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Catalog

    Shenandoah University
   
 
  Jan 20, 2018
 
 
    
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog

Shenandoah University Honor Code



Introduction

Shenandoah University’s mission statement is to educate and inspire individuals to be thinkers, lifelong learners and ethical, compassionate citizens. To fulfill the university’s mission, it is important to uphold the principles of academic integrity on campus. The concept of honor may be defined in a variety of ways; however, at this university, the code prohibits lying, stealing and cheating. All students enrolled in courses at Shenandoah University must be held to the rigorous standards of academic honesty to ensure the attainment of knowledge necessary to become ethical and compassionate citizens who can make responsible contributions to their community and career. The guidelines for academic integrity are outlined in the following Honor Code.

Undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff are responsible for upholding the Honor Code, being aware of the university’s Honor Code procedures, and reporting all violations of the Honor Code in a timely manner. Ignorance is not an acceptable defense for failing to follow the Honor Code.

The University Cabinet shall recommend all non-editorial changes to this Honor Code to the Board of trustees for approval, upon consideration of said changes by each of the Student Government Association, the Faculty Senate and the Academic Cabinet. Proposed changes should be shared with Student Government and Faculty Senate for any comment from those bodies by their representative to the University Cabinet, at the time the University Cabinet considers the changes to the Honor Code. The president may make editorial changes.

Overview of Honor Code Procedures

Alleged violations of the Honor Code can be reported by a student or faculty member/course coordinator/ instructor, but once an alleged violation is reported, the case should be resolved (a decision is rendered and if necessary, sanctions are imposed) within thirty (30) business days, unless there are extenuating circumstances. The Honor Code process allows for alleged violations related to a specific class to be handled by the Faculty Reporter as defined in Article III, Section 3.01.b. Alternatively, the Faculty Reporter may seek assistance to resolve alleged violations by requesting an Academic Integrity Meeting. Accused Students, who have been found guilty previously of violating the Honor Code, will be required to attend an Honor Court hearing, the highest level of this Honor Code process, for any subsequent charges. Accused Students found guilty of violating the Honor Code may appeal decisions and/or sanction(s), but the last level of appeal is the Honor Court (see Figure 1 ).

