- Info For
The Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards strengthens personal responsibility and accountability through investigation and resolution of alleged violations of university policies. We encourage honesty, integrity, and respect within the campus community as promoted by our honor code, the Duke Community Standard.
We are committed to an environment free of harassment and sexual violence. Students who have experienced what they believe to be harassment and/or sexual misconduct by another student are encouraged to contact our office (919-684-6938; email@example.com) to learn about available options and support resources.
Every individual should know their rights and role in any policy, enforcement or violation situation. Below, you’ll find the details you need to navigate the process.
You've probably clicked on this page because you have been documented (or "written up" as many students say) by a Resident Assistant. Or perhaps you've had an interaction with Duke Police and been told that a report of what happened is being forwarded to the dean's office. Maybe you have been accused by another student of engaging in inappropriate conduct. Or, maybe one of your faculty members has accused you of cheating on an exam or plagiarizing a paper. If you are being accused of sexual misconduct, please also see the section, "Information for Respondents," under the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy.
Whatever your situation, this page is designed to help you identify resources available to give you more information about what happens next, your rights under the university's disciplinary process, and other information available to make you best prepared to respond to an inquiry of your alleged behavior. Please note that there is no assumption that you are responsible for any allegation made against you; rather, the presumption is that there is no violation of university policy unless you accept responsibility for the allegation and/or the threshold for a finding of responsibility of a violation is met ("preponderance of the evidence").
If you are contacted for an administrative conference or hearing, you will be invited to meet one-on-one with the staff regarding your alleged involvement in the reported behavior. The staff member is interested in hearing your perspective on what may have happened and will discuss with you how the matter might be resolved.
The conversation may also focus on what you may have learned or can take away from the incident.
You may have received a letter stating that the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards is launching an in inquiry into your role in (a) possible violation(s) of university policy. The letter outlines the situation in question, the date it occurred, and the applicable university policy that pertains to this incident.
Status of a Student/Group Pending Final Resolution of a Disciplinary Case. Until a disciplinary action is fully resolved, in accordance with applicable University policy including any applicable appeal process, the status of a student/group will not change unless interim measures have been imposed to protect the health, safety, or welfare of the university community or any member of it. A student with a disciplinary action pending at the time of graduation, however, is not eligible to graduate and may not participate in commencement exercises until the student's case is fully resolved. A student currently on leave, suspended, or withdrawn from Duke who has a pending disciplinary matter is not eligible to seek readmission until that matter is resolved.
Disciplinary Hold. The University, at any time after the initiation of a disciplinary action, and after consultation with the appropriate academic dean, may place a “disciplinary hold” on the academic and/or financial records of any student. A “disciplinary hold” may be placed to ensure full resolution of a disciplinary action prior to the scheduled date for degree conferral, or to enforce a disciplinary sanction. A “disciplinary hold” may prevent, among other things, registration, enrollment, matriculation, the release of transcripts, and the awarding of a degree. In the event a disciplinary hold is not placed prior to the conferment of a degree, or a degree is conferred in error of this policy, the University retains the sole discretion to revoke the degree in accordance with its Degree Revocation Policy.
Disciplinary Action While Civil/Criminal Charges Pending. Students may be accountable to both civil authorities and to the university for acts that violate local, state or federal laws. (Students are encouraged to seek advice of legal counsel when they face criminal charges.) Disciplinary action through university processes concurrent with criminal action does not subject a student to “double jeopardy.”
The university operates under different policies, procedures and standards and thus, will not be bound by the findings of a court of law. If the court’s outcome satisfies the university’s interests, such outcome may be recorded on the student’s disciplinary record without invoking the university disciplinary process. Should any criminal proceeding result in a felony conviction, as a result of an incident on or off campus, the Vice President/Vice Provost for Student Affairs reserves the right to summarily dismiss a student.
University disciplinary action will normally proceed during the pendency of a criminal or civil action. A student may request, however, that the university disciplinary process be placed on hold until criminal actions are resolved. The conduct officer or designee will decide whether this request will be granted. In such a case, interim measures may be imposed. The university reserves the right to proceed with the disciplinary process at any point.
Support. A student may seek advice from anyone he/she wishes. If a student has been charged criminally, we recommend that the student seek professional legal advice. The North Carolina State Bar has resources to help find an appropriate licensed attorney.
