Student Behavior Policy for the Perdue School of Business
Doing the Math
"In looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence,
and energy. And if they don't have the first, the other two will kill you."
- Warren Buffet
CEO, Berkshire Hathaway
"There are seven things that will destroy us: Wealth without work; Pleasure
without conscience; Knowledge without character; Religion without sacrifice;
Politics without principle; Science without humanity; Business without ethics."
- Mahatma Gandhi
Frank Perdue's Ethical Will
Before his death, Frank Perdue prepared an Ethical Will to bequeath to his family. His family graciously shared his Ethical Will with Salisbury University.
- Be honest always.
- Be a person that others are justified in trusting.
- If you say you will do something, do it.
- You don't have to be the best, but you should be the best you can be.
- Treat all people with courtesy and respect, no exceptions.
- Remember that the way to be happy is to think of what you can do for others. The way to be miserable is to think about what people should be doing for you.
- Be part of something bigger than your own self. That something can be family, pursuit of knowledge, the environment, or whatever you choose.
- Remember that hard work is satisfying and fulfilling.
- Nurture the ability to laugh and have fun.
- Have respect for those who have gone before; learn from their weaknesses; build on their strengths.
Introduction and Background
Salisbury University [the University] and the AACSB-accredited Perdue School of Business [PSB] strive to attract and educate students who not only possess the intellectual capacity for professions in business but also have a high capacity for ethical and professional behavior. The development of such behavior is an integral part of our business education curriculum, as it prepares our graduates to conduct themselves in an ethical manner throughout their careers. Considering the economic importance of various business organizations and their impact on society as a whole, it is essential that our graduates demonstrate an ability to uphold high ethical standards during their studies at the PSB and in their future endeavors. This importance is nicely explained by the accrediting body of the PSB:
"It is essential for business in general-and management education students in particular-to understand the symbiotic relationship between business and society, especially in terms of the moral dimensions of the power placed in the hands of owners and managers. The actions of business leaders affect not only themselves, but also customers, employees, investors, suppliers, governments, citizens, and communities. Moreover, abuse of dependency by corporations undermines trust in business and in the markets needed to ensure commercial success. A society where those holding power are neither moral nor accountable creates a state where the strong do what they will and the weak what they must In short, the power of business must be exercised so that it does not punish or exploit those who are dependent on its largesse or vulnerable to its demands. Business must faithfully exercise its responsibility in the use of power. "1
Because the development of ethical and professional behavior is an integral part of a student’s preparation for entering the business professions, demonstrating such conduct during the course of a student’s education is an academic matter. When a student accepts an offer of admission into the PSB, he or she commits to comply with all policies and regulations, including those regarding ethical and professional conduct established by the University and the PSB. Thus, ethical and professional behaviors are considered key factors in our academic programs.
Circumstances may arise during a student’s course of study that call into question the capacity or commitment of the student to maintain this academic standard. The University and the PSB have the responsibility and authority to determine a student’s fitness to continue attending a program or course offered at the PSB. This Policy is meant to aid in that determination.
1Ethics Education in Business Schools/ Report of the Ethics Education Task Force to AACSB lnternational's Board - 2004
The objective of this Policy is to emphasize the academic importance of the ethical and professional behavior of students within business programs in the PSB. This Policy provides students, faculty, and staff with clearly articulated standards regarding the ethical and professional behavior of students. It also describes the procedures that will be followed by the PSB for addressing circumstances in which the standards for student behavior are not met, to assure the standards are implemented in a manner consistent with the principles of proportionality, fairness, privacy, and due process.
This Policy does not replace any existing University policy or procedure. Rather, it is meant to complement them.
A) Standards for Behavior Within the Scope of the Curriculum
All PSB students are expected to demonstrate high standards of ethical and professional behavior at the PSB and in all other professional settings, such as during internships, academic competitions, and other comparable programs offered by or related to the curriculum at the PSB. As part of our curriculum, our students begin to practice ethical and professional behavior that they will be expected to continue throughout their professional careers.
Unacceptable ethical behavior is often related to the issue of honesty. These behaviors include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Lying: Communicating untruths or withholding information as part of an investigation, or in order to gain academic advantage. 2
- Cheating: The act of wrongfully using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, study aids or the ideas or work of another in order to gain an advantage for oneself or another. 3 All academic work undertaken by a student must be completed independently unless instructed otherwise by a faculty member or other responsible authority.
