NYMC > Graduate School of Basic Medical Sciences (GSBMS) > Code of Conduct

Code of Conduct

Graduate School of Basic Medical Sciences
Regulations Regarding Student Conduct

Student Rights and Responsibilities

The graduate programs of the Graduate School of Basic Medical Sciences (“the Graduate School”) are intended to provide their students with the knowledge and skills necessary to pursue careers in the biomedical sciences and/or in fields allied with the biomedical sciences.  Students who enroll in one of these academic programs have certain legitimate expectations (or rights) regarding the educational program they are undertaking, and also assume certain responsibilities.  This document outlines these rights and responsibilities in general terms by establishing principles that are intended to serve as guidelines for the student’s experience at NYMC.  This document does not replace or supersede other documents that specify graduate school and/or college policies with regard to academic rules and regulations, student financial aid, employee rights and conditions of employment, maintenance of a safe working environment, discrimination, or sexual harassment.

General Principles

1.  Applicants will be considered for admission without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or handicap. Because the institution believes that diversity in the student population strengthens the academic mission of the school, we actively recruit applicants of both sexes and members of under-represented minority groups.  Admission to all academic programs is based on an evaluation of the applicant’s potential for high level conceptual, integrative and quantitative thinking and his or her capabilities for independent observation, communication, and fine motor skills.  Successful applicants must also possess behavioral and social abilities and skills commensurate with the interactive nature of modern science.

 2.  Students have the right to expect an environment, in both classroom and laboratory, that is conducive to learning and the students’ professional and intellectual development.  In laboratory settings, students will be given appropriate guidance in designing and executing experiments, and sufficient training in specific laboratory techniques required for those experiments. Students must also, however, assume significant responsibility for their own education.  For example, students are responsible for knowing the requirements of their program and the various academic rules, regulations and deadlines of the Graduate School.  Students are responsible for obtaining or refreshing the prerequisite knowledge needed before undertaking each new course.  When students feel the need for academic guidance, or when their academic performance is poor or indicates slow progress, they are responsible for seeking advice from the faculty and must be willing to undertake remedial action with a high priority. 

 3. Students will be evaluated in the classroom and laboratory on the merit of their performance.  Such evaluation will contain a variety of objective and subjective measures appropriate to the specific course or laboratory training, and to the academic program.  Students are entitled to timely feedback from the faculty on their performance, especially with regard to specific elements of that performance that need improvement or further development.

 4.  All members of the college community have the right to expect fair and respectful treatment from all other members.  Students should expect to be treated fairly and with respect by the faculty and staff.  In turn, students are expected to show respect towards the faculty and administrative staff.  Abusive language or behavior and harassment, whether of a sexual nature or otherwise, will not be tolerated.

 5.  Student records are confidential.  Access to those records is limited to those within the institution with a clearly defined and legitimate need to know.  This includes those individuals with a role in evaluating candidates for admission and in assessing student academic progress, and those individuals responsible for the safety and security of the college community.  Students may examine their own permanent record, except for confidential items such as letters of recommendation for which the student has waived access rights.  The college will release information to outside agencies as required by law and for the purpose of accreditation.  Students have the right under the Family Education Records Protection Act (FERPA) to restrict the release of certain specific personal information.  Inquiries about this policy should be directed to the Office of the Registrar.

 6.  The progress of science and its value to society is absolutely dependent upon the integrity of its practitioners.  Therefore, each graduate student is held to the same standard of ethical behavior as the faculty.  Behavior that is dishonest or otherwise unethical will not be tolerated.  Such behavior would include, but is not limited to, the following: plagiarism, cheating, theft, dishonesty, scientific misconduct, and intentional damage to the work or possessions of others.  All researchers at NYMC, including students, are bound by the principles in the College’s Guidelines for Ethical Practices in Research and Policies for Dealing with Instances of Alleged Violations of Ethical Standards and, if applicable, the Guidelines for the Conduct of Research Involving Human Subjects at New York Medical College.  The requirement that students behave with integrity, however, is not limited to the research laboratory alone, but also applies to all aspects of academic and extracurricular student life at NYMC.

 7. Students have the right to appeal certain decisions affecting their standing in the Graduate School.  In general, the hierarchy of authority rises from the Graduate Program Director through the Department Chair and up to the Dean of the Graduate School.  If these avenues fail to provide a satisfactory resolution, there are specific appeals processes that may be invoked.  The Graduate Schools Appeals Board (GSAB) is appropriate for many issues that might affect graduate students.  There is a separate process for appealing grades.  Other college processes might be used for issues related to alleged scientific misconduct or discriminatory practices.  When in doubt, the student should seek the guidance of the GSBMS Dean as to what mechanism is most appropriate for the case in question.  Each of these appeals processes has a defined end-point.  The student who seeks redress through these processes makes the implicit agreement in so doing that he or she will abide by the final outcome of the process.

Academic Regulations and Student Progress

 8. Students are governed by the academic rules and regulations of the Graduate School and also by specific academic rules and regulations of their academic program.  These may be found in the Graduate School Bulletin and on the Graduate School Web site.  Programs shall also issue graduate guides that elaborate on program or departmental rules and procedures.  Students have the right to expect a clear and consistent description of any special requirements or procedures within their academic program – e.g., rules specifying the timing and format of qualifying examinations, guidelines governing research rotations, the procedure for selecting a thesis committee, the procedure and timetable for creating a Master’s Literature Review, etc.  Wherever practical, these should be in written form.  The Graduate School and its academic programs should provide their students with timely information about any changes in academic policies or procedures.  Students are responsible for knowing these rules.  These rules may be changed from time-to-time, and there is an unavoidable lag time before such changes can be reflected in the Bulletin or on the official Web site.  Students are advised to check with the Graduate School Office or with their Graduate Program Director when there is any doubt about a specific rule or regulation.

