ARCHIVED 2008-2009 Graduate Catalog 
    
    May 25, 2019  
ARCHIVED 2008-2009 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Regulations


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Course and Grade Policies

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Courses listed in this catalog are open to graduate students only. At least half of the credit hours applied toward a master’s degree must be from courses numbered 600 and above. At least half of the credit hours applied toward the education specialist degree must be from courses numbered 700 and above. All of the credit hours applied toward a doctor of education degree must be from courses numbered 700 and above.

Course Loads

The maximum full-time course load for graduate students is fifteen hours per semester. The minimum full-time load per semester is nine hours. The maximum load for graduate assistants is twelve hours per semester. Load limitation during summer school is twelve hours.

Students employed full-time are limited to six hours per semester and twelve semester hours for the academic year. Any exceptions to these rules must be approved by the department and the dean of Graduate School and Research.

Class Attendance. Graduate students are expected to attend all class meetings. Specific attendance regulations are announced by the instructor.

Grading System

The grades which may be assigned to graduate credit courses are as follows:

Grade   Interpretation  

Quality Points
Per Hour

  Grade   Interpretation  

Quality Points
Per Hour

A

  Superior  

4

 

W

  Withdrawal  

-

B

  Good  

3

 

AU

  Audit  

-

C

  Passing  

2

 

IP

  Grade Pending  

-

F

  Failure  

0

 

S

  Satisfactory  

0

I

  Incomplete  

-

 

U

  Unsatisfactory  

0

Incomplete Grades. Instructors may give an incomplete grade when students are unable to complete a course for nonacademic reasons. An incomplete is not a satisfactory grade and may lead to an academic warning. All incomplete grades must be removed and a grade of A, B, C, F, S, or U must be submitted to the registrar by the last day of classes in the next semester, excluding the summer, an F being automatic if the student has not completed the coursework. A student may not register for the course again until the incomplete has been removed. All incomplete grades in courses taken as part of the degree program must be removed before graduation.

A grade of incomplete will be awarded only when there is a reasonable prospect that the student can pass the course by making up the work missed. The instructor is required to send to the department head a list of the conditions for removing the grade of incomplete. If the instructor is no longer in the employ of the university, the department head will remove the grade of incomplete upon completion of the stated requirements.

Grade Pending. An IP is assigned only for thesis research or similar courses to indicate that a grade is pending until the sequence of courses is completed. A grade of A, B, C, F, S, or U is then assigned to each course by the instructor.

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Grading. The use of S/U (pass/fail) grading is limited to selected courses in which standard or traditional grading is rendered difficult by the nature and purpose of the courses. The courses are identified in the master class schedule and in the course descriptions in this catalog. S (satisfactory) and U (unsatisfactory) are the only grades assigned in courses approved for pass/fail grading.

A student may find it necessary or advisable to withdraw from one or more courses during a term. In some cases, he/she may find it necessary to withdraw from the university.

Course Withdrawal. After consultation with the academic adviser and the instructor of the course, a student may withdraw from any course prior to the expiration of one-half of the term and receive a “W”. A completed withdrawal form must be presented to the One Stop Student Service Center prior to the withdrawal deadline for posting. Course withdrawals do not count toward the nine hours required for full-time enrollment.

After one-half of a term, but prior to the fourteenth week of the semester (or before the last two class days of summer sessions), a “W” will be assigned only for written verifiable mental health, medical, legal, or administrative reasons. In order to obtain a “W”, the student must first consult with the course instructor, who may elect to support or withhold support for the student’s request. If the instructor supports in writing the student’s request, the student must receive written verifiable support from Western Carolina University Health Services’ staff, Counseling and Psychological Services’ staff, an official court of law, or a college dean, as appropriate. If a withdrawal is granted by the course instructor, the head of the department offering the course, and the student’s adviser, the withdrawal form must be submitted to the One Stop Student Service Center no later than the last day of the thirteenth week of the semester. No “W”s will be assigned after the last day of the thirteenth week of a semester, or during the last two class days of a summer session. In extenuating circumstances, or if the student’s request is not approved by any university party involved, the student can appeal through the Academic Appeal Procedure within thirty five days after the end of final exams.

University Withdrawal. To withdraw from the university (i.e. cease to attend all courses), a student must complete a withdrawal form from the Advising Center.

