This paragraph related to Academic Freedom appears in the Faculty Handbook, Employee Handbook, and the University Catalog, applicable to the University community. At SCU, students, faculty, and employees enjoy academic freedom: the ability to teach and learn, examine and question. Students’ primary focus as they attend SCU is to achieve mastery in their disciplines, under the training of dedicated faculty. Students are supported and guided through the Academic Integrity Code and Student Code of Conduct, as well as formal grievance procedures, as outlined in the University Catalog. Nearly all faculty have the teaching and training of students as their primary responsibility and focus. Faculty are supported and guided through the Academic Freedom and Grievance policies in the Faculty Handbook. Faculty should also honor their own professional Codes of Ethics and/or Conduct. Staff have an essential role in supporting University operations so that the institution can achieve its mission. All employees are supported and guided through applicable policies in the Employee Handbook. As a community that values inclusivity and consistent with SCU’s mission, the University encourages judgement and restraint in sharing ideas - as well as the provision of respect for others’ ideas - consistent with our mission and values and in a spirit of kindness and good humor.
Academic Integrity Code
The academic community functions best when its members treat one another with honesty, fairness, respect, and trust. The University expects high standards of academic integrity from all members of its community including students. The following are prohibited under the Academic Integrity Code:
Plagiarism is defined as failing to adequately acknowledge the source of words or ideas which are not one’s own. By submitting work as one’s own, a student certifies the originality of all material not otherwise acknowledged. Ignorance of plagiarism is not an excuse. When in doubt, students should seek clarification from their instructor. Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to:
- The quotation or other use of another person’s words, ideas, opinions, thoughts, or theories (even if paraphrased into one’s own words) without acknowledgment of the source;
- The quotation or other use of facts, statistics, or other data or materials that are not clearly common knowledge without acknowledgment of the source;
- Copying or buying of all or any portion of another’s academic, research, or creative work-even with the author’s or creator’s knowledge and permission-and submitting it, in part or in its entirety, as one’s own. This includes material available through the Internet or other electronic sources and any material which has been copyrighted. When such material has been copyrighted, its unauthorized use constitutes not only a breach of academic integrity, but a violation of law and may incur civil or criminal penalties.
Cheating is defined as using or attempting to use or sharing or attempting to share materials, information, study aids, or electronic data that the student knows or should know is unauthorized. Cheating also encompasses the provision or acceptance of any unauthorized assistance during an examination, including talking with another student or person, viewing another student’s examination, making or receiving gestures from another student or person, or other forms of communication.
Collusion is defined as unauthorized collaboration to violate or attempt to violate-or have the effect of violating-the integrity of examinations, grades, or other academic or evaluative processes and procedures. Collusion includes, but is not limited to, cooperation by a student with faculty or staff personnel in securing confidential information/material (tests, examinations, etc.); bribery by a student to change examination grades and/or grade point average; cooperative efforts by a student and a student worker to gain access to examinations or answers to examinations for distribution; seeking, obtaining, possessing, or giving or selling to another person an examination or portions of an examination (whether given or not yet given), without permission of the instructor.
Fabrication or Falsification of Data
Falsification involves unauthorized creation, alteration, or reporting of information in an academic activity. Fabrication or falsification of data includes representation of any work as original, accurate gathering of evidence or data that is in fact manufactured or misrepresented in whole or in part.
Self-plagiarism is defined as the re-submission of work that previously counted in another unit or course of study unless explicitly authorized by the faculty members of both study units or courses. In such case, students must cite and reference their previous work.
Sabotage is defined as the destruction of or deliberate inhibition of progress of another student’s work related to a course. This includes, but is not limited to, the destruction or hiding of shared resources such as library materials, specimens, and computer software and hardware, as well as tampering with another person’s laboratory experiments.
Falsification of Academic Records
Falsification of Academic Records includes any attempt to falsify or tamper with academic or clinical records.
