Academic and Professional Integrity Guidelines and Procedures

These guidelines and procedures apply to students enrolled in a graduate program at the Brown School, as well as to graduate students from other WU schools or colleges who enroll in courses within the Brown School. They also apply to dual degree students whose primary status is as a Brown School graduate degree student. These policies also apply to Brown School students taking courses in other WU schools or colleges at Washington University if those schools do not have an applicable policy governing their students or courses.

Identification of Offense

If a faculty member or student suspects that academic or professional integrity has been violated, they are required to consult with the Assistant Dean of the Program for advice. The Assistant Dean or designated representative will aid in the investigation of the violation, which includes but is not limited to gathering relevant evidence; conversations with the instructor, student(s) involved, witnesses, and others as necessary. Depending on the seriousness of the case, the Assistant Dean may choose to refer the matter directly to the University Student Conduct Board. This referral procedure will generally be followed if it is believed that the penalty is likely to involve suspension or expulsion from the University. The Assistant Dean for the program or designated representative will arrange to meet privately with the student(s) against whom the complaint has been made.

Student Rights and Responsibilities

If a student is accused of an academic or professional integrity violation, they are entitled to do the following:

  • Receive written notice of the complaint under investigation and the relevant charges at issue.
  • Be advised of the relevant evidence accompanying the complaint in support of the charge, if any.
  • Ask any questions.
  • Offer an explanation as to what occurred.
  • Present relevant material that would cast doubt on the complaint or the correctness of the charge.

Students must admit or deny the charge, which will determine the course of action to be pursued. Students must provide truthful information regarding the charges. It is a violation of the student judicial code to provide false information to the University or anyone acting on its behalf.

After the student has been advised of the complaint and the relevant accompanying evidence, the student has several options:

  • Admit to the charges and accept the recommended sanctions.
  • Admit to the charges and request a hearing to determine sanctions.
  • Deny the charges and request a hearing in front of the academic or professional integrity committee.
  • Request a leave of absence from the university, in which case a notation will be added to the transcript indicating that there is a pending matter. The academic or professional integrity matter will have to be resolved prior to re-enrollment.
  • Request to withdraw permanently from the university with a transcript notation that there is an unresolved academic or professional integrity matter pending.

The student may request to delay their response to the complaint by up to three (3) business days. If no response is obtained within that time period, they will be referred for a hearing on the complaint.

Should the accused student agree with the facts presented in the complaint and furthermore agree that they have committed a violation of academic or professional integrity, the student may admit to the violation, thus waiving their right to a hearing, and agree to abide by disciplinary penalties imposed. In every other instance, however, the complaint will be forwarded to the Academic and Professional Integrity Hearing Committee for further investigation and hearing.

If the accused student refuses to respond to the charges or refuses to participate in the proceedings, the Assistant Dean and/or the Academic and Professional Integrity Committee may interpret the accused student’s lack of response or participation as an admission of the charges, and Assistant Dean and/or the Academic and Professional Integrity Committee may immediately proceed to impose sanctions against the accused student in accordance with this Policy.

The case may be forwarded to the Academic and Professional Integrity Committee if a student denies the charges and requests a hearing, does not agree with the proposed sanctions, or if the faculty member and Assistant Dean determine that due to the severity of the case it should be sent immediately to committee. Suspicion or accusation of a second academic or professional integrity offense at any point in the student’s program will automatically be referred to the Academic and Professional Integrity Committee.