disciplinary response:
Acts of dishonesty, including but not limited to the following:
- Cheating, plagiarism, or other forms of academic dishonesty
- Furnishing false information to any University official, faculty member, or office
- Forgery, alteration, or misuse of any University document, record, or instrument of identification
- Tampering with the election of any recognized University student organization
- Misappropriation of student activity and/or University funds
- Falsification of work hours on a payroll timesheet
- Violating a student's right to privacy as outlined in the University's FERPA policy
- Providing false information on the admission and/or housing application.
Academic dishonesty includes the following and any other forms of academic dishonesty:
- Cheating—Using or attempting to use crib sheets, electronic sources, stolen exams, unauthorized study aids in an academic assignment, or copying or colluding with a fellow student in an effort to improve one's grade.
- Fabrication—Falsifying, inventing, or misstating any data, information, or citation in an academic assignment, field experience, academic credentials, job application or placement file.
- Plagiarism—Using the works (i.e. ideas, words, images, other materials) of another person as one's own academic property without proper citation in any academic assignment. This includes submission (in whole or in part) of any work purchased or downloaded from a Web site or an Internet paper clearinghouse as well as work submitted by the student for another course or assignment.
- Facilitating Academic Dishonesty—Assisting or attempting to assist any person to commit any act of academic misconduct, such as allowing someone to copy a paper or test answers.
2. Verbal Assault, Harassment, Intimidation, Bullying, Defamation, and Threatening or
Physical abuse, verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, coercion, and/or other conduct that threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person (Sexual harassment and misconduct are governed by the Policy on Sexual Assault, Harassment and Other Sexual Offenses.)
Threatening or causing physical harm to another person. Physical abuse includes, but is not limited to: personal injury, physical restraint against a person's will, and holding or transporting an individual against his will.
“Bullying” is defined as inappropriate, unwelcome behavior (through various means of communication or physical contact) which targets an individual or group because of a characteristic of the individual or group, whether protected by anti-discrimination laws or not. Prohibited bullying may also be the result of repeated behavior of an intimidating nature. Or, if direct, may also meet this definition and can occur through verbal, physical, electronic or other means.
Conduct constitutes prohibited “Bullying” when a reasonable person in the circumstances would find the conduct sufficiently severe, based on its nature and frequency, to create an environment which is hostile or intimidating and which unreasonably interferes with the work, educational or college opportunity, or is intended to cause or is reasonably foreseeable to cause physical, emotional, or psychological harm.
Prohibited bullying behavior can take a variety of forms, and may include, but is not limited, to the following examples:
- Verbal abuse, such as the use of derogatory remarks, insults, and epithets; slandering, ridiculing or maligning a person or his/her family; persistent name calling; using an individual or group as the butt of jokes;
- Verbal or physical conduct of a threatening, intimidating, or humiliating nature;
- Sabotaging or undermining an individual or group’s work performance or education experience;
- Inappropriate physical contact, such as pushing; shoving, kicking, poking, tripping, assault, or the threat of such conduct, or damage to a person’s work area or property, and
- Inappropriate electronic communication, such as the use of electronic mail, text messaging, voice mail, pagers, social media, website, and/or online chat rooms in a threatening, intimidating, or humiliating manner.
“Defamation” is defined as the oral, written, or electronic publication of a false statement of fact that exposes the person about whom it is made to hatred, contempt, or ridicule, or subjects that person to loss of the good will and confidence of others, or so harms that person’s reputation as to deter others from associating with her or him.
3. Disruption or Obstruction
a. Disruption or obstruction of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary proceedings, other University activities, including its public service functions on or off campus, or other authorized non-University activities, when the act occurs on University premises
b. Participation in campus demonstrations that disrupt the normal operations of the University and/or infringe on the rights of other members of the University community; leading or inciting others to disrupt scheduled and/or normal activities within any campus building or area; intentional obstruction that unreasonably interferes with freedom of movement, either pedestrian or vehicular, on campus, whether inside or outside.
4. Theft, Damage, or Unauthorized Use
Attempted or actual theft of, unauthorized use of, and/or damage to property of the University or property of a member of the University community or other personal or public property. This includes the intent to destroy or vandalize property
5. Unauthorized Entry or Use of University Premises
Unauthorized possession, duplication, or use of keys and/or access codes to any University premises or unauthorized entry to or use of University premises. Trespassing upon, forcibly entering, or otherwise proceeding into unauthorized areas of University owned or leased facilities, their roofs, or the residential space of another without permission.
