Professional conduct

All students are expected to adhere to the highest standards of professional behavior and ethics. Students should avoid even the appearance of improper behavior or lack of ethical standards while in Graduate School at UW-Madison, in all professional settings, and in their personal lives. Students should conduct themselves according to the standards expected of members of the profession to which the student aspires. Concerns about infractions of professional conduct may be effectively handled informally between the instructor/advisor and the student. If a resolution is not achieved, a graduate program representative may be included in the discussion. Separate and apart from a violation of professional conduct, a student may face university disciplinary action with regard to the same action. Students are responsible for reading the information here, as well as the information published on all relevant websites. Lack of knowledge of this information does not excuse any infraction.

Professional ethics

Students shall show respect for a diversity of opinions, perspectives and cultures; accurately represent their work and acknowledge the contributions of others; participate in and commit to related opportunities; aim to gain knowledge and contribute to the knowledge base of others; understand the UW Student Code of Conduct; represent their profession and the program; and strive to incorporate and practice disciplinary ideals in their daily lives. Resumes/CVs must reflect accurate information.

Honesty and integrity

Students shall demonstrate honesty and integrity as shown by challenging themselves in academic pursuits; honesty and ethics in research and Institutional Review Board (IRB) applications--including honesty in interpretation of data, commitment to an unbiased interpretation of academic and professional endeavors; and the need to document research activities, protect subject/client confidentiality and HIPPA regulations. Students shall follow through and pull their weight in group activities and understand where collaboration among students is or is not allowed; not plagiarize others' work or their own past work (self-plagiarism), cheat, or purposefully undermine the work of others; and avoid conflicts of interest for the duration of their time in the program. As a professional, honesty and integrity also extends to personal behavior in life outside of the academic setting by realizing that students are representatives of the program, UW-Madison and the profession as a whole.

Interpersonal and workplace relationships

Students shall interact with peers, faculty, staff and those they encounter in their professional capacity in a manner that is respectful, considerate and professional. This includes and is not limited to attending all scheduled meetings, honoring agreed upon work schedules, being on time and prepared for work/meetings, contributing collaboratively to the team, keeping the lines of communication open, offering prompt response to inquiries, and employing respectful use of available equipment/technology/resources. Chronic or unexplained absences are unprofessional in the workplace and could be grounds for termination or removal of funding. To facilitate the free and open exchange of ideas, any criticism shall be offered in a constructive manner, and the right of others to hold different opinions shall be respected.

Commitment to learning

Students are expected to meet their educational responsibilities at all times. Be actively prepared for class and be ready for questions and answers. Be on time for every class and always show courtesy during class or if you have to leave class early. If possible, students should notify the instructor at least one day in advance of a planned absence. Students who are unable to attend class are responsible for finding out what occurred that day and should not expect instructors to give them individual instruction. Recognizing that the pursuit of knowledge is a continuous process, students shall show commitment to learning by persevering despite adversity and seeking guidance in order to adapt to change. Students shall strive for academic excellence and pursue and incorporate all critique, both positive and negative, in the acquisition of knowledge in order to understand and respect the community in which they work.

Professional appearance

Students shall convey a positive, professional appearance in order to represent the program in a dignified manner. Appearance includes a person's dress, hygiene, and appropriate etiquette/protocols for the environment (including safety protocols and protective clothing in environments that require them).

Misconduct

This graduate program, the Graduate School, and the Division of Student Life all uphold the UW System policies and procedures in place for academic and non-academic misconduct. In addition, graduate students are held to the same standards of responsible conduct of research as faculty and staff. Furthermore, unprofessional behavior towards clients/subjects, faculty, staff, peers and public are significant issues in the evaluation and promotion of students. In turn, we hold expectations for the highest level of academic integrity and expect professional, ethical and respectful conduct in all interactions. Students may be disciplined or dismissed from the graduate program for misconduct or disregard for professional conduct expectations, regardless of their academic standing in the program. Separate and apart from a violation of professional conduct, a student may face university disciplinary action with regard to the same action. Students are responsible for reading the information here as well as the information published on all relevant websites. Lack of knowledge of this information does not excuse any infraction.

