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University Mission and Goals
Founded in 1821, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia is an independent institution of higher education with a commitment to excellence in teaching, research, and service.
The mission of the University is to provide undergraduate, professional, and graduate education in the health professions and sciences.
The University recognizes the following as essential components of its mission:
- To ensure the highest quality standards in our educational programs and services, through assessment and quality improvement.
- To assist students in acquiring the scientific and technical knowledge, competencies, and skills required for successful practice and advancement in their chosen profession.
- To provide a foundation of general education that prepares students intellectually, culturally, and ethically for their professional and personal lives.
- To create an environment that fosters learning as well as an appreciation of, and respect for, individuals of diverse cultural backgrounds.
- To promote the advancement and dissemination of knowledge through research and scholarly activity consistent with the educational mission of the University.
- To cultivate in faculty, staff, and students a commitment to service for the professions and the community.
- We believe that the University is a partnership of people. Our students, faculty, staff, and alumni are our principal assets.
- We accept teaching as primary to our mission and recognize the contribution of scholarly activity to the learning process.
- We support a personal educational experience in which intellectual, social, and professional development of the individual student is of paramount concern.
- We recognize the unique composite of liberal and scientific learning as the basis of education at the University.
- We equip our students with the tools for lifelong learning, recognizing that knowing how to continue learning will be more important than any single set of skills acquired in school.
- We affirm that the University is a scholarly community where students, faculty, alumni, and staff participate together in personal and professional growth.
- We value the loyalty and commitment of individuals to the institution.
- We accept our responsibility to conduct our affairs in a collegial manner and with a firm sense of integrity.
- We acknowledge our commitment to provide responsibly managed, high-quality programs at reasonable costs.
- We accept our responsibility to contribute to the communities in which we live and work.
- We strive to continually improve our academic and service programs.
A Brief History of University of the Sciences in Philadelphia
“To provide the means of instruction by the establishment of a school of pharmacy in which shall be taught those branches of knowledge essential to the education of an apothecary; to invite a spirit of pharmaceutical investigation and research &”
The original objectives, drafted in 1821, were based on the traditional roles of the academy - teaching, research, and service. The proud legacy of University of the Sciences in Philadelphia (USP) began when 68 Philadelphia apothecaries met in Carpenters’ Hall in 1821 to establish improved scientific standards and to train more competent apprentices and students. These visionaries sought to enhance their vocation, as well as protect public welfare. A year later, they organized and incorporated the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy (PCP), the first college of pharmacy in the nation. Thus, education in the profession of pharmacy in the US was born.
The college began to grow in enrollment, curriculum, and stature. Although matriculation was originally limited to men, the college became co-educational in 1876. The college initially emphasized the biological and chemical sciences as mainstays of the curriculum in pharmacy, but later instituted separate curricula in three other areas: bacteriology, biology, and chemistry.
In 1921, the name of the institution was changed to Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science, with state authorization to grant not only the baccalaureate degree, but also the master’s and doctorate in all four disciplines.
As the world of science continuously made advancements throughout the decades, the college evolved and expanded its curriculum to prepare students for the new wave of scientific breakthroughs. The college also enhanced the role of the humanities and social sciences in its science-based curricula. Primarily a commuter campus in its early days, the institution began to transform into one in which residential life and extracurricular activities played a larger role in student development.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania approved the institution’s application for university status in February 1997. In recognition of the broad spectrum of new health and science programs introduced by the institution, the college changed its name to reflect the broader range of academic opportunities offered to its students. On July 1, 1998, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science officially unveiled its new identity as University of the Sciences in Philadelphia.
USP now comprises four colleges:
- Philadelphia College of Pharmacy
- Misher College of Arts and Sciences
- College of Health Sciences
- College of Graduate Studies
USP has launched the careers of many innovative and pioneering individuals in the field of health care, including the founders of six of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies:
- Dr. Eli Lilly (Class of 1907) and his father, Josiah K. Lilly (Class of 1882) - Eli Lilly and Company
- Gerald F. Rorer (Class of 1931) - founder of Rorer Pharmaceuticals, which is now Aventis Pharmaceuticals
- William R. Warner (Class of 1856), founder of Warner- Lambert Company, Inc., which merged with Pfizer Inc.
- Robert L. McNeil, Jr. (Class of 1938) and his grandfather, Robert McNeil (Class of 1876) - founder of McNeil Laboratories Inc., which was split into two separate corporations: McNeil Consumer Products Company (now McNeil Nutritionals) and McNeil Pharmaceutical (now part of Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical, Inc.).
- John Wyeth (Class of 1854), founder of John Wyeth & Brother, which is now part of Wyeth
- Silas M. Burroughs (Class of 1877) and Sir Henry S. Wellcome (Class of 1874), founders in England of Burroughs Wellcome and Company, which is now part of GlaxoSmithKline
USP alumni have made significant contributions in fields beyond pharmacy, from pioneering the use of X-rays (Martin Wilbert, Pharmacy - 1890) to motor oil additives (Vincent J. Cease, Pharmacy - 1956) to rechargeable batteries (Paul J. Nigrey, Chemistry -1970). USP alumni have also contributed to the inventions of well-known products, including:
- Hires Root Beer extract
- Photocopy toner and electrographic inks
- Silicone-based adhesives
- Water repellency treatments
- Gas discharge laser development
- Plant growth regulators
Numerous modern-era alumni have made contributions in nearly every aspect of pharmacy, science, and health sciences. Some of our alumni’s remarkable discoveries that have had a global impact include:
- Invention of medical ultrasound gels that allow expectant parents to get their first glimpse of their unborn child (Martin Buchalter, Pharmacy - 1955)
- Development of advanced time-release formula, found in many over-the-counter and prescription medications (Dr. Gerald P. Polli, Pharmacy - 1956)
- An arthritis drug that may hold the key to preventing and possibly curing cancer (Dr. Philip Needleman, Pharmacy - 1960, MS Pharmacology - 1962)
- Design of a portable infusion pump that delivers antibiotics, chemotherapy, and other medication solutions intravenously (Glenn Herskowitz, Pharmacy -1983)
- Discovery of an inherited adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) mutation in individuals predisposed to colon cancer that can be detected by a simple blood test (Dr. Kenneth Kinzler, Pharmacology/Toxicology - 1983)
- Invention of a machine that helps patients regain range of motion after a knee injury (Michelle Fontana, Master of Physical Therapy - 1990)
Division of Student Affairs
Mission Statement and Goals
The Division of Student Affairs contributes to the academic mission of the University through quality student-centered programming and services that support emotional, intellectual, personal, and ethical growth of the individual student.
To accomplish its mission, the Division of Student Affairs will focus on programs and services to:
- Support the student in scholarly pursuits and the pursuit of career and personal aspirations
- Enhance student learning
- Promote student development
- Promote a shared sense of community
- Facilitate the development of life skills
- Create and maintain a support network that includes partnerships among faculty, administration, and staff
- Engage students in opportunities for productive citizenship
- Promote the health and well-being of students
- Encourage an environment that is tolerant and respectful of individual differences
- Develop a viable organization that is responsive to the needs of students and proactive in its preparation of students for the future.
Cancellation of Classes Policy
In the event of severe weather or other emergency, information regarding cancellation of classes at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia will be broadcast by number on KYW Newsradio (1060 AM) and by name on WTXF Fox TV-29. The broadcast number assigned to the University is 117 for cancellation of day classes and 2117 for cancellation of evening classes. You may access this information via the Internet at http://www.KYW1060.com/ or by calling KYW Newsradio at 1-900-737-1060 for $.95. There will also be a taped message on the University’s Severe Weather Hotline, 215-596-USIP (8747), in the event that classes are canceled.
University of the Sciences in Philadelphia is a completely wired campus. Every residence hall room, office, and classroom is directly connected to the Internet. Public access computers are available in each microcomputer lab, the library, and residence halls. The University also provides e-mail accounts to all students.
All students may have an e-mail account if they are willing to be responsible citizens on the Internet.
Students requesting an e-mail account must read, sign, and abide by the University’s Responsible Computing Agreement (available on the University website or at the Library’s Information Desk).
University account holders are expected to behave responsibly, ethically, and legally with respect to hardware and software owned and run by the University.
They must not:
- Share their account password with others
- Attempt to gain unauthorized access to the University-owned system or use the University’s network to gain unauthorized access to other systems
- Send mass mailings (ie, “spamming”) or chain letters, since this greatly slows down our and others’ servers
- Send harassing, intimidating, or threatening messages by e-mail;
- Use the University’s equipment or network for commercial activities
- Post copyrighted text or art onto public sites
Failure to abide by these policies, and others described in the Responsible Computing Agreement, will lead to disciplinary action and may result in the loss of e-mail privileges.