Failure to comply with directions of University officials or law enforcement officers acting in performance of their duties and/or failure to provide proof of identity to these persons when requested to do so.
7. Drugs, Alcohol, Firearms, Gambling
Abuse of prescription and/or over-the-counter drugs.
Violation of any federal, state, or local law including but not limited to:
- Use, possession, or distribution of narcotics or other controlled substances, except as expressly permitted by law
- Use, possession, or distribution of alcoholic beverages, except as expressly permitted by the law and University regulations, or public intoxication (also see Alcohol Policy below)
- Use or possession of firearms, fireworks, other explosives, other weapons, or dangerous chemicals on University premises not specifically authorized by the University
- Misuse of legal objects in a dangerous manner (e.g., laser pointing in someone's eyes)
- Illegal gambling or wagering
8. Disorderly, Indecent Conduct
Conduct that is deemed disorderly, lewd, or indecent; breach of peace; or aiding, abetting, or procuring another person to breach the peace on University premises or at functions sponsored by, or participated in by, the University.
9. Theft or Other Abuse of Computer Time (see also Computer Use Policy)
Theft or other abuse of computing resources and network access, including but not limited to:
- Unauthorized entry into a file, to use, read, or change the contents, or for any other purpose
- Unauthorized transfer of a file
- Unauthorized use of another individual's identification and password
- Use of computing facilities to interfere with the work of another student, faculty member, or University official
- Use of computing facilities to send, display, or print obscene or abusive messages
- Use of computing facilities to interfere with normal operation of the University computing system
- Knowingly causing a computer virus to become installed in a computer system or file
- Knowingly using the campus computer network to disseminate “spam” messages (i.e., unsolicited bulk e-mail messages that are unrelated to the mission of the University).
- Knowingly using the campus computer network to send any threatening, or otherwise inappropriate message.
- Illegal download of copyrighted software or other works (e.g., music files) for private financial gain and/or copying of works worth $1,000 or more within a six-month period.
10. Improper Use of Cell Phone Cameras
Misuse of mobile phone cameras, electronic capture devices, or unauthorized audio or video recording, in an area where the expectation of privacy exists, or to facilitate plagiarism, compromise academic work, including but not limited to tests, or otherwise improperly compromise the intellectual property rights of others.
Hazing, defined as an act that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student, or that destroys or removes public or private property, for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in, a group or organization.
12. Abuse of Fire Safety Standards
Any activity involving tampering with fire alarms or firefighting equipment, unauthorized use of such equipment, failure to evacuate during a fire alarm, hindering the evacuation of other occupants, or hindering authorized emergency personnel.
13. Abuse of the Student Conduct System
Abuse of the Student Conduct system, including but not limited to:
- Failure to obey the summons of a Student Conduct body or University official
- Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information before a Student Conduct body
- Disruption or interference with the orderly conduct of a Student Conduct body prior to, and/or during the course of, the Student Conduct proceeding
- Initiating a Student Conduct proceeding without justification
- Attempting to discourage an individual's proper participation in, or use of, the Student Conduct system
- Attempting to influence the impartiality of a member of a Student Conduct body prior to, and/or during the course of, the Student Conduct proceeding
- Harassment (verbal or physical) and/or intimidation of a member of a Student Conduct body, participant, and/or witness prior to, during, and/or after a Student Conduct proceeding
- Failure to comply with the sanction(s) imposed under the Students' Rights and Responsibilities policy
- Influencing or attempting to influence another person to commit an abuse of the Student Conduct system.
14. Other Offenses Against the Webster University Community
- Violations of other published University policies, rules, or regulations. Such policies, rules, or regulations may include the Housing and Residential Life Handbook, specific departmental polices, and the contracts and leases for campus housing.
- Selling, or solicitation, on campus without the written authorization from the Campus Director or his/her designee.
- Creating a fire, safety, or health hazard.
15. Criminal Conduct and/or Civil Offenses
A violation of any local, state, or federal criminal law, or engaging in behavior that is a civil offense may be considered a violation of the Webster University Student Code of Conduct, even if the specific criminal conduct/civil offense is not specifically listed in this Student Responsibility section. The criminal conduct/civil offense may be considered as a violation of the Code of Conduct irrespective of whether the criminal violation/civil offense is prosecuted in a court of law. The University may inform law enforcement agencies of perceived criminal violations and may elect to defer internal Student Conduct action until prosecution of the criminal violation has been completed. Exoneration from criminal charges will not result in immunity from civil action or University proceedings.