Academic misconduct

Academic misconduct is an act in which a student (UWS 14.03(1)):

  1.     seeks to claim credit for the work or efforts of another without authorization or citation;
  2.     uses unauthorized materials or fabricated data in any academic exercise;
  3.     forges or falsifies academic documents or records;
  4.     intentionally impedes or damages the academic work of others;
  5.     engages in conduct aimed at making false representation of a student's academic performance; or
  6.     assists other students in any of these acts.

Examples of academic misconduct include but are not limited to:

  •     cutting and pasting text from the Web without quotation marks or proper citation;
  •     paraphrasing from the Web without crediting the source;
  •     using notes or a programmable calculator in an exam when such use is not allowed;
  •     using another person's ideas, words, or research and presenting it as one's own by not properly crediting the originator;
  •     stealing examinations or course materials;
  •     changing or creating data in a lab experiment;
  •     altering a transcript;
  •     signing another person's name to an attendance sheet;
  •     hiding a book knowing that another student needs it to prepare for an assignment;
  •     collaboration that is contrary to the stated rules of the course; or
  •     tampering with a lab experiment or computer program of another student.

Additional information regarding academic misconduct:

Non-academic misconduct

The university may discipline a student in non-academic matters in the following situations:

  1.     for conduct which constitutes a serious danger to the personal safety of a member of the university community or guest;
  2.     for stalking or harassment;
  3.     for conduct that seriously damages or destroys university property or attempts to damage or destroy university property, or the property of a member of the university community or guest;
  4.     for conduct that obstructs or seriously impairs university-run or university-authorized activities, or that interferes with or impedes the ability of a member of the university community, or guest, to participate in university-run or university-authorized activities;
  5.     for unauthorized possession of university property or property of another member of the university community or guest;
  6.     for acts which violate the provisions of UWS 18, Conduct on University Lands;
  7.     for knowingly making a false statement to any university employee or agent on a university-related matter, or for refusing to identify oneself to such employee or agent;
  8.     for violating a standard of conduct, or other requirement or restriction imposed in connection with disciplinary action.

Examples of non-academic misconduct include but are not limited to:

  •     engaging in conduct that is a crime involving danger to property or persons, as defined in UWS 18.06(22)(d);
  •     attacking or otherwise physically abusing, threatening to physically injure, or physically intimidating a member of the university community or a guest;
  •     attacking or throwing rocks or other dangerous objects at law enforcement personnel, or inciting others to do so;
  •     selling or delivering a controlled substance, as defined in 161 Wis. Stats., or possessing a controlled substance with intent to sell or deliver;
  •     removing, tampering with, or otherwise rendering useless university equipment or property intended for use in preserving or protecting the safety of members of the university community, such as fire alarms, fire extinguisher, fire exit signs, first aid equipment, or emergency telephones; or obstructing fire escape routes;
  •     preventing or blocking physical entry to or exit from a university building, corridor, or room;
  •     engaging in shouted interruptions, whistling, or similar means of interfering with a classroom presentation or a university-sponsored speech or program;
  •     obstructing a university officer or employee engaged in the lawful performance of duties;
  •     obstructing or interfering with a student engaged in attending classes or participating in university-run or university-authorized activities;
  •     knowingly disrupting access to university computing resources or misusing university computing resources.

Additional information regarding non-academic misconduct:

Research misconduct

Much of graduate education is carried out not in classrooms, but in laboratories and other research venues, often supported by federal or other external funding sources. Indeed, it is often difficult to distinguish between academic misconduct and cases of research misconduct. Graduate students are held to the same standards of responsible conduct of research as faculty and staff. The Graduate School is responsible for investigating allegations of research misconduct. This is often done in consultation with the Division of Student Life as well as with federal and state agencies to monitor, investigate, determine sanctions, and train about the responsible conduct of research. For more information, contact the Associate Vice Chancellor for Research Policy, 333 Bascom Hall, (608) 262-1044.

Additional information regarding mesearch misconduct and responsible conduct: