Jul 13, 2024  
National University Volume 86B-2 Catalog - April 2024 
National University Volume 86B-2 Catalog - April 2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Ethical Standards & Practices

Student Code of Conduct


National University (NU) is dedicated to making lifelong learning opportunities accessible, challenging, and relevant to a diverse student population. Consistent with the University mission, rights and responsibilities are extended to all members of our University community.

Community exists on the basis of shared values and principles. NU student community members are expected to uphold and abide by certain standards of conduct which form the basis of the Student Code of Conduct. These standards are embodied within the below set of core values.

Core Values of Student Conduct at National University

  • Integrity: National University students exemplify honesty, honor and a respect for the truth in all of their dealings.
  • Community: National University students build and enhance their community.
  • Social Justice: National University students are just and equitable in their treatment of all members of the community and act to discourage and/or intervene to prevent unjust and inequitable behaviors.
  • Respect: National University students show positive regard for each other, for property and for the community.
  • Responsibility: National University students are given and accept a high level of responsibility to self, to others, and to the community.

National University students are solely responsible for having knowledge of information, policies and procedures outlined within this policy. The Office of Student Conduct (OSC) reserves the right to change this code as deemed necessary; posted changes are effective immediately. Students are encouraged to check online at https://www.nu.edu/studentservices/StudentConduct/ for the most current version of all policies and procedures.

Conflict Resolution Options

Whenever appropriate, community members should consider alternative dispute resolution in the following forms. Some important exceptions include offenses including sexual violence, physical threat/violence, or when there is a concern a physical threat may develop with continued contact between the parties.

  • Involvement of a Supervisor or Academic Program Leadership
  • University Ombuds Office at (858) 642-8368 or ombuds@nu.edu
  • Consider switching communication methods (e.g., discussion via phone rather than email)


1.1 Mission Statement

The OSC seeks to enhance student learning and personal development by creating an educationally purposeful, ethical and caring community, while protecting the interests of the larger National University community. Through the fair, timely and consistent administration of the student conduct process, the OSC promotes student learning with the guiding principles of integrity, community, social justice, respect and responsibility.

1.2 Philosophy Statement

The NU community is committed to fostering an environment that is conducive to academic inquiry, a productive campus life, and thoughtful study and discourse. The OSC is entrusted to maintain balance between the interests of individual students and those of the University community. This community exists on the basis of shared values and principles, which all members are expected to uphold and abide by. Specific to students, these shared principles of behavior form the basis of the Student Code of Conduct. These standards are embodied within a set of core values that include integrity, community, social justice, respect and responsibility.

When members of the University community fail to exemplify these five values by engaging in violation of the standards below, it is the responsibility of all staff, faculty, students, and other community members to encourage behavior change. Specifically, the OSC establishes norms, documents, intervenes, and leads development and assertion of these standards. The student conduct process at National University is not intended to punish students; rather, it exists to  protect the interests of the community and to challenge those whose behavior in some way compromises the productivity of academic pursuits. Sanctions are intended to challenge students’ moral and ethical decision-making and to help them bring their behavior into accord with our community expectations. When a student is unable to conform their behavior to community expectations, the student conduct process may determine the student should no longer share in the privilege of participating in this community.

Procedures and rights in student conduct procedures are conducted with fairness to all but are not held to the same protections of due process afforded by the courts during civil or criminal proceedings. Due process, as defined within these procedures, assures written notice and an Educational Conference (EC) with an objective decision-maker (only in the case of an investigation – not solely a complaint). No student will be found in violation of National University policy without showing it is more likely than not that a policy violation occurred and any sanctions will be proportionate to the severity of each violation and to the cumulative conduct history of the student.


2.1 Interpretation and Revision

OSC will develop procedural rules for the administration of conduct proceedings and/or appeals that are consistent with provisions of the Student Code of Conduct. Material deviation from these rules will, generally, only be made as necessary and will include reasonable advance notice to the parties involved, either by posting online and/or in the form of written communication. The OSC may vary procedures with notice upon determining that changes to law or regulation require policy or procedural alterations not reflected in this Code. The OSC may make minor modifications to procedure that do not materially jeopardize the fairness owed to any party. Any question of interpretation of the Student Code of Conduct will be referred to the OSC, whose interpretation is final. The Student Code of Conduct will be updated annually.

2.2 University as Convener

The University is the convener of every action under this Code. Within that action, there are several roles. The Respondent is the person who is alleged to have violated the Code. The party bringing the complaint is the Reporter, who may be a student, employee, visitor or guest. The Reporter may, if they so choose, be present and participate in the process as fully as the Respondent. There are Witnesses, who may offer information regarding the allegation. There is an Investigator(s) whose role is to present the allegations and share the evidence that the University has obtained regarding the allegations.