Off-campus behavior that is detrimental to the University or its students, faculty, or staff in their roles as members of the campus community is governed by this code. Webster reserves the right to take actions that address the violations through educational intervention or sanctions.
Social Media and Other Electronic Platforms
Behavior conducted through social media and/or other electronic platforms that is detrimental to the University, its students, faculty, or staff in their roles as members of the campus community is governed by this code. Webster reserves the right to take actions that address the policy violations through educational intervention or sanctions.
Webster reserves the right to deny admission based on non-academic reasons when it is believed to be in the best interests of the University. A disciplinary violation or criminal conviction may affect admission, enrollment, or course of study, whether occurring prior to the time of application, while the application is under review, or after the admission decision has been made.
Disciplinary and Student Conduct Procedures
Because Webster University is an educational institution, Student Conduct procedures and disciplinary responses to student behavior are designed as much for guidance and correction of behavior as for invoking fair and appropriate sanction. This code and these procedures are designed to determine whether students' alleged behaviors violate the standards and expectations of the University educational community. These expectations and procedures should, in no way, be construed to replace civil or criminal expectations or proceedings. Where necessary and appropriate, the University will work in concert with legal enforcement officers to address alleged illegal behavior. These procedures are used to address the seriousness of the offense and the record of conduct of a given student; however, specific responses are not rigidly predetermined. The University recognizes that inappropriate behavior may be the result of the student's inability to solve a problem or manage a situation appropriately. Ultimately, the student must accept responsibility for his or her behavior and the consequences that result. However, the University also recognizes that Student Conduct responses may include providing students with educational alternatives that assist the student in learning how to handle certain situations. The fundamental hope is that the student can learn and grow from the incident and sanctions imposed in response to that behavior, and that he or she can make the necessary changes in his or her behavior to become a constructive member of the educational community.
1. University Rights and Responsibilities
Regarding Campus Disruption or Obstruction: In cases of alleged campus and/or classroom disruption or obstruction of the academic mission of the institution, immediate action may be initiated by a faculty member and/or administrator to restore order and/or to prevent further disruption. Behavior occurring within the academic arena, including but not limited to classroom disruption or obstruction of teaching, is within the jurisdiction of Academic Affairs. Faculty members have the right to address the immediacy of a situation as they deem appropriate (e.g., temporary removal of a student from a class when inappropriate, disruptive behavior occurs). Faculty response is forwarded to Campus Director, who consults with the academic dean for review (or his or her designee), and if necessary, further action. Further action might include permanent removal from the course. Repeated offenses could lead to removal from the program and/or the University. When necessary and appropriate, Public Safety and/or the local police may be contacted to assist with restoring peace and order.2. The Rights of the Student Charged
The student being charged has the right to testify on his or her own behalf, and the right to bring witnesses on his or her own behalf. Accused students may submit questions in advance to the hearing officer that they wish to have asked of those bearing witness against them. During the hearing, questions should be directed to the hearing officer, not to the witness. The use of these questions is at the discretion of the hearing officer. In cases of alleged sexual assault, special measures may be invoked to protect the rights of the victim as well as the accused. In the event accused students choose not to testify, decisions may still be rendered in the absence of their testimony. Students who receive University accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act should notify the hearing officer that the appropriate accommodations should be accorded them as part of the disciplinary process.
3. Reporting a Violation
Reports of alleged violations of University rules or regulations are made to the Campus Director (or the Academic Dean in cases of academic misconduct), or his or her designee, herein referred to as the Director.
The Director informs the student in writing that an alleged violation of the Code of Conduct has been reported about him or her. The Director commences an investigation of the incident by reviewing the incident with the student. The student may be asked to provide a written statement to the Director within 48 hours of this preliminary discussion. The Director also may request written testimony from the person(s) who brought forward the information or charges and any other persons the Director believes may provide pertinent information. The Director may appoint a designee from the campus staff to act in his or her place for any disciplinary procedure.
All disciplinary and Student Conduct procedures are closed and confidential. Final disciplinary decisions are communicated to the student charged and relevant school officials. If the student charged signs a release, the final disciplinary decisions are also communicated to the charging party. A copy of the written description of the sanction is placed in a file at the campus and in the Dean's disciplinary file in the Office of Student Affairs in St. Louis.
