Veterinary Honor Code

The honor and dignity of the veterinary profession lies in our obedience to a just and reasonable code of ethics set forth as a guide to its members. The purpose of this code is far-reaching because exemplary professional conduct not only upholds honor and dignity, but also enlarges the profession's sphere of usefulness, exalts the profession's standards, and promotes the science we cultivate. Briefly stated, our code is the foundation of our individual and collective efforts. We are expected by society to regulate ourselves as veterinary physicians, to judge the actions of our peers, and to protect the health of animals and people. We are therefore obligated to have and maintain a high degree of honesty, integrity, and discretion. 

Therefore, we, the students of The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, do hereby submit ourselves to guidance by the precepts of ethical and professional behavior as described in this Honor Code, in the hope that the habits and insights gained will enhance our personal and professional lives. The Honor Code of the College of Veterinary Medicine is a supplement to The Ohio State University Code of Student Conduct. Our Honor Code should be a general guideline. Even though it does not list all the possible violations, it and the University Code should give the student an appreciation of expected conduct, in the classroom and the clinic. 

ARTICLE I: Name and Purpose 

Section I: Name 

The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine Honor Code. 

Section II: Purpose 

To promote ethical standards of personal conduct among students in the College of Veterinary Medicine. 

To instill in students qualities which will uphold the honor and integrity of the veterinary profession. 

To place the responsibility for ethical conduct upon the student and the faculty members. 

To provide a system to deal with allegations of academic and professional misconduct. 

ARTICLE II: Application 

Section I 

This code shall apply to all students enrolled in The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. 

Section II 

Each faculty member should inform his/her students in writing, at the beginning of the academic term, of those regulations that apply to academic integrity in his/her course. He/she should make clear to what extent collaborative work, or the exchange of aid or information, is acceptable to him/her (e.g., policy concerning the use of old exams).

ARTICLE III: Rules of Conduct 

Section I 

Veterinarians and veterinary students should strive to enhance their image with respect to their colleagues, clients, other health professionals, and the general public. Veterinarians and veterinary students should be honest, fair, courteous, considerate, and compassionate. Veterinarians and veterinary students should present a professional appearance and follow acceptable professional procedures using current professional and scientific knowledge. This code is applicable to all conduct that may reflect upon the College of Veterinary Medicine, not limited to the examples listed. This is not limited to the time and activities associated with the veterinary curriculum but in all aspects of their daily life. 

Section II 

Students shall not give, receive, or take aid from any source during exams unless the instructor approves collaborative work (e.g., open book examinations). Previous exams will not be made available for public distribution unless clearly indicated by the course instructor. Use of previous exams in any manner other than that specified by the instructor is a violation of the Honor Code. 

There shall be no communication between students concerning any question relating to an examination during that examination unless the instructor approves collaborative work (e.g., collective problem solving of case studies). 

A student shall in no way misrepresent his/her work, fraudulently or unfairly advance his/her academic status, or knowingly be a party to another student's failure to maintain academic integrity. A student assumes responsibility for the content of the academic work he/she submits, including papers, examinations, or laboratory reports, etc. 

Veterinary students are also subject to discipline for misconduct as stated in the Code of Student Conduct and in other published standards of conduct that apply to all Ohio State University students. The code may be viewed online at http://trustees.osu.edu/rules/code-of-student-contact.html 

Section III 

Students shall not intentionally or carelessly mark, tear, misuse, or otherwise damage any property owned by another individual, organization, the College, or the University. 

Students shall not appropriate for their own use any property without permission. 

Section IV 

A student shall behave in an ethical and professional manner (e.g., a student shall not knowingly falsify or alter a medical record, misrepresent themselves to clients, or negligently endanger the health and well being of any patients). Professional behavior also extends to include civil behavior of others; faculty, staff, clients, and classmates. This is further outlined in the veterinary code of conduct. 

A student shall not misrepresent their medical knowledge, expertise, or status to the public (e.g., a student shall not engage in the practice of veterinary medicine prior to graduation, nor shall they

imply that they have a degree prior to graduation). 

In their relations with others, veterinary students should speak and act on the basis of honesty and fairness. No veterinary student shall belittle or injure the reputation or standing of another member of the profession (including other students), faculty, or staff or condemn the character of that person's professional acts in such a manner as to be false or misleading. 

Examples of such violations include: deliberately and knowingly making false accusations of Honor Code violations; making allegations of personal impropriety which are known to be false (e.g., accusing a student or faculty member of improper grading or exerting undue influence in securing or assigning a grade). 

The purpose of this section is not to inhibit normal conversation -- it is to prevent deliberate and/or malicious attempts to malign a colleague. Examples of behaviors which would not constitute an Honor Code violation would include: statements that an individual disliked a fellow colleague; statements that a student didn't understand how a colleague did so well or poorly in a course; etc. Infliction or threat of infliction of bodily or emotional harm, whether done intentionally or with reckless disregard, including threat or action in retaliation for making allegations of misconduct, are prohibited (Section 3335-25-01 Code of Student Conduct). 

