Catalog 2016-2017


Student Code of Conduct

Students are expected to conduct themselves ethically, honestly, and with integrity as responsible members of the University's academic community. This requires the demonstration of mutual respect and civility in academic and professional discourse.

By virtue of membership in the University's academic community, students accept an obligation to abide by the Student Code of Conduct. West students are expected to uphold the image and reputation of the University. Behavior, either on or off campus, that is determined to impair, interfere, or obstruct the opportunities of others to learn or that disrupts the mission, processes, or orderly functions of the University will be deemed misconduct and shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action. Misconduct, for which students are subject to disciplinary action under the Student Code of Conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following academic and non-academic violations:

  1. Actions, oral statements, and written statements that threaten or violate the personal safety of any faculty members, staff members, or other students.
  2. Obstruction or disruption of teaching or other components of the academic process, administration, or University activity.
  3. Harassment that has the effect of creating a hostile or offensive educational environment for any student, faculty, or staff member.
  4. Sex discrimination/harassment that has the effect of creating a hostile or offensive educational environment for any student, faculty, or staff member. This includes, but is not limited to, sex discrimination, sexual harassment, unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal and nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature including sexual violence.
  5. Stalking, persistently pursuing another person that has the effect of imposing unwelcomed contact and/or communication.
  6. Theft of University property or of property of a member of the University community on campus.
  7. Willful, wanton, or reckless damage to University premises or property, or the property of a member of the University community.
  8. Failure to comply with published University policies or reasonable directives of university officials while performing their duties.
  9. Failure to conform to University guidelines regarding use of university computer or communication systems, authorized use of University equipment, intellectual property, or information systems.
  10. Sharing student credentials, including online login information, with any person other than West Student Technical Support.
  11. Unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, or use of alcohol and/or controlled substances on the University premises or during University activities; participation in any University activity while under the direct or residual influence of any controlled substance, alcohol, or misused or overused legal drugs.
  12. Possession, use, sale, or distribution of any firearms, fireworks, explosives, illegal drug paraphernalia, dangerous weapons, or any other materials/substances prohibited by law on University premises or at University sponsored events (not applicable to law enforcement officers required to carry firearms at all times).
  13. Unauthorized use of the University's name or logo that is the property of the University. 
  14. Violation of local, state, or federal statutes or University regulations.
  15. Hazing (any action that recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student for the purpose of admission or initiation into or affiliation with a University-sanctioned organization.)
  16. Falsification, alteration, or invention of information, including, but not limited to, any third party document used to apply for financial aid, transfer credits, diplomas, transcripts, or lying during University investigation.

Conduct Review Process

  1. All charges alleging violations of West's Code of Conduct are subject to a fair and impartial process to determine whether or not a violation has occurred. Depending on the severity of the charge, a violation may result in a warning or review through the following process.
  2. Charges related to student records should be submitted to the attention of the Associate Registrar.
  3. Charges alleging violations of West's Code of Conduct, unless related to sex discrimination/harassment, must be submitted in writing to the attention of the Associate Registrar, Director of Faculty Services or designee.
  4. An alleged violation of West's Code of Conduct that relates to sex discrimination/harassment shall be forwarded to the University’s Title IX Coordinator, Dr. Christopher Davis or designee:

4025 S. Riverpoint Parkway

Mailstop CF-SX01

Phoenix, AZ 85040

(602) 429-1112

Investigation

  1. Allegations will be investigated in a prompt and reasonable manner.
  2. Relevant evidence may include, but not be limited to, pertinent documents and statements from witnesses. Title IX investigations will be conducted within sixty (60) days barring any unusual complexity.
  3. While an alleged violation is under investigation, a student may be removed from class, campus-sanctioned events, and other University functions.

Notification

  1. A student who is charged with a violation of West's Code of Conduct will be notified of the specific charge(s) in writing by a Charging Letter sent via Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested, or comparable means, and given ten (10) business days to submit a written response to the designated University official.
  2. Failure of a student to respond to the Charging Letter will result in suspension from the University following completion of the current course if the student is then actively attending classes and is not subject to immediate suspension.
  3. In those instances where the University determines the conduct does not warrant a Charging Letter, it may choose to issue a Warning Letter and/or provide counseling to the student. NOTE: A Warning Letter is not appealable.
  4. In Title IX cases, the complainant(s) shall be notified of the conduct procedures and notified of when and if a Charging Letter or warning is sent to the respondent(s).