 9.  New students have the right to expect an orientation to the Graduate School and to their academic program upon their arrival at the college.  Such orientation may take the form of organized sessions, one-on-one counseling, printed materials, or a combination of these methods.

10. Students have the right to receive a clear description of the rules governing each academic course for which they have registered.  These “rules” should include the form and format of the evaluation that will be used to assign a grade.  The relative weight of each evaluative factor (exams, term papers, in-class participation, etc.) must be specified.  This information should be provided in written format. 

11. Students are entitled to be graded on an equitable basis with other students within any individual course.  If a student feels that he/she was graded unfairly, or that the basis for the grade was not in compliance with Graduate School rules and standards, there is a process for appealing the grade.  Details of this process may be obtained from the GSBMS Student Handbook (2nd edition) or from the Dean’s Office.

12. Students have the right to receive regular feedback regarding their academic progress within their graduate program.  Graduate Program Directors should schedule a formal meeting with each student at least once each semester to discuss the student’s academic performance, course selection, timetables and preparation for qualifying exams, timetables for thesis or dissertation proposals, and timetables for completion and defense of the literature review, Master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation.  Individual students may request additional meetings.  Particular attention should be paid to students who are progressing slowly because of academic difficulties or extracurricular problems. 

13. Students have the responsibility to devote an appropriate amount of their time and energy toward achieving academic excellence and completing their degree requirements.  Faculty must respect this objective and afford the student adequate opportunity to progress through the program.  While laboratory training is an important or essential component of graduate education in the basic medical sciences, particularly in Ph.D. programs, other program components (academic classes, qualifying exams, development of communication skills, etc.) are also important.  Students must be given the opportunity to undertake and complete these other program components in a timely fashion, and with their best academic effort.  A student’s progress towards completion of degree requirements should not be delayed solely because of the student’s proficiency as a research assistant.

14. All GSBMS graduate programs include as part of their educational objectives the development of the student’s oral and written communication skills.  Students should receive adequate and repeated opportunities to develop these skills by making oral, written, and graphical (poster) presentations of research within their scientific disciplines, including their own research results.  Whenever practical, students should receive some guidance in how to prepare effective grant proposals; this is particularly appropriate and important for Ph.D. students. The faculty must assume the responsibility to coach and guide the students in the development of these important professional skills.  While this objective is an essential component of all Ph.D. programs, it is also an important part of all M.S. programs.

15. During their graduate studies, students should be preparing themselves for entrance onto or advancement along a career path.  Faculty should provide students with appropriate guidance and advice in this area, but it remains primarily the student’s responsibility to explore available options.  Faculty should make themselves familiar with career and employment trends, so that they are better prepared to offer useful and appropriate guidance.  Faculty should make every effort to allow students access to scientists and professionals, from a variety of employment sectors, who may be visiting the College, or who may be encountered at off-site meetings, in order to discuss career opportunities within their chosen field. 

16. In order to earn a Ph.D. degree, the student must conduct and complete an original research project under the guidance of a faculty sponsor.  Only faculty designated as “Graduate Faculty Mentors” can serve in such a capacity.  Moreover, except under extraordinary circumstances, the faculty sponsor should be a member of the student’s academic program.  A student and faculty sponsor enter into such a master-apprentice relationship only by mutual consent.  Although the program should assist the student in identifying a suitable sponsor, obtaining such sponsorship is ultimately the student’s responsibility and is an absolute requirement for continuation in the Ph.D. program.  Under ordinary circumstances, this sponsorship should be obtained by the end of student’s second complete year of graduate study.

17. Committees formed to provide academic advice to the student, or to evaluate his/her academic progress – e.g., qualifying examination committees – are chosen by the program faculty, with the approval of the Dean.  The program faculty may assign the task of selecting such committees to the Graduate Program Director and/or the student’s sponsor.  The composition of dissertation committees, Master’s thesis committees, and faculty readers of Master’s literature reviews must meet specific Graduate School and program rules.  Aside from these constraints, the membership of such committees should be subject to the mutual consent of the student and the program faculty.  Final approval of all such committees by the Dean is required.  The Dean shall determine the final composition of such committees when there is an impasse between the student and the program faculty.

Research Training and Intellectual Property Issues

Graduate programs within the Graduate School involve intensive laboratory research experiences for the student.  This is particularly true of Ph.D. programs and, to a lesser extent, research-based “Plan B” Master’s programs.  Students in these programs are conducting actual research, rather than “cookbook” laboratory training exercises.  The overall objective is for students undertaking such research training to gain expertise in the “scientific method” of solving problems.  This includes mastering elements such as hypothesis testing, experimental design, experimental techniques, and data analysis.  The role of the student in the laboratory, however, may range substantially – from that of a technician performing a specific, assigned laboratory task to that of a co-investigator, who designs and analyzes experiments with little direct supervision.  The student’s position in the laboratory is essentially that of a trainee or apprentice, who is learning by doing under the watchful eye of the faculty member.  Not all apprentices are equally skilled, however.  Most students begin as novices who require lots of guidance and oversight, but many develop into capable scientists who are ready to assume a level of independence in conducting their research.  In a sense, it is exactly that progressive development that is the goal of and that marks the natural end-point of a Ph.D. education.