Other Ethical Violations
Other ethical violations may fall under the Academic Integrity Code. These may include breaches of the ethical norms of the University or applicable professional associations, infringements of applicable professional licensure regulations (such as practice without a license), violations of state or federal law regarding the study or practice of the applicable health profession (such as breach of confidentiality or unsanctioned practice outside of scope), or infractions against the standards-including standards of care-of the applicable profession.
Student Code of Conduct
The University is committed to providing an academic environment that is safe and secure, allows students to develop personally and professionally, and reflects the values of the University. Members are expected to exercise civility and mutual respect at all times. Students are expected to behave in ways that are respectful of the rights of all members of the community to learn, work, practice, and teach. Enrollment at the University is a privilege, not a right, and carries certain obligations of conduct both inside and outside the classroom.
The Student Code of Conduct is intended to address student behavior that disrupts or detracts from the operation, mission, or reputation of the University. Students are subject to the Code of Conduct inside the classroom, outside the classroom, in a clinical setting, online including on non-University sponsored social media platforms, and at off-campus events regardless of whether the event was University sponsored.
Students are both members of the University community and citizens. As citizens, students are responsible to the community of which they are a part, and, as students, they are responsible to the academic community of the University and to other individuals who make up the community. By enforcing the Student Code of Conduct, the University neither substitutes for nor interferes with other civil or criminal legal processes. When a student is charged in both jurisdictions, the University will decide on the basis of its interests, the interests of affected students, and the interests of the community whether to proceed with its disciplinary process or to defer action.
A student who engages in the conduct described below has violated the Student Code of Conduct.
Note: This policy does not apply to allegations addressed under the University’s Title IX/SB 493 Sexual Misconduct Policy, available in the Campus Safety Manual.
Disrespectful or Abusive Behavior
Disrespect shown by any student to any member of the community is inappropriate. Discriminatory, derogatory, or rude behavior or remarks, in verbal, written, or electronic form, will not be tolerated. Abuse includes verbal as well as written abuse and includes but is not limited to threats, intimidation, harassment, coercion, crimes of hate, and/or other conduct (whether perceived or actual) that threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person.
Alcohol and Drug Use
Students may not be under the influence of alcohol or recreational drugs or misuse legal drugs or controlled substances while on-campus or engaged in University related activities and classes. Students must also abide by the policies found in the University’s Drug and Alcohol Awareness Program.
Possession of Weapons
Students may not carry weapons while on-campus or engaged in University-related activities or classes.
Disruptive behavior or obstruction of teaching, research, administration, clinical, or other University activities distracts others from the educational focus necessary at a University. The following list, while not exhaustive, provides examples of typical disruptive behaviors:
- Lewd, disorderly, or indecent conduct.
- Breaching the peace or aiding, abetting, or procuring another person to breach the peace on premises or at functions sponsored by or participated in by the University.
- Displaying conduct or behavior which disrupts the regular operations of classes, library, laboratories, clinic operations, or the residential or administrative community.
- Disruption or obstruction of teaching, research, or the operation or administration of any University program, including its public services functions on or off campus or online.
- Disrupting University events or activities or proceedings.
- Obstruction of the free flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic on University premises or at sponsored or supervised functions.
- Obstructing access to any University building or any portion of the University facilities.
- Inciting to action or participating in unauthorized activities resulting in destruction or damage of property.
- Infringement upon the rights of others or actions that prejudice the maintenance of public order.
- Climbing or scaling the exterior of any University building, fixture, or planting.
- Exhibiting nudity, either publicly or during the course of treatment or education, or other inappropriate sexual conduct.
Behaviors that endanger the health and/or safety of oneself or others are contrary to the character of a learning environment. Specific violations of this standard include, but are not limited to:
- Creating a safety hazard, including but not limited to obstructing fire escape routes such as hallways or stairwells and the propping open of stairwell doors.
- Setting or causing a fire.
- Tampering with, misusing, or damaging fire or safety equipment, such as alarms, heat sensors, smoke detectors, hoses, and fire extinguishers.
- Failing to immediately exit any facility or building when a fire alarm has been sounded, or hindering or impairing the orderly evacuation of any University facility or building.
