Constitution of the Student Board of Ethical Behavior

Mission: The Student Board of Ethical Behavior is a student-governed body assigned the responsibility of adjudicating cases of professional and academic misconduct within the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

  1. Principles

    Honesty and personal integrity are necessary foundations for human relationships and are fundamental characteristics in the success of individuals of a profession and in the education of its members. By virtue of enrollment in the veterinary curriculum, every student is responsible for upholding the standards and behaviors expected of a veterinarian. It is the responsibility of all students to demonstrate these behaviors by example, and to encourage other students to act according to the ethical standards of the profession. Each person is responsible for maintaining and promoting high standards and public trust. Individuals should be cognizant of the responsibility they bear in their daily actions, for these actions should reflect the profession’s standards of ethics. An important concept is the formation of a professional attitude, which allows perplexing situations to be handled in an honest and ethical manner. Veterinary students should conduct themselves in relation to the public, fellow students, graduate veterinarians, clients and patients so as to merit confidence and respect. The self-imposed discipline of the profession should prevent them from committing any act that may reflect unfavorably upon the profession or the individual.

    The primary responsibility for the maintenance of ethical conduct lies within the individual student. The correction of unethical practices by a student is the responsibility of the individual, fellow students and others in the veterinary profession. The Student Board of Ethical Behavior (hereafter referred to as The Board) should not be used to avoid individual responsibility. The principles covered in this document are not intended to be inclusive of every example or situation involving ethical misconduct.

  2. Board Membership

    The Board shall consist of a Chancellor and a Clerk from the third year class, two Justices from each class and one Alternate Justice from each class. Each class shall hold elections at the beginning of the spring semester; the elections shall be conducted by the Class President. One Justice from each class shall be elected to serve a one-year term during the fall and spring semesters following their appointment. A second Justice shall be elected to serve a one-year term during the spring and fall semesters beginning with the semester of their appointment. The Alternate Justices shall serve one-year terms beginning with the spring semester in which they were appointed. At the beginning of their fall semester, the first-year class shall elect one Justice to serve for the fall semester only, and one Justice to serve for the fall and spring semesters. During the summer, the Chancellor may draw from the incoming and outgoing Justices to provide coverage. Members of the Board may be re-elected.

    If any member is unable or disqualified to serve his or her complete term, a replacement shall be elected by the appropriate class within one week to serve out the remainder of the term. If a complaint is filed against a member of the Board, that member shall not participate in the hearings. Any member of the Board found guilty of misconduct shall resign immediately.

    The Chancellor and Clerk shall be elected by the third year class to serve during the fall and spring semesters of their third year and the summer of their fourth year.

    A member of the tenure-track faculty, appointed by the Dean, shall serve as Faculty Advisor. This Faculty Advisor shall be a non-voting member and shall not attend hearings unless requested to do so by the Board.

  3. Responsibilities

    1. The Board

      The purpose of the Board is to:

      • Assist in the education of students in the College of Veterinary Medicine concerning the Constitution of the Student Board of Ethical Behavior.

      • Deal justly with any alleged ethical misconduct.

      • Make a recommendation to the Dean based on the outcome of any hearings conducted by the Board.

    2. The Chancellor, Clerk, and Justices

      The Chancellor shall:

      • Serve as chairman of the Board.

      • Meet briefly with all new incoming students of the College of Veterinary Medicine during their orientation program.

      • Receive and act upon allegations of ethical misconduct reported by faculty or staff.

      • Aid in investigative procedures when ethical misconduct is reported.

      • Call all regular and special meetings as required.

      • Preside at all meetings.

      • Invite to a hearing any non-members deemed necessary for complete and proper conduct of the hearing.

      • Report all recommendations of the Board to the Dean.

      • Not vote.

      The Clerk shall:

      • Act as secretary including responsibility for correspondence and minutes (written and/or audio versions).

      • Issue notices to appropriate persons to appear before the Board.

      • Aid the Chancellor in investigating procedures of reported violations.