5. Types of Proceedings
- Mediation: This procedure is implemented by the Director or his or her delegate and is generally reserved for first and less serious violators. It is employed when a violation arises out of a dispute between a charged student and another party or parties. The goal is to design a mechanism to resolve the dispute and to prevent it from recurring. A signed record of the mediation efforts, and the agreed-upon resolution, will be retained by the Director. If the participants in mediation fail to live up to the agreed-upon settlement, a charge(s) may be processed under the appropriate procedures cited below.
- Administrative Proceeding: Many disputes or infractions can be handled within the context of an administrative
hearing. The administrative proceedings are conducted by the Director (or his or her
designee), or the Academic Dean (when the offense occurs within an academic setting).
Such hearings are appropriate under any of the following conditions:
1. When there is no record of disciplinary action in the recent past or a record of only minor violation;
2. When sanctions called for are less severe than suspension or expulsion from the University;
3. When both the student charged and the party making the charge (e.g., a University official or another student) agree to the facts in an incident and the charged party admits fault. In this case both parties agree to implementation of a disciplinary decision by the Dean, or his or her designate, or, in the case of an infraction in an on-campus residential property, the Coordinator of Housing and Residential Life or Managing Director of Webster Village Apartments. This agreement is made in the form of a written joint memorandum. The student's right of appeal remains unchanged; if the student is found in violation of a stated policy by the Director, sanctions are assigned. The decision is written as soon as is reasonably practicable after the hearing and forwarded to the student and, if a release is signed, to the person who made the charge.
- Academic Dean's Review
This procedure is implemented by the Academic Dean (or his or her designee) and is intended to review the status of the student in a faculty member's course. This review may include a mediation between the student and the faculty member or it may be an administrative proceeding to determine whether a student should be allowed to remain in the given course. Because of the necessity for swiftness, this review should take place as soon as possible following the incident and is not subject to the requirement of three days advanced, written notice to the student. After consulting with the student and the faculty member, together and/or separately (and any necessary witnesses), the Dean shall render a decision. The student's right of appeal is to the Provost and Senior Vice President. In cases of academic dishonesty, a faculty member or university designee may request an academic dean's review for possible referral to the Academic Honesty Board for a hearing on potential suspension or dismissal.
- The Campus Student Conduct Board (CSCB)
The Campus Student Conduct Board consists of three members: one student, one faculty member, and one staff member selected by the Campus Director. The Student Conduct Board selects one of its members to serve as presiding officer. The purpose of the Campus Student Conduct Board is to hear charges of student violations of University rules and regulations in cases that might involve suspension or expulsion, to decide whether the charged student is responsible for the alleged violation(s), and if responsible, to assign sanctions. The Campus Student Conduct Board also reviews requests for appeal of decisions made by the Director, and hears all cases referred directly by the Director.
- Expedited Process for Suspension or Dismissal
In the most serious, "high risk" cases, in which the accused student may pose a serious
threat to the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff, the following process
may be enacted, with the approval of the assistant provost. Steps 1-3 can take place
within a single day.
- The accused student is informed of the charges against him/her via email, letter, or phone call.
- The accused student has the opportunity to respond to these charges via email, letter, or phone call.
- The accused student will have the opportunity to submit questions to be answered by his/her accuser(s).
- The dean of students (or his/her designee) decides if the accused student is responsible for a violation of University policies, and if appropriate, determines sanctions, which could include suspension or dismissal. This is communicated to the accused student.
- The accused student has ten days in which to forward a written appeal to the dean of students’ office. Any such appeal must set out the specific reasons supporting the appeal, including any contested finding of facts which are set out in the Dean’s determination of sanctions. The written appeal will be reviewed by the appropriate body, the University Student Conduct Board or the Sexual Offense Hearing Board. Due to the seriousness of this kind of case, all requirements for advance notification are hereby waived.
- violent crimes against a person,
- behavior resulting in felony charges or convictions (equivalent to Class A, B, or C felonies in Missouri)
- threats or harassment of such an egregious nature that campus safety is affected
- any behavior that strongly suggests the accused may be a serious threat to the health and safety of students, faculty, or staff
6. Procedural Guidelines for Administrative and Student Conduct Hearings
The Student Conduct Board or Hearing Officer shall conduct hearings so as to assure the basic concept of procedural fairness.
The following procedures shall be adhered to:
- The Director, or his or her designate is responsible for setting the hearing time, notifying all parties who are to testify, and forwarding all pertinent data to the appropriate board.