2.3 Group Violations

A student group or organization and its officers and membership may be held collectively and individually responsible when violations of this code by the organization or its member(s): 

  • Take place at organization-sponsored or co-sponsored events, whether sponsorship is formal or tacit;
  • Have received the consent or encouragement of the organization or of the organization’s leaders or officers; or
  • Were known or should have been known to the membership or its officers.

Investigations for student groups or organizations follow the same general student conduct procedures. In any such action, individual determinations as to responsibility will be made and sanctions may be assigned collectively and individually and will be proportionate to the involvement of each individual and the organization.

2.4 Amnesty

Amnesty means that current students can avoid informal and formal University disciplinary action and the creation of a formal disciplinary record under the circumstances described below. Records regarding the provision of amnesty are maintained. Abuse of amnesty requests can result in a decision by the OSC not to extend amnesty to the same person repeatedly.

2.4.1 For Victims

The University provides amnesty to victims who may be hesitant to report to University officials because they fear that they themselves may be accused of minor policy violations, such as underage drinking, at the time of the incident. Educational options will be explored, but no conduct proceedings or conduct record will result.

2.4.2 For Those Who Offer Assistance

To encourage students to offer help and assistance to others, the University pursues a policy of amnesty for minor violations when students offer help to others in need. At the discretion of the OSC, amnesty may also be extended on a case-by-case basis to the person receiving assistance. Educational options will be explored, but no conduct proceedings or conduct record will result.

2.4.3 For Those Who Report Serious Violations

Students who are engaged in minor violations but who choose to bring related serious violations by others to the attention of the University are offered amnesty for their minor violations. Educational options will be explored, but no conduct proceedings or record will result.


The Student Code of Conduct is published annually in the University General Catalog, and the policy is available on the National University Office of Student Conduct website. Hard copies are available by request from the OSC (osc@nu.edu). Students are responsible for having read and abiding by the provisions of the Student Code of Conduct.

The Student Code of Conduct and the student conduct process apply to the conduct of all students, both undergraduate and graduate, and all National University- affiliated student organizations. For the purposes of student conduct, National University considers an individual to be a student when an offer of admission has been extended, a student identification number has been issued, and thereafter, as long as the student is eligible to enroll in courses at the University. The Code also applies to guests of students, whose hosts may be held accountable for the misconduct of their guests. Visitors to, and guests of, National University may seek resolution of violations of the Student Code of Conduct committed against them by members of the National University student body.

National University retains conduct jurisdiction over students who choose to take a leave of absence, withdraw, or have graduated; for any misconduct that occurred prior to the leave, withdrawal, or graduation. The University will retain jurisdiction even when misconduct is reported after the student has left, withdrawn, or graduated from the University. There is no time limit on reporting violations of the Student Code of Conduct; however, the longer someone waits to report an offense, the harder it becomes for National University officials to obtain information and witness statements, and to make determinations regarding alleged violations.

The Student Code of Conduct applies to behaviors that take place on a campus, online, at University sponsored events and may also apply off-campus when the OSC determines that the off-campus conduct affects National University constituents or its interests. National University interest is defined to include:

  • Any situation where it appears that the student’s conduct may present a danger or threat to the health or safety of themselves or others;
  • Any situation that significantly impinges upon the rights, property, or achievements of self or others, or significantly breaches the peace and/or causes social disorder; and/or
  • Any situation that is detrimental to the educational mission and/or interests of National University.

The Student Code of Conduct may be applied to behavior conducted online, via email, social media and all other types of electronic medium. Students should also be aware that online postings such as blogs, web postings, chats and social networking sites are in the public sphere and are not private. These postings can subject a student to allegations of conduct violations if evidence of policy violations is posted online. However, most online speech by students not involving National University networks or technology will be protected as free expression and not subject to this Code, with two notable exceptions:

  • A true threat, defined as a threat that a reasonable person would interpret as a serious expression of intent to inflict bodily harm upon specific individuals.
  • Speech posted online about National University or its community members that causes a significant on campus disruption.

Though anonymous complaints are permitted, doing so may limit National University’s ability to investigate and respond to an allegation. Those who are aware of misconduct are encouraged to file a report as quickly as possible to the OSC. A responding student facing an alleged violation of the Student Code of Conduct is not permitted to withdraw from National University until all allegations are resolved. Official transcripts and/or diploma may be withheld until the allegations are resolved.

University-assigned student email addresses are the primary means of communication at National University as well as the OSC. In addition, students may be required to meet in-person, via phone, or through videoconferencing, when necessary. Students are responsible for keeping their contact information up to date and are responsible for all communications received to their means of contact as they are documented in official University records. Failure to check and/or respond to email or voicemail is NOT an acceptable excuse for failing to respond to an official communication.


