Publication: Rights, Rules, Responsibilities, 2005-06
II. Students and the University (cont.)
A student is in good standing if he or she is making normal progress toward a degree and has a satisfactory record in scholarship and conduct. Scholastic regulations for undergraduates pertaining to choice of studies, completion of course requirements, and academic standing are printed in the Undergraduate Announcement, and for graduate students in the Graduate School Announcement.
Jurisdiction over Undergraduates for Violations of Academic Rules and Regulations
Jurisdiction over violations of academic rules and regulations rests with two distinct committees at Princeton. All in-class undergraduate written examinations and tests are conducted under the Honor System. All violations of the Honor System are the concern of the Undergraduate Honor Committee. Violations of rules and regulations pertaining to all other academic work, including essays, term papers, and laboratory reports, fall under the jurisdiction of the Faculty-Student Committee on Discipline. Should there be any uncertainty regarding which body is responsible for the adjudication of a particular case, clarification should be requested from the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students or the chairperson of the Honor Committee.
Student Acknowledgment of Original Work
At the end of an essay, laboratory report, or any other requirement, the undergraduate must write the following sentence and sign his or her name: “ This paper represents my own work in accordance with University regulations.”
Transcription or Publication of Course-Related Materials
Students may not engage in the publication or sale of abstracts or transcriptions of the lectures or required reading in any course of instruction in the University.
This regulation is not intended to preclude situations in which students may act as assistants to instructors who are themselves preparing lectures or other course-related materials, either for informal distribution (without sale) to members of a particular course or department, or for formal publication and sale by a publisher.
An undergraduate is subject to disciplinary action if he or she makes use of any tutoring service or facility other than that regularly authorized by the Office of the Dean of the College. Graduate students should consult the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School.
Also, no member of the University may accept compensation for tutoring in Princeton courses except as authorized by the Office of the Dean of the College, or be employed by any tutoring agency other than that authorized by the Office of the Dean of the College.
General Requirements for the Acknowledgment of Sources in Academic Work
The academic departments of the University have varying requirements for the acknowledgment of sources, but certain fundamental principles apply to all levels of work. In order to prevent any misunderstanding, students are expected to study and comply with the following basic requirements. If you have any questions about when and how to cite your sources, ask the course instructor. An important general rule is this: if you are unsure whether or not to acknowledge a source, always err on the side of caution and completeness by citing rather than not citing.
Any quotations, however small, must be placed in quotation marks or clearly indented beyond the regular margin. Any quotation must be accompanied (either within the text or in a footnote) by a precise indication of the sourceidentifying the author, title, place and date of publication (where relevant), and page numbers. Any sentence or phrase which is not the original work of the student must be acknowledged.
Any material which is paraphrased or summarized must also be specifically acknowledged in a footnote or in the text. A thorough rewording or rearrangement of an author’s text does not relieve one of this responsibility. Occasionally, students maintain that they have read a source long before they wrote their papers and have unwittingly duplicated some of its phrases or ideas. This is not a valid excuse. The student is responsible for taking adequate notes so that debts of phrasing may be acknowledged where they are due.
Ideas and Facts
Any ideas or facts which are borrowed should be specifically acknowledged in a footnote or in the text, even if the idea or fact has been further elaborated by the student. Some ideas, facts, formulas, and other kinds of information which are widely known and considered to be in the “public domain” of common knowledge do not always require citation. The criteria for common knowledge vary among disciplines; students in doubt should consult a member of the faculty.
Occasionally, a student in preparing an essay has consulted an essay or body of notes on a similar subject by another student. If the student has done so, he or she must state the fact and indicate clearly the nature and extent of his or her obligation. The name and class of the author of an essay or notes which are consulted should be given, and the student should be prepared to show the work consulted to the instructor, if requested to do so.
Footnotes and Bibliography
All the sources which have been consulted in the preparation of an essay or report should be listed in a bibliography, unless specific guidelines (from the academic department or instructor) request that only works cited be so included. However, the mere listing of a source in a bibliography shall not be considered a “proper acknowledgment” for specific use of that source within the essay or report; a footnote or endnote must also appear after the information or quotation from that source. Neither shall the use of a footnote at the end of a sentence or paragraph in which only minor word changes have been made from the original source be considered “proper acknowledgment.” The extent of indebtedness to the author must be made clear.
Electronic and Other Sources
The requirement to acknowledge sources is not limited to printed material such as books or journal articles. Information is now readily available through many newer media, including text and images on the World Wide Web, CD-ROM, and electronic mail. Information or quotations from any of these sources must be properly cited; ask your course instructor for guidance on how to cite such sources. At a minimum, acknowledge any information, text or image from the World Wide Web by noting the name and author of the site (if available), the internet address, and the date you accessed the site.
