School of Graduate Studies Standards of Professional Conduct Policy

This Policy establishes specific standards of professional conduct for students enrolled in the University of North Dakota School of Graduate Studies (“graduate students”). The School of Graduate Studies considers these professional standards to be part of its academic curriculum. The standards contained within this policy are in addition to a set of university-wide policies found in the Code of Student Life that are applicable to all students at the University of North Dakota (“UND”). Alleged violations of the standards of professional conduct established by this policy are addressed using procedures established by The School of Graduate Studies and outlined below.

Graduate students are expected to know all applicable University policies and degree program requirements. Students are encouraged to consult with faculty and staff in these programs should they have questions about specific departmental requirements.

UND expects and will require the cooperation of all its students in developing and maintaining high standards of scholarship and conduct. By accepting admission to a program in the School of Graduate Studies, graduate students indicate their understanding, acceptance, and agreement to be governed by these standards of professional conduct. Additionally, graduate students acknowledge the right of the University to take such disciplinary action, including but not limited to suspension or dismissal, as may be deemed appropriate by the School of Graduate Studies for failure to abide by such standards.

The Graduate Environment: An Overview

It is the joint responsibility of faculty and graduate students to work together to foster an environment of professional and ethical conduct. Such an environment encourages freedom of inquiry, fosters mutual respect, and demands high standards of personal and professional integrity. Each party in the graduate process including the faculty, graduate students, the graduate department or program, and the School of Graduate Studies has particular responsibilities in ensuring the creation and maintenance of this environment.

The School of Graduate Studies

In its efforts to ensure quality in all aspects of graduate education, the School of Graduate Studies will provide clear and appropriate avenues of redress wherever particular faculty or student experiences fall short of the standards and expectations articulated in this document.

Graduate Departments, Programs, and Graduate Faculty

Graduate Departments/Programs and Graduate Faculty will provide, at appropriate stages, constructive reports and feedback on the progress of graduate students toward their chosen degree. Graduate programs and faculty are also responsible for ensuring a collegial learning environment in which faculty and students work collaboratively, respectfully, and professionally.

Professional Conduct

Graduate students are at all times expected to conduct themselves in a professional and respectful manner when interacting with fellow students, faculty, and the School of Graduate Studies staff. Graduate students are expected to arrive to class on time, follow deadlines, complete the coursework that is assigned to them, and meet standards of professional behavior, including, but not limited to: being present, as required, to meet the academic and research expectations of the school or department; communicating in a timely, respectful and professional manner; complying with institutional policies and procedures and; participating appropriately in the program’s community. Academic expectations include ethical behavior in the completion of course assignments and the production of academic knowledge: instances of academic dishonesty will be treated as instances of professional misconduct. 

Guidelines for Addressing Graduate Student Professional Misconduct

In order to protect and promote the ethical pursuit of knowledge, the School of Graduate Studies will enforce student accountability in all cases related to professionalism according to these Guidelines. Students who do not comply with the School of Graduate Studies standards of professional conduct as outlined in this Policy will be subject to the process outlined herein, which may result in disciplinary action or penalty  , determined by the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies or designee (hereinafter referred to as Graduate Dean).

Dismissal or Discipline for Professional Misconduct Outcomes

The principal conditions for continued registration of a graduate student are the timely and satisfactory completion of the university, department, and program requirements for the degree, fulfillment of minimum progress requirements, and meeting standards of professional behavior. If a graduate student is found in violation of the School of Graduate Studies Standards of Professional Conduct, the graduate student may be subject to:

  1. Incident recorded in graduate student’s academic file
  2. Revocation of assistantship and tuition support, and/or ineligibility for future School of Graduate Studies scholarships or waivers
  3. Revocation of right to complete course evaluation (SELFI)
  4. Loss of course or research credit
  5. Suspension or dismissal from the program
  6. Other consequences as determined to be appropriate by the department, program or Graduate Dean.

Faculty will initiate appropriate measures to monitor and report acts of professional misconduct for violation enforcement. A violation may be treated as an academic matter or disciplinary matter. Violations treated as academic matters may result in discipline, up to and including removal from the School of Graduate Studies. 

Dismissal or Discipline for Professional Misconduct Procedure 

Where possible and as early as possible, notify the graduate student, the graduate program director, and any relevant program faculty committee, in writing, of the situation and deficiency; providing a detailed explanation of the reason for the notification and all relevant information.  At this point, the graduate program director will:

  1. Allow the graduate student(s) to respond to the alleged professional misconduct and consider any relevant information or extenuating circumstances provided by the graduate student(s); 
  2. Decide the question of discipline and/or dismissal and communicate the decision to the graduate student(s) and the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies in writing. Such decision must include:
    1. a summary of any discussions and information considered;
    2. a notification that the graduate student(s) has a right to examine their student file, if requested;
    3. information about the graduate student’s right to grieve the decision under appropriate department and/or college grievance policy and procedures and/or the School of Graduate Studies’ grievance policy and procedures.

Students who wish to grieve an academic decision made by the graduate program regarding an allegation of professional misconduct shall commence by discussion between the student and the graduate program director who communicated the decision. In the absence of resolution by such discussion, the grievance may be advanced by the student beginning at the next level and continuing as necessary through the persons/units/committees in the following sequence:  a) advisor or advisory committee; b) the Department Chairperson; c) the College Dean; d) the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies.

The final decisions of the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies may be appealed according to the “Grievance Policy” section of the School of Graduate Studies Policies and Procedures. Please note that the most current version of this policy is in the School of Graduate Studies section of the Academic Catalog and that the most recent version of this policy supersedes earlier versions.