Johns Hopkins University Center for Leadership Education

Undergraduate Academic Ethics Board

Constitution

Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and the Whiting School of Engineering

Preamble
Throughout its history, The Johns Hopkins University has enjoyed a distinguished reputation for academic excellence and integrity. Each member of the University bears a personal responsibility to uphold the ethical standards of the Institution. The Undergraduate Academic Ethics Board has adopted the following procedures for responding in a timely and impartial manner to infractions of the high ethical standards of the academic community. Faculty and undergraduate students in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and the Whiting School of Engineering are expected to understand their responsibilities as members of the Johns Hopkins University academic community and are bound by these procedures.

The Undergraduate Academic Ethics Board

Section A.
The Undergraduate Academic Ethics Board (hereinafter "The Ethics Board") is a subcommittee of the Academic Council and an independent committee of the Student Council. The Ethics Board is comprised of eight full-time faculty members (four from each school) and twelve undergraduate students, as well as a Presiding Official and a Chairman, both of whom are undergraduate students. The faculty members are selected by the dean of the school and the undergraduate members are selected by the Student Council's Committee on Leadership Appointments. Undergraduate members shall serve terms of one academic year, beginning on September 1st. A board member may be removed from the Ethics Board if they have not met the expectation of the board.

Section B.
The Ethics Board is responsible for the maintenance of the academic integrity of the undergraduate programs in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and the Whiting School of Engineering and for all matters concerning adherence to this Constitution, including but not limited to: receiving reports of suspected violations, consulting with members of the University community on ways to reduce possible violations, appointing hearing panels, maintaining confidential records, orienting new students to the ethic standards of the community.

Section C.

1. The duties of the Chairman are:

a) to plan and oversee all general meetings of the Board
b) to be available for contact by the accused student to answer any questions or concerns
c) to organize training of the board members selected for the subsequent year
d) to assist in the selection of new board members when requested
e) to act as Presiding Official when needed and to provide assistance to the Associate Dean of Student Life and the Presiding Official in their duties when requested

2. The duties of the Presiding Official are:

a) to oversee all Ethics hearings and to make procedural decisions as outlined in Article VI
b) to provide assistance to the Associate Dean of Student Life and the Chairman in their duties when requested.

Jurisdiction

The Ethics Board shall have jurisdiction over all undergraduates in the Krieger School of Arts & Sciences and the Whiting School of Engineering. The Ethics Board may assume jurisdiction over a case involving a full time undergraduate in a class in the School of Education and the Carey School of Business.

Violations of Academic Integrity

Undergraduate students enrolled in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences or the Whiting School of Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University assume a duty to conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to the University's mission as an institution of higher learning. Students are obliged to refrain from acts which they know, or under circumstances have reason to know, violate the academic integrity of the University. Violations of academic ethics include, but are not limited to: cheating; plagiarism; submitting the same or substantially similar work to satisfy the requirements of more than one course without permission; submitting as one's own the same or substantially similar work of another; knowingly furnishing false information to any agent of the University for inclusion in academic records; falsification, forgery, alteration, destruction or misuse of official University documents or seal.

Responsibilities of Students and Faculty

Section A.
Faculty members are responsible for specifying at the beginning of each semester the basic rules and procedures for any and all coursework, examinations, and other academic exercises. They are also responsible for exercising a reasonable degree of caution while writing, transporting and administrating examinations and other graded work. All faculty members and teaching assistants are responsible for taking appropriate actions in accordance with the Constitution in all cases of suspected violations of academic ethics.

Section B.
It is the responsibility of each student to report to the professor in charge of the course or to the Ethics Board any suspected violations of academic ethics.

Procedures for Handling Suspected Violations of Academic Integrity

Section A.
If a student is suspected of a possible violation of academic ethics, the professor in charge of the course will review the evidence and the facts of the case promptly with the student. If, after speaking with the student(s), the professor believes that a violation of academic ethics has occurred, the professor may (a) settle the case directly with the student with appropriate notification to the Office of the Dean of Student Life or (b) promptly notify the Ethics Board in writing, through the Office of the Dean of Student Life, setting forth the details of the case.