Laboratory Work, Problem Sets, Computer Programs, and Homework
The organization of laboratory and computational courses varies throughout the University. In many courses, students work in pairs or in larger groups. In those cases where individual reports are submitted based on work involving collaboration, proper acknowledgment of the extent of the collaboration must appear in the report. In those cases where there are two or more signatories to a submitted report, each student’s signature is taken to mean that the student has contributed fairly to the work involved and understands and endorses the content of the report. If for any reason, a set of observations or calculations has been invalidated or left incomplete, permission must be granted by the instructor to obtain the data from other sources and those sources must be specifically acknowledged in the report. Make sure you understand the rules of collaboration in any course by asking the instructor.
Under certain conditions, the student may be permitted to rewrite an earlier work or to satisfy two academic requirements by producing a single piece of work more extensive than that which would satisfy either requirement on its own. In such cases however, the student must secure in writing, prior permission of each instructor. In cases where a previously submitted work, or a portion of it, is submitted in its original or revised form to another instructor, the student must also submit the original work with the revised version. If a single extended work has been written for more than one course, that fact must be clearly indicated at the beginning of the essay.
Students required to submit written notes for oral reports must clearly acknowledge any work that is not original, in accordance with the requirements stated above.
Standard Forms of Reference
For standard forms of quotations, footnotes and bibliographies, the student may consult one of the following: The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (Modern Language Association of America, 4th edition, l995); A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations (Kate L.Turabian, John Grossman and Alice Bennett, 6th revised edition, l996) or a style sheet provided by a department of the University.
Definitions of Academic Violations under the Jurisdiction of the Faculty-Student Committee on Discipline
With regard to essays, laboratory reports, or any other written work submitted to fulfill an official academic requirement, the following are considered academic infractions:
The use of any outside source without proper acknowledgment. “Outside source” means any work, published or unpublished, by any person other than the student. (See pages 5859.)
Unauthorized Multiple Submission
The failure to obtain prior written permission of the relevant instructors to submit any work that has been submitted in identical or similar form in fulfillment of any other academic requirement at any institution.
The attribution to, or citation of, a source from which the material in question was not, in fact, obtained.
The submission of data or information that has been deliberately altered or contrived by the student or with the student’s knowledge, including the submission for re-grading of any academic work under the jurisdiction of the Committee on Discipline.
Violations of these regulations are under the jurisdiction of the Faculty-Student Committee on Discipline or the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School.
The only adequate defense for a student accused of an academic violation is that the work in question does not, in fact, constitute a violation.
Neither the defense that the student was ignorant of the regulations concerning academic violations nor the defense that the student was under pressure at the time the violation was committed is considered an adequate defense.
Seriousness of the Offense
Academic infractions are always considered a serious matter, but will be considered especially serious if:
1. The student has submitted a paper prepared by another person or agency.
2. The student has on his or her record a previous conviction for another serious violation.
3. The infraction includes the theft of another student’s workeven if the paper or assignment is returned after use, or consulted without being removed from the other student’s room or from a public or private room or from an electronic online location such as a website where work has been placed.
In determining the seriousness of the offense, the Committee will consider whether the student ought reasonably to have understood that his or her actions were in violation of University regulations. If the Committee concludes that this threshold has been met, the penalty will normally be one year’s suspension or required withdrawal from the University. While the failure to fulfill the general requirements for acknowledgment of sources in academic work may not be determined to reach this level of seriousness, any such failure will be considered an academic infraction and will normally result in a disciplinary penalty.
For further discussion of undergraduate academic violations, please consult the chapter on the Honor System in this booklet.
Examples of Plagiarism
The following examples provide a range of plagiarism from verbatim copying to thorough paraphrasing. The examples and comments offer clear guidance about how a source may be used and when a source must be cited.
From: Alvin Kernan, The Playwright as Magician. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1979, pp.102103.
From time to time this submerged or latent theater in Hamlet becomes almost overt. It is close to the surface in Hamlet’s pretense of madness, the “antic disposition” he puts on to protect himself and prevent his antagonists from plucking out the heart of his mystery. It is even closer to the surface when Hamlet enters his mother’s room and holds up, side by side, the pictures of the two kings, Old Hamlet and Claudius, and proceeds to describe for her the true nature of the choice she has made, presenting truth by means of a show. Similarly, when he leaps into the open grave at Ophelia’s funeral, ranting in high heroic terms, he is acting out for Laertes, and perhaps for himself as well, the folly of excessive, melodramatic expressions of grief.
