Student Code of Ethics
Student Code of Ethics
Effective as of: 07.07.2023
American University of Armenia

Policy for Publication

Policy Number: ACAD20150014

1. Preamble

The students, faculty and administration of AUA are all collectively and individually responsible for maintaining the Academic Integrity of this institution. This Code of Ethics governs the academic conduct of each student University-wide and it shall be used to govern and adjudicate all matters of student academic conduct to the extent it is practicable for it to do so.

Students at AUA are obligated to conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to the University’s mission as an institution of higher education. Students are obligated to refrain from acts that they know, or should know, will impair the Academic Integrity of the University. Actions, which may be considered acceptable or normative outside of AUA, are not necessarily acceptable at AUA and shall not interfere in overall academic conduct. All shall be treated equally and be guided by the current code. This Code of Ethics may from time to time be revised and amended.

2. Provisions of Academic Program

If any provision of this document directly contradicts an ethics provision of an academic program, then the relevant provision in this document shall prevail. If this document is silent on any matter pertaining to student ethics, then the provision of the student’s academic program shall prevail on that particular matter.

3. Rights

As members of the American University of Armenia community, students enjoy the following rights:

3.1.    Equal Opportunity in Education

Every student has a right to be free from discrimination based on race, religion, ethnic origin, political affiliation, age, sex, disability or sexual orientation.

3.2.    Academic Freedom

Students have the right to freedom of expression as defined in the University statement on academic freedom, and a right to freedom of assembly and association, as long as the exercise of such freedoms does not interfere with the effective conduct of classes, complies with University policies, the Education Contract, RA laws, and respect for the rights of others.

3.3.    Educational Process

3.3.1. While students are required to know the material presented by the instructor, students are also free to reserve and express personal judgment in a constructive manner.

3.3.2. While faculty and administrators have decision making authority in educational matters, students may make suggestions in a constructive manner regarding revising and improving the educational process.

3.3.3. Students have the right to be informed of grading criteria and to fair evaluation by the instructor, as well as a right to appeal a grade based on mathematical error or misapplication of grading criteria. (See Grade Policies)

3.4.    Privacy

Students have a right to protection against unauthorized disclosure of information contained in their financial, medical, and educational records.

3.5.    Student Organizations

3.5.1. Students shall be free to organize and join student organizations to promote their common interests within the framework of the Student Council. Student organizations shall be free to examine and to discuss all questions of interest in accordance with RA law.

3.5.2. Recognized student organizations may be afforded the privilege to use available University buildings, facilities and services in accordance with the University administrative policies and procedures.

3.6.    Freedom from Harassment

Students have a right to be free from any kind of harassment by any member of the University’s community.

3.7.    Due Process

Students have a right to due process in any University proceeding against them. This includes the right to be heard, a right to review and decision by impartial persons or bodies, and a right to adequate notice.

3.8.    Timely notification

Students have a right to timely notification of disciplinary proceedings or action --as soon as practical after the discovery of the violation.

3.9.    Grievance Process

Students have a right to file a grievance regarding the violation of any student right with the Ethics and Grievance Committee in accordance with its procedures.

4. Responsibilities and Disciplinary Measures

4.1.    It shall be the responsibility of each student to become familiar with the provisions of this Code and all AUA policies.  Upon enrollment at AUA each student will be given a copy of the Code. Signing of the Educational Contract is deemed as due notification and consent he/she has read, understood and agreed to comply with the Code.

4.2.    Each student shall refrain from committing any act of academic dishonesty or any other act that may impair the Academic Integrity of the University.

4.3.    The following Disciplinary Measures may be imposed upon discovery of a violation of this Code:

4.3.1. oral warning to the student;

4.3.2. written warning to the student;

4.3.3. reduction in score in the academic evaluation involved or one of its components

4.3.4. retake of the academic evaluation involved or one of its components

4.3.5. failure in the course

4.3.6. suspension

4.3.7. dismissal

Sanctions under 4.3.1 through 4.3.5 may be imposed by the faculty member whereas the sanctions under 4.3.6 and 4.3.7 shall be imposed by the Provost.

4.4.    Faculty should seek, as needed, the advice of the Program Chair and/or Dean on how to handle such violations. 

4.5.    In a particularly serious case the faculty member may recommend that the Program Chair request that the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs suspend or dismiss a student.  The final decision on suspension or dismissal for violation of this Code shall be made by the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs.