- Disobeying a command by any University official or faculty member in connection with a fire, alarm, or other safety or security matter.
Behaviors that threaten the health and/or safety of oneself or others are contrary to the character of a learning environment. Specific violations of this standard include, but are not limited to:
- Fighting or physical altercation.
- Conveyance of threats by any means of communication including, but not limited to, threats of physical abuse and threats to damage or destroy University property or the property of other students or college employees.
- Any conduct that threatens the health or safety of one’s own self or another individual.
- Threats to commit self-harm and/or actual incidents of self-harm by any student.
Violation of Law/Failure to Notify
Violation of federal, state or local laws, or conduct which otherwise adversely affects the community or the pursuit of its objectives, whether on or off premises, is strictly prohibited. A student is responsible for notifying the Associate Vice President of Student Services of any arrest while enrolled as a student at the University.
The University requires students to practice acceptable personal hygiene, dress, and maintain appropriate attire and appearance befitting students in professional training and as required by the University and the student’s program of study. In addition, students are required to wear clothing appropriate for a laboratory or clinical setting, as required by their program of study.
Other Conduct Violations
Other conduct violations may fall under the Student Code of Conduct. These may include, for example, violation of University policies or failure to adhere to health and safety protocols or public health directives.
Student Misconduct/Violation of Codes
Students who violate the Academic Integrity Code or the Student Code of Conduct are subject to discipline up to and including dismissal from the University.
Note: This process does not apply to allegations addressed under the University’s Title IX/ SB 493 Sexual Misconduct Policy, available in the Campus Safety Manual.
Steps in the Disciplinary Process
Step One: Formal Complaint Submitted
Any member of the University may initiate a formal complaint by submitting a written request to the Associate Vice President of Student Services, who serves as the Chief Conduct Officer for the University. If the Associate Vice President of Student Services is not available or has a conflict, the Provost will appoint another member of the administration to serve as the Chief Conduct Officer.
The complaint must:
- Be submitted within one week of the incident; this deadline may be extended at the discretion of the Chief Conduct Officer.
- Include the name of the complainant.
- Include the name of the person who is the subject of the complaint.
- Include the date or dates the alleged misconduct occurred.
- Include the place or places the alleged misconduct occurred.
- Include the name or names of any witnesses to the misconduct.
- Include a statement describing the alleged misconduct.
Note on Faculty Discretion: An instructor may take direct action if the faculty member believes a student has violated the Academic Integrity Code while engaged in the instructor’s course (i.e., faculty who believe a student cheated on an exam or plagiarized an assignment may meet privately with the student, present the accusation and/or evidence, and indicate the action that will be taken). A faculty member who chooses to take direct action may do so up to and including assigning the student an F for the course. If the faculty member seeks an outcome greater than course failure (i.e., an outcome that impacts the student outside of the course), or if the student disagrees with the charged violation or the faculty-action, the faculty member must make a formal complaint to the Associate Vice President of Student Services as described here.
Step Two: Determination of Merit
The Chief Conduct Officer will make a determination if the complaint has factual merit and is subject to the Academic Integrity Code and/or the Student Code of Conduct. The following applies to the determination of merit:
- A determination of merit is made within two weeks of the date the complaint is filed.
- The complainant is generally contacted to confirm the details of the complaint.
- The accused is generally given the opportunity to tell their account of the alleged misconduct and to provide a written response.
- The Chief Conduct Officer may determine, with or without the assistance of others, that the circumstances do not warrant disclosure of some or all of the facts to the accused.
- The Chief Conduct Officer may determine, with or without the assistance of others, that the allegation of misconduct does not have merit. If this is the case, the matter will be closed and all relevant parties notified of the outcome.
- If the Chief Conduct Officer determines, with or without the assistance of others, that the allegation of misconduct has merit, the Chief Conduct Officer will enact one of three procedural options to investigate the complaint, as appropriate to the scope and severity of the alleged misconduct, as described in “Step Three: Complaint Investigated”.