- The Director shall give appropriate advance notice, in writing, of the charges against the student and copies of available evidence, to ensure that he or she may adequately prepare for such a hearing. The notice clearly indicates the date, time, and place of the hearing. The notification should be received by the student at least three calendar days prior to the hearing. Students who receive University accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act should notify the Hearing Officer about the accommodations that should be accorded them as part of the disciplinary process.
- The hearing shall not be considered to be a legalistic trial. Rather, the Student Conduct Board or Hearing Officer shall examine all relevant facts and circumstances at the hearing, shall ensure the relevancy of witnesses' statements, and shall, using a standard of “more likely than not,” determine whether the charged student should be held responsible for a violation of the Code of Conduct.
- Hearings are confidential and closed to all but the principals of the case. At the discretion of the Hearing Officer, a transcript may be kept in audio taped or written form. The tape and transcript are the property of the Director's Office. Students are not permitted to tape or otherwise record the proceedings. Transcripts will be kept by the Director's Office and may be reviewed but not copied or removed from the Director's Office.
- All parties have the right to be assisted in their presentation by an advisor of their choice. The advisor may be, but is not limited to, a friend, a fellow student, or faculty member. The advisor may speak privately to the student charged during the proceedings with permission of the presiding Hearing Officer. At no time during the hearing, however, will such advisor be permitted to speak for the advisee. Each party may request a brief recess to consult with his or her advisor. The presiding officer rules on questions of procedure and is responsible for moving the proceedings along in a timely and orderly manner. Students are responsible for providing copies of all documents to their advisors.
- Prior to the hearing (at least 24 hours), the student being charged should submit to the Director a list of any witnesses he or she wishes to present and the nature of the testimony they may offer. This student should also submit a list of questions he or she wishes to have asked of the charging party.
- At the hearing, the student being charged and the charging party shall have ample opportunity to explain the circumstances surrounding the incident and are encouraged to present pertinent evidence and the testimony of witnesses in person. In addition, both parties shall be afforded the opportunity to comment on any written statements or other evidence presented, and to respond to questions.
- No member of the Student Conduct Board or the Hearing Officer should be either a witness for or against the student or a person previously engaged in formulating the charge or in presenting the material relating to the case. Alternate members will be appointed in cases in which Board members have a perceived conflict of interest with the principals of the case.
- The presiding officer rules on all objections, questions, and procedural points, subject to being overruled by majority vote of the Board. He or she also determines the sequence of testimony, including the option of having all principal parties meet together in the hearing. All those who participate in the hearing are obligated to conduct themselves in an orderly manner and to obey and abide by the presiding officer's rulings. The Director attends all hearings to serve as an advisor in the process. The Dean of Students in St. Louis should be consulted on Student Conduct procedures used at the extended campuses.
- Once all testimony is heard or read, the student being charged and the charging party are asked to make a final statement and the Hearing Officer or Board members are given a final opportunity to ask questions. All persons other than Board members and the Director are then excused and the Board meets to render a decision. The Director does not vote.
- The Hearing Officer or Board decides whether there was a violation of policy using a standard of “more likely than not.” They also determine whether the charged student should be held responsible for that violation. If so, sanctions are also imposed on the responsible student. Each decision must have been reached by a majority of the Board. Once a decision is reached, the student being charged is informed orally of the decision by the Director. Both parties receive the decision in writing from the Campus Director as soon thereafter as is practicable (the charging party is informed only if the student charged signs a release form or if the case involves a violent act).
- Grounds for appeals:
• Procedural error
• New evidence
• Excessive sanction
- Limits of appeal and sequence of appeal:
A student found in violation of a stated policy may appeal a disciplinary decision only once, based on one or more of the criteria cited above. The appeal may take place in one of the following stages:
- Appeal of a decision by / Appeal to:
• Campus Director / Campus Student Conduct Board
• Academic Dean (or designee) / Provost
• Campus Student Conduct Board / Assistant Provost
- The act of filing an appeal usually postpones the action required by the initial decision until the appeal process is completed, unless the Director (in consultation with the Dean of Students) determines that postponement of the sanction may result in a serious threat to the University community.
- The student must file the appeal through the Office of the Campus Director within 10 calendar days of receiving written notification of the decision. (An extension of this deadline may be requested in writing to the Dean of Students to accommodate periods of University recess or for other extenuating circumstances.) The Director then forwards the request to the appropriate Hearing Officer or the Campus Student Conduct Board.
