Return to: Student Rights and Responsibilities
The ideal of academic honesty is crucial to the integrity of a university, college or institute; conversely, academic dishonesty undermines the very basis upon which institutions of higher education are organized and function. All students, faculty, and staff at the Fielding Graduate University are expected to meet the highest standards of honesty in the performance of their academic work. Students, faculty and staff are expected to report observed cases of academic dishonesty in others to school leadership, and may not do so anonymously. All reported allegations will be treated with an appropriate level of confidentiality. Toward that end, Standards of Academic Honesty and procedures to enforce these standards fairly are hereby adopted by the Academic Policy Committee on behalf of Fielding.
Standards of Academic Honesty
The Standards of Academic Honesty proscribe (but are not limited to) the giving or receiving of unauthorized help in examinations or other assignments, plagiarism and other unacknowledged or undocumented use of source material, and forgery. Students may not re-use their own work without explicit disclosure regarding the nature of its original use and subsequent permission from the faculty assessor.
Violations of Standards
A student shall be subject to discipline for any violation of the Standards of Academic Honesty. Faculty and staff members shall be subject to reprimand for any violation of the Standards of Academic Honesty.
Sanctions available would be those appropriate to the violations and will include, but not be limited to, any one of the following: an official reprimand; a requirement to repeat an assignment, an examination, or a course; a requirement to complete an alternative assignment or examination; a failing grade for an assignment, an examination, or a course; suspension; or expulsion from Fielding. In the case of a faculty or staff member, an official reprimand or dismissal may occur.
Committee on Academic Integrity
- A Committee on Academic Integrity (CAI) is established.
- The CAI’s primary purposes shall be, in accordance with the procedures outlined below, to receive and evaluate evidence of alleged violations of the Standards of Academic Honesty and to make decisions regarding the disposition of such cases. The CAI shall also make recommendations to the Provost and to the appropriate governance bodies for changes in standards and procedures, as it deems appropriate, and shall report annually to the Provost.
In cases of an alleged student violation, these general procedures will be followed:
- A faculty member who believes that a student has violated one or more of the Standards of Academic Honesty will promptly so inform the student and present the student with the reasons for this belief. Such an allegation can be in reference to a student’s current coursework submitted for review, the student’s prior coursework, or both. The faculty member will inform the student’s assigned faculty advisor/mentor or the program director.
- If, after learning the student’s response, the faculty member continues to believe that a violation has occurred, the faculty member shall proceed in one of two ways:
- If the faculty member deems the alleged violation to be minor, the faculty member may attempt to resolve the matter in a manner satisfactory to both the faculty member and the student. If the matter is so resolved, the faculty member shall report the matter and its resolution to the Dean for Academic Affairs and the program director. If the student is not satisfied with the faculty member’s proposed disposition of the allegedly minor violation, the student may independently appeal the issue to the CAI.
- If the faculty member deems the alleged violation to be more serious, the faculty member will refer the matter to the CAI, within five calendar days, giving reasons for the faculty member’s belief that a violation has occurred. In that report, the faculty member may recommend a penalty. The faculty should make a reasonable effort to discuss the allegation directly with the student (i.e., give the student 14 calendar days to respond to a message, etc.) before referring the matter to the CAI. Throughout this and any subsequent processes, the program director and the Chair of the CAI will keep the student’s assigned faculty advisor/mentor or program director informed of the process.
- If a faculty member refers an alleged violation to the CAI, or if a student dissatisfied with the penalty imposed by a faculty member for an alleged minor violation appeals to the CAI, the chair of the CAI will inform the student and the faculty member in writing within 10 calendar days, and will consult with them as to the necessity for or desirability of a hearing. If a hearing results from this consultation, the CAI will schedule one as soon as possible, normally within 14 calendar days.
- The CAI will establish its own procedures for the conduct of a hearing. No attorneys will be present for either party. The hearing process will continue even if a student elects to self-withdraw from Fielding Graduate University.
- Following the hearing, or in the absence of one, the CAI will promptly decide whether the alleged violation has or has not occurred and will submit a written report of its findings to the student, the alleging faculty member, the student’s assigned faculty advisor/mentor or program director, and the Provost, within 10 calendar days from the CAI’s decision having been made. The report should address whether or not the CAI believes a violation has occurred and the decision of a penalty, if any, that it deems appropriate. If it decides that a violation has occurred, the CAI will include in its report its decision of a penalty that it considers appropriate. This penalty may be the one recommended by the alleging faculty member or some other penalty in conformity with the disciplinary sanctions aforementioned. The CAI will also transmit the relevant files to the Provost.
- If the CAI decides to impose a penalty (of whatever kind), the student, within 7 calendar days, may appeal this decision to the Provost.