Terms and Definitions

  1. Participants
    1. Accused Student: The student alleged to have committed a violation of the honor code.
    2. Faculty Reporter: A faculty member, course coordinator, or instructor, who has knowledge of an alleged Honor Code violation, or is making an accusation on behalf of a student reporter.
    3. Student Reporter: A student who has knowledge of an alleged Honor Code violation. A student must notify a faculty member, course coordinator, instructor, or Academic Integrity Representative of the alleged violation.
    4. Advocate: Another member of the university community, an employee or student, who is not a lawyer or a relative and will act as a resource for the Accused Student, Faculty Reporter or Student Reporter. An advocate may be present with the Accused Student, Faculty Reporter or Student Reporter at any point of time during the Honor Code process. During the Accused Student- Faculty Reporter meeting or the Academic Integrity meeting, the advocate may only consult with the Accused Student, Faculty Reporter or Student Reporter. During the Honor Court hearing, the advocate may assist the Accused Student in providing evidence and statements.
    5. Academic Integrity Director: The Academic Integrity Director is a full-time faculty member appointed by the vice president for academic affairs for a two (2) year term to serve as the Chair of the Honor Court proceedings, provide education and training to faculty and students regarding the Shenandoah University Honor Code and principles of academic integrity, and will provide guidance to Accused Students, Faculty Reporters, Student Reporters, Academic Integrity Representatives and members of the Honor Court.
    6. Academic Integrity Representatives: Academic Integrity Representative(s) are fulltime faculty members appointed by the dean or director for a three (3) year term to oversee the Academic Integrity Meeting and provide guidance to the Accused Student, Faculty Reporter and Student Reporters each year. Each College/School/Division should have at least two (2) Academic Integrity Representatives and one (1) alternate.
    7. Academic Integrity Meeting: A meeting to hear evidence and testimony of the Accused Student, Faculty Reporter and Student Reporter by at least one Academic Integrity Representative. The Academic Integrity Meeting involves the Academic Integrity Representative(s) and student. The Faculty Reporter must be present at the Academic Integrity Meeting unless the Accused Student specifically requests that the Faculty Reporter not be present. In addition, advocates for the Accused Student, Faculty Reporter and Student Reporter, witnesses, and others with pertinent information may be present.
    8. Convening Officer: Full-time faculty members appointed by the Office of Academic Affairs who are responsible for investigating, collecting evidence and ensuring that all Honor Court hearing proceedings are followed. The Office of Academic Affairs will appoint six (6) faculty members in three (3) year staggered terms. When there is need to convene an Honor Court, the Office of Academic Affairs will randomly select a Convening Officer from this pool.
    9. Honor Court: A body of five (5) voting members that hears cases not resolved at a previous stage or cases involving students who have been found guilty of a previous Honor Code violation. The Honor Court is comprised of the vice president for academic affairs (chair), a Convening Officer, one (1) faculty member from a pool of potential members of the Honor Court, and two (2) undergraduate or graduate students from a pool of potential members of the Honor Court. Membership of the Honor Court will be chosen from the pool of faculty and students in the corresponding academic level (undergraduate or graduate), but from a different School, Program, or Division of study as the Accused Student.
  2. Violations
    1. Cheating: Selling, giving, receiving or attempted submission of unauthorized assistance or advantage in academic work, or any attempt thereof. Examples of cheating include, but are not limited to: unauthorized talking, signs, text messages, gestures from another student during assessments, quizzes or examinations; the unauthorized use of past quizzes, examinations, papers, study aids, notes, books, data or other information; looking a another student’s assignment, quiz or examination. An assignment is any academic work, required or voluntary, submitted to an instructor for review or academic credit or any work, required or voluntary, submitted for use in a university-sponsored or other publication or in conjunction with a university-sponsored event or activity.
    2. Plagiarism: Presentation, oral or written, or copying of the language, structure, ideas, facts, data or thoughts of another person without proper acknowledgment, or submitting purchased work, or misrepresenting another’s work as one’s own. Examples of plagiarism include, but are not limited to: copying a passage straight from an article, website or book into a paper without quoting or explicitly citing the source, rewording someone else’s work and using it as one’s own work, or submitting an assignment that has previously been submitted at this university or at another institution for academic credit in a current course.
    3. Falsification: Willful and knowing representation of an untruth, uttered or presented verbally, electronically or in writing, as well as any form of deceit or fraud in an oral or written statement relating to academic or clinical work. Examples of falsification include, but are not limited to: lying to administration or faculty members regarding academic work; falsification of patient record, physician order or patient billing; misrepresenting a reference; falsifying of data or a citation; tampering with any university paper or electronic record by mutilation, addition, deletion or forgery; registration irregularity including violation of registration procedure designed to gain an advantage over other students; falsification of attendance records; false reason for being absent or late for quizzes, examinations or written or clinical assignment; taking a quiz or examination or completing an assignment in the place of another student; obstructing an investigation or hearing due to falsification; or lying to the Honor Court during investigations and hearings.
    4. Tampering with records: Alteration or unauthorized possession of university records or any attempt thereof. University records include, but are not limited to: grade reports, transcripts, computerized records, examinations, papers, registrations and attendance reports.
    5. Forgery: Imitating or counterfeiting of any academic or clinical document, signature or authorization.
    6. Withholding information: Failure to inform Academic Integrity Representative(s), the Honor Court or faculty members of any and all information concerning Honor Code violations.
    7. Breach of confidence: As all processes investigating a violation of the Honor Code are confidential, any inappropriate disclosure of information pertaining to a potential Meeting and Honor Court proceeding, is considered to be a breach of confidence.
    8. Academic theft: Unauthorized removal or mutilation of academic material, which may deprive or prevent others from having equal learning opportunities. Such materials include, but are not limited to: print, film, tape, scores, recordings, classroom or lab supplies and electronic databases.
  3. Sanctions
    1. The Faculty Reporter, Academic Integrity Representative(s) or Honor Court will recommend and impose sanction(s) that they believe are appropriate to the violation. The Faculty Reporter has control over his/her classroom, and therefore can recommend sanctions only related to his/her course. Any modifications to sanctions made by the Academic Integrity Representative(s) or Honor Court must be discussed and approved by the Faculty Reporter. Sanctions are not limited to those listed in this document, however, any sanctions developed outside of this document should not violate the Accused Student’s rights. Committing additional violations will result in more severe sanctions.
    2. The Faculty Reporter, Academic Integrity Representative(s), or Honor Court will consider the following criteria in determining if and how the sanctions are to be applied: 1) whether a violation of the Honor Code has occurred; 2) whether the violation was committed purposely, willingly and with the knowledge of the accused; 3) whether the Accused Student has a prior Honor Code violation (only applicable to the Honor Court).
    3. Imposed sanction(s) will include mandatory Honor Probation for the remainder of his/her education at the university. The Office of Academic Affairs will maintain the list of students on honor probation. In addition, all students being found guilty will receive a letter of reprimand from the Office of Academic Affairs.
    4. Additional sanction(s) may include, but are not limited to, the following:
      1. Notation on Transcript: Notation of Honor Code violation on the student’s transcript. The notation will indicate that the student is on “Honor Code Probation.” If noted on the student’s transcript, it will remain on the transcript until the student’s departure from the university, at which time the student may appeal to the Registrar’s Office for it to be removed.
      2. Loss of Academic Credit: Assignment of any grade up to and including no credit on an affected assignment, quiz, examination or course. Also assignment of a grade up to and including failure in all courses in which the student is enrolled at the time of the violation. Honor code cases resulting in failure in the course will be noted on the student’s transcript. This notation will remain on the student’s transcript until departure from the university, at which time the student may appeal to the Registrar’s Office for it to be removed.
      3. Suspension from the Course or University: Suspension from the course and/or university may take effect either during the semester in which the violation occurred or the following semester, excluding summer terms. It may also be recommended the student receive failing grades in any or all of the courses in which the student was enrolled at the time of violation. The time period for the suspension will be decided by the vice president for academic affairs.
      4. Dismissal from Shenandoah University: Dismissal of a student from the university (with or without the possibility for reapplication). Honor code cases resulting in dismissal from the university will be noted on the student’s transcript.
      5. Temporary or permanent loss of facility or campus privileges, visitation, housing or parking.
      6. Community service.
      7. Revocation of awarded certificate or degree.

Academic Integrity: Recommended Minimum Sanctions

Any violation of the Honor Code will result in Honor Probation and a letter of reprimand from the Academic Integrity Director. In addition, depending on the severity of the offense, additional penalties may be imposed. Sanctions generally include but are not limited to those listed below.

