Standards of Conduct
Professional veterinary students will soon be full members of the veterinary profession; therefore, they have an obligation to conduct themselves in an ethical manner at all times. Last revised: December 2006
I. Standards of Conduct
A. A student shall attempt to dishonestly or unfairly advance his or her or another person’s academic status. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Distribution, possession, or viewing of past exams for any course, unless the course leader has expressly given permission for such use via the course syllabus or e-mail to the Office of Academic Affairs.
- Receiving or giving unauthorized aid on examinations, computer cases, papers, reports, or any other work which is to be accomplished individually. This includes plagiarism (i.e. the intentional failure to indicate the source of borrowed words or ideas.
- Denying others the opportunity to prepare for an upcoming examination. Examples include, but are not limited to, sequestering old exams, specimens, slides, radiographs, reprints, etc.
- Attempting in any other way to advance one’s academic status unfairly, such as feigning illness in order to take an examination after the scheduled date or making changes on a graded examination and then resubmitting it for re-grading.
- It is also each student's responsibility to bring evidence of dishonest academic behavior to the attention of the Office of Academic Affairs in an appropriate manner (as described in Section II below).
B. No student shall falsify any medical record, necropsy report, or any other document relating to the treatment, care, health, or disposition of any patient or laboratory animal in the College of Veterinary Medicine. The previously mentioned documents should be treated by students as confidential information. Students must not intentionally or unintentionally make such information available to non-CVM personnel. Students should refer requests for such information to the Associate Dean and Director of Veterinary Medical Services.
C. No student shall willfully neglect or mistreat any patient or laboratory animal in the College of Veterinary Medicine.
D. No student shall pilfer any item or make unauthorized use of any item, public or private, at the College of Veterinary Medicine, Veterinary Teaching Hospital, or other units of North Carolina State University, for example: drugs, syringes, instruments, microscopes, books, etc.
E. As future veterinary professionals, students shall conduct themselves in a manner, which is consistent with that of licensed veterinary professionals. In particular, students are expected to comply with the professional standards established in the regulations of the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Board and in Article 11, Chapter 90, of the North Carolina General Statutes, to the extent applicable to veterinary students.
F. A student who participates in any (national or international) College of Veterinary Medicine sanctioned or sponsored trip will be expected to follow the direction of faculty on the trip, to behave in a manner respectful of local custom and law, and to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with that of licensed veterinary professionals. Any infraction will result in the student being subject to discipline for misconduct with any of the associated penalties and therefore the student will meet with FCAPSC on their return to the College of Veterinary Medicine.
In the event that a student does not follow faculty direction, is not respectful of local law and custom, or fails to behave in a manner consistent with that of a licensed veterinary professional, the College of Veterinary Medicine will not be liable for death, injury or loss to the student.
G. Students are also subject to the standards of conduct that apply to all NCSU students as stated in the Code of Student Conduct available at http:///www.ncsu.edu/student_affairs/osc/code_conduct/.
Infraction of any of the above standards can result in penalties up to and including suspension or permanent expulsion, depending on factors in the individual case. Students who are permanently expelled may not be admitted to another constituent institution of the university (ie, may not be admitted to any college in the UNC system) unless the chancellor that approved the expulsion (or their successor) concludes that the individual should be given a new opportunity to pursue higher education.
Lesser penalties may consist of financial retribution, community (including college) service requirements, or other penalties as deemed appropriate by the committee.
II. Handling of Complaints
A. Source of Authority
Pursuant to section 502D (3) of The Code of the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina, authority over student disciplinary matters is vested in the Chancellor. For purposes of establishing procedures and administering the Standards of Conduct, the Chancellor has delegated that authority to the Dean and the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs in the College of Veterinary Medicine.
