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School of Professional Studies

Division of Business Code of Ethics

An organization’s actions must be driven by and performed consistently with its mission. Therefore, the Division of Business is responsible to comply with the mission of the University and the Division. 

 The Northwestern Oklahoma State University mission statement states:

"Northwestern Oklahoma State University provides quality educational and cultural opportunities to learners with diverse needs by cultivating ethical leadership and service, critical thinking and fiscal responsibility."

The Division of Business mission statement states:

"The Division of Business provides a quality, student-oriented learning environment to prepare students to be adept, ethical, fiscally responsible business professionals and leaders, not only in the workplace but also in their communities, contributing to the intellectual, cultural, and economic vitality of our world."

As a community of learners in a student-centered learning environment, faculty, staff and students should strive to support and enrich the learning environment. It is the mission of the Division to develop ethical business professionals and leaders. In order to be successful, it is important that students, professors and staff of the Division of Business abide by a code of ethics. 

Northwestern Oklahoma State University has adopted the NWOSU Faculty Code of Ethics (see below) applicable to all faculty members. Division of Business faculty also follow the Division of Business Faculty Code of Ethics (see below).

Students who are majoring or minoring in a Business discipline are expected to abide by the Division of Business Student Code of Conduct (see below) in all aspects of their NWOSU academic and university-related pursuits. Non-Business/Accounting students taking classes offered by the Division of Business are expected to abide by this code of ethics in all such classes.

Business Student Code of Ethics

An organization’s actions must be driven by and performed consistently with its mission. Therefore, the Division of Business (Division) is responsible to comply with the mission of the University and the Division. 

The Northwestern Oklahoma State University mission statement states:

"Northwestern Oklahoma State University provides quality educational and cultural opportunities to learners with diverse needs by cultivating ethical leadership, critical thinking, and fiscal responsibility."

The Division of Business mission statement states:

"The Division of Business provides a quality, student-oriented learning environment to prepare students to be adept, ethical, fiscally responsible business professionals and leaders, not only in the workplace but also in their communities, contributing to the intellectual, cultural, and economic vitality of our world."

In a student-centered learning environment, faculty, staff and students should strive to support and enrich the learning environment. It is the mission of the Division to develop ethical business professionals and leaders. In order to be successful, it is important that students, professors and staff of the Division of Business abide by a code of ethics. The Faculty Code of Ethics is available for review in the gray tab at left.


A student code of ethics should be centered on two important and central concepts, academic integrity and professional conduct.  Academic integrity involves student conduct in accomplishing the requirements of a course, minor or major. Professionalism involves behavior and attitude in the classroom and outside the classroom.

All students taking classes offered/taught by the Division of Business are required to read and agree to the terms of this Student Code of Ethics. Student with a major or minor in a Business Discipline are expected to abide by the terms of this Student Code of Ethics in all classes, whether or not offered/taught by the Division of Business. Failure to so agree may result in removal from the class. Failure to abide by this Student Code of Ethics may result in disciplinary action as set forth later in this code.

After reading the information contained in this Business Student Code of Ethics area, please fill out the Code of Ethics Acknowledgement form and return it to:

Division of Business
709 Oklahoma Blvd.
Alva, OK 73717


ACADEMIC INTEGRITY

Business students and students taking Business classes are expected to have high standards of integrity regarding their academic pursuits.

The Northwestern Oklahoma State University Student Handbook provides on page 124 (2009-2010 edition):

All forms of academic dishonesty including cheating, plagiarism, unauthorized possession of exams or other materials, forgery, or alteration or misuse of university records, are subject to disciplinary action by the university. The forgery of faculty signatures is prohibited. You must get authentic signatures on all official documents.

The papers, examinations, assignments, projects, etc. should be the original work of the student.  A student may not use a paper, project, assignment, etc. for two different classes without the express consent, in advance, of both professors involved.  To use, all or a substantial portion of, a paper, project, assignment, etc. in two classes without the express consent of both professors is academic dishonesty.

Plagiarism whether intentional or unintentional is a violation of this Code of Ethics and will be subject to disciplinary action as set forth by this code.  According to Robert Perrin, Pocket Guide to APA Style, Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004 (p. 15-16):

Plagiarism is the use of someone else’s words, ideas, or line of thought without acknowledgement.  Even when it is inadvertent – the result of careless note-taking, punctuating, or documenting – the writer is still at fault for dishonest work.

Academic integrity requires students to convey, directly or indirectly, accurate information to staff, professors and administrators regarding the student’s experience, qualification, grades and other relevant information regarding academic pursuits, awards, scholarships, recognition, etc.  A student starting a course without having taken the prerequisites would be an example of not conveying accurate information.  

PROFESSIONALISM

Professional conduct is expected in a student’s interaction with classmates, staff members, professors, administrators and others. Professionalism includes ethical behavior, appropriate attire, proper behavior, promptness, and respect. Professionalism dictates that there should be no discrimination or harassment based on race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, disability or sexual preference. Examples of unprofessional behavior include, but are not limited to: arriving to class late, leaving class early, using cell phone or other electronic two-way communication devices (should be turned off or ringer set to silent) in class without prior authorization, using obscenity or other disrespectful language, harassment, other disruptive behaviors, and being non-communicative (i.e. not checking university email, Blackboard, phone messages, etc.). Professional conduct is expected in all classes, campus activities and off-campus university-related events.