If an emergency prevents a student from completing the withdrawal process before leaving the campus, the student should call, write, or arrange for a relative to contact the Advising Center at 828-227-7170.

Any time a student is forced to withdraw from the university during a term for mental health, medical, legal, or administrative reasons which are verified in writing, a grade of W will be assigned in all courses in which the student is registered. If a student withdraws from the university for other than mental health, medical, legal, or administrative reasons after one-half of the total class time has elapsed, an F, W, I, or IP grade will be assigned by the instructor according to the following guidelines:

  1. A W grade will be assigned if the student is passing or if the student’s progress has not been evaluated.
  2. An I or IP grade will be assigned if the instructor agrees that there is a reasonable prospect that the work can be made up and agrees to allow the student to do so.
  3. An F grade will be assigned if the student is failing.

Current policies and procedures pertaining to grades, indebtedness, and refunds are applicable upon withdrawal from the university. A student who withdraws from the university either during or at the end of a term for any reason is responsible for clearing any indebtedness to Residential Living, bookstore, financial aid office, controller’s office, library, university police department, academic departments, and health services.

Audit. A graduate student may audit a course if space is available and if prior permission of the instructor, the advisor, the head of the department offering the course, and the dean of Graduate School and Research has been obtained. A completed course audit form must be submitted. No credit is earned for auditing, but the audited course must not add hours in excess of the student’s maximum load. An auditor’s participation in class activities is optional with the instructor. Change from audit to credit or from credit to audit is permissible only during the regular schedule change period. An audited course will be noted on the student’s transcript.

Final Grade Changes. When a grade other than incomplete has been reported officially by an instructor at the end of a term, the grade will be recorded by the registrar and can be changed only if an error has been made in estimating or reporting the grade. The instructor will, with the approval of the department head, report the error in writing to his/her dean with a recommendation about the action to be taken. Only the instructor has the right to change the grade in a course except as provided in the incomplete grade policy.

Any request by a student for a change in a final grade must be submitted within 30 days of the mailing of the final grade report.

Grade Average for Graduation. An average of B (3.0 GPA) is required for all graduate degrees. Grades received in all graduate courses will be included in the graduate cumulative average.

Course Repeat Policy. A graduate student may repeat any course one time with the approval of the advisor, department head, and dean of Graduate School and Research. The original grade earned in the repeated course remains on the student’s transcript and is calculated in the student’s cumulative average.

Transcripts. Transcripts are furnished, either to the student or by mail, only after accounts are cleared and only upon the student’s written request, which must include the student’s signature and student identification number. Requests for transcripts should be addressed to the registrar. The university’s recommendation for teacher certification will be accompanied by a transcript. There is no charge for transcripts issued.

Academic Honesty Policy. Western Carolina University, as a community of scholarship, is also a community of honor. Faculty, staff, administrators, and students work together to achieve the highest standards of honesty and integrity. Academic dishonesty is a serious offense at WCU because it threatens the quality of scholarship and defrauds those who depend on knowledge and integrity. Academic dishonesty includes:

  1. Cheating-intentionally using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or study aids in any academic exercise.
  2. Fabrication-intentional falsification or invention of information or citation in an academic exercise.
  3. Plagiarism-intentionally or knowingly representing the words or ideas of someone else as one’s own in an academic exercise.
  4. Facilitation of academic dishonesty-intentionally or knowingly helping or attempting to help someone else to commit an act of academic dishonesty, such as knowingly allowing another to copy information during an examination or other academic exercise.

The procedures for cases involving allegations of academic dishonesty are:

1. Instructors have the right to determine the appropriate sanction or sanctions for academic dishonesty within their courses up to and including a final grade of F in the course. Within 5 calendar days of the event the instructor will inform his/her department head, and the Associate Dean of the Graduate School when the student is a graduate student, in writing of the academic dishonesty charge and sanction.

2. The department head or graduate program director will meet with the student to inform him/her orally and in writing of the charge and the sanction imposed by the instructor within 10 calendar days of written notice from the instructor. Prior to this meeting, the department head will contact the Office of Student Judicial Affairs to establish if the student has any record of a prior academic dishonesty offense. If there is a record of a prior academic dishonesty offense, the matter must be referred directly to the Office of Student Judicial Affairs. In instances where a program does not have a department head or graduate program director, the Dean or Associate Dean of the college will assume the duties of department head for cases of academic dishonesty.

