Honor Code for Online Students

Honor Code for Students in Online Courses and Degree Programs

Chapter One: Preamble

1.01 The purpose of this Honor Code is to set forth rules by which the students in online degree programs of Pepperdine University School of Law are governed with respect to academic matters. The integrity of the academic community at Pepperdine University School of Law depends upon the maintenance of the highest ethical standards. The success or failure of this Honor Code is dependent on the willingness of those governed by the Code to enforce it and to make an individual commitment to comply with its provisions.

Chapter Two: Scope

2.01 This Honor Code applies to student academic matters in online courses and degree programs at Pepperdine University School of Law as defined in section 2.02. The Dean retains concurrent jurisdiction over all matters covered by this code and retains sole jurisdiction over matters not covered by this Code.

2.02 "Academic matter" means any activity that may affect a grade or any extracurricular activity at the School of Law that in any way contributes to the satisfaction of the requirements of graduation. Academic matters include, but shall not be limited to, the following:

1. Any examination;
2. Any research or other assignment to be done for a course;
3. Any work that is in whole or partial satisfaction of requirements for the receipt of credit;
4. Any misconduct relating to study material, such as notes, papers, books, or tapes;
5. Any efforts to obtain employment.

2.03 An individual who was enrolled in the School of Law's online courses or programs at the time he or she is alleged to have violated this Code shall be deemed a "student" for purposes of this Honor Code. An individual shall be deemed "enrolled" from the time of his or her initial registration at the School of Law until he or she receives the applicable degree, is dismissed, or formally withdraws from the School of Law.

2.04 "The Dean" refers to the Academic Dean who oversees the administration of the Honor Code. The Dean may also involve other associate deans and the Dean of the School of Law in Honor Code matters at his or her discretion.

2.05 The School of Law may withhold a graduating student's diploma while an Honor Code investigation is pending. When Honor Code charges are brought against a student who is in his or her last semester, Honor Code proceedings shall be completed by the date of graduation, or within 30 days after the reporting of the alleged incident, whichever is later.

2.06 If there is a discrepancy between the Honor Code and the Academic Policy Statements, the applicable provisions in the Academic Policy Statements will prevail.

Chapter Three: Prohibited Conduct

3.01 Any academic dishonesty violates the Honor Code. The following acts or omissions, although not exhaustive, are typical of behavior the Honor Code prohibits:

1. Consulting with any other person during an examination, unless expressly authorized by the instructor;

2. Using another student's materials or consulting with any other person during research or other writing assignments, unless expressly authorized by the instructor;

3. Obtaining unauthorized information concerning an examination one is to take, without immediately informing the Dean;

4. Taking an examination for another student;

5. Divulging the contents of an examination to another student who has not yet taken that examination;

6. Intentionally and unnecessarily disturbing others taking an examination;

7. Incorporating into work offered for credit any passages taken either word for word or in substance from any work of another without properly crediting the original author and work;

8. Submitting as one's own work the work of another;

9. Submitting for credit work that has previously been offered for credit;

10. Submitting for credit work prepared in collaboration with another without securing the instructor's permission in advance of submission;

11. Improperly revealing to a professor one's identity in connection with an examination that is to be graded on an anonymous basis;

12. Misappropriating another law student's, the university's, or any faculty member's notes, papers, books, tapes, or other materials;

13. Falsely representing grades or other information in a resume or to otherwise misrepresent academic facts or other personal data about oneself in efforts to obtain employment or for any other purpose;

14. Willfully or wantonly breaching the necessary confidentiality of Honor Code proceedings;

15. Knowingly obstructing an Honor Code investigation or other Honor Code proceedings;

16. Unlawfully possessing, distributing, or using prescription drugs without proof of prescription, to enhance academic performance;

17. Lying or making misrepresentations to a professor to avoid a penalty.

3.02 In addition to the violations enumerated in section 3.01, it shall violate the Honor Code to willfully fail to fulfill the duty owed by every student to report promptly to the Dean all circumstances that he or she believes violate the Honor Code and to identify the person or persons involved.