Student E-mail Accounts
Official University communications with students are done through the student’s University e-mail address. Examples of this essential communication include billing, financial aid, residential issues, and accessing WebAdvisor (including on-line registration).
It is the student’s responsibility to check his or her University e-mail address regularly. Student e-mail software is web-based and can, therefore, be checked anywhere there is an Internet connection.
An email address consists of the student’s first initial and last name, with a number added when there is more than one student with the same first initial and last name.
Students may gain additional information on this subject at http://www.usip.edu/studentemail.
Computer programs are protected by copyright law - Section 117 of the 1976 Copyright Act as amended in 1980 - governing the use of software. It is the intent of the University to adhere to the provisions of copyright laws in the area of microcomputer software. It is also the intent of the University to comply with the license agreements and/or policy statements contained in the software packages used in the University. In circumstances where the interpretation of the copyright law is ambiguous, the University shall look to the applicable license agreement to determine appropriate use of the software.
Digital Copyright Policy
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 prohibits students from copying, storing, displaying, or distributing copyrighted material through university systems or networks without the permission of the copyright owner. File sharing of copyrighted materials without the express written permission of the owner constitutes a violation of this federal statute. Students violating this statute may be subject to prosecution by law enforcement entities and will be subject to sanctions imposed by the Student Conduct Committee of the University.
The University of the Sciences in Philadelphia expects that all members of its community, including students, will adhere to the United States Copyright Act (http://www.copyright.gov/title17) and the related acts that further define the proper use of copyrighted materials. USP students should be familiar with the provisions of the Copyright Act. See http://www.usip.edu/library/USPcopyright.shtml for links to excellent on-line materials available to learn more about
Videotapes and DVDs rented or purchased for home use may be shown on campus only as part of a class session to enrolled students only.
Multiple copies of limited amounts of copyrighted materials may be made, but for classroom use only. While it is not a violation of the Copyright Act to use others’ ideas (which cannot be copyrighted), using them without attribution may cause you to be charged with plagiarism and subject to academic discipline.
Everything on the Internet is copyrighted, whether or not there is a copyright statement. See the Computing Services policy for further information on the penalties associated with the unlawful use of materials from the Internet.
Any use or reproduction of copyrighted materials will be done either with the written permission of the copyright holder or within the bounds of “Fair Use” guidelines provided in the Copyright Act; otherwise, the individual responsible for use or reproduction may be liable for infringing the copyright under existing laws. In the case of a court action for damages, a finding of willful infringement:
- Would preclude the University from paying any judgment rendered against the faculty, staff, or student
- Would preclude paying any attorney’s fees or costs, which the said individual would incur in conjunction with a lawsuit
- May render the said individual liable to the University for any damages that the University is liable to pay
Disability Support Services Policy
University of the Sciences in Philadelphia recognizes that a diverse campus community is essential to enriching intellectual exchanges and enhancing cultural understanding, and as such, values equality of opportunity, mutual respect, and diversity. Therefore, the University is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to all members of the University community who have documented disabilities.
Two pieces of legislation, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), prohibit discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities in the programs, services, and activities of public entities, including postsecondary institutions. The University is, therefore, mandated both philosophically and legally to provide reasonable accommodations for otherwise qualified individuals. This applies to virtually all aspects of campus activities, including employment, academic studies, student programming, and services provided to the community at large. The University’s reasonable accommodation process is intended to provide reasonable support to meet the individual needs of this diverse population, which includes faculty, staff, prospective and enrolled students, and others involved in the University’s services and programs. Accommodations may be altered based on the individual’s needs; changes in the law; or changes in the University’s curriculum, programs, job requirements, or services.
If you are a faculty or staff member with a disability and would like to request accommodations, please contact the Director of Human Resources at 215-596-7533.
If you are a student with a disability and would like to request accommodations, please contact the Assistant Dean of Students at 215-596-8950.
Any individual who has been approved for an accommodation should contact the appropriate Disability Support Services person if he or she experiences any of the following situations:
- A delay in the implementation of an approved accommodation
- Any discrimination due to an approved accommodation
- Denial of an approved accommodation
The appropriate Disability Support Services person will work with that individual to try to informally resolve any concerns. Students should contact the Assistant Dean of Students. Faculty and staff hould contact the Director of Human Resources.
If the informal approach does not result in a mutually agreeable outcome, the unresolved issue should be presented in writing to the Affirmative Action Officer (AAO). The written request must be submitted within 10 working days after the last meeting with the Disability Support Services person. It should provide the name and address of the individual filing the complaint and a brief description of the alleged violation. Upon receiving the written request, the AAO will investigate the complaint and render a decision within 30 working days of receiving the complaint. The AAO’s decision is final and cannot be appealed within the University.
Students who are not satisfied with the AAO’s decision have the right to file a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights, Department of Education. Faculty and staff have the right to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol Use Policy
The goal of the alcohol use policy at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia is to foster alcohol awareness and responsible drinking practices and to promote the health and safety of the faculty, staff, and students. With the growing problems of alcohol and drug abuse in our society, the institution seeks to encourage a campus social life that does not emphasize the role of alcoholic beverages in either private or group activities. This policy allows those of legal age an opportunity to develop responsible habits for the use of alcohol.
- The possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages on the University campus and at University-related events off campus are regulated by the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. These laws make it unlawful for persons under 21 to purchase, attempt to purchase, consume, possess, or transport any alcoholic beverages. It is also unlawful to serve, sell, or furnish alcoholic beverages to persons under 21.
- Any University-related organization holding a function on or off campus will be subject to the following guidelines:
- If alcohol is to be served, the host’s supervisor or advisor must be notified in writing in advance of the event. At this time, a process to screen minors must be described, and an individual must be designated to be responsible for compliance with the policy.
- If alcohol is to be served and underage persons may be present, a process must be in place to screen minors. During the social function while alcoholic beverages are available, the advisor, the sponsor, or the designee must be in attendance and must observe the area where alcoholic beverages are served and
prohibit underage persons from obtaining alcoholic beverages.
- If alcohol is to be served, food and nonalcoholic beverages must also be available in a prominent place and in adequate amounts. Alcoholic beverages must be clearly labeled as such.
- Visibly intoxicated persons must not be served alcohol.
- Advertising for social functions must not refer to the availability of alcoholic beverages, either specifically or in code.
- No student government funds may be used to purchase or supply alcohol.
- Alcoholic beverages are prohibited at all times in the residence halls. Violations will be subject to student conduct procedures as outlined in the Residence Hall Handbook.
- Consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited in public areas of the campus, except under special circumstances with approval of the President.
- Disciplinary procedures for violations of this policy may be imposed by the Dean or the senior administrator responsible for the organization or department.
- All fraternity and sorority policies on alcohol use must be in compliance with the above-stated policy.
Drug-Free Environment Policy
Recognizing the wide variety of health risks associated with the use of alcohol and other drugs, the University is committed to maintaining a drug-free environment for its employees and students. Because of our special responsibility as an educator in health sciences, we have implemented a campus-wide program to increase awareness concerning alcohol and substance abuse. The Alcohol Use Policy provides information on the regulated, legal use of alcohol for University organizations. The Substance Abuse Policy provides information on available counseling, rehabilitation, and assistance programs for those experiencing problems with alcohol or other drugs.
The University prohibits the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, or use of a controlled substance on the University campus. Controlled substances may be appropriately used in a supervised classroom or research setting.
Federal law requires compliance with this policy to maintain a person’s status with the University. The law also requires that the institution be notified of any criminal drug statute conviction for a violation occurring in the workplace and/or a University-sponsored clerkship or traineeship site. Employees must notify the Director of Human Resources (215-596-7533), and students must notify their college dean within five days of any such conviction.
Anyone so convicted must participate satisfactorily in an approved drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program to resume his/her status with the institution. The University’s Student Conduct Policy and Substance Abuse Policy outline additional information and requirements for disclosure and continued enrollment or employment.
In addition to any legal sanctions imposed in conjunction with the unlawful use of alcohol or controlled substances, violations of this policy will also be subject to appropriate internal action whether remedial, rehabilitative, and/or disciplinary. If the offender is an employee, the appropriate action will be determined by the Supervisor and the Director of Human Resources. If the offender is a student, the case will be referred to the Student Conduct Committee for resolution.
Safe and Drug-Free School Act Policy
The University complies with the Safe and Drug-Free School Act (formerly known as the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendment of 1989).