Certainly, professionalism necessitates students complying with all federal, state and local laws and university, Business Division and classroom policies. Professional behavior implies that a person is putting forth his/her best efforts. Fairness and objectivity are also elements of professionalism. 

Students are expected to honor confidences and not disclose confidential information.  A professional protects the privacy of others with whom he/she interacts (i.e. administrators, faculty, staff and peers) by inappropriately disclosing confidential information about such a person.  Further, a professional will not discuss or post any negative or private information about those with whom he/she interacts (i.e. administrators, faculty, staff and peers) on any electronic venue (i.e. Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, web sites, blogs, etc.). 

A profession has the duty to police itself. Therefore, professionalism calls for members of the profession to self-report improper behaviors. Not reporting unethical or improper conduct makes a person with such knowledge complicit in the behavior.

Conflicts of interest should be avoided if possible.  For example, if a student cannot evaluate a classmate fairly and in good faith, the student should speak with the professor about a conflict of interest. 

Each professor may set specific policies regarding acceptable professional behavior in his/her class. Students are expected to abide by those policies and may be penalized or disciplined for not adhering to class policies.

VIOLATION OF POLICY

Faculty members have the initial responsibility for handling violations of this code of ethics in their classrooms, offices or other academic activities in which they are involved.  The sanctions available to the professor include:

  1. Informal warning (oral or email)

  2. Formal warning (email or other written format)

  3. Remove student from classroom for day

  4. Require the work to be redone and resubmitted

  5. Require the student to complete additional work

  6. Lowering the grade of work in question

  7. Lowering the overall grade in the course

  8. Recommend administrative withdrawal from the class

  9. Assigning an “F” or “0” for the work in question

  10. Assigning an “F” for the class

  11. Recommend the student be referred for university-level disciplinary action   

The above sanctions are not meant to be progressive steps; rather the professor may impose any sanction on the list the professor believes appropriate.  A student who is assigned an “F” in the class for disciplinary reasons will not be allowed to withdraw from the class, even if the withdraw deadline has not passed. A student who has violated the code of ethics on three or more different occasions may be referred by a professor or the Division Chair to the Vice President for Student Affairs for disciplinary action at the university level, despite the fact that the individual violations may not rise to the level that alone would warrant university disciplinary action.  

A student who receives a sanction for violating this code of ethics may appeal to the Division Chair. The Division Chair shall communicate with the student and the faculty member involved regarding the violation and the sanction. The Division Chair may communicate with others involved or who witnessed the occurrence. The Division Chair shall notify the student and faculty member in writing or by email of his/her decision.  A student may appeal the Division Chair’s decision to the Dean of the School of Professional Studies. If the professor initially involved is the Division Chair, then the appeal will be directly to the Dean of the School of Professional Studies. 

NWOSU Faculty Code of Ethics

From the Northwestern Oklahoma State University Faculty Handbook:

5.2.1 Code of Ethics. Teaching has the stature of a profession by its efforts to acquire and establish the following characteristics of a profession: (1) education and scholarship beyond the usual level of the lay population, (2) the primary duty of public ser-vice for other individuals and the state, and (3) the right to discipline members within a structure of internal government.

The value of a profession can be measured only by the contribution of the members of that profession to the sum total of human welfare. The influence of the teacher, through the lives of the students with whom s/he comes in contact, is one of the most vital and far-reaching forces in shaping the destinies of young men and women. Each teacher accepts with his/her profession certain obligations to students, to colleagues, and to mankind; therefore, we, the faculty of Northwestern, do hereby invest ourselves with a Code of Professional Ethics particularly applicable to a university faculty. It shall serve as a guide and standard of professional conduct in carrying out our duties and responsibilities as faculty members. It shall be incumbent upon each of us to support it, and this support entitles each to all rights and privileges as well as responsibilities and obligations thereof.

The faculty will promote faculty-student relations by:

(1) Dealing justly and impartially with all students.

(2) Respecting the rights of each student.

(3) Requiring of students only those activities, which are directly related to the area of instruction.

(4) Refraining from using the classroom and/or one's position to promote personal views on politics, race, religion, or any other controversial issue.

(5) Refraining from discussing faculty-student problems in the presence of others who are not concerned.

(6) Being a worthy example for students.

The faculty will promote intra-faculty relations by:

(1) Granting other faculty members the same consideration you would receive.

(2) Speaking constructively of other faculty members.

(3) Promoting friendly and cooperative relations with co-workers.

(4) Supporting associates inside and outside the institution.

(5) Refraining from proselytizing or canvassing for students, either personally or through other members of the university staff.

(6) Dealing directly with the person(s) concerned, thus avoiding misunderstandings.

(7) Accepting full responsibility for what one says or does.