Student Response

  1. A student response acknowledging guilt will be sent to the Associate Registrar or designee, who will determine the appropriate sanctions.
  2. In Title IX cases, a student response acknowledging guilt will follow the Title IX committee process outlined below.
  3. A student response denying the charge(s) will follow the committee process outlined below.

Disciplinary Review

  1. In cases not involving allegations of sex discrimination/harassment, the University Academic Council Review Committee (UACRC) will convene to review the file and make findings and recommendations to the Associate Registrar, or designee, who has the ultimate authority to accept, reject, or modify the recommendations and render a decision. The decision shall be sent via Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested, or comparable means.
  2. The UACRC shall use the preponderance of the evidence standard of proof (more likely than not) to weigh the evidence and make a recommendation to the Associate Registrar, or designee about whether a violation occurred and what sanction, if any, is warranted.
  3. In cases involving sex discrimination/harassment, the Title IX committee, who will be comprised of at least three impartial individuals who have no prior involvement with the parties or the investigation, will convene to review the file and make a determination. Opposing parties will be afforded the opportunity to speak at the committee which will be facilitated by an impartial administrator from the university and present written witness statements for inclusion in the Title IX Case Packet. Students are entitled to have third parties present during the committee process.
  4. The Title IX Committee shall use the preponderance of the evidence standard of proof (more likely than not) to weigh the evidence and make a recommendation to the Title IX coordinator or designee about whether a violation occurred and what sanction, if any, is warranted.
  5. In accordance with the requirements under the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA), upon written request, West will disclose to an alleged victim of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense the results of any disciplinary hearing conducted by the Institution against the student who is the alleged perpetrator of the crime or offense.
  6. If the alleged victim is deceased as a result of the alleged crime or offense, West will provide the results of the disciplinary hearing to the victim's next of kin, if so requested.
  7. In accordance with the requirements under the HEOA, in cases of an alleged sex offense, both the accuser and the accused will be informed of the committee determination involving an alleged sex offense, including any sanction that is imposed.

Sanctions

  1. If a violation is found, disciplinary sanctions shall be based on the seriousness of the situation and may include, but are not limited to, documented counseling by a University staff member, loss of academic credit, action plan (must be approved by the Office of Dispute Management), suspension, and/or expulsion. Students are responsible to pay for courses interrupted by the Conduct Review Process if the investigation results in a sanction.
  2. A recommendation of expulsion by the decision maker shall be reviewed by the West Executive Review Committee and the Office of Dispute Management before that sanction is communicated to the student.

Appeals

  1. In those instances where students are found to be in violation of West's Code of Conduct, they may appeal the decision to the Executive Review Committee (ERC) within ten (10) days of receiving the notice. The ERC is comprised of the Provost, the Vice President of Operations, and the Registrar (or their respective designees).
  2. In Title IX cases, opposing parties shall be afforded the opportunity to appeal within ten (10) days of receiving notice of the outcome; if an appeal is filed, each party shall receive notice of the other party’s appeal.
  3. The decision of the ERC is final and shall be communicated directly to the student and the campus, except in the case of a decision by the ERC supporting a campus recommendation of expulsion. If the sanction against the student is expulsion, the review of the appeal shall be conducted by the University President. The decision of the University President is final and will be communicated directly to the student and administration.
  4. In Title IX cases, opposing parties will be notified of the ERC decision.

Academic Violations


Plagiarism – Representing the words or ideas of another as one’s own or unlawful use or acquisition of copyrighted works.

Copyright Infringement – Acquisition or use of copyrighted works without appropriate legal license or permission. This includes illegal peer-to-peer file sharing.

• Cheating – Intentionally using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or study aids in any academic exercise.

• Submitting work that had been prepared for a different course.

• Facilitating Academic Dishonesty by intentionally or knowingly helping or attempting to help another student violate academic integrity.

Conduct Review Process


1. All charges alleging violations of West's Code of Conduct are subject to a fair and impartial process to determine whether or not a violation has occurred. Depending on the severity of the charge, a violation may result in a warning or review through the following process.

2. Charges related to student records should be submitted to the attention of the Associate Registrar.

3. Charges alleging violations of West's Code of Conduct, unless related to sex discrimination/harassment, must be submitted in writing to the attention of the Associate Registrar, Director of Faculty Services or designee.