4.6.    In cases of imposition of sanctions under 4.3.4 or 4.3.5, the faculty member must submit a Violation of Student Code of Ethics form to the Office of the Registrar for inclusion in the student’s record. The Registrar must notify the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs who may impose additional sanctions.

4.7.    Students should address concerns regarding Disciplinary Measures under this Code first to the faculty member.  If the student believes that there has been an error in the application of the Disciplinary Measure, the student may discuss the matter with the Program Chair. If the Program Chair is the instructor, the student may discuss the matter with the College Dean.

5. Appeal

After discussion with the Program Chair, if a student believes that the Disciplinary Measure relating to the violation of Academic Integrity or Academic Misconduct is unfair, the student may appeal to the Ethics and Grievance Committee (EGC) in line with the Ethics and Grievance Committee Grievance Procedure Regulation.  In general, the EGC may modify a measure only if the Disciplinary Measure was erroneous or grossly unfair.

6. Definitions

The following definitions apply to the terminology used in this Code:

6.1.    Academic Integrity

Adherence to academic ethical principles and honesty.

6.2.    Academic Evaluation includes but is not limited to:

  • in-class examinations whether or not in writing
  • laboratory reports
  • take-home examinations
  • research or term papers
  • assignments, case studies and exercises
  • any other academic work intended to evaluate a student's performance in a course

6.3.    Appropriate faculty member

An appropriate faculty member is the instructor in whose class or under whose supervision the dispute has arisen.

6.4.    Academic dishonesty

Any action or attempted action that may result in creating an unfair academic advantage for one’s self or an unfair academic advantage or disadvantage for any other member or members of the academic community, including misrepresentation of another's work as one's own. Examples of this include, but are not limited to:

6.4.1. Academic misconduct. Academic misconduct is as any deliberate action that harms the academic ethics of the University in a way other than in the forgoing definitions. Academic misconduct shall include, but is not limited to:  removing, defacing, or deliberately keeping from other students library materials that are on reserve for specific courses;  making material misrepresentations in the context of an academic assignment;  fabricating or altering information or data and presenting it as legitimate;  failing to identify yourself honestly in the context of an academic obligation;  providing false or misleading information to an instructor or any other University official;  sabotaging or stealing another person's assignment, book, paper, notes, experiment, project, electronic hardware or software;  improper access to, or electronically interfering with, the property, assignments, or exams of another person or the University via computer or other means;  obtaining a copy of an exam or assignment prior to its approved release by the instructor;  selling, distributing, website posting, or publishing course lecture notes, handouts, readers, recordings, or other information provided by an instructor, or using them for any commercial purpose without the express permission of the instructor;    forgery of an instructor's signature on a letter of recommendation or any other document;    submitting an altered transcript of grades to or from another institution;    putting one’s name on another person's exam or assignment;    altering a previously graded exam or assignment for purposes of a grade appeal or gaining points in a re-grading process.

6.4.2.        Cheating. Cheating includes but is not limited to:     using or referring to notes, books, devices or other sources of information, including advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools, such as ChatGPT, in completing an Academic Evaluation or Assignment, when such use has not been expressly allowed by the faculty member who is conducting the examination;  copying another student's answers on an Academic Evaluation;  unauthorized conferring during an Academic Evaluation  sharing one’s answers with another student during an Academic Evaluation;  acting as substitute for another or utilizing another as a substitute during an Academic Evaluation;  preprogramming a calculator, cell phone, or other device to contain answers or other unauthorized information for exams;  using unauthorized materials, prepared answers, written notes, or concealed information during an exam;  allowing others to do an assignment or portion of an assignment (e.g., group assignments) for you, including the use of a commercial term-paper service;  submission of the same assignment for more than one course without prior approval of all the instructors involved;

6.4.3.        Plagiarism. Plagiarism consists of using the words, ideas, concepts or data of another person without proper attribution. It may exist in circumstances where the student implies that he/she is the original source of the information. Plagiarism includes both direct use and the paraphrasing of words, thoughts or concepts of another without proper attribution. It includes, but is not limited to:  copying of passages from electronic or hard copy works of others into one’s own homework, essay, term paper, or thesis without acknowledgment;  use of the views, opinions, or insights of another person without acknowledgment;  paraphrasing of another person's characteristic or original phraseology, metaphor, or other literary device without acknowledgment.

6.4.4.        Member of academic community. A member of academic community is anyone who is related to, involved in, or responsible for the academic matters of AUA.

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