- If the student appeals, within 7 calendar days the Provost must either: concur with the decision of the CAI; choose to modify the decision; dismiss the appeal, or remand the case to the CAI for further deliberations. In all actions but the last, the case will be considered closed.
If evidence arises that an academic degree was earned in violation of the Standards of Academic Honesty, the CAI may recommend to the Provost that the degree be revoked. The decision of the Provost is final.
All academic work submitted to the faculty of Fielding Graduate University is subject to checking through Turnitin.com. The decision whether or not to submit such work for checking is in the discretion of the individual faculty member, and some may elect to not submit such student work. It is recommended for faculty who choose to regularly use this service, that their assessment guidelines and/or syllabi reflect this choice and duly inform students that they must provide electronic copies of their papers.
Any student who objects to such submissions and is subsequently accused of plagiarism based on a hard copy of their work, bears the responsibility for proposing an alternative means of verifying that their work is original work in a manner satisfactory to the faculty concerned/Academic Integrity Committee. Students may also check their own work prior to submission to the faculty, if they so desire, either through their assessing faculty’s account, or through the account of a faculty mentor/faculty advisor.
Policy Revised 09/01/2017
Faculty Academic Freedom
The 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure of the American Association of University Professors has long been recognized as providing valuable and authoritative guidelines for policy and practice in American colleges and universities. Fielding Graduate University also holds a fundamental commitment to the principle of academic freedom as it applies to teaching and research. While the university does not maintain a system of academic tenure, similarly, it believes that faculty must be protected from economic intimidation and harassment; therefore, it provides a careful system of due process with regard to issues of academic freedom as they relate to continuation of service with the university. These policies are consistent with the policies, principles, and guidelines of the American Psychological Association where relevant.
Policies on Academic Freedom
The Fielding Board of Trustees approves the following policies with regard to academic freedom and responsibility:
- A faculty member is entitled to full freedom in research and in the publication of the results, subject to the adequate performance of other academic duties. Research under the aegis of Fielding Graduate University for pecuniary gain and/or under conditions that would limit or prohibit communication of the results should be undertaken only with the prior agreement of the institute.
- Faculty members are entitled to freedom in the exercise of their various instructional responsibilities, such as mentoring students, conducting seminars and workshops, leading meetings, etc., that contribute to the students’ academic and professional maturity. However, it is understood that this freedom applies only to the product of the faculty member’s scholarship. The Board does not endorse the introduction of personal opinions unsupported by scholarship and controversial views that have no relation to the subject into any aspect of the faculty-student relationship.
- Fielding Graduate University faculty members are citizens, members of a learned profession, and officials of Fielding Graduate University. When they speak as citizens, they should be free of concern or censorship, but their special position within the community imposes special obligations. As persons of learning and as officials of Fielding Graduate University, they should remember that the public may judge their profession and Fielding Graduate University by their utterances. Hence, they should at all times be accurate, exercise appropriate restraint, show respect for the opinions of others, and make every effort to indicate that they are not spokespersons for Fielding Graduate University.
Policies on Professional Ethics and Responsibility
In addition to recognizing the rights to academic freedom of faculty, students, and others in the academic community, the Board of Trustees also endorses the statements of the American Association of University Professors on Professional Ethics (1966) and on Freedom and Responsibility (1970):
Following are copies of the two policy statements. Revisions have been made in the gender of the originals.
Statement on Professional Ethics of the American Association of University Professors in April 1966, endorsed by the Fifty-Second Annual Meeting as Association Policy
From its inception, the American Association of University Professors has recognized that membership in the academic profession carries with it special responsibilities. The Association has consistently affirmed these responsibilities in major policy statements, providing guidance to the professor in utterances as a citizen, in the exercise of responsibilities to students, and in conduct when resigning from his or her institution or when undertaking government-sponsored research.
The Statement on Professional Ethics that follows, necessarily presented in terms of the ideal, sets forth those general standards that serve as reminder of the variety of obligations assumed by all members of the profession. For the purpose of more detailed guidance, the Association, through its Committee B on Professional Ethics, intends to issue from time to time supplemental statements on specific problems.
In the enforcement of ethical standards, the academic profession differs from those of law and medicine, whose associations act to assure the integrity of members engaged in private practice. In the academic profession the individual institution of higher learning provides this assurance and so should normally handle questions concerning propriety of conduct within its own framework by reference to a faculty group. The Association supports such local action and stands ready, through the general secretary and Committee B, to counsel with any faculty member or administrator concerning questions of professional ethics and to inquire into complaints when local consideration is impossible or inappropriate. If the alleged offense is deemed sufficiently serious to raise the possibility of dismissal, the procedures should be in accordance with the 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure and the 1958 statement on Procedural Standards in Faculty Dismissal Proceedings.