1. Example of verbatim plagiarism, or unacknowledged direct quotation (lifted passages are underlined):
Almost all of Shakespeare’s Hamlet can be understood as a play about acting and the theatre. For example, there is Hamlet’s pretense of madness, the “antic disposition” that he puts on to protect himself and prevent his antagonists from plucking out the heart of his mystery. When Hamlet enters his mother’s room, he holds up, side by side, the pictures of the two kings, Old Hamlet and Claudius, and proceeds to describe for her the true nature of the choice she has made, presenting truth by means of a show. Similarly, when he leaps into the open grave at Ophelia’s funeral, ranting in high heroic terms, he is acting out for Laertes, and perhaps for himself as well, the folly of excessive, melodramatic expressions of grief.
Comment: Aside from an opening sentence loosely adapted from the original and reworded more simply, this entire passage is taken almost word-for-word from the source. The few small alterations of the source do not relieve the writer of the responsibility to attribute these words to their original author. A passage from a source may be worth quoting at length if it makes a point precisely or elegantly. In such cases, copy the passage exactly, place it in quotation marks, and cite the author.
2. Example of lifting selected passages and phrases without proper acknowledgement (lifted passages are underlined):
Almost all of Shakespeare’s Hamlet can be understood as a play about acting and the theatre. For example, in Act 1, Hamlet adopts a pretense of madness that he uses to protect himself and prevent his antagonists from discovering his mission to revenge his father’s murder. He also presents truth by means of a show when he compares the portraits of Gertrude’s two husbands in order to describe for her the true nature of the choice she has made. And when he leaps in Ophelia’s open grave ranting in high heroic terms, Hamlet is acting out the folly of excessive, melodramatic expressions of grief.
Comment: This passage, in content and structure, is taken wholesale from the source. Although the writer has rewritten much of the paragraph, and fewer phrases are lifted verbatim from the source, this is a clear example of plagiarism. Inserting even short phrases from the source into a new sentence still requires placing quotations around the borrowed words and citing the author. If even one phrase is good enough to borrow, it must be properly set off by quotation marks. In the case above, if the writer had rewritten the entire paragraph and only used Alvin Kernan’s phrase “high heroic terms” without properly quoting and acknowledging its source, the writer would have plagiarized.
3. Example of paraphrasing the text while maintaining the basic paragraph and sentence structure:
Almost all of Shakespeare’s Hamlet can be understood as a play about acting and the theatre. For example, in Act 1, Hamlet pretends to be insane in order to make sure his enemies do not discover his mission to revenge his father’s murder. The theme is even more obvious when Hamlet compares the pictures of his mother’s two husbands to show her what a bad choice she has made, using their images to reveal the truth. Also, when he jumps into Ophelia’s grave, hurling his challenge to Laertes, Hamlet demonstrates the foolishness of exaggerated expressions of emotion.
Comment: Almost nothing of Alvin Kernan’s original language remains in this rewritten paragraph. However the key idea, the choice and order of the examples, and even the basic structure of the original sentences are all taken from the source. Although it would no longer be necessary to use quotation marks, it would absolutely be necessary to place a citation at the end of this paragraph to acknowledge that the content is not original. Better still would be to acknowledge the author in the text by adding a second sentence such as“Alvin Kernan provides several examples from the play where these themes become more obvious”and then citing the source at the end of the paragraph. In the case where the writer did not try to paraphrase the source’s sentences quite so closely, but borrowed the main idea and examples from Kernan’s book, an acknowledgment would still be necessary.
The Faculty-Student Committee on Discipline (Undergraduate)
The Committee on Discipline, comprising students, faculty members, and administrators, is responsible for the administration of the stated rules and regulations governing undergraduate conduct, for assessing reported violations, and, when necessary, for assigning and recommending appropriate penalties.
The committee consists of five student members selected by the Undergraduate Student Government, four elected members of the faculty, an Associate or Assistant Dean of the College, the Vice President for Campus Life, who sits with the committee without vote, the Dean of Undergraduate Students, who serves as chair and votes only in the event of a tie as set forth below, and an Associate or Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Students who serves as secretary without vote. A quorum consists of at least three student members and at least two faculty members. Either the Vice President for Campus Life or the Associate Dean of the College shall have the duties and powers of the Dean of Undergraduate Students in his or her absence.
If a student is alleged to have committed a minor infraction for which precedents are available and for which the penalty will not interrupt the student’s academic career, he or she is first asked to meet with the appropriate Director of Studies (if the student lives in a residential college) or with the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Students (if the student lives in one of the upperclass dormitories or off campus). The Associate Dean or the Director of Studies will investigate all complaints promptly. The facts of the case are discussed and the student is given ample time and opportunity to present his or her account of the incident in question. If the student lives in a residential college, the Director of Studies brings the case forward (with a recommendation for action) to the Residential College Disciplinary Board, composed of the five Directors of Studies, and the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Students. The Residential College Disciplinary Board determines the appropriate action, up to and including disciplinary probation. If the student lives in an upperclass dormitory or off campus, the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Students takes the appropriate action (up to and including disciplinary probation). Other deans in the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students may assist the Associate Dean in the investigation and resolution of any case.