This spectrum of student ability and this progressive development of skill and independence make it difficult to articulate hard and fast rules about certain aspects of the ownership of intellectual property that results from research participated in by graduate students.  Other aspects of this issue, however, are governed by clear law and precedent.  Moreover, there are educational principles that may be applied to the student’s role in such research activities.  This section outlines these various principles.

18. When a student undertakes a laboratory rotation in a faculty member’s laboratory, there should be a clear understanding by both parties as to the expectations of the other.  The faculty member should identify what is expected of the student, in terms of time, effort, participation, and accountability.  The objectives and end-point of the rotation should be defined as clearly as possible.  The student should identify any special skills or experiences he/she would like to acquire.  The faculty member should identify the possibilities for co-authorship by the student of future publications, or for presentation of the research by the student at local or national scientific meetings.  In general, these possibilities should always be available except for very brief rotations.  Also, all research rotations should provide the student with the opportunity to write up the research plan and results and to present them in an appropriate format, at least within the laboratory or at a departmental or school-based research forum.

19. The major goal of all research laboratory experiences within a graduate program is to contribute to the student’s academic, intellectual and professional development.  The faculty member (principal investigator) has a legal obligation to expend grant funds with appropriate regard for the purposes of the supported research project.  Thus, in the absence of independent funding for student research, which is rarely available, these two principles must be satisfied simultaneously.  The choice of a research project, including a Ph.D. dissertation project or a Master’s thesis project, shall be made with both principles in mind.  Both the student and the faculty mentor should participate in identifying an appropriate project.

20. The faculty member who is the Principal Investigator for a research project is responsible for all aspects of the research.  This includes monitoring the accuracy, validity, and integrity of the research, including any performed by the student.  The Principal Investigator also has the authority to allocate resources, including laboratory manpower and scarce reagents, as he/she sees fit for the best progress of the overall research project.  Students may be asked at times to contribute to more than one specific project, including projects that might not be directly related to the student’s primary research.  Students should receive any specific training and supervision necessary for the performance of their assigned laboratory tasks.  Insofar as the student is gaining some advance in knowledge, skill, or proficiency, and insofar as this does not unduly impede the student’s progress towards a degree, such assignments are acceptable.  Students should also be prepared to perform a fair share of the housekeeping duties (glassware washing, inventory maintenance, preparation of standard reagents, animal husbandry, record keeping, etc.) that are part of the normal operation of a research laboratory.

21. Authorship of scientific reports in reputable scientific journals signifies a substantive intellectual contribution to the work.  In general, the physical performance of the research experiments and the statistical analysis of the data do not, in and of themselves, qualify an individual for authorship.  Students and their faculty supervisors should discuss the prospects for authorship at the outset of the student’s participation in the research.  In general, except for very limited and brief rotations, students should have the opportunity to become co-authors of a published work that arises from their research effort, provided that they contribute to the design, analysis and interpretation of the research in addition to providing technical services.

22. Although scientists have the ultimate responsibility to report their research results, there may be good reasons for not revealing results prematurely.  Data generated within a college research laboratory is “owned” by the institution and the Principal Investigator, not by the student.  Students must recognize this and, accordingly, maintain the confidentiality of the faculty adviser’s research prior to publication.  Before a scientific meeting, or before meeting with a visiting scientist, students should confer with their faculty supervisors regarding whether particular sets of unpublished data might be freely discussed.

23. In order to receive their degree, students must publish their dissertation or thesis.  In the case of Ph.D. students and research-based, “Plan B” M.S. students, therefore, it is important that their dissertation or thesis research be unencumbered by proprietary interests that would prevent or delay such publication of the work by the student.  If the thesis or dissertation project involves proprietary reagents or compounds, signed agreements must be presented to the Dean at the time of the thesis proposal that stipulate that the student will be free to publish his/her research.  The Dean will not allow a thesis or dissertation project to be undertaken if there is a possibility that awarding of the intended degree might be delayed because of proprietary concerns. 

24. Students are capable of making or participating in scientific discoveries and are eligible to share in patent rights under the College’s Intellectual Property Policy.  Such claims, however, are based upon the nature and extent of the student’s contributions to the discovery or invention.  As is true with authorship, it is the intellectual contribution that is critical, not just the physical execution of experiments.  If a student is assigned to a project that is designed to accumulate data for use in supporting a future patent application, the student’s eligibility to share in these rights should be discussed with the student before his/her participation begins.

25. Students should have the opportunity to attend and present their research results at meetings, workshops, or conferences.  All students who perform research rotations should have this opportunity in the various departmental and school-wide research forums that are held each year.  It is particularly important for Ph.D. students to attend and present their results at regional or national meetings appropriate to their discipline.  It is the responsibility of the faculty sponsor and the student’s academic program to provide such opportunities, particularly as the student progresses through the dissertation research stage.  Student participation in any specific extramural meeting or conference is dependent in part upon the progress of the student’s research, the scientific relevance of the meeting, and the availability of funds.

26. Students should learn the principles governing the ethical conduct of scientific research and the standard professional ethics of modern science.  The Graduate School should offer courses, workshops, and other programs to foster this aspect of training.  Faculty sponsors and mentors must also assume an individual responsibility for raising and discussing such issues with their students.