3. If the case is a first offense, the student can choose to accept the charge and sanction from the instructor by signing a Mutual Agreement with the department head or graduate program director or can choose to have a hearing with the Academic Integrity Board. Within 10 calendar days of the meeting with the student, the department head or graduate program director will 1) report the student’s choice of action in writing to the Office of Student Judicial Affairs, 2) file a copy of the Mutual Agreement (when applicable) with the Office of Judicial Affairs, and 3) inform the student of the sanction or sanctions to be imposed under the Mutual Agreement or inform the student of the procedure for requesting a hearing with the Academic Integrity Board if the Mutual Agreement is not accepted. Mutual Agreements are final agreements not subject to further review or appeal.

4. In instances of second offenses, or when the student chooses a hearing, the Office of Student Judicial Affairs will meet with the student to provide an orientation to the hearing process and to schedule a date no less than 10 and no more than 15 calendar days from the meeting for the hearing. The student can waive minimum notice of a hearing; however, extensions are at the sole discretion of the Office of Student Judicial Affairs. Should the student choose not to attend his/her orientation meeting, a hearing date will be assigned to the student.

5. The hearing procedures will follow the same format as stated in the Code of Student Conduct (Article V.A.5). The hearing body (Academic Integrity Board) will consist of 2 students from the Student Judicial Affairs Student Hearing Board and 3 faculty members. The faculty fellow for academic integrity will be one of the faculty members and will serve as the chair. The other two faculty members will be chosen by the Director of Student Judicial Affairs from a pool of eight faculty hearing officers. Each academic year, each college dean will appoint two faculty members from the college to comprise the pool of eight faculty hearing officers. Hearings will be held in a student’s absence when a student fails to attend the hearing for any reason. The hearing body may impose any sanctions as outlined in Article V.B. in the Code of Student Conduct. Students given a sanction of probation for academic dishonesty will remain on probation at Western Carolina University until graduation.

6. Following a decision from the Academic Integrity Board, the Office of Judicial Affairs will inform the student of the sanction or sanctions to be imposed upon them and of their right to file an appeal with the University Academic Problems Committee. The appeal is limited to those rules and procedures expressly mentioned in the Code of Student Conduct (Article V.D.2) and is limited to the existing record. If the student does not file an appeal with the University Academic Problems Committee within 5 calendar days, the sanction or sanctions from the Academic Integrity Board will be imposed. The decision of the Academic Problems Committee may be appealed to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. Any decision of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs may be appealed to the Chancellor.

7. Upon final resolution of a case involving suspension or expulsion, the Director of Student Judicial Affairs will inform the appropriate dean, department head, and the administrator in the One Stop Office who is responsible for University Withdrawals of the sanction.

An act of academic dishonesty, including a first offense, may place the student in jeopardy of suspension from the university. A repeated violation or more serious first offense may result in expulsion. Disciplinary records for any act of academic dishonesty are retained by the Department of Student Judicial Affairs for at least five years from the date of final adjudication. These records are available to prospective employers and other educational institutions in accordance with federal regulations.

For specific information on procedures for cases involving allegations of academic dishonesty, see relevant sections in the Student Handbook.

Academic Dismissal. A student who accumulates three grades of C or any grade of F will automatically be dismissed from the Graduate School. A student who has been admitted provisionally and fails to meet the terms of the provisional admission will also be dismissed from the Graduate School. Once dismissed a student cannot register for graduate courses and may not be readmitted until the following spring or fall semester has elapsed. For readmission to the Graduate School, a student should petition in writing to the Dean of the Graduate School. A student may petition for readmission to the Graduate School only one time following the academic dismissal. Approval for readmission may be accompanied by additional requirements. Upon readmission the student must meet all requirements under the catalog in effect at the time of his/her readmission. A readmitted student who receives any additional grade of C or lower will be permanently dismissed.

Academic Appeal Procedure. Students who feel they have been treated unjustly by an instructor in any matter pertaining to academic work should appeal by taking the following steps:

  1. Appeal verbally to the instructor. An appeal concerning a final grade must be made within 35 days after the end of final exams.
  2. If the matter is not resolved satisfactorily, appeal verbally to the instructor’s department head.
  3. If the matter is not resolved satisfactorily, appeal in writing to the dean of the Graduate School. If the appeal involves a grade, a written appeal must be received in the Graduate School within thirty days of the final conference with the department head. Students should be aware that only the instructor can change a grade. Within 30 days of receipt of the written appeal, the graduate dean convenes a committee comprised of two graduate faculty and one graduate student. This committee hears the student appeal, and makes a recommendation to the dean, who rules on the student appeal.
  4. If the matter still cannot be resolved satisfactorily, the student may appeal to the provost, and finally to the chancellor.