- Plagiarism: Using the ideas or work of another person or persons as if they were one’s own, without giving credit to the source. Acknowledgement of an original author or source must be made through appropriate references [ e. footnotes, quotation marks, or commentary]. 4
- Misappropriation of Course-Based Intellectual Property: Lectures delivered by faculty in class, as well as course materials faculty create and distribute, are protected by federal copyright law as original works. Misappropriation of intellectual property is the act of intentionally taking the intellectual property of faculty or others, and/or the sale or distribution of class notes, tests, assignments or class projects for profit, either directly or through a third party, without the express consent or permission of the faculty member or lecturer. 5
2 Source: SU Faculty Handbook
3 Acts of cheating include but are not limited to: giving unauthorized aid to another student or receiving unauthorized aid from another person on tests, quizzes, assignments or projects; using or consulting unauthorized materials or using unauthorized equipment or devices on tests, quizzes, assignments or projects; submitting as one's own work material written by someone else, whether purchased or not; altering or falsifying any information on tests, quizzes, assignments or projects; working on any project, test, quiz or assignment outside of the time constraints imposed; submitting an assignment in a somewhat altered form or using any material portion of a paper or project to fulfill the requirements of more than one course unless the student has received prior faculty permission to do so; failing to adhere to an instructor's specific directions with respect to the terms of academic integrity or academic honesty; using fraudulent methods in laboratory, studio, field, computer work or professional placement; other acts generally recognized as dishonorable or dishonest which bear upon academic endeavors.
Unacceptable professional behavior is often related to a lack of demonstrated respect toward members of our academic community. These behaviors, for many reasons, are not tolerated within business organizations, and therefore cannot be tolerated within the PSB. These interpersonal behaviors include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Exhibiting disruptive behavior, which includes, but is not limited to, unwelcome physical contact (including pushing, punching, touching, and throwing things); offensive gestures; threats; verbal intimidation; interference with the respectful exchange of information and ideas in the classroom; communication that demeans or threatens, directly or indirectly, a member of the academic community based on his or her personal traits, characteristics, appearance, abilities, or circumstances; and communication that can be reasonably viewed as threatening members of the academic community.
- Unmet professional responsibility, which includes, but is not limited to, interfering with an atmosphere conducive to learning due to poor attendance, punctuality issues, distracting behavior in class, lab, or other institution premises; not responding to academic-related requests [written, verbal, e-mail, telephone] in a timely manner; and poor personal hygiene.
4 Examples of plagiarism include, but are not limited to: failure to give credit for ideas, statements, facts or conclusions which rightfully belong to another; the submission of a work, either in part or in whole, completed by another. For written assignments, failure to use quotation marks when quoting directly from another, whether it be a paragraph or a sentence.
B) Standards for Behavior Outside the Scope of the Curriculum
While this Policy is intended to guide the ethical and professional behavior of students enrolled in the PSB and not intended to directly guide or address behavior that is a part of a student’s private life, information regarding certain types of student conduct may come to the attention of the University or the PSB that require further scrutiny for the safety or well-being of the academic community. Student behavior that could result in further scrutiny under this Policy includes, but is not limited to, the following:
Conduct related to dishonesty or violence that raises concerns about a student’s capacity to continue his or her studies. If such reported conduct raises a concern about the safety of the student or the safety of others, or includes behavior that could indicate an issue with judgment or personal values that would preclude satisfactory functioning in the student’s chosen discipline upon graduation, an investigation may be conducted and action taken on based on the findings of the investigation.
Conduct related to dishonesty or violence that results in a student being charged with an offense in the civil justice system. If such reported conduct raises a concern about the safety of the student or the safety of others that the student may have contact with, or includes behavior that could indicate an issue with judgment or personal values that would preclude satisfactory functioning in the student’s chosen discipline upon graduation, an investigation may be conducted and action taken based on the finding of the investigation.
Conduct related to dishonesty or violence that results in a student being charged with a criminal offense. If a student is charged with a criminal offense that involves moral turpitude or violence, he or she is obligated to promptly report this to the department chair or program director. If a matriculating student has been charged with such a criminal offense between the time he or she applied for admission and the time he or she arrives at the University, or at any time while a student at the University, he or she must inform the department chair or program director of the charges before the first day of classes. If the University or the PSB later discovers that a student failed to disclose a relevant criminal charge, he or she may be subject to immediate program dismissal by the department chair and/or program director. Upon notification, the University or the PSB, in its sole discretion, will pursue an investigation and institute commensurate academic and/or student judicial disciplinary action simultaneous with or in advance of any final adjudication of the criminal court proceeding. Once begun, any investigation will be completed regardless of whether the student withdraws from the program and/or the University, and even if the student declines to participate in the process. This is consistent with the obligation of the University to ensure the safety of students and other PSB stakeholders.