I. Professors, guided by a deep conviction of the worth and dignity of the advancement of knowledge, recognize the special responsibilities placed upon them. Their primary responsibility to their subjects is to seek and to state the truth as they see it. To this end, they devote their energies to developing and improving their scholarly competence. They accept their obligation to exercise critical self-discipline and judgment in using, extending, and transmitting knowledge. They practice intellectual honesty. Although subsidiary interests may be followed, these interests must never seriously hamper or compromise freedom of inquiry.
II. As teachers, professors encourage the free pursuit of learning in their students. They hold before them the best scholarly standards of their disciplines. They demonstrate respect for the student as an individual, and adhere to their proper roles as intellectual guides and counselors. They make every reasonable effort to foster honest academic conduct and to assure that their evaluations of students reflect the student’s true merit. They respect the confidential nature of the relationship between professor and student. They avoid any exploitation of students for private advantage and acknowledge significant assistance from them. They protect the student’s academic freedom.
III. As a colleague, the professor has obligations that derive from common membership in the community of scholars. He or she respects and defends the free inquiry of his or her associates. In the exchange of criticism and ideas, the professor shows due respect for the opinions of others. He or she acknowledges academic debts and strives to be objective in his or her professional judgment of colleagues. The professor accepts his or her share of faculty responsibility for the governance of the institution.
IV. As a member of the institution, the professor seeks above all to be an effective teacher and scholar. Although he or she observes the state regulations of the institution, provided they do not contravene academic freedom, he or she maintains the right to criticize and seek revision. The professor determines the amount and character of the work he or she does outside the institution with due regard to his or her paramount responsibilities within it. When considering the interruption or termination of his or her service, the professor recognizes the effect of this decision upon the program of the institution and gives due notice of his or her intentions.
V. As a member of the community, the professor has the rights and obligations of any citizen. He or she measures the urgency of these obligations in the light of responsibilities to the subject, students, profession and to his or her institution. When speaking or acting as a private person, the professor avoids creating the impression that he or she is speaking or acting for the college or university. As a citizen engaged in a profession that depends upon freedom for its health and integrity, the professor has a particular obligation to promote conditions of free inquiry and to further public understanding of academic freedom.
A Statement of the Association’s Council: Freedom and Responsibility
The following Statement was adopted by the Council of the American Association of University Professors in October 1970. For more than half a century the American Association of University Professors has acted upon two principles: that colleges and universities serve the common good through learning, teaching, research, and scholarship; and that the fulfillment of this function necessarily rests upon the preservation of the intellectual freedoms of teaching, expression, research, and debate. All components of the academic community have a responsibility to exemplify and support these freedoms in the interests of reasoned inquiry.
The 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure asserts the primacy of this responsibility. The 1966 Statement on Professional Ethics underscores its pertinence to the individual faculty member and calls attention to his or her responsibility, by his or her own actions, to uphold his or her colleagues’ and his or her students’ freedoms of inquiry and to promote public understanding of academic freedom. The Joint Statement on Rights and Freedoms of Students emphasizes the shared responsibility of all members of the academic community for the preservation of these freedoms.
Continuing attacks on the integrity of our universities and on the concept of academic freedom itself come from many quarters. These attacks, marked by tactics of intimidation and harassment and by political interference with the autonomy of colleges and universities, provoke harsh responses and counter responses. Especially in a repressive atmosphere, the faculty’s responsibility to defend its freedoms cannot be separated from its responsibility to uphold those freedoms by its own actions.
Membership in the academic community imposes on students, faculty members, administrators, and trustees an obligation to respect the dignity of others, to acknowledge their right to express differing opinions, and to foster and defend intellectual honesty, freedom of inquiry and instruction, and free expression on and off the campus. The expression of dissent and the attempt to produce change, therefore, may not be carried out in ways which injure the individuals or damage institutional facilities or disrupt the classes of one’s teachers or colleagues. Speakers on campus must not only be protected from violence, but given an opportunity to be heard. Those who seek to call attention to grievances must not do so in ways that significantly impede the functions of the institution.
Students are entitled to an atmosphere conducive to learning and to even-handed treatment in all aspects of the teacher-student relationship. Faculty members may not refuse to enroll or teach students on the grounds of their beliefs, or the possible uses to which they may put the knowledge to be gained in a course. The student should not be forced by the authority inherent in the instructional role to make particular personal choices as to political action or his or her own part in society. Evaluation of students and the award of credit must be based on academic performance professionally judged and not on matters irrelevant to that performance, whether personality, race, religion, degree of political activism, or personal beliefs.
