The University of San Diego is an educational institution inspired by Roman Catholic values as expressed in the Mission Statement of the University. (See Appendix A, Mission Statement.) As an educational community the University seeks to make clear the rights and responsibilities of individuals and organizations which are part of that community.
This Code has been established in order to ensure community order and to facilitate students' unencumbered pursuit of education both inside and outside of the classroom. Stated first are the Rules of Conduct. Secondly are University policies related to students and student organizations. Thirdly are disciplinary procedures and sanctions.
The rules, policies and procedures outlined in this Code provide a framework for community life at the University of San Diego. Recognized student organizations may establish rules and procedures for the purpose of self-regulation so long as those rules and procedures are not in conflict with the provisions of this Code.
The University reserves the right to employ procedures outlined in this Code to respond to behavioral difficulties or violations of civil or criminal statutes both on and off campus regardless of the actions of civil and criminal authorities.
As changing times and needs of the University community dictate, the President of the University may appoint a committee to recommend additions to or deletions from this Code.
Enumerated below are the specific prohibitions, policies and procedures of the Student Code which are the foundation for individual/group conduct at the University of San Diego. As they are the fundamental basis of individual/group conduct, each student is responsible for understanding and following them while being a member of the USD community.
The following conduct is prohibited on University premises or at University events, wherever it may occur. (The same conduct, though occurring off University premises and not at University events, may nonetheless be subject to University sanctions when it adversely affects the University, its educational mission or its community.) Violation of these rules and regulations may subject an individual or group to disciplinary action.
- Violations of law, including local, state and federal statutes, and specifically including, but not limited to: theft; unauthorized possession or storage of a weapon; and use, possession or distribution of marijuana or any controlled substances.
- Knowingly furnishing false information to the University; forgery, alteration or use of institutional documents or instruments of identification with intent to defraud; or appropriation of institutional resources for personal advantage.
- Intentional disruption of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary proceedings or any other institutional activity.
- Abuse of any person.
- Any inconsiderate behavior toward a community member or guest.
- Engaging in disorderly conduct, lewd, indecent or obscene behavior on University property or at a University-sponsored event.
- Any sexual assault. Sexual assault is nonconsensual sexual conduct including but not limited to: rape, sodomy, oral copulation, sexual battery (unwanted sexual touching), or penetration with a foreign object.
- Failure to comply with the direction of University officials acting in performance of their duties.
- Damage to University property or to non-University property being used for a University event.
- Any activity on the façades, ledges or roofs of University facilities.
- Launching of an object or substance from within or on a University structure or property.
- Possession, consumption or sale of alcoholic beverages by persons under the age of 21 years on University property or at a University-sponsored event; furnishing alcoholic beverages to persons under the age of 21 years on University property or at a University-sponsored event; driving on University property while under the influence of alcohol; public display of intoxication on University property or at a University-sponsored event.
- Presence on campus while under the influence of marijuana or any controlled substance.
- The following violations of the Dining Service rules: (a) transfer of a meal card; (b) use of a meal card other than one's own; (c) attempting to enter dining facilities other than at designated points; (d) theft of food, utensils, supplies or any other items; (e) throwing of any object; (f) failure to return dishes and/or trays to the dish room.
- Violations of University parking rules and regulations.
- Violations of published rules and regulations for Residence Hall contracts and Residence Hall living.
- Violations of any University policy listed in Section III below.
- Hate Crimes and Bias-motivated incidents.
Academic Integrity Policy
This policy applies to all students of the University except Law students (see Honor Code below). The University is an academic institution, an instrument of learning. As such, the University is predicated on the principles of scholastic honesty. It is an academic community, all of whose members are expected to abide by ethical standards both in their conduct and in their exercise of responsibility towards other members of the community.
Academic dishonesty is an affront to the integrity of scholarship at USD and a threat to the quality of learning. To maintain its credibility and uphold its reputation the University procedures to deal with academic dishonesty should be uniform and understood by all. This document outlines the University's sanctions against cheating and the procedures by which they are implemented.
I. Academic Dishonesty
An act of academic dishonesty may be either a serious violation or an infraction. The instructor or supervisor of the academic exercise will have responsibility for determining that an act is an infraction or may be a serious violation. Serious violations are the following acts:
- Examination Behavior. Any intentional giving or use of external assistance during an examination shall be considered a serious violation if knowingly done without express permission of the instructor giving the examination.
- Fabrication. Any intentional falsification or invention of data, citation or other authority in an academic exercise shall be considered a serious violation, unless the fact of falsification or invention is disclosed at the time and place it is made.