Each year the University distributes a pamphlet to all incoming students describing:
- Standards of conduct and sanctions for violations involving
controlled substances and alcohol use
- Selected local, state, and federal regulations
- Available rehabilitation and counseling programs
- Health risks of drug and alcohol use
This pamphlet is mailed to students along with the Health Packet mailing from Student Health and Counseling.
As an institution committed to the higher education of health professionals, the University has an obligation to maintain a smokefree campus environment, which promotes the health and welfare of our students, faculty, and staff. Therefore, smoking is prohibited in all campus buildings.
Substance Abuse Policy
This policy reflects the institution’s concern about any member of the University family who is experiencing a problem with alcohol and/or drug abuse (referred to hereafter as substance abuse). The aim of the Policy is to encourage and support the recovery of all impaired members of the University community. The Substance Abuse Policy is initiated by the college dean in conjunction with the Dean of Students. The Dean of Students will assist the student in obtaining an evaluation from an independent clinical expert and coordinating any recommended aftercare program. The Dean of Students receives the evaluation as well as recommendations for treatment and aftercare services for policy participants and coordinates the treatment component of the policy. Clinical decisions regarding the diagnosis and treatment are made by external experts. Questions concerning the Substance Abuse Policy should be directed to the Dean of Students at 215-596-8535.
- The University recognizes that dependence upon any psychoactive substance is a debilitating condition that requires medical, psychological, and social assistance.
- The University is committed to a comprehensive educational program to prevent substance abuse among its students and staff.
- The University encourages the treatment and recovery of any person who seeks assistance or who has been identified as having substance abuse problems by his or her college dean or the Dean of Students. Assistance and referrals for treatment will be provided through the Dean of Students.The cost for any external evaluation and any related fees are the responsibility of the student.
- The University will not perform random testing for drugs; however, drug screens may be required as a condition of participation in experiential education.
- All matters relating to substance abuse and subsequent treatment will be confidential.
- The University will support the continued enrollment or employment of any impaired person provided he or she agrees to undergo evaluation and, when necessary, treatment for a substance abuse problem. In the event treatment is recommended, the impaired person will:
- Enter a treatment program without delay
- Complete the treatment program
- Participate in an aftercare regimen
- The University will not support continued enrollment or employment of anyone found guilty through disciplinary action or legal prosecution of:
- Illegal possession of controlled substances with intent to divert or distribute
- Stealing controlled substances
- All decisions regarding individual treatment and aftercare will:
- Be made by an outside independent organization in consultation with the substance abuser
- Be in accordance with the person’s ability to participate successfully in these programs
- The facility that will provide an evaluation and treatment plan must be approved by the University.
Equal Employment Opportunity/Nondiscrimination Policy
University of the Sciences in Philadelphia recognizes that a diverse campus community is essential to enriching intellectual exchanges and enhancing cultural understanding, and as such, values equality of opportunity, mutual respect, and diversity. The University does not discriminate in admission, employment, or administration of its programs on the basis of gender, age, disability, race, religion, creed, national origin, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, nor does it violate federal, state, and local laws or executive orders.
The Affirmative Action Officer is responsible for addressing all grievances related to discrimination and sexual harassment and, in cooperation with the Office of Human Resources and the Division of Student Affairs, seeks to support and advance these principles by providing leadership and coordination to ensure that the University adheres to equal opportunity, affirmative action, and nondiscrimination policies.
For questions and concerns regarding Affirmative Action or EEO policies, please contact: Sara M. Gallagher, Affirmative Action Officer, Office of the President, 215-596-7484, email@example.com.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Policy
Access to Education Records
Annual Notice to Students
University of the Sciences in Philadelphia fully complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, as amended. This law is sometimes referred to as the Buckley Amendment.
The Act grants students specific rights and protections with regard to their education records. It governs access to, release of, and corrections to the records kept by the University on current and former students. These rights do not extend to individuals who never actually attend the University.
Students wishing to review or correct their education records should submit a written request to the Registrar indicating which records they wish to review or what corrections they believe are necessary. If the records in question are not in the control of the Registrar, the request will be forwarded to the appropriate University official. While prompt attention is given to all such requests, the University reserves the right to respond no later than 45 days after receiving a request.
Education records are available to University officials with legitimate educational interest. Such interest exists when access to the records is necessary for the official to perform his/her professional duties. Personally identifiable information from students’ education records is only released, other than to University officials, upon a specific written and dated request from the student or as provided for by federal or state law.
The following information related to a student is considered “Directory Information,” and the University reserves the right to disclose it to anyone inquiring without the student’s written consent, unless the student, during the drop/add period each semester, informs the Registrar in writing, that any or all such information about him/her is not to be released without his/her written permission: the student’s name, address, e-mail address, telephone number, date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, enrollment status, degrees and awards received, photograph, and other similar information.
A copy of the University’s policy in compliance with FERPA can be obtained upon request from the Registrar’s Office. All questions regarding FERPA should be directed to the Registrar. Information is also available from, and students have a right to file a complaint regarding compliance with, the Family Policy Compliance Office, US Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202-4605.
A grievance is a complaint or allegation made by a student who feels that an action (or lack of action) by the University of the Scienves in Philadelphia is unfair; is arbitrary, capricious, or unjust; or does not comply with University policies. Some grievances, however, cannot be initially addressed through the Student Grievance Policy. These include allegations of discrimination related to gender (including sexual harassment), race, ethnicity, religion, and sexual orientation, all of which must be referred to the Affirmative Action Officer. In addition, conduct matters cannot be grieved, as stated in the Student Conduct Policy.
It is the policy of the University to provide a mechanism by which grievances can be openly and objectively reviewed, with a goal of reconciliation or resolution of University-related issues. If an issue cannot be resolved informally, students may use the grievance policy and procedures without fear of reprimand or reprisal.
General Procedures of the Student Grievance Policy
The following procedures are not meant to serve as detailed procedures, but rather, general guidelines to the Student Grievance Process.
Prior to initiating a grievance process, the student should make every reasonable effort to resolve the complaint informally by discussing the situation with the person most directly involved (“respondent”) and/or the respondent’s supervisor.
If an informal discussion between the student and the respondent does not resolve the issue, the student may initiate a grievance. This should be done within one month of the incident. If a student wishes to initiate a grievance beyond 45 calendar days of the incident, he/she must get approval from the Chair of the Grievance Committee. Grievances that are filed later than one calendar year from the date of the incident will not be accepted by the Grievance Committee.
To begin the process, the student should inform the Chair of the Grievance Committee that he/she has a grievance, followed by a written grievance. The letter must be delivered to the Chair no more than 10 working days after meeting with the Chair. The written grievance must contain the following:
- Date and location of issue(s)
- Nature of complaint
- Student’s explanation of issue(s), which should be as specific and factual as possible
- Resolution being sought
- Steps already taken to resolve issue
There are two stages (Informal and Formal) to the grievance process, as broadly outlined below:
If the issue is not resolved after the student has made every effort to speak informally with the respondent or supervisor, or if he/she does not feel comfortable speaking directly to the respondent, he/she may speak to someone designated as a mediator by contacting the Chair of the Grievance Committee. The mediator is impartial and has the primary role of determining if mediation is appropriate and, if so, assists both parties in resolving the grievance. Mediation is a voluntary, confidential process in which an impartial, third party assists people in finding a mutually acceptable solution to their problem (American University Mediation Services, 2004).
During the informal process, the mediator meets separately with the student and respondent. The mediator discusses the options for resolving the grievance and listens to each party’s explanation of the events.
If both parties agree to an informal grievance process, the mediator brings together the student and respondent. During this meeting, the mediator will assist both parties to resolve the grievance. Once the student and respondent agree to the resolution, both parties will sign a written agreement that states the resolution.
- To begin the informal process or for detailed procedures, a student should contact the Dean of Students at 215-596-8950 or the Chair of the Student Grievance Committee at 215-596-7517.
If either the student or respondent chooses to forego mediation after speaking with the Chair of the Grievance Committee about their options, or if the student is not satisfied with the outcome of the informal process to resolve an issue, he/she may initiate a formal grievance. A formal grievance requires a student to notify the Chair of the Grievance Committee, in writing, that he/she wishes to proceed.
Once the letter has been received, the Chair reviews it and meets with the student to discuss the grievance. In addition, the Chair forwards a copy of the student’s letter to the respondent, who in turn can respond to the Chair in writing. The Chair may dismiss the case if deemed unsubstantiated or frivolous, arbitrate the case (Chair or designee), or convene a hearing.
- To begin the formal process or for detailed procedures, a student should contact the Dean of Students at 215-596-8950 or the Chair of the Student Grievance Committee at 215-596-7517.
The Committee is composed of a Chair (nonvoting) and five other individuals chosen from a pool of trained faculty, staff, and students.