B. Composition of the Faculty Committee on Academic Performance and Student Conduct:
The CVM Faculty Committee on Academic Performance and Student Conduct (FCAPSC) shall be composed of ten members: four faculty members, one elected from each of the three departments and one elected from the departments on a rotating basis; one student from each class elected by popular vote of the class; one Postdoctoral trainee (intern, resident or graduate student) selected by peer popular vote; and the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs (ex officio). Membership on the Committee for faculty members shall be for a period of two years beginning each fall semester. Terms of membership of student members shall be for one year. Committee members can succeed themselves. All members of the committee vote, with the exception of the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, who will vote only in the event of a tie of the regular voting members of the committee.
C. Courses of Action
At least once each year, the student representative to the FCAPSC will remind his/her classmates to review the “Standards of Conduct” document in the Academic Handbook for information about how reports of academic and professional misconduct should be handled. This reminder will be presented orally. The student representative will serve as a confidential source of information and advice to classmates and represent his/her class on the FCAPSC.A student, faculty, or staff member (complainant) who becomes aware of misconduct may do one or more of the following:
- Speak directly and informally to the alleged offender (respondent) to advise that misconduct has been observed.
- Submit Report Form to the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs.
- Speak directly to the instructor or course coordinator to advise that an infraction may have occurred in their class.
Report Forms may be photocopied from the Academic Handbook, printed from the web version of the handbook or obtained from the office of the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. One Report Form should be submitted for each incident. The complainant must sign the report form for any further action to be taken..
D. Procedural Requirements:
1. Charges may be brought by students, university officials, faculty members or staff members. The charge must be in writing and must include factual information supporting the allegation. Anonymous charges will not be permitted.
2. The Associate Dean and Director of Academic Affairs (ADAA) will determine whether the charge is to be pursued. This determination will be made within 30 days of receipt of the charges. Reasonable extensions of this time are permissible for extenuating circumstances.
The Associate Dean of Academic Affairs may determine that the complaint would be better handled by the NCSU Office of Student Conduct and refer relevant information regarding the incident to that office.
When the ADAA determines that the charges have merit, the ADAA will prepare a concise written notice of the charges, which will be mailed or delivered in person to the respondent. The notice shall include:
- The nature of the conduct in question, including the time, date, and location it was alleged to have occurred.
- The CVM standard(s) of conduct alleged to have been violated.
- a brief recitation of the factual allegations supporting the charge
- The possible sanctions (For all charged offenses which could result in expulsion, the notice will include this possibility and will specify that expulsion precludes matriculation at any UNC constituent institution)
- A copy of the CVM Standards of Conduct for awareness of respondent’s rights.
- A statement that the respondent may be assisted by an advisor of his/her choosing and that the advisor may be present at the hearing but may not participate in the proceedings other than providing consultation to the student.
- A statement that a closed hearing before the FCAPSC has been or will be scheduled.
3. If a charge is to be pursued, it is then referred to the chair of the Faculty Committee on Academic Performance and Student Conduct (FCAPSC). The student must be notified in writing of the hearing date. The hearing date may not be scheduled for at least ten (10) calendar days after the student receives notice of the referral, unless the student agrees to an earlier hearing date If a hearing date is not set in the notice of the charge, written notice of the hearing date will be sent to be received by the student not less than five (5) calendar days before the proceeding is scheduled for hearing, unless the student agrees to an earlier hearing date. A committee member or the hearing official who has a conflict with, bias about or interest in the case should recuse himself. If the committee member or the hearing official refuses to recuse himself, the ADAA shall make the recusal decision.
4. The student may waive the hearing and accept a sanction proposed by the ADAA in consultation with the chair of the FCAPSC. The waiver and acceptance must be in writing and signed by the student.
5. Pre-Hearing Meeting of the FCAPSC
The FCAPSC may hold a preliminary meeting for Committee members only at which time the following are discussed.
- Procedural advice
- Exact nature of alleged misconduct
- Schedule for hearings: Hearings should be conducted only when six members (a quorum) can attend.
- Confidentiality of hearings: The members of the FCAPSC shall maintain strict confidence concerning all aspects of the hearing procedure, and all participants should be reminded of the same.
