This Western Governors University (WGU) Code of Student Conduct is premised on the belief that respect for individuals, ideas, and the authenticity of student work are all critical to a thriving academic community. Accordingly, WGU holds that all members of the WGU community have a shared responsibility for ethical, responsible, and respectful behavior and should comply in every respect with all applicable laws in addition to the rules WGU has set forth in this Code of Student Conduct.
WGU Student Code of Conduct shall apply to conduct that adversely affects the WGU Community and/or the pursuit of its objectives. Each student shall be responsible for his/her conduct from the time of application for admission through the actual awarding of a degree, even though conduct may occur before courses begin or after courses end, during periods between terms of actual enrollment, and conduct that is not discovered until after a degree is awarded. The Student Code shall apply to a student’s conduct even if the student withdraws from school while a disciplinary matter is pending.
In addition to the Code of Student Conduct, all students at WGU are also subject to the University’s Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Stalking and Retaliation Policy (opens new window) and accompanying Discrimination Grievance Procedures (opens new window) which are separate from the Student Conduct Code standards and procedures. The University’s Discrimination and Harassment policy covers behaviors related to discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, inducing incapacitation for sexual purposes, sexual exploitation, relationship violence, stalking, and retaliation.
In cases where the provisions in the Student Conduct Code and the provisions in the Discrimination and Harassment policy and accompanying Discrimination Grievance Procedures are different or inconsistent, the Discrimination and Harassment policy and Discrimination Grievance Procedures supersede. Therefore, all students are expected read the Discrimination and Harassment policy and Discrimination Grievance Procedures, as well as the Code of Student Conduct, to gain a thorough understanding of the expectations and procedures set forth in both processes and the differences between the two.
When a student has been found in violation of the Discrimination and Harassment policy, the Title IX Coordinator is charged with imposing disciplinary sanctions. Possible sanctions that may be applied are the same as those described in the Student Conduct Code. Disciplinary records for Discrimination and Harassment violations are maintained in the same manner as other disciplinary records under the Student Conduct Code.
Any student found to have committed or to have attempted to commit the following misconduct is subject to the disciplinary sanctions outlined in Article VI:
Attempts to commit acts prohibited by the Student Conduct Code, and/or knowingly or willfully encouraging or assisting others to commit any of these acts, are also prohibited and may be adjudicated in the same manner.
WGU disciplinary proceedings may be instituted against a student charged with conduct that potentially violates both the criminal law and this Student Code (that is, if both possible violations result from the same factual situation) without regard to the pendency of civil or criminal litigation in court or criminal arrest and prosecution. Proceedings under this Student Code may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings at the discretion of the Senior Manager of Student Rights & Responsibilities. Determinations made or sanctions imposed under this Student Code shall not be subject to change because criminal charges arising out of the same facts giving rise to violation of University rules were dismissed, reduced, or resolved in favor of or against the criminal law defendant.
If a student fails to respond to a complaint or complete educational sanctions as required, an administrative hold shall be placed on the student’s record by the Office of Student Conduct to ensure cooperation with the disciplinary process. In most cases an administrative hold will not prevent a student from completing coursework in the current term, but the student will be prevented from registering in additional courses or obtaining a degree. Depending on the severity of the charges, the Conduct Administrator may also institute an administrative hold pending the outcome of proceedings.
In certain circumstances, the Senior Manager of Student Rights & Responsibilities, or a designee, may impose a WGU suspension prior to the Student Conduct Board Hearing before the Student Conduct Board.
Interim suspension may be imposed: (a) to ensure the safety and wellbeing of members of WGU community or preservation of WGU property; (b) to ensure the student’s own physical or emotional safety and wellbeing; or (c) if the Accused Student poses an ongoing threat of disruption of, or interference with, the normal operations of WGU.
During the interim suspension, an Accused Student shall be denied access to some or all WGU systems or privileges for which the Accused Student might otherwise be eligible, as the Senior Manager of Student Rights & Responsibilities or the Student Conduct Administrator may determine to be appropriate for the purposes of investigation.
The interim suspension does not replace the regular process, which shall proceed on the normal schedule, up to and through the Student Conduct Board Hearing, if required.
The Accused Student shall be notified in writing of this action and the reasons for the suspension. The notice shall include the time, date, and place of a subsequent hearing at which the Accused Student may show cause why his or her continued use of the WGU systems or privileges does not constitute a threat [and at which they may contest whether a WGU rule was violated]. Time lost within the term while the student is on interim suspension may not be added back to the end of the term in the form of a term extension or incomplete grade.
Revised July 26, 2017
Article: 20496, 1895