A student has the right to appeal to the Dean of Undergraduate Students any disciplinary decision of an Associate Dean or any decision by the Residential College Disciplinary Board (RCDB). The purpose of the appeal is to seek a review of a decision or penalty on the grounds that (1) there exists substantial relevant information that was not presented, and reasonably could not have been presented, to the dean or the RCDB, or (2) the imposed penalty does not fall within the range of penalties imposed for similar misconduct. The purpose of such an appeal is not to initiate a review of substantive issues of fact, or a new determination of whether a violation of rules has occurred. The deadline for filing such an appeal is one week from the date of the original decision and must be presented in writing. The decision of the Dean of Undergraduate Students shall be final.
All alleged academic infractions and any other potentially serious infraction for which the penalty might interrupt the student’s academic career are normally referred directly to the Committee on Discipline. Other cases, judged to be minor, but for which no clear precedent exists, are also normally referred to the committee. In all cases referred to the committee, the student involved is informed in writing of the reason for being summoned and of the specific day and time when the student is to appear before the committee. The student may obtain from the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students reports of the alleged misconduct and the names of the members of the committee. Matters shall be presented to the committee with all reasonable promptness. Where a matter is first presented to the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students within one week of the end of an academic term, it may be held for consideration in the following term.
In exceptional circumstances involving infractions described in the preceding paragraph, a student may request a hearing by the Dean of Undergraduate Students, waiving the right to a hearing by the Committee on Discipline. If the Dean agrees to hear the case, the student retains the right to appeal the decision to the Dean of the College.
Disciplinary cases involving allegations of sexual harassment or assault by a student (undergraduate or graduate) that are not resolved by the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Students, the Associate Dean of the Graduate School, or the Residential College Disciplinary Board will be adjudicated by a designated subcommittee of the Committee on Discipline, which will make recommendations concerning its findings and, if necessary, a penalty, to the Dean of Undergraduate Students or to the Dean of the Graduate School. A more detailed description of these procedures is available in the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students and in the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School. Appeals of the decision of the respective Deans will follow the normal procedures governing the review of disciplinary decisions for undergraduate and graduate students.
Pending action on the charges by the committee or pending an appeal, the student may remain in residence on campus, attend classes, and make use of all University facilities, except for reasons relating to the student’s physical or emotional safety or well-being, or for reasons relating to the safety of other members of the University community or of University property. The student should understand that, if the committee’s decision proves adverse, or if an appeal proves unsuccessful, the decision of the committee will normally be considered effective as of the date of the original decision. In cases adjudicated prior to the last day of classes, if the final decision is a dismissal from the University (i.e., suspension, required withdrawal, or expulsion), the student will normally not earn credit for the semester in which the infraction occurred. If the case is adjudicated during reading or exam period or if the student has successfully completed course requirements while awaiting the final disposition of the matter, obtaining credit for the semester will be at the discretion of the Committee. Pending a hearing, or the student’s decision about whether to appeal a dismissal from the University or the withholding of the degree and while an appeal is in process, the student’s University transcript will bear the notation: “Status Under Review.” Should the student decide not to appeal a dismissal or the withholding of the degree or should an appeal not result in an alteration of the committee’s decision to dismiss the student or withhold his or her degree, the Registrar will record the fact of the penalty on the student’s transcript.
Conduct of Hearings
The student may be accompanied at the committee hearing by an adviser, who must be a current member of the resident University community, and who may participate in the same manner as the student in the hearing. At the hearing any person with information about the matter before the committee may be requested to appear by the student, the Dean of Undergraduate Students, or the committee, subject to reasonable limits agreed on by the committee. The student may invite one member of the resident University community, whose only role is to provide information about the character and qualities of the student, to speak on his/her behalf at the hearing. The student has the option of submitting additional statements in writing. The student has an opportunity to explain the circumstances from his or her point of view and may also question individuals who have provided information and may in turn be questioned by the committee members. After such questioning the student is given further opportunity to speak and is then excused while the committee deliberates and arrives at a decision by individual vote. In order to determine that a student has violated a University rule, a majority of the voting committee members present must conclude that the evidence presented constitutes a clear and persuasive case in support of the charges against the student. If the student is found to have misled the committee during the hearing, the committee may take that fact into account in reaching a conclusion and assigning a penalty.