- If the respondent is a faculty member, the Committee will be comprised of two faculty, two students, and one staff
- If the respondent is a staff member, the Committee will be comprised of two staff, two students, and one faculty
- If the respondent is a student, the Committee will be comprised of two students, two faculty, and one staff
None of the members of the Committee may be a party, even secondarily, to the grievance. Committee members are not advocates for either party, but rather, serve as impartial fact-finders. If necessary, and at the request of the Committee, the Chair can request additional information/evidence from either or both parties involved in the situation.
Upon receipt of all relevant documents from the student and respondent, the Chair of the Grievance Committee will have a prehearing with both parties separately. During the pre-hearing, the Chair will review the process and answer any questions the student or respondent may have. Additionally, the Chair will present the student with a list of people who will serve as members of the committee and who could possibly hear the case. The Chair is responsible for notifying each member of the committee of the date, time, and location of the meeting and for providing each committee member with a copy of the grievance.
All hearings will be closed to the public. Both the student and respondent may have one university advocate attend on their behalf. The advocate may speak only to the student or respondent, and not on their behalf. Legal counsel is not permitted. If either party fails to appear at the hearing, the hearing may continue at the discretion of the Chair of the Grievance Committee.
It is the individual party’s responsibility to bring any witnesses he/she deems necessary. Witnesses are individuals who observed the incident in question and/or have knowledge that can help clarify the incident in question. Witnesses’ testimony may be written or orally presented at the hearing.
The proceedings of the hearing (except deliberation) will be audio recorded and remain the property of the University.
A student or respondent may appeal any outcome from a grievance hearing within 10 working days after the written outcome is delivered to both parties. The written letter of appeal must describe:
- The basis of the appeal (see appeal criteria outlined below)
- Evidence or testimony that supports this claim
- Resolution sought
The appeal panel will consider the viability of the appeal based on the criteria below:
- New information (not available at the time of the hearing) that significantly alters the finding of fact
- Evidence of improper procedure(s) that significantly affected the outcome;
- Findings that are against the weight of the evidence
- Excessive or insufficient recommendations for remedies
The findings of the appeal panel are by majority vote, are final, and may not be appealed.
In all cases, participants in grievance procedures take appropriate steps to safeguard the confidentiality of information gathered under a guarantee of confidentiality, yet exercise due regard for the rights of the individual grievant and respondent. In accepting appointment to the Grievance Committee, each member makes a commitment to maintain confidentiality with respect to documentary and other evidence presented during the investigation and hearing of individual cases.
University of the Sciences in Philadelphia is committed to maintaining a positive campus environment for all members of the University and will not tolerate acts of discrimination, harassment, or intimidation based on race, ethnicity, gender, age, disability, religion, or sexual orientation. Further, retaliation against any member of the University community who files a harassment complaint or cooperates with a harassment investigation will not be tolerated.
The University defines harassment as any behavior that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive campus environment and which is based on race, ethnicity, gender, age, disability, religion, or sexual orientation. In cases of sexual harassment, this encompasses a continuum of unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors, from minor violations such as verbal harassment to sexual assault and rape (see Sexual Assault Policy). Complaints of harassment will be responded to promptly, equitably, and in a manner that eliminates such behavior or conduct.
An individual found to be responsible of harassment; has intentionally and falsely accused another individual of harassment; or has taken any retaliatory action against another individual who has filed harassment charges against him/her shall be subject to remedial, rehabilitative, and/or disciplinary action. Individuals seeking information on, or filing charges of, harassment should contact the Affirmative Action Officer: Sara M. Gallagher, Office of the President, 215-596-7484, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Affirmative Action Officer should be contacted as soon as possible to ensure that issue(s) of harassment are handled expeditiously, fairly, and in a consistent manner. The University will make every reasonable effort to ensure the confidentiality of all parties involved.
Hazardous Materials and Weapons Possession on Campus Policy
The presence of weapons, firearms, or hazardous material pose a direct and substantial threat to the safety of our community, and therefore, are prohibited on University of the Sciences in Philadelphia property and sanctioned University work sites.
This policy does not include:
- The University authorized use of chemicals and materials for educational purposes
- The authorized possession and use of firearms by members of the Rifle Team
“Weapons,” under the Pennsylvania Criminal Code, include items such as a bomb; grenade; blackjack; sandbag; metal knuckles; dagger; knife, the blade of which is exposed in an automatic way by switch, pushbutton, spring mechanism, or otherwise; or other implement for the infliction of serious bodily injury, which serves no common lawful purpose.
“Firearm” is defined under the Pennsylvania Criminal Code as any weapon, including a starter gun, which will, or is designed to, expel a projectile or projectiles by the action of an explosion, expansion of gas, or escape of gas.
“Hazardous Material,” for the purpose of this policy, is defined as any substance that is possessed and/or prepared for the purpose of producing a combustible reaction or detonation.
This policy also applies to the possession or use of an instrument that is used to inflict or attempt to inflict serious physical harm and injury.
The University reserves the right to seize any firearm, weapon, or hazardous material from any or all persons on the University campus. Violation of this policy may result in separation from the University.
To ensure the continued health and well-being of students, University of Sciences in Philadelphia requires that all full-time students comply with the following policies. These policies are designed to comply with mandates from state and local health agencies and to support the uninterrupted academic progress of the student.
Upon acceptance to USP, students are mailed a Student Health Information Packet, including Medical History Questionnaire, Emergency Information, and Verification of Medical Insurance forms. These forms must be completed and returned by July 15th, prior to the start of classes.
The University reserves the right to bar a student from attending classes if he/she presents a health risk to the general University community as determined by the University’s physician. The University’s physician will determine when a health condition will prevent a student from attending classes. The physician will also assist with the appropriate medical resolution and the student’s return to class. The student has the right in such cases to provide documentation from a licensed physician of his/her choosing for additional consultation on such matters.
The University requires all entering full-time students to adhere to the immunization schedule recommended by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Health and the American College Health Association. Information on the specific immunizations required before enrollment at the University is mailed to each student prior to the first day of classes.
All students must show proof of health insurance prior to attending the University, and it is the responsibility of the student to provide any changes while attending the University to Student Health and Counseling. Students without health coverage may subscribe to a student health plan available through Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Information regarding rates and enrollment can be obtained by contacting Student Health and Counseling at 215-596-8536. Questions regarding claims and coverage should be directed to BC/BS at 215-568-8204 or 800-453-2566. Only students enrolled at the University are eligible for participation in the plan.
The Student Health Office adheres to the recommendations set forth by the American College Health Association concerning medical excuses for missed classes and examinations. Excuses are given to students when they have been seen and treated in the Student Health Office and have been advised by the medical staff not to attend classes. Students who are ill or injured and have not been advised to remain home or in the residence halls will not be given medical excuses. Their absence is of their own discretion and should be discussed with their professors.
Failure to comply with health policies will result in an administrative HOLD on the student’s record. This will block the student’s ability to register, attend classes, or receive grades.
For additional questions, you may call Bonnie Packer, RNC, at 215-596-8980, or the Administrative Coordinator at 215-596-8536. You may also speak to Student Health and Counseling staff in person at 4140 Woodland Avenue.
Based upon research in the field of higher education, we know that living in university housing facilitates the overall adjustment to college, enriches the educational experience, and increases the likelihood of success. For this reason, we require that all noncommuting (outside a 45-mile radius from campus to permanent residence), unmarried, first-year students, under the age of 21, live in university housing.
Summer housing is available while classes are in session. Contact the Department of Student Life at 215-596-8756 for more information.
For additional housing policies, see the Residence Life Handbook. A copy may be obtained in the Division of Student Affairs.
Identification Cards Policy
Identification cards are issued to all University of Sciences in Philadelphia students, faculty, and staff members. ID cards should be worn at all times and be shown upon request of any faculty member, security person, administrator, or official members of the University staff. ID photos for most new students are taken during the summer placement examinations. Those students not attending the placement exams can have photos taken during the Incoming Student Orientation in August, at which time all new students will be issued their cards.
These cards are multiuse cards supplying the following services:
- Security - The cards have the student, faculty, or staff member’s name, photo, and identification number or department. The cards are to be worn at all times and allow for easy identification by our Department of Security and Public Safety.
- Library Access - The cards are encoded with a barcode, which is used by the library to check out materials.
- Residence Hall Access - Access to individual residence halls is restricted only to the resident students, and the cards provide pass/fail verification of resident status. The cards are also used to verify staff ‘s access to the buildings.
- Meal Plans - The card provides access to the dining hall as well as the declining balance account for a la carte food purchases.