Procedures for Addressing Breaches of Ethical and Professional Behavior Standards
Violations of this Policy will be handled as follows:
A) Who May File?
Complaints regarding student behavior that may violate the standards set forth in this Policy may be initiated by individuals within the University, school, or department (faculty, staff, and administration) or by external sources related to the University or PSB curriculum (such as internship providers or other organizations with which a student has had contact). The initial complaint should be promptly forwarded to the department chair or student’s program director. If neither the program director nor department chair can be notified, the Dean/Associate Dean of the Perdue Business School should be notified promptly.
The formal complaint must be in writing, with a brief description of the alleged violation and supporting evidence, and submitted within 10 University business days of the discovery of the incident, exclusive of University breaks and academic intercessions. 6 In the event that a complaint is made verbally from an external source, an appropriate PSB faculty member, department chair, or administrator is permitted to document the complaint on behalf of the external source.
B) Complaint Categories
There are three categories of complaints and associated procedures outlined below. The complaints are categorized by severity of behavior and whether immediate punitive action is warranted. The three categories are as follows:
- Troubling Behavior - Teaching Opportunity –Behavior that is of concern but that may be remediated through a single discussion.
- Troubling Behavior & (Multiple) Professional Concerns Report (See Annex 1 for a template of the PCR) – Behavior that requires a formal process for remediation, for example, situations in which a student has exhibited significant and/or serious behavior problems that do not warrant suspension or dismissal, but need to be corrected.
- Egregious Unethical or Unprofessional Behavior – Behavior that requires immediate action by the chair of the department or program director through interim suspension or program dismissal.
6 Complaints brought forward after the 10-day deadline may be reviewed, but must be presented with an explanation of why the deadline was not met. Prior to proceeding with the complaint review and investigation, the chair or other receiving administrator will evaluate the nature and acceptability of the delay.
C) Individual Category Review and Outcome Procedure
The following review procedures will be used based on the complaint category.
- Troubling Behavior – Teaching Opportunity
For less egregious unethical and unprofessional behavior, rather than filing a formal complaint about professional behavior, the faculty member or chair/program director may conclude (but is not required to conclude) that the incident is more appropriately handled as a teaching opportunity rather than a disciplinary matter. In such cases, the faculty member or chair/program director will contact the student directly to discuss the issue, provide feedback, and make suggestions for how the behavioral issue can be mitigated. If the faculty member or chair/program director believes an effective resolution resulted from meeting with the student, no further action is required (i.e., Informal Resolution). However, the incident shall be documented in the student’s file and may be reviewed in the future, where applicable, to indicate a pattern, practice, or failure to benefit from redirection (i.e., documentation of mentoring). The student will be provided a copy of the documentation that is placed in the student’s file. This student file will be separate from the student’s academic file and kept solely in a secure location within the Perdue School of Business [PSB]; access to its contents would only be on a need-to-know basis.
2. Troubling Behavior--Professionalism Concerns Report
In the event that the faculty member or chair/program director determines the feedback given to the student regarding the issues of concern was not successful in resolving the issue or if the behavior is of a significant or serious nature (but not warranting immediate suspension or dismissal), a Professionalism Concerns Report (PCR) will be completed (i.e., formal resolution) by the faculty member involved or chair/program director (if the complaint originates from someone other than a program faculty member). The focus of the PCR process is still educational with the goal of helping the student move forward successfully in coursework, internships, and interactions within the business community. The PCR must be filed with the department chair/program director within 10 University business days from the time the behavior was observed or reported. A copy of the PCR will also be provided to the student, and the student will be encouraged to respond within five (5) University business days after receipt the PCR in writing to the chair/program director discussing the circumstances that led up to the complaint and the nature of the complaint itself. The student’s response to the PCR must be submitted to the chair/program director prior to any meeting. 7 Within five (5) University business days after receipt of the PCR and with the purpose of understanding the circumstances of the accusation, the chair/program director will conduct an interview of the accused student, interview witnesses to the event that led up to the complaint, review any pertinent documents, and take any other action deemed necessary to understand the circumstances that brought on the complaint. Based on the outcome of the review, the student’s response and student interview, the chair/program director may decide that the PCR is unwarranted or may provide the student with strategies to mitigate the identified unprofessional behavior. During the chair/program director’s meeting with the student to discuss the findings of the review, the student will be provided with an opportunity for reflection on appropriate behavioral changes. The student will be asked to sign the PCR acknowledging the PCR has been reviewed. The chair/program director may require remedial action, such as a corrective action plan or mandated counseling, which shall be noted on the PCR. If a corrective action plan or other remediation is required by the PCR, the plan shall include a timeline for remediation. At the conclusion of this timeline, the chair/program director will meet with the student to review the outcome of the remediation process. The chair/program director will place a concluding written comment in the PCR discussing the level of success of the remediation. The PCR is then filed with the student’s departmental record. This student file will be separate from the student’s academic file and kept solely in a secure location within the PSB; access to its contents would only be on a need-to-know basis. The student will be apprised of this record retention in writing by the involved faculty member or chair/program director.