Section B.

1. A professor has the authority to settle a case with a student if (a) the current offense does not constitute a second or subsequent offense, and (b) the settlement does not call for a notation on the student's transcript. It is the responsibility of the professor to check with the Office of the Dean of Student Life to determine whether the student has any prior record of misconduct. If the circumstances surrounding the case do not satisfy the above criteria, then the professor must send the case to the Ethics Board for resolution.

2. If the professor settles a case with the student(s), the penalty or penalties imposed may only be selected from items (b) through (e) listed under the Penalties section. If the professor feels that none of these penalties are appropriate, he/ she must submit the matter to the Ethics Board for resolution.

3. If a case is settled directly between the student and the professor, then the professor must submit the name of the student and the settlement agreed upon to the Office of the Dean of Student Life.

Section C.

1. If the student(s) and professor are unable to reach a settlement, then the professor must file a written charge of a violation of academic ethics to the Office of the Dean of Student Life for resolution. Professors should make every effort to take such action within one week of the alleged occurrence of academic misconduct.

2. In the event that a case arises near the end of a semester, the professor must submit a charge (as outlined above) at least one week before the official last day of classes. Any charge received after this date may be held over until the following semester. When possible, hearings could be held during Intersession and summer. For summer hearings, officers and board members may be drawn from the Board for the subsequent academic year at the discretion of the Associate Dean of Students Life.

Section D.
Upon receipt of a charge of a violation of academic ethics from a professor, the Associate Dean of Student Life shall appoint a hearing panel to consider the charge(s). The panel shall decide the issue of responsibility and, if the student is found responsible or not responsible, shall impose an appropriate penalty, as specified in Penalties.

Section E.
When the Associate Dean of Student Life receives a charge of a violation of academic ethics from a professor, he/she shall:

1.file the professor's written charge in the Ethics Board's file in the Office of the Dean of Student Life.

2. collect all pertinent evidence.

3. set a hearing date, time, and location.

4. notify the accused student(s) of the charge and hearing date, time, and location.

5. select members of the Ethics Board to serve on the hearing panel

Hearing Panels

Section A.
When required under the conditions warrant a hearing, the Associate Dean of Student Life shall appoint a hearing panel of unbiased persons to consider the case.

Section B.
A hearing panel shall consist of two faculty members and three students and shall ordinarily be selected from the members of the Ethics Board. A Presiding Official shall conduct the proceedings of the hearing panel.  The Presiding Official has no vote. He or she is responsible for maintaining records of all procedural decisions.

Section C.
If any member of the panel feels they are unable to treat all parties fairly, they should remove themselves from the board.  The Associate Dean of Student Life may appoint a hearing panel of faculty or full-time undergraduate students from the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and the Whiting School of Engineering who are not members of the Ethics Board. Such a circumstance might occur if a panel could not be appointed from among the members of the Ethics Board.

Section D.
The professor shall submit all relevant documents to the Associate Dean of Student Life at least five business days prior to a hearing. The accused student shall submit all relevant documents to the Associate Dean of Student Life at least two business days prior to the hearing. If any evidence is submitted after this date, both parties will be notified of its addition.

Section E.
The accused student shall be notified in writing of a charge of a violation of academic ethics at least five business days prior to a hearing. Upon receipt of notification, the accused student(s) shall have the opportunity to inspect all documents under the supervision of the Associate Dean of Student Life.

Section F.
The hearing panel members shall not be informed of details of the charge(s) before the hearing is convened and shall keep all information confidential.

Section G.
The accused student may discuss procedures with the Presiding Official, the Chairman, or the Associate Dean of Student Life but may not approach members of the panel, the accuser, or the accuser's witnesses concerning any matter directly or indirectly related to the hearing.

Section H.

