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Academic Policies

(Written and approved by the faculty.)

  1. Academic Expectations for DePauw Students

    DePauw has considerably different academic expectations from those of high school and it is important that students adjust to these new expectations early in their college careers.

    1. College is not the end of the educational process but a foundation for a lifetime of continued learning and growth. Therefore, one of the central goals of college is to help students develop a sense of responsibility for their own learning and the ability to learn on their own.
    2. Accordingly, college students spend much less time in class than they did in high school but are correspondingly expected to do much more work outside class than they did in high school.
    3. Students should expect to spend between forty and fifty hours a week (or more) on their academics, the equivalent of a full-time job.
    4. Students are responsible for learning a great deal of the material on their own outside of the classroom.
    5. Students should expect that course material will be covered at a much more rapid pace than they have experienced before. This expectation is partially based on the assumption that students are preparing carefully for class so that more material can be covered in class.
    6. Students are expected to come to class prepared and ready to participate actively in the class session. They are expected to have read the texts and used other required materials carefully and comprehensively before the class session.

    (adopted by the Faculty April 1997; revised February 2004)

  2. Academic Integrity

    Please direct Academic Integrity Questions to Julianne Miranda, Associate Dean of Academic Life at or 765-658-6267

    1. Introduction

      Academic Dishonesty Settlement Form

      Academic integrity refers to the ethical standards and policies that govern how people work and interact in the academic enterprise at a college or university. These standards and policies attempt to do more than define and condemn what is wrong or unethical; they also attempt to provide a foundation for the mutual trust and individual responsibility necessary in a healthy academic community.

      Both faculty members and students have the responsibility of upholding the principles of academic integrity. Faculty and staff members should create an environment in which honesty is encouraged, dishonesty discouraged and integrity is openly discussed. Faculty members should follow the principles of academic integrity in their own work and conduct. Students are obligated not only to follow these principles, but also to take an active role in encouraging other students to respect them. If students suspect a violation of academic integrity, they should make their suspicions known to a faculty member or staff member in academic affairs. Students reporting dishonesty must be prepared to give evidence in a hearing before the University Review Committee (URC).

      Many faculty members ask students to work collaboratively with others on written projects, oral presentations, revisions, labs, or other course work. The guidelines for collaborative work differ substantially from course to course, but in most cases part or all of a collaborative project must be completed independently. Faculty members should make clear, in writing, their expectations for collaborative work. Students should make sure they understand what is expected of them; they are responsible for knowing when collaboration is permitted, and when not. Handing in a paper, lab report, or take home exam written entirely by a member of one’s collaborative group, except when given explicit permission to do so by the instructor of the course, is an act of academic dishonesty.

      Almost all the types of academic dishonesty described below have to do with working with others or using the work of others. This is not to suggest that working with others or using their work is wrong. Indeed, the heart of the academic enterprise, learning itself, is based on using the ideas of others to stimulate and develop your own. In this sense, all academic work is collaboration, and therefore academic integrity focuses on those acts that demean or invalidate fruitful collaboration.

    2. Types of Academic Dishonesty

      Cheating.Using or attempting to use unauthorized materials in any academic exercise or having someone else do work for you. Examples of cheating include looking at another student’s paper during a test, bringing an answer sheet to a test, obtaining a copy of a test prior to the test date or submitting homework borrowed from another student.

      Fabrication.Inventing or falsifying information. Examples of fabrication include inventing data for an experiment you did not do or did not do correctly or making reference to sources you did not use in a research paper.

      Facilitating academic dishonesty.Helping someone else to commit an act of academic dishonesty. This includes giving someone a paper or homework to copy from or allowing someone to cheat from your test paper.

      Plagiarism. Using the words or ideas of another writer without attribution, so that they seem as if they are your own. Plagiarism ranges from copying someone else’s work word for word, to rewriting someone else’s work with only minor word changes (mosaic plagiarism), to summarizing work without acknowledging the source. (See the Writing Center Guide to Avoiding Plagiarism for further information on plagiarism.)

      Multiple submission.Submitting work you have done in previous classes as if it were new and original work. Although professors may occasionally be willing to let you use previous work as the basis of new work, they expect you to do new work for each class. Students seeking to submit a piece of work to more than one class must have the written permission of both instructors.

      Abuse of academic materials.Harming, appropriating or disabling academic resources so that others cannot use them. This includes cutting tables and illustrations out of books to use in a paper, stealing books or articles and deleting or damaging computer files intended for others’ use.

      Deception and misrepresentation.Lying about or misrepresenting your work, academic records or credentials. Examples of deception and misrepresentation include forging signatures, forging letters of recommendation and falsifying credentials in an application. Of particular concern, given the current popularity of collaborative projects, is taking credit for group work to which you did not contribute significantly or meet your obligations. In a collaborative project, all members of the group are expected to do their share. Group members may work together on each phase of the project or they may divide the tasks--one person might do background research; another might take charge of the lab experiments; another might be responsible for drafting the report. Even in a modular project, however, each member of the group is responsible for being familiar and involved with the entire project. Be sure to get clear instructions on your individual and collective responsibilities from each faculty member for each course.

      Electronic dishonesty.Using network access inappropriately, in a way that affects a class or other students’ academic work. Examples of electronic dishonesty include using someone else’s authorized computer account to send and receive messages, breaking into someone else’s files, gaining access to restricted files, disabling others’ access to network systems or files, knowingly spreading a computer virus or obtaining a computer account under false pretenses.

      Carelessness. When does carelessness become dishonesty? Students sometimes make minor mistakes in completing academic assignments. Mistyping one of many endnotes in a long paper, for example, may in most cases be considered a careless mistake, rather than an act of deliberate dishonesty.