Step Three: Complaint Investigated
The procedural option(s) utilized to investigate the complaint is at the discretion of the Chief Conduct Officer. The discussion(s), meeting(s), and/or hearing(s) will be conducted, and a final determination made within eight weeks of the date of the original complaint whenever possible.
Option One: Disciplinary Discussion
The Chief Conduct Officer may choose to have a disciplinary discussion with the accused. The following applies to the disciplinary discussion:
- If after that discussion the Chief Conduct Officer determines that there was no misconduct or that the misconduct requires no further action, that decision is documented in writing to the accused.
- If after that discussion the Chief Conduct Officer determines that there was misconduct requiring disciplinary action, the Chief Conduct Officer will outline the discipline in writing to the accused. The student will be notified of their right to appeal the disciplinary action.
- The Chief Conduct Officer may discipline the accused on the basis of the disciplinary discussion up to and including conduct probation. Note: The Chief Conduct Officer may not dismiss a student on the basis of a disciplinary discussion.
- If suspension or probation is recommended by the Chief Conduct Officer, the disciplinary action must be approved by the Provost.
- The Chief Conduct Officer may determine after the disciplinary discussion that a disciplinary meeting or disciplinary hearing should take place prior to any disciplinary action being decided or taken.
Please note: If a student fails to appear for the discussion, the Chief Conduct Officer may impose disciplinary action based on the information available.
Option Two: Disciplinary Meeting(s)
The Chief Conduct Officer may choose to conduct a disciplinary meeting. The following applies to the disciplinary meeting:
- The accused should receive advance notice of the allegations of misconduct and the reason for the meeting.
- The disciplinary meeting is typically attended by the complainant, the accused, and others who may have relevant information regarding the misconduct. Disciplinary meeting attendees is determined by the Chief Conduct Officer. Disciplinary meetings may, at the discretion of the Chief Conduct Officer, be held separately with the complainant, accused, and others.
- A written notice of the complaint shall be presented to the student by the Chief Conduct Officer. The written notice will describe the date, place, and nature of the alleged misconduct and include the possible disciplinary actions that may be taken as a result of the misconduct.
- If after the meeting(s) the Chief Conduct Officer determines that there was no misconduct or that the violation requires no further action, that decision is documented in writing to the accused.
- If after the meeting(s) the Chief Conduct Officer determines that there was misconduct requiring disciplinary action, the Chief Conduct Officer will outline the discipline in writing to the accused. The student will be notified of his or her right to appeal the disciplinary action.
- The Chief Conduct Officer may discipline or recommend discipline of the accused on the basis of the disciplinary meeting up to and including dismissal.
- If disciplinary suspension or disciplinary probation is recommended by the Chief Conduct Officer, the disciplinary action must be approved by the Provost. If dismissal is recommended by the Chief Conduct Officer, the disciplinary action must be approved by the Provost and the President.
- The Chief Conduct Officer may determine after the disciplinary meeting(s) that a disciplinary hearing should take place prior to any disciplinary action being decided or taken.
Please note: If a student fails to appear for the meeting, the Chief Conduct Officer may impose disciplinary action based on the information available.
Option Three: Disciplinary Hearing
In some cases, typically those involving serious violations, the Chief Conduct Officer may choose to assemble a Disciplinary Panel to adjudicate the process through a Disciplinary Hearing. The following applies to disciplinary hearings:
- The student should receive advance notice of the allegations of misconduct and the reason for the meeting.
- A written notice of the complaint shall be presented to the student by the Chief Conduct Officer. The written notice will describe the date, place, and nature of the alleged misconduct and include the possible disciplinary actions that may be taken as a result of the misconduct.
- The Chief Conduct Officer will appoint a Hearing Officer from the administration. The Hearing Officer facilitates the hearing. The Chief Conduct Officer attends the hearing and serves as policy resource for the accused, the Hearing Officer, and the Disciplinary Panel.