1. Students charged with misconduct arising from a single incident or occurrence may have their hearings joined at the discretion of the Associate Dean of Student Life. Charges of academic misconduct against a single student arising from several incidents or occurrences may also be heard at one hearing at the discretion of the Associate Dean of Student Life.

2. The accused student shall receive written notification of a joinder of charges.

3. When a hearing involves a joinder of charges, the guilt or innocence of each student shall be ruled upon separately. Similarly, joined charges against a single student shall be ruled upon individually.

Section I.

1. If an accused student fails to appear for the hearing after having been duly served with notice, or withdraws from a hearing before its conclusion without the written permission of the Associate Dean of Student Life, immediate suspension from the University may be imposed. Such a suspension shall continue until the hearing can be concluded with the student present.

2. Students are responsible for appearing as witnesses before a hearing panel as requested by the Ethics Board, and no student may willfully interfere with the processes of the Ethics Board or its hearing panels. A student's failure to appear and tell the truth in response to all relevant questions, or his or her interference with the processes of the Ethics Board or its hearing panels constitutes a violation of academic ethics.

Section J.
Those present at a hearing of the Ethics Board are limited to the following: the Presiding Official, panel members, the member of the University bringing charges, the accused student(s), and not more than one representative of the accused student(s). Student(s) may bring a parent or another person to the hearing for moral support; the representative accompanying the student(s) in these instances has no speaking role at the hearing. Any witness called by either party may be present only when their testimony is required. The Chairman may attend the hearing at the request of the Presiding Official, to assist the Presiding Official with any and all matters concerning the Official, to assist the Presiding Official with any and all matters concerning the hearing, but not to exercise final authority on procedural questions. The Associate Dean of Student Life or other administrative officer may also attend the hearing but cannot decide responsible or not responsible regarding the accused.

Section K.
A full and complete record shall be made of the proceedings by tape recording. No record of the deliberation shall be made. The Office of the Dean of Student Life will maintain a permanent file of all such reports. if a student is found responsible, they will receive written notification of their sanction(s).

Section L.

1. The Presiding Official shall conduct the hearing in an orderly fashion. He/ She shall have the authority to rule on peremptory challenges, exclude testimony and evidence that is repetitious or irrelevant to the charges, and shall make final decisions of all questions of procedure. They may ask the Associate Dean of Student Life questions for clarification.

2. The Presiding Official may recess the hearing when it is deemed necessary. During a recess of a hearing, no discussion of the case by panel members, the accused student, the accuser, or witnesses will be permitted.

Section M.
The accused student shall be presumed not responsible until found responsible. A determination should be reached during deliberations based solely upon the information presented during the hearing, and not upon any preconceived assumptions.

Section N.
Upon calling the hearing to order and introducing the panel, the Presiding Official shall read the charge(s) and ask the accused student to enter a plea of responsible or not responsible.

Section O.
If the accused student pleads responsible to the charge(s), the professor shall present testimony which can aid the hearing panel in determining the severity of the offense. The student shall then be given the opportunity to present information to the hearing panel which he/ she wish to be considered in determining a penalty. The hearing panel may also ask questions of both parties in order to ascertain the severity of the offense.

Section P.

1. If the plea is one of not responsible, the professor shall present testimony and evidence in support of the charges. Evidence may include documents, the professor's own testimony, and that of any witnesses. Before calling a witness, the professor should be prepared to establish that the witness will present evidence relevant to the case at hand. Only the panel may ask questions of the accused or the professor. The Associate Dean of Student Life may curtail questioning if it is determined to be irrelevant or repetitious.

2. Following the professor's presentation, the accused student shall present testimony and evidence under the same restrictions.

3. Following the accused student's presentation, the professor and the accused student may recall witnesses if they can establish the need to do so. Such a recall of witnesses shall be subject to the discretion of the Associate Dean of Student Life.

4. After testimony from both sides has been heard, the professor and the accused student shall be given the opportunity to present a closing statement and any mitigating circumstances which they feel are appropriate. If the charge being heard constitutes a second or subsequent offense by the student, the student shall have the opportunity to comment on each prior offense individually.