4. An alleged violation of West's Code of Conduct that relates to sex discrimination/harassment shall be forwarded to the University’s Title IX Coordinator, Dr. Christopher Davis or designee:

4025 S. Riverpoint Parkway
Mailstop CF-SX01
Phoenix, AZ 85040
(602) 429-1112

Investigation

1. Allegations will be investigated in a prompt and reasonable manner.

2. Relevant evidence may include, but not be limited to, pertinent documents and statements from witnesses. Title IX investigations will be conducted within sixty (60) days barring any unusual complexity.

3. While an alleged violation is under investigation, a student may be removed from class, campus-sanctioned events, and other University functions.

Notification

1. A student who is charged with a violation of West's Code of Conduct will be notified of the specific charge(s) in writing by a Charging Letter sent via Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested, or comparable means, and given ten (10) business days to submit a written response to the designated University official. 

2. Failure of a student to respond to the Charging Letter will result in suspension from the University following completion of the current course if the student is then actively attending classes and is not subject to immediate suspension. 

3. In those instances where the University determines the conduct does not warrant a Charging Letter, it may choose to issue a Warning Letter and/or provide counseling to the student. NOTE: A Warning Letter is not appealable. 

4. In Title IX cases, the complainant(s) shall be notified of the conduct procedures and notified of when and if a Charging Letter or warning is sent to the respondent(s). 

Student Response

1. A student response acknowledging guilt will be sent to the Associate Registrar or designee, who will determine the appropriate sanctions. 

2. In Title IX cases, a student response acknowledging guilt will follow the Title IX committee process outlined below. 

3. A student response denying the charge(s) will follow the committee process outlined below. 

Disciplinary Review 

1. In cases not involving allegations of sex discrimination/harassment, the University Academic Council Review Committee (UACRC) will convene to review the file and make findings and recommendations to the Associate Registrar, or designee, who has the ultimate authority to accept, reject, or modify the recommendations and render a decision. The decision shall be sent via Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested, or comparable means.

2. The UACRC shall use the preponderance of the evidence standard of proof (more likely than not) to weigh the evidence and make a recommendation to the Associate Registrar, or designee about whether a violation occurred and what sanction, if any, is warranted.

3. In cases involving sex discrimination/harassment, the Title IX committee, who will be comprised of at least three impartial individuals who have no prior involvement with the parties or the investigation, will convene to review the file and make a determination. Opposing parties will be afforded the opportunity to speak at the committee which will be facilitated by an impartial administrator from the university and present written witness statements for inclusion in the Title IX Case Packet. Students are entitled to have third parties present during the committee process.

4. The Title IX Committee shall use the preponderance of the evidence standard of proof (more likely than not) to weigh the evidence and make a recommendation to the Title IX coordinator or designee about whether a violation occurred and what sanction, if any, is warranted.

5. In accordance with the requirements under the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA), upon written request, West will disclose to an alleged victim of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense the results of any disciplinary hearing conducted by the Institution against the student who is the alleged perpetrator of the crime or offense.

6. If the alleged victim is deceased as a result of the alleged crime or offense, West will provide the results of the disciplinary hearing to the victim's next of kin, if so requested.

7. In accordance with the requirements under the HEOA, in cases of an alleged sex offense, both the accuser and the accused will be informed of the committee determination involving an alleged sex offense, including any sanction that is imposed.

Sanctions 

1. If a violation is found, disciplinary sanctions shall be based on the seriousness of the situation and may include, but are not limited to, documented counseling by a University staff member, loss of academic credit, action plan (must be approved by the Office of Dispute Management), suspension, and/or expulsion. Students are responsible to pay for courses interrupted by the Conduct Review Process if the investigation results in a sanction. 

2. A recommendation of expulsion by the decision maker shall be reviewed by the West Executive Review Committee and the Office of Dispute Management before that sanction is communicated to the student. 

Appeals

1. In those instances where students are found to be in violation of West's Code of Conduct, they may appeal the decision to the Executive Review Committee (ERC) within ten (10) days of receiving the notice. The ERC is comprised of the Provost, the Vice President of Operations, and the Registrar (or their respective designees). 

2. In Title IX cases, opposing parties shall be afforded the opportunity to appeal within ten (10) days of receiving notice of the outcome; if an appeal is filed, each party shall receive notice of the other party’s appeal. 

3. The decision of the ERC is final and shall be communicated directly to the student and the campus, except in the case of a decision by the ERC supporting a campus recommendation of expulsion. If the sanction against the student is expulsion, the review of the appeal shall be conducted by the University President. The decision of the University President is final and will be communicated directly to the student and administration. 

4. In Title IX cases, opposing parties will be notified of the ERC decision.