- The Hearing Officer will convene a Disciplinary Panel for the Hearing. The Disciplinary Panel may consist of members of the staff and faculty. The accused may request that members of the student body serve on the Disciplinary Panel, although the Hearing Officer is not obligated to grant this request. If a student is approved to sit on the Disciplinary Panel, they may not be enrolled in the same program as the accused. The Chief Conduct Officer will select the student(s) to sit on the Disciplinary Panel. When students are permitted on the Disciplinary Panel, the accused student must sign a form granting permission to release their educational records to any student serving on the Disciplinary Panel. Failure to sign the permission constitutes an agreement to having no student on the Disciplinary Panel.
- All hearings shall be conducted in private. Parents, guardians, attorneys, or other advisors or representatives are not permitted to attend or participate in the hearing. The Disciplinary Hearing is not a legal hearing. Therefore, legal counsel is not allowed at the hearing.
- The Hearing Officer may prohibit from attending or remove any person who disrupts the proceedings of the committee.
- In hearings involving more than one accused student, the Hearing Officer may exercise discretion to permit the hearing concerning each student to be conducted together or separately.
- The Disciplinary Panel may hear from any person who may have relevant information. The Panel may review any documents presented to them. Pertinent records, documents, and written statements may be considered at the discretion of the Hearing Officer. The Disciplinary Panel may ask questions and may seek information not previously provided.
- The Disciplinary Panel may determine whether it is more likely than not the student is responsible for violating the Academic Integrity Code or Student Code of Conduct. The Disciplinary Panel should communicate to the Hearing Officer its decision and its recommended disciplinary action, if any.
- After the hearing, the Hearing Officer will issue a written decision to the accused student which identifies the accusations of misconduct and the Hearing Panel’s conclusions, any disciplinary actions, and the student’s right of appeal.
- In general, the accused will have access to review the documentation reviewed by the Judicial Panel; however, identifying names and information may be removed from the documentation when necessary, to protect other student’s privacy rights.
Please note: If a student fails to appear for the hearing, the Disciplinary Panel may impose disciplinary action based on the information available.
A student who has been found responsible for violation of the Academic Integrity Code or the Student Code of Conduct may be subject to the following disciplinary actions, as determined by the Chief Conduct Officer or Hearing Officer. Disciplinary Actions will be communicated to the student within eight weeks of the original complaint.
- Formal Reprimand: a written warning that future misconduct may result in further or more severe disciplinary action.
- Professional Development Plan (with or without probation): a formal plan to complete behavioral workshops and/or educational activities, perform community service, write a reflection paper, or otherwise partake in activities or learning intended to reduce the likelihood of future misconduct. Professional Development Plans are administered by the Office of Student Service in cooperation with the student’s program of study.
- Disciplinary Suspension: temporary separation between the student and the University for a period of time as determined by the Chief Conduct Officer or Hearing Officer. Disciplinary Suspension is typically put in place to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of any member of the University community. The student will be required to fulfill specific requirements before suspension is lifted.
- Disciplinary Probation: temporary status of one or more terms during which the student fulfills the requirements of a Professional Development Plan.
- Dismissal: permanent termination of the student’s enrollment. Dismissal will appear on the student’s transcript.
Emergency Suspension or Leave of Absence
In extreme circumstances, the University may immediately suspend a student believed to pose a risk to their own safety or the safety of other students, faculty, staff, or community members. Students placed on an emergency suspension are immediately banned from campus and from all classes and events until such time as the matter can be investigated and a final disposition is rendered. The University may also elect to place the student on an emergency Leave of Absence, administratively withdrawing the student from all classes until an investigation is completed and final disposition can be rendered.
Student Conduct Appeals
Note: The Student Conduct Appeals process may not be used to appeal grades, academic dismissal, grievances, financial aid suspension, or financial aid dismissal; these actions have separate appeals processes described elsewhere in this catalog.
Students may appeal disciplinary actions under the Student Conduct Appeals process described herein. A student’s notice of appeal suspends the imposition of disciplinary actions until the appeal is finally decided. The student may continue to attend courses and participate in University activities while the appeal is under consideration. Students must file an appeal by submitting a written request to the Chief Conduct Officer within five business days of notification of the disciplinary action.