Disorderly conduct that interferes with University authorized activities is prohibited. Such University activities include teaching, research, administration, or other activities conducted, sponsored, or permitted by the University (Section 3335-25-02 Code of Student Conduct). Other forms of disorderly conduct include failure to comply with authorities. 

Students shall not participate in case management if under the influence of alcohol or other mind altering drugs which could impair clear judgment. 

ARTICLE IV: Organization 

The Judiciary Committee of the Student Council (hereafter referred to as the Committee) shall serve as the neutral body governing violations of the Honor Code. (See By-Laws of the Student Council for election of student representatives.) 

ARTICLE V: Procedures for Handling Violations 

It shall be the duty of any student, staff, and/or faculty member in the College of Veterinary Medicine who suspects a violation of the Honor Code to report that potential violation, in writing, to the Associate Dean for Veterinary Student Affairs. An Honor Code Violation Report form is available in the office of Student Affairs for this purpose. 

For allegations of academic misconduct (e.g., suspected cheating on examinations or falsifying medical records), reports must be filed as soon as is reasonably possible but no later than 15 class days of the alleged incident being observed. 

For allegations of personal misconduct (e.g., reports of threatening behaviors, harassment, intimidation), the reports must be filed as soon as reasonably possible but no later than 2 months of the alleged incident occurrence.

If the report form is signed and is in the ownership of the Associate Dean for Veterinary Student Affairs, then within two class days the accused shall be notified that a charge has been filed against them using the Misconduct Allegation form. The case then moves forward as outlined in items 7 and 8 below. 

If the report form is unsigned, the Associate Dean for Veterinary Student Affairs will counsel the accused student and keep the report in a confidential file. However, no action will be taken against a student on the basis of an anonymous report. 

The person who suspects an Honor Code violation has the right to clarify his/her suspicion at the time of the occurrence. Upon clarification, the person has an obligation to report the alleged violation if suspicion still exists. 

Suspected violation of this Code may be reported by any faculty member, staff member, or enrolled student at the University. 

All Student Judicial Council (SJC) hearings will be recorded. Upon request, a copy of the record will be made available to the person accused of the violation. 

At the beginning of each SJC meeting, the chair will open the meeting with a review of the protocol for conducting meetings. The protocol will be adopted from that used by the Committee on Academic Misconduct (COAM). 

It shall be the duty of the Committee to interview the accuser and the accused to consider all evidence and testimony that will ensure a just decision. The accused student will be given a typed copy of the complaint brought against him/her immediately prior to the hearing. This copy will not contain the name(s) of the accuser(s). At the discretion of the Committee or at the request of the accuser or the accused, a joint conference with both the accuser and the accused present may be held to review all findings. 

7. Voting on charges: 

For each suspected incident, members of the Committee shall vote by separate ballot on the evidence presented as to whether an Honor Code violation occurred. If an incident involved multiple accused, a separate vote shall be held for each individual accused. A quorum shall consist of 7 voting members -- at least one of whom is a voting faculty member -- and the Associate Dean for Veterinary Student Affairs. A simple majority vote is required to determine that the accused is guilty of charges. 

All persons with knowledge of an Honor Code hearing will keep the identities of the accused and the accuser confidential, to the extent permitted by law. 

The secretary shall prepare a written record of all proceedings and recommendations of the Committee, to be maintained by the Associate Dean for Veterinary Student Affairs as described in Article VII below. 

If no Honor Code violation was found to have occurred, the matter shall be dropped and all records shall be placed in a confidential file, maintained by the Associate Dean for Veterinary Student

Affairs. This file will be destroyed upon the student's graduation. 

8. Voting on sanctions: 

If an Honor Code violation was found to have occurred, it shall be the responsibility of the Committee to recommend the action to be taken against the accused. This process shall include deliberation by the Committee, then a second vote specifically on the sanctions. A simple majority vote is required to recommend all sanctions as listed below. All sanctions recommended by the Committee are subject to review and ratification by the College Executive Committee. The Dean of the College is ultimately responsible to the University President for student discipline in their respective Colleges. Options available to the Committee include: 

a. Warning: The student is given a written warning stating the Committee's decision and recommendations. A copy of the warning will be retained for the Committee's records. 

b. Probation: The student is given a written warning, as described above. Additionally, the student must follow stipulations as set forth by the Committee. Failure to meet the stipulations will constitute a new Honor Code violation. The Associate Dean of Veterinary Student Affairs will take measures to ensure compliance with the terms of probation. 

c. Suspension: The student is separated from the College, without assurance of re-enrollment, for a period of one or more quarters. The student is eligible to apply for re-enrollment after the expiration of the term. The student must petition the College Executive Committee for re-instatement. 

d. Dismissal: The student is permanently expelled from the College. 

e. Other Sanctions: In addition to the above, the Committee may recommend other sanctions it feels appropriate to the offense and the circumstances of the case, including but not limited to: grade penalties, research assignments, counseling, class presentations, or additional clinical rotations. If the sanction involves class performance, the instructor of the course will also be notified of the recommended sanction. 

f. All recommendations for sanctions shall be forwarded to the College Executive Committee for review, and all proceedings shall be kept on record in the office of the Associate Dean of Veterinary Student Affairs. The College Executive Committee will review all recommendations for sanction within 30 days of the Committee's meeting. The College Secretary may call a special meeting of the College Executive Committee if appropriate. 