The chair or the secretary of the committee informs the student promptly of the decision. If a penalty is imposed, special effort is made in this discussion to ensure that the student fully understands why the penalty was imposed and its nature and consequences. The student has the right to receive a copy of the summary report of the proceedings upon request.
There may be some occasions in which, because of external legal proceedings, the student believes that there are compelling reasons for refusing to speak or to answer questions. In the event that (1) legal proceedingsincluding but not limited to arrest, summons, and indictmenthave been instituted or are anticipated against a student in state or federal courts as a result of his or her alleged involvement in the matters that the committee is investigating and (2) the alleged misconduct is more serious than a disorderly person offense, the student will be granted permission not to speak or to answer questions without prejudicing the committee’s decision. In the case of other external proceedings, the committee will consider the student’s reasons for declining to speak within the full context of its knowledge of the case before it, and if it deems these reasons legitimate it will excuse the student from giving information without prejudice to its disposition of the case. In instances as set forth above, when a student has chosen not to speak, and when the committee does not have enough information to come to a conclusion, at the discretion of the Dean the hearing may be postponed until more complete information is available. In such instances the Dean normally will suspend the student, pending disposition of the legal proceedings and recommencement of the hearing. Such suspension should be without prejudice. The committee must explain to the student the risks either of speaking freely or of not speaking at all.
If the voting members are evenly divided on a particular case, the case must be reconsidered at the next meeting of the committee. If at the second meeting at which the case is considered the regular voting members are still evenly divided, the Dean of Undergraduate Students votes to break the tie.
A student has the right to appeal questions of procedural unfairness only to the Judicial Committee of the Council of the Princeton University Community, in accordance with the appeal procedures defined by the Judicial Committee. (See pages 2728.)
A student may appeal to the Dean of the College, seeking a review of a decision or penalty on the grounds that (1) there exists substantial relevant information that was not presented, and reasonably could not have been presented, to the Committee on Discipline, or (2) the imposed penalty does not fall within the range of penalties imposed for similar misconduct. The purpose of such an appeal is not to initiate a review of substantive issues of fact, or a new determination of whether a violation of rules has occurred. If the Dean concludes after such a review that an additional hearing is warranted, the original hearing body will normally perform these functions. Also, if the Dean determines that a penalty of the Committee on Discipline (or the Dean of Undergraduate Students) should be altered, the Dean will make a recommendation to the President, describing the reasons for the proposed modification, and the President will decide whether or not to implement the recommendation.
The deadline for filing either such appeal is one week from the date of decision by the Committee on Discipline.
Records of Proceedings
Confidential records of all proceedings of the Committee and of the actions of the Residential College Disciplinary Board and the Deans are maintained in the offices of the Associate Dean. The use of these documents is restricted according to the rules and procedures concerning the confidential nature of student records.
Disciplinary procedures normally involve only the student and the University. Generally, the student’s family is not informed while disciplinary procedures are under way. When, however, in the judgment of the University the welfare of the student or the community warrants communication, family members may be contacted during the disciplinary process. All disciplinary decisions resulting in serious penalties (especially, but not exclusively, withholding of degree, suspension, required withdrawal, and expulsion) will be communicated to the student’s family or other legal guardian, unless the student has before the commencement of the term in question filed a statement certifying that he or she is not financially dependent as defined by the federal income tax laws.
Penalties that may be applied by all University disciplinary bodies are set forth in the section on General Conduct, under “University Regulations,” pages 23.
The Graduate School
All regulations in the Orange Pages apply to graduate students, with the exception of the sections which treat The Honor Committee and University Discipline.
Jurisdiction over Graduate Students for Violations of Academic Rules and Regulations
Jurisdiction over all violations of academic rules and regulations rests with the Dean of the Graduate School. For a more detailed explanation of the regulations and the procedures, see pages 6971.
The Graduate Student Government
The Graduate Student Government plays an important role in many of the areas of direct concern to graduate students. It advocates for the interests of graduate students and seeks to enhance the quality of their lives.
Dormitory and apartment regulations for graduate students are established and administered by the Housing Office in conjunction with the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School. Students violating these regulations will be subject to University disciplinary action, which may include the imposition of fines by the Housing Office. These regulations can be found in the Orange Pages as well as the Residential Life and Food Services Guide for Graduate Students.
See page 46. Those who are of legal drinking age and who wish to sponsor campus events with alcohol must comply with the guidelines established by and obtainable from the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School.
Graduate students who live in the Graduate College are required to participate in one of the meal plans offered there, unless excused by the Associate Dean for Student Affairs. The detailed terms of the dining contracts are available in the Residential Life and Food Services Guide for Graduate Students.
