Code of Conduct for the Maxwell Graduate Community

Maxwell graduate students and faculty are part of an academic community grounded in the values of excellence, civility, personal and professional courtesy, honesty and fairness. In all matters, faculty and graduate students will communicate and otherwise deal with one another and with staff members in a manner that exhibits due respect for their dignity, sensibilities, responsibilities and authority. Behavior and communications of any type that can reasonably be interpreted to constitute an abuse of authority, egregious nuisance or intimidation, or that systematically interfere with the fair opportunity for others to express their views, or that persistently disrupt the educational process, are not acceptable and will be subject to sanction. Offensive behavior or communication that in a single instance may not rise to the level of being actionable can do so if it is persistent.

None of these provisions is to be understood as abridging academic freedom where the good-faith purpose is to advance the learning process. Vigorous, sometimes even passionate, disagreement about ideas and values, including political argumentation, is a natural and important part of graduate educational discourse, as is the experience of sometimes being provoked, discomfited and even offended by the views and expressions of others. A commitment to offering a reasoned response under such circumstances is among the most important civic and academic virtues, and is expected of members of the Maxwell community. But when offense rises to the level of the behaviors proscribed above, relief should be sought through proper disciplinary channels.

Finally, academic dishonesty will not be tolerated. Copying or otherwise appropriating the work and ideas of others from any source whatever without proper attribution, or interfering with the work of others, constitutes a severe breach of trust, and will be sanctioned as prescribed by the policies of the Maxwell School and its programs and departments, and by the relevant policies of the University.

Sanctions may include, but are not limited to, reprimands and warnings, and referral to other sanctioning bodies of the University. For faculty, sanctions are as provided in the University Faculty Manual, and range from peer-censure to dismissal from the University in extreme cases. For graduate students, sanctions may include loss of financial assistance and, in extreme cases, expulsion from the programs of the Maxwell School.

Authority to hear and adjudicate these matters, subject to such alternative channels of complaint, mandates, requirements, and appeals as are provided under University policy, will reside in the Office of the Maxwell Dean. Procedures for dealing with these matters will follow those already approved and elsewhere codified by appropriate University authority.