Financial Aid and Employment Issues

New York Medical College (NYMC) has established policies affirming its commitment to excellence in education and respect for the rights and responsibilities of all those involved in the process. These policies which apply to faculty, students, and employees, have been devised to create an environment in which each individual can maximize his or her personal and professional potential.  The Graduate School policy on student employment is subject to and does not supercede existing college policies such as those relating to standards of conduct, non-discrimination, sexual harassment, student-student and student-teacher relationships, academic freedom, intellectual property, and conflicts of interest. College policies are detailed in the Graduate Student Handbook, in the NYMC Policy and Procedural Handbook, or on the College’s WEB site. This policy is also subject to existing state and Federal regulations governing employment, including but not limited to, those issued by the Internal Revenue Service, the Federal Student Loan programs relating to College Work/Study, and the specific employment restrictions of grantor agencies such as the NIH. Foreign students are subject to additional restrictions on employment and should consult with the Office of International Students and Scholars.

In devising this policy the college recognizes that employment of graduate students serves the dual purpose of providing financial support for the student while furthering both the student’s academic and professional development and the college’s academic and research mission. The following principles shall apply to student employment:

27. Students should be placed in employment relevant to the student’s degree program and professional goals whenever possible. It is recognized that placement as a Teaching Assistant or Research Assistant may be contingent on the student’s status in the program and level of advancement toward a Master’s or Doctor of Philosophy degree. When employment is necessary to provide financial support for the student, the work assignments involving teaching, research, or administrative tasks unrelated to the student’s individual academic program and research project should not exceed 20 hours per week. The assignment should be discussed between the student and the supervisor to clarify the nature of the assignment and their mutual expectations.  Any areas of disagreement or issues needing clarification should be brought to the attention of the Graduate Program Director and the Graduate School Dean.

28. Ph.D. students may receive fellowship support from the Graduate School in the form of tuition waivers and a stipend to defray living expenses.  This award is contingent upon the student devoting a “full-time” effort towards the various academic activities specified in his/her degree program.  These activities may include formal course work, independent or directed study, preparation of seminars or written documents such as qualifying exam essays or thesis proposals, and bench research.  Each full-time Ph.D. student receiving financial aid for living expenses receives a combination of fellowship (stipend) and research assistantship (salary) that falls within Graduate School guidelines for student support.  The student receiving such a combination of support is considered a full-time student, whose primary responsibility is towards the various academic activities specified in his/her program of study.  No more than 20 hours per week (pro-rated to the level of the student’s support that is derived from his/her research assistantship) of the student’s effort can be assigned to functions and activities not directly related to the student’s own academic program of training.

29. Students should receive timely feedback and guidance related to their job performance.  In the event of a dispute relating to assignments, the student is encouraged to seek an informal consultation with both his/her supervisor and his/her faculty mentor.  In the event the issue is not resolved, it should then be referred to the departmental chair and then to the Dean of the Graduate School for review under the appropriate grievance procedure.

30. Students are responsible for maintaining their academic performance and good academic standing as detailed in the Graduate School Bulletin, regardless of whether they elect to engage in outside employment unrelated to their program.  Master’s students should discuss their employment responsibilities with their program director in order to choose an appropriate academic course load, and with their course director if these responsibilities might affect the student’s timely completion of course assignments.  Ph.D. students receiving full fellowship and research assistantship support are not exempt from any responsibility for “full time” effort within the degree program by virtue of accepting outside employment.  Ph.D. students who are considering outside employment must discuss the matter with their faculty sponsor in order to avoid misunderstanding and misperceived expectations on either side.  Furthermore, they must receive permission from the Dean before undertaking employment unrelated to their Ph.D. program.

31. Financial support for Ph.D. students, in the form of a fellowship (stipend) and/or a research assistantship (salary), is awarded initially based upon the merit of the applicant.  Continuance is contingent upon the student’s maintenance of full-time status, good academic standing in the doctoral program, and acceptable progress towards completing the degree.  Such support shall be continued for a reasonable time to allow the student the opportunity to complete the degree requirements.  Although there is not currently a strict time limit, support beyond five years is dependent upon the student continuing to make good progress towards completing the dissertation and other program requirements.  Continued support in such cases is determined annually on a case-by-case basis.  When such support is to be terminated, every effort will be made to inform the student well in advance of the planned termination date.  In general, support shall be continued for students who are on academic probation. 

32. When funds supporting a research assistantship for a Ph.D. student are lost because of grant termination or other situations beyond the student’s control, available funds will be used to maintain that student’s support before being applied to the support of new students in that program.

33. Graduate students are eligible to apply for financial aid in the form of subsidized and unsubsidized loans, work-study programs, and scholarships.  Some aid and scholarship programs have residency, enrollment and financial need requirements.  The Office of Student Financial Aid shall assist the student in applying for appropriate aid programs.  Eligibility for certain types of financial aid, such as Title IV student loans, also requires a student to maintain satisfactory academic progress towards fulfilling degree requirements.  Poor academic performance, as defined in GSBMS regulations and characterized by academic probation or slow progress in completing credit or other requirements of a degree program, may jeopardize such eligibility.

34. Graduate students who are employed as graduate research assistants or graduate research associates are to be considered primarily students, whose employment is only incidental to their graduate study.  As such, students will receive fringe benefits allotted for students, rather than those designated for regular employees of the College.

35. Support for students who wish to pursue a Ph.D. degree with a part-time effort will be determined on a case-by-case basis.  In general, students who hold positions of full-time employment while they are pursuing their degree on a part-time basis will not be eligible for fellowship or research assistantship support.