Minor Violation: A minor violation is recognized as a violation of concern, but not to the level of severity to warrant the student’s automatic failure of the course.
Level/Definition Examples First Offense Sanctions Repeat Offense Sanctions
Level I violations may occur because of inexperience or lack of knowledge of the principles of academic integrity. Often they are characterized by the absence of dishonest intent on the part of the student committing the violation. These violations are generally quite limited in extent, occur on a minor assignment, and represent a small fraction of the total course work.
  1. Working with another student on a laboratory activity or homework assignment when collaboration is prohibited; or
  2. Failing to properly cite or give proper acknowledgment in a very limited section of an assignment.

Registering a Level I violation provides the opportunity for the student(s) to receive formative education on the principles of/policies regarding academic integrity.

Sanctions for Level I violations generally include but are not limited to one or more of the following:
  1. Reduced credit for the original assignment (reduction in grade for the assignment in question, dropping the grade from the average, or allowing the student to re-do and resubmit the assignment with or without an additional requirement that is graded).
  2. Required participation in a noncredit workshop or seminar on Academic Integrity.
  3. An assigned paper or research project on academic integrity.
  4. A make-up assignment that is more directed and intensive in design than the original assignment.
  5. Disciplinary warning.
A repeat violation at Level I will be generally be treated as a Level II violation but depending on the circumstances may be treated as a Level III violation.
Level II violations are breaches of academic integrity that are more serious or that affect a more significant aspect or portion of the course work compared with Level I violations.
  1. Quoting directly or paraphrasing, to a moderate extent, without acknowledging the source.
  2. Submitting the same work, or major portions thereof, to satisfy the requirement of more than one course without permission from the instructor to whom the work is submitted for the second or subsequent time.
  3. Signing in a classmate on an attendance sheet.
  4. Emailing an instructor or telling an instructor a lie to avoid taking an examination or to receive an excused absence from class.
Sanctions for Level II violations generally include but are not limited to one or more of the following:
  1. A failing grade on the assignment.
  2. Voiding credit for the original assignment and supplementing with another assignment that is more difficult than the original.
  3. Reduction in the overall course grade.
  4. Required participation in a noncredit workshop or seminar on ethics or academic integrity.
Treated as a Level III violation.

 

Major Violations: Recognized by the faculty as a violation of significant concern, warranting at minimum the student’s automatic failure of the course. A major violation assigned in an individual course results in the automatic failure of the course.
Level/Definition Examples First Offense Sanctions Repeat Offense Sanctions
Level III violations are breaches of academic integrity that are more serious in nature or that affect a more significant aspect or portion of the course work.
  1. Repeat Level II violations.
  2. Presenting the work of another student (such as from a previous semester’s work) or work purchased from an online source as one’s own.
  3. Copying work on exams.
  4. Plagiarizing major portions of a written assignment.
  5. Acting to facilitate copying during an exam.
  6. Using prohibited materials, such as books, notes, cell phones, or calculators during an examination.
  7. Altering examinations for the purposes of regrading.
  8. Acquiring or distributing copies of an examination from an unauthorized source prior to the examination period.
  9. Removing or damaging posted or reserve material, or preventing other students from having access to the material.
  10. Fabricating a doctor’s note for the purposes of missing an exam.
  11. Fabricating sources that are not, in fact, sources.
The sanction for Level III violations generally include but are not limited to:
  1. Failure of the course.
  2. Suspension from the university if the academic dishonesty is committed while the student is already on honor probation or when the act committed involved advance planning, falsification of papers/forms or documents, collaboration with others, or some actual or potential harm to other students.
Treated as a Level IV violation.
Level IV violations represent the most serious breaches of academic integrity.
  1. Committing a violation of academic integrity after returning from suspension for a previous violation of academic integrity.
  2. Committing a violation of academic integrity that is unlawful or resembles criminal activity (such as forging a grade form, stealing an examination from a university office, buying a stolen examination, falsifying a transcript to gain access to the university to altering the record of work done at the university.
  3. Having a substitute take an examination for someone else.
  4. Fabricating evidence, falsifying data, quoting directly or paraphrasing without acknowledging the course, and/or presenting the ideas of another as one’s own in a senior thesis, a master’s thesis, a doctoral dissertation, a scholarly article submitted for publication, or any other work represented as his or her own by a graduate or professional student.
  5. Sabotaging another student’s work through actions designed to prevent the student from successfully completing an assignment.
The sanction for Level IV violations generally is permanent expulsion from the university. A notation is generally placed on the student’s transcript. Normally results in permanent expulsion from the university with no opportunity for repeat offense. Under the rare circumstance that a student committing a Level IV violation is re-admitted to the university, a repeat offense of academic integrity would result in the permanent expulsion of the student from the university.