      When students make multiple mistakes in acknowledging sources, however, these mistakes cannot be considered simply careless. Students who copy long passages from a book or a Web source, for example, make a deliberate choice to do so. Such students have taken a short cut; instead of explaining the source of their ideas, they have simply stolen ideas from others. In such cases, carelessness is a form of dishonesty.

      Students are responsible for knowing the academic integrity policy and may not use ignorance of the policy as an excuse for dishonesty.

      Other types of academic dishonesty. The list above is a partial one. Instructors may explain in their syllabi other types of academic dishonesty relevant to the work in particular disciplines or particular courses.

    3. Overview of the Process

      All cases of academic dishonesty must be reported by faculty members and settled through the process outlined below. Faculty members may not impose a grade penalty for academic dishonesty except through the process outlined below.

      The process is designed 1) to provide prompt resolution of cases, 2) to help the student understand both the charge and penalty, and 3) to allow the student to discuss what happened and/or contest the charge or penalty being made. At all stages of the process, the focus should be on education, and open, frank discussion should be encouraged. Students frequently commit acts of dishonesty when they are under pressure of one sort or another; or they may persuade themselves that borrowing someone else’s words and ideas is not a serious offense. This settlement process gives faculty members and students a chance to discuss why academic integrity is so important to the university community.

      In the process of investigating the charge, the instructor may discuss his or her suspicions with the student. In cases of cheating on exams, it may be appropriate to confront the student during the exam or immediately after; however, even in cases when the student admits to the violation verbally, a formal conference to review and sign the written settlement form should be arranged. In confronting students with charges of academic dishonesty, instructors may choose to have a colleague present to act as an observer. That colleague need not be a member of the same department, but should be someone knowledgeable about the academic integrity policy.

    4. The Settlement Process

      Academic Dishonesty Settlement Form

      When an instructor becomes aware of a possible case of academic dishonesty, he or she should move quickly (usually within three days) to investigate the violation and to contact the student. If suspected violations occur at the end of the term, the instructor should assign a grade of Incomplete and begin the settlement process as quickly as possible but no later than the start of the following semester. Even when suspected violations occur after grades have been submitted, the settlement process must be started before the end of the semester following the suspected violation.

      The formal process of initiating a charge and settlement involves the following steps, with occasional minor variations depending on the nature and timing of the case:

      1. The instructor arranges to confer with the student to discuss the integrity violation and the evidence supporting it. During or shortly after the instructor’s conversation with the student, the instructor presents the student with a written statement of the charge and the proposed penalty (see the Academic Dishonesty Settlement Form).  The student has the opportunity to respond to the charge. After listening to the student, the instructor may decide to revise the charge or penalty, or drop the charge all together. If, for any reason, the faculty member believes that the violation deserves a penalty more severe than failure in the course, he or she may immediately refer the case to the University Review Committee (URC).
      2. The student has three business days to respond to the charge, either by assenting to the charge and penalty by signing the settlement form, or by requesting a hearing before the URC. At that hearing, the student may either dispute the charge or the severity of the penalty. While considering how to respond to a charge, students are encouraged to seek advice from someone knowledgeable in matters of academic integrity, such as a faculty advisor, an academic dean, or another trusted advisor. If a student charged with a violation does not respond in the specified time, the matter is immediately turned over to the URC for a hearing.
      3. Once the settlement form has been signed, it is forwarded to the academic affairs office to be kept for five years. If this proves to be a second violation of the academic integrity policy, an academic dean will convene a disciplinary hearing of the URC.

      Note: Once an academic integrity charge has been initiated against a student, he or she may not withdraw from the course in question unless the charge is dropped by the faculty member or the student is found to be not responsible through a hearing or an appeal. A hold is placed on the student’s transcript until the charge has been settled.

    5. Penalties for Academic Dishonesty

      Students who have violated the academic integrity policy are penalized more severely than students who have simply not turned in an assignment. While the degree of penalty varies according to the judgment of the instructor, a first offense is usually penalized in three ways:

      1. the settlement form itself, which when signed is filed in the academic affairs office;

      2. a grade of zero on the relevant assignment; and

      3. a lowered final course grade.

      Occasionally, even for a first offense, the penalty is failure in the course. If a more severe penalty is called for, the instructor may request a hearing of the University Review Committee (URC).

      Academic dishonesty outside of a particular class (forged signatures and fabricated résumés, for example) also leads to penalties. Students will be asked to sign the academic dishonesty settlement form. Either the accused student or the faculty/staff member making the charge may request a hearing before the URC.

      A second violation of the academic integrity policy leads automatically to a disciplinary hearing before the URC, and may result in suspension or dismissal.

    6. Student Records

      First Offenses. Signed settlement forms for first offenses are filed in the Academic Affairs office for five years. The name of the student is kept confidential. The settlement form does not become part of the student’s permanent record, except if the student is found responsible for a second violation of the academic integrity policy.

      Second Offenses. In cases where a student is found to be responsible for a second violation of the academic integrity policy, a copy of the URC decision will be placed in the student’s permanent record (kept in the Office of Student Life) and will be reported if the student releases the record to employers or other schools. A second offense is defined to be one that takes place in whole or in part after a student has been presented with a settlement form for a prior case, unless the student is found not responsible for the prior case.

    7. The Academic Integrity Hearing

      If a hearing before the University Review Committee is necessary, either because the charge or penalty is disputed or because this is a second offense, it will be convened by an Academic Dean as quickly as possible, but usually no later than three weeks after the Dean has received the signed or unsigned settlement form. Committee members will be provided with a detailed outline of the hearing process.