36. Students are not required to perform extraneous personal work for faculty (mowing lawns, baby-sitting, etc.) without appropriate compensation, nor may they be coerced to do so.  Within reason, certain professionally relevant tasks (e.g., library research) may be assigned to students without specific compensation.

Grievance Process

See Graduate School Appeals Board.

Enactment History

Development by Faculty-Student Task Force: September 1999 – September 2000
Approved by Graduate Faculty Council:   September 28, 2000
Approved by Academic Affairs Committee, Board of Trustees:  October, 2000
Approved by Governance Committee, Board of Trustees:   November 29, 2000
Amended by Graduate Faculty Council (paragraph #30):   November 13, 2007
Technical amendment (last two sentences of paragraph #33):  August, 2012

 

Graduate School Appeals Board (GSAB)

A. Purpose:

The purpose of the GSAB is to review appeals brought by graduate students of decisions made by College representatives concerning:

1. retention in graduate programs,

2. charges of academic misconduct or dishonesty, and

3. selected other issues related to graduate education as deemed appropriate to forward to the GSAB by the Dean of the Graduate School of Basic Medical Sciences, the Chancellor, or other college officials.

B. Limitations:

The GSAB will not review

1. appeals of course grades;

2. appeals for which the student has not fully used all other applicable appeal or review processes;

3. appeals filed more than 30 calendar days after the date of a prior review or 30 calendar days after the date of receiving notification of an action or decision.

4. misconduct in research which falls under the College’s Guidelines for Ethical Practices in research and Policies for Dealing with Instances of Alleged Violations of Ethical Standards.

C. Definitions and terms used in this policy:

Board:  GSAB

Chair:  Chairperson, GSAB

College:  New York Medical College

Dean:  Dean, Graduate School of Basic Medical Sciences

Graduate Faculty: the Graduate Faculty of the Graduate School of Basic Medical Sciences

Graduate Faculty Council:  the faculty governance organization of the GSBMS

NYMC:  NYMC-Graduate School of Basic Medical Sciences (GSBMS)

Graduate Student Association:  the student organization of the GSBMS

GSAB:  Graduate School Appeals Board

Chancellor:  the chief academic officer of the College (NYMC)

D. Composition:

The GSAB will consist of five members of the Graduate Faculty and three graduate students (matriculated and in good standing), all broadly representative of the graduate programs in the GSBMS.  Members of the committee will be appointed for 3-year terms (running from July1 through June 30) by the Dean after consultation with the Graduate Faculty Council and the Graduate Student Association.  Members may be appointed to consecutive terms on the Board.  The GSAB will be chaired by a designee of the Dean.  Initial appointments (i.e., when the GSAB is first established) will be staggered so that no more than three faculty members and two graduate students will rotate off the Board in any one year.  Members may be re-appointed for a second term or a term may be extended in order to complete an appeal.

The Dean may appoint an additional member to serve on the GSAB on an ad hoc basis during any particular case.  This ad hoc appointee may be a member of the College administration, a faculty member, or a student who adds an expertise or perspective that the Dean feels will assist the GSAB in reaching a fair and just resolution to the appeal.  The ad hoc appointee will have full membership rights.

The Graduate School will provide support personnel to the Board to record hearings.

E. Meetings:

  1. The GSAB will meet as soon as possible when notified by the Dean that an appeal is pending. 
  2. Disqualification.  Any member with a conflict of interest in the pending case shall be excluded by the GSAB from its proceedings and deliberations in that case.  Any member of the GSAB may disqualify him/herself.  The student bringing the appeal may disqualify one faculty and one student member of the Board.
  3. Quorum.  Meetings or hearings of the GSAB require a quorum of at least three persons including at least two faculty members and at least one graduate student member.  If the disqualification of Board members makes it impossible to obtain a quorum, the process will be suspended until the Dean can appoint additional ad hoc members.

F. Notification:

The Chair of the GSAB will notify the student bringing the appeal and the college representative of the decision reached by the GSAB in the initial review of the appeal  – viz., whether an appeal will be heard or not. If a hearing is to be held, the Chair will notify the student and college representative (whose decision is being appealed) of the date, time, and place for the hearing. The Chair of the GSAB is responsible for notifying the Dean of the Board’s findings and recommendations reached by the GSAB after the hearing. The Dean will notify the student and college representative of any action to be taken.

G. Authority:

  1. The GSAB may recommend affirming or reversing the decision being appealed and may make such recommendations for further actions as seem appropriate.
  2. In the course of any hearing, the GSAB is authorized to request additional evidence and/or the appearance of any student, faculty, staff member, employee of the College, or other individual as a witness.
  3. The GSAB shall have final authority in procedural matters.
  4. The GSAB will forward recommendations to the Dean along with a record of the hearing proceedings. The Dean will make a final independent decision, taking into account the findings and recommendations of the GSAB and the records of the hearing. The Dean will inform the relevant parties and the GSAB of the decision in writing within 14 calendar days of receiving the GSAB recommendation.
  5. If the appeal is being made against a decision of the Dean, the GSAB shall forward its recommendation to the Chancellor, who shall take on the role of the Dean described in the preceding paragraph (F. 4.).  The Dean shall remain the proper recipient and independent executor of the GSAB’s recommendations if his/her involvement in the case had been primarily to execute a decision made by a program or faculty committee, rather than to initiate the action being appealed.  The GSAB has the authority to decide whether the Dean or Chancellor is the appropriate official to whom to forward its recommendations for action.  In any case, a copy of the GSAB’s report and recommendations shall be delivered to the Dean for filing.