** Adapted from Cumberland University Academic Integrity Policy.

Rights and Responsibilities of the Accused Student

  1. Rights of the Accused Student
    1. To be considered innocent until proven guilty.
    2. To be accompanied by a single advocate of his/her choice from the university, an employee or student, who is not a lawyer or a relative.
    3. To seek guidance from his/her advocate and expect all such conversations to be kept in confidence.
    4. To speak on his/her own behalf or to refuse to do so.
    5. To receive a copy of evidence pertaining to the alleged Honor Code violation at the time of the Accused Student-Faculty Reporter Meeting and prior to the Academic Integrity Meeting or Honor Court hearing.
    6. To receive a new and separate hearing for each charge, which cannot be held at the same time as another hearing. Discovery of multiple violations at the same time by a single reporter may be treated as one charge.
    7. To request that any persons with information pertinent to the case be called forward to speak.
    8. To receive notification of the date, time, location and membership of the Academic Integrity Meeting or Honor Court hearing no later than two (2) business days prior to the assigned meeting or hearing.
    9. To call into question the impartiality of any of the Academic Integrity Representative(s) or Honor Court officials no later than one (1) business day before the Academic Integrity meeting or Honor Court hearing. Failure to do so waives that right, except if proven that the information was found afterwards.
    10. To be present and receive written notification of the Academic Integrity Meeting or Honor Court’s decision.
    11. To request that the Faculty Reporter not be present at the Academic Integrity Meeting or during the rendering of the decision (and sanctions) at the Honor Court hearing.
    12. To appeal a decision of a Faculty Reporter to the Academic Integrity Representative(s).
    13. To appeal the decision of the Academic Integrity Representative(s) to the Honor Court.
    14. To contest the contents of the Letter of Reprimand from the Academic Integrity Director.
  2. Violation of the Accused Student’s Rights
    If the accused student feels that his/her rights, as described in Article IV, Section 4.01, have been violated, he/she should file a written appeal (in hardcopy or electronically) to the vice president for academic affairs within two (2) business days of the Accused Student-Faculty Reporter Meeting, Academic Integrity Meeting or Honor Court hearing. Any purported violation rights will be reviewed by the VPAA. Any proven violation will result in dismissal of current charges.
  3. Responsibilities of the Accused Student
    A student accused of an Honor Code violation has the responsibility to participate in the Honor Code process. If a good faith effort is made to involve the student in the process, including but not limited to a letter and/or email, and the student fails to respond and/or participate, the alleged violation will move forward with a decision and sanctions, if applicable, being rendered based on existing evidence.
  4. End of Semester and Graduation Policy
    A student accused of an Honor Code violation for which a decision has not yet been rendered, the Faculty Reporter will assign the grade of Incomplete (“I”) for the course. The grade will be reassigned once a decision is rendered on the Honor Code violation. If a student has met all other graduation requirements, but has been accused of an Honor Code violation for which a decision has not yet been rendered, he/she has the right to participate in the graduation ceremony. The student will not be granted a degree or receive a diploma until a decision is rendered on the Honor Code violation.
  5. Summer Sessions
    Alleged Honor Code violations occurring between spring commencement and the first day of fall semester classes should be resolved within the thirty (30) day time period proposed for the Honor Court procedure whenever possible. If an Accused Student-Faculty Reporter Meeting and/or Academic Integrity Meeting cannot be convened within the 30 day time period, the violation may be heard when the fall semester begins. Appeals requested during this period will be heard by the Honor Court when the fall semester convenes.
  6. Withdrawal from the Course
    Students may withdraw from a course in which an Honor Code violation is currently being investigated. Withdrawal from a course in which an Honor Code violation is being investigated in no way precludes any part of the Honor Code process, nor does it void any resulting sanctions.
    If the student withdraws from a course in which he/she is being accused and is later found guilty, the registrar can reverse the withdrawal. If the course has ended, the Honor Code violation investigation will continue until resolved. In the case where a student has been found guilty of an Honor Code violation and a course grade has already been assigned and the sanction involves the course grade, the registrar can reverse the course grade.

Rights and Responsibilities of the Student Reporters and Faculty Reporters

  1. Student Reporters
    1. Rights of the Student Reporter
      1. To have any report of a violation acknowledged by the Faculty Reporter or an Academic Integrity Representative.
      2. To have his/her name kept confidential from any persons not involved in the Honor Code process.
      3. To be accompanied by a single advocate from the university, an employee or student, who is not a lawyer or a relative.
    2. Responsibilities of the Student Reporter
      1. To follow and obey all policies and procedures of the Honor Code.
      2. To cooperate with all investigations and proceedings related to the Honor Code
      3. To give honest and accurate testimony.
      4. To report any threats, harassment, retaliation, or intimidation to the Office of Academic Affairs.
      5. To keep confidential all matters pertaining to the case.
  2. Faculty Reporters
    1. Rights of the Faculty Reporter
      1. To have any report of a violation acknowledged by an Academic Integrity Representative.
      2. To be accompanied by a single advocate of his/her choice from the university who is not a lawyer or a relative.
      3. To be involved in the Honor Code process and to receive notification of the outcome of an Honor Code violation.
      4. To assign a grade of Incomplete (“I”), if applicable, to an accused student until a decision is rendered on the Honor Code violation.
      5. To approve and/or recommend sanction(s) and receive notification of any sanction(s) that have been modified by the Academic Integrity Representative or Honor Court.
    2. Responsibilities of the Faculty Reporter
      1. To follow and obey the Honor Code policy.
      2. To cooperate with all investigations and proceedings related to the Honor Code.
      3. To report any threats, harassment, retaliation, or intimidation to the Office of Academic Affairs.
      4. To keep confidential all matters pertaining to an Honor Code violation.
      5. To participate in the role of the Faculty Reporter, if also an Academic Integrity Representative, and to notify another Academic Integrity Representative that an alternate Academic Integrity Representative needs to be appointed for the hearing.

