NCU Catalog - May 2016 
    Dec 03, 2022  
NCU Catalog - May 2016 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Ethical Standards & Practices

Code of Conduct

Northcentral University has established the following Code of Conduct for students. Each student is expected to understand the terms and conditions set forth in this Policy. (See the Team Handbook and Faculty Handbook for the Code of Conduct applicable to team members and faculty.)

Northcentral is committed to maintaining a community with exceptional ethical standards of professional and academic conduct. Substantiated violations may result in disciplinary sanctions, up to and including expulsion from the University.

Community members of the University are expected to conduct themselves professionally, and refrain from acts of misconduct including but not limited to the following six categories:

  • Dishonesty, cheating, plagiarism, misrepresentation or furnishing false information, forgery, or misuse of academic or administrative materials.
  • Harassment, stalking, humiliation, name-calling, the use of insulting or offensive language, cyber-bullying, threatening communications, abuse and intimidation.
  • Conduct, in speech, written communication or behavior, that is disrespectful or unprofessional or racist, sexist, ageist, or that is otherwise prejudicial against a particular community or social group.
  • Disruption or obstruction of the normal operations of the University; including unauthorized use of any of the University’s facilities, informational or material properties, and resources.
  • Conduct that is disorderly, lewd, lascivious, indecent, sexually abusive, or otherwise inappropriate, or that constitutes a breach of the peace; including violation of the University’s policy that prohibits bringing alcohol, recreational drugs, or firearms onto University property or any location during a University-sponsored event.
  • Failure to cooperate during a University investigation.

All members of the University community who become aware of violations of the Code of Conduct have a responsibility to report them to the appropriate authority. For violations of an academic nature, the appropriate authority is the relevant Dean or Provost. For minor violations of an interpersonal nature, the appropriate authority is the relevant Director or member of the Senior Leadership Team. For violations, including any instance of intimidation or sexual harassment, the violation must be reported to the Chief of Human Resources and/or the President.

A member of the University community who is the victim of a sexual assault should immediately notify law enforcement by dialing 911. A team member of the University who, in the course of his or her job responsibilities, suspects the sexual or physical abuse of a child must immediately report the incident to the law enforcement by dialing 911. If an incident of sexual assault occurs at a University location, it must be immediately reported to Human Resources.

Faculty and team members involved in the purported Code of Conduct violation(s) have a responsibility to report such incidents to the appropriate Dean by submitting a completed Suspected Code of Conduct Violation form.

The Dean will review the charges presented thus the ownership of the investigation (including supporting documentation) should fall on the reporting party.

Academic Integrity

Northcentral University is committed to supporting students and faculty in understanding and applying standards of Academic Integrity. The University is also committed to taking appropriate steps to ensure these standards are met, including:

  • Using an industry-recognized text matching service to screen student assignments;
  • Requiring all students to complete an Academic Integrity Questionnaire, preferably within 30 days of starting and no later than the end of their first course;
  • Providing materials about Academic Integrity on the Student and Faculty Pages.

Northcentral University considers it a serious violation of Academic Integrity to plagiarize one’s work, even unintentionally. The key to Academic Integrity originates in the writer’s choices on how to divide his or her voice from the voices of others. Intentional plagiarism can be defined as appropriating the words or ideas of someone else and passing them off as your own. Intentional plagiarism can include:

  • Copying entire documents and presenting them as your own;
  • Cutting and pasting from the work of others without properly citing the source;
  • Stringing together quotes and /or ideas of others without connecting their work to your own original work;
  • Asserting ideas without acknowledging their sources, or reproducing verbatim work written by others without properly citing your sources.

Unintentional plagiarism is the accidental appropriation of the work of others due to a lack of understanding of documentation conventions. However, this misuse of sources is still considered a violation of Academic Integrity. Northcentral’s response to such violations may range from requiring a student to rewrite a paper to permanently dismissing a student from the University.

Scope of Policy

The Academic Integrity policy applies to all course assignments submitted by a student to an instructor, including but not limited to:

  • Discussion postings
  • Exams
  • Signature assignments
  • Course papers
  • Comprehensive exams
  • Written assignments using outside source information
  • Dissertation documents (concept papers, proposals and final reports).

Use of Text Matching Service

For each course, instructors must process at least one assignment of their choosing through the text matching service Web site. Instructions on how to use the text matching service are available from the Faculty Page. Some courses may not require coursework that is appropriate for evaluation through the text matching service. Therefore, the Dean of each School is authorized to grant exceptions to this requirement for these courses or as appropriate. In addition:

  • Every comprehensive exam must be processed through the text matching service;
  • Every dissertation proposal and final dissertation must be processed through the text matching service;
  • Instructors may use the text matching service as they deem necessary, reserving the right to process any assignment at any time through the service;
  • A link to instructions for using the text matching service is available on the Faculty Page.