- All-Campus Account - The ID card is used for bookstore purchases, for chemistry lab breakage, transcripts in the Registrar Office, and to transfer money onto the vending stripe for Debi-Cash or the declining balance meal plan. The vending stripe for the All-Campus Account is the large bottom stripe on the back of ID card.
- Debi-Cash - All vending machines, residence hall washers and dryers, library copiers, the mailroom for postage, and the main office for faxes accept the ID card for payment. Debi-Cash is an off-line service, and lost cards mean lost value. This is the smaller stripe on the back of ID card.
A fee is charged for replacement of lost cards. Arrangements can be made to replace cards through Student Auxiliary Services in Kline Hall, Room 102. Cards are not transferable, remain the property of University, and must be surrendered upon disassociation from the University.
Students must request permission to use the University of Sciences in Philadelphia logo from the Strategic Marketing Communications (SMC) Department, located in Whitecar Hall. SMC will approve appropriate usage of the logo and will provide the high resolution files needed to reproduce the logo. Contact SMC at 215-596-8788.
Printed Materials Policy
All printed materials (fliers, publications, T-shirts, etc) utilizing the University of Sciences in Philadelphia name, the name of a University organization, or the name of a University event are to be approved by the appropriate campus office prior to printing. Students, clubs, and organizations also must receive approval from the Office of Student Activities. All University-related material must contain items, printed or alluded to, which are in compliance with school policy, the Student Handbook, and US copyright law.
Photos taken by University staff during University functions and/or events may be used in University publications without prior approval of individuals portrayed. If for any reason you do not want your picture included in publications, contact the Division of Student Affairs.
Security and Crime Statistics Policy
The Department of Security and Public Safety complies with the Pennsylvania College and University Security Information Act (PA Act 73) and the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (formerly known as the Federal Student Right-to-Know and Campus Security Act of 1990). These laws require the University of Sciences in Philadelphia to prepare, publish, and distribute an annual security report. The annual security report includes crime statistics for the three previous years. The report also includes institutional policies concerning campus security, such as alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, reporting crimes and emergencies, sexual assaults, and other matters. You can obtain a copy of this report by accessing the security website at http://www.usip.edu/security, or a paper copy by calling 215-895-1128 or 215-596-8595.
Sexual Assault Policy
The Sexual Assault Policy is currently under review. A new policy may be approved prior to the next printing of the handbook. To ensure you have the most recent information and policy, please visit the website or the Division of Student Affairs.
The University of Sciences in Philadelphia recognizes that incidents of sexual assault require a response that will ensure that the medical, psychological, safety, and legal needs of the victim are attended to sensitively, promptly, completely, and confidentially. Sexual assault includes, but is not limited to, such actions as touching the body of another with a sexual intent and without the consent of the person being touched, and forced intercourse. Consent should not be considered as given by a person who, because of intoxication, youth, or mental disability, is unable to make a reasonable judgement concerning the nature or harmfulness of the activity.
The following procedures have been developed to provide for the coordination of University and community resources in incidents of sexual assault. This policy applies to both resident and off-campus students. In addition, the University provides educational programs and information that stresses prevention through awareness.
- Workshops on date rape and sexual assault presented to freshmen during orientation and the first weeks of school
- Residence hall programming on these topics, which is accessible to all students throughout the year
- Resource materials that are made available through the Student Health and Counseling Center
Any student who believes that she/he has been the victim of sexual assault should CONTACT THE DEAN OF STUDENTS IMMEDIATELY. The Dean will initiate the procedures outlined in this section. At all times, confidentiality will be maintained to the extent possible.
- Whenever possible, the Dean of Students should be the first person notified of an incidence of sexual assault. The Dean of Students is located in Whitecar Hall, Room 116; Phone: 215-596-8529. The Dean of Students is the University administrator responsible for coordinating all services and procedures associated with these incidents. All reports to the Dean of Students remain confidential and no further action is taken without the expressed permission of the victim. The Dean will ensure that the victim’s immediate physical, emotional, and safety needs are attended to promptly, completely and confidentially. The Dean will also advise the victim of her/his options for further action and assist the victim in pursuing these options if desired. The Dean will be the only University official authorized to discuss the situation with the victim’s family.
If the Dean of Students is not on the campus, one of the following University officials may be notified.
Director of Security and Public Safety ……………………..215-895-1116
Associate Dean of Students …………………………………..215-596-8890
Assistant Dean of Students ……………………………………215-596-7573
Director of Student Life ………………………………………..215-895-1192
One of these individuals will be able to contact the Dean of Students and see to the immediate needs of the victim.
A victim of sexual assault will be encouraged to receive immediate attention at Jefferson Trauma Center, which is especially equipped and staffed to provide the necessary care and treatment for victims of sexual assault. The victim will be provided with transportation and escorted to and from the Jefferson Trauma Center.
Due to the extent of evidence legally required in cases of sexual assault, a prompt and thorough examination is necessary. This examination will include testing for sexually transmitted diseases, obtaining physical specimens, and establishing risk of pregnancy. The Trauma Center’s Protocol requires notification of the Philadelphia Police Department, although this does not mean that the victim must press charges or pursue legal action. The Trauma Center, in conjunction with Women Organized Against Rape, provides counseling services for victims of sexual assault.
The Dean of Students will explain and facilitate, as appropriate, the medical and mental health treatment, as well as additional supports:
The Dean of Students will help facilitate immediate medical treatment of sexual assault victims at Jefferson Trauma Center. In the event a victim refuses treatment or when a sexual assault victim seeks assistance after a period of time has lapsed between an assault and notification of the assault, the Student Health Office will provide, within its scope, long-term support. During the academic year, this includes referrals to other facilities, medical evaluation and counseling, and follow-up laboratory services. During the summer sessions, the University physician does not have officce hours. A registered nurse is available to provide support services and referrals. All information received will be considered confidential without the expressed written permission of the student.
The Counseling Center is available to provide on-campus psychological assessment and support to both the victim and the alleged perpetrator. Counseling personnel will not be involved in any form of disciplinary deliberation. All information received will be considered confidential without the expressed written permission of the victim or alleged perpetrator. For more information on Counseling Services, see the Student Services section of the catalog.
The initial investigation by the Department of Security and Public Safety will center on establishing the date, time, and location of the alleged offense. Any further investigation will be at the direction of the Dean of Students with the expressed consent of the victim.
If the victim wishes to press formal charges, the Department of Security and Public Safety will assist her/him in contacting the proper authorities.
A police investigation does not relieve the Department of Security and Public Safety from documenting the basic elements of the offense. (See Internal Investigation)
In a sexual assault situation where both the victim and the accused are living in the same residence hall, the Director of Student Life will relocate both parties to separate residence halls, if possible. If only one party can be conveniently relocated, this will be done based upon space availability. Both parties will be barred from each other’s residence hall. As stated in the Residence Halls’ Conditions of Occupancy, the University “… may revoke a room agreement … for … alleged sexual assault of a resident, guest, or University personnel …”
The Dean of Students will work personally with the victim and the alleged perpetrator to ensure that appropriate academic support services are available to assist her/him through the period following the assault. These may include excused absences, make-up exams, tutoring, or class changes. As with other services available to victims of sexual assault, confidentiality will be maintained to the extent possible.
A victim of sexual assault may elect to file formal charges through the University’s Student Conduct Committee. (See below for more information)
Student Conduct Policy
The Student Conduct Policy is currently under review. A new policy may be approved prior to the next printing of the handbook. To ensure you have the most recent information and policy, please visit the website or the Division of Student Affairs.
The University of Sciences in Philadelphia conduct system fosters an environment that contributes to the mission and goals of the University. It allows students to explore their actions in a safe environment that is fair, just, and without any preconceptions. This process is governed by the Student Conduct Policy. If found responsible, the Office of Student Conduct will work with students to explore the cause of the action and address any underlying challenges or concerns. Ideally, students are able to accept the consequences of their actions and acknowledge the effects these actions may have had on others.
Mission Statement and Philosophy
The University community of faculty, administration, staff, and students has a collective responsibility for modeling behavior of the highest integrity in academic, personal, and professional pursuits. We are committed to the education and guidance of students about responsible, ethical, and professional behaviors. It is vital that University students understand that inappropriate academic, social, and professional conduct will have consequences. The impact of this conduct may not only be detrimental to the student involved, but to classmates, the University, and society. In addition, there will be consequences to actions deemed inappropriate and unprofessional. These consequences may also require that a student make restitution for inappropriate actions, as well as reflect upon the implications of such behavior. It is our expectation that such a student will work toward personal change in order to meet the social, academic, and professional standards of USP, as well as society at large.
