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Student Misconduct

  • What are suggested do's and don'ts for handling student misconduct?
    Do's
    • Document your expectations of students in your course syllabus. Include policies for late-work, make-up work, extra credit, attendance, exams, dress code, laptop usage, professionalism, and other miscellaneous course related issues, to include instances of misconduct.
    • Design your course to foster a positive learning environment and to prevent possible instances of student misconduct. For instance, have multiple opportunities for students to earn points in the course.
    • For cases of student misconduct, document every aspect of the case, including:
      • students' names
      • witnesses (if necessary, witness statements)
      • times
      • dates
      • a narrative of the event
    • If witness names or statements are collected, keep their names, information, and statements confidential.
    • Submit your case to the Office of the Dean of Students' Rights and Responsibilities.
    Don'ts
    • If you are unfamiliar with Purdue University's polices or are faced with an unfamiliar situation, do not take disciplinary action against a student without first consulting the Dean of Students' Office of Rights and Responsibilities.
    • Do not divulge any information regarding the case to anyone other than the necessary course staff, the Dean of Students, your Department Head, etc.
  • What does the Dean of Students consider to be a student's responsibilities?
    The Office of the Dean of Students requires that students, "conduct themselves in accordance with accepted standards of social behavior, to respect the rights of others, and to refrain from any conduct which tends to obstruct the work of the University or to be injurious to the University" (http://www.purdue.edu/ODOS/osrr/conductcode.htm). Accordingly, Purdue University's Dean of Students publishes the students Bill of Rights and Honor Code on their website. Essentially, the Dean of Students views a students' responsibilities as those that pertain to their academic endeavors while enrolled at Purdue University. However, beyond the requirements set forth in the Student Handbook, Bill of Rights, and Honor Code, the University leaves most course decisions up to the Instructor of Record.
  • What does the Dean of Students consider student misconduct?
    The following is a short list of actions that may be considered misconduct:
    • Academic Dishonesty (see the Teaching Tip on Academic Integrity for more information)
    • Forgery or falsifying documents
    • Obstruction of University activities (such as severe disruption during class)
    • Physical abuse or threats
    • Theft or vandalism
    • Unauthorized use of University equipment or access to buildings
    • Possession or use of drugs or alcohol on campus
    • Lewd or indecent acts
    • Harassment
    • Possession of weapons
    • To a lesser degree, any conflict between the student's actions and the expectations set forth in the course syllabus.
  • What actions can I take against a student who has exhibited misconduct?
    As an instructor, you have the right to reasonably and equitably penalize a student in your course a number of ways:
    • You may assess a grade penalty, using a specific percentage or point based methodology.
    • You may adjust or ‘cap' their final grade.
    • You may require the student to do extra work or to redo an assignment.
    • You may fail the student from the course.
    • You may do nothing (but not recommended).
    • You may refer the case to the Dean of Students for disciplinary action.
      • It is strongly recommended that you refer the case to the Dean of Student for their records. (Even if they do nothing, they will record it in case the student is a repeat offender).
      • The Dean of Students will issue a decision regarding the student's academic standing, (i.e., probation, suspension, expulsion).
      • Your decision to penalize a student is separate and independent from the Dean of Student's decision regarding disciplinary action.