- Unauthorized Collaboration. If the supervisor of an academic exercise has stated that collaboration is not permitted, intentional collaboration between one engaged in the exercise and another shall be considered a serious violation by the one engaged in the exercise, and by the other if the other knows of the rule against collaboration.
- Plagiarism. Any intentional passing off of another's ideas, words or work as one's own shall be considered a serious violation.
- Misappropriation of Resource Materials. Any intentional and unauthorized taking or concealment of library or course materials shall be considered a serious violation if the purpose of the taking or concealment is to obtain exclusive use, or to deprive others of use, of such materials.
- Unauthorized Access.Any unauthorized access of an instructor's files or computer account shall be considered a serious violation.
- Serious Violations Defined by Instructor.Any other intentional violation of rules or policies established in writing by a course instructor or supervisor of an academic exercise is a serious violation in that course or exercise.
Infractions are the following acts:
- Any unintentional act is an infraction that, if it were intentional, would be a serious violation.
- Any violation of the rules or policies established for a course or academic exercise by the course instructor or supervisor of the academic exercise is an infraction in that course or exercise if such a violation would not constitute a serious violation.
II. Academic Dishonesty: Sanctions and Procedures
Academic dishonesty, and allegations of academic dishonesty, are matters of University-wide concern in the same way that academic integrity is a matter of University-wide concern. Students bear the responsibility not only for their own academic integrity but also for bringing instances of suspected academic dishonesty to the attention of the proper authorities. Members of the faculty are obligated, not only to the University but also to the students they supervise, to deal fully and fairly with instances and allegations of academic dishonesty. The University administration bears the responsibility of dealing fairly and impartially with instances and allegations of academic dishonesty.
Academic honesty begins in the course or classroom. For this reason the responsibility to insure academic honesty, and to initiate action with respect to suspected academic dishonesty, likewise begins in the course or classroom. If the instructor of a course or supervisor of an academic exercise appears to be unable or unwilling to assure the academic integrity of the course or exercise, then those engaged in the course or exercise should bring the situation to the attention of the instructor's or supervisor's department head or dean.
The following sanctions and procedures will be followed with respect to instances and allegations of academic dishonesty as defined in Section I of the guide:
- Initiation of Procedures. The instructor or supervisor has the initial responsibility for determining whether a person has engaged in academic dishonesty in a course or academic exercise. Therefore, information concerning possible academic dishonesty in a course or academic exercise should be brought to the attention of its instructor or supervisor. If the instructor or supervisor is unavailable, then information concerning possible academic dishonesty should be brought to the attention of the appropriate department head or dean, who will then assume the role of the instructor or supervisor in the procedures that follow:
- When information of an act of academic dishonesty comes to his or her attention, the instructor or supervisor must undertake an investigation of the information or allegation in a manner that is reasonable under the circumstances.
- Unless it clearly appears that there has been no dishonesty, the instructor or supervisor must contact the person who may have engaged in the dishonesty act and give that person the opportunity to deny or to explain the events with respect to which allegations of dishonesty have been made. (If the person in question is not able to be contacted or fails to respond, then the instructor or supervisor will notify the Dean who will attempt to contact the person on behalf of the instructor or supervisor.)
- After investigation and reasonable efforts to discuss the matter with the affected person, the instructor or supervisor must determine whether (a) no act of academic dishonesty has occurred, (b) an infraction has occurred or (c) a serious violation probably has occurred.
- The instructor or supervisor must prepare a written record of the investigation and summary of discussions with the affected person, if any, together with his or her determination made in accordance with paragraph 3 above. A copy of this record, together with any penalty imposed upon the person by the instructor or supervisor with respect to the course or academic exercise, must be made available to the affected person.
- Sanctions Regarding Course or Exercise: Procedures Regarding Infractions. Unless the instructor or supervisor has erred in his or her determination that the affected person has engaged in an act of academic dishonesty, the instructor's or supervisor's imposition of penalty with respect to the course or academic exercise is final and unreviewable.
- The instructor or supervisor of a course or academic exercise may impose a penalty for dishonesty with respect to the course or academic exercise, regardless of whether the affected person has engaged in an infraction or likely serious violation.
- Penalties imposed by the instructor or supervisor with respect to a course or academic exercise may include: reduction in grade of the affected person in the course or exercise; the requirement that the affected person withdraw from the course or exercise; the requirement that all or part of the course or exercise be retaken; the requirement that the person engage in additional work in connection with the course or exercise.
- One who has been determined by the instructor or supervisor to have committed an infraction may appeal the determination of infraction, but may not appeal the sanction imposed by the instructor or supervisor unless the determination of infraction is successfully appealed, in accordance with "Administrative Procedures" discussed below. Any such appeal must be initiated within fifteen (15) days after the notification of the determination of infraction.
