Student Code of Conduct Policy

This code applies to students enrolled in the degree programs at the West Virginia University (WVU) School of Public Health. It was approved by the Academic Standards Committee on May 3, 2012, and approved on May 9, 2012 by the School of Public Health faculty.
This Student Code of Academic and Professional Integrity for the WVU School of Public Health governs student behavior in lectures, examinations, laboratories, and other academic spaces and settings within the School of Public Health and the University, and all other settings which reflect upon the integrity and suitability of the student to train in public health-related disciplines and to become practitioners, educators, or researchers in public health. Successful progression through the curriculum and graduation are contingent upon the student's compliance with this code. This code follows the procedures established in the Policy on Academic Standards Governing Graduate Degree Programs at the West Virginia University School of Public Health.
Public health disciplines are based on reverence for life, compassion and respect for persons and for healthy living, professional and cultural competence, and integrity. At the core of the student’s repertoire are skills leading to assessment, intervention, and measurements of effectiveness of contributions to improved health among populations. Hence, the School of Public Health expects its students to exhibit compassion, empathy, and concern for suffering where it exists; to be considerate and respectful toward individuals, communities, populations, instructors, staff, and each other; to grow in knowledge and skills; and to act professionally at all times.
Specifically, the School of Public Health requires students to adhere to these basic rules of academic and professional integrity.
1. I shall dedicate myself to excellence in monitoring, measuring, and improving health.
I shall be conscientious in carrying out my duties, as assigned by my instructors, following the guidance of my advisors, and accept full responsibility for my actions.
2. I shall safeguard an individual’s privacy.
I shall not access or disclose confidential information about patients, colleagues, students, or any other individuals without explicit authorization from that person.  This includes information I access through in-person primary contact, such as patient settings or through secondary sources, such as data sets.
3. I shall be considerate and respectful towards instructors, staff, students, enrolled research participants and patients, and public health colleagues, including mentors.
I shall treat all of these individuals with the greatest consideration and respect their dignity. I shall be courteous and civil in my dealings with others within the School of Public Health. I shall respect rules of behavior, professional comportment, and appearance set forth by the School of Public Health and the faculty. I shall receive evaluations of coursework by instructors in an objective and civil manner. I shall be professional in all forms of communication. I shall render student evaluation of courses in the same objective and civil manner, focusing on course content, teaching, and the learning experience.
4. I shall act honorably and with integrity in the pursuit of my degree.
I shall be responsible for my own learning both within and outside the classroom, honest about my actions as a student, and accept responsibility for my academic integrity. I shall reject academic dishonesty, never participate in copying or plagiarism, and avoid false or misleading claims of competence or knowledge.
I pledge to refrain from all acts of academic dishonesty. In particular,

(1) I shall not plagiarize, nor submit as my own, any material taken from other sources without acknowledgement or permission, including appropriately referencing cited or reproduced materials.
(2) I shall not cheat in connection with any examinations, academic assignments and activities, and clinical duties.
I additionally pledge that:

  • I shall not communicate with others, except proctors, during an examination;
  • I shall not obtain unauthorized help from another person during an examination or graded academic assignment;
  • I shall not give unauthorized help to another student during an examination or graded academic assignment;
  • I shall not take any part of an examination in place of another student;
  • I shall not gain access to unauthorized material in connection with an examination;
  • I shall not make use of unauthorized material in connection with an examination;
  • I shall not obtain impermissible advance knowledge of the contents of examination;
  • I shall not alter a scored examination or answer sheet and then resubmit it in order to effect a change of a grade or evaluation;
  • I shall not allow another student to submit my work for grading or credit;
  • I shall not falsify instructional, examination, or dataset results;
  • I shall not deliberately falsify the meaning and intent of cited works or data analytic outcomes.

For additional reference, please see the WVU Graduate handbook under “Academic
Integrity and Dishonesty” (p.47-49).
(3) I shall not engage in forgery, misrepresentation, or fraud
I further pledge that:

  • I shall not furnish false statements as a witness for any University or School of Public Health disciplinary investigation or appeal;
  • I shall not forge or alter educational records or submit such records to the staff and faculty of the University or School of Public Health for fraudulent purposes;
  • I shall not misrepresent educational achievements;
  • I shall not misuse School of Public Health records with intent to defraud;
  • I shall not falsify research results;
  • I shall not misrepresent authorship on scholarly work, presentations, or publications.
  • If I have concerns about peer data interpretations that I cannot resolve with my supervisors, I will bring them to the cognizant faculty member, department chair, or Assistant Dean for Students.

For additional reference, please see WVU research integrity procedures and policies.
(4)  I shall act honorably and with integrity at all times.
I shall not engage in public behavior or conduct that demonstrates a lack of personal qualities necessary for the training, practice, or research in public health, or that may adversely reflect upon colleagues, individuals, populations, or the School of Public Health.

5. I shall work as an individual and also collectively with other students to enhance the practice and image of public health.
6. I shall seek additional learning and service activities that enhance my capability as a future public health professional and leader.
7. I shall participate in and maintain a safe and learning-friendly environment at the School of Public Health and at off-site locations, and will expect others to live according to this same expectation.
In so doing, I will exhibit good manners and sensitivity to the needs of others. Behaviors that consistently bully, threaten, degrade, or demean are unacceptable, and are not to be tolerated. They may be reported to a faculty member, a department chair, or to the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs.  I shall not engage in violence, and will report violent episodes by others as soon as possible.
8. I shall support this code of academic and professional integrity.
I shall report to the appropriate School of Public Health official, such as a Department Chair or Assistant Dean for Student Affairs or other authorized representative, all violations of this code that I witness concerning the treatment of individuals, research subjects, and personal data.
Formal and explicit codes cannot provide full answers to all ethical dilemmas.  However, we will respond in a fair, equitable, and impartial manner, such that we do not deny or discount potential dilemmas, and do not spare any effort to achieve a careful resolution.