Return to: Student Conduct and Responsibilities
Whenever a violation of the Code of Conduct is identified, the university will take prompt and appropriate corrective action consistent with its policy. There shall be no retaliation against any member of the university community who expresses a concern under this policy, and confidentiality, to the extent possible, will be maintained. Intentionally false accusations may result in appropriate corrective action by the university.
Note: This process applies to all Code of Conduct issues except for violations of the academic integrity policy. Review procedures specific to academic integrity violations are outlined in the next section.
- Obligation to Report. Any member of the Walden community who suspects that a violation of the Code of Conduct has occurred is required to submit electronically to the dean or executive director, or their designees, the following information for the purposes of administrative review and resolution:
- Date of the alleged incident;
- Documentation available to support the allegation; and
- Name and contact information of the person making the notification.
The dean or executive director or their designees will provide written notification to the person who is suspected of having committed the violation.
- Investigation Process. The dean or executive director or their designees will conduct an appropriate investigation that will include the opportunity for the student to respond to the alleged violation, either in writing or orally. In all cases, informal attempts will be made to resolve the issue. During the investigation, the dean or executive director or their designees may convene a small panel to review the alleged violation. Following the investigation, the dean or executive director or their designees will make a decision and notify the student in writing of the decision and any sanctions resulting from the findings.
- Appeals. A student may appeal the decision of the dean or executive director or their designees in cases of Code of Conduct violations, other than academic integrity violations. (See Appeals Process in the Student Appeals and Grievances section of this Walden University Student Handbook.)
Process for Academic Integrity Violations
- Investigation Process. Should an instructor suspect that a student has violated the academic integrity policy in the Code of Conduct, the instructor will conduct an appropriate investigation, which may include use of a plagiarism detection service and a request that the student provide complete copies of all sources used in the research under question. (If another instructional staff member—such as a research reviewer, editor, or writing tutor—suspects that a student has violated the academic integrity policy in the Code of Conduct, he or she will report the suspicion to the instructor who will then conduct an appropriate investigation.) If the instructor finds that the student has violated the academic integrity policy, he or she will provide written evidence of the violation to the student and give the student an opportunity to respond to this evidence in writing.
If, after reviewing the student’s response, the instructor determines that the student has violated the academic integrity policy, he or she will inform the dean or executive director or their designees, and together they will determine which sanction to impose. Possible sanctions include one or more of the following: a requirement to redo work, a reduction in grade for the work, award of a failing assignment grade, award of a failing course or KAM demonstration grade, enrollment in a course on academic integrity, academic suspension, or permanent dismissal from the university. Multiple violations will result in more severe sanctions. The dean or executive director must approve all suspensions or dismissals from the university and will notify students in writing of such action.
Suspected violations of academic integrity that are reported to the university by students or other community members will be investigated by the dean or executive director or their designees, and a disposition will be provided to the student in the same manner.
The university believes that upholding academic integrity is among its highest callings and to that end provides educational opportunities for students to explore both the ethical necessity and the technical methods of conducting research that meets the highest standards laid out in the Fundamental Values of Academic Integrity statement. Students who are found to have violated the academic integrity policy but are not dismissed from the university will be required to take and successfully complete with a grade of S, a course on academic integrity to build their understanding and skills in upholding academic integrity. This course must be taken in the term immediately following the finding of academic integrity violation.
- Sanctions and Records. The university takes all violations of the Code of Conduct very seriously and takes actions that are appropriate to the violation.
In addition to instructor-imposed sanctions, the university can impose additional sanctions upon a student whose violation of the Code of Conduct is severe or follows a prior history. These sanctions include award of a failing course or KAM demonstration grade, including retroactive application of failing grades to past courses or KAM demonstrations; placement on a status of academic warning; revocation of proposal or dissertation approval; academic suspension; and permanent dismissal from the university.
All disciplinary actions are recorded in the student’s file, which remains permanently on record. The existence of a prior violation in a student’s file will lead to stronger sanctions for subsequent acts. Students who have been dismissed from the university for violation of the academic integrity policy are not eligible for readmission.
- Appeals. The findings of the dean or executive director or their designees in cases of academic integrity violations are final and are not subject to appeal.