2017-2018 Graduate Catalog


Professional Behavior Standards

Graduate students at TCU occupy a unique position in the student body. They are more mature individuals with a defined perspective for the future and a high degree of both motivation and ability. In some instances, they are both seeking advanced knowledge and transmitting knowledge through their assignments as teaching or research assistants. While preparing for the professional models characteristic of their chosen discipline, they also serve as models to others in the graduate student role. All of this brings a special obligation to evidence a level of conduct that is compatible with the University's goals to offer programs of excellence and to enrich both the community and humankind.

Graduate students are expected to be familiar with and adhere to the published academic policies, rules, regulations and procedures of the University, as well as appropriate local, state and federal laws. The guiding principle is to conduct oneself in a manner that reflects well on the individual, the University and the academic process. The student is also expected to be responsible for his/her invited guests.

Violations of conduct relative to expected standards of professional behavior will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including expulsion from the University. Violations are to be reported to the dean of the school/college in which he/she is enrolled, who will be responsible for investigating all allegations and recommending appropriate disciplinary actions.

Disruptive Classroom Behavior and Lack of Academic Progress

Disruptive behavior is prohibited. Disruptive behavior includes, but is not limited to, conduct that substantially interferes with or obstructs the teaching or learning process. Civil expression of disagreement with the course instructor, during times when the instructor permits discussion, is not itself disruptive behavior and is not prohibited.

When any student, acting individually or in concert with others, obstructs or disrupts, or attempts to obstruct or disrupt any teaching, research, administrative, disciplinary or public service activity, or any other activity authorized to be discharged on behalf of the University or held on the University's premises, the student may be asked to stop the disruptive behavior by an instructor or staff of the University. If the student continues, an instructor/staff member is authorized to tell the student to leave the area or classroom and, if the student will not leave, to call campus police.

The instructor/staff may immediately call campus police, without prior request to the student, if presented with an unsafe situation, threatening behavior, violence or in other appropriate circumstances.

  1. Withdrawal of Student From Class or Other Educational Experience. When a student disrupts a class or other educational experience, acts in a threatening manner, is not making acceptable academic progress, or if the student's behavior or lack of preparation is detrimental to the educational experience of others or could create an unsafe condition, or if the student is compromising the learning environment, the instructor may take action to withdraw the student from the class or educational experience.

    To do this, the instructor shall provide the student written notice of intent to withdraw the student from the class or educational experience, with an explanation of the instructor's reason(s), and with a copy to the instructor's department chair (or, when there is no department chair, to the associate dean of the instructor's school/college). The notice should schedule a meeting with the student and the department chair (or, when there is no department chair, with the associate dean or dean of the instructor's school/college) to occur within seven days of the notice. The instructor may bar the student from the class or educational experience pending the result of the meeting, and the written notice should advise the student if there is such a bar. At the meeting, the student may have one adviser. Following the meeting, the instructor shall decide whether to withdraw the student from the class or educational experience. If a student is withdrawn, his/her grade will be recommended by the instructor to the dean of the instructor's school/college as either a "Q" or an "F." The student may appeal this decision within seven days in writing to the academic dean or designee. During the student's appeal, the student remains withdrawn from and is barred from attending the class. The academic dean or his/ her designee's decision on this appeal is final.
  2. Denying Enrollment, Suspension, Expulsion, and Other Appropriate Action. When a student disrupts a class or other educational experience, acts in a threatening manner, is not making acceptable academic progress, or if the student's behavior or lack of preparation is detrimental to the educational experience of others or could create an unsafe condition, or if the student is compromising the learning environment, or if the student has acted contrary to the professional or ethical standards of the University, a department thereof, or a particular field, an academic dean, or the dean's designee, may additionally:
    1. Deny class enrollment to the student; or
    2. Suspend or expel the student from the University or from one or more of its programs; or
    3. Take other appropriate action.

    The student affected by such a decision by an academic dean, or the dean's designee, may appeal in writing within seven days to the Academic Appeals Committee. The decision of the academic dean (or designee) remains in place during the pendency of the appeal. The Academic Appeals Committee's decision on the matter is final.

    A student so suspended or expelled shall have a grade of "Q" or "F" recorded for each course in progress as determined appropriate by the academic dean. The transcript will not record suspension or expulsion.

  3. Non-students and Non-Enrolled Students. Non-students and students not enrolled in class may be permanently removed by an instructor of the class, without formal review. Non-students who disrupt University activities may be removed from campus and banned from returning.
  4. Other. Although some disruptive behavior may be due to a mental or physical disorder, as it relates to violence, disruptive or threatening behavior, students with such disorders will be held to the same standards as others.

Nothing in this policy limits a person, including, but not limited to, an instructor, academic dean, associate dean or department chair from referring a matter to the Office of the Dean of Campus Life or pursuing disciplinary action against a student or person through a complaint filed in the Office of the Dean of Campus Life.

This policy is not intended to limit any authorized University employee, staff member, official, vice chancellor, chancellor, members of the Board of Trustees or a member of the Office of Dean of Campus Life, from appropriately addressing behaviors covered by the policy.