(8) Reporting honestly to responsible persons in matters involving the welfare of students, the university, and the profession.

(9) Conducting professional business through the proper channels.

(10) Refraining from coercing colleagues to act contrary to their professional judgment.

The faculty will promote faculty-institutional relations by:

(1) Applying for and offering employment on the basis of qualifications and competence only.

(2) Avoiding asking for a specific position known to be filled by another.

(3) Refusing to accept or to offer a position wherein the vacancy has been created (a) through unprofessional activity, or (b) through controversy over policy, personal practices, and procedures.

(4) Honoring a contract as long as all parties concerned adhere to its conditions, or until the contract has been legally and/or mutually terminated.

(5) Cooperating in the development of school policies and assuming the professional obligations thus acquired.

(6) Accepting responsibility for maintaining a professional level of service.

(7) Continuing to make professional growth through study, research, travel, and attendance at professional meetings.

The faculty will promote public relations in general by:

(1) Promoting teaching as a profession at all times by exemplifying the ideals of the profession in our relations with the public.

(2) Working toward the betterment of the moral, spiritual, and intellectual life of the community and/or institutions.

(3) Avoiding the discussion of confidential and official information with unauthorized persons.

(4) Accepting no compensation from producers of instructional supplies, or refusing to act as an agent, or to receive a commission, a royalty, or other articles of value for any books or supplies in the purchase of which official or unofficial decision is exercised.

(5) Accepting no gifts or favors from any source under circumstances, which give or justify the impression that a teacher can be improperly influenced.

(6) Refraining from using public funds or property for private or non-public purposes.

Business Faculty Code of Ethics

An organization’s actions must be driven by and performed consistently with its mission. Therefore, the Division of Business is responsible to comply with the mission of the University and the Division. 

The Northwestern Oklahoma State University mission statement states:

"Northwestern Oklahoma State University provides quality educational and cultural opportunities to learners with diverse needs by cultivating ethical leadership, critical thinking, and fiscal responsibility."

The Division of Business mission statement states:

"The Division of Business provides a quality, student-oriented learning environment to prepare students to be adept, ethical, fiscally responsible business professionals and leaders, not only in the workplace but also in their communities, contributing to the intellectual, cultural, and economic vitality of our world."

In a student-centered learning environment, faculty, staff and students should strive to support and enrich the learning environment.  It is the mission of the Division to develop ethical business professionals and leaders.  In order to be successful, it is important that students, professors and staff of the Division of Business abide by a code of ethics. 


Business faculty members have several potential roles – university representative, administrator, educator, scholar, and colleague. A faculty code of ethics should be centered on professional conduct in each of these functions.  All professors/instructors, full time or part time, teaching classes offered by the Division of Business are required to read and agree to the terms of this Faculty Code of Ethics. 

As members of the faculty and administration of the Division of Business and Northwestern Oklahoma State University, we shall strive to:

  • Accept obligation to honor and defend academic freedom.  Practice intellectual honesty. 

  • Act in a manner that will contribute positively to the overall mission and vision of the Division of Business and enhance personal and school reputation.

  • Accept a fiduciary relationship with the University based on loyalty, trust, good faith, and candor in performing job-related duties. In order to avoid conflict of interest or appearance of such, we will avoid all situations in which our interests or business dealings could be seen as in conflict with those of the Division of Business.

  • Adhere to the stated regulations of the institution and applicable federal, state and local laws while we maintain the right to criticize and seek revision. 

  • Respect and safeguard confidential information. 

  • Avoid any mistreatment, harassment, or discriminatory treatment (based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability or sexual orientation) of students, faculty, administration, or staff or the appearance thereof.

As educators, we shall strive to:

  • Promote excellence and the free pursuit of learning in our students.

  • Demonstrate respect for students as individuals and adhere to our proper roles as intellectual guides and counselors.

  • Make every reasonable effort to foster honest academic conduct and to assure that evaluation, promotional, and disciplinary decisions for students reflect students' true merit.

  • Remain reasonably accessible to students.

As scholars and researchers, we shall strive to:

  • Remain current in our fields of expertise and in the general business environment.

  • Propose, conduct, and report research with integrity and with the highest ethical standards.

  • Avoid any exploitation of students for our private advantage and acknowledge assistance from them.

As colleagues, we shall strive to:

  • Be objective and unbiased in our conduct with colleagues. 

  • Show civility, courtesy, and respect towards others. 

  • Accept our share of faculty responsibilities for the governance and operations of our school, institution, and profession.

As members of our community, we shall strive to:

  • Avoid creating the impression of speaking or acting on behalf of the Division of Business or the University unless authorized to do so.

  • Contribute by doing service and taking on leadership roles when appropriate. 

  • Be law-abiding citizens.

Northwestern Oklahoma State University

709 Oklahoma Blvd., Alva, OK 73717
Phone: (580) 327-1700

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University. All Rights Reserved.

Mission Statement

Northwestern Oklahoma State University provides quality educational and cultural opportunities to learners with diverse needs by cultivating ethical leadership and service, critical thinking and fiscal responsibility.

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