Student Handbooks

MBA Student Handbook - Professional Behavior Process

A complete discussion of the Honor Code is available in the "Honor Code and Student Conduct" segment of the Student Handbook. A discussion of expected professional behavior of Atkinson School students is available in the segment of the Student Handbook titled "Expectations of Academic and Professional Behavior."


The Honor Code and Professional Behavior  
The Atkinson School has two processes through which it investigates professional behavior Honor Code violations, determines responsibility and applies consequences to a student found responsible of a violation: 1) direct resolution between the student and the faculty member or administrator making the charge, and 2) a formal hearing of the Honor Code Council. All Honor Code processes will be conducted in a manner that protects the privacy of people involved in the case, to the best of our ability. 

Consequences for a student found responsible for violating the honor code will vary based on the severity and type of violation, and may include (but are not limited to) one or more of the sanctions listed below. Any behavior found to be a violation of the honor code, is a violation of the honor code regardless of the severity of the violation or the severity of the consequence.

  • verbal or written warning
  • verbal or written reprimand
  • required written statement by the student found responsible, acknowledging the violation and reaffirming his/her commitment to follow the honor code
  • required submission of additional course work
  • assignment of the grade of “F” for a course deliverable or test
  • assignment of the grade of “F” for a course
  • withdrawal from the course
  • loss of scholarship
  • behavioral probation (exclusion from participating in leadership activities, career management programs, courses involving travel to another site, and other activities in which the student would be seen as a representative of the university)
  • skill building or training
  • suspension for two semesters
  • permanent dismissal from the MBA program

Recommendations for suspension or dismissal will be automatically reviewed by the Senior Associate Dean before enforced.

Incidents of conduct and professional behavior involving harassment, sexual misconduct, discrimination, violence, threats of violence, theft, damage to property, weapons, illegal use or abuse of alcohol or drugs, and failure to comply with the terms of any agreement or sanctions imposed in accordance with the Willamette University Standards of Conduct will generally be processed under the procedures of Willamette University as indicated in Student Rights & Responsibilities and Standards of Conduct.  However, the Atkinson School reserves the right to perform a preliminary investigation to assess whether the most appropriate process for the situation resides within the conduct procedures of the Atkinson School or the University. In these cases the designated administrator of the Atkinson School will work with the University’s Director of Rights & Responsibilities to determine the appropriate jurisdiction.

Process for Alleged Violations of Professional Behavior
The procedures for processing alleged violations of professional behavior occurring in Atkinson courses, course related activities, career management activities and events, and school sponsored programs, activities and events are described below. 

Step 1.  The student, faculty or administrator concerned about the professional behavior of an individual will meet with the designated administrator and may request to process an allegation of violating the standards of professional behavior.

Step 2. The designated administrator will investigate and meet with the student charged within five days of the allegation. If, after meeting with the student, the designated administrator believes a violation has occurred the student will be charged with an alleged violation.

If, after meeting with the student, the designated administrator does not think a violation of the honor code has occurred, the administrator will notify the student and the person making the charge that a violation has not occurred. This ends the process.

Step 3(a). If the student accepts responsibility for the violation, the designated administrator will implement one or more of the following consequences as appropriate for the situation:

  • verbal or written warning
  • verbal or written reprimand
  • required written statement by the student found responsible, acknowledging the violation and reaffirming his/her commitment to follow the honor code
  • withdrawal from the course
  • behavioral probation (exclusion from participating in leadership activities, career management programs, courses involving travel to another site, and other activities in which the student would be seen as a representative of the university)
  • skill building or training
  • suspension for two semesters
  • permanent dismissal from the MBA program
  • referral to the Willamette University Behavioral or Conduct Process

If the student accepts responsibility and the consequence(s), the process moves to Step 4.

Step 3(b). If the student contests the allegation that he/she violated the Honor Code or if the student contests the consequences, the designated administrator  will refer the case to the Honor Council for a hearing and a recommendation. The designated administrator will meet with the student to explain the Honor Council process. The process will move to step 5 - the Honor Council hearing.

Step 4. If the student accepts responsibility and the consequence of the violation of the Honor Code, the designated administrator will document the student’s file in regard to the violation of the Honor Code.

The designated administrator will meet with the student to explain that consequences of the violation of the Honor Code, potential consequences for future violations, and the process of documentation of the student’s file. Step 4 concludes the process. A student who accepts responsibility and the consequence gives up the right to an appeal.

Documentation will be removed from the students file at graduation except in the case where a violation of academic honesty constitutes part of the case for dismissal of a student.

Step 5. Honor Council Hearing
Step 5(a): The Honor Council will conduct a private hearing within five working days of referral by the designated administrator. The student and others involved may address the Honor Council and present documentation.

Step 5(b): Within two working days of the hearing, the Honor Council shall render a recommendation to the designated administrator describing the Honor Council’s decision in regard to whether the student has been found responsible or not responsible for the allegation. 

If the student is found responsible, the Honor Council will also determine the consequence. Consequences should be commensurate with the incident and may include one or more of the following:

  • verbal or written warning
  • verbal or written reprimand
  • required written statement by the student found responsible, acknowledging the violation and reaffirming his/her commitment to follow the honor code
  • withdrawal from the course
  • behavioral probation (exclusion from participating in leadership activities, career management programs, courses involving travel to another site, and other activities in which the student would be seen as a representative of the university)
  • skill building or training
  • suspension for two semesters
  • permanent dismissal from the MBA program
  • referral to the Willamette University Behavioral or Conduct Process

If the Honor Council Hearing is occurring because a student is contesting the consequence(s) for an admitted violation of the Honor Code, then the Honor Council can uphold the original consequence(s) or determine new consequence(s) as noted above. The council will communicate its decision in writing to the designated administrator who will communicate the decision to the student  and designated administrator.

Step 6. The student and the administrator/instructor may accept the recommendation or appeal the decision to the Senior Associate Dean by notifying the designated administrator. The appeal must be received by the designated administrator in writing (email or paper document) within five working days of the decision of the honor council.  The designated administrator will organize the appeal process by informing the Senior Associate Dean.

If the Honor Council recommends suspension or permanent dismissal of a student, the decision will be automatically reviewed by the Senior Associate Dean.

Step 7. After reviewing the case, the Senior Associate Dean may uphold the Honor Council's decision or remand the decision back to the Honor Council. The Senior Associate Dean may include comments or issues to be considered further by the Honor Council. After further deliberation about the Dean's Office's concerns, the Honor Council shall reaffirm or alter its decision. At this point, the decision of the Honor Council is final.

Step 8. The designated administrator will document the student’s file with the final disposition and provide written notification to the student, instructor, and Honor Council. Documentation will be removed from the student’s file at graduation, except in the case where a violation constitutes part of the case for dismissal of a student.

If the consequence is suspension or permanent dismissal, the student will be notified in person by the designated administrator, followed by written communication. Seven working days shall elapse before the suspension or dismissal of a student becomes effective, unless the Senior Associate Dean determines an otherwise appropriate period for the suspension or dismissal to take effect.