6. If a hearing is held, it will be presided over by the chair of the FCAPSC or their designate. No attorneys are allowed in this proceeding except as provided in paragraph VII.A. below. The institution shall assure that students have the capability to present their evidence and defenses at the meeting or hearing. Witness testimony and documents may be received from both the ADAA and the student, who will both be present during all of the evidentiary presentation. At the end of the hearing, the committee will determine whether the ADAA has shown by a preponderance of the evidence that the student committed the offense charged. This determination must be based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing or meeting. The committee will also determine the appropriate sanction.
7. The FCAPSC will make a recommendation regarding the outcome of the case including a sanction to the dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine within 45 days of the conclusion of the hearing. The final decision of the dean must be transmitted to the student in writing within ten (10) calendar days of the date the recommendation of the committee is made, and it must contain a brief summary of the evidence upon which the decision is based.
8. Appeal rights must be specified in the decision letter. Students can appeal the decision of the dean to the chancellor, or his/her designate. Further appellate opportunities shall be governed by the Code of the University of North Carolina.
E. Respondent Requests for Information
The respondent will be entitled to request and receive information (documentary material and list of witnesses) from the Associate Dean that will be submitted at the Hearing and other non-confidential information in the possession of the College which the FCAPSC Chairman finds to be relevant and necessary to a fair hearing.
F. FCAPSC Requests for Advice and Information Prior to the hearing, the FCAPSC chairperson may request procedural advice from the Office of Legal Affairs.
G. Hearing Procedures
- CVM FCAPSC purpose and composition for hearing:
- The purpose of the CVM FCAPSC will be to hear all cases involving formal charges against a student in the College of Veterinary Medicine alleged to have violated the Standards of Conduct.
- A Chairperson will be selected by the CVM FCAPSC from one of the ten members for the purpose of conducting a hearing and coordinating its subsequent handling. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Chairperson’s seat may be passed to another member.
- Six FCAPSC members shall constitute a quorum at a hearing for voting purposes, yet meetings may be held with five attending members. Both voting and non-voting members are counted in determining a quorum.
- During special periods such as summer or vacations, the Dean may appoint additional temporary members to replace unavailable members of the CVM FCAPSC. He/She may also appoint an ad hoc hearing body composed of students and faculty members or appoint a hearing officer.
The FCAPSC Chairman shall inform the parties of procedural rules. Unless the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs approves otherwise, the following rules will apply:
- The FCAPSC and respondent shall conduct all questioning of witnesses. Other parties (such as advisors) shall not be allowed to question witnesses.
- The respondent shall have the opportunity to present a version of the facts through personal and written statements, including the statements of witnesses.
- The respondent shall have the right to hear and personally question witnesses testifying during the Hearing and to view all documents received by the FCAPSC relevant to the case.
- The respondent shall have the right to make a record of the hearing, at his/her own expense, in addition to the institution’s record.
- The findings, recommendations, and decision of the case shall be based solely on information presented at the Hearing.
- The Hearing will be recorded and the written transcript of the hearing, but not the deliberations will be provided by the Office of the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs to the respondent if requested.
- At the hearing, the ADAA must present sufficient witness and/or documentary evidence to establish the violation. The student must be given an opportunity to question this evidence, either by direct questions or inquiries transmitted through the FCAPSC
- The student must be given the opportunity to present any witness or documentary evidence that he offers, provided that the evidence is relevant to the charge or other evidence presented and does not otherwise infringe the rights of other students.
- All FCAPSC records, including public records, will be forwarded to the Dean after the FCAPSC completes its task.
IV. Final Report by FCAPSC
At the conclusion of the evidence, the chair of the FCAPSC will determine whether the charging official has shown by a preponderance of the evidence, or by such higher standard as the institution may adopt, that the student committed the offense charged. This determination must be based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing. The FCAPSC will also determine the appropriate sanction.