      The URC consists of a teaching faculty member who is a current or former member of  the Student Academic Life Committee, who will chair the hearing, two additional teaching faculty members, and two students. Faculty and student members are chosen by the convenor from a pool of volunteers identified by the Student Academic Life Committee. The Student Academic Life Committee will identify this pool in February of each year with the pool to begin service on March 1st.  The Student Academic Life Committee may add members to the pool as needed. In the event an insufficient number of members of the pool are available when a URC needs to be convened, the convenor may ask other faculty members or students to serve on the URC. In such cases the convenor will share the names of the URC with the Chair of the Student Academic Life Committee. Each URC board member will receive training prior to serving on his or her first URC. The convenor observes and records the hearing, but does not participate in committee deliberations.

      The membership of this committee is made known to parties involved prior to a hearing. Student, faculty members and administrative alternates are also designated for the committee. Either party can ask the committee’s chair that a committee member not serve on the hearing panel because of bias or conflict of interest. The chair shall decide if there are sufficient grounds to honor this request. If a committee member is unable to attend the hearing, or if a member is excluded because of potential bias or conflict of interest, an alternate will be asked to serve. Committee members are required to attend the hearing in person.

      Nature of the hearing. There are two types of academic hearings: one to decide a disputed charge or penalty, the other to consider disciplinary matters following a second offense. A hearing of the University Review Committee is intended to be an orderly, fair inquiry into the facts bearing on the case and only material related to the written charges may be considered during the hearing. The hearing is not intended to be a trial concerned with technical formalities. 

      The party bringing the charge and the accused student will usually attend the hearing in person. If there is no reasonable alternative that permits a timely hearing, either or both parties may participate remotely or may provide only a written statement with the permission of the convenor. If one or both parties fails to participate in a previously scheduled hearing, the hearing will go forward and the committee will reach its conclusion on responsibility and the appropriate penalty on the basis of evidence presented at the hearing.

      Related Cases. At the discretion of the convenor, related cases may be heard sequentially by the same hearing board. When structured in this way, the parties involved in the first case will be heard, followed by the parties involved in the second case and so on. The hearing board will then deliberate before deciding if it wishes to call the parties for one or more cases back in sequence for additional questions. This process may be repeated as necessary before the hearing board starts its final deliberations. At the discretion of the convenor, a hearing for related cases may span multiple days.

      Confidentiality. Hearing proceedings are confidential. Committee members, students, faculty members, recorders, advisors, and witnesses are enjoined from mentioning names of those involved or details that might reveal the identity of the student or faculty member, and from discussing presentations or committee deliberations.

      Presentation; burden of proof; rights.When a hearing is convened to hear a disputed charge or penalty, the faculty member referring the case presents the evidence of the offense to the panel. The student may present counter-evidence if he or she wishes. Either party may have a faculty member, staff member, or student advisor and each has the right to call and question witnesses. The burden of proof is on the faculty member, who must establish the responsibility of the student by a preponderance of the evidence. (In matters of academic integrity, the evidence does not have to constitute overwhelming, irrefutable proof of responsibility, but only has to convince the panel that the violation took place.) Faculty members may refer cases based on the testimony of other students; in doing so, however, the faculty member should make sure either that the students who provided the testimony are willing to appear as witnesses at the hearing or that there is corroborating evidence that substantiates the charge. Other procedures for due process shall be followed, and records (including a tape recording of the hearing) shall be kept. Tapes will be erased after the appeal period has elapsed. Written records will be destroyed after five years.

      URC penalties.The URC imposes penalties for dishonesty according to the nature of the violation. URC penalties may include a letter of warning, grade penalties, failure in the class, suspension, or dismissal. If the URC finds that there has been no violation, or if the URC does not find a preponderance of evidence that a violation has taken place, the student will be exonerated.

      Second Offense. When a hearing is convened to consider disciplinary penalties related to a second offense, the chair reviews the offenses, as put forth in the settlement forms or in previous hearing reports, and asks the student if there are any comments he or she would like to make in regard to these offenses. Since these cases have already been decided, either through settlement or previous hearing, there is no need to reconsider them. In most cases, it is unnecessary to call witnesses, unless the committee or the student feels the reports are unclear in some respect that a witness can clarify. The sole consideration of the committee at a second offense hearing is whether further disciplinary sanctions (usually suspension or dismissal) should be applied.

    8. Appeals

      Either the instructor or the student may appeal the decision of the URC to the vice president for academic affairs. Appeals must be made in writing to the vice president for academic affairs within three business days of receiving the written notification of the decision. Appeals will be considered only if they are based on one or more of the following criteria:

      1. new evidence not reasonably available at the time of the original hearing and which is provided as part of the written appeal; or

      2. procedural error that can be shown to have affected the outcome of the hearing; or

      3. appropriateness of sanction only in cases of suspension or dismissal.

      The Vice President for Academic Affairs will decide whether or not there is a basis for appeal, and, if so, upon consideration of the appeal, may revise the URC decision or the penalty. The decision of the Vice President for Academic Affairs is final and will be communicated to both parties involved in the hearing, to the convenor of the URC and to the chair of the URC.

      (Approved by the DePauw University Faculty, November 4, 2002; updated April 14, 2014. University Review Committee (URC) Hearing Procedures are available in the Office of Academic Life. Hearing Procedures are updated and revised periodically by the Academic Affairs administration in consultation with the Student Life and Academic Atmosphere Committee.)

  3. Class Attendance and Absences

    Regular attendance at class, laboratory and other appointments for which credit is given is expected of all students according to the guidelines established by individual faculty members. There are no "allowed cuts" or "free" absences from class sessions. Faculty members may drop students from their classes or other appropriate action may be taken if absences are too frequent.

    Absences for medical reasons: When an absence due to medical reasons will result in a student being unable to fulfill academic responsibilities--for example, papers and examinations--the student should notify the faculty member in advance. Each faculty member should let the students know how to give this notification. The faculty member and student should work out arrangements for possible extension or makeup work. In cases where students are hospitalized, the University physician will, with the student's permission, notify the Office of Student Life. It is the student's responsibility to contact the faculty member; in addition, the faculty member will be notified by Student Life personnel.