A student who has been dismissed from the Graduate School for failure to meet the terms of provisional admission or for accumulation of excessive unsatisfactory grades will be notified by the dean of Graduate School and Research. The student has two weeks from the date of the letter of notification of dismissal to appeal. The letter of appeal should be addressed to the dean of Graduate School and Research. The appeal will be considered by the Graduate Council, who will make a recommendation to the dean of Graduate School and Research. The student will be notified of the outcome of the appeal by the dean. If, after appealing to the graduate dean, the student is still dissatisfied or suitable action has not been taken, the student may appeal to the provost, and finally to the chancellor.

Credit Policies

Residence Requirement. At least 24 semester hours of a student’s work toward a degree must be earned in resident credit courses. All graduate programs in teacher education require a period of full-time resident study of at least one academic semester or one complete summer session. In lieu of resident study, the requirements may be met through an off-campus period of study that is equivalent to one semester or one complete summer session of work. The off-campus study must involve an organized group of graduate students pursuing a specific graduate program under the supervision and instruction of regular Western Carolina University graduate faculty.

Transfer Credit. Policies regarding transfer credit vary according to the graduate program. Based on the sliding scale below (total number of hours in the graduate program) graduate students may transfer in hours (with a grade of B or better) with approval of the Program Director.

  • 30-39 hours (up to 6 hours)
  • 40-49 hours (up to 9 hours)
  • 50+ hours (up to 12 hours)

Students must transfer credit from both special and nondegree status if they intend to count such credit toward their degree. Depending on the graduate program, students may transfer six to twelve semester hours of graduate credit earned at WCU with grades of B or better from special or nondegree status. Students should consult with the academic advisor to determine the specific number of transfer hours allowed in a program. Up to 9 hours (with a six year time limit) may be counted in meeting the requirements in two different graduate programs and degree programs. Requests for transfer of credit already earned are made as soon as is feasible when the student is accepted into degree status. Forms for the transfer of credit are available from the Graduate School. Courses accepted for transfer credit must (l) be appropriate to the student’s program and be approved by the student’s advisor, (2) be completed within the six-year limit for course work applicable toward the degree, and (3) have been offered by a regionally accredited institution for graduate credit.

Graduate students who have been admitted to Graduate School may enroll at other regionally accredited graduate-level institutions for coursework which is applicable to their programs provided they have obtained advance permission from their advisor(s) and the dean of Graduate School and Research. Forms are available from the Graduate School. Such course work cannot exceed the six-hour maximum for transfer credit. Students should note that while courses may be transferred into a degree program, grades earned at other institutions are not transferred and therefore are not counted toward a student’s GPA.

Experiential Credit. The university does not grant graduate academic credit for the life experiences of students. A policy has been established to award credit, up to a maximum of twenty percent of a graduate degree, for experiential courses. Experiential courses have been defined by the university as structured, preplanned, experiential-learning opportunities for which credit toward a degree may be earned through regular enrollment in established university courses. Experiential courses are required by some, but not by all, graduate programs.

External Instruction Courses. Western Carolina University has guidelines for enrolling students in external instruction courses/programs. External instruction programs are defined as instruction received at a site(s) to which the student is sent by the enrolling institution to participate in instructional activities. Encompassed in the scope of external instruction are programs referred to as cooperative programs, practical training, independent study, and open-circuit televised instruction which meet the following guidelines:

  1. All courses are bona fide: approved by all required college, university, state, regional, and national regulatory agencies. Courses are also approved to meet all licensure and licensing requirements.
  2. All courses are an integral part of the student’s program; credit will apply toward graduation and/or will be required for a particular degree program.
  3. All courses are appropriately rigorous with assigned credit proportionate to the amount of instructor involvement and control (assigned credit is determined by university and state requirements).
  4. The university/college has an agreement on file with specific work sites assuring that the experiences will provide opportunities for application of the knowledge, skills, and competencies gained from on-campus academic programs.
  5. All courses have regularly employed faculty members responsible for all students participating in external instruction courses.