A detailed discussion of specific fees, terms of payment, rebates, and financial aid is printed in the Graduate School Announcement.
The Graduate School Judicial System
As members of the University community, graduate students are bound by the rules and procedures described in the sections on “University Regulations” (see page 4) and “The University, the Law, and Property Rights” (see page 8). (All dormitory regulations are applicable to graduate students who reside in the Graduate College.)
Graduate students are governed by the presumption that their academic work is held to the highest standards of research and scholarship . . . “all forms of academic fraud . . . specifically plagarism, multiple submission, false citation, and the use of false dataare regarded as serious violations and will be subjected to disciplinary action.”
Charges concerning academic fraud should not be handled informally or at the departmental level but must be brought as soon as possible, as a complaint either by a graduate student or against a graduate student, to the attention of the Dean of the Graduate School.
When the Office of the Graduate School has been informed of a charge against a graduate student, whether academic or nonacademic, the student is immediately notified by the appropriate Assistant or Associate Dean of the impending investigation. The student is provided with a written statement concerning the charge as well as a copy of the procedures governing the investigation and the range of possible penalties (see page 2). The hearing dean will encourage the student to seek the advice of a resident faculty member. At this time the student is invited to submit a written response to the charge.
Alleged infractions judged to be of a minor nature, for which precedents exist and for which penalties will not interrupt the student’s academic career, are normally investigated and resolved by the Assistant or Associate Dean. If the student is not satisfied with the finding, he or she may appeal the decision to the Dean of the Graduate School.
The deadline for filing such an appeal is one week from the date of the original decision. The student should understand that, in hearing the appeal, the Dean of the Graduate School is not bound in any way by the prior decision of the Assistant/Associate Dean and that, after reviewing the facts the Dean of the Graduate School may impose a greater or lesser penalty than that originally imposed by the Assistant Dean.
Alleged serious violations of University rules and regulations may be brought directly to the Judicial Committee of the CPUC (see page 23). Normally, however, discipline cases are referred in the first instance to the Graduate School. In such cases the Dean is advised, in accordance with Rules and Procedures of the Faculty, by the Subcommittee on Student Life and Discipline. The Subcommittee consists of the Dean of the Graduate School, ex officio, as chair, the Associate Dean for Student Affairs of the Graduate School as secretary (both without vote), and four members of the Graduate School Faculty Committee appointed yearly by the Dean, one from each division of the University (with a quorum of at least three). The Subcommittee may be enlarged, at the student’s request, by four graduate students, selected at random, who have equal votes with the faculty members of the Subcommittee.
In general, the procedures of the Subcommittee are analogous to the “General Procedures” of the Judicial Committee of the CPUC (see page 24). It should be noted, however, that the Subcommittee always meets in closed session. Moreover, since cases vary widely, their disposition will inevitably depend upon the nature of the alleged infraction. For instance, since cases often involve students who are not presently, or no longer, in residence, the student’s presence at the proceedings is not an absolute requirement as long as the student has personally received adequate notification and been given reasonable opportunity to submit a written response to the charges. (In such cases students who are unable to be present may, at their request, be represented by an adviser who is a current member of the resident University community, and who may participate in the same manner as the student in the hearing. The Subcommittee does not deal with outside counsel.) The nature of the evidence, as well as the pursuit of the inquiry, will inevitably depend upon the nature of the alleged infraction. However, the student always has the right to appear before the Subcommittee with or without an adviser as defined above. In every case the Subcommittee proceeds with an appropriate regard for fair process, deliberate speed, and satisfactory records. In order to find that a student has violated a University rule, the Subcommittee must be persuaded that the charges against the student are supported by clear and persuasive evidence.
Following its investigation the Subcommittee presents its advice in the form of a recommendation to the Dean, who observing fair process and deliberate speed, normally accepts it (but is not bound to do so). The student is notified by the Dean in writing of the Subcommittee’s recommendation and the Dean’s action, and is also informed of his or her rights of appeal and the appropriate procedures. Confidential records of all proceedings and of the actions of the Deans are maintained in the Office of the Dean. The use of these documents is restricted, according to the rules and procedures concerning the confidential nature of student records.
The Dean of the Graduate School may, in some instances, refer the case back to the academic department for resolution upon the advice of the Assistant/Associate Dean, or the Subcommittee.
In exceptional circumstances a student may waive the right to a hearing by the Subcommittee on Student Life and Disciplne and request a hearing by the Dean of the Graduate School. If the Dean agrees to hear the case, the student retains the right to appeal the decision to the Dean of the Faculty (for academic matters) or the Judicial Committee of the CPUC (for nonacademic matters).