Alleged violations of federal, state and local laws may be investigated and addressed under the Student Code of Conduct. When an offense occurs over which National University has jurisdiction, the National University conduct process will usually go forward notwithstanding any criminal complaint that may arise from the same incident.

National University reserves the right to exercise its authority of interim suspension upon notification that a student is facing criminal investigation and/or complaint. Interim suspensions are imposed until an EC can be held, typically within two (2) weeks. The EC may resolve the allegation or may help to determine if the interim suspension should be continued. The interim suspension may be continued if a danger to the community is posed, and National University may be delayed or prevented from conducting its own investigation and resolving the allegation by the pendency of the criminal process. In such cases, National University will only delay its process until such time as it can conduct an internal investigation or obtain sufficient information independently or receive a report from law enforcement to proceed. This delay will be no longer than two (2) weeks from notice of the incident unless a longer delay is requested and substantiated in writing by the Reporter or Respondent, or to allow the criminal investigation to proceed before the National University process. Students accused of crimes may request to take a Leave of Absence (LOA) from National University until the criminal charges are resolved. In such situations, the National University procedure for voluntary leaves of absence is subject to the following conditions:

  • The responding student must comply with all campus investigative efforts that will not prejudice their defense in the criminal trial;
  • The responding student must comply with all interim actions and/or restrictions imposed during the leave of absence;
  • The responding student must agree that, in order to be reinstated to active student status, they must first be subject to, and fully cooperate with, the campus conduct process and must comply with all sanctions that are imposed; and
  • This Leave of Absence will not prevent enrollment status from being reported as scheduled. Students receiving Financial Aid should contact the Financial Aid department to help determine impact of voluntary LOA.


5.1 Core Values and Behavioral Expectations

National University considers the behavior described in the following sub-sections as inappropriate for the NU community and in opposition to the core values set forth in this document. These expectations and rules apply to all students, whether undergraduate, graduate, or non- degree seeking. National University encourages community members to report all incidents that involve the following actions to the OSC. Any student found to have committed or to have attempted to commit the following misconduct is subject to the sanctions outlined in the student conduct process.

5.2 General Standards of Conduct for Online Students

Freedom of speech and expression is valued in the academic setting. Equally valued is the respect given to University computer systems and information technology. To that end, students will adhere to the following online standards of conduct:

  • Access National University courses only for lawful purposes.
  • Respect the privacy of other members of the class and other students.
  • Respect the integrity of the University’s computer systems.
  • Respect the diversity of opinions among the instructor and members of the class and respond to them in a courteous manner. Electronic communication consisting of all caps, large font, or bold print may be considered unprofessional and a form of verbal abuse.
  • Maintain an environment free of harassment, stalking, threats, abuse, name-calling, intimidation, cyber-bullying, use of offensive language, insults or humiliation to the instructor and members of the class. This includes, but is not limited to, demeaning written or oral comments of an ethnic, religious, sexist (or sexual orientation), or racist nature, and the unwanted sexual advances or intimidations by email, or on discussion boards and postings in course shells.
  • Abide by all rules and regulations published by the University and agree to be subject to disciplinary actions as described in this Code of Conduct and all policies as described in the General Catalog.

5.2.1 Integrity

National University students exemplify honesty, honor and a respect for the truth in all of their dealings. Behavior that violates this value includes, but is not limited to: Academic Dishonesty

Academic dishonesty violations will be addressed by the instructor utilizing the guidance in the Faculty Handbook on Academic Integrity and Ethics. The instructor will subsequently report any violation that occurs at the University to the OSC at the following link: www.nu.edu/reportit. The OSC is responsible for adjudication utilizing the rubric below and tracking of all academic integrity violations that occur at the University.

In the case of academic integrity violations, the student may be subject to both classroom/program as well as institutional sanctions. Classroom or program-specific sanctions will be issued at the discretion of the instructor of record/program leadership (e.g., penalized grade or program dismissal), whereas the OSC will assess the appropriateness of and enact educational and/or disciplinary sanctions. An incident or string of incidents will generally be considered a single violation up until the point a student receives notice of the violation; additional infractions occurring after that point will be considered separately for purposes of this rubric. General guidance on substantial issues of interpretation of the sanction rubric may be provided by the Academic Program Lead (APL) or the OSC.

Each incident the student is found responsible for will constitute one cumulative point toward Academic Dishonesty Sanctions listed below. Points are assigned per incident regardless of the number of violations. Also, an additional point may be accrued if the charges involve one or more of the following: senior project, thesis, surrogate, graduate course, altering grades, candidacy/qualifying exam, and/or program professional/clinical standards (credential/nursing/MAC). Sanction points are cumulative over the length of the student’s tenure at National University.