Self-plagiarism is the act of presenting one’s previously used work as an original work in subsequent assignments and is inconsistent with honesty and truthfulness in scholarship. Submitting the same coursework to multiple courses also violates Academic Integrity unless the resubmitted work is substantially changed and cited as previous work. Northcentral University faculty and students should discuss the expectations of each activity at the beginning of the class. There should be a clear understanding between the faculty member and student regarding the use of prior work in the class. The faculty member must indicate if the student’s response must be an original work or if the student may use prior work in their response to a new activity.

Acceptable Use of Information Technology

Through the student portal, Northcentral University provides students with access to course rooms, messaging system, Library and other academic resources. The University also provides computer, network, Internet, Intranet, and email access for team members and faculty for performance of their job functions. This access carries certain responsibilities and obligations as to what constitutes acceptable use of the institution’s network. This policy explains how information technology (IT) resources are to be used and specifies what actions are prohibited. No policy can cover every situation, and all users are expected to use common sense when using institutional resources. Questions on what constitutes acceptable use should be directed to the user’s team leader, instructor, or Academic Advisor.

When utilizing University IT resources, all institutional policies are in effect at all times. Any student, team member, or faculty member who abuses the privilege of Northcentral facilitated access to student or faculty portals, e-mail, or the Internet may be denied access to and, if appropriate, be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination or dismissal from the University.


The scope of this policy includes any and all use of institutional IT resources, including but not limited to, the student and faculty portals, computer systems, phones, email, the network, network resources, and University Internet and Intranet connections.

Northcentral recognizes that use of e-mail and the Internet make communication more efficient and effective. However, Internet service and e-mail are valuable, costly resources and their purpose is to facilitate Northcentral business. Irresponsible use reduces their availability for critical business operations, compromises security and network integrity, and leaves Northcentral open to potentially damaging litigation. All use of the Northcentral University IT resources must be in support of business, education, and research consistent with the purposes of Northcentral University. This policy discusses acceptable usage for computers, e-mail, and the Internet.

Fair Use of Copyrighted Material

The Northcentral University Library is committed to compliance with intellectual property law and the preservation of the rights of copyright owners and users of copyrighted materials. The Library strives to inform all its constituencies of the rights and responsibilities under the fair use provisions of the Copyright Act (17 U.S.C. Section 107).

  • Fair use applies to the digital environment without regard to the medium of the original work.
  • Fair use does not supersede licensed resources, unless the terms of controlling agreements specifically defer to U.S. Copyright Act 17 U.S.C. Section 107.
  • Fair use depends on a case-by-case examination of facts surrounding each case, and the four factors identified in U.S. Copyright Act 17 U.S.C. Section 107:
    1. The purpose or character of the use; including whether such use is of a commercial nature or for nonprofit educational purposes
    2. The nature of the copyrighted work used.
    3. The amount and substantiality of the work being used.
    4. The effect of the use on the market for or value of the original work.

The Library works to comply with the Fair Use Guidelines and the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S. Code) regarding photocopied materials. The copyright law of the United States governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted materials. Under certain conditions specified by the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be “used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship or research.” If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of “fair use,” that user may be liable for copyright infringement. Northcentral University reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.

Students should refer to the Acceptable Use of Information Technology policy for additional policies and procedures related to copyright infringement – including Peer-to-Peer (P2P) file sharing – institutional sanctions for student misconduct, and violations and penalties for copyright infringement under federal law.

Institutional Review Board (IRB)

Statement of Principles

Northcentral University (NCU) is committed to ensuring that all research involving human participants follows the ethical principles and requirements as set forth in the Code of Federal Regulations (45 CFR 46), the Belmont Report, and the Nuremberg Code.

Establishment of Institutional Review Board (IRB)

To support these principles, NCU has established an Institutional Review Board (IRB). The IRB reports to the Dean, Graduate School. This institutional official will appoint the IRB Director and the IRB Chairperson and ensure sufficient resources and personnel are provided to the IRB in accordance with 45 CFR 46.103(b)(2).

Signatory Official

The signatory official for Northcentral University is the Senior Vice President, Academic Affairs.

Authority of the IRB

All research proposals will be reviewed by the IRB. The IRB, not the researcher, will determine the necessary type of review (i.e. not human subjects research, Exempt, Expedited, or Full Board). If a study does not meet the federal definition of human subjects research as outlined in 45 CFR 46.102, the IRB will confirm this designation in writing, and no additional IRB oversight will be required.

The IRB will determine the risk level of a study as minimal risk or greater than minimal risk. Researchers may provide their own description of perceived risk factors. However, final determination of risk level is made by the IRB.

The IRB has the authority to review and approve, require modifications to, or disapprove all research covered by 45 CFR 46. In accordance with 45 CFR 46.112, research approved by the IRB may be subject to additional review by officials of the institution. These officials may approve or disapprove the research after an IRB approval, but they may not approve the research if it was first disapproved by the IRB.

In accordance with 45 CFR 46.113, the IRB shall have the authority to suspend or terminate approval of research that is not conducted in accordance with IRB requirements or that has been associated with unexpected serious harm to subjects.