    If a student misses two or more weeks of class for medical or other reasons beyond the student's control, the student's faculty members, in consultation with a member of the Academic Affairs staff, will decide whether the student may reasonably make up the missed work. As a general rule, students who miss two or more weeks of class may no longer be eligible to continue in the class. The final decision about whether a student may continue with a class rests with the faculty member subject to constraints set by other academic policies.

    Absences for personal or psychological reasons: Occasionally Student Life staff will encounter students who must miss class for personal or emotional reasons. These cases include such events as death or illness of a family member or emergency psychological crisis. When possible, Student Life staff will ask the student to notify faculty members and indicate that faculty members may call Student Life staff for confirmation if such validation is deemed necessary. In some of these cases, the Student Life staff member has no real way to validate the student's statement. Maintaining such information over a period of time, however, could help determine possible patterns of dishonesty for an individual student. In some extreme emergencies, Student Life staff may notify faculty members directly.

    Early departure or late return from breaks: Faculty members are expected to hold class on the days immediately before and after breaks. Students will not be excused from class attendance or from taking examinations at their announced time to accommodate travel schedules. It is the responsibility of students and their families to make travel arrangements accordingly.

    Conflicts with other courses: Whenever possible out of class requirements should be specified in the syllabus and/or the schedule of classes and the faculty member should provide options, or an alternative time, for students who have another class obligation scheduled at the same time. If there is a conflict between two course-related activities, the faculty members should resolve it. The Dean of Academic Life will be responsible for the resolution if an agreement is not reached.

    (Adopted by the faculty November 1988, revised May 2005, revised May 2014.)

  4. Classroom Atmosphere

    Exchange of Ideas during Class

    At DePauw University, academic discourse within the framework of our courses is of fundamental importance and faculty members should work to provide and maintain an environment that is conducive to learning for all students. We strive to encourage the free exchange of ideas always in an environment of respect and civil discourse. Inappropriate comments or behavior can sometimes seriously undermine that environment.  For example, while students and faculty are encouraged to debate ideas and offer differing viewpoints, even when these exchanges are uncomfortable, they should recognize that personal attacks are unacceptable.

    Use of Technology during Class

    Faculty members generally have discretion to set guidelines for, and restrictions on, the use of technology during class, with the goals of supporting learning while also minimizing distractions for all students.  Expectations will naturally vary from course to course, instructor to instructor, and even from class period to class period based on differences in teaching and learning objectives.  In many cases, faculty members will choose to allow students to use technology, but will limit this use to activities that support the learning process.  In other cases, for example to minimize distraction, instructors may implement additional restrictions on the use of technology. In each case, faculty members may find it helpful to explain their expectations as part of the course outline or in other ways.  Students will benefit from a clear statement of faculty expectations in this area, just as they benefit from a clear statement of faculty expectations with respect to attendance, academic integrity, and other policies.    

    Notes:   There are two exceptions to the broad discretion given to faculty members above.

    (a) The Americans with Disabilities Act gives students the right to use assistive technology or a suitable alternative if this has been determined to be an appropriate accommodation for their disability. ADA procedures require that such accommodations be reached by the campus ADA coordinator in consultation with the student and that they be communicated in writing to the instructor with the student's consent. Instructors may work with students and the ADA coordinator to determine the most effective way to implement the accommodation. Whenever possible, students should be allowed to use the assistive technology without disclosing their disability. For advice and guidance please consult with DePauw's ADA Coordinator.

    (b) DePauw University uses an electronic notification system to distribute campus emergency alerts via text messages.  When class policies require phones to be stored out of sight and/or reach during class, phones should still be set to vibrate.  Emergency messages will cause multiple phones to vibrate at nearly the same time. 

    Resolving Conflicts

    Frank yet respectful informal discussions between faculty members and students are the preferred response to problems that are covered by this policy.  However, each case is different and given these complexities faculty members or students who have concerns may wish to seek advice, as outlined below, to prepare for these discussions or to take other steps.

    I. Options for Students

    1. Students may consult with resources including faculty advisors, department chairs, or staff members in a variety of offices including Student Life, Academic Life, Multicultural Student Services, International Student Services and the Women's Center to seek advice informally.  Based on their judgment, these staff members may consult with, or encourage students to consult with, the Dean of the Faculty or the Dean of Academic Life.  Students may also consult informally with either of these Deans as a first step.
    2. Students are encouraged to provide their input using the student opinion form that is administered at the end of the semester in almost all DePauw courses.  When students feel comfortable doing so, they are also encouraged to talk with faculty members in person, either during the semester or after the course ends.
    3. DePauw has a formal grade grievance policy that may be applicable depending on the nature of the student’s concern.  See
    4. Students may file a formal complaint by submitting a signed letter to the Dean of the Faculty during the semester, or at any time after the course concludes. 

    When concerns are raised, Academic Affairs Administration will be responsible for follow-up, if warranted, which could include informal mentoring; formal improvement plans; faculty development opportunities; documentation placed in personnel files with a copy to the faculty member; and/or consideration during the annual re-appointment, renewal and compensation processes, which could have employment ramifications.   Any necessary follow-up will be undertaken in accordance with DePauw’ personnel procedures (see: ). Actions taken through these procedures are typically confidential.