7 Note: Complaints brought forward after the 10 University business days deadline may be reviewed, but they must be presented with an explanation of why the deadline was not met. Prior to proceeding with the complaint review and investigation, the chair/program director or other receiving administrator will evaluate the nature and acceptability of the delay.
3. Troubling Behavior – Multiple Professionalism Concerns Reports
In the event that a student fails on multiple occasions to meet the expected standards of ethical and professional conduct as documented by multiple PCRs in the student’s file, the chair/program director may exercise the option to institute an interim program dismissal of the student within five (5) University business days. If the decision for suspension or dismissal is made, the chair/program director will notify the student in writing of the decision and will encourage the student to submit, in writing and within five (5) University business days, a description of the events that led up to the chair/program director’s punitive action to the administrator of the Professional Program Student Behavior Policy Committee, (the Committee, defined below) within the department where the complaint originated. Concurrently with the notification to the student of an interim suspension or dismissal, the chair/program director will submit to the Committee all pertinent materials to the complaint and its consequences, and schedule a meeting of the Committee, within five (5) University business days of the decision, for review of the accusation and interim action. The Committee will review all submitted written documentation, and conduct an interview of the accused student and any appropriate witnesses to the event(s) relevant to complaint, and will review any other action deemed necessary to support or oppose the interim action taken by the chair/program director. A written record of committee support or opposition to the interim action taken by the chair/program director shall be submitted to the chair/program director, the student, the Dean of the PSB, and Office of Academic Affairs. Should the interim action (suspending or dismissing a student from the program) of the chair/program director be upheld by the Committee, the student may submit an appeal and request a review, as described within the Appeal Process section below.
4. Egregious, Unethical, or Unprofessional Behavior
Any accusation of egregious, unethical, or unprofessional behavior should be reported in writing to the chair/program director within five (5) University business days. If in the absence of a specific written complaint, individuals within the University, school, or department become aware of conduct of an egregious or serious nature they will investigate in lieu of a formal complaint and will take all appropriate actions in compliance with the procedure outlined in this document. Accusations of egregious, unethical, or unprofessional behavior will be considered serious and necessitate that the chair/program director take immediate action to prevent any continuation of the behavior and potential harm to self or members of the community. If the chair/program director is not available or the circumstances of the complaint prevent notification of the chair/program director, the Associate Dean should be notified. If neither the chair/program director nor Associate Dean can be notified, the Dean of the PSB should be notified promptly. Following notification and with the purpose of understanding the circumstances of the accusation, the chair/program director will urgently (i.e., within 24 hours of the complaint) conduct an interview of the accused student and any witnesses to the event that led up to the complaint, and review any pertinent documents and any other action deemed necessary to make an interim decision. The reported behavior can result in the student’s immediate interim suspension or dismissal from the program. Examples of egregious misconduct include behavior posing a danger to persons or property, an ongoing threat of or disruption of the academic process, or certain acts of sexual misconduct. A chair/program director has the authority to take the immediate interim action of suspending or dismissing a student from a class, and/or from the program. If the decision for suspension or dismissal is made, the chair/program director will notify the student in writing of the decision and will encourage the student to submit, in writing and within five (5) University business days, a description of the events that led up to the chair/program director’s punitive action in the mailbox of the appointed Chair of the Committee. Concurrent with the notification to the student of an interim suspension or dismissal, the chair/program director will submit all materials pertinent to the complaint and its consequences, and schedule a meeting of the Committee within five (5) University business days of the decision for review of the accusation and interim action, as described in the Committee Hearing Procedure, below.
The Professional Program Student Behavior Policy Committee (Committee) Structure
Faculty Membership: From the pool of all tenured and full-time non-tenured faculty members of participating departments and prior to the first day of class in the fall semester, a department-specific process will be used to select four faculty members for membership to this Committee. It is expected that all tenured and full-time non-tenured faculty in a department will participate on this Committee on a rotational basis. Prior to the first day of class (e.g. during a pre-semester departmental meeting), the chair of the respective department will notify in writing the selected faculty of their inclusion on this Committee. The chair will also notify the Dean’s Office of the Committee member selection. The term of the Committee membership will be for a period of two years. Any chosen faculty member will not be required to serve two consecutive terms and all eligible members of the faculty will rotate membership on this Committee. The Dean of the PSB must approve any substitution of a current member of the Committee. During any required gathering of this Committee, every attempt will be made to convene the members at an hour and date that will not interfere with other faculty responsibilities. All faculty members eligible to serve on this Committee will receive instruction on investigation techniques, and law and procedures applicable to this policy. The University shall require all eligible faculty members of the Committee to participate in such education on a routine, ongoing basis.