- The individual seeking the appeal must indicate, in writing, the specific bases or reasons for his or her appeal. The appeal statement should include the following: Student's name, ID#, local address, phone number, reason for appeal (see 7 a. above), and appropriate information regarding why the appeal should be granted. The letter should be of sufficient detail to stand on its own without accompanying testimony to permit the evaluation of the merit of the grounds for appeal. For example, if there were procedural errors, the errors should be identified and it should be noted what effect those errors had on the outcome of the case. If there is new evidence, the nature of that evidence and the potential effect on the outcome of the case should be noted. If the student believes the sanction was excessive, the student should take great care to note why they believe the sanction was excessive and should suggest a more reasonable sanction.
- The appropriate Hearing Officer or an appeals committee of the Campus Student Conduct Board will consider the written statement of appeal and recommend action to be taken: denial of appeal or a new hearing. The individuals involved will receive written notification of the decision from the Director.
- If the result of the appeal is an order for a rehearing, the hearing procedures described above shall apply. A new panel of Student Conduct Board members would rehear the case.
Disciplinary actions are proscribed by the Hearing Officer or Student Conduct Board. Students are obligated to carry out all directives of the Hearing Officer or body. Failure to do so may result in further sanctions. It is the prerogative of the Student Conduct body to assign sanctions it deems fitting in response to the actions of the student found in violation. The Director has responsibility for monitoring compliance with all sanctions.
1. Temporary Suspension
Students may be placed on temporary suspension by the Director (in consultation with the Dean of Students and the appropriate Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs) in the following circumstances:
If the student is reasonably likely to present a threat to him or herself, to the University community, or to any of its members; or if the student poses a definite threat of disruption of, or interference with, the normal operations of the University, the alleged violator may be placed on temporary suspension. The student will be afforded an Administrative Hearing as soon as is practically possible to determine if, when, and which University privileges may be reinstated; however the student will remain on suspension until the proceedings are complete. The opportunity for appeal to the CJB remains intact. During the temporary suspension, the student shall be denied access to University facilities and/or all other University activities or privileges for which the student might otherwise be eligible as deemed appropriate by the Director.
2. Disciplinary Sanctions
The primary functions of any hearing body or officer are to determine whether or not there was a violation of policy and, if so, to recommend an appropriate sanction. The following are guidelines for sanctions, though ultimate determination of appropriate sanction lies with the Hearing Officer or hearing body.
Typically, for a first-time offender, a Level 1 sanction will be recommended. A Level 2 sanction may be recommended if the violation was a serious first offense or if the referred party was a repeat offender. Level 3 sanctions are usually reserved for serious first-time offender(s) or for repeat offenders. The following are examples of disciplinary sanctions. These may be used in combination at the discretion of the ruling party.
- Student Conduct Letter of Warning
- University Disciplinary Warning
- Educational Sanction
- Financial Restitution
- Parental Notification of Violation and Imposed Sanctions
- Administrative Withdrawal from a Course
- Administrative Hold on University Account
- Student Conduct Letter of Warning
- University Disciplinary Warning
- Educational Sanction
- Financial Restitution
- Parental Notification of Violation and Imposed Sanctions
- Administrative Withdrawal from a Course
- Administrative Hold on University Account
- Disciplinary Suspension
- Disciplinary Dismissal
b. Descriptions of Disciplinary Sanctions
Student Conduct Letter of Warning: A warning letter issued by a Student Conduct hearing body or officer. The letter is placed in the Director's Student Conduct File and will be made available to any hearing body or officer should the student become a repeat offender.
Administrative Withdrawal: The withdrawal of a student from a specific course, major, or academic department may be invoked in cases where the student violates the expectations of the academic arena (e.g., classroom incivility, disruption, harassment of faculty members).
Administrative Hold on University Account: This action is most frequently taken when students do not complete assigned Student Conduct sanctions within the required timeframe, when students fail to answer Student Conduct charges, and when students must complete specific actions prior to being readmitted following suspension. This action prevents students from registering for classes, obtaining transcripts, diplomas, etc. Webster University reserves the right to withhold transcripts or a diploma pending the resolution of all outstanding Student Conduct charges and the successful completion of any sanctions issued as a result of those charges.
Disciplinary Probation: A more stringent warning used in response to a more serious violation or frequent violations of University regulations. Further violations would require consideration of Disciplinary Suspension. This action prevents students from being able to study abroad during the probationary period. This status may also be communicated to other schools to which a student may transfer (or has transferred).