    II. Steps for Faculty Members

    Faculty members may wish to consult with the student’s academic advisor, the Department Chair, and/or a designated member of Academic Affairs (currently the Dean of Academic Life), even at the stage of informal interventions.  If informal measures are unsuccessful, faculty members should follow these procedures:

    1. The faculty member should warn the student in writing that the disruptive behavior is unacceptable and that if it continues the student may not be allowed to remain in the course. Depending on circumstances, a warning may need to be made during class, as well; for example, the faculty member may ask the student to leave the classroom for the day. The faculty member should also encourage the student to talk to an academic advisor or dean in Academic Affairs.
    2. The faculty member should keep notes on the dates, times, and details of the incidents of disruption, the impact of disruption on those present, and warnings conveyed to the student, as these are useful in later stages of the proceedings.
    3. If the behavior continues after a written warning has been given, the faculty member should notify the Dean of Academic Life in writing, giving a summary of what happened and the action that has been taken. Upon receipt of this summary, the dean sets up a three-way meeting involving the faculty member, student, and dean. In order to minimize the procedure’s interference with courses, this meeting is scheduled as soon as possible, preferably before the next class meeting.
    4. At the meeting, the faculty member and student are invited to discuss the situation. The goal of the meeting is to give both parties a chance to discuss, in a safe space, what has happened. Such a discussion may enable the faculty member and student to see the problem from a different point of view or to hear the perspective of the other person in a new way. The dean’s role is to moderate the discussion, insuring that the conversation remains civil and on target. Either party may, but neither must, bring an advisor (DePauw student, faculty member, or staff member) to the meeting. Advisors may consult privately with the person whom they are accompanying, but they do not enter the discussion.
    5. As soon as possible after the meeting the faculty member makes a recommendation to the Dean of Academic Life.
      • If the faculty member recommends that the student be allowed to remain in the course then the dean and faculty member should consult regarding how best to convey this decision and any stipulations or conditions to the student.
      • If the faculty member recommends that the student be dropped from the course, he or she reports this conclusion in writing to the dean of Academic Life; the dean then conveys the faculty member’s conclusions along with a written summary of the three-way meeting to the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
      • A recommendation to dismiss the student from the course must be approved by the Vice President for Academic Affairs. If the student is not allowed to return to the course, the Vice President for Academic Affairs decides what appears on student's transcript for the course: W, F, or no entry.
    6. A pattern of disruptive behavior in several courses may be addressed by representatives of the offices of Academic Affairs and Student Life.

    Please note:  This policy is not meant to cover behavior that occurs outside the classroom and/or involves harassment. Other policies are in place to handle those situations; the University’s harassment policies are published in the Student and Academic Handbooks. Incidents of harassment should be reported immediately to the Vice President of Academic Affairs, the Dean of Students, or Campus Public Safety officers.


    Revised and adopted by the Faculty, September 8, 2014

  5. Conflict Between Class and Extracurricular Activities

    DePauw University believes that both curricular and extracurricular activities make important contributions to the education of students. The University reminds students, however, that classroom performance takes priority over all extracurricular activities. When conflicts between regularly scheduled classes and academically approved extracurricular activities (approved by the Vice President for Academic Affairs) arise, all parties involved in such conflicts have certain responsibilities toward reducing, if not resolving, them.

    Responsibilities of the Student

    • At the beginning of the term inform each instructor about any conflict with an approved extracurricular activity scheduled during the term.
    • Take the initiative to complete in advance any work which will be missed without expecting that the instructor will necessarily provide makeup examinations.
    • Keep informed how missing class for the activity jeopardizes your standing in the class.
    • Give priority to class attendance whenever an insoluble conflict occurs between a required class session (especially an examination) and an extracurricular event.
    • Choose between the class or the activity if it becomes apparent that both cannot be served in a satisfactory manner.

    Responsibilities of the Instructor

    • Try to accommodate a student who must miss an occasional class because of an extracurricular activity approved by the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Provide all assistance possible to the student without necessarily giving make-up examinations.
    • When such scheduling does not interfere with the integrity of the course content, consider giving examinations or quizzes on days that do not conflict with the student's previously stated and approved extracurricular activities.
    • Do not require that students attend events held outside the scheduled classroom hours, if such events conflict with a previously scheduled, announced and approved extracurricular activity.

    Responsibility of the Sponsor of the Activity

    • Attempt as much as possible to avoid scheduling events that will conflict with normal class sessions. No approved extracurricular activity may require a student to miss more than a week in any course during a primary term. No extracurricular event may be scheduled during the final examination period.
    • At the beginning of the term provide each instructor affected with the names of students involved in an activity and the days and hours in which participation in the event conflicts with scheduled class sessions.
    • Remind students that they should be prepared to miss a given event where there is an insoluble conflict with a scheduled examination or to drop the activity if academic performance is being undermined by absence.

    (adopted by the Faculty December 1981)

  6. Examinations in Courses

    Instructors schedule all but the final examination in their courses. No hour examinations may be given the last five class days of the Fall or Spring term except for laboratory portions of final exams. (Note: If Thursday is the last day of classes, this period includes the previous Friday.) Only assignments that substitute for a final exam should be given a due date during finals week and no assignments may be given a due date that is after the end of finals week. In addition, during the Fall and Spring terms, instructions for paper and project assignments due in the last five days of class should be provided at least 14 calendar days prior to the due date.

    Final examinations during primary terms. An examination period is provided at the end of each primary term for instructors to give such examinations as they deem proper to cover the course work. Normally, a final examination should not exceed three hours. Final examinations are not to be given at any time other than that announced in the official schedule, although the laboratory portion of final examinations in science courses may be given in a regularly scheduled lab period in the last week of classes. The Vice President for Academic Affairs must approve any requests to move an exam time for a whole class. Instructors may allow individual students with unusual circumstances (such as a death or serious illness in the family, postseason athletic events, or having three exams in one day) to take an examination at another time; problems involving transportation, family occasions and/or jobs, for example, are not sufficient grounds for changing an examination. No student may be excused from taking the final examination in any course in which an examination is a requirement for credit in the course.