3.03 In addition to the violations enumerated in sections 3.01 and 3.02, it shall violate the Honor Code to fail to give testimony true to the best of one's knowledge or belief or fail to produce evidence of an Honor Code violation when requested to do so as part of Honor Code proceedings. A person may refuse to testify, however, to protect himself or herself from incrimination for a violation of the Honor Code or public penal law.

3.04 Attempts to commit acts prohibited by this Honor Code shall be punished to the same extent as completed violations.

3.05 It is not necessary to prove that the student had the specific intent to violate the Honor Code.

Chapter Four: Administration of the Code

4.01 The provisions of the Honor Code shall be administered by a three member panel called the "Honor Code Panel" comprising the Academic Dean, the Dean of Students, and the Associate Dean with primary responsibility for online programs or, if there is not one, then a faculty member designated by the Dean. The Dean shall designate one member of the Honor Code Panel to serve as Chairperson of the Panel.

4.02 It shall be the responsibility of the Honor Code Panel to hear and consider all complaints brought before it, to make findings of whether or not a student has violated the Honor Code as charged, and to recommend sanctions in appropriate matters.

4.04 The Honor Code Panel, at the close of a hearing and upon finding that a student has violated the Honor Code, may recommend that the Dean impose any one or more of the following sanctions:

1. Expulsion- Recommendation of termination of student status;

2. Suspension- Recommendation of separation of the student from the School of Law for a definite period of time. The student shall be excluded from classes and all other activities sponsored by the School of Law;

3. Disciplinary Probation- The student shall not represent the School of Law in any extracurricular activity or run for or hold office in any student group or organization for a definite period of time. Additional restrictions or conditions may also be imposed;

4. Warning- Notice to student that further misconduct may result in more severe disciplinary action;

5. Restitution- Reimbursement for damage to or misappropriation of property;

6. Other Sanctions- Other sanctions may be imposed instead of or in addition to those specified in subsections (1) through (5) of this section. These shall include, but shall not be limited to, cancellation of credit for scholastic work done, reduction of the grade given in a course, and increase in the number of course hours required for a degree. Nothing in this Honor Code shall be construed to conflict with the faculty's discretion in assigning grades. If a faculty member refuses to accept a recommendation of the Honor Code Panel concerning a grade, however, the faculty member must state his or her reasons in writing. This written statement is to be kept on record by the Honor Code Panel. A copy is to be given to the accused student;

7. Investigative materials, relevant correspondence, recommendations by the Honor Code Panel or faculty, and sanctions imposed shall be placed in the student's permanent record if a student is found to have violated the Honor Code through Panel findings, admission, or settlement.

Chapter Five: Filing of Complaint. Pre-hearing Procedures

5.01 Violations of this Code as outlined in Chapter Three shall be reported to the Panel Chairperson, or the Dean, or his or her faculty designee. Any violations reported directly to the Dean's office shall be referred to the Honor Code Panel.

5.02 The Panel Chairperson shall review the report of violation with the Dean, or his or her designee, to determine whether it sets forth a probable violation of the Code. If the Panel Chairperson and Dean, or his or her designee, determine that the report of violation does not set forth sufficient information to warrant further investigation, no further action shall be taken. If the Panel Chairperson and Dean, or his or her designee, determine that the report of violation is prosecutable, then the Panel Chairperson shall refer the matter to the full three person Panel.

5.03 The Honor Code Panel shall marshal the evidence necessary to substantiate the alleged violation, including interviewing witnesses and collecting physical evidence.

5.04 Upon conclusion of the investigation, should there be sufficient evidence to do so, the Panel Chairperson shall draft and provide to the accused student a complaint setting forth the facts and circumstances that comprise the violation, citing specific provisions of the Code that have allegedly been violated.