Disciplinary Suspension: Action that separates the student from the University for a stated minimum period of time. At the end of the period, the student must apply to the Director or the Dean of Students for reinstatement.
Disciplinary Dismissal: This status permanently separates the student from the University.
3. Other Disciplinary Actions
Restitution, Fines, and Refunds: In cases that involve damage to personal, University, or private property, full restitution is typically required. Fines may result when the Hearing Officer believes they are appropriate. Restitution and/or fines should be paid by check or money order. In cases of suspension or expulsion, there is no refund of University fees. Tuition and room and board charges may be refunded consistent with University refund policies.
Educational Sanction: A proscribed activity designed to assist the student in understanding how his or her actions affect the community and/or to contribute to the betterment of the community. Such action is available at any level to supplement or replace any other Student Conduct action.
Behavioral Contract: These contracts are written to provide very clear expectations regarding a student's behavior within given circumstances. Probation is typically part of the contract.
Campus Restriction: Students may be restricted from access to residential facilities or other campus facilities, activities, or services. A student may also be barred from the entire campus if past behavior threatens the health, safety, or well-being of any member (including self) of the University community.
The University is committed to high standards of academic conduct and integrity. Students will be held responsible for violations of academic honesty.
Definitions of Academic Dishonesty
Academic dishonesty includes the following and any other forms of academic dishonesty:
Cheating—Using or attempting to use crib sheets, electronic sources, stolen exams, unauthorized study aids in an academic assignment, or copying or colluding with a fellow student in an effort to improve one's grade.
Fabrication—Falsifying, inventing, or misstating any data, information, or citation in an academic assignment, field experience, academic credentials, job application or placement file.
Plagiarism—Using the works (i.e. words, images, other materials) of another person as one's own words without proper citation in any academic assignment. This includes submission (in whole or in part) of any work purchased or downloaded from a website or an Internet paper clearinghouse.
Facilitating Academic Dishonesty—Assisting or attempting to assist any person to commit any act of academic misconduct, such as allowing someone to copy a paper or test answers.
In most cases, the instructor will address issues of academic dishonesty within the confines of the student's course. The instructor may decide an appropriate consequence, including the following options: a written warning; the assignment of a written research project about the nature of plagiarism and academic honesty; a reduced grade or partial credit on the assignment; requiring the student to repeat the assignment; or issuing a failing grade to the student of the course.
If a student receives an unsatisfactory grade (C, F) in a course as a result of academic dishonesty, existing academic policies may lead to probation or dismissal.
In extreme cases, a dishonesty violation may warrant consideration for dismissal, suspension, or other disciplinary action. These disciplinary actions require a formal Student Conduct process as outlined in the Student Handbook
Academic Honesty Board
I. Purpose: The Academic Honesty Board hears cases involving charges of student violations of the Academic Honesty Policy.
II. Board Representation: The Academic Honesty Board consists of four (4) members chosen from a pool of representatives appointed each year as follows:
- Five full-time and five part-time faculty members, one each from each school and college appointed by the academic deans.
- Five academic administrative staff members appointed by the Provost, Senior Vice President & Chief Operating Officer.
III. Panel Representation: The panel of board members for each hearing is composed of two faculty members and two academic administrative staff members, chosen from the pool. The Academic Honesty Board Panel selects one of its members to serve as presiding Hearing Officer.
IV. Initiation of Process:
- Cases are referred to the Academic Honesty Board by the academic deans.
- The Academic Honesty Board will be convened by the Office of Academic Affairs (OAA).
V. Process: The Academic Honesty Board shall conduct hearings so as to assure the basic concept of procedural fairness. The following procedures shall be adhered to:
- The Office of Academic Affairs (OAA) is responsible for setting the hearing time, notifying all parties who are to testify, and forwarding all pertinent data to the appropriate board.
- The OAA shall give appropriate advance notice, in writing, of the charges against the student and copies of available evidence, to ensure that he or she may adequately prepare and present at the hearing. The notice will clearly indicate the date, time, and place of the hearing. The notification should be received by the student at least three calendar days prior to the hearing. Students who receive University accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act should notify the Hearing Officer about the accommodations that should be accorded them as part of the disciplinary process.