 Honor Code Procedures

  1. Accused Student-Faculty Reporter Meeting
    1. Initiation of the Accused Student-Faculty Reporter Meeting. The Faculty Reporter may handle the charge independently. Or, the Faculty Reporter may seek assistance to resolve an alleged violation through an Academic Integrity Meeting.
    2. Procedure
      1. Student Reporter - If a student has knowledge of an alleged Honor Code violation, then he/she must notify the faculty member/course coordinator/instructor of the course in which the violation occurred. Alternatively, the Student Reporter should contact one of the Academic Integrity Representative(s) if the alleged violation is related to more than one course or to the program of study.
      2. Faculty Reporter - If a faculty member has knowledge of an alleged violation of the Honor Code or is making an accusation on behalf of a Student Reporter, then the Faculty Reporter will conduct a private meeting with the accused student and present full evidence of the alleged violation. The Faculty Reporter may consult with an Academic Integrity Representative prior to a meeting with the accused student to discuss the incident and obtain advice. At the meeting with the Faculty Reporter, the Accused Student will be informed of his/her rights and the honor code process. The Accused Student will be given two (2) business days to respond to the accusation and evidence presented by the Faculty Reporter. Once all evidence has been disclosed and the Accused Student has responded to the accusation/evidence, a decision will be rendered by the faculty accuser.
    3. Decision
      1. Not Guilty: If the Faculty Reporter feels that an Honor Code violation did not occur or the evidence is not sufficient to support the alleged violation, the charges against the Accused Student will be dismissed. The Faculty Reporter will take no further action.
      2. Guilty: If the Faculty Reporter feels that an Honor Code violation did occur, he/she will propose appropriate sanction(s) related to the course based on the nature and severity of the violation. The student will have two (2) business days to accept or not accept the decision and/or sanction(s).

Additionally, the Faculty Reporter will contact the Office of Academic Affairs to determine if the Accused Student has a prior violation of the honor code. If the Accused Student does have a previous violation of the honor code, he/she will be required to attend an Honor Court hearing (See Article VI, Section 6.03), which will supercede the sanctions proposed by the Faculty Reporter.

If the Accused Student ACCEPTS the decision and sanction(s), the Faculty Reporter and Accused Student will complete the Honor Code Violation Report Form. The Faculty Reporter will deliver all paperwork to the Office of Academic Affairs. The Faculty Reporter should not impose the sanction(s) until he/she receives notification of approval from the Office of Academic Affairs. Upon receipt of the paperwork, the Office of Academic Affairs will check if the Accused Student has previous violations of the Honor Code. If the Accused Student has no previous violations, the agreed upon sanctions related to the course will be confirmed with and imposed by the Faculty Reporter. The Office of Academic Affairs also will impose honor probation and decide if additional sanctions are necessary (e.g., notation on transcript). The student will receive a Letter of Reprimand from the Office of Academic Affairs summarizing the charge, plea, evidence, and sanctions.  The student has two (2) business days following receipt of the letter to contest the contents of the Letter.  The appropriate Dean and academic advisor will be notified of the violation. Access to the records of the proceedings will be in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) and university policy. It may be interpreted to administrative officers and faculty at this university who have legitimate educational interests.

If the Accused Student DOES NOT ACCEPT the decision and/ or sanction(s), he/she will be informed that the case will be heard by an Academic Integrity Representative. The Faculty Reporter and Accused Student will complete and sign the Honor Code Violation Report Form, and the Faculty Reporter will deliver all paperwork to a designated Academic Integrity Representative. The Faculty Reporter should not impose the proposed sanction(s) until the case is resolved.

  1. Academic Integrity Meeting
    1. Initiation of the Academic Integrity Meeting. The Faculty Reporter should contact one of the designated Academic Integrity Representatives for the college/school/program if the Accused Student does not accept the decision from the Accused Student- Faculty Reporter Meeting or the Faculty Reporter would like assistance with determination of sanction(s). No sanction should be imposed by the Faculty Reporter until the Office of Academic Affairs notifies him/her.
    2. Procedure
      1. The Faculty Reporter will provide the Academic Integrity Representative(s) with all evidence pertinent to the alleged violation. The Academic Integrity Representative(s) will contact the Office of Academic Affairs to determine if the Accused Student has been found guilty previously of an Honor Code violation. If the Accused Student has been found guilty of a previous Honor Code violation, then the Accused Student MUST go to the Honor Court (See Article VI, section 6.03) and the Office of Academic Affairs will notify the Accused Student and Faculty Reporter. If the Accused Student has not been found guilty previously, the Academic Integrity Representative(s) will set up a date, time, and location for the Academic Integrity Meeting and notify the Accused Student and Faculty Reporter with the information no later than two (2) business days prior to the meeting time.
      2. Prior to the Academic Integrity Meeting, the Academic Integrity Representative(s) will investigate the violation, gather any pertinent information from witnesses, obtain testimony from the Accused Student, if applicable, and consider possible sanctions in consultation with the Faculty Reporter. The Academic Integrity Representative(s) will consider any requests by the Accused Student for individuals to testify on his/her behalf if notified prior to the scheduled meeting.
      3. The Academic Integrity Meeting will involve the Academic Integrity Representative(s), Accused Student, Faculty Reporter and Student Reporter (if applicable). The Faculty Reporter must attend the meeting unless the Accused Student specifically requests that the Faculty Reporter not be present. Advocates for the Faculty Reporter, Student Reporter and Accused Student, witnesses, and others with pertinent information may be present. At the meeting, the Academic Integrity Representative(s) will review the Accused Student’s rights and present the alleged violation(s) and evidence, as well as the possible sanction(s). The Accused Student will be asked to submit a plea, guilty or not guilty, and have the opportunity to respond to the alleged charge(s) and evidence. The Academic Integrity Representative(s) will hear all of the evidence and determine if a violation has occurred, independent of the Accused Student, Faculty Reporter and Student Reporter (if applicable). When a decision has been made, the Academic Integrity Representative(s) will notify the Accused Student and Faculty Reporter.
        1. Not Guilty: If the Academic Integrity Representative(s) feels that an honor code violation did not occur or the evidence is not sufficient to support the alleged violation, the charges against the Accused Student will be dismissed. The Academic Integrity Meeting Form should be completed and signed by the Academic Integrity Representative(s) and Accused Student. The Academic Integrity Representative(s) will deliver all paperwork to the Office of Academic Affairs.
        2. Guilty: If the Academic Integrity Representative(s) find evidence supporting a violation, the Accused student will be notified of the sanction(s). If the sanction(s) proposed by the Faculty Reporter are modified, the Academic Integrity Representative will address these changes with the Faculty Reporter. The Accused Student will have two (2) business days to accept or not accept the decision and sanctions.

