Honor and Conduct Code

Student Honor and Conduct Code

Candler School of Theology is a professional school of Emory University that seeks to educate men and women for professional competence in ministry and the theological disciplines. In keeping with its mission, Candler expects all members of its community to maintain academic integrity in their course of study and to conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to the professional character of the ministry and consistent with the standards of Emory University.

Student Academic Honor

Candler School of Theology requires that all material submitted by a student in fulfilling his or her academic requirements be the original work of the student. Violations of academic honor include any action by a student indicating dishonesty or a lack of integrity in academic ethics. Violations in this category include but are not limited to cheating or plagiarism.

Cheating includes seeking, acquiring, receiving, or passing information about the content of an examination prior to its authorized release or during its administration. Cheating also includes seeking, using, giving, or obtaining unauthorized assistance in any academic assignment or examination.

Plagiarism is the act of presenting as one’s own work the work of another person, whether published or unpublished (including the work of another student). A writer’s work should be regarded as his or her own property. Any person who uses a writer’s distinctive work without proper acknowledgment, whether in the form of direct quotation or paraphrase, is guilty of plagiarism. In addition, papers, or portions of papers, submitted for academic credit in one course cannot be submitted for credit in another course without the express permission of the instructors of both courses.

While plagiarism is not limited to instances of unattributed direct quotation, any quotation from another writer, whether drawn from a print or an electronic source, must be both clearly marked (either by being placed in quotation marks or clearly indented from the paper’s margin) and accompanied by a clear citation of the source from which it is drawn. This citation should include the author, title, place and date of publication (where relevant), and page number(s) (for print media) or location number(s) or URL (for electronic media). All citations should be recorded in a footnote or endnote (n.b., for the purposes of this policy the Harvard system of referencing is considered a form of endnote). Although all the sources that have been consulted in preparing an assignment should normally be listed in a bibliography at the end of the assignment, the mere listing of a source in a bibliography does not by itself constitute proper citation of material quoted from that source; rather, the student must also include a footnote or endnote accompanying the quoted material.

Any questions about whether material in a paper needs to be identified through a citation, as well as any question about the proper form to be used for a citation, should be directed to the course instructor. When unsure whether or not to acknowledge a source, it is always advisable to provide a citation. Failure to acknowledge source material through proper citation constitutes plagiarism.

Procedures for Adjudicating Student Academic Honor Violations

Instructors are required to report in writing all instances involving an alleged violation of academic honor (including plagiarism) to the academic dean and the registrar, who will conduct a preliminary investigation of the alleged violation. The academic dean will decide if there is prima facie evidence of an honor code violation, and whether the case should be resolved using the informal process. In the case of students in the ThD in Pastoral Counseling program, alleged violations of the Honor Code will be reported to the interseminary ThD Committee. The Committee will inform the academic dean and the director of academic administration and registrar of the allegation, conduct an initial review, and report its findings and recommendations to the academic dean, who may then initiate Candler’s formal or informal process.

Informal Process

The academic dean, registrar, faculty involved, and whomever else the academic dean deems appropriate will review the facts of the case. In cases where the academic dean determines that a student has committed plagiarism, she or he will normally attempt to resolve the case informally by taking one or more of the following actions:

  1. Award a grade of “F” for the course
  2. Suspend the student for the rest of the semester or longer
  3. Discontinue the student from school If the student agrees to the action, the process ends here. The student is notified of the academic dean’s decision in writing. Failure to achieve agreement with the student warrants the formal process as outlined below.

Formal Process

The case will be heard by an ad hoc committee comprised of the following: one area chair member of the Academic Review Board (appointed by the academic dean), the student’s faculty adviser, one student who sits on the Personnel and Academic Policy Committee (selected by the academic dean), one student at-large (selected by the academic dean in consultation with the student whose case is being heard and the assistant dean of student life and spiritual formation), the academic dean, and the registrar. The registrar will be a nonvoting member of the committee. In all cases, students serving on this ad hoc committee must be in good standing with Candler. The area chair selected will serve as the chair of this committee and shall not be the student’s adviser. In all hearings, the accused will have the right to be present at all times during the hearing except when the committee retires to deliberate and make its decision. Evidence shall be admitted without regard to the rules of evidence in courts of law. The accused student may present evidence to the committee. After thorough review of the case, a majority vote of committee members to the effect that plagiarism has been committed will suffice for a finding of guilt. If the student is found guilty, the committee may decide one or more of the following actions or such other action as the committee deems appropriate:

  1. Award a grade of “F” for the course
  2. Suspend the student for the rest of the semester or longer
  3. Discontinue the student from school Upon review of the committee’s recommendations, the academic dean will notify the student of the committee’s decision and may notify university authorities of that action.

Appeal

A student who wishes to appeal the decision of the ad hoc committee must make such a request in writing to the dean of the Candler School of Theology. The appeal must be made within thirty days of the faculty and academic dean’s notification to the student. In the letter to the dean of the school, the student must indicate the reasons for the appeal and supply any relevant documents supporting the appeal.

After reviewing the request for appeal, the dean of the school may deny the request for an appeal, may render a new decision in the case, or may increase or decrease the severity of the action taken. The dean of the school will render a final decision on the appeal and inform the student of his or her decision.