The range of possible penalties embraces the seven penalties specified above (see page 2) under “University Regulations” and may also include, in cases involving students who have already left the University, revocation of the degree. Should the recommended penalty interrupt the student’s academic career (suspension or required withdrawal), the Dean of the Graduate School will consult with the student’s department before reaching a final decision.
Pending action on the charges by the Subcommittee or pending an appeal, the student may remain in residence on campus, attend classes, and make use of all University facilities, except for reasons relating to the student’s physical or emotional safety or well-being, or for reasons relating to the safety of other members of the University community or University property. The student should understand that, if an appeal proves unsuccessful, the Dean’s decision will normally be considered effective as of the date of the original charge. Should the student decide not to appeal a dismissal or the withholding or revocation of the degree or should an appeal not result in an alteration of the Subcommittee’s recommendation, and the Dean’s decision, to dismiss the student or withhold or revoke his or her degree, the Registrar will record the fact of the penalty on the student’s transcript.
Appeal on Academic Matters
Any student wishing to appeal decisions of the Dean of the Graduate School on academic matters should notify the Dean of the Faculty in writing to that effect, specifying the grounds of his or her appeal, not later than one week (during which the University is in session) after receipt of the written notice of the decision which the student wishes to appeal. The Dean of the Faculty shall transmit the student’s written statement and any other relevant material directly to the Advisory Committee on Policy and report the transmittal to the faculty at its next meeting. The Advisory Committee on Policy shall determine whether or not the grounds of appeal are sufficient to warrant a hearing. If it decides that they are, the Advisory Committee may appoint a special panel to consider the individual case and make a report with recommendations to the Advisory Committee, or it may itself hear the appeal. In all cases, the decision of the Advisory Committee shall be final.
Appeal on Nonacademic Matters
Any student wishing to appeal decisions of the Dean of the Graduate School on nonacademic matters should do so through the Judicial Committee of the CPUC, which hears and decides appeals from persons found guilty of violations of rules of conduct, when such persons have alleged procedural unfairness. The student wishing to have a judgment against him or her reviewed shall, within one week (during which the University is in session) of the original judgment, file a request for a review with the secretary of the CPUC, stating the authority that made the judgment and the date, and indicating his or her reasons for requesting a review. The secretary will immediately forward the request to the chair of the Judicial Committee. The committee will meet in closed session and decide whether there are sufficient grounds to hold a formal hearing. The committee may decide to uphold the previous judgment, to reverse or alter the previous judgment, or to return the case to the earlier hearing authority. (See pages 2728.)
Any student wishing to appeal a decision or penalty of the Dean of the Graduate School on nonacademic matters on the grounds that (1) there exists substantial relevant information that was not presented, and reasonably could not have been presented, to the hearing committee, or (2) the imposed penalty does not fall within the range of penalties imposed for similar conduct, may submit a written request for reconsideration to the Dean of the Graduate School. The purpose of such an appeal is not to initiate a review of substantive issues of fact, or a new determination of whether a violation of rules has occurred. If the Dean concludes after such a review that an additional hearing is warranted, the original hearing body will normally perform these functions. The deadline for filing such appeal is one week (during which the University is in session) from the date of the Dean’s original decision.
Graduate Student Grievances
The Office of the Dean of the Graduate School normally handles in the first instance all grievances of graduate students as well as complaints against graduate students. This applies also to graduate students serving in the capacity of Assistants in Instruction or Assistants in Research. The Associate Dean of the Graduate School for Student Affairs advises graduate students as to where their grievances may be addressed; e.g., against an undergraduate, to the Dean of Undergraduate Students; or against a faculty member, to the Dean of Faculty; or against a staff member, to the Office of Human Resources. In the case of unenrolled students whose degree candidacy continues, these procedures are valid in the appropriate cases for a period of five years past the date of the General Examination, notably when academic fraud is involved, but also in cases concerning personal conduct under “University Regulations” if such students are resident in Princeton.
A graduate student with a grievance concerning academic matters (excluding academic fraud, as defined above) should first attempt to resolve the grievance at the departmental level through discussions with the faculty member(s) concerned and/or the department chair and director of graduate studies. If the student feels that a satisfactory resolution has not been found, he or she should turn to the Associate Dean of the Graduate School for Academic Affairs for further advice. If a satisfactory resolution still cannot be found through informal consultation, the student may request adjudication by the Dean of the Graduate School. The Dean of the Graduate School will render a decision as expeditiously as possible on all aspects of the complaint unless he or she determines that the grievance raises issues of faculty misconduct, in which case he or she should refer those portions of it to the Dean of the Faculty. When adjudicating the grievance, the Dean of the Graduate School will normally proceed in consultation with, or upon the advice of, the appropriate subcommittee of the Faculty Committee on the Graduate School (the Subcommittee on Policy or the Subcommittee on Student Life and Discipline). The Dean of the Faculty resolves any issues related to faculty misconduct and may, at his or her discretion, choose to appoint a special committee of faculty to advise with regard to those issues.