Continuing Education Units (CEU) Credit. Courses in which CEUs are earned are not accepted for undergraduate or graduate credit, and regular credit courses offered by the university are not available for CEU credit. Students interested in CEUs should contact the Division of Educational Outreach for information about special programs and courses suited to their needs.

Time Limitation. Work to be applied toward any master’s or education specialist degree must have been completed within six years immediately preceding the completion of requirements for the degree. Graduate credits to be accepted in transfer must have been earned within the six-year period. Students in the Ed.D. program must complete all degree requirements within five years of admission to candidacy. Any extension of time beyond these limits must have the approval of the student’s advisor, the head of the department of the student’s program, and the dean of Graduate School and Research.

In-Service Education Program

The university provides graduate courses in a number of locations throughout the state so that students may continue their studies and at the same time carry out job-related responsibilities. Within specified limits, credit earned in these courses may be included in programs of study leading to many of the degrees offered by the Graduate School. Students planning to register for in-service courses should consult with their advisors, the department heads, or the Graduate School to ascertain if the courses are approved for inclusion in a program of study for a graduate degree. No student will be allowed to count more than six semester hours of extension credit toward a degree.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access. Students should submit to the registrar’s office written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The registrar’s office will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
  2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading. Students who believe that their education records contain information that is inaccurate or misleading, or is otherwise in violation of their privacy or other rights, may discuss their problems informally with the university director of Equal Opportunity Programs. If the decision is in agreement with the students’ requests, the appropriate records will be amended. If not, the students will be notified within a reasonable period of time that the records will not be amended, and they will be informed by the director of Equal Opportunity Programs of their right to a formal hearing.
  3. The right to consent to disclosures of personally-identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception that permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the university has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.
  4. The right to file a complaint with the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20202-4605 concerning alleged failures by Western Carolina University to comply with the requirements of FERPA.

Western Carolina University hereby designates the following categories of student information as public or Directory Information. Such information may be disclosed by the institution for any purpose, at its discretion.

  • Student name
  • Local and home address
  • Telephone numbers
  • Classification
  • Parent/guardian
  • County
  • Major field of study
  • Photograph
 
  • Dates of attendance
  • Degrees
  • Honors and awards received
  • The most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • Weight and height of members of athletic teams
  • Electronic mail (E-mail) address.

Students may withhold directory information by notifying the One Stop Student Service Center in writing within five working days from the first day of classes for the fall term, or by the first day of classes for subsequent terms. Students are warned, however, prior to making a decision to withhold personally-identifiable data, that undesirable consequences frequently occur, such as names of students on the Deans’ List are not published, names are not listed in commencement bulletins, and requests from prospective employers are denied. Forms are available at the One Stop Student Service Center and on the Web at registrar.wcu.edu/forms.

Western Carolina University’s complete FERPA policy may be obtained from the One Stop Student Service Center.

Students’ Education Records At General Administration of The University of North Carolina: Annual Notification of Rights

Certain personally-identifiable information about students (education records) may be maintained at The University of North Carolina General Administration, which serves the Board of Governors of The University system. This student information may be the same as, or derivative of, information maintained by a constituent institution of The University, or it may be additional information. Whatever their origins, education records maintained at General Administration are subject to the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).

FERPA provides that a student may inspect his or her education records. If the student finds the records to be inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights, the student may request amendment to the record. FERPA also provides that a student’s personally-identifiable information may not be released to someone else unless (1) the student has given a proper consent for disclosure or (2) provisions of FERPA or federal regulations issued pursuant to FERPA permit the information to be released without the student’s consent.

A student may file with the U.S. Department of Education a complaint concerning failure of General Administration or an institution to comply with FERPA.

The policies of the University of North Carolina General Administration concerning FERPA may be inspected in the office at each constituent institution designated to maintain the FERPA policies of the institution. Policies of General Administration may also be accessed in the Office of the Secretary, General Administration, The University of North Carolina, 910 Raleigh Road, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 27515.

Further details about FERPA and its procedures at General Administration are to be found in the referenced policies. Questions about the policies may be directed to Legal Section, Office of the President, The University of North Carolina, General Administration, Annex Building, 910 Raleigh Road, Chapel Hill, North Carolina (mailing address P.O. Box 2688, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27515-2688; telephone 919-962-4588).