- Hearing Committee. Each allegation of serious violation, and each appeal from the determination of an infraction, will be heard by a Hearing Committee.
- The Hearing Committee will be composed of five members of the University community, as follows:
- The dean, associate dean or acting dean of the school or college with jurisdiction over the course or exercise in which the act of academic dishonesty is alleged to have occurred;
- A member of the full-time faculty of the school or college with jurisdiction over the course or exercise in which the act of academic dishonesty is alleged to have occurred;
- A student of the school or college with jurisdiction over the course or exercise in which the act of academic dishonesty is alleged to have occurred;
- Two members of the full-time faculty from schools or colleges other than the school or college with jurisdiction over the course or exercise in which the act of academic dishonesty is alleged to have occurred.
- The deans of each school or college covered by this guide, shortly after commencement of each academic year, will appoint two members of the full-time faculty and two students of that school or college to serve on Hearing Committees, with respect to allegations of academic dishonesty either in that school or college or in other schools or colleges. In making these appointments the dean may rely on recommendations made by the faculty or general student organization of that school or college.
- No dean, faculty member or student who has a conflict of interest with respect to the subject matter of the hearing may participate as a member of the Hearing Committee. One who, having a conflict of interest is appointed to serve on a Hearing Committee, must disqualify himself or herself, after which the dean will appoint another member of the same category as the disqualified member (see section II.C.1 above) to serve on the Hearing Committee as an ad hoc member.
- The Hearing Committee will be composed of five members of the University community, as follows:
- Administrative Procedures. The following procedures apply when (a) an instructor or supervisor has determined that a serious violation probably has occurred [section II.A.3(c) above]; or (b) one appeals from an instructor's or supervisor's determination of infraction (section II.B.3 above).
- Administrative procedures commence upon filing written notice of their invocation with the dean of the school or college in which the course or academic exercise was given.
- Upon request of the dean, the instructor or supervisor must promptly transmit to the dean a copy of the written record in accordance with section II.A.4 above.
- Upon receipt of the written record, the dean will convene a Hearing Committee to hear the matter.
- The Hearing Committee, as soon as is practicable after reviewing the record prepared by the instructor or supervisor, and after consultation (or attempted consultation) with the instructor or supervisor who has determined an infraction or alleged serious violation and with the person who is accused of having engaged in the dishonest act, will:
- establish the procedures that are to be applied with respect to the hearing to be held and communicate those procedures to the affected persons;
- establish the date, place and time at which a hearing before the Hearing Committee will be held or, if the hearing is to be by written presentations only, the date and place by which written presentations are to be submitted to the Hearing Committee;
- hold a hearing date and determine whether the serious violation or infraction in fact occurred; and
- in the event a serious violation has occurred as alleged by the instructor or supervisor, determine the appropriate sanction.
- The hearing held before the Hearing Committee, and the deliberations of the Hearing Committee, will be closed to the public, except that the Hearing Committee has discretion to hold a public hearing at the request of the person who has been accused of having engaged in the dishonest act.
- If the Hearing Committee determines that a serious violation has occurred, it must determine the sanction to be imposed. A sanction may be:
- expulsion from the University;
- suspension from the University or any or all of University rights and privileges, for a period up to one academic year, except that any such suspension may not have the effect of determining the grade received in any course;
- letter of censure;
- the requirement that additional courses or credits be taken as a prerequisite to graduation from the University;
- in the event of b, c or d, imposition of a period of probation on such conditions as the Hearing Committee considers to be appropriate.
- If a Hearing Committee determines that no serious violation or infraction has in fact occurred, it will remand the matter to the instructor or supervisor who determined the infraction or probability of serious violation with a request that the instructor or supervisor take further action with respect to the course or exercise that is consistent with the Hearing Committee's determination.
- The Hearing Committee must prepare a written record of the proceedings, including a summary of the procedures for hearing that it has established, a summary of the information submitted to it by interested persons and its decision in accordance with sections II.D.4.c and d above, together with any dissenting opinions and any other material the Hearing Committee deems appropriate to include. A copy of this record, together with any sanction imposed upon the person by the Hearing Committee, must be made available to (a) the affected person, (b) the affected instructor or supervisor, (c) the dean of the school or college with jurisdiction over the course or academic exercise involved, and (d) the President and Provost of the University.
- In the event the Hearing Committee determines that expulsion is the appropriate sanction, or in the event of two dissenting votes on the Hearing Committee, the person who is adversely affected by the Hearing Committee's decision may appeal that decision to the Provost, who may finally determine the matter in the exercise of sound discretion.