5. Following the closing statements, the professor, the accused student, his/ her representatives, and all witnesses are excused. All parties shall remain available and shall inform the Presiding Official of their whereabouts.

Section Q.

1. The Panel shall deliberate the charge(s) until each member is ready to vote or the Associate Dean of Student Life determines that any further deliberation will not be productive.

2. The accused student, professor, and/ or any witnesses may be recalled for further testimony at any time during the panel's deliberation.

3. The individual decision of each hearing panelist on responsible/not responsible shall be based upon a preponderance of the evidence.

4. Voting of the hearing panel may be by secret ballot or verbally. Majority of votes will determine responsible or not responsible.

5. The accused student will be asked to return, and told of the results of the panel.

Section R.
Notice of the outcome of the hearing shall be sent to the student(s), professor, and the Dean of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences or the Whiting School of Engineering, depending on the school in which the student is enrolled. This notice may also be sent via email.

Penalties

Section A.
If a student is found responsible for a violation of academic ethics, whether by direct settlement with the professor, by pleading responsible at a hearing, or by a ruling of a hearing panel, a notification of the violation must be made in the student's file explaining the violation.

Section B.

1. One or more of the following penalties may be imposed upon students found guilty of violations of academic ethics:

a) A notation placed on the student's permanent transcript explaining the violation and punishment.
b) Retake of the examination, paper or exercise involved.
c) Score of zero on the examination, paper, or exercise involved.
d) Lowering of the course grade.
e) Failure in the course.
f) Failure in the course with a notation on the transcript that the grade was for a violation of academic ethics.
g) Failure in the course with suspension from the University.
h) Failure in the course with suspension from the University and notation on the transcript that the failing grade was for a violation of academic ethics.
i) Suspension from the University for at least one Semester.
j) Suspension from the University for at least one Semester with a notation on the transcript that the cause was a violation of academic ethics.
k) Expulsion from the University with a notation on the transcript that the cause was a violation of academic ethics.

2. Hearing panels shall make every effort to select a penalty appropriate to the severity of the offense, and may take into consideration any mitigating circumstances brought to its attention, as well as any record or absence of prior misconduct. A hearing panel may also impose a penalty that is not enumerated above if to do so would appropriately reflect the severity of the offense.

3. The penalty for a second or subsequent finding of responsible must be selected from items (f) through (k) of Section B-1 above.

Section C.
The penalty decided upon by the hearing panel must be agreed be agreed upon by the majority of the panel.

Section D.
A student found responsible for a violation of academic ethics in a course forfeits the right to withdraw from the course or to change a graded course to pass/fail, and any withdrawal from that course or change effected prior to the finding of responsible shall be voided.

Section E.
A student who has committed a violation of academic ethics has the option of making a timely and personal report of the offense to the professor in charge of the course or to the Vice Dean of Undergraduate Education for the respective school. A self-reported violation of academic ethics reported and dealt with under this section shall not constitute a first offense.

Appeals

Section A.
A student found responsible for a violation of academic ethics may appeal the decision of the hearing panel to the Vice Dean of Undergraduate Education (or his or her designee) for the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences or the Whiting School of Engineering. The appeal must by filed within 10 business days from the date of the decision from which the appeal is taken. The appeal must be in the form of a written statement setting forth the grounds for the appeal. The Vice Dean may disallow an appeal of any procedural error if that error did not cause harm to the accused student. A report of the disposition of each appeal shall be made by the Vice Dean or designee of the respective school and to the Associate Dean of Student Life.

Records

Section A.
Records of the Ethics Board are available to members of the Board, faculty, and administrative staff, including the pre-medical and pre-law advisors. Records will only be released if a written request has been made and approved by the Associate Dean of Student Life.

Section B.
The records of the Undergraduate Academic Ethics Board shall be held in the Office of the Dean of Student Life.

Section C.