      • Report to the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs any cases brought before the Board in order that the Associate Dean may inform the Board regarding relevant College or University regulations and note previous relevant instances of ethical misconduct on the part of the accused.

      • Draft a report to the Dean at the conclusion of any hearing. This report shall include a summary of the incident, the recommendation of the Board, a justification for the recommendation and a summary of dissenting opinions if indicated.

      • Not vote.

      The Justices shall:

      • Receive and act upon any allegations of misconduct reported by students of the College of Veterinary Medicine.

      • Consider the evidence presented regarding alleged instances of ethical misconduct.

      • Investigate allegations of misconduct concerning students in the Justices’ class to determine if a hearing is warranted.

      • Determine guilt or innocence of the person or persons charged based on evidence presented during hearings of the Board.

    3. The Dean

      The Dean shall:

      • Acquaint all faculty with the Board’s function and responsibilities.

      • Consider recommendations submitted to his office by the Board.

      • Report to the Chancellor and/or the Board with a final decision prior to the implementation of that decision.

    4. The Associate Dean

      The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Admissions shall:

      • Archive all reports, minutes, and recommendations of the Board.

      • Determine and inform the Board of relevant College or University regulations.

      • Notify the Clerk and the Dean of previous relevant ethical concerns involving a student accused of an ethical violation.

    5. The Faculty Advisor

      The Faculty Advisor shall:

      • Be available to advise the Chancellor and other members of the Board as to general procedural methods.

      • Attend hearings if requested by the Board.

      • Remind each class president to hold elections in the spring semester.

      • Remind the Justices and Alternate Justices as their terms begin or expire.

    6. The Faculty

      Each faculty member teaching in the College of Veterinary Medicine shall:

      • Be acquainted with and abide by the procedures and provisions of this Constitution.

      • Abide by decisions of the Dean pertaining to matters covered by this Constitution.

  4. Causes for Board Judicial Action

    Board action can be taken for alleged or admitted academic or professional misconduct or other ethical violations by members of the student body of the College of Veterinary Medicine.

    • Cases of ethical misconduct for academic reasons include, but are not limited to, plagiarism, cheating and receiving or giving an unfair advantage on assignments or examinations. Students are encouraged to consult the Kansas State University Undergraduate Honor Council web site for additional examples of academic dishonesty. (Note that the Board is not bound by the directives or limitations of the KSU Undergraduate Honor Code.)

    • Cases of ethical misconduct for professional reasons include, but are not limited to, animal abuse, case neglect, unprofessional conduct and theft. Additional examples are included in, but are not limited to those found in, the Kansas Veterinary Practice Act.

    For those cases of dismissal from the College of Veterinary Medicine for ethical violations in which the student reapplies for admission, the Board shall provide a recommendation to the Dean regarding the readmission. The Board shall conduct a review of the case prior to issuing its recommendation. The Dean shall forward the Board’s recommendation to the Academic Standards and Readmissions Committee, which shall consider the recommendation in making their decision concerning readmission.

  5. Reporting Violations of the Constitution of the Student Board of Ethical Behavior

    It is the responsibility of students and faculty of the College of Veterinary Medicine to report incidences of ethical misconduct. Cases of alleged or confirmed misconduct may come to the Board for action through a variety of routes:

    • A student may turn himself/herself into a Justice of the class in order to allow the Board to review the incident. The Board shall conduct a review to determine if misconduct occurred, and shall forward a recommendation to the Dean as usual.

    • In the event that another student observes alleged misconduct that student shall report the incident to one of their class Justices. The Justice shall then bring the issue to the attention of the Chancellor.

    • In the event that a faculty member observes an unproven incident of misconduct, he/she shall bring the issue to the attention the Chancellor.

    • In the event that a faculty member observes an incident of misconduct and the student in question admits guilt, the faculty member may pursue one of two options.

      1) Bring the issue to the attention of the Chancellor as above.