Policy Revised 07/01/1998
There shall be no restrictions placed on the fundamental rights to free speech except those necessary to protect the rights of others and to preserve the order necessary for the university to function as an institution of higher learning. Given the diverse cultural backgrounds of users, Fielding cannot protect individuals against exposure to materials that they may consider offensive. Nevertheless, Fielding reserves the right to take restrictive actions in response to complaints that posted material creates a hostile environment for individuals or classes of individuals. Fielding also has the responsibility to take restrictive action when a user violates Fielding policy or federal, state or local laws.
Policy Revised 07/01/2001
Involuntary Leave Policy
It is the policy of Fielding Graduate University that if any student, because of an apparent medical or psychological condition, poses a threat to the physical well-being of him/herself or any other member of the Fielding Graduate University community, or a threat of serious destruction of property, such student may be placed on an involuntary leave of absence. This policy applies to medical and psychological problems only, and not to matters solely of a disciplinary nature.
- When evidence is brought to the program director of any of the Fielding program (hereafter the “Program Director”) that the behavior manifested by a Fielding student poses a threat to the physical or psychological wellbeing of him/herself or another individual, or a threat of serious damage to property, the Program Director may place the student on an involuntary leave of absence for an appropriate period of time. The student will be notified in writing of this action. Again, this policy applies to medical and psychological problems only, and not to matters solely of a disciplinary nature.
- If the student agrees with the decision made by the Program Director, no further action is necessary and procedures (5) through (6) will be followed.
- If the student believes that an error in judgment was made in issuing the involuntary leave, he/she must so state in writing within three days following receipt of notice (sent through “certified-return receipt requested”) of the suspension. A hearing must be held by the Dean of Student Development within five working days after receipt of the aforementioned notice provided by the student (or as soon thereafter as the student is available). The purpose of such a hearing is to allow the student the opportunity to present evidence indicating that a leave is unwarranted. Evidence to the contrary may also be presented by the faculty, staff, administration, and/or students of Fielding. The following individuals must be given written notice of the date, time, place, and purpose of the hearing: the student, the Graduate Dean, the Registrar, the student’s Graduate Program Advisor, and the student’s Faculty Advisor (if applicable), and each of the faculty members in whose classes the student is currently enrolled. After all evidence has been presented, the Dean of Student Development must notify all parties listed above in writing of his/her final decision within three days of the hearing.
- A student who has been on involuntary leave of absence may apply for reinstatement at the end of the leave period and will be subject to the official reinstatement procedures found in the Fielding Graduate University Policy Bulletin.
- Questions regarding appropriate refund of tuition and fees paid for the term in which the leave began, payment of outstanding tuition/fees, and the like, are left to the discretion of the Program Director and the Chief Financial Officer in cases such as those described herein. In general, students will be held responsible for tuition incurred through the effective start date of the involuntary leave.
- The transcript of such a student will be annotated in the following manner: “Involuntary Leave “MM/DD/YYYY.”
Policy Effective 06/01/2013
The decision to undertake research rests upon a considered judgment of the researcher about how best to contribute to the advancement of science and of human welfare. The researcher has an obligation to carry out the research with respect and concern for the dignity and welfare of the people who participate and with cognizance of federal and state regulations and generally accepted professional standards governing the conduct of research involving individuals or groups of persons. In furtherance of that goal, the following policy is set forth to govern research in the Fielding Graduate University.
The Board of Trustees of Fielding Graduate University affirms the policy that all student dissertation research or other research involving individuals or groups of persons carried out under the aegis or sponsorship of the University should be in adherence to relevant professional ethical guidelines for research dealing with human participation and animal subjects. For human subjects this includes all data collection regardless of whether the contact with subjects is face-to-face, via mailed questionnaires or by a third party collecting the data. Proposals for all research must be reviewed and approved or granted exempt status by the Institutional Review Board of the Fielding Graduate University before the research is undertaken.
Fielding Graduate University will maintain an active Institutional Review Board (IRB), appointed by the Provost upon recommendation from the Deans of the academic programs. The procedures used will be in accordance with the Institutional Review Board Guidebook and the Policy Guidance set forth by the Office for Human Research Protections of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. It will be the responsibility of the IRB to develop and oversee all research ethics procedures, including education of the Fielding Graduate University academic community about the importance of research ethics and the guidelines for IRB application process.
Policy Revised 07/01/2006
Fielding faculty and staff will assist you in planning your academic program. They are not authorized to change established policies of Fielding Graduate University. You are solely responsible for assuring that your academic program complies with the policies and requirements of Fielding Graduate University. For Fielding policy information and information on degree requirements, please contact the Registrar’s Office or the Office of Student Advising.
Policy Revised 01/01/2013
Truth in Information
Fielding relies upon the statements made and documents supplied by its applicants and students. If discrepancies appear between statements or documents provided to Fielding and information otherwise obtained, applicants may be rejected for admission and students may be dismissed without recourse.
Policy Revised 11/01/1997