Policy: Code of Conduct for Students in Professional Programs
This Policy Statement is an addition to the Trinity Student Handbook and the Student Code of Responsible Conduct, and is incorporated by reference into those documents.
All students at Trinity must comply with the expectations of the Honor System which includes the Student Code of Responsible Conduct and other campus rules and policies, including this policy statement. The Honor System and the various policy statements contain implied and explicit expectations about the conduct of all students at all times. This policy statement amplifies these expectations with a particular emphasis on Trinity’s expectation that students in professional programs will act with professionalism and high regard for ethical conduct in all matters.
1. Trinity’s Honor System expects students to be truthful, to act with integrity, to respect community standards, and to manifest a commitment to ethical responsibility in all matters, including in all academic matters (see the Academic Honesty Policy), financial matters (see Student Financial Responsibility Policy) and other interactions on campus. The Honor System expects all students to act professionally in all matters, including with regard to the resolution of disputes. Various policy statements have specific examples of ways in which conduct might violate the Honor System. At times, conduct might fall outside of specific policy statements but still be in violation of the Honor System. This occurs when conduct is dishonest, unprofessional, insubordinate or grossly disrespectful of the mission and values of the Trinity community. Examples of such misconduct include, but are not limited to:
a) forging signatures or otherwise unethically altering or manipulating any document for any reason;
b) misrepresenting facts, written or oral or in any electronic communication, including in appeals from administrative decisions or in disciplinary proceedings (lying in an appeals statement may be a separate offense from the first offense);
c) making false accusations against any other person, whether written or oral or in electronic communication;
d) fraudulent use of checks, credit card or bank account numbers, or other attempts to engage in illegal and deceptive financial transactions, whether with Trinity or its vendors, faculty or staff; or engaging in schemes on Trinity’s premises, or using Trinity’s technological systems, that would result in fraud for third parties not associated with Trinity;
e) any impermissible use of Trinity’s technological systems (see the Technology and Telecommunications Policy);
f) threats, efforts to intimidate, creation of a hostile climate for other students, faculty and staff (see Harassment Policy, Code of Student Conduct);
g) misrepresenting the student’s actual academic status at Trinity, or prior academic record, including failure to produce transcripts from other institutions in a timely way when the student’s admission or academic progress depends upon the results of coursework taken elsewhere.
2. Academic Authority: Students must accept and follow the directions of their instructors in courses, their academic advisors, the deans of their academic units, and other legitimate campus authorities. By enrolling at Trinity, the student inherently accepts the rules of the institution and the directions of the faculty and administrative staff. This includes accepting academic policies and procedures with regard to course schedules, registration, financial aid, payment arrangements, enrollment in specific courses, following course sequences, prerequisites and all related academic matters. The deans of the academic units and the provost have broad final authority to resolve student academic issues. Insubordination, which is the refusal to follow a legitimate direction, may be grounds for disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.
3. Trinity strictly prohibits any action which attempts to subvert the student financial aid system in order to obtain loans, grants or scholarships from federal or private sources based on impermissible factors, including enrolling in courses that are not necessary for student program completion; this includes a specific prohibition on retaking courses for which students have already received a passing grade. Students who engage in such actions will incur disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. As with other illegal conduct, Trinity reserves the right to refer cases of financial aid fraud to law enforcement authorities.
4. Students enrolled in professional programs — e.g., Nursing, Teacher Education, School Administration, Counseling, Business — have special professional conduct expectations. This also applies to students doing professional work in internships. Students in professional programs and on internships must comport themselves according to all of Trinity’s policies as well as according to the norms and standards of their professional associations and industries. Students who violate professional standards or workplace rules will incur disciplinary action up to and including dismissal, for violations of professional conduct norms.
A student who is in violation of Trinity’s policies is subject to Trinity’s disciplinary procedures prescribed in the policy statements and Handbooks. The deans of each academic unit and the Dean of Student Services have immediate authority to implement disciplinary procedures according to the type of violation presented. Additionally, cases that present new forms of misconduct not previously anticipated in existing procedures will be addressed according to this procedure:
1. When a member of the faculty or staff, or another student, becomes aware of misconduct, the witness should make a report of that misconduct to the dean of Student Services, or to one of the academic deans.
2. The dean of Student Services will consult with the academic deans, and vice versa, on the specific facts of the case and the most appropriate method for addressing the issues.
3. Every student has a right to receive notice of the specific charges of misconduct. In most cases, the dean of Student Services will provide this written notice, but the academic dean, provost or president may also provide such notice in any given case where circumstances warrant direct academic or executive involvement.
4. Every student as a right to state her or his side of the story. The accused must first state his or her case in writing according to the timeframe indicated in the dean’s letter notifying the student of the accusation. Additionally, the dean of Student Services will conduct a hearing at which the student may state his or her case; in certain kinds of academic cases (for example, cases that fall within the Retention Committee guidelines of the School of Education) the dean of the academic unit will conduct the hearing. This hearing is not an adversarial process, and outside counsel is not permitted, though the student may bring another person (not legal counsel) for support and may ask questions. The meeting will include the dean and at least one other faculty member or administrator (several may be included depending on the facts) with knowledge of the case. The purpose of the meeting is to let the student explain her or his side of the case and to discuss possible remedies including possible disciplinary action. If the student refuses to participate in the meeting, the dean and other participants will proceed with discussion of the case and recommendations for action.
5. At the direction of the president, the hearing process described above may occur only in writing, or by telephone or other electronic medium, if Trinity determines that the student has posed a threat that requires the student to remain off-campus during the disciplinary process. Trinity may also exercise its right to remove a student from campus immediately in the event of a threat of immediate harm to Trinity or any person on campus.
6. Following the hearing process, the dean of record (the dean who conducts the hearing) will write to the student concerning the outcome of the case and any penalty associated with the finding. The decision is final, except decisions that result in suspensions or dismissals.
7. Appeals: students may only appeal in cases in which the finding of misconduct results in suspension or dismissal. In such cases, the student may first submit a written appeal to the provost; this appeal must occur within ten days of the date of the dean’s letter announcing the decision. The provost’s decision is final except in cases involving dismissal.
8. Students who are dismissed for misconduct may appeal the provost’s decision to the president. However, dismissal stands unless and until the president overturns the decision. Appeals of dismissal decisions must be in writing and should address with some specificity errors of fact or procedure in the case. The president may choose to ask for more information, may return the case for another hearing, may consult with the dean of record and others involved with the case, and may uphold the decision or order a different remedy for the case. The president’s decision is final.