For students going through the university's conduct process, the use of peer advisors -- staff and students trained specifically in helping students through the on-campus process -- is strongly encouraged. [A student, though, may bring any advisor with him/her to a hearing before the Conduct Board, but the advisor must be a member of the university community (current faculty, staff, or student)]. Experience has shown that students who tap into the services of the university's trained peer advisors are well-prepared for a hearing and have a much better experience.
Possible Outcomes. What can happen to you if you are found responsible for a policy violation? Learn about sanctions.
Disciplinary Records. Become familiar with how violations of university policy are recorded and kept on file here.
There are a number of steps you can take as an instructor to cultivate and sustain a climate of academic integrity in your course.
A good rule of thumb is that students will interpret more liberally than you intend in deciphering what acceptable rules for collaboration and outside resource use are. Therefore, be as granular as you can-- perhaps with explicit examples from your course-- for acceptable parameters. Also, be explicit about what happens in terms of grading if a student is academically dishonest in your class-- will the student fail the assignment at issue? Fail the course?
Should you encounter potential academic dishonesty in undergraduate courses, please complete this form. The OSCCS will be in touch with you within three business days to discuss the allegation and advise on next steps.
It is imperative that faculty/instructors follow through on each and every possible instance of academic dishonesty encountered? Yes! Why?
Read more about our policies regarding Academic Dishonesty.
Welcome to our graduate and professional students!
The Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards is responsible for responding to allegations of misconduct in which an accused student is an undergraduate (for social and/or academic misconduct), and for graduate students who are accused of sexual misconduct or hate/bias-related misconduct.
Do you wish to report student misconduct? You may do so here. The Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards will follow-up with you and determine the most appropriate means of resolution.
Are you serving as an instructor or teaching assistant? Encounter academic dishonesty? Call us at 919-684-6938 or email us to discuss how to address it.
Graduate & Professional students volunteer to serve as members of the Conduct Board. If you may be interested in serving as a hearing panelist on the Conduct Board, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Welcome to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards! If you are navigating to this page, chances are you never thought that your son or daughter's Duke experience would include an interaction with our office. Students interact with our office in a myriad of ways. Your student may have been selected to serve as an intern with our office. Interns gain diverse experience in helping to establish campus behavior norms, serving as hearing panelists or peer advisors, educating the campus community, and much more. This part of our website is designed to help answer some of the questions you may have about our disciplinary process and give you information that can help you best support your student.
First, we recognize that our students (like all of us) make mistakes. Sometimes this involves the consumption of alcohol. Other times it may involve a rash decision made at a late hour while writing a term paper. The competitive environment at Duke, in which students want to excel both academically and personally (i.e., be socially accepted and liked by their peers) can sometimes lead to decisions and behaviors that students later regret. Through our conduct process, we hope to help students learn where they could have made different decisions and offer them strategies for making better choices should they face a given situation again.
The expectations (or policies) we have in place for our students flow from the philosophy of the Duke Community Standard, which is the university's honor code. As you know from your own experience, actions carry consequences. This is no different at Duke. When students are found responsible for violating a university policy, they may face a set of sanctions. This may include community service, disciplinary probation, reflection papers, and, sometimes, separation from Duke, either for a period of time (suspension) or permanently (expulsion). These are not consequences that we take lightly. We recognize that any sanction imposed upon a student is a burden. However, we also feel strongly that our process and sanctions play an important role in a student's education at Duke -- not just for here in the Duke community, but in life beyond Duke.
We encourage students to talk with their parents immediately upon finding themselves in a tough situation that may involve violation of a university policy. (For students who were engaged in high-risk drinking behavior, we require that students inform their parents about what happened and then ask their parents to follow up with us with a phone call.) We have found that students are often fearful to talk with their parents about their situation because of the reaction they think they will receive. While you will understandably be concerned about what may have happened, you will undoubtedly want to show support to your student. Listen to their perspective. Encourage them to accept responsibility for the role they played in a situation. And show that you still stand behind them.
A common reaction from parents is that their student could not have possibly engaged in the behavior of which they are accused. Or, at worst, the behavior of their son or daughter was unintentional and simply a mistake. We strive for a fair and thorough process in determining the extent to which a student was involved in a situation. Intent -- or lack thereof -- is most often not considered in a determination of responsibility, but in a determination of the sanctioning. We have high expectations for our students, and this includes seeking appropriate help when facing a difficult decision (for example, not turning in a paper and seeking an extension from an instructor versus making the decision to cut and paste from a source on the Internet).