Student Conduct Appeals will be considered only on the basis of the following:
- A claim that the original hearing was not conducted fairly in light of the charges and information presented.
- A claim that the decision reached was not based on substantial evidence.
- A claim that the disciplinary action(s) imposed was/were not appropriate for the violation of the Student Code of Conduct and/or Academic Integrity Code.
- A claim that the student has new evidence to present that is sufficient to alter a decision or relevant facts that were not considered in the original process.
The Chief Conduct Officer determines if there is an adequate basis for an appeal. If so, the facts of the incident will be reviewed with the student, typically in a personal meeting between the Chief Conduct Officer and the student. As necessary, the Chief Conduct Officer will reconvene and/or consult with the Hearing Officer, Disciplinary Panel, or other involved parties to make a final decision.
Student Conduct Appeals result in one of the following:
- The student will be found not responsible for the violation of the Student Code of Conduct and/or Academic Integrity Code.
- The student’s original disciplinary action will be upheld.
- The student’s original disciplinary action will be modified.
The Chief Conduct Officer will provide the student a written notice of the outcome.
Note: This policy cannot be used for claims where another policy or procedure could have been used for the matter being grieved (i.e., academic standing including dismissal, grades, discipline, Title IX, FERPA, etc.).
Students have the right to submit grievances to resolve disputes concerning issues considered by a student to be arbitrary or contrary to University policy. A grievance is a complaint arising out of an alleged unauthorized or unjustified act or decision by a faculty, staff, or administrator which adversely affects the status, rights, or privilege of a student. The burden of proof shall rest with the grievant.
Steps in the Student Grievance Process
Step One: Attempt to Resolve the Grievance Through the Informal Grievance Process
Students wishing to resolve a dispute under the student grievance policy should first arrange a meeting to discuss the grievance with the faculty member(s), staff, or administrator(s) whose action is believed to have violated University policy. It is expected that all of the parties involved at each step of the grievance process will make a good faith effort to resolve the issues.
Step Two: Submit a Formal Grievance
In the event that the student feels they have not received adequate satisfaction from their informal grievance, the student may submit a formal grievance in writing to the Assistant Provost of Academic Administration (academic matters) or to the Associate Vice President of Student Services (non-academic matters). If the grievance is with the Associate Vice President of Student Services or Assistant Provost of Academic Administration, the grievance may be submitted to the Provost.
The formal grievance must:
- Be submitted in writing within thirty calendar days of the decision, action, or events giving rise to the grievance.
- Describe the steps taken to remedy the situation through the informal grievance process.
- State how the decision or action is unfair and harmful to the grievant and list the policy that has been violated, if known;
- Name the person(s) against whom the grievance is filed;
- State the requested resolution.
Step Three: Investigation and Resolution
The Assistant Provost of Academic Administration (academic matters) or the Associate Vice President of Student Services (non-academic matters) will investigate the matter. If the grievance is with the Associate Vice President of Student Services or Assistant Provost of Academic Administration, the Provost will investigate the matter. The grievant will be notified in writing of the outcomes of the investigation, including the resolution, within thirty days of the date they submitted the formal grievance.
Final Appeal of Student Grievance
If the resolution provided is not satisfactory to the student filing the complaint, the student may file an appeal. The appeal must be submitted in writing to the Office of the Provost within a 5-business day period from the date that the student was notified of the results of the investigation and resolution. A student’s notice of final appeal suspends the imposition of disciplinary actions until the appeal is finally decided. The student may continue to attend courses and participate in University activities while the final appeal is under consideration.
The Provost or designee will review the appeal and the original grievance and grievance process. The Provost or designee will communicate the outcome of the appeal to the student within 14 calendar days of receiving the appeal. The Provost’s or designee’s decision may include one of the following options:
- To support the initial grievance resolution; or
- To determine that an alternate resolution is appropriate.
The Provost or designee shall provide the decision to the grievant. The decision of the Provost or designee is final. No further appeal is available.