The University community of faculty, administration, staff, and students will address student conduct issues with dignity, fairness, and respect, as a caring educational body. Any necessary conduct action will be paired with self-reflection(s) and education. The aim will be to facilitate the necessary personal and professional development of students, so that they too may demonstrate academic, personal, and professional behavior of the highest integrity.
Student Conduct Process
At the University, we recognize that the primary purpose of the existence and operation of a Student Conduct Process is to promote learning; foster students’ academic, personal, and professional development; and better prepare students to handle the responsibility of citizenship.
All students at the University will be held to a high standard of conduct. It is, therefore, necessary to remedy violations of the Student Code of Conduct to ensure an orderly campus community as well as to prevent infractions by educating members of the University community.
In this matter, the interests of the University in student conduct extend beyond the geographic limits of the University; thus, as long as the student is enrolled at the University, conduct action is appropriate, regardless of where student misconduct occurs or the student resides.
Conduct action also is appropriate regardless of whether law enforcement officials have taken criminal action and, where such action has been taken, regardless of its outcome in the judicial system. A student who is, or has been, under investigation by any law enforcement agency for alleged drug offenses, child abuse, sexual assault, or weapons possession must report to the Dean of Students when he or she becomes aware of such investigation.
A faculty or staff member may also bring charges against a student organization. The president of the organization will represent the organization. If the organization admits responsibility for the misconduct that it is charged with, the Conduct Officer will impose sanctions upon the organization. Infractions by organizations will be documented on the appropriate Student Conduct Agreement Form accepted by the Conduct Officer.
Prohibited conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following student actions:
- Academic Dishonesty: Includes, but isnot limited to, the following:
- Fabrication: The presentation of information for a classroom assignment, exam, or lab procedure that is fictitious or falsified. Examples include, but are not limited to, listing invented references for a report assignment; or concealing the identity of the source of information presented in an assignment by omitting the secondary source identification.
- Cheating: Defined here as the act of or attempted act of deceiving or misrepresenting the acquisition of a skill or body of knowledge. Examples include, but are not limited to, copying from another student’s exam; aiding in the attainment of the answers to an exam; allowing another student to copy from exam; impersonating another student during a class or exam; bringing unauthorized materials to an examination (ie calculators, notes, etc).
- Plagiarism: Defined as the presentation, whether intentional or unintentional, of the words or ideas of a source as if they are the student’s own words or ideas. This definition applies to unpublished and published material. Examples include, but are not limited to, presenting in a written report a direct quote without quotations or another appropriate reference; working on a group project and then submitting the group work as your own; copying the writings (sentence, paragraph, or entire work) of a fellow student and not giving credit to the author.
See Appendix A, Academic Integrity for more information.
- Drugs*: Intentional use, possession, sale, transfer or offer of transfer of any illegal or controlled drug for a non-medical purpose or inappropriately providing care or prescribing medicine without the proper supervision, authority, or license. The special nature of the University, which trains students for careers in the health sciences, requires that student conduct with regard to drugs be beyond reproach. Consequently, the standard expected of USP students is higher than that imposed by law upon the general population. Because students from all majors offered at our institution are likely to work in environments where drugs are accessible, the standard is applied to all students, regardless of their major.
- Possession: The University prohibits the possession of alcohol in any University building or on University premises. Students are accountable for being in the presence of unauthorized alcohol on campus.
- Consumption: Unauthorized alcohol consumption on University premises (see Alcohol and Drug Policy). Underage drinking and/or public intoxication are prohibited. Regardless of age, the student may not consume alcohol on University property, unless the President of the University has approved alcohol consumption at the event.
- Sales/Distribution: The University prohibits illegal dispensing of alcohol to minors (Pennsylvania State law prohibits alcohol consumption by persons under the age of 21).
* Parental or guardian notification will result when a student is found responsible for violating the Policy on Alcohol Use and/or the Drug-Free Environment Policy.
- Endangerment: Behavior or activities that endanger the safety or health of oneself or others.
- Disorderly Conduct: As a member of the University and the University City and West Philadelphia communities, USP recognizes its obligation to respect the members of the University community and its neighbors. Students, as members of the University community, carry the responsibility of all citizens and, as such, are required to refrain from behavior that interferes or obstructs the orderly process of the University or the surrounding community (eg, excessive noise; inappropriate, loud, or disruptive behavior; and failure to maintain property).
- Theft: Theft, possession, or unauthorized attainment of property or service. Any found item for which ownership is not clear should be immediately submitted to lost and found in Student Affairs, Whitecar Hall.
- Attempted Theft: Students found to be in the process of stealing or abetting others in stealing property.
- Assault and Battery: Defined here, assault refers to a threat or an attempt to cause harm or injury to another person. Battery is defined as the infliction of an injury or the unauthorized and unwanted touching that is coupled with a threat to cause harm or injury.
- Sexual Assault: Violation of the University’s Policy on Sexual Assault.
- Harassment: Violation of the University’s Policy on Sexual/Racial/Ethnic Harassment.
- Hazing: Violation of the Initiation and Hazing Policy.
- Forgery/Alteration of University Property: Forgery or alteration of any document or instrument of identification for any purpose.
- Destruction of Property: Destruction of, damage to, misuse of, or abuse of property.
- Weapons: Unauthorized use, possession, or sale of firearms, other dangerous weapons, or hazardous materials by the University. (See Hazardous Materials and Weapons Possesion on Campus Policy, above)
- Arson: Attempting to or igniting a fire.
- Violation of the Law: University students may be held accountable for being found guilty through the legal system for violating a local, state, or federal law.
- Gambling: Illegal gambling or gaming as defined by state or federal law.
- False/Misleading Statements: Making a false or misleading statement with the intent to deceive a University official. This includes, but is not limited to, dishonesty, misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, or knowingly using false information, documents, or instruments of identification.
- Violation of Sanctions: Failure to make amends as ordered through the Student Conduct Process.
- Failure to Identify: Failure to identify oneself when requested by a University official.
- Fleeing the Scene: Leaving a scene where a violation may have occurred prior to the resolution of the matter.
- Failure to Appear: Failure to appear at a scheduled hearing of either Student Conduct Committee.
- Violation of Other University Policies: Students are responsible for knowing and observing all university policies.
- Interference with University Activities: Intentionally or recklessly interfering with normal University or Universitysponsored activities, including, but not limited to, studying; teaching (including class sessions and office hours); research; university administration; or fire, police, or emergency services. Examples include, but are not limited to, loud disruptive continuous noise during class, prohibiting the continuation of a sponsored event through disruptive behavior, or preventing a University official from caring for a person in need.
- Complicity: Attempting to engage in, or soliciting another to engage in, prohibited conduct under the Student Conduct Policy.
- False Report: Intentionally initiating or causing to be initiated any false report, warning, or threat of fire, explosion, or other emergency.
- Computing Violation: Failure to abide by the Computing Privileges and Responsibilities or Software Policies.
- Co-Curricular Violation: Violation of the Policies on Co-Curricular Activities, or the Rules of Eligibility for Fraternity/Sorority, or the Rules for Student Organization Participation. Student organization leaders may be held to a higher standard of responsibility and may be held accountable if they knew, or should have known, of misconduct of students in their student organization.
- Tampering/Fraud: Students tampering with, or unauthorized or fraudulent use of, campus telephone equipment, telephone credit cards, or access codes.
- Wrongful Entry: Entering, attempting to enter, or remaining without authority or permission in any University office, residence hall room, University-sponsored event, or University premise.
- Unauthorized Usage of USP: Unauthorized use of the University’s name, logo, or symbols.
- Unauthorized Soliciting: Soliciting or canvassing by an individual, group, or organization without proper authorization.
- Violation of Residence Hall Policy: More than three documented incidents, or at the discretion of the Dean of Students or his/her designee.
- Nonsmoking Policy: Repeated violations of the University Nonsmoking Policy (more than three documented incidents). *
- Parking Violation: Repeated violations of University parking regulations. **
** The following fine schedule will be applied for violators with three or fewer occurrences. Failure to pay fines will result in an administrative hold on a student’s record.
First violation - $30.00
Second violation - $60.00
Third violation - $120.00
Student Conduct Committee
In establishing a conduct process, the University recognizes that two distinct but overlapping areas of the community, the academic and nonacademic sectors, affect the students. The conduct process must, therefore, address both areas equally to meet the goals of personal and social development of the students involved. It is for this reason that the University has established the Student Conduct Committee from which the Academic Student Conduct Committee or the Nonacademic Student Conduct Committee will be appointed.
The role of the Student Conduct Committee is to serve as facilitators during administrative hearings and adjudicators during conduct hearings.