So what if your student faces disciplinary action, including separation from the university? How does this impact his or her record or chances of gaining admission into a graduate/professional program? Parents have many questions about how disciplinary action may affect their child's future. Please feel free to explore our pages to learn more.
What if you want to intervene on behalf of your student? Sometimes the best support you can provide -- and the most growth-enabling for your student -- is to support him or her while they work with university processes to resolve the situation at hand. Of course, we are happy to address questions or concerns you may have, but we encourage you to speak with your student to exchange information firsthand. Feel free to contact us via email or call us at 919-684-6938.
The university hopes that students will keep their parents informed of their lives at Duke. The Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards will not routinely contact parents when their student has violated university rules. However, parents of students under the age of 21 will be notified of alcohol-related disciplinary violations when a student's health or safety has been/is at risk (including when a student is granted "amnesty"). Parents may also be contacted by Trinity College or the Pratt School of Engineering if a student is suspended as a result of a disciplinary infraction.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), 20 U.S.C § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99, is a federal law that guides the release of students’ education records, of which disciplinary records are a part. Generally, the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards will not disclose information about a student without consent from the same student. Duke University adheres to a policy of compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. The policy (1) permits students to inspect their education records, (2) limits disclosure to others of personally-identifiable information from education records without students' prior written consent, and (3) provides students the opportunity to seek correction of their education records where appropriate. You can find out more about Duke’s obligations pursuant to FERPA here: https://registrar.duke.edu/student-records-resources/ferpa. For additional information about FERPA, see www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html.
All "recognized" student organizations (i.e., a student group in good standing with the university) -- including residential groups, fraternities, sororities, and athletic teams - may be subject to the conduct process.
If you have any questions about these or other policies, or about the implications of planned group activities, please contact us at 919-684-6938 or email@example.com.
Do you believe you may be the victim of student misconduct? If you are a member of the Duke University community (with a NetID) you may submit an incident report. If you are not a member of the Duke community or do not have a NetID, you may report incidents involving students by emailing details to firstname.lastname@example.org. In either case, the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards will follow-up with you and determine the most appropriate means of resolution.
Current or former students may be asked to self-report their disciplinary history as part of an application process. Most often this occurs in the admissions process for transferring to another institution; seeking admission to law school, medical school, and some MBA programs; and, when applying to work for the federal government or sensitive industries. You may be required to give Duke University permission to release your disciplinary record as part of your application.
If you have a form for us to complete as part of the application (often called a "Dean's Certification" form), send it to us via one of these mechanisms:
Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards
200 Crowell Building
Durham, NC 27708-0893
If you are applying for admission to a state bar and that state has an online form for Duke to complete, send the request to complete to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards at email@example.com
Please allow 5 - 7 business days for your request to be processed. Because of the volume of requests received, we cannot guarantee a response earlier than five business days, though we do our best to process all requests sooner.
Sometimes the form will ask that documents about the matter be sent to the requesting institution/agency. Please understand that Duke does not do this; rather, we will prepare a summary of the disciplinary matter(s), ensuring that we have answered the questions asked.
If you do not have a form that has as part of it a signed release giving Duke permission to release this information; and, you no longer have access to your Duke email account from which you can email your request, you must complete this disciplinary request form and return it as part of your request.
Note that disciplinary records are maintained by the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards and kept in accordance with FERPA. Individual disciplinary records are kept on file until a student graduates or eight years from the date of the student’s matriculation (whichever occurs first), except in cases resulting in suspension or expulsion, in which disciplinary records are kept indefinitely.
We will respond to the questions asked on the form. If you need a generic letter describing your disciplinary history, send us a signed request (you may use the form linked above) with the address to where we should send it. If we no longer have any information on file for a student, we will send a letter stating that we are unable to confirm or deny that the (former) student/alumnus has a record.
Our intent with these letters is not to prevent students/alumni from achieving whatever goals they may have. We will place any incidents noted on the disciplinary record in context and describe the university response. If students had an isolated incident during their time at Duke, with no further disciplinary actions, we will note that.
It is critically important to be honest in sharing information about your disciplinary history. Perhaps the worst thing one can do is minimize or even lie about an incident in which one was involved. Often, a student's forthrightness about an incident, and an explanation of what the student has learned from the incident, can be a plus factor for a student.
The letter below is sent with Dean's Certification forms. It details the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards policy for reporting students' disciplinary histories.
Have questions? Feel free to contact us.