University of Utah Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program
Policy Statement on Academic Standards
The Neuroscience Program is responsible for recruitment and acceptance of graduate students, and for directing their graduate studies. Detailed information regarding the requirements of the Neuroscience Program is provided during recruiting and at the fall orientation meeting. At the end of the first year, students choose a laboratory in one of the participating departments in the Program and continue to work toward completion of the Ph.D. degree in Neuroscience. It is the responsibility of the Neuroscience Program to monitor the academic performance of students and assure that all requirements have been satisfactorily completed.
Occasionally, unacceptable or incomplete performance will require assessment of the student, and appropriate action, during or at the end of the first year. Examples of situations requiring attention are: 1) failure to pass all core courses (grade of B- or better); 2) GPA of less than 3.0; 3) unsatisfactory completion of laboratory rotations; and 4) academic dishonesty such as cheating as defined by the National Academy of Sciences, the University of Utah (the "University") Student Code (the "Student Code"), or this Policy Statement. Copies of these definitions appear at the end of this document. Cheating or other academic misconduct shall be grounds for academic action under this Policy Statement and for academic sanctions under the Student Code. Other behavior may also require action under this Policy Statement and under the Student Code. This document states the Neuroscience Program's policy and procedure in cases of failure to meet academic standards and in cases of academic or other misconduct. The Student Code states the University's policy and procedure in such cases. In cases of failure to meet academic standards, such as examples 1, 2 and 3 above, appropriate action may include, without limitation, dismissal from the Program or a designated probation. The student, the student's advisor, the chair of the Curriculum committee, and the Program Director, will be notified by the Program Office of perceived failures to meet the academic standards. The student's advisor and/or the chair of the Curriculum committee will decide on an appropriate action and submit their recommendation to the Director of the Neuroscience Program for approval; the Director's decision will be reported to the student, and in cases requiring dismissal from the Program, the Dean of the Graduate School will also be notified. In the latter situation the student will be given an opportunity to appeal the decision to the Academic Appeals and Misconduct Committee of one of the Colleges represented by the departments that comprise the Program (College of Science, or the School of Medicine).
Cases of academic misconduct will require additional procedures. The Curriculum Committee should be notified of any perceived instance of academic misconduct that occurs during the year. Course leaders, other faculty, academic advisors, students, or the Program Director should notify the Curriculum Committee of such issues. It will be the responsibility of the Curriculum Committee to notify the student involved, in writing, of the issue and to give the student an opportunity to respond. The student's advisor will also be notified so that they can consult with and appropriately advise the student; in cases where the student's advisor has a conflict of interest, an alternate faculty member will be appointed to serve as the student's advocate. There will be an opportunity for open discussion of thesituation by all involved faculty and students in the presence of the Curriculum Committee. The student will be present and have the opportunity to hear and comment on all issues discussed at a meeting to be held within a one month period from the incidence in question. Based on this discussion, the Curriculum Committee will deliberate and recommend appropriate action to the Program Director. Preferably within 5 business days after notice of the committee's recommendation, the Program Director must provide the student and committee with written notice of the Program Director's decision and of the student's right to appeal to the Academic Appeals and Misconduct Committee of one of the Colleges represented by the departments that comprise the Program. The Program Director may impose academic sanction such as requiring the student to rewrite paper(s) or retake exam(s), a grade reduction, or a failing grade, which is the most severe sanction a Program Director may impose; as required by the University Student Code, the Vice President for Academic Affairs or Health Sciences will be informed when a failing grade is imposed for academic misconduct. In addition, appropriate action may include, without limitation, a complaint by the Program Director to the Academic Appeals and Misconduct Committee of one of the Colleges represented by the Program departments, recommending and seeking dismissal from the Program and/or the University. The student shall be given a copy of any such complaint.
Students will receive a copy of this Policy Statement document during the fall orientation meeting. At this time, expectations for satisfactory academic performance will be discussed, as will the appropriate procedures for individual completion of take-home examinations. Students will be reminded that academic misconduct, such as cheating, plagiarism or collusion on examinations is not permissible, and may likely result in a complaint seeking dismissal. Collaboration on certain problem sets and homework assignments may be permitted, but only as specified by the course instructor. If any doubt exists, students must ask the instructor for clarification.
National Academy of Sciences Definition of Misconduct in Science
Misconduct in science is defined as fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism, in proposing, performing, or reporting research. Misconduct in science does not include errors in the recording, selection, or analysis of data; differences in opinions involving the interpretation of data; or misconduct unrelated to the research process.
Excerpts from the Student Code.
(See the University of Utah General Catalog or Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities for complete document)