The FCAPSC Final Report shall include findings on whether the charge is substantiated and recommended sanctions, where appropriate. The report on the Hearing findings and recommendations of the FCAPSC will be submitted in writing to the Dean, who may accept, modify, or reject the findings and recommendations of the FCAPSC or conduct further inquiry. The respondent shall be provided with a copy of this report.
The recommendation of the committee will be forwarded to the Dean of the CVM.. The final administrative decision must be reached within forty five (45) calendar days after the hearing is completed. The final administrative decision must be transmitted in writing to the student within ten (10) calendar days of the date the decision is made and must contain a brief summary of the evidence upon which the decision is based.
V. Action by Dean
The decision of the Dean will be delivered tothe respondent and any faculty or staff who are involved in the case. Theproceedings of the FCAPSC, including the identity of the respondent,shall be held in strict confidence to protect the parties involved. If therespondent is found guilty of misconduct, depending upon the severity of themisconduct, the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs may recommend thatthe Dean impose sanctions that can include, but are not limited to, a warning,censure, or expulsion from the College of Veterinary Medicine.
- The dean of the CVM makes the final administrative decision on suspensions.
- The provost must make the final administrative decision in all expulsion cases.
VI. Appeal Procedure
- Students may appeal suspension decisions to the provost, and expulsion decisions to the chancellor..
- Further appeals shall be governed by the Code of the University of North Carolina.
Once a decision has been rendered at the Dean, an aggrieved party mayappeal the decision by delivering written notice of appeal to the appropriateOffice within ten (10) University business days after receipt of the decision.Appeals received more than 10 days after the decision was received (ordelivery of the decision was attempted) will not be allowed.
Once the letter of appeal is received, the appropriate university official will establish a chronological listing of steps and corresponding due dates of materials necessary for the appeal.
Written notice of appeals must:
- identify the parties
- state that the decision is being appealed and state who is making the appeal
- provide a brief statement of the grounds for appeal, which at minimum should contain a list of alleged errors in the decision of decision-making process
- indicate what remedy is requested
- be signed and dated
Once notice of appeal has been delivered, the Dean’s office will forward therecord of the case to the Office of Legal Affairs. The record shall consist ofall information considered in the decision-making process, including taperecordings or transcripts of the hearing, all documentary and other evidenceaccepted at hearing, and any other information that affected the decision.The record shall be compiled in chronological order to the extent feasible,and shall include a table of contents for ease of reference. The Office ofLegal Affairs will forward the record to the Chancellor after checking to seeit is in proper order.
Appeals from disciplinary decisions are allowable only on the following grounds:
- a violation of due process; or
- a material deviation from Substantive and Procedural Standards adopted by the Board of Governors.
The Chancellor may ask the parties to submit written statements of theirpositions for purposes of appeal. The Chancellor will render a decisionbased on review of the record of the case and any written appeal statementshe/she allowed the parties to submit. The Chancellor will normally not hear new evidence or oral statements from the parties.
If an aggrieved party wishes to appeal the Chancellor’s decision under UNC Code section 502D(3) on the grounds that the disciplinary proceeding violated his or her right to:
- due process and fair meeting
- the presumption of innocence until found guilty
- know the evidence and to fact witnesses testifying against him or her, or
- such advice and assistance in his or her defense as is allowable under approved University disciplinary procedures, Where the sanction is suspension or expulsion, an appeal may be made to the board of trustees.
When the sanction is expulsion, the final campus decision is appealable to the Board of Governors.
VII. Flow Chart
- Written complaint received by Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
- Associate Dean interviews Complainant and respondent to determine if case warrants FCAPSC review
- If ADAA determines the charges have merit, ADAA recommends to FCAPSC that Hearing procedures be initiated. Otherwise the case is dropped.
- Notice of charges delivered to respondent.
- FCAPSC prepares for and conducts a Hearing and submits findings and recommendations to Dean.
- Dean, notifies the parties of any sanctions.
- Appeal process occurs according to University procedures for grievances.