1. If formal charges have not been brought against an accused student within three months or within the first month of the fall semester for charges carried over from the previous academic year, then any references to the accusation(s) shall be eliminated from all files into which they had been placed.

2. A case file concerning an accused student shall be retained for seven (7) years after that student graduates or otherwise leaves the University.

A Summary of Procedures for Responding to Infractions of the Academic Ethics Code

Violations of Academic Integrity
Violations of academic ethics include, but are not limited to: cheating, plagiarism; submitting the same or substantially similar work to satisfy the requirements of more than one course without permission; submitting as one's own the same or substantially similar work of another; knowingly furnishing false information to any agent of the University for inclusion in academic records; falsification, forgery, alteration, destruction or misuse of official University documents or seal.

Suspicion of a Violation of Academic Integrity
Faculty members and teaching assistants have a responsibility to act in accordance with the ethics code in all cases of suspected violations of academic ethics. Students have a responsibility to report suspected violations of the ethics code to the professor in charge of the course or to the Ethics Board.

The Associate Dean of Student Life in Mattin Suite 210, 410-516-8208, is the liaison for the Ethics Board. If a student is suspected of a violation of academic ethics, the professor in charge of the course must contact the liaison for the Ethics Board to determine whether the student has a record of a previous violation of academic ethics. The professor will review the evidence with the student. If the professor believes that a violation of academic ethics has occurred, the professor may

a) settle the case directly with the student

b) promptly request a hearing by the Ethics Board (by contacting the liaison) and submitting a written charge, describing the details for the case.

Direct Settlement between the Professor and Student
If this is a first offense, the professor may settle the case with the student if the student admits responsibility. Written notification of the violations and the settlement, signed by the professor and countersigned by the student, should be sent to the liaison for the Ethics Board. The penalty imposed may be selected from the following: retake the examination, paper or exercise involved; earn a lower grade in the course; or fail the course. If the professor or student feels that none of these penalties is appropriate, the case must be submitted to the Ethics Board for resolution. If this is a student's second violation of academic ethics, the case must be submitted to the Ethics Board.

Ethics Board Hearingp
When direct settlement is not possible, the case is brought before the Ethics Board. A hearing Panel of two faculty and three student members is then scheduled. The accused student will be notified of the charge(s) and hearing date, time and location. If the case is reported at the end of the semester, when students and faculty are busy with examinations or have left campus, the case may be held over until the start of the next semester.

The professor submits all relevant documents to the Associate Dean of Student Life prior to the hearing. The accused student is given an opportunity to inspect all documents prior to the hearing under the supervision of an official of the ethics board. The student may also bring one representative to the hearing. The representative may be a family member or another person for moral support. The representative accompanying the accused student does not have a speaking role in the hearing. A tape of the hearing is made and can be furnished to the accused student for the purpose of preparing an appeal.

The Hearing Panel members are not informed of the details of the charges until the hearing is convened. The accused student may not approach the members of the panel, the accuser, or the accuser's witnesses regarding any matter related to the hearing.

The hearing is conducted in an orderly fashion with testimony taken in turn from the accuser, the accused, and from witnesses. Cross-examination and closing statements are allowed. The decision of the hearing panel on responsibility or innocence shall be based upon a preponderance of the evidence. If the decision goes to a vote, the majority of votes will determine guilt or innocence and the details of the sanctions imposed.

Penalties and Records
If a student is found responsible for a violation of academic ethics, either by direct settlement with the professor, or by a ruling of a hearing panel, a notation explaining the violation must be made in the student's academic advising records. Penalties for a violation that is heard by a hearing panel may include those available to a professor who reaches a direct settlement with the student, plus others including notations on a transcript and suspension or expulsion from the University. A student found responsible for a violation of academic ethics in a course forfeits the right to withdraw from the course, to change the graded course to satisfactory/ unsatisfactory, or to absolve the grade by repeating the course.

Self-Reports of Violations
A student who reports his/her own violation of academic ethics to the professor in charge of the course, or the Dean of the school, is subject to penalties, but the violation is not considered a first offense.