Scope of Academic Dishonesty Policy

This policy applies to all course assignments submitted by a student to an instructor, including but not limited to the following:

  • Discussion postings
  • Exams
  • Signature assignments
  • Course papers
  • Comprehensive portfolio/prospectus
  • Written assignments using outside source information
  • Dissertation documents (dissertation chapters, concept papers, proposals and final reports)
Examples of Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism

Below are examples of academic integrity infractions. This list is NOT all inclusive and students are considered responsible for maintaining integrity in their academic pursuits at all times.

  • Referencing content from websites without citation or paraphrase (websites may be referenced for academic work but must be cited by the date referenced).
  • Intentional close paraphrasing of the published or unpublished work of another author or authors without proper in-text attribution.
  • Submitting as your own original work any paper, article, report, presentation, or book chapter written by another author or authors.
  • Submitting as your own original work any assignment that includes content purchased from a commercial service or another person.
  • Submitting a paper or other assignment previously written for another course (at National University or other institution) without explicit permission from the faculty of the current course.
  • Submitting a paper or other assignment that contains any published materials that have been duplicated word-for-word without citation or proper attribution.
  • Writing a paper (or any assignment) on behalf of another student.
  • Providing and/or citing references that were not actually used in your work giving the impression that authentic research was conducted.
  • Speaking in public (in the form of a speech, lecture or presentation) where any content in that presentation is misrepresented as your own original work or intellectual property.
  • Unauthorized collaboration with others on homework assignments.
  • Attempting to obtain access to test questions or advance copies of an exam in advance of the exam.
  • Publishing or otherwise making available evaluation materials, essay prompts, or other protected documentation from University coursework or services.
Re-using or Re-purposing Prior Work

All student work must be original and written specifically for the course in which it was assigned. Presenting one’s previously used work as an original work in subsequent assignments is plagiarism 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. NU 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.

  1. Previously attempted course - A student may submit prior work for the same course when re-taking a course that was previously attempted. Students must notify their faculty that they previously attempted the course and are re-using prior work. This exception notwithstanding, refining prior work before submission to best reflect the student’s current scholarly abilities and achieve the best chance for a passing grade on the re-take is always prudent.
  2. Research methods courses and dissertation research - Doctoral research is an ongoing process and these courses represent a continuing sequence where it is expected that students refine their prior work. Therefore, the submission of prior work is acceptable. Students must notify their professors that they are continuing their research from a prior course. This exception notwithstanding, refining prior work before submission to best reflect the student’s current scholarly abilities and take advantage of prior faculty feedback is always prudent.
  3. Comprehensive portfolios/prospectus - The comprehensive portfolio and prospectus are the student’s opportunity to showcase and prove knowledge already attained. Therefore, the submission of prior work is acceptable. This exception notwithstanding, students must revise the prior work before submission as part of the portfolio to best reflect the student’s current scholarly abilities and submit both the original and the revised versions.
  4. When instructed to do so by the faculty or assignment instructions - re-submission of prior work or revised work is permitted.
Office of Student Conduct Points/Sanctions

Sanction points for academic dishonesty are as follows:

  • 1 Point = Written Warning
  • 2 Points = Educational Sanction (ex. paper on academic dishonesty/ethics)
  • 3 Points = Educational and Disciplinary Sanctions (ex. paper and disciplinary probation and/or suspension)
  • 4 Points = Separation Proceedings Unauthorized Access

Unauthorized access to any University building (i.e., keys, cards, etc.) or unauthorized possession, duplication or use of means of access to any University building or failing to timely report a lost University identification card or key. Collusion

Action or inaction with another or others to violate the Student Code of Conduct, which includes but is not limited to:

  • Students are subject to disciplinary action for knowingly acting in concert with others to violate University policies and/or regulations.
  • Students are subject to disciplinary action for being aware of the existence of a violation of University policies and/or regulations and failing to take reasonable action to report the violations in a timely manner.
  • Students are always responsible for the actions of their guests that are on campus visiting a member of the campus community. Trust

Violations of positions of trust within the community and/or deliberately misleading University officials or agents who are attempting to gain information for University business. Election Tampering

Tampering with the election of any National University-recognized student organization (minor election code violations are addressed by the Associate Director of NU Scholars Program). Taking of Property

Intentional and unauthorized taking of National University property or the personal property of another, including goods, services and other valuables; attempting to take, sell or keep in one’s possession, including but not exclusively, items of National University property or items belonging to students, faculty, staff, student groups, visitors or to others within the larger community whether on or off campus. Stolen Property

Knowingly taking or maintaining possession of stolen property.

