Western Kentucky University

Guidelines for Academic Citizenship

Preamble

The Gordon Ford College of Business supports the principles of freedom of expression for both faculty and students. The College respects the rights of faculty to teach and students to learn. Maintenance of these rights requires conditions that do not impede the learning process. Disruptive behavior in the Gordon Ford College of Business will not be tolerated. An individual engaging in such behavior may be subject to disciplinary action. To this end, the Gordon Ford College of Business has adopted the Student Civility Code.

Student Academic Citizenship

The Gordon Ford College of Business places a priority on student learning. We value the inherent worth and dignity of every person, thereby fostering a community of mutual respect. We believe that in order to achieve these ideals, all WKU students are expected, while in the role as student or representative of the university and college, to exhibit and practice civil behaviors that exemplify:

  1. Respecting faculty, staff, fellow students, guests, and all university property, policies, rules and regulations,
  2. Taking responsibility for one’s choices and actions,
  3. Accepting consequences of one’s inappropriate choices and actions,
  4. Communicating in a professional and courteous manner in all forms, and at all times, whether verbal, non-verbal or written.

Definitions

  1. Faculty member shall include all persons authorized by WKU or any of its units to conduct instruction of students enrolled in the University's courses or programs.
  2. Staff shall include full-time and part-time individuals who are part of the following employee groups: clerical/service employees; administrative/professional employees and student administrative/professional employees.
  3. Classroom shall include any gathering of faculty member(s) and students for the purposes of teaching and learning authorized by WKU or any of its units.
  4. Office shall include any faculty or support staff office or any common waiting area.
  5. University activity shall include any teaching, research, administrative, disciplinary function, proceedings, ceremony, or activity conducted by or under the authority of the University.
  6. University property means property owned, controlled, used, or occupied by the University.
  7. Obstruction or Disruption of a University activity means unlawful or objectionable acts or conduct (1) which threaten the ability of the University to maintain its facilities available for performance of its educational activities, (2) which are in violation of the reasonable rules and standards of the University designed to protect the academic community from unlawful conduct, or (3) which present a threat to person or property of the academic community.

Faculty and Staff Rights and Responsibilities

Faculty and staff have the right to define behavior expectations in the classroom, offices, or other college settings and expect students to abide by them. Faculty and staff have the responsibility to manage and address disruptions.

Faculty and staff have the right and responsibility to define expected college setting behavior consistent with university policy to address disruptive student behavior. 

Recommended Guidelines for Managing and Addressing Student Incivility in the Classroom:

  1. Include a clear statement of behavior expectations as part of your syllabus, and also explain them at the first class meeting.

    The most important step in managing and/or addressing classroom student behavior is to define behavior expectations at the first class and reinforce (communicate) them throughout the semester, or as needed. Many problems arise in the classroom when there is a difference of opinion in what is acceptable behavior in the classroom. A student may assume certain types of behaviors are appropriate and then proceed to practice them in the classroom. You, as the instructor, think they are not. As the instructor, you are the authority in the classroom and it is your expectations, as consistent with university and college policy, which must be followed. Therefore, define your expectations and explain them so that all students, newly admitted and other, will know acceptable standards of classroom behavior in our university and college setting.
     
  2. Reinforce behavior expectations by explaining them, and thereafter reinforcing (communicating) them throughout the semester, or as needed.

    Because students enter the university without adequate knowledge of the behaviors that are appropriate to our educational environment, you may need to educate and remind them of our expectations.

  3. Explain that your clearly defined statement of behavior expectations is not an exhaustive list; therefore, no disruptive behavior will be tolerated.

Disruptive behavior is a violation of polices stated in theWKU Student Handbook, and may be sanctioned under those regulations. A recommended procedure is to provide a link to the policy in the WKU Student Handbook in your course syllabus.

Recommended Progressive Approach to Handling Disruption in the Classroom

We recommend a progressive approach; however, there are some behaviors that may require more immediate and severe action, including dismissing the class or calling the University Police. Faculty may go directly to step three, if needed.

1st Incident of Disruptive Behavior

When a student engages in disruptive actions after you had defined and explained appropriate classroom behavior, call the entire class to order and review the behavioral expectations again. Remind them that your list is not exhaustive and no disruptive behavior will be tolerated.

2nd Incident of Disruptive Behavior

Personal, Specific Warning

Ask the student for a conference (after class) so you can explain the specific disruptive behavior they are exhibiting. Tell them very clearly that they must stop the disruptive behavior immediately, or they will be subject to actions under WKU Student Handbook policies up to, and including, administrative withdrawal from class.

You can also put this in writing for the student, give it to him/her, and keep a copy as part of your files on the student. If after receiving written notification, the student wants to discuss it, have him or her schedule an appointment to speak with you about it.

3rd Incident of Disruptive Behavior

Action Taken

Instructor will petition for action to be taken as follows:

  • Administratively Withdraw student from class with a grade of F (must have sign off of Dept. Head/Dean)
  • Request Dept. Head and Dean to initiate the WKU discipline committee process by contacting the office of the Dean of Students at:
  • Change student to another section
  • Other action as deemed necessary

When to Call the University Police?

If, at any time, a student is posing a threat of violence or unlawful behavior to him/herself or others by being verbally or physically abusive, aggressive, or refusing to leave the classroom upon your request, call University Police or 911 immediately. Any threat of violence should be taken seriously. Err on the side of caution. Dial 745-2548 (University Police Emergency) from any phone on campus. Police are available 24 hours a day.  You may also dial 911, and the Bowling Green Police Department will route the call to the University Police. 

Recommended Guidelines for Managing and Addressing Student Incivility in Offices and Other College Settings:

  1. Include an obviously located, clear statement of behavior expectations.

Many problems arise when there is a difference of opinion in what is acceptable behavior. A student may assume certain types of behaviors are appropriate and then proceed to practice them. You might think they are not and, as the authority figure, it is your expectations, as consistent with university and college policy, which must be followed. Therefore, define your expectations so that all students, newly admitted and other, will know acceptable standards of behavior in our university and college setting.

  1. Reinforce behavior expectations, if necessary, by reminding students that expectations exist and what they are.

Because students enter the university without adequate knowledge of the behaviors that are appropriate to our educational environment, you may need to educate and remind them of the expectations.

Recommended Progressive Approach to Handling Uncivil Behavior in Offices and Other College Settings:

We recommend a progressive approach; however, there are some behaviors that may require immediate and severe action, including calling the University Police. Faculty or Staff may go directly to step three, if needed.

1st Incident of Uncivil Behavior

When a student engages in uncivil behavior after you defined and explained appropriate behavior, remind the student of the standard and point out the statement of expectations. Ask for and expect compliance.

Continued Uncivil Behavior

Ask the student to leave your office and reschedule the appointment after they have had a chance to evaluate their behavior. Make a written incident report to be kept for documentation purposes.  

3rd Incident of Disruptive Behavior

Action Taken

Faculty or Staff member will take the following actions:

Report the incident to:

  • The Associate Dean of the College
  • The Dean of Students for the University
  • Dean of Students at:
  • The Police

 

When to Call the University Police?

If, at any time, a student is posing a threat of violence or unlawful behavior to him/herself or others by being verbally or physically abusive, aggressive; or refusing to leave the office upon your request, call University Police immediately . Any threat of violence should be taken seriously. Err on the side of caution. Dial 5-2548 (University Police Emergency) from any phone on campus. Police are available 24 hours a day.  You may also dial 911, and the Bowling Green Police Department will route the call to the University Police. 

 Last Modified 2/20/14