    Multiple or Conflicting Exam Policy. No student may be required to take more than two in-class final exams on the same day or choose between exams offered at the same time. Any student with three final exams in one day is responsible for trying to reach a solution by talking with the professors involved at least two weeks before the beginning of the final exam period. If none of the professors involved voluntarily agrees to give the student his/her exam on another day, the professor whose exam is scheduled second in the day will offer an alternative date for the exam. The student should obtain a multiple exam form from the Registrar's Office(or on the Web) to provide written verification to the professors involved that three final exams are actually scheduled and being given on the same day. When a student is in two courses whose designated final examination periods conflict, the student is responsible for trying to reach a solution by talking with the professors involved at least two weeks before the beginning of the final exam period. If neither of the professors involved voluntarily agrees to give the student his/her exam on another day or time, the professor whose course carries the lesser credit will offer an alternative time for the exam. If both courses carry the same credit, then the professor of the course that meets latest in the week will offer an alternative time for the exam.

    (approved by the DePauw University faculty, May 1, 2000; last modified, May 5, 2013)

  7. Religious Holy Days

    Faculty members are expected to accommodate students who are adherents of a religious tradition and wish to fulfill obligations of that religious tradition on holy days. Students are expected to notify their instructors of their intent to fulfill the obligations of their religious tradition well in advance of these days. For the sake of this policy, “holy days” are defined as periods of time in which either:

    1. activities required by normal class participation are prohibited by a religious tradition, or

    2. a special worship obligation is required by a religious tradition.

  8. Satisfactory Academic Progress

    Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is used to determine financial aid eligibility and academic standing. The main goal of the SAP system is to make sure that all degree seeking students are making timely progress toward earning a degree.  

    Timely Progress

    To graduate from DePauw with a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Music, or Bachelor of Musical Arts degree requires 31 course credits and a minimum 2.0 GPA, cumulative and in the major. The Bachelor of Music Education Degree requires 33 course credits with a 2.0 cumulative GPA.

    Students pursuing the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Musical Arts, and Bachelor of Music Education degrees are expected to complete their degrees in eight semesters; students in the dual degree Bachelor of Music/Bachelor of Arts program have ten semesters to complete the degrees.*

    Satisfactory Academic Progress Status

    There are four  SAP statuses:

    • Satisfactory
    • Warning
    • Suspension
    • Probation

    Two primary measures  are used to determine SAP status: academic performance as measured by grade point average and progress toward degree as measured by earned college credits applicable to the degree. GPA is referred to as a qualitative measure; credits earned as a quantitative measure. The quantitative measures include both credits earned and percentage of credits attempted that are earned. The qualitative measures include both cumulative and major GPAs.

    DePauw uses a graduated scale of minimum standards students must achieve to be in satisfactory standing.










    Minimum Cumulative GPA









    Major GPA









    Minimum Credits Earned









    Percent of Attempted Earned









    Minimum GPA and Credit Earned

    Full-time students must earn at least 2.0 course credits and at least a 1.0 GPA each primary term (Fall and Spring). Students who fall below these  primary term minimums are suspended.

    Review Process

    At the end of each  primary term, student performance is reviewed by members of the Financial Aid and Registrar’s offices. Students who are meeting the above minimum standards are judged to be making satisfactory academic progress toward a degree.

    Students who have been doing satisfactorily and then fall below any of the above standards are given a warning to improve performance. If they fail to meet the benchmark for the next semester or perform below the minimums for the primary terms, they are suspended. They may appeal the suspension (see Appeals Process below) or apply for readmission after spending some time away from DePauw.

    Students who successfully appeal suspension are placed on probation. In most cases, they will have one probationary semester to bring their performance into line with the satisfactory academic progress standards. If they fail to do so they are again suspended. However, some students who come close to reaching the target may be continued on probation.

    SAP progress is evaluated at the end of the Fall and Spring primary terms in order to give students who are suspended a chance to submit an appeal before the beginning of the next semester. Status determinations are provisional until the extended term is completed.

    Appeals of Suspensions

    Students who are suspended for failing to meet SAP guidelines may appeal their suspension in writing to the Academic Standing Committee, which includes representatives from the faculty, Academic Affairs, Student Life and Financial Aid. Usually, appeals are heard approximately two weeks after grades for the primary terms have been posted (approximately January 15 and June 10). In the appeal the student presents his/her case for continuing. If the student is behind in credit earned, the appeal should include a plan for catching up, which may include taking courses elsewhere over the summer. If the student has fallen below the minimum GPA standards, the appeal should include a plan for improving performance. Note that course work done elsewhere or online does count toward the quantitative, but not the qualitative measures, because course work done elsewhere does not count into DePauw GPAs.

    Students who successfully appeal a suspension may continue on probation in the following semester. Those whose appeals are denied may apply for readmission after being away for a minimum of one semester.

    * DePauw’s academic calendar consists of two semesters each of which has a primary term and an extended term. Semester I includes Fall and Winter terms; Semester II Spring and May terms.

    (Approved by DePauw Faculty, Sept. 8, 2014)

  9. Statement on the Academic Freedom of Students

    (Adopted by the DePauw Faculty, April 18, 1966)


    Free inquiry and free expression are essential attributes of the academic community. As members of that community, students should be encouraged to develop their capacity for critical judgment and to engage in a sustained and independent search for truth. The freedom to learn depends upon the maintenance of appropriate opportunities and conditions in the classroom, on the campus and in the larger community.

    The responsibility to respect and to secure general conditions conducive to the freedom to learn is shared by all components of the academic community. Students should endeavor to exercise their freedom with maturity and responsibility. Student responsibilities will not be defined specifically in this statement for it is recognized that personal responsibility emerges from the exercise of the specific rights herein affirmed.