The Student Conduct Committee will be made up of a pool of appointed faculty, staff, and students. The Student Conduct Committee will consist of 8-12 members of Faculty Council, appointed by the President of Faculty Council. The Student Conduct Committee will also include 8-12 student members who will be selected by the Dean of Students in coordination with the Student Government by a procedure that will ensure the various segments of the student population adequate representation. The Dean of Students will also appoint 8-12 staff members to serve on the Student Conduct Committee. The President of Faculty Council and the Dean of Students will have final approval of all members of the Student Conduct Committee. All members will be committed to confidentiality and upholding the policies. Committee members must complete an educational seminar on Conduct Committee Membership requirements, responsibilities, and standards prior to serving on a hearing Committee. The Conduct Officer is a nonvoting ex-officio member of the Student Conduct Committee.
From the appointed faculty members, the President of Faculty Council will appoint a faculty member to serve a one-year term as chairperson and a vice-chair for the Academic Student Conduct Committee. From the appointed faculty or staff members, the Dean of Students will appoint a faculty or staff member to serve a one-year term as chairperson and a vice-chair on the Nonacademic Student Conduct Committee. Due to the nature of the material that the Conduct Committees review, staff members eligible for appointment include those deemed appropriate by their department chairperson or director. Faculty or staff serving as the Chair will complete an additional educational seminar on the duties of a chair.
In the deliberations of either Conduct Committee, student members, staff members and faculty members shall each have an equal voice and vote, except for the Chairperson, who shall have one vote in the event of a tie. Quorum of the Academic Conduct Committee will consist of a minimum of the Chair, two faculty members, one staff member, and two students. Quorum of the Nonacademic Conduct Committee will consist of a minimum of the Chair, one faculty member, two staff members, and two students. In exceptional cases, for example, but not limited to, during University breaks, winter and summer breaks, or emergency situations, quorum can be at least three members and a chair, not to exceed the standard board membership, with at least one faculty, staff, and student.
Faculty and staff members of the Student Conduct Committee may be asked by the Conduct Officer to serve as the facilitator for Administrative Hearings.
Where the alleged infraction(s) spans academic and nonacademic conduct, the Conduct Officer, in consultation with both Chairs of the Student Conduct Committees, will make a decision on charges brought and the appropriate hearing committee(s).
The Conduct Officer
The role of the Conduct Officer is to facilitate the conduct process, educate the campus community on the process, maintain records, and evaluate the program and other duties as assigned in his/her position description. The Conduct Officer will serve as a resource, not an advocate for faculty, staff, and students. The Conduct Officer shall maintain communication with the Chairpersons of the Academic Student Conduct Committee and Nonacademic Student Conduct
Committee. The Conduct Officer will serve as nonvoting ex-officio member of the Student Conduct Committee.
There are two avenues to determine the outcome of an alleged violation. The administrative hearing serves as a more informal process and the conduct hearing serves as a more formal process. Administrative hearings should be the first step in the process, unless the allegation could be a repeat offense, criminal charges are pending on the incident in question, or at the discretion of the charging party, in conjunction with the Conduct Officer.
The purpose of the administrative hearing is to allow both parties to mutually evaluate, discuss, and determine the outcome of the alleged violation. The Conduct Officer (or designee) is there to help facilitate the process. If both parties cannot agree on the question of responsibility and/or the sanctions, the matter will be referred to a Conduct Hearing. All conduct matters shall be addressed through an administrative hearing or conduct hearing.
It is the individual party’s responsibility to bring any witness they deem necessary. Witnesses are individuals who were witness to the incident in question and/or have knowledge that can help clarify the incident in question. Witness testimony may be written or given orally at the hearing.
All hearings will be closed to the public. Students and the charging party may have one university advocate attend on their behalf. The advocate may speak only to the student or charging party, not on their behalf. Legal counsel is not permitted.
The administrative hearing will be documented on the Administrative Hearing Report Form. The Conduct Officer will send a letter confirming the outcome of the administrative hearing to the Dean of Students if nonacademic, or to the Dean of the appropriate college if academic. If the prohibited conduct is a second (or more) violation of the alcohol or drug policy, the Dean of the appropriate college should be notified by the Dean of Students. It is the Dean’s responsibility to notify the student, the charging party, the academic advisor, and the Program Director of the student’s matriculated program. Individuals notified are responsible for maintaining confidentiality.
If a faculty or staff member cannot come to an agreement with the accused as to responsibility of a suspected infraction or the sanction through informal means, the charges will be forwarded to the Chairperson of the appropriate Student Conduct Committee for a formal hearing coordinated by the Conduct Officer.
Formal Conduct Processes and Proceedings:
Once a charge has been submitted to the Conduct Officer, the appropriate conduct processes will be invoked. The Student Conduct Committees will consider all cases referred to them involving student infractions of the Student Conduct Policy and University regulations of any kind. After due consideration, the appropriate Student Conduct Committee will take action on the case.
Faculty, staff, or students may present an individual student with charges of student misconduct. The Conduct Officer, or his/her designee will advise each student before, during, and after student conduct hearings to ensure that the student’s rights are protected and that the appropriate process is followed. The Conduct Officer will advise all parties concerning procedural and administrative issues. The role of the Conduct Officer is to be impartial. The Conduct Officer will serve neither as an advocate nor an adversary to the student or the complainant.
The following procedures will guide the Conduct Hearing Process:
- The Conduct Officer will notify the student in writing of the alleged violation, the date of the hearing, and the date of a prehearing.
- A hearing should occur within 15 days of the request for a hearing. The Conduct Officer has the discretion to make exceptions to this time frame (for example, but not limited to, during exam weeks or during University break times).
- During the prehearing, the Conduct Officer will review the process and answer any questions the student or charging party may have. Additionally, the conduct officer will present the student with a list of members who could possibly hear the case. Either party may challenge the impartiality of any member. A challenged member of the Student Conduct Committee will be excused from the Committee for that hearing unless the Conduct Officer determines that the challenge is unfounded, in which case the person may continue to participate in the Student Conduct Committee proceedings. If the Chairperson of the Academic or Nonacademic Student Conduct Committee is excused, the Vice Chair will serve as Chair. If the Chair and Vice Chair are excused, a designee by either the Faculty Council President or the Dean of Students may be appointed in their place. This designee must be a member of the Student Conduct Committee.The Conduct Officer is responsible for notifying each member of the appropriate Committee of the date, time, and location of the meeting and for providing each Committee member with a copy of the charges.
Conduct cases will be heard in accordance with the University conduct policy as outlined below. Any member of the University community may file a conduct report against student(s) for alleged violations of University rules or regulations.
Quorum of the Academic Conduct Committee will consist of a minimum of the Chair, two faculty members, one staff member, and two students. Quorum of the Nonacademic Conduct Committee will consist of a minimum of the Chair, one faculty member, two staff members, and two students. In exceptional cases, for example, but not limited to, during University breaks, winter and summer breaks, or emergency situations, quorum can be at least three members and a Chair, not to exceed the standard board membership, with at least one faculty, staff, and student.
In the event that a quorum is not reached, all parties must agree to proceed with a scheduled hearing without a quorum. If either party chooses not to proceed under such circumstances, then the hearing will be rescheduled as quickly as possible.
Emergency hearings may be scheduled in cases that involve safety, health, or welfare of any member of the University community (eg, complaints involving violent misconduct).
It is the individual party’s responsibility to bring any witness they deem necessary. Witnesses are individuals who were witness to the incident in question and/or have knowledge that can help clarify the incident in question. Witness’ testimony may be written or presented orally at the hearing.
All hearings will be closed to the public. Students and the charging party may have one University advocate attend on their behalf. The advocate may speak only to the student or charging party, not on their behalf. Legal counsel is not permitted.
The proceedings of the hearing (except deliberation) will be audio recorded and remain the property of the University. The Conduct Officer may approve the review of the audio recordings. The request should be made in writing. The review must take place in the presence of the Conduct Officer or designee and only approved individuals may review the recording. Recordings will not be copied; however, students may pay for an official transcription. Recordings may be used during the appeals proceedings. Recordings may only be used in the Grievance Process or other proceedings with the permission of the Conduct Officer. Audio recordings will be held for three months or until the end of the appeals process.
If a student fails to appear at the hearing, the hearing may continue at the discretion of the Chair, in consultation with the Conduct Officer. The student may be subject to additional conduct action, including dismissal from the University, without further consultation. A scheduled hearing supersedes all classes, examinations, and University functions for the student.
At the close of the hearing, the Committee shall deliberate privately as to whether the student violated the Student Conduct Policy. The Committee will seek to reach consensus in adjudicating cases. In the event there is not a consensus, a majority vote will determine the outcome. The Committee should use the standard of clear and convincing evidence to determine the outcome.