A graduate student with a grievance concerning a nonacademic matter should turn to the Associate Dean of the Graduate School for Student Affairs. If the grievance concerns sexual harassment or assault (as defined on page 4), the Associate Dean will follow the procedures described on pages 2021. Disciplinary cases involving allegations of sexual harassment or assault by a graduate student that are not resolved by the Associate Dean of the Graduate School, will be adjudicated by a designated subcommittee of the Committee on Discipline, which will make recommendations concerning its findings and, if necessary, a penalty, to the Dean of the Graduate School. Appeals of the decision of the Dean to either the President or to the Judicial Committee of the CPUC will follow normal procedures governing the review of disciplinary decisions. A more detailed description of these procedures is available in the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School.
In other cases the Associate Dean will first attempt to resolve the grievance through informal consultation. If a satisfactory resolution cannot be found by these means, the student may request adjudication by the Dean of the Graduate School, who will render a decision, normally in consultation with, or upon the advice of, the Subcommittee on Student Life and Discipline of the Faculty Committee on the Graduate School.
Student Privacy Rights under Federal Law
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) commonly known as the “Buckley Amendment” affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. They are:
(A) The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the University receives a written request for access. “Education records” is a defined term in the federal regulations which implement FERPA. Among the documents it does not include are:
1. personal files of members of the faculty and administration;
2. medical records;
3. security files not available for review by individuals other than security officers and other local law enforcement officials;
4. employment records that relate exclusively to the individual’s capacity as an employee;
5. records containing only information concerning a person’s activities after graduation or withdrawal from the University;
6. material relating to the financial status of parents which is contained in any record maintained by the University;
7. confidential letters of recommendation placed in a student’s education record prior to January 1975; and
8. confidential letters of recommendation to which a student has waived his or her right of access.
Student education records are located primarily in the offices of the Dean of the College, the Dean of Undergraduate Students, the Dean of the Graduate School, the Controller, the Registrar and the various academic departments. A student may request access to his or her education records by filing a written request with the person who is responsible for maintaining the record which the student wants to review. The request must identify the particular record(s) which the student wishes to inspect. The University official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the University official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
(B) The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading.
Students may ask the University to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the University official responsible for the record, clearly identifying the part of the record they want changed and specifying why it is inaccurate or misleading.
If the University decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the University will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
(C) The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosures without consent.
FERPA contains various exceptions to the general rule that the University shall not have a practice of disclosing personally identifiable information contained in a student’s education records without seeking the prior written consent of the student. The following circumstances are representative of those in which such information may be disclosed without the student’s prior written consent:
1. The University may disclose the following types of “directory information” without restriction unless the student objects in writing within 30 days after enrollment: name; address (home and local); telephone number (home and local); E-mail address; photograph; dates of attendance; date and place of birth; major field of study; participation in officially recognized activities, organizations, and athletic teams; weight and height of members of athletic teams; degrees and awards; academic institution attended immediately prior to Princeton University.
2. Faculty members and other officials of the University who have a legitimate educational interest in a student’s education record may be permitted to review it. A University official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the University has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the board of trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another University official in performing his or her tasks. A University official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an educational record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
3. The University will disclose information to government agencies entitled to it by law.
4. The University may disclose information to the parent(s) or guardian(s) of a student unless the student has filed a statement certifying that he or she is not financially dependent as defined by the federal income tax laws.
5. After trying to notify the student involved, the University will disclose information in response to a lawfully issued subpoena.
6. The University may disclose information when necessary to determine the student’s eligibility for financial aid or to enforce the terms or conditions of financial aid which a student has received.
7. The University may disclose information to an organization conducting a study if the organization certifies that the study will not be conducted in a way which will permit the personal identification of the students and that personally identifying information will be destroyed when the study is completed.
8. Upon request, the University has the right to disclose education records without a student’s prior consent to officials of another institution in which a student seeks or intends to enroll. However, the University encourages its departments and offices, at the minimum, to make a reasonable attempt to advise the student of the disclosure either before or after it occurs.
9. The University will disclose information to a third party that has been granted permission by the student to request such information. When the student has given written permission for disclosure of information to a third party and subsequent events materially affect the accuracy of the University’s original reporting, permission for the reporting of such additional information is understood in order to make the original reporting accurate.
(D) The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures of the University to comply with the requirements of FERPA.
The name and address of the office that administers FERPA are:
Family Policy Compliance Office U.S. Department of Education 600 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, DC 20202-4605