Student Membership: Through an identified departmental procedure, five student members (i.e., one undergraduate and two alternates, and one graduate and one alternate) will be appointed by the chair of the respective department in the first week of each academic year. The chair/director will also notify the PSB Dean’s Office of the Committee member selection. The term of the Committee membership will be the period of one year. Any chosen student member will not be required to serve consecutive terms, but may request to continue their membership. The Dean must approve any substitution of this Committee during this period. During any required gathering of this Committee, every attempt will be made to convene the members at an hour and date the will not interfere with other student responsibilities. Student members of the Committee will receive instruction on investigation techniques, and law and procedures applicable to this policy. The University shall require the members of the Committee to participate in such education on a routine, ongoing basis.
Committee Composition for a Hearing
The composition of the Committee reviewing any complaint will be randomly selected by the Associate Dean of the PSB, and comprised of a panel from the currently serving pool of faculty and student members to review the case as follows:
- From the department where the complaint DID originate, two neutral faculty members (i.e., faculty not directly involved with this incident), and a student member at an equivalent educational level as the student defendant (i.e., undergraduate for an undergraduate defendant) with no direct connection to the complaint.
- From the departments where the complaint DID NOT originate, two faculty and a student member at an equivalent educational level as the student respondent (e.g., undergraduate for an undergraduate defendant) with no connection to the complaint, and a program director or department chair who will serve as chair of the Committee and an administrator for the complaint review.
- From the department where the complaint DID originate, two neutral faculty members (i.e., faculty not directly involved with this incident), and a student member at an equivalent educational level as the student defendant (i.e., undergraduate for an undergraduate defendant) with no direct connection to the complaint.
Committee Hearing Procedure
The selected panel of the Committee will review all submitted written documentation and will conduct a hearing of the accused student and any appropriate witnesses to the event that led up to and including the specific circumstances of the complaint and any other action deemed necessary to support or oppose the interim action taken by the chair/program director. Students are permitted to seek the support of an advocate who shall not actively participate in the proceedings. In all cases, the advocate must be a member of the University faculty, staff, or student body. In the event the advocate has legal training, a representative from the University’s Office of General Counsel shall attend the hearing. The hearing shall be closed, with attendance limited to individuals directly connected to the case as determined by the chair of the Committee. The chair of the Committee shall be responsible for conducting the hearing in an efficient and decorous manner and shall rule on all disputes related to the procedures used throughout the proceedings. The chair may set reasonable limits that may be set on the length and nature of opening and closing statements, the evidence presented, and on the duration of the hearing. At any time, the chair may seek the advice of legal counsel. The procedures outlined are designed to assure fundamental fairness, to afford student notice and an opportunity to be heard, and to protect students from arbitrary or capricious disciplinary action. The committee shall make a decision based on a preponderance of the evidence standard, namely an assessment of whether it is more likely than not that the allegation(s) occurred. A written record of the committee’s support or opposition to the interim action taken by the program director/chair shall be submitted to the chair/program director, the student, the Dean of the PSB, and Office of Academic Affairs within five (5) University business days of the review. Should the action (suspending or dismissing a student from the program) of the chair/program director be upheld by the Committee, the student may submit an appeal and request a review, as described within the Appeal Process section of this document.
Grounds for Student Appeal
The only appropriate grounds for appeal are based upon (a) the exercise by the student of rights guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, or by the Maryland Constitution, or Federal or State law (b) the student’s race, color, sex, religion, creed, national origin, age, disability, veteran’s status, or other forms of discrimination prohibited under policies adopted by SU and USM, or (c) personal malice. For purposes of this section, the term “personal malice” means dislike, animosity, ill-will, or hatred based on personal characteristics, traits or circumstances of an individual.
The following applies to all student appeals to the Committee: Students are entitled to no more than one appeal review for any individual incident. For sanctions imposed by the chair/program director and substantiated by the Committee (e.g., dismissal from the program) the student may file a written appeal of the committee’s findings within twenty (20) University business days to the Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs. The student’s written appeal will be forwarded to the University’s Academic Policies Committee within five (5) University business days. Any finding by this Academic Policies Committee is final.