- The hearing shall not be considered to be a legalistic trial. Rather, the Academic Honesty Board shall examine all relevant facts and circumstances at the hearing, shall ensure the relevancy of witnesses’ statements, and shall, using a standard of “more likely than not,” determine whether the charged student should be held responsible for a violation of the Academic Honesty policies.
- Hearings are confidential and closed to all but the principals of the case. A transcript
will be kept of the preceding via audio tape or written form. The tape and transcript
are the property of the OAA.
- Students are not permitted to tape or otherwise record the proceedings. Transcripts will be kept by the OAA and may be reviewed but not copied or removed from the OAA.
- The student has the right to be assisted in their presentation by an advisor of their choice. The advisor may be, but is not limited to, a friend, a fellow student, or faculty member. The advisor may speak privately to the student charged during the proceedings with permission of the presiding Hearing Officer. At no time during the hearing, however, will such advisor be permitted to speak for the advisee. Each party may request a brief recess to consult with his or her advisor. The presiding officer rules on questions of procedure and is responsible for moving the proceedings along in a timely and orderly manner. Students are responsible for providing copies of all documents to their advisors.
- Prior to the hearing (at least 24 hours), the student being charged should submit to the OAA a list of any witnesses he or she wishes to present and the nature of the testimony they may offer. This student should also submit a list of questions he or she wishes to have asked of the charging party.
- At the hearing, the student being charged shall have ample opportunity to explain the circumstances surrounding the incident and are encouraged to present pertinent evidence and the testimony of witnesses in person. In addition, both parties shall be afforded the opportunity to comment on any written statements or other evidence presented, and to respond to questions.
- No member of the Academic Honesty Board should be either a witness for or against the student or a person previously engaged in formulating the charge or in presenting the material relating to the case. Alternate members will be appointed in cases in which Board members have a perceived conflict of interest with the principals of the case.
- The presiding officer rules on all objections, questions, and procedural points, subject to being overruled by majority vote of the Board. He or she also determines the sequence of testimony, including the option of having all principal parties meet together in the hearing. All those who participate in the hearing are obligated to conduct themselves in an orderly manner and to obey and abide by the presiding officer’s rulings. A staff member from OAA attends all hearings to serve as an advisor in the process.
- Once all testimony is heard or read, the student being charged is asked to make a final statement and the Hearing Officer or Board members are given a final opportunity to ask questions. All persons other than Board members and the staff member from the OAA are then excused and the Board meets to render a decision. The staff member from the OAA does not vote.
- The Academic Honesty Board decides whether there was a violation of policy using a standard of “more likely than not.” They also determine whether the charged student should be held responsible for that violation. If so, sanctions are also imposed on the responsible student. Each decision must have been reached by a majority of the Board. Once a decision is reached, the student being charged is informed orally of the decision by the staff member from the OAA. Both parties receive the decision in writing from the OAA as soon thereafter as is practicable.
- A copy of the decision will be maintained in the OAA. If applicable, a copy of the decision may be forwarded to the Office of Student Affairs.
VI. Sanctions: The Academic Honesty Board may issue sanctions as part of their final decision. These sanctions may include, but are not limited to, the following:
A. Letter of Warning
a. A warning letter outlines the concerns of the Academic Honestly Board and includes an academic improvement plan for student success.
B. Letter of Suspension
a. A suspension letter will outline the suspension time for the student and which term they may be allowed to return to their studies. At the end of the period, the student must apply for reinstatement. The reinstatement letter must be filed through the Office of the Provost to the attention of the Vice Provost.
C. Letter of Dismissal
a. A dismissal letter will outline the terms of termination of the student’s academic studies with the University.
VII. Academic Honesty Board Decision Appeal Process: The Academic Honesty Board decision may be appealed by the student. All student appeals will be reviewed and decided by the Provost, Senior Vice President & Chief Operating Officer. Students should send their appeal to the attention of the Vice Provost.
VIII. Academic Honesty Board Decision Appeal Procedure:
- The student must file the appeal through the Office of the Provost, in care of the Vice Provost, within 10 calendar days of receiving written notification of the decision.
- The individual seeking the appeal must indicate, in writing, the specific bases or reasons for his or her appeal. The appeal statement should include the following: student’s name, ID#, local address, phone number, grounds for appeal, and appropriate and detailed information regarding why the appeal should be granted.
- The Provost will consider the statement of appeal and issue a decision. The student will receive written notification of the decision from the Office of the Provost, Senior Vice President & Chief Operating Officer. The decision of the Provost is final.