      2) Deal with the issue in an appropriate manner such as failure on the exam or failure in the course. In the event this option is chosen, the faculty member must report the incident and its resolution to the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs who will archive the report as detailed in the responsibilities of the Associate Dean. The faculty member must notify the student of such action and the right of appeal. The student in question has the right to appeal the decision of the faculty member to the Board who shall then consider the case as any other.

      • Allegations of misconduct that are observed by staff, clients or others should be brought to the attention of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs or the Dean. That individual shall notify the Chancellor.

      • In appropriate cases the Dean may suspend a student who poses a serious threat to persons or property, subject to the right of the student to a post-suspension hearing before the Board.

  6. Procedure for Board Judicial Action

    Investigation of allegations of ethical misconduct shall be conducted according to the following guidelines:

    1. Upon notification of an alleged infraction, the Justices in the affected class shall notify the Chancellor. Similarly, in cases brought to the Chancellor’s attention, the Chancellor shall notify the class Justices.

    2. The class Justices shall then investigate the allegation in order to establish if sufficient evidence is present to warrant a hearing. In the event that the Justices deem that no evidence exists that supports the claim of ethical misconduct, they shall notify the Chancellor and the accuser. No report shall be filed. If sufficient evidence exists to support the allegation, the Justices shall so notify the Chancellor.

    3. The Chancellor shall then notify the accused person as to the nature of the complaint and shall notify the Board and the parties of the date of the hearing. Where feasible, the hearing shall take place not sooner than five school days and not later than fourteen school days after notification has been made. The Chancellor shall also call witnesses and the University Attorney as necessary.

    4. The hearing shall take place according to the procedures described below.

    5. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board shall forward a written recommendation to the Dean within three school days of the hearing.

    6. The Dean shall then make a final decision within five school days of receiving the report.

    The Chancellor shall be responsible for notification of members of the Board, the accused student, and any witnesses of the time and place of the hearing at least five school days prior to the hearing. A valid meeting of the Board shall be attended by at least 5 Justices, the Clerk, and the Chancellor. All other persons must have the permission of the Chancellor before attending a Board meeting. An accused student may be accompanied at the hearing by an attorney or advisor who may advise, but may not otherwise participate in the hearing. The accused student may also present documentary evidence and witnesses. The Chancellor shall be advised at least 48 hours prior to the hearing that the accused student will be accompanied by an attorney or advisor.

    Conduct of the meeting:

    1. The meeting shall be called to order by the Chancellor.

    2. The Clerk shall take attendance and announce that the required number of Justices and other required attendees are present.

    3. The Chancellor shall provide a brief review and any written materials regarding the case to be heard.

      1. The Chancellor may choose to have the accuser or other party address the Board regarding the accusation.

    4. Members of the Board may ask questions of those presenting the allegations to clarify any issues regarding the case.

    5. The accused student shall be given the opportunity to respond to the allegations. The response should include:

      1. A statement of innocence or guilt.

      2. Presentation of the accused person’s perspective on the allegations.
        1) Witnesses or other material may be presented by the accused.

    6. Members of the Board may ask questions of the parties and any witnesses called by either party to clarify any issues regarding the case.

    7. Members of the Board shall deliberate in closed executive session.

    8. A vote shall be taken in open session to determine the opinion of the Board.

    9. A suitable recommendation for the Dean shall be discussed and general terms agreed upon. A recommendation having the approval of a simple majority of the Board members attending the meeting shall be advanced to the Dean in the form of a recommendation (with accompanying reasons and dissentions) which may include reprimand, probation, suspension, or expulsion.

      The Dean shall make a decision after reviewing the written advice of the Board and that decision shall be final within the University.

  7. General Provisions

    Confidentiality: The public shall be excluded from the hearing unless the accused student requests that it be open. Information regarding hearings, names of witnesses, the identity of the accused, and the proceedings of the Board shall be kept confidentially stored in the accused student’s permanent record. The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Admissions shall file all material related to the hearing.

  8. Amendments and Revision

    Proposed amendments or revisions of the Constitution shall be submitted to the student body of the College of Veterinary Medicine via the Board. A two-thirds majority vote shall be necessary for the adoption of such amendments or revisions.