H. Procedures

1. Filing an appeal.

Before a request for an appeal is accepted by the GSAB, the normal channels for resolving disputes must have been utilized.  First, the student should consult with his/her advisor to resolve the issue at that level.  If the issue is not then resolved, the student should seek out the program director or department chair for resolution.  In some cases, if the advisor and department head have not been able to satisfy the appeal or the action still needs to be pursued, it may be appropriate to pursue the issue with the Dean.  If the concern has not been resolved at any one of these levels, an appeal to the GSAB may be pursued.  All requests for appeals must be submitted to the Dean, in writing, on the approved form (see below) along with supporting documents, a list of witnesses, and any other pertinent evidence.  The written appeal must specify the grounds for the appeal.  It is the responsibility of the student making the appeal to demonstrate to the GSAB in this application that grounds for the appeal exist.

The Dean will notify those individuals whose decisions are being appealed and will request relevant information.  The information and evidence will be transmitted to both parties and to all members of the GSAB.  Any additional evidence brought to the hearing is subject to acceptance or rejection by the GSAB.  All information submitted becomes part of the permanent record of the GSAB hearing record maintained by the Graduate School.

2. Initial review of appeals.

The GSAB will be convened by the Chair to conduct an initial review of the appeal to determine whether the appeal is subject to dismissal or if further action by the GSAB is warranted.  Appeals that fail to set forth appropriate and acceptable grounds for an appeal shall be dismissed.

The GSAB will consider appeals when all other levels of appeal have been exhausted and at least one of the following conditions applies:

a) the student can show grounds that he/she was previously denied a fair hearing.

b) the decision being appealed is not supported by substantial evidence.

c) the sanction being imposed is beyond the authority of the person(s) issuing the decision.

d) the sanction or action is unduly severe or disproportionately harsh in comparison to similar cases.

When the GSAB determines that a graduate student should be afforded a hearing on an appeal, the Chair of the GSAB shall give written notice to all parties involved in the appeal, allowing preparation time of no less than one week before the hearing.

3. Hearings.

All hearings by the GSAB shall be subject to the following requirements:

a)   Any additional materials requested by the GSAB at the time of the initial review to be considered at the hearing shall be made available to all parties prior to the hearing.

b)  Parties to the appeal have the right to be present and hear all arguments and oral statements made to the board.

c)   Parties to the appeal shall make arguments, present oral statements and written documents, and question witnesses with regard to any issues of fact relevant to the grounds for appeal.

d)  Hearings shall not be adversarial in nature and shall be conducted in a manner conducive to ascertaining the facts of the case upon appeal.

e)   Hearings shall be closed to the public and to members of the College community not specifically invited by the Board to attend.  The Board may consider requests by any of the parties to the appeal to have a person with no involvement in the case attend the hearing as an observer.  The Board has the right to approve or deny the attendance of any individual observer.

f)   Parties to the appeal shall not be permitted to have legal counsel present during the proceedings.

g)   The GSAB may establish time limitations for presentations before the Board. 

h)  GSAB members may address questions to any person giving testimony before the Board.

i)   In hearings involving more than one student, the Board may choose to hold separate hearings for each student, if it deems it appropriate to do so.

j)   It shall be the responsibility of the Chair, together with the recording secretary, to see that the integrity of the record is maintained.

k)    The Chair shall preside and rule on matters of procedure and evidence.

l)    The Chair shall have the right to dismiss from the hearing anyone whose conduct becomes disorderly.

m)  The minutes of the GSAB shall be made available to the members of the GSAB and, after their approval, to all parties to the appeal and to the Dean.  Proceedings of the GSAB shall be considered confidential except insofar as information needs to be disclosed in order to execute the final resolution of the appeal.  The burden of confidentiality is borne by the GSAB members, all parties to the appeal, any witnesses who appear before the GSAB, and any observers of the proceedings.

I. Findings, decisions and recommendations of the GSAB:

Upon completion of the hearing, the GSAB shall meet in closed session for deliberations.  A simple majority vote of the GSAB is required for all findings and recommendations.  In concluding its findings and recommendations, the Board shall only concern itself with whether reasonable people, acting on the available evidence, could have made the same decision or taken the same action as the one being appealed within the letter and spirit of the applicable rules and regulations of the Graduate School and College or, in the absence of any applicable rule or regulation, in a manner consistent with the norms of practice at comparable academic institutions.

The GSAB shall prepare a written report addressing all issues presented in the appeal and shall make a recommendation that indicates whether the appealed decision or sanction should be affirmed, set aside, or modified.  The GSAB may also make recommendations, if appropriate, for further actions by College authorities.  This report and recommendations shall be delivered to the Dean within 14 days of concluding its deliberations.  Under normal circumstances, the GSAB should complete its entire task – considering the request for an appeal, holding the necessary hearing, evaluating the appeal, and delivering its report to the Dean – within 45 days of the date the valid request for an appeal is duly submitted to the Dean.  The Dean may extend this time limit if the complexity of the case or the presence of extraordinary circumstances make a more timely resolution impractical.

The Dean shall act upon the findings and recommendations of the GSAB within 14 days of receiving its report.  If no action is taken within 14 days, except when extenuating circumstances justify a delay, the findings and recommendations of the GSAB will be final.  Further appeal is not available within the College.