    I. In the Classroom

    The professor in the classroom and in conference has the obligation to maintain an atmosphere of free discussion, inquiry, and expression, and should take no action to penalize students because of their opinions or because of their conduct in matters unrelated to academic standards. He also has the obligation to evaluate their performance justly.

    A. Protection of the Freedom of Expression. Students should be free to take reasoned exception to the data or views offered in particular courses of study. They may be required to know the particulars set out by the instructor, but they should be free to reserve personal judgment as to the truth or falsity of what is presented. Knowledge and academic performance should be the basis on which students are measured.

    B. Protection Against Unjust Grading or Evaluation. Students must maintain standards of academic performance set by the faculty if they are to receive the certificate of competence implied by the course credits and degrees. The student should have protection against unjust grading and evaluation due to error and prejudice. The basis of the final evaluation in any course should be available to the student on request. It is recommended that examinations be returned to students or kept for reference by the professor for at least one semester. The faculty should have an orderly procedure whereby student allegations of prejudice or error in the awarding of grades may be reviewed.

    C. Protection Against Improper Disclosure. Information about student views, beliefs, and political associations which professors acquire in the course of their work as instructors, advisers, and counselors should be considered confidential. Protection against improper disclosure is a serious professional obligation. Judgments of ability and character may be provided under appropriate circumstances.

    II. Student Records

    DePauw University should maintain a carefully considered policy as to the information which should be part of a student’s permanent educational record and as to the conditions of its disclosure. To minimize the risk of improper disclosure, academic and disciplinary records should be separate and the conditions of access to each should be set forth in an explicit policy statement. Transcripts of academic records should contain only information about academic status. Data from disciplinary and counseling files should not be available to unauthorized persons on campus or to any person off campus except for the most compelling reasons. No records should be kept which reflect the political activities or beliefs of students. Provision should also be made for periodic routine destruction of noncurrent disciplinary records. Faculty, administrative staff, and student personnel officers should respect confidential information about students which they acquire in the course of their work.

    III. Student Affairs

    In student affairs, certain standards must be maintained if the academic freedom of students is to be preserved.

    A. Freedom from Arbitrary Discrimination. Colleges and Universities should be open to all students who are academically qualified. University facilities and services should be open to all students. Furthermore, DePauw University should use its influence to secure equal access for all students to public facilities in the local community.

    B. Freedom of Association. The University should protect the freedom of students to organize to promote their common interests. Institutional intervention in the activities of student organizations should be exceptional. Activities of student organizations which clearly hamper the implementation of established academic programs and student activities which violate stated university regulations are instances in which intervention might occur. Generally, however, institutional policies should be supportive, not restrictive, of student freedom.

    1. Affiliation with an extra-mural organization should not of itself affect recognition of a student organization.

    2. A student organization seeking University recognition must have a campus adviser of its own choosing. Institutional recognition should not be withheld or withdrawn solely because of the inability of a student organization to secure an adviser. Members of the faculty serve the college community when they accept the responsibility to advise and consult with student organizations; they should not have the authority to control the policy of such organizations.

    3. Student organizations may be required to submit a current list of officers, but they should not be required to submit a membership list as a condition of institutional recognition.

    4. Campus organizations should be open to all students without respect to race, religion, creed, or national origin.

    5. Students and student organizations should be free to examine and to discuss all questions of interest to them, and to express opinions publicly or privately. They should also be free to support causes by any orderly means which do not disrupt the regular and essential operation of the institution.

    6. Students should be allowed to invite and to hear any person of their own choosing. While the orderly scheduling of facilities may require the observance of routine procedures before a guest speaker is invited to appear on campus, institutional control of campus facilities should never be used as a device of censorship. It should be made clear to the academic and larger community that sponsorship of guest speakers does not necessarily imply approval or endorsement of the views expressed, either by the sponsoring group or DePauw University.

    C. Student Participation in Institutional Government. As constituents of the academic community, students should be free, individually and collectively, to express their views on issues of institutional policy and on matters of general interest to the student body. The student body should have clearly defined means to participate in the formulation and application of regulations affecting student affairs. Student government should be protected from arbitrary intervention, such as removal or suspension of officers, by the withholding of funds, or by unilateral changes in the charter which defines its organization and competence.

    D. Freedom of Student Publication. An academic community requires freedom to exchange information and ideas.

    1. DePauw University should promote and sustain institutional policies which will provide students the freedom to establish their own publications and to conduct them free of censorship or of faculty or administrative determination of content or editorial policy, yet within the limits of the laws concerning libel and slander.

    2. Editors and managers should subscribe to canons of responsible journalism. At the same time, they should be protected from arbitrary suspension and removal because of student, faculty, administrative, or public disapproval of editorial policy or content. Only for proper and stated causes should editors and managers be subject to removal and then by orderly and prescribed procedures

    3. Students should be free to establish, publish, and distribute publications unsubsidized by the University without institutional censorship.

    IV. Off- Campus Freedom of Students

    The faculty and administration have an obligation to insure that institutional authority and disciplinary powers are not employed to circumvent or limit the rights of students as members of the larger community.

    A. Exercise of Rights of Citizenship. Students should enjoy the same freedom of religion, speech, press and assembly, and the right to petition the authorities, that citizens generally possess. Exercise of these rights on or off the campus should not subject them to institutional penalties.

    B. Institutional Authority and Civil Penalties. Activities of students may upon occasion result in violation of law. In such cases, institutional officials should apprise students of their legal rights and may offer other assistance. Students who violate the law may incur penalties prescribed by civil authorities, but institutional authority should never be used merely to duplicate the function of general laws. Only where the institution’s interests as an academic community are distinct from those of the general community should the special authority of the institution be asserted. The student who incidentally violates institutional regulations in the course of off- campus activity, such as those relating to class attendance, should be subject to no greater penalty that would normally be imposed. Institutional action should be independent of community pressure. The University has no obligation to protect students from the penalties of civil law.