A student may have up to two members of the University community serve as character witnesses during a conduct hearing. The character witnesses may submit a written statement or present in person on behalf of the student. The character witness’ comments are to be limited to what he/she knows about the student’s character and are not to include statements about the conduct process or statements made during the hearing. The committee will hear character witnesses only after the student has been found responsible for violating the Student Conduct Policy, but before the Committee determines the sanctions. At no time may a character witness also represent the student as his/her legal counsel at the time of the hearing or in future matters pertaining to the hearing.
The Conduct Officer will collect and retain all records and documents submitted in connection with a hearing. All evidence shall be held for one to three years or until the conclusion of the appeals process, whichever is longer.
The Student Conduct Committee will report its action to the Conduct Officer. The Conduct Officer will send a letter confirming the outcome of the hearing to the Dean of Students if nonacademic, or Dean of the appropriate college if academic. It is the Dean’s responsibility to notify the student, the charging party, the academic advisor, and the Program Director of the students’ matriculated program. Both the Dean of the appropriate college and the Dean of Students will be notified if a student is placed on probation, suspension, or expelled. Individuals notified are responsible for maintaining confidentiality.
The administration of the action of the Committee will be the responsibility of the Conduct Officer, appropriate Academic Dean, or the Dean of Students, based upon the nature of the case and related sanctions.
Sanctions for Student Misconduct
All students found responsible will receive, at a minimum, Conduct Censorship in the form of a written reprimand.
Administrative Hearing Sanctions:
In consultation with the Conduct Officer, faculty members may implement sanctions they deem appropriate relative to an infraction where a student accepts responsibility for the infraction. It is the responsibility of all faculty members to state clearly the importance of academic integrity in their syllabus.
Sanctions at an administrative hearing include, but are not limited to, the following, and more than one sanction can be mandated.
- Penalizing the student’s grade for the assignment / paper / examination that is of concern.
- Penalizing the student’s grade for the course in which the misconduct occurred.
- Having the student complete an assignment or project.
- Having the student complete some activity to make amends for misconduct. Activities may include community service, work on campus in lab, or project for a faculty member.
- Completion of educational program(s) or counseling.
- Fines and restitution: reparation will not substitute for punitive action.
- Other sanctions appropriate to the violation in consultation with the charging party and the Conduct Officer. This may include revoking various University privileges, limiting access to University buildings or events, or other actions relevant to the details of the incident.
- Conduct Probation: The probation period is generally at least one semester. During this period, the student will not be allowed to participate in co-curricular activities. The Board may impose additional limitations. A notation of the action may become a permanent part of the student’s academic record or transcript.
Conduct Hearing Sanctions:
The Student Conduct Review Committees will implement such sanctions, as they deem appropriate. Any of the following sanctions may be imposed upon a student, a group of students, or student organization found responsible for a violation only when brought before either of the Student Conduct Review Committees. These actions include, but are not limited to the following, and more than one sanction can be mandated.
- Conduct Expulsion: The student will no longer be enrolled at the University and all rights and privileges of being a student are revoked. A notation of the action generally becomes a permanent part of the student’s transcript.
- Conduct Deactivation: Termination of a registered organization’s privileges for a period of time.
- Conduct Suspension: The student will no longer be enrolled and will lose all rights and privileges of being a student, but may return to the University after a specified period of time, assuming proper conduct on the student’s part during this time. A notation of the action generally becomes a permanent part of the student’s transcript.
- Conduct Probation: The probation period is generally at least one semester. During this period, the student will not be allowed to participate in co-curricular activities. The Board may impose additional limitations. A notation of the action may become a permanent part of the student’s academic record or transcript.
- Fines and Restitution: Reparation will not substitute for punitive action.
- Other sanctions such as community service hours, education programs, counseling, and written assignments.
- Faculty may request the Conduct Committee mandate a course or examination-related academic sanction. If the student is found responsible, the Committee will confirm the sanction and may not alter it without approval from the faculty member.
- Other sanction appropriate to the violation in consultation with the charging party and the Conduct Officer. This may include revoking various University privileges, limiting access to University buildings or events, or other actions relevant to the details of the incident.
Once a matter is resolved, no University faculty, staff, or administrator may impose additional sanctions not imposed and approved within the administrative hearing or the conduct hearing. The exception to this is substance abuse rehabilitation, removal from campus, or removal from residence hall living. The Dean of the appropriate college or the Dean of Students (or his/her designee) must approve these exceptions.
At any time after the filing of a complaint, the Conduct Officer, in consultation with the student’s college Dean and the Dean of Students, may place a “Conduct Hold” on the academic and/or financial records of the student for the purpose of preserving the status quo pending the outcome of proceedings, enforcing a sanction, or ensuring cooperation with the student Conduct Process. A Conduct Hold may prevent, among other things, registration, the release of transcripts, and the awarding of a degree.
Right of Appeal
The student or charging party has the right to appeal a decision by submitting a written appeal to the Conduct Officer. Appeals may be considered if there is new evidence, if the sanction is found to be substantially disproportionate to the offense and/or not consistent with the Committee’s precedent, the findings are against the weight of the evidence, or if procedural errors occurred that significantly affected the outcome.
There are four reasons for which an appeal may be granted and an Appeal Panel may be convened. An appeal must be substantiated by one of the following four reasons:
- Question of New Evidence: Either party may appeal on the basis of “question of new evidence” by introducing new evidence that would significantly affect the outcome of the case. Evidence introduced that was not known by the respondent (student) or complainant (charging party) shall be considered new evidence. Evidence that was withheld by the respondent (student) or complainant (charging party) shall not constitute a “question of new evidence” and will not be considered upon appeal.
- Question of Procedure: Appeals will be considered on the basis of “question of procedure” by demonstrating that the procedural guidelines established were breached, and that such departure from established procedure significantly affected the outcome of the case. Appeals are considered for breach of procedures when the procedure in question directly affects the decision rendered.
- Question of Sanction: Either party may appeal the sanction that has been imposed by presenting a statement that explains why the sanction is perceived to be substantially disproportionate to the offense and/or not consistent with the Committee’s precedent.
- Question of Findings: Either party may appeal if there is evidence that the findings are against the weight of the evidence.
If either the charging party or the student wants to request an appeal, he/she shall submit, in writing, an appeal to the Conduct Officer. The request must be made within ten (10) business days of the Student Conduct Committee conduct hearing. The written appeal should clearly indicate why the decision is being appealed based on at least one of the four stated reasons for an appeal. The Conduct Officer will forward the request for an appeal to the Vice President of Faculty Council within three (3) business days of receipt. The Vice President of Faculty Council will determine the merits of the appeal. Upon review of the written appeal, the Vice President of Faculty Council will notify the student and the Conduct Officer in writing within seven (7) business days whether the written appeal will be forwarded to an Appeal Panel. If the Appeal Panel is to be convened, the Conduct Officer will convene the panel within ten (10) business days. All members of the Appeal Panel will be individuals who serve on the Student Conduct Committee, but who did not participate in the Student Conduct Committee hearing or decision that is being appealed. An Appeal Panel shall consist of one faculty member, one staff member, and one student. Members of the Appeal Panel will have completed an educational seminar prior to serving.
Only those grounds that have been granted for review by an Appeal Panel will be considered during the appeal hearing. The imposing of sanctions will be deferred while an appeal is pending, except when the Conduct Officer, in consultation with the Dean of Students, determines the sanction should be upheld immediately for the safety of the student or the community.
The Appeal Panel may take one of the following actions:
- Sanctions may be reduced or increased only if found to be substantially disproportionate to the offense and/or not consistent with the Committee’s precedent.
- Cases may be remanded for rehearing.
- The original decision of the Student Conduct Committee may be affirmed.
Decisions reached by the Appeal Panel are by majority vote. The decision of the Appeal Panel is final and is not subject to the grievance procedure.
Conduct records will remain on file for a period of two years after a student has graduated or separated from USP or seven years after the incident, whichever period is longer. Once a year, records will be reviewed and destroyed at the close of the academic year if applicable. The exception to this process is with cases involving sanctions of suspension or expulsion. These records will remain in the conduct database indefinitely.
A student or alumna/alumnus may request, in writing, that the Dean of Students eliminate an incident or incidents from his or her conduct record prior to the expunge date. The decision to eliminate a record will be based on the nature of the violation(s), the individual’s conduct history, and evidence of appropriate behavior since the violation occurred. A request will not be considered for at least two years after the incident occurred. Suspension or expulsion may not be eliminated from a conduct record.
On June 10, 2004, The Faculty Council of the University voted to amend the Student Conduct Code. The original document may be found in the Faculty Council archives.