The educational process at Creighton University is founded on Christian ideals and is committed not only to intellectual growth and to the search for truth, but to the development of such attributes as integrity, human dignity, justice, and concern for others. Although no code of conduct can specifically cover all situations, the basic expectations of the University community must be addressed and the University's dedication to truth must be promulgated.

Purpose

The regulation of student conduct is essential to the University's basic educational purpose. The primary emphasis in the promotion of academic integrity is directed toward the development of the student for responsible citizenship, the protection of the society to be served by that student, the protection of the rights of other students to participate fully in the educational process, and the assurance of the welfare of the total University community to include the patients it serves. It is important to the implementation of the clinical and educational process that disciplinary procedures be established, well defined, thoroughly promulgated and properly enforced, and that procedural safeguards be such so as to protect the rights of all involved and assure probative validity.

The purpose of this document is to inform students, faculty and staff of the policies of academic integrity that pertain to this School. Students are reminded of their role in the maintenance of academic integrity and of the consequences of academic indiscretion.

Responsibility

The promotion of academic integrity is the responsibility of the School of Dentistry, its faculty, students, administrative officers, and staff. The faculty and administration must actively encourage academic integrity by example, guidance, and prevention of violations. Students must be aware of the importance of academic integrity per se, as well as in the context of this particular profession. By voluntary entrance into the academic community, the student assumes obligations of performance and behavior reasonably imposed and these obligations are generally higher than those imposed on all citizens by civil and criminal law.

All incidents of academic misconduct should be reported to the Chair of the Academic Misconduct Committee (Assistant/Associate Dean for Academic Affairs) as soon as is reasonably possible so as to identify the development of any patterns of misconduct. Witnesses are to be identified, testimony recorded, and papers, notes or other evidence are to be confiscated and maintained either in the office of the Chair of the Academic Misconduct Committee or in the Department office involved.

Definition Of Academic Misconduct

Academic misconduct includes, but is not limited to: collaborating during examinations; copying examination answers; using unauthorized material during examinations; improperly or falsely obtaining, distributing or receiving examination materials; arranging to have others complete examinations, academic laboratory or clinical assignments and/or experiments; possessing, distributing or selling unreleased National Board Examinations; selling dental school test archives for profit; plagiarism in any form; furnishing false information to the University concerning academic matters; falsifying clinical reports or otherwise endangering the well being of patients who present themselves for treatment and/or teaching purposes; misusing academic resources; defacing, tampering with or wrongfully acquiring library materials or school equipment; forgery of academic or academic-related documents; unauthorized entry into areas where academic materials are located; engaging in bribery to obtain unauthorized academic information or material; altering academic records; failing to follow policies/procedures/practices as presented in the Clinic Manual; failing to follow instructions or directives of faculty members as related to academic matters; using social media to denigrate or defame Creighton University, the School of Dentistry, and/or any of its employees, students or patients; as well as any other conduct intended or likely to give a student unfair advantage or unfair benefit regarding an academic matter. This policy pertains to events or occurrences that happen internally within Creighton University as well as to academic exercises administered by outside agencies (i.e. National Boards, licensure examinations, etc.)

Penalties

Penalties for academic misconduct include, but are not limited to one or more of the following:

  1. Reprimand;
  2. Repetition of an examination or an assignment under a different format;
  3. Reduction in grade for an examination or an assignment;
  4. Failing grade for an examination or an assignment;
  5. Probation;
  6. Suspension or expulsion from a course, (in the case of expulsion from a course a grade of "F" is recorded on the transcript)
  7. Incomplete grade for a course and the requirement that the course be repeated;
  8. Removal from or denial of office in student organizations;
  9. Request for withdrawal from the School or suspension or expulsion from the School; and
  10. Suspension of clinical privileges.

The penalties listed above in numbers one (1) through four (4) may be imposed by a course director. The Academic Misconduct Committee or the Dean may impose any of the above listed penalties. The Assistant/Associate Dean for Clinical Services / Director of Clinics may impose penalties 1 and 10.

Initial Procedures

A student accused of academic misconduct will be initially notified of the allegation verbally by the faculty member who discovers the incident or by the course director with reasonable promptness after the detection of the alleged indiscretion. If the incident involves or pertains to the clinical curriculum, the Assistant/Associate Dean for Clinical Services / Director of Clinics may perform the functions and duties described in this document of either a faculty member who discovers an alleged indiscretion or of a course director. The Chair of the Academic Misconduct Committee (Assistant/Associate Dean for Academic Affairs) will be informed of the accusation by the discovering faculty member or by the course director. The Chair of the Academic Misconduct Committee will then provide a copy of the Policy and Procedure for the Promotion of Academic Integrity and the Management of Academic Misconduct to the accused student; will make the student aware that the Assistant/Associate Dean for Student Affairs is available to assist the student as an advisor and student advocate in resolving the matter; and will notify the student of the appeals process. If the incident involves or pertains to the clinical curriculum, the Assistant/Associate Dean for Clinical Services / Director of Clinics can perform these three functions.