Standards of Conduct

The university is committed to developing and maintaining the highest standards of scholarship and conduct. Therefore, all students are subject to the rules and regulations of the university. In accepting admission to Graduate School, students indicate their willingness to abide by university rules and regulations and acknowledge the right of the university to take appropriate disciplinary action, including suspension and/or expulsion, as may be deemed appropriate, for failure to abide by university rules and regulations. Rules related to student conduct and procedures for the resolution of cases may be found in the Code of Student Conduct available in the Student Handbook or on the World Wide Web at www.wcu.edu/studenthomepage/handbook.

Students registered in the Graduate School at Western Carolina University may not be enrolled simultaneously at another institution except in the case of transfer of credit or guest matriculant, which must be approved in advance by the dean of Graduate School and Research. Failure to comply with this policy may result in dismissal from the Graduate School.

Code of Ethics

Graduate students are expected to be familiar with and to adhere to the professional and ethical guidelines appropriate to their area of study. Failure at any time to adhere to the guidelines may result in immediate dismissal from the Graduate School.

Policy on Illegal Drugs

  1. Purpose
    Western Carolina University is an academic community dedicated to the transmission and advancement of knowledge and understanding. The Board of Trustees is committed to the maintenance and protection of an environment in which students and faculty members may responsibly pursue these goals through teaching, learning, research, discussion, and publication, free from internal or external restraints that would unreasonably restrict their academic endeavors. Moreover, it is the obligation of all members of the university community—faculty, students, administrators, and other employees—to help maintain an environment where academic freedom flourishes and in which the rights of each member of the academic community are respected. The illegal use of and trafficking in drugs can jeopardize the welfare of members of this academic community. Accordingly, in an effort to responsibly address such threats to the integrity of the academic environment, the Board of Trustees adopts this policy.
  2. Applicable Policies, Practices, and Programs
    1. Education, Prevention, Counseling, and Rehabilitation
      1. Just as the primary purpose of Western Carolina University is education, so also the university’s major effort to address drug abuse should be educational in nature. The university shall maintain a comprehensive drug education program available to all members of the academic community (students, faculty, administration, and staff). The activities of the program shall be the responsibility of the Drug and Alcohol Education Task Force cochaired by the University addictions counselor and a faculty member and composed of faculty, staff, and students. The task force shall develop and coordinate an ongoing program available to all members of the academic community that:
        1. informs members of the academic community about the health hazards associated with drug abuse;
        2. emphasizes the incompatibility of drug abuse and maximum achievement of personal and educational goals;
        3. encourages members of the campus community to make use of available campus and community counseling, medical, and rehabilitation resources in dealing with drug abuse problems; and
        4. informs members of the academic community that they also may be subject to criminal prosecution for violating state laws relating to the illegal use, possession, delivery, sale, manufacture, or creation of controlled substances.
      2. WCU shall provide information about drug counseling and rehabilitation services to members of the university community, through campus-based programs for students and through community-based organizations for faculty, staff, and students. Persons who voluntarily avail themselves of university services shall be assured that applicable professional standards of confidentiality will be observed.
    2. Enforcement and Penalties
      1. Western Carolina University shall take all actions necessary, consistent with state and federal law and applicable university policy, to eliminate illegal drugs from the university community. The institutional policy on illegal drugs shall be publicized in catalogs and other relevant materials prepared for all enrolled and prospective students and in relevant materials distributed to faculty members, administrators, and other employees.
      2. Students, faculty members, administrators, and other employees are responsible, as citizens, for knowing about and complying with the provisions of North Carolina law that make it a crime to possess, sell, deliver, or manufacture those drugs designated collectively as “controlled substances” in Article 5 of Chapter 90 of the North Carolina General Statutes. Any member of the university community who violates that law is subject both to prosecution and punishment by the civil authorities and to disciplinary proceedings by the university. It is not “double jeopardy” for both the civil authorities and the university to proceed against and punish a person for the same specified conduct. The university shall initiate its own disciplinary proceeding against a student, faculty member, administrator, or other employee when the alleged conduct is deemed to affect the interests of the university.
      3. Penalties shall be imposed by the university in accordance with procedural safeguards applicable to disciplinary actions against students, faculty members, administrators, and other employees, and by regulations of the State Personnel Commission.*