Under the conditions defined in Section F.5., the Chancellor shall carry out the functions described for the Dean in this section.

Enactment History:

Development by Faculty-Student Task Force: September 1999 – September 2000
Approved by Graduate Faculty Council: September 28, 2000
Approved by Academic Affairs Committee, Board of Trustees: October, 2000
Approved by Governance Committee, Board of Trustees: November 29, 2000

 

Student Code of Academic Integrity and Professionalism

(Excerpted from the preamble to the Student Code)

“Academic integrity and respect for the dignity of the individual are essential in any educational endeavor.  In scholarly endeavors, all participants must commit themselves to truthfulness and honesty in the search for new insight and knowledge.  In addition, honesty, integrity and respect in all interactions with colleagues, peers, teachers and support staff, as well as with patients and their families, are essential professional attributes. 

As a community devoted to the health sciences, professionalism is a core value.  The attitudes and behaviors described by the term professionalism serve as the foundation of the expectations that society has of us as members of the medical and health sciences community.  Therefore, as professionals, practitioners, scientists and students, we value attitudes, behaviors and habits expected of professionals – e.g., commitments to high standards of competence and performance; integrity, honesty and ethical behavior; respect for all individuals regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, age, national origin, marital status, veteran status, disability, or occupation or level of training; meeting responsibilities and commitments; excellent communication skills, reflecting behaviors expected of professionals; maintaining appropriate relations with patients, colleagues and others; managing conflicts of interest; continuous self- improvement; and honoring the trust that is placed in us by society. 

By accepting admission to New York Medical College, students commit to the ideals, ethics and appropriate conduct of their chosen profession.” 

The NYMC Student Code of Academic Integrity and Professionalism outlines general areas of conduct that are expected, and types of conduct that are prohibited, of all students at NYMC.  Examples of inappropriate conduct are offered as guidelines, with the understanding that no policy can specify all possible behaviors or cover all possible mitigating circumstances. 

Allegations of violations of this Student Code or of other policies regulating student conduct by students in the Graduate School of Basic Medical Sciences will be adjudicated by the policy described below.

Enactment History:

Proposed to Graduate Faculty Council:     January 19, 2010
Approved by Graduate Faculty Council:    October 21, 2010
Approved by the Board of Trustees:         December 15, 2010

 

Procedures for Adjudicating Allegations of Violations of the Code of Academic Integrity and Professionalism

Rationale and purpose

New York Medical College is adopting a college-wide Code of Academic Integrity and Professionalism designed to outline general ethical and professional behavior for students in all three schools within the college.  Whereas the Code is intended to apply to students in all schools, however, each school should have its own procedures for reviewing and adjudicating allegations of violations of the Code. 

Policy

I.     Scope of this policy

This policy describes the process used to review and adjudicate allegations that graduate students in the Graduate School of Basic Medical Sciences have violated the standards of conduct expected of them.  These standards are detailed in the college's Code of Academic Integrity and Professionalism, the GSBMS Bulletin, and in other college and school policies that address standards of conduct and professional behavior.  Such policies include the Policy of Professional Conduct in Student-Student and Teacher-Student Relations, the Sexual Harassment Policy, the Drug-Free School and Campus Policy, the Electronic Communications Policy Statement, the GSBMS’s Statement on Plagiarism, the NYMC Guidelines for Ethical Practices in Research, and other approved college and school policies that address standards of conduct and behavior.

II.    Procedure for review of alleged violations

  1. An instructor or faculty member observes or discovers a possible violation, or an allegation of a violation is brought to their attention.  If the instructor or faculty member finds any reasonable possibility that the allegation might be justified, the allegation must be brought to the Dean of the GSBMS (henceforth referred to as the Dean).
  2. The Dean will conduct an inquiry into the matter.  If the violation is of a minor nature, the facts of the matter may be evaluated and a judgment and punishment rendered by the Dean.  Alternatively, the Dean may defer to the judgment of the course director or instructor, if the alleged violation has been committed in the context of a specific course.
  3. If the violation is of a more serious nature, the Dean will convene the GSBMS Committee on Academic Integrity.  This committee will review the matter according to the procedures outlined below and recommend an action or actions to the Dean.
  4. The Dean shall consider the action recommended by the Committee on Academic Integrity.  The Dean reserves the right to ask the Committee to reconsider its recommendations, or to overrule the Committee, if there are significant legal issues or other pertinent considerations that the Committee might not have been aware of.
  5. The student receiving the disciplinary action has the right to appeal the decision through the Graduate School Appeals Board, following the policies and procedures governing that body.
  6. The Dean shall preserve a detailed record of each confirmed violation and its outcome, consistent with the school’s record retention policy.  The Dean shall also preserve a summary record, without specific names of the accused individuals, of all allegations, the nature of those allegations, how they were evaluated and adjudicated, and their disposition. 

III.  Possible sanctions

  1.  If it is determined that a violation has been committed, the student may be subject to a range of penalties and/or remedial actions appropriate to the nature and severity of the offense.
  2. The possible sanctions may include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following:
  • taking additional courses or workshops intended to assist the student in avoiding future transgressions.
  • retaking the exam or redoing the assignment (or a suitable substitute exam or assignment) that was the occasion of the violation.
  • repeating the entire course.
  • reduction in grade for a particular examination, assignment, or course component, or a reduction in grade for the entire course. 
  • suspension.
  • limitation or revocation, either temporarily or permanently, of certain privileges, such as use of campus E-mail or library access.
  • dismissal from a program and/or expulsion from the Graduate School.
  • revocation of the student’s degree, if the violation is identified after graduation.
  • indication of the disciplinary action on the student’s permanent record and in reference letters or licensure forms.
  • notification of the violation to other schools within the college.
  • notification to appropriate external agencies.