A student who has been so notified shall be allowed to continue in his/her didactic and laboratory programs of study with the same rights, privileges and responsibilities as other students pending the resolution of the matter of alleged misconduct. The same consideration will be given to participation in clinical programs, however, the Assistant/Associate Dean for Clinical Services / Director of Clinics may suspend clinical privileges pending the resolution of the accusation if patient safety is in question. If the course director decides that an alleged misconduct involves a matter that is beyond the scope of penalties available to be imposed by the course director, the course director may refer the matter to the Academic Misconduct Committee for Formal Procedures. This decision and referral should be filed within two (2) school days of informing the student of an alleged indiscretion.

If a student has been disciplined by a course director for academic misconduct, and if the student does not accept the penalty proposed or imposed by the course director, the student shall file with the Chair of the Academic Misconduct Committee and with the involved course director a written statement of the student's desire that the Academic Misconduct Committee review the matter. This statement should be filed within two (2) school days after the student has been advised of the penalty by the course director. This formal student rejection of the penalty proposed by the course director will also necessitate the implementation of the Formal Procedures as set forth below.

Formal Procedures

Whenever a case of academic misconduct is referred to the Academic Misconduct Committee, the Chair of the Committee shall give written notice to the student of the charge and notice of the evidence which supports the charge as well as extend to the student an opportunity to appear before the Committee and answer such a charge. Additionally, the student will be instructed to prepare and submit to the Committee a written report of the incident. The involved course director will inform his/her department chair and will also prepare a report of the incident to be delivered to the Chair of the Academic Misconduct Committee including all available evidence, names of witnesses, materials confiscated, etc. All reports must be received by the Chair of the Academic Misconduct Committee within three (3) school days after the Chair informs the accused student of the initiation of these Formal Procedures. Although failure by the student to submit his/her written report within this three (3) day time period will generally be deemed a waiver of the right to submit this report, an extension of time may be allowed by the Chair of the Academic Misconduct Committee when requested and good reason is shown therefor.

The Chair of the Academic Misconduct Committee will review all written reports and, at a suitable time, call a meeting of the Academic Misconduct Committee and invite the accused student to attend. The notice of this meeting shall be given at least three (3) school days in advance of the day set for the hearing. Additionally, the course director, the faculty member discovering the incident, the department chair and such other persons as the Chair deems appropriate will be invited to this meeting. The student may be advised by the Assistant/Associate Dean for Student Affairs or obtain another advisor from among the University Community to advise him/her regarding the allegation and shall have the right to have the advisor present at this meeting. The student and the other attendees may also bring witnesses and present relevant information at the hearing. The student is not required to appear before the Academic Misconduct Committee, and if he/she elects not to appear, the determination required of the Committee will be made on the basis of the information available to the Committee.

At the conclusion of the hearing, the Academic Misconduct Committee, by a secret ballot vote of a majority of the voting members present may find that

  1. the charge of academic misconduct has not been substantiated, in which event the charge will be dismissed; or
  2. that a charge of academic misconduct has been substantiated.

If the Academic Misconduct Committee finds that a charge of academic misconduct has been substantiated, then it shall recommend to the Dean an appropriate penalty by a majority vote of the members of the Committee.

If the Dean accepts the recommendation of the Academic Misconduct Committee, the Committee shall give written notice to the student of the recommendation which it has made as well as provide a written copy of this recommendation to the course director. These written copies will be distributed within two (2) school days of the hearing and shall also inform the student of his/her right to appeal.

The Chair of the Academic Misconduct Committee, with the approval of the Assistant/Associate Dean for Student Affairs, may modify the time frames of this policy when necessitated by absences, semester breaks, recess breaks, vacations, or other extenuating circumstances.

In any case in which the Academic Misconduct Committee finds that academic misconduct has been substantiated, the student may appeal to the Dean by giving written notice to the Chair of the Academic Misconduct Committee of his/her intention to appeal. The student must give this notice of intention to appeal within two (2) school days after receipt of the Committee's recommendation. The student is then given an additional three (3) school days to prepare and file his/her written appeal. This written appeal is to be filed with the Office of the Dean of the Dental School and a copy given to the Chair of the Academic Misconduct Committee.

A student may appeal only on the grounds that

  1. the decision of the Committee is not supported by the information available to it and/or that
  2. the penalty imposed by the Committee was too severe. If the student elects to appeal, the issue or issues upon which the appeal is based shall be reviewed by the Dean or, if the Dean chooses, the Student Appeals Committee and he/she will give written notice to the student, to the Chair of the Academic Misconduct Committee, and to the course director of a decision.

The decision of the Dean may be appealed to the University President only if the Dean upholds or imposes a penalty of expulsion from the School, suspension, or a request for withdrawal. Such appeals will be governed by the procedures set out in the University’s Student Handbook for appeals to the President. The decision of the University President shall be final.

This policy will be carried out in such a manner as to protect the privacy of the accused student in all aspects associated with the alleged violation including the confidentiality of the proceedings and their outcomes.