5.05 The Panel Chairperson shall set up a meeting between the accused student and the Honor Code Panel, which will constitute the "Hearing." Should circumstances require it, this meeting may be done virtually. At the Hearing, the accused student will be given a full explanation of the rights enumerated in Chapter Six of the Honor Code. The accused student will be given any evidence that will be presented at the Hearing at least five (5) days before the Hearing date and will also submit any evidence the accused student would like to submit by the same deadline. The term "evidence" shall include all documents to be presented at the Hearing and a list of all witnesses that will be called. Evidence not submitted by this deadline will be inadmissible at the Hearing. Prior to circulating the evidence, the Panel Chairperson will review the evidence, and when appropriate, redact the evidence only to the extent necessary to protect the anonymity of innocent parties. The Panel Chairperson will then submit all the evidence to both parties at least five (5) days before the Hearing;

Chapter Six: Rights of the Accused

6.01 The accused student shall have the following rights:

1. Delivery of the Complaint containing specifics of the charges at least twenty-one
(21) days prior to the Hearing.

2. Written notice of the time and place of the Hearing at least seven (7) days prior to the Hearing;

3. A settlement conference wherein the accused student and the Panel Chairperson shall determine if disposition of the matter before the Hearing is feasible. If one is requested, a settlement conference shall take place at least two (2) days prior to the Hearing date;

4. A reasonably adequate time to prepare a defense;

5. The opportunity to confront and cross-examine witnesses who testify personally during the Hearing;

6. The opportunity to present evidence and to call witnesses who have firsthand information;

7. The ability to remain silent without such silence being construed against the student;

8. A Hearing closed to the public, or open, at his or her choice;

9. A presumption of innocence that shall disappear only if the Honor Code Panel finds a violation has occurred by clear and convincing evidence.

6.02 The accused student may waive all rights enumerated herein at any time.

6.03 The accused student shall not have the right to be represented by an attorney at the Hearing.

Chapter Seven: The Hearing

7.01

1. The Board Chairperson shall have set the date, time, and place of the Hearing and given written notice to the accused and members of the Honor Code Panel.

2. The Honor Code Panel shall summon all persons selected to be witnesses at the Hearing. No Hearing shall be held unless all of the members of the Honor Code Panel are present either directly or virtually.

3. Any member of the Honor Code Panel shall disqualify himself or herself from a Hearing if, in his or her opinion, he or she cannot act on the weight of the evidence without bias or prejudice. Should a member of the Honor Code Panel disqualify himself or herself, the Dean shall appoint a replacement.

7.02 Formal rules of evidence shall not apply to the proceedings of the Hearing. All evidence the Panel considers relevant shall be received for purposes of determining the facts.

7.03 An audio recording of the Hearing shall be retained in the School of Law files. The Dean has the right to hear the recording at any time. The accused student may make, at his or her own expense, an audio recording of the hearing.

7.04 Chronological Procedure of the Hearing is as follows:

1. Evidence in support of the charge;

2. Accused student's evidence in rebuttal;

3. Arguments;

4. Finding on whether the student has committed the violation(s) charged;

5. If the finding is affirmative, or if the student signed an admission statement acknowledging he/she has violated the Honor Code, the Honor Code Panel shall hear evidence of mitigation or aggravation;

6. Recommendation on sanction;

7. Notification to the accused and the Dean of the finding and recommendation.

7.05 All findings of the Honor Code Panel shall be determined in closed session by a majority vote based upon the standard of clear and convincing evidence. All investigative records and other proceedings of the Panel shall remain confidential.

7.06 The Dean shall review the findings and recommendations of the Honor Code Panel and take final action as follows:

1. Where there is a finding of no violation with regard to a particular alleged violation of the Honor Code, the matter is closed, except for the posting of notice as provided for in Section 7.07;

2. Where the accused is found to have violated the Honor Code, the Dean will act to approve or, if he or she finds an abuse of discretion on the part of the Honor Code Panel, to modify those findings and/or recommendations.

7.07 Upon the Dean's formal determination of the decision, the Dean will inform the accused student of the result.