Academic Code of Student Conduct

(Revised 2010)
Approved by the Board of Trustees, June 29, 2010 

Howard University is a community of scholars composed of faculty and students both of whom must hold the pursuit of learning and search for truth in the highest regard.  Such regard requires adherence to the goal of unquestionable integrity and honesty in the discharge of teaching and learning responsibilities.  Such regard allows no place for academic dishonesty.  To better assure the realization of this goal any student enrolled for study at the University may be disciplined for the academic infractions defined below. 

Definitions of Academic Infractions 

  1. Academic Cheating—any intentional act(s) of dishonesty in the fulfillment of academic course or program requirements.  This offense shall include (but is not limited to) utilization of the assistance of any additional individual(s), organization, document, or other aid not specifically and expressly authorized by the instructor or department involved.  (Note: This infraction assumes that with the exception of authorized group assignment or group take-home assignments, all course or program assignments shall be completed by an individual student only without any consultation or collaboration with any other individual, organization, or aid.)
  2. Plagiarism—to take and pass off intentionally as one’s own the ideas, writings, etc. of another without attribution (without acknowledging the author). 
  3. Copy Infringement—Copy infringement occurs when a copyrighted work is reproduced, distributed, performed, publicly displayed, or made into a derivative work without the permission of the copyright owner.

Administration of the Code 

This Academic Code of Student Conduct applies in all schools and colleges. In professional schools and colleges that have adopted honor codes, the honor code may supersede this Code. The authority and responsibility for the administration of this Academic Code of Conduct and imposition of any discipline upon any particular student shall vest in the Dean and faculty of the School or College in which the student is enrolled but may be delegated by the faculty to the Dean of the School or College in which the student is enrolled.  The Dean shall be assisted in this responsibility by any faculty members and administrative officers in the School or College the Dean shall consider appropriate.  Any student accused of an infraction of this Code shall have a right to a limited hearing, as described herein, of the charges against him before a committee of faculty members, at least three in number, none of whom shall be the accuser or witness to the alleged infraction.  The committee may be either a standing of the School or College, whose responsibilities are considered appropriate by the Dean to conduct a hearing under this code, or a committee appointed by the Dean for the special purpose of conducting only a particular hearing or all such hearings that may arise during an annual period. The hearing committee shall be chaired by a member designated by the Dean and the chairperson shall have the right to vote in cases of a tie vote. 

Procedure 

  1. Any faculty member who has knowledge of an infraction of this Code shall assemble all supporting evidence and identify any additional witnesses to the infraction and make this information known to the Dean of the School or College in which the student is enrolled at least ten (10) business days after the date of the infraction. 
  2. Upon being notified of an alleged infraction of this Code, the Dean shall, as soon as possible, consider the weight of the assembled evidence and, if the Dean considers the evidence sufficient to warrant further action the dean shall notify the alleged offender of the charge(s) against him/her together with a designation of a hearing time and place where the accused may respond to the charge(s).  The hearing date shall be no later than ten (10) business days after notification to the accused of the charge(s) against him/her.  The Dean shall similarly notify the hearing committee members of the time and place of the hearing together with identification of the accuser and accused. 
  3. The “limited hearing”  authorized by this Code is not an adversarial proceeding.  Constitutional principles of “due process” are not applicable to these proceeding.  The faculty member concerned shall present the case for the University.  Both shall be allowed to present witnesses and evidence in support of their positions concerning the charge(s).  However, no legal counsel for either side shall be allowed.  The members of the hearing committee may question the accused and the accuser and examine all evidence presented.  The standard of proof for the proceeding under this Code shall be the standard of “substantial evidence.”  The proceedings may be tape recorded but will not be transcribed. 
  4. After the hearing of the charge(s) against the accused, the hearing committee shall, in closed session, vote by secret ballot to sustain or reject the charge(s).  If the charges are sustained, the committee shall transmit the results and recommendation of the hearing committee to the Dean five (5) business days after the hearing. 
  5. Upon receipt of the results and recommendations of the hearing committee, the Dean may sustain the recommendation of the Committee concerning the penalty or may reduce or increase the severity of the penalty, and shall, within five (5) business days, notify the student of the Dean’s determination. The student may appeal directly to the Provost and Chief Academic Officer or Senior Vice President for Health Sciences (Health Science students) for reconsideration of any disciplinary penalty. The student shall have five (5) business days to make such appeal from date of receipt of notification. 
  6. After hearing any appeal from a student, the Provost and Chief Academic Officer or Senior Vice President for Health Sciences shall make a decision that shall be communicated to the student within ten (10) business days. This decision shall be final. 

Penalties 

The minimum disciplinary penalty imposed upon a student found to have committed an infraction(s) of this Code shall be no credit for the course assignment or examination in which the infraction(s) occurred; however, a more severe penalty, such as failure in the course involved or suspension from the University, may be imposed depending upon the nature and extent of the infraction(s).