Minutes will be kept of informal and formal proceedings. After resolution of the matter, minutes will be made anonymous and kept to ensure consistency of practice.

Student Conduct

Candler School of Theology requires all members of its community to conduct themselves with dignity and integrity and in conformity with the established policies and standards of Emory University and Candler School of Theology.

Student Conduct Violations

Student conduct violations consist of but are not limited to the following actions.

  1. Dishonesty through misrepresentation or withholding of pertinent factual information in a student’s personal dealings with other students, faculty, or staff of the university or organizations or agencies of the university, including Contextual Education, Candler Advantage, Teaching Parish, Episcopal Studies, or other internship placements. This also includes falsification of information for the purpose of admission to the School of Theology.
  2. Infractions of rules and regulations established by any appropriate university authority for the purpose of protecting the interests of the university community.
  3. Violations of the university Sexual Misconduct Policy (http://policies.emory.edu/8.2) and the university Discriminatory Harassment Policy (http://policies.emory.edu/1.3)
  4. Infractions of public law. Conduct that is the basis for an allegation or charge of violation of public law may also subject a student to an allegation of a student conduct violation. Candler School of Theology reserves the right to proceed with deciding the matter of such an alleged student conduct violation without awaiting the disposition of any criminal charges by a court of law.
  5. Actions contrary to the standards of Candler School of Theology and Emory University, including actions that are deliberately demeaning to other human beings or that violate the dignity and integrity of other members of the university.

Procedures for Adjudicating Student Conduct Code Violations

Allegations regarding sexual misconduct will be reported immediately to Emory’s Title IX coordinator for students and will be adjudicated according to Emory University’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, Policy 8.2 (http://policies.emory.edu/8.2). All other alleged breaches of nonacademic student conduct should be reported in writing to Associate Dean Anne Burkholder, who will conduct a preliminary investigation of the alleged violation. The associate dean will decide if there is prima facie evidence of a possible conduct code violation and whether the case should be resolved using the informal process. The student involved can select immediately for the formal process.

Informal Process

The associate dean, and whomever the associate dean deems appropriate, will review the facts of the conduct violation and may decide one or more of the following actions:

  1. Issue the student a warning.
  2. Issue the student a “no contact” letter.
  3. Place the student on probation.
  4. Suspend the student for the rest of the semester or longer.
  5. Dismiss the student from school.

If the action is agreeable to the student, the process ends here. The student is notified of the agreement in writing. Failure to achieve consensus warrants the formal process outlined as follows.

Formal Process

The case will be heard by an ad hoc committee chaired by a faculty member (selected by the Associate Dean Anne Burkholder and who shall not be the student’s faculty adviser). Other members of this ad hoc committee will consist of the associate dean, a second faculty member (selected by the associate dean in consultation with the student whose case is being heard and the assistant dean of student life and spiritual formation), the president of the Candler Coordinating Council, and a second student (selected by the associate dean in consultation with the student whose case is being heard and the assistant dean of student life and spiritual formation). Students serving on this ad hoc committee must be in good standing with Candler. The registrar will be a nonvoting member of the committee.

If such a committee is appointed, the chairperson will inform the accused person in writing of the charges against him/her, the name(s) of those who reported the charges, and the date, time, and place of the hearing on these charges. The accused will be allowed a reasonable time to prepare a defense and will be granted the privilege of an adviser to be chosen by the student from the Candler faculty. The adviser shall assist the student in the process.

In all hearings, the accused will have the right to be present at all times during the hearing except when the committee retires to deliberate and makes its decision. Evidence shall be admitted without regard to the rules of evidence in courts of law. The accused student may present evidence to the committee.

After thorough review of the case, the committee will decide whether the accused is guilty or not guilty of the charges. A majority vote of the committee will suffice for a finding of guilt. If the person is found guilty, the committee may recommend one or more of the following actions, or such other action as the committee deems appropriate:

  1. Issue the student a warning.
  2. Issue the student a “no contact” letter.
  3. Place the student on probation.
  4. Suspend the student for the rest of the semester or longer.
  5. Dismiss the student from school.

Upon review of the committee’s recommendations, the associate dean will notify the student in writing of such action and may notify university authorities of that action.

Appeal of Decisions Regarding Conduct Violations

A student who wishes to appeal the decision of the ad hoc committee must make such a request in writing to the dean of the Candler School of Theology. The appeal must be made within thirty days of the associate dean’s notification to the student. In the letter to the dean of the school, the student must indicate the reasons for the appeal and supply any relevant documents supporting the appeal.

After reviewing the request for appeal, the dean of the school may deny the request for an appeal, may render a new decision in the case, or may increase or decrease the severity of the action taken. The dean of the school will render a final decision on the appeal and inform the student of his or her decision.

Procedural Note: Minutes will be kept of informal and formal proceedings. After resolution of the matter, minutes will be made anonymous and kept to ensure consistency of practice.

Professional Integrity

Professional integrity for theological students is defined by the standards of integrity common to all professions and is further specified by those virtues of character required by Christian ministry. A person of integrity acts in a way that is congruent with what is professed in words and intended in thought, displays especially the virtues of truth and fairness, exhibits a consistent character over time, and takes responsibility for his or her actions.