The foregoing list is not intended to be exhaustive.  Other sanctions or corrective actions may be imposed, as deemed appropriate by the Dean.

IV.   The Committee on Academic Integrity 

  1. The Committee shall consist of ­­­at least five and no more than seven members appointed by the Dean, in consultation with the Graduate Faculty Council.  The members shall include at least three and no more than five members of the Graduate Faculty, and at least two and no more than three students enrolled in the GSBMS.  At least one of the student members shall be a PhD or MD/PhD student and at least one shall be a Master’s student.  There should be no concurrent overlap between the membership of this Committee and the Graduate School Appeals Board.  In addition to the appointed members, the Dean shall also serve as an ex officio member of the Committee without vote.  The Dean shall designate a Chair and a Vice Chair from among the faculty members of the Committee.
  2. Faculty members of the Committee shall be appointed for three-year terms.  Student members shall be appointed for two-year terms.  If any member needs to be replaced for whatever reason, the replacement member will be appointed for a full two- or three-year term, as appropriate.  All terms shall run on an academic year basis, ending on June 30.  Terms shall be automatically extended for any members whose term expires while they are reviewing a case.  Committee members may be re-appointed for additional terms.
  3. All official meetings of the Committee shall require the attendance of a quorum, which shall consist of at least one half of the regular members.  The quorum must include at least one student member, but at least half of the quorum must be faculty members.
  4. Any members of the Committee who are directly involved in the case under review shall recuse themselves from the deliberations for that case.  “Direct involvement” might include, for example, being the course director of the involved course, the student’s research sponsor or program director, the whistleblower or accuser, or being a relative of the accused student.  The Dean reserves the right to appoint ad hoc members to the Committee so that at least three faculty members and at least two students are available to review the case.
  5. The Chair of the Committee shall preside over any meeting of the Committee.  If the Chair is absent, the Vice-Chair shall preside.  If the Vice-Chair is also absent, the remaining members shall elect a chair pro tem to preside over that meeting.
  6. The Committee shall appoint a member to record minutes of each official meeting.  The Committee shall review and approve final versions of the minutes of all its meetings.  Official minutes, and copies of any correspondence from the Committee, shall be preserved for a time consistent with the school’s record retention policy. 
  7. The Committee reserves the right to interview the student or students accused of the violation, the person who has made the allegation, and any other individual who might be able to shed light on the matter under consideration, in order that the Committee might reach an accurate and fair judgment regarding the allegation.
  8. The Committee shall first reach a decision on the merit of the allegation.  If the allegation of a violation is upheld, it will then recommend to the Dean one or more penalties or corrective actions, as outlined in Section III.  This decision and recommendations shall be conveyed in writing to the Dean.

V.    Notification and appeal process

  1. The Dean shall inform the student in writing of the Committee’s decision and, if appropriate, the sanctions that have been imposed.  The student shall also be informed of his or her right to appeal the decision through the Graduate School Appeals Board.
  2. If the student wishes to file an appeal, a request for a hearing before the Appeals Board must be filed within two weeks of the written notification of the original decision.
  3. If no appeal is filed within the two-week filing window, the Dean will proceed to impose the recommended sanctions.  If an appeal is filed, the student shall maintain his or her academic status.  Any grades that are pending the outcome of the case will not be entered on the student’s record until a final resolution is reached.

Enactment History:

Procedures

Proposed to Graduate Faculty Council:     January 19, 2010 (original form) March 16, 2010 (amended)

Approved by Graduate Faculty Council:    March 16, 2010

 

Other Policies

The following policies are New York Medical College policies that apply to all students, including those in the Graduate School of Basic Medical Sciences

New York Medical College recognizes its special responsibility to prevent the illicit use of drugs or alcohol on College premises by faculty, students and employees. The effects of drug or alcohol dependency compromise work and academic performance as well as health care. This, therefore, is to advise that the College, in consultation with faculty, the Dean's offices and appropriate administrative offices, has developed and adopted a Drug-Prevention Program which reaffirms our policy regarding the use of drugs and alcohol and provides specific information in compliance with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989.

New York Medical College is in compliance with the New York State Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2000. Copies of the New York law are available upon request from the College's Office of General Counsel.

New York Medical College has a special responsibility, as a health sciences institution, to protect faculty, employees, students and the general public from the harmful effects of smoking. In order ensure compliance with applicable local, city, state and federal laws and regulations the following smoke-free policy is in effect.

The purpose of this policy is to set forth the policy and procedures, including content, consent and distribution, regarding the filming, videotaping, photographing, digital imaging or other visual or audio recording on the Valhalla campus of New York Medical College.

  • Institutional Identity Policy 

It is important for New York Medical College to enhance public awareness of the institution and its excellence through the proper use of its name and logo. Students or student organizations who wish to use the name of the College in conjunction with any public effort, activity or product must obtain prior written permission from the Office of Public Relations.

All policies, practices and procedures of New York Medical College are administered in a manner that preserves its rights, character and identity.

 

Changes in Policies

New York Medical College reserves the right to change policies and procedures at any time and without prior notice. Errors and omissions in published documents (written or electronic) may be corrected at any time.