If the Accused Student ACCEPTS the decision and sanctions, the Academic Integrity Representative(s) and Accused Student will complete the Academic Integrity Meeting Form. The Academic Integrity Representative(s) will deliver all paperwork to the Office of Academic Affairs. The Faculty Reporter should not impose the proposed sanction(s) until notified by the Office of Academic Affairs. Upon receipt of the paperwork, the Office of Academic Affairs will confirm the decision and sanction(s) with the Faculty Reporter. The Faculty Reporter will impose the sanction(s) related to his/her course. The Office of Academic Affairs also will impose honor probation and decide if additional sanctions are necessary (e.g., notation on transcript). The student will receive a Letter of Reprimand from the Office of Academic Affairs summarizing the charge, plea, evidence, and sanctions.  The student has two (2) business days two contest the contents of the Letter.   The appropriate dean and academic advisor will be notified of the violation. Access to the records of the proceedings will be in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) and university policy. It may be interpreted to administrative officers and faculty at this university who have legitimate educational interests.

If the Accused Student DOES NOT ACCEPT the decision and/or sanction(s), the Accused Student will be informed that the case will be resolved at an Honor Court hearing. The Academic Integrity Representative(s) and Accused Student will complete and sign the Academic Integrity Meeting Form. The Academic Integrity Representative(s) will deliver all paperwork to the Office of Academic Affairs. The Faculty Reporter should not impose the proposed sanction(s) until the Honor Court resolves the case. Upon receipt of the paperwork, the Office of Academic Affairs will select members of the Honor Court. The Office of Academic Affairs will contact the Accused Student and Faculty Reporter regarding their rights and responsibilities.