      4. The penalties to be imposed by the university shall range from written warnings with probationary status to expulsions from enrollment and discharges from employment. However, the following minimum penalties shall be imposed for the particular offenses described.
  3. Trafficking in Illegal Drugs
    1. For the illegal manufacture, sale or delivery, or possession with intent to manufacture, sell, or deliver, of any controlled substance identified in Schedule I, North Carolina General Statutes 90-90, or Schedule II, General Statutes 90-90 (including, but not limited to, heroin, mescaline, lysergic acid diethylamide, opium, cocaine, amphetamine, and methaqualine), any student shall be expelled and any faculty member, administrator, or other employee shall be discharged.
    2. For a first offense involving the illegal manufacture, sale or delivery, or possession with intent to manufacture, sell, or deliver, of any controlled substance identified in Schedules III through VI, North Carolina General Statutes 90-91 through 90-94 (including but not limited to marijuana, pentobarbital, codeine), the minimum penalty shall be suspension from enrollment or from employment for a period of at least one semester or its equivalent. For a second offense, any student shall be expelled and any faculty member, administrator, or other employee shall be discharged.
  4. Illegal Possession of Drugs
    1. For a first offense involving the illegal possession of any controlled substance identified in Schedule I, N.C. General Statutes 90-89, or Schedule II, N.C. General Statutes 90-90, the minimum penalty shall be suspension from enrollment or from employment for a period of at least one semester or its equivalent.
    2. For a first offense involving the illegal possession of any controlled substance identified in Schedules III through VI, North Carolina General Statutes 90-91 through 90-94, the minimum penalty shall be probation, for a period to be determined on a case-by-case basis. A person on probation must agree to participate in a drug education and counseling program, consent to regular drug testing, and accept such other conditions and restrictions, including a program of community service, as the chancellor or the chancellor’s designee deems appropriate. Refusal or failure to abide by the terms of probation shall result in suspension from enrollment or from employment for any unexpired balance of the prescribed period of probation.
    3. For second or other subsequent offenses involving the illegal possession of controlled substances, progressively more severe penalties shall be imposed, including expulsion of the students and discharge of faculty members, administrators, or other employees.
  5. Suspension Pending Final Disposition
    When a student, faculty member, administrator, or other employee has been charged by the university with a violation of policies concerning illegal drugs, he or she may be suspended from enrollment or employment before initiation or completion of regular disciplinary proceedings if, assuming the truth of the charges, the chancellor or, in the chancellor’s absence, the chancellor’s designee concludes that the person’s continued presence within the university community would constitute a clear and immediate danger to the health or welfare of other members of the university community; provided, that if such a suspension is imposed, an appropriate hearing of the charges against the suspended person shall be held as promptly as possible thereafter.
  6. Compliance with Federal Drug-free Workplace Act of 1988 Pertaining to Employees
    1. As a condition of employment, an employee must abide by the terms of this policy and must notify his immediate supervisor at Western Carolina University of any criminal drug conviction occurring in the workplace no later than five days after that conviction.
    2. Western Carolina University will notify federal granting or contracting agencies within ten days after receiving notice that an employee directly engaged in a grant or contract has been convicted of a drug offense in the workplace.
    3. Western Carolina University will impose sanctions and/or require satisfactory participation in drug abuse or rehabilitation programs by an employee convicted of a drug-related violation in the workplace no later than thirty days after notice of said conviction.

* Rules of the State Personnel Commission govern disciplinary actions that may be taken against SPA employees; under current Commission policies, discharge rather than suspension is the applicable penalty for SPA employees in instances where this policy otherwise requires suspension.

Policy on Computer Abuse

The University provides computer access through the information technology division, college, and department computer systems. It is essential that computer systems be protected from misuse and unauthorized access subject to university policy and applicable state and federal laws. Computer abuse defined as, but not limited to, privacy issues, theft, vandalism, copyright issues, and harassment will be referred to the Office of the Chief Information Officer and/or college or department computer network and laboratory managers. Abuse involving theft or vandalism will also be reported to the director of the University Police Department. Penalties include, but are not necessarily limited to, suspension or revocation of computing privileges, reimbursement to the university for resources consumed, other legal action including action to recover damages, referral to law-enforcement authorities, and referral to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs for disciplinary action. In connection with inquiries into possible abuses, the university reserves the right to examine files, programs, passwords, accounting information, printouts, or other computing material without notice authorized only by the Chief Information Officer. See University Policy #52, Use of Computers and Data Communications online at http://www.wcu.edu/chancellor/index/universitypolicy/policy52.html.

 

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