The Bylaws of the Board of Regents protect the rights of each member of the University community. Each student has the right to be treated with respect and dignity, and each has the right to learn. With these rights comes the responsibility of each student to maintain an atmosphere in which others may exercise their human rights and their right to learn. Chapter V of the Bylaws fully delineates the rights and responsibilities of students.
Access to Student Records
In accordance with Federal law established in 1974 by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, the University of Nebraska Medical Center maintains the confidentiality of student records and allows students to inspect and review information in their educational records at the Medical Center. The UNMC policy statement concerning student records may be found in the current UNMC Student Handbook or in the Office of Student Services.
General Procedures for Appeals of Academic Evaluations
In accordance with Section 5.3 of the Bylaws of the Board of Regents, the University of Nebraska Medical Center has established a grade appeal procedure that students should follow if they believe their academic progress has been evaluated unfairly. A summary of this procedure may be found in the UNMC Student Handbook.
Before initiating a formal appeal, students should first attempt to resolve the matter with the instructor involved through an informal discussion. If a satisfactory agreement cannot be made, students should appeal orally, or in writing, to the Chairperson of the department that granted admission to the course. If the problem cannot be resolved on the departmental level, then a formal appeal should be made in writing to the Chairperson of the Grade Appeals Committee of the College of Pharmacy. All of these procedures should be followed as quickly as possible since the Committee Chairperson must receive the appeal no later than two weeks after the reporting or posting of the grade.
Standards of Student Academic Performance
Students enrolled in degree programs at the University of Nebraska Medical Center are expected to make satisfactory academic progress toward the completion of their degree requirements. The colleges/programs of the Medical Center set their own academic standards governing satisfactory academic progress including probation, suspension or dismissal for failure to attain such standards. These standards are to be in accordance with the standards set by the accrediting agencies for each college/program.
Academic Integrity and Professional Conduct
Freedom to learn depends upon appropriate opportunities and conditions in the classroom, laboratory, on campus and in clinical settings. Faculty, staff, students and visitors respect the conditions conducive to such freedom by conducting themselves in a responsible manner, abiding by the laws of the State of Nebraska and adhering to the rules and regulations set forth by the Regents of the University of Nebraska. The University may take independent disciplinary action on those who violate criminal and civil law as noted in the University of Nebraska Regents Bylaws paragraph 5.5 Accordingly, the University of Nebraska Medical Center has developed the following general guidelines pertaining to academic integrity and personal conduct which provide and safeguard the right of individuals to exercise fully their freedom to pursue academic goals without undue interference from others.
Minimum Standards of Academic Integrity
In order to assure an understanding between students, faculty and staff concerning what types of activity constitute violations of academic integrity, several definitions and examples follow. These examples are not intended to be all inclusive and other actions not listed here may be considered violations.
Instructors, academic departments and colleges will also impose specific standards of conduct which may be more rigorous than the minimum standards cited here. Students are obligated to follow these guidelines and to ask instructors for guidance in special circumstances.
A general definition of cheating is the use or attempted use of unauthorized materials or information for an academic exercise.
Examples of cheating include:
- using unauthorized materials such as books, notes, calculators or other aids during an examination or other academic exercises;
- receiving unauthorized assistance from another person during an exam or exercise such as copying answers, receiving answer signals, conversation or having another person take an examination for you;
- providing assistance to another person during an exam or exercise, such as allowing your answers to be copied, signaling answers or taking an exam for someone else;
- obtaining answers and/or other information without authorization from someone who has previously taken an examination;
- including all or a portion of previous work for another assignment without authorization.
Academic misconduct is defined as the falsification of official documents and/or obtaining records, examinations or documents without authorization. Several examples of academic misconduct are:
- the unauthorized acquisition of all or part of an unadministered test;
- selling or otherwise distributing all or part of an unadministered test;
- changing an answer or grade on an examination without authorization;
- falsification of information on an official university document such as a grade report, transcript, an instructor’s grade book or evaluation file or being an accessory to an act of such falsification;
- forging the signature of an authorizing official on documents such as letters of permission, petitions, drop/add, transcripts, and/or other official documents;
- unauthorized entry into a building, office, file or computer data base to view, alter or acquire documents.
Research misconduct has been defined by the Federal DHHS Office of Research Integrity (ORI) and UNMC subscribes to this definition: “Research misconduct is defined as fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results.” Research misconduct does not include honest error or differences of opinion. It is important that every student understand the meaning of fabrication, falsification, and plagiarism.
Fabrication is making up data or results and recording or reporting them. Some examples are:
- indicating a laboratory experiment had been repeated numerous times or done in a controlled environment when it had not, thus leading to an invented or uncorroborated conclusion.
Falsification is manipulating research materials, equipment, or processes, or changing or omitting data or results such that the research or academic performance is not accurately represented in the research or academic records. Some examples are:
- altering an original source document, misquoting or misrepresenting a source to support a point of view or hypothesis;
- changing and resubmitting academic work returned by an instructor, such as an examination, research paper or other types of assignments without first notifying the instructor.
Plagiarism is the appropriation of another person’s ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit, i.e. an appropriate attribution or citation. Some examples are:
- In the methods section of a thesis, a graduate student describes a procedure used in research for the thesis. The procedure was developed by a fellow graduate student in the laboratory of their major professor; however, neither the student who developed this procedure nor the major professor was given credit in the thesis. This implies that the author of the thesis had himself developed the procedure.
- In the background section of a thesis, a graduate student quotes verbatim the results of a previous investigator’s work but fails to credit the individual through citation. The work is recent and thus cannot be considered common knowledge.
A violation of the standards of academic integrity is viewed as a very serious matter at UNMC. Such a violation will, in most cases, lead to disciplinary action. Students who wish to appeal charges of violations of academic integrity and/ or proposed disciplinary action may do so under the provisions of Section 5.4 of the Bylaws of the Board of Regents (see page 94 of the UNMC Student Handbook).
General Procedures for Student Discipline Actions
In accordance with Section 5.4 of the Bylaws of the Board of Regents and in order to insure the protection of the students’ rights, the University of Nebraska Medical Center has established general procedures that must be followed if any disciplinary action is proposed against students. Students will be informed in writing by the Dean’s Office of the specific charges, the supporting evidence, and the proposed disciplinary action. The Office of the Dean will also inform students of their right to appeal. The UNMC “Procedural Rules Relating to Student Discipline” may be found in the UNMC Student Handbook.
The Faculty of the College of Pharmacy reserves the right to dismiss at any time a student whose conduct (e.g., cheating, plagiarism) makes it inadvisable to retain the student in the program.