  1. Honor Court Hearing
    1. Initiation of the Honor Court Process. When an Accused Student appeals a decision of the Academic Integrity Meeting or is required to attend an Honor Court hearing, the Office of Academic Affairs will randomly choose a Convening Officer and the student and faculty members of the Honor Court from pre-selected faculty and student pools. Once it has been determined that the Honor Court is required, a hearing will be scheduled. The Office of Academic Affairs will notify the Faculty Reporter and Accused Student of the scheduled date, time, location and membership of the Honor Court no later than two (2) business days prior to the scheduled meeting.
    2. Composition of the Honor Court. The Honor Court will be composed of the Academic Integrity Director (chair), the Convening Officer, one (1) faculty member from a pool of potential members of the Honor Court, and two (2) undergraduate or graduate students from a pool of potential members of the Honor Court. Membership of the Honor Court will be chosen from the pool of faculty and students in the corresponding academic level (undergraduate or graduate), Individuals chosen for the Honor Court must recuse themselves from hearing a particular case if they feel that they cannot in good conscience act impartially.
      1. The pool of potential members for faculty will be composed of two (2) faculty members from each School, Program, or Division, who are appointed by their Dean/Director for a three (3) year term.
      2. The pool of potential members for students will be composed of three (3) students from each School, Program, or Division. Undergraduate Schools, Programs, or Divisions will choose undergraduate students and graduate Schools, Programs, or Divisions will choose graduate students. Prospective students must have a G.P.A. of 3.0 or greater, be in good academic standing and have completed at least two (2) semesters at Shenandoah University in order to serve on the Honor Court.
      3. When there is a need to convene, undergraduate students and faculty will be chosen to participate in cases involving an undergraduate student, and graduate students and faculty will be selected to participate in cases involving a graduate student.
    3. Procedure
      1. Confirmation and Notification. The Office of Academic Affairs will prepare and send a notification letter to the Accused Student, which includes:
        1. The date the alleged violation occurred, possible sanction(s), an explanation of the Accused Student’s rights, and the right to have an advocate from within the university (see Article III, Section 3.01.c and Article IV, Section 4.01.b for description of advocate’s role).
        2. The date, time, and place of the Honor Court hearing, as well as the membership of the Honor Court.
        3. Information as to when the Accused Student can receive a copy of the alleged violation and evidence pertaining to the allegation.
        4. A statement that ignorance of the Honor Code is not a legitimate defense.
        5. An explanation that the Honor Court will begin an inquiry phase consisting of an investigation and a contesting of the facts.
      2. Investigation
        1. The Convening Officer will collect and review existing evidence and gather any additional evidence from the Accused Student, the Faculty Reporter, the Student Reporter (if applicable), and any other pertinent individuals.
        2. The Convening Officer will compile a summation of the evidence and determine the individuals who may be called for testimony during Honor Court hearing. Copies of the summation of evidence and list of individuals who may be called for testimony will be made available to the accused student and faculty reporter no later than two (2) business days prior to the hearing.
        3. When the investigation is concluded, no new evidence may be considered without the approval of the Convening Officer prior to the start of the Honor Court Hearing.
      3. Honor Court Hearing
        1. The Honor Court hearing will occur in closed proceedings and will be recorded. During the hearing, all Honor Court members, the Faculty Reporter, the Accused Student, and any advocates will be present. Witnesses will be called for testimony only and will not remain present for the entire duration of the hearing.
        2. Each Honor Court member will be given a copy of the evidence at the onset of the hearing. The Academic Integrity Director will first call the proceedings to order, officiate over the court and explain the rights of the Accused Student, the possible sanction(s) if found in violation of the honor code, and reconfirm the plea that has been entered by the Accused Student.
        3. If the plea has not changed, the Faculty Reporter will first present his/her charge(s) against the Accused Student. Next, the Accused Student will have the opportunity to respond to the charge(s) and evidence. The Convening Officer will conduct and coordinate the presentation of all evidence and testimony before the court. No new evidence may be introduced during the hearing by the investigators or the Accused Student.
        4. The Honor Court members may ask questions of each witness. In addition, the Accused Student or his/her advocate will have the right to question all witnesses as they are called by the Convening Officer, and will retain the right to recall any witnesses.
        5. The Accused Student or his/her advocate will then present his/her defense. The Accused Student or his/her advocate may call witness(es), as identified by the Convening Officer during the investigation, that he/she feels will support his/her defense. The Accused Student or his/her advocate may also call into question any evidence introduced in the case. After the Accused Student or his/her advocate has presented his/her side, the Accused Student will rest his/her case.
        6. The Honor Court members may ask questions of each witness and retain the right to recall any witnesses.
        7. The Academic Integrity Director will ask for summation, which will be offered by the Convening Officer and followed by the Accused Student or his/her advocate.
        8. After all statements are made, the recording of the hearing will be stopped and the Academic Integrity Director will dismiss the Faculty Reporter, the Accused Student, and any advocates. The Honor Court will then deliberate with only members of that Honor Court present.
        9. The Honor Court will consider all of the available evidence to render a decision as to whether or not an Honor Code violation has occurred based on a preponderance of the evidence. A simple majority of the Honor Court must agree for a decision to be reached.
          1. Not Guilty: If the Honor Court determines there is not enough evidence indicating that a violation occurred, then the Accused Student will be called back to hear the decision. If the Accused Student does not have any objections, the Faculty Reporter will be present for the decision; if he/she is not present, the Convening Officer will inform the Faculty Reporter of the outcome of the case. In situations where the Accused Student is found not guilty, a written record of the Honor Court process pertaining to that case will be kept in the Office of Academic Affairs. No record of the alleged violation will be placed in the Accused Student’s record.
          2. Guilty: If the Honor Court determines there is sufficient evidence indicating that a violation occurred, then the Accused Student will be called back to hear the decision. The Accused Student will have the opportunity to present any information to the Honor Court, which may be considered when recommending sanction(s). If the Accused Student does not have any objections, the Faculty Reporter may be present for the decision; if he/she is not present, the Convening Officer will inform the Faculty Reporter of the outcome of the case. The Honor Court will then briefly retire to determine the sanction(s) appropriate to the honor code violation. Once the sanction(s) have been determined, the Honor Court will then reconvene and announce the sanction(s) to the Accused Student.
        10. The Office of Academic Affairs will report the sanction(s) to the Faculty Reporter, who then will impose the sanction(s). If necessary, the Office of Academic Affairs also will contact other offices to ensure that the sanction(s) are imposed. If the Accused Student was found guilty, the Office of Academic Affairs will keep the recording of the hearing. The student will receive a Letter of Reprimand from the Office of Academic Affairs summarizing the charge, the plea, evidence, and sanctions.  The student has two (2) business days to contest the contents of the Letter.  The appropriate Dean and academic advisor will be notified of the violation. Access to the records of the proceedings will be in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) and University policy. It may be interpreted to administrative officers and faculty at this university who have legitimate educational interests.
          The findings of the Honor Court are final and the case will be considered closed.

Education of University Community

  1. Students: The Division of Student Life, Office of Academic Affairs, and faculty are responsible for educating students about the Honor Code and its position in the academic environment at the university.
    1. The Honor Code will be printed in the Academic Policies section of the undergraduate and graduate catalogs.
    2. During orientation the Division of Student Life, Office of Academic Affairs, and faculty will meet with new students to explain the principles and procedures of the Honor Code. The Student Government Association (SGA), the administration, faculty, and staff of the university are also jointly responsible for further education.
    3. The Executive Board of the SGA is responsible for having two (2) copies of this Honor Code on reserve in the library and copies available upon request for students and other members of the university community, including parents.
  2. Faculty: Deans and directors, or their designees, are responsible for educating their respective faculty and staff of the Honor Code, its position in the academic environment, and the procedures for handling an Honor Code violation.
    1. This Honor Code will be printed in the Faculty Handbook and posted on the Office of Academic Affairs community Canvas website.
    2. Faculty members or course coordinators/instructors should have a statement regarding academic integrity and the Honor Code in their course syllabi.
    3. Faculty members or course coordinators/instructors may insert a statement into course tests and assessments by which students can attest to their observance of the code.

SU Policy for Revocation of Admission, Degree or Credit

There may be situations in which a student obtains entry to the university through misrepresentation, or is awarded academic credentials even though he/she failed to complete the requirements for those credentials, or obtain his/her academic credentials by deceit, fraud, or other academic misconduct. Such situations may not be discovered until the student has left the university or received a degree or credit. Whether or not the student remains enrolled, the university reserves the right to revoke admission or degrees, decertify credit, and seek return of any Shenandoah University certification that suggests the student successfully completed course work or requirements for a degree.

Sexual Misconduct Policy

Shenandoah University is committed to sustaining an environment in which students, faculty and staff members may pursue their academic careers and assignments without being subject to verbal or physical harassment of any kind. Individuals who are in positions of authority with respect to students or other employees may not use their status to exploit others.

Recognizing that sexual misconduct impedes the educational process, SU is committed to investigating reports of sexual misconduct, to adjudicate them according to the policies of the university and to provide support to those who are involved.

All members of the Shenandoah University community, including guests and visitors, have a reasonable expectation to be free from sexual discrimination in the form of sexual misconduct by any other member of the university community. This policy applies to all Shenandoah University administration, faculty, staff, students, contractors and visitors. This policy is gender-neutral and applies equally to men and women.

Please refer to the Student Life Policies  section of this catalog for comprehensive policy and procedures including definitions, the complaint policy and the appeals process.

Academic Appeals Policy

Purpose

The purpose of this process is to provide a means to resolve conflicts when students believe they have been treated improperly in a matter related to instruction, evaluation or other academic policy or practice. Misunderstandings or disagreements can often be settled informally. To this end, students are encouraged to attempt to resolve the issue directly with the member of the faculty, staff or administration involved as soon as possible. The appeals process described below is available in the event an informal approach is unsuccessful.

Exclusions

This policy does not cover claims of ADA or Honor Code violations, charges of sexual harassment or an allegation that a student’s record is inaccurate or otherwise violates privacy rights. Any matters concerning ADA must be filed through the ADA officer. Shenandoah University’s Honor Code Policy, Guidelines and Procedures are presented previously in this section. The Student Life Policies section of this catalog and the Faculty Handbook contain detailed information about SU’s sexual misconduct policy. Information concerning correction of academic records believed to be inaccurate, misleading or in violation of privacy rights are also covered earlier in this section under “Protecting Student’s Privacy Rights .”

Guidelines

Charges of procedural violations or claims of illegal, unethical or discriminatory practice must be supported by verifiable evidence. An appeal must state the incident alleged to be improper and what remedial action is requested.

Appeals of Academic Evaluation

Changing grades or otherwise modifying or reversing evaluative decision of the faculty will be done at the level of the vice president for academic affairs or Academic Review Board only in unusual circumstances. Evaluation of academic progress is rightly a matter of primary responsibility of the faculty member(s) involved and, at times and in certain programs, their colleagues. Any request to change a grade or other evaluation academic process must be supported by evidence the decision failed to follow proper procedure or was illegal, unethical or discriminatory.

Timely Response

It is in the interest of all concerned that conflicts involving academic issues be resolved quickly and as close to the source of conflict as possible. It is expected that each person involved in the process will expedite the process, normally within 10 class days. This is intended to provide sufficient time for thoughtful consideration of all pertinent information. However, this timeframe can be extended by mutual agreement between the student and the member of the faculty, staff or administration involved. (At each step cited below, if the person to whom the complaint is made is not available, he/she may designate another appropriate person to act in his/her stead.) If the matter comes up at the end of the semester, and it is not reasonable to contact the party(ies) involved at that time, the appeal must be presented no later than the end of the Drop/Add period of the following semester.

Grievance of a Grade

Students may grieve the misapplication of an instructor’s grading policy for a course. Students cannot grieve the evaluation of student work by the instructor.

Formal Academic Appeals Procedure

At each step in this process, the student may request to meet directly with the person hearing the appeal. The person hearing the appeal may meet with the student or seek the counsel of faculty members or others who may have pertinent information.

Step One

The student should make an appointment with the faculty of record to discuss the grievance and to seek resolution.

Step Two

If dissatisfied, the student should schedule an appointment with the appropriate department or division chair to seek a resolution.

Step Three

If dissatisfied, the student should schedule an appointment with the appropriate dean or director of the school to seek a resolution.

Step Four

If dissatisfied, the student should make a written grievance to the vice president for academic affairs. The written grievance must state the reason for the request and any other supporting documentation. If the vice president for academic affairs sees merit in the grievance, she will assemble the Academic Review Board for a hearing. If there is no merit, the student will be notified that this ruling is final.

Step Five

The Academic Review Board is a judicial hearing and has the ability to summon faculty, students, and staff for its hearing. The Academic Review Board’s decision is final.

Step Six

An appeal to the president can be made on procedural violations only.

Student Complaint Policy

Shenandoah University affirms the right of students to bring forth complaints and is committed to resolving these matters in a fair, equitable and timely manner, so as to protect the rights of both the individual and the community.

This Complaint Policy applies to student complaints that are not addressed by the Academic Appeals Procedure, Americans with Disabilities Act, Honor Code, Student Conduct Code, Sexual Harassment Policy, student records policies, or any other existing formal procedure under which a complaint may fall.

Students are encouraged to attempt to resolve the issue directly with the member of the faculty, staff or administration involved in an informal manner.

If a satisfactory resolution cannot be reached informally, a student complaint will be heard and resolved by, to all extent possible, the senior faculty or staff member responsible for the area under which the complaint falls.

If satisfactory resolution is not reached at that level, a student may submit his/her complaint in writing to the vice president responsible for the area under which the complaint falls.

If satisfactory resolution is still not reached, a student may submit his/her complaint in writing to the president of the university, whose decision will be final.

Similarly, those outside of the university wishing to make a complaint against one of Shenandoah’s students should attempt to resolve the issue directly with the student before moving to bring the issue to the attention of the appropriate dean/director or vice president.

Once all institutional processes have been exhausted and the issue is not resolved, students may file a formal complaint with the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV). SCHEV can be contacted at 804.225.2600 or through the SCHEV Complaint Process website: www.schev.edu/students/studentcomplaint.asp.