    V. Procedural Standards in Disciplinary Proceedings

    The faculty has an obligation to see that students are not disciplined for alleged misconduct without adequate procedural safeguards. The following procedures are recommended to assure reasonable protection of the student, a fair determination of the facts, and the application of appropriate sanction.

    A. Notice of Standards of Conduct Expected of Students. Disciplinary proceedings should be instituted only for violation of standards of conduct defined in advance and published through such means as a student handbook or a generally available body of university regulations. Offenses should be as clearly defined as possible, and such vague phrases as “undesirable conduct” or “conduct injurious to the best interest of the institution” should be avoided.

    B. Investigation of Student Conduct.

    1. Except under emergency circumstances, premises occupied by students and the personal possessions of students should not be searched unless appropriate authorization has been obtained. For premises such as dormitories controlled by the institution, an appropriate and responsible authority should be designated to whom application should be made before a search is conducted. The application should specify the reasons for the search and the objects or information sought. The student should be present, if possible, during the search. For premises not controlled by the institution, the ordinary requirements for lawful search should be followed.

    2. Students detected or arrested in the course of serious violations of institutional regulations, or infractions of ordinary law, should be informed of their rights. No form of harassment should be used by institutional representatives to coerce admissions of guilt or information about conduct of other suspected persons.

    3. Status of Student Pending Final Action. Pending action on the charges, the status of a student should not be altered, or his right to be present on the campus and to attend classes suspended, except for reasons relating to the safety of students, faculty, or university property.

    D. Disciplinary Procedures. The formality of the procedures to which a student is entitled in disciplinary cases would be proportionate to the gravity of the offense and the sanctions which may be imposed. Both major and minor penalties would be assessed by the University under prescribed consistent procedures. In the case of a grave offense, where severe sanctions may be imposed, the student should, on his request, be given a formal statement in writing containing the particular reasons for the disciplinary action. The student should be given sufficient time to prepare a defense, have the right to an adviser of his choice, and to hear and have the opportunity to rebut adverse evidence, inferences or witnesses in a hearing presided over by an impartial party.

  10. Student-Initiated Grievance on Grading and Other Forms of Evaluation by Faculty

    The normal presumption at DePauw is that the faculty member alone is qualified to evaluate and assign grades to the academic work of students in his or her courses. For this reason, questions regarding a faculty member's grades are not normally subject to review. The following procedure is for exceptional cases only.

    At all levels of the procedure outlined below, those who hear grade grievances are to be concerned only with whether the faculty member acted in a fair, reasonable manner and whether the faculty member used the same methods of evaluation for all students in the class.

    In addressing a grievance:

    1. The student must first attempt to meet with the faculty member involved, thus permitting an opportunity for an informal resolution of the case.
    2. If the situation is not settled, then either the student or the faculty member may ask the chair of the department (or director of program) in which the course is taught to try to resolve the issue. The student, faculty member, and department chair may consult with an academic dean to ask questions about procedure and to discuss the issues involved.
    3. At the request of the student or faculty member, or on the chair's initiative, the chair may appoint and preside over a special departmental committee, which will recommend a resolution to the grievance.
    4. Either the student or the faculty member may decide to appeal the departmental recommendation to the University Review Committee (URC). Such appeals must be made within two weeks after the departmental recommendation has been given. Arrangements for a hearing before the URC are made through an academic dean.

      The URC consists of an appointed member of the Student Life and Academic Atmosphere Committee (SLAAC), who will chair the hearing, two teaching faculty members, and two students. Faculty and student members are chosen by an academic dean from a pool of volunteers identified by SLAAC. The dean observes and records the hearing, but does not participate in committee deliberations.

      The membership of this committee is made known to parties involved prior to a hearing. Student, faculty and administrative alternates are also designated for the committee. Either party can ask the dean to replace a committee member because of bias or conflict of interest. The dean shall decide if there are sufficient grounds to honor this request. If a committee member is unable to attend the hearing, or if a member is excluded because of potential bias or conflict of interest, an alternate will be asked to serve.
    5. The decision reached by the URC is final. Appeals of the committee's decision, on procedural grounds only, may be made to the vice president of academic affairs.
    6. Further information, including details about the hearing procedures, is available in the Office of Academic Life. Hearing procedures are established and periodically reviewed by SLAAC in consultation with the vice president for academic affairs.

    Time Line:

    1. Neither a departmental review committee nor the University Review Committee may be convened to hear a grievance until after the student's full term of work has been completed and a final course grade has been given.
    2. A student who has a grievance should talk to the faculty member as soon as possible after the disputed grade has been given, and no later than the last week of the first full primary term following the disputed evaluation.
    3. The student must present an unresolved grievance to the department chair or dean within the first full primary term following the disputed evaluation.
    4. Appeals of the departmental decision to the URC by either the student or faculty member must be made within two weeks of receiving a written decision from the department chair.
    5. After a hearing, the decision of the URC will be delivered in writing to the student's mailbox (or home address if the semester is over) and to the faculty member within two working days after the committee has met.
    6. A student or faculty member who wishes to appeal the URC decision on procedural grounds must do so in writing to the vice president for academic affairs within three business days of receiving the decision from the committee.

    (Adopted by the Faculty November 4, 2002; revised April 3, 2006)

  11. Timely Feedback

    Timely and adequate feedback is essential to student learning. Faculty members are expected to respond to student work in a time frame and manner that allow students to learn from and apply this feedback to subsequent work.

    Approved by the Faculty, April 4, 2011