The chair of the Committee shall make the presentation to the College Executive Committee. At least one faculty member of the Committee will be present at the College Executive Committee meeting during the report to support the student's presentation. If the College Executive Committee supports a recommendation of suspension or dismissal, the recommendation shall be forwarded to the Senior Vice-President for Academic Affairs and Provost for review, in compliance with

University Rule 3335-5-487. If the investigation reveals that the manner in which an examination was administered resulted in compromising circumstances, the instructor of the course shall be notified. If an Honor Code violation was found to occur during a course, the instructor of the course shall be notified of the nature of the violation, without revealing the name(s) of the student who violated the Honor Code, unless a grading sanction is recommended. In all cases, the accuser and the accused shall be informed in writing of the Committee's decision within 15 class days after the decision has been reached. The letter will state the decision of the Committee, list the sanctions approved by the College Executive Committee, and, in the letter to the accused, outline the appeals process in the event of a guilty verdict. 

ARTICLE VI: Rights to Appeal 

It shall be the right of any student to appeal the decision of the Committee and College Executive Committee under guidelines established by University Rule 3335-27-07. Appeals must be filed with the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost within 15 school days from the date of the sanction decision letter. Guidelines for an appeal will be included in the sanction decision letter. 

ARTICLE VII: Records 

Section I 

There shall be two sets of records made of all cases. The first set of records will be anonymous; the names of all parties shall be removed. This record will be the permanent record, which will be preserved in the office of the Associate Dean of Veterinary Student Affairs. The second set of records will contain all particulars of the case and will be handled as described in Section II below. 

A summary report of hearings from the previous quarter -- including number of cases heard, nature of verdicts, and sanctions recommended -- will be posted on the Student Council bulletin board at the beginning of each quarter. Additionally, Student Council will present a summary report of their activities to the College Executive Committee at the end of each academic year. In all these reports, as well as in the College Executive Committee minutes, the identity of accused, accusers, and witnesses in all hearings will remain anonymous. Revelation of any of this information constitutes a violation of the Honor Code. 

It shall be the duty of the Associate Dean of Veterinary Student Affairs to maintain all written records of the proceedings of an Honor Code violation in a safe place. 

Section II 

The records which identify parties shall be maintained by the Associate Dean of Veterinary Student Affairs for five years after the violator graduates from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. At the end of that five-year period, the records will be destroyed. If a violator leaves the University for any reason other than successful completion of the academic program (e.g., voluntary withdrawal or dismissal), the records shall be maintained permanently. 

Section III 

The Committee Secretary will publish a listing of the number of cases heard, the nature of the offenses, and the number of innocent and guilty verdicts on a quarterly basis. 

Section IV 

Information regarding Honor Code violations that is brought to the official attention of the faculty

should be handled with discretion and tact, but cannot be withheld from individuals the Committee determines to have a right to this information. If a case appears to involve activity of a criminal nature, the Associate Dean of Veterinary Student Affairs will notify appropriate law enforcement agencies. 

ARTICLE VIII: Notification 

Section I 

A copy of the Honor Code will be distributed to all students operating under the Honor Code, and all interns, residents, and faculty members at the beginning of each school year. A copy of the Honor Code shall be posted on the Student Council bulletin board and on the College's website at all times. 

Section II 

It shall be the responsibility of the President of the Student Council or his/her representative to present and explain the Honor Code to entering first-year students before the end of the second week of their first quarter of matriculation. 

ARTICLE IX: Amendments 

Section I 

Proposed amendments are to be submitted to the Student Council. If the Council approves by a simple majority, the amendments will be submitted to the student body during a special class meeting. A vote, by secret ballot, will occur within five class days following the class presentation. 

Section II 

Amendments to the Honor Code require a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of all students voting in a valid election. A quorum of the students for a valid election is 50% of all eligible students voting. 

Section III 

Approved changes to the University Code of Student Conduct shall automatically be incorporated in the appropriate sections of this document (e.g., Article III, Section 4.4 & Section 4.5). 

ARTICLE X: Original Ratification 

Original acceptance of this Honor Code shall be by a simple majority of those voting within the student body of the College of Veterinary Medicine. 

Revised May 1985; Revised June 1991; Revised January 2000