5.2.2 Community

National University students build and enhance their community. Behavior that violates this value includes, but is not limited to: Disruptive Behavior

Disruption of University operations, both physical and electronic operations, including non-adherence to and/or disregard for location-specific rules and behavioral expectations such as, but not limited to, the library, computer, science and/or simulation labs.

Disruptive behaviors are separated into two different categories: Minimum and Significant.


Minor disruption of University operations which occur on/off campus or online will be addressed by the Professor, Academic Program Lead, Director or Manager of the University department where the behavior occurred, and documented for the department file.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Repeated and disruptive tardiness to class or appointments
  • Eating and/or drinking (if not permitted)
  • Electronic devices going off
  • Email or phone harassment (1-3 separate instances within a short time frame)
  • Performing a distracting repetitive act such as tapping feet or fingers, popping gum, or loud talking
  • Disrespectful engagement online or in-person


Substantial disruption of University operations including obstruction of teaching, research, administration, other University activities, and/or other authorized non-University activities which occur on/off campus or online must be reported immediately and will be addressed by the OSC. Persistent Minimum-level behaviors can become Significant level concerns. When reporting persistent minimum level behaviors, that have risen to the significant level, please provide the OSC with adequate documentation regarding prior occurrences, including all attempts at addressing the behavior at the department level.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Persistent Minimum level behaviors (3+ separate instances)
  • Invading one’s personal space or blocking an entry or exit way
  • Moving around the classroom in a threatening manner and/or without authorization (e.g., during a lecture)
  • Aggressive confrontation of another person
  • Explicit or implicit threats Disorderly Assembly

Causing, inciting or participating in any disturbance that presents a clear and present danger to others, causes physical harm to others, or damage and/or destruction of property, which includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • 1.0 Assembling on campus for the purpose of disrupting classes, seminars, meetings, research projects, or activities of the University
  • 1.1 Assembling on campus for the purpose of creating or attempting to create a riot, destroying property or creating a disorderly diversion that interferes with the normal operation of the University (i.e., water balloon or water gun fights, egging incidents, etc.)
  • 1.2 Obstructing the freedom of movement of other persons to and from University facilities or materially interfering with the normal operation of the University.
  • 1.3 Engaging in abuse of or unauthorized use of sound amplification equipment indoors or outdoors during class hours. (Any use of sound amplification equipment must be cleared in advance though the Center Director of the specific campus where the event will take place. For student organizations, this must first be cleared by the Office of Student Engagement and Leadership and then the Center Director.) Unauthorized Entry

Misuse of access privileges to University premises or unauthorized entry to or use of buildings, including trespassing, propping open or unauthorized use of alarmed doors for entry into or exit from a University building. Forgery/Fraud

Altering University documents, misrepresenting information, or knowingly providing false information. Damage and Destruction

Intentional, reckless and/or unauthorized damage to or destruction of University property or the personal property of another. IT and Acceptable Use

Violations in this category would include, but are not limited to:

  • 1.0 Unauthorized entry into a file to use, read or change the contents, or for any other purpose
  • 1.1 Unauthorized transfer of a file
  • 1.2 Unauthorized use of another individual’s identification and password
  • 1.3 Use of computing facilities to view or send indecent, obscene, threatening or abusive messages
  • 1.4 Use of computer facilities that violate copyright laws including the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material via file sharing
  • 1.5 Inappropriate use of social media (including but not limited to Facebook, Instagram, Tic Tok, Twitter, Snapchat, Vine, blogs, etc.)
  • 1.6 Use of computing facilities to interfere with the normal operation of the Office of Information Technology Gambling

Gambling as prohibited by the laws of the State of California; (Gambling may include video games, dice, raffles, lotteries, sports pools, online betting activities, any other game of skill or chance played for money.) Weapons

Possession, use, or distribution of explosives (including fireworks and ammunition), guns (including air, BB, paintball, facsimile weapons and pellet guns), or other weapons or objects deemed dangerous such as arrows, axes, machetes, nun chucks, throwing stars, or non-folding knives with a blade of longer than 4 inches, mace or pepper spray, chemical weapons, darts, box cutters, including the storage of any item that falls within the category of a weapon in a vehicle parked on University property. Smoking or Tobacco

Smoking or tobacco sale or use in any area of National University facilities, vehicles, and outside stairways. Students who smoke are required to smoke outside and at a minimum of 25 feet away from a building. Smoking materials must be properly disposed of in appropriately designated receptacles. Fire Safety

Violation of local, state, federal or campus fire policies including, but not limited to:

  • 1.0 Intentionally or recklessly causing a fire which damages University or personal property or which causes injury
  • 1.1 Failure to evacuate a National University-controlled building during a fire alarm
  • 1.2 Improper use of National University fire safety equipment
  • 1.3 Tampering with or improperly engaging a fire alarm or fire detection/control equipment while on National University property. There is the possibility that such action may result in a local fine in addition to National University sanctions. Ineligible Pledging or Association

Pledging or associating with a student organization without having met eligibility requirements established by National University. Animals

Animals and pets, with the exception of service animals for persons with disabilities, are not permitted in any University facility. Students who have questions on whether their animal will be allowed on campus due to a disability are responsible to contact the Student Accessibility Services (SAS) team. (Please visit www.nu.edu/sas for more information). Wheeled Devices

Skateboards, roller blades, roller skates, bicycles and similar wheeled devices are not permitted inside National University buildings. Additionally, skateboards and other wheeled items may not be ridden on railings, curbs, benches, or any such fixtures that may be damaged by these activities, and individuals may be liable for damage to National University property caused by these activities.

5.2.3 Social Justice

National University students recognize that respecting the dignity every person is essential for creating and sustaining a flourishing university community. They understand and appreciate how their decisions and actions impact others and are just and equitable in their treatment of all members of the community. They act to discourage and challenge those whose actions may be harmful to and/or diminish the worth of others. Conduct that violates this value includes, but is not limited to: Discrimination

Any act or failure to act that is based upon an individual or group’s actual or perceived status (sex, gender, race, color, age, creed, national or ethnic origin, physical or mental disability, veteran status, pregnancy status, religion, sexual orientation or other protected status), that is sufficiently severe in that it limits or denies the ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s educational programs or activities. (Please see National University’s Equal Opportunity, Harassment and Nondiscrimination Policy for more information). Unwelcome Harassment

Any unwelcome conduct in-person or online, on the basis of an individual or group’s actual or perceived status (sex, gender, race, color, age, creed, national or ethnic origin, physical or mental disability, veteran status, pregnancy status, religion, sexual orientation or other protected status). Any unwelcome conduct should be reported to a campus official, who will act to remedy and/or resolve reported incidents on behalf of the parties involved and the community. (Please see National University’s Equal Opportunity, Harassment and Nondiscrimination Policy for more information).

  • 1.0 Hostile Environment

Sanctions can and will be imposed for the creation of a hostile environment only when unwelcome harassment is sufficiently severe, pervasive or persistent, and objectively offensive that it unreasonably interferes with, limits or denies the ability to participate in or benefit from the University educational or employment program or activities. (Please see National University’s Equal Opportunity, Harassment and Nondiscrimination Policy for more information). Retaliatory Discrimination or Harassment

Any intentional, adverse action taken by a responding individual or allied third party, absent legitimate nondiscriminatory purposes, against a participant or supporter of a participant in a civil rights grievance proceeding or other protected activity under this Code. To be considered retaliation, a causal connection is required between a materially adverse action and the act of:

  • 1.0 Reporting an allegation; or
  • 1.1 Participating in support of an investigation.

A materially adverse action is one that would dissuade a reasonable person from reporting an allegation of a policy violation under this Code. A determination of whether an action is materially adverse is made on a case-by-case basis. (Please see National University’s Equal Opportunity, Harassment and Nondiscrimination Policy for more information). Bystanding

Students are expected to “reasonably” respond to assist other students in need.

  • 1.0 Complicity with or failure of any student to appropriately address known or obvious violations of the Code of Student Conduct or law
  • 1.1 Complicity with or failure of any organized group to appropriately address known or obvious violations of the Code of Student Conduct or law by its members Abuse of Conduct Process

Abuse or interference with, or failure to comply in, University processes including conduct and academic integrity conferences, including, but not limited to:

  • 1.0 Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information
  • 1.1 Failure to provide, destroying or concealing information during an investigation of an alleged policy violation
  • 1.2 Attempting to discourage an individual’s proper participation in, or use of, the campus conduct system
  • 1.3 Harassment (verbal or physical) and/or intimidation of a member of a campus conduct body prior to, during, and/or following a campus conduct proceeding
  • 1.4 Failure to comply with the sanction(s) imposed by the campus conduct system
  • 1.5 Influencing, or attempting to influence, another person to commit an abuse of the campus conduct system

5.2.4 Respect

National University students show positive regard for each other and for the community. Behavior that violates this value includes, but is not limited to: Harm to Persons

Intentionally or recklessly causing physical harm or endangering the health or safety of any person. Threatening Behaviors

Students should not be engaged in any behavior that seeks to threaten or intimidate others, thereby disrupting the ability to maintain a positive environment conducive to learning.

  • 1.0 Threat

Written or verbal conduct that causes a reasonable expectation of injury to the physical health, mental health, or safety of any person or damage to any property.

  • 1.1 Intimidation

Intimidation defined as implied threats or acts that cause a reasonable fear of emotional, mental or physical harm in another. Bullying and Cyberbullying

Bullying and cyberbullying are repeated and/or severe aggressive behaviors that intimidate or intentionally harm or control another person physically or emotionally and are not protected by freedom of expression. Hazing

Defined as an act that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student, or that destroys or removes public or private property, for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in a group or organization. Participation or cooperation by the person(s) being hazed does not excuse the violation. Failing to intervene to prevent, failing to discourage or failing to report those acts may also violate this policy. (Please see National University’s Equal Opportunity, Harassment and Nondiscrimination Policy for more information.) Intimate Partner/ Relationship Violence

Violence or abuse by a person in an intimate relationship with another. (Please see National University’s Equal Opportunity, Harassment and Nondiscrimination Policy for more information). Stalking

Stalking is a course of conduct directed at a specific person that is unwelcome and would cause a reasonable person to feel fear. This would include persistent contact via electronic mediums (Facebook, Instagram, Email, Text Message, etc.). (Please see National University’s Equal Opportunity, Harassment and Nondiscrimination Policy for more information.) Sexual Misconduct

Includes, but is not limited to, sexual harassment, non-consensual sexual contact, non-consensual sexual intercourse, or sexual exploitation. (Please see National University’s Equal Opportunity, Harassment and Nondiscrimination Policy for more information.) Public Exposure

Includes deliberately and publicly exposing one’s intimate body parts, public urination, defecation, and public sex acts. (Please see National University’s Equal Opportunity, Harassment and Nondiscrimination Policy for more information.)

5.2.5 Responsibility

National University students are given and accept a high level of responsibility to self, to others and to the community. Behavior that violates this value includes, but is not limited to: Alcohol

Use, possession or distribution of alcoholic beverages or paraphernalia while on University property. Illegal Drugs

Use, possession or distribution of illegal drugs or other controlled substances or drug paraphernalia while on University property. Prescription Medications

Abuse, misuse, sale or distribution of prescription or over-the-counter medications while on University property. Failure to Comply

Failure to comply with the reasonable directives of University officials or law enforcement officers during the performance of their duties and/ or failure to identify oneself to these persons when requested to do so. Financial Responsibilities

Failure to promptly meet financial responsibilities to the institution, including, but not limited to; knowingly passing a worthless check or money order in payment to the institution or to an official of the institution acting in an official capacity. Arrest

Failure of any student to accurately report an off-campus arrest by any law enforcement agency for any crime (including non-custodial or field arrests) to the OSC within seventy-two (72) hours of release. Other Policies

Violating other published University policies, regulations or rules. Students are subject to the specific policies in the academic handbook of the program in which they are enrolled. Students registered in courses that involve clinical rotations, student teaching or internships are also subject to the specific policies of those allied third-party sites. Health and Safety

Creation of health and/or safety hazards (dangerous pranks, hanging out of or climbing from/on/in windows, balconies, roofs, etc.). Violations of Law

Evidence of violation of local, state or federal laws, when substantiated through the University’s conduct process.


This overview gives a general idea of how the University’s campus conduct proceedings work, but it should be noted that not all situations are of the same severity or complexity. Thus, these procedures are flexible, and are not the same in every situation, though consistency in similar situations is a priority. The campus conduct process and all applicable timelines commence with notice to an administrator of a potential violation of University rules.

6.1 Notice of Alleged Violation

Any member of the University community, visitor or guest may allege a policy violation(s) by a student for misconduct under this Code by filling out the form found at this link (www.nu.edu/reportit) with all pertinent details.

Notice may also be given to the OSC (or designee), the Title IX Coordinator, or any member of the Equity Grievance Process (EGP) Team, when appropriate. Additionally, administrators may act on notice of a potential violation whether a formal allegation is made or not. All allegations can be submitted by a victim or a third party and should be submitted as soon as possible after the incident occurs. The University has the right to pursue an allegation or notice of misconduct on its own behalf and to serve as convener of the subsequent campus conduct process.

In Title IX related issues, the “administrator” is any “mandated reporter” as defined under the Equal Opportunity, Harassment and Non-Discrimination policy.

6.2 STEP 1: Initial Inquiry Leading to Warning Letter or Notice of Investigation (NOI)

The University conducts a prompt initial inquiry into the nature of the incident or notice, the evidence available, and the parties involved. The initial inquiry may lead to one of the following:

  • A determination that there is insufficient evidence to pursue the investigation because the behavior alleged, even if proven, would not violate the Student Code of Conduct (e.g., for reasons such as mistaken identity or allegations of behavior that falls outside the Code); or
  • A determination that there is sufficient evidence to issue student a Warning Letter, describing the problematic behavior in violation of the Student Code of Conduct and requesting specific behavior change; (a Warning Letter and the resulting requests do not carry sanctions and are therefore not eligible for appeal); or
  • A determination that there is sufficient evidence to conduct a more comprehensive investigation, usually through the use of an EC. A formal notice of investigation will be issued to the responding party.

6.3 STEP 2: Educational Conference (EC)

When an EC is held, the possible outcomes include:

A decision not to pursue the allegation based on a lack of or insufficient evidence. The matter should be closed, and records should so indicate.

A decision on the allegation, also known as a resolution to an allegation. If necessary, additional investigation and/or ECs may be held prior to closing the investigation and recommending sanction(s). If a decision on the allegation is made and the finding is that the responding student is not responsible for violating the Code, the process will end. If/when the CO conducting the EC determines that it is more likely than not that the responding student is in violation, the CO will close the investigation and recommend final sanction(s) to the OSC.

6.4 STEP 3: Review and Finalize Sanction(s)

If the student is found in violation(s), sanction(s) will be recommended by the CO to the OSC (based on precedent, prior violations of a similar nature that may indicate pattern, etc.), who will review and finalize the sanctions, subject to the University appeals process by any party to the complaint.

6.5 Conduct Sanctions

One or more of following sanctions may be imposed upon any student found responsible for any single violation of the Student Code of Conduct:

  • 1.0 Warning

An official written notice that the student has violated University policies and/or rules and that more severe conduct action will result should the student be involved in any other violations while the student is enrolled at the University.

  • 1.1 Restitution

Compensation for damage caused to the University or any person’s property. This could also include situations such as failure to return a reserved space to proper condition – labor costs and expenses. This is not a fine but, rather, a repayment for labor costs and/or the value of property destroyed, damaged, consumed, or stolen.

  • 1.2 Community/University Service Requirements

For a student or organization to complete a specific supervised community or University service.

  • 1.3 Loss of Privileges

The student will be denied specified privileges for a designated period of time.

  • 1.4 Confiscation of Prohibited Property

Items whose presence is in violation of University policy will be confiscated and will become the property of the University. Prohibited items may be returned to the owner at the discretion of the OSC and/or Campus Security.

  • 1.5 Behavioral Requirement

This includes required activities including, but not limited to, seeking academic counseling or substance abuse counseling, writing a letter of apology, etc.

  • 1.6 Educational Program

Requirement to attend, present and/or participate in a program related to the violation. It may also be a requirement to sponsor or assist with a program for others on campus to aid them in learning about a

specific topic or issue related to the violation for which the student or organization was found responsible. Audience may be restricted.

  • 1.7 University Probation

The student is placed on official notice that, should further violations of University policies occur during a specified probationary period, the student may face suspension or expulsion. Regular probationary meetings may also be imposed.

  • 1.8 Eligibility Restriction

The student is deemed “not in good standing” with the University for a specified period of time. Specific limitations or exceptions may be granted by the OSC and terms of this conduct sanction may include, but are not limited to, the following:

a. Ineligibility to hold any office in any student organization recognized by the University or hold an elected or appointed office at the University; or

b. Ineligibility to represent the University to anyone outside the University community in any way including: participating in a study tour or study abroad program, attending conferences, or representing the University at an official function, event or competition as a competitor, manager or student coach, etc.

  • 1.9 Records, Enrollment, and/or Graduation Hold

A hold may be placed on the student’s ability to re-enroll and/ or obtain official transcripts and/or graduate, and all sanctions must be satisfied prior to release of records, re-enrollment, or graduation/degree conferral.

  • 1.10 University Suspension

Separation from the University for a specified minimum period, after which the student is eligible to return. Eligibility may be contingent upon satisfaction of specific conditions noted in the Decision Letter at the time of suspension. During the suspension period, the student is banned from all university property, functions, events, activities, online classes and/or NU Commons Facebook activity without prior written approval from the OSC (or designee). This sanction may be enforced with a trespass action as necessary.

  • 1.11 University Expulsion

Permanent separation from the University. The student is banned from all University property and the student’s presence at any University-sponsored activity or event (including alumni events) is prohibited. This action may be enforced with a trespass action as necessary.

  • 1.12 Revocation of Degree

In the event of serious misconduct committed while still enrolled but reported after the responding student has graduated, National University may invoke student conduct procedures and should the former student be found responsible, the University may revoke that student’s degree.

  • 1.13 Other Sanctions

Additional or alternate sanctions may be created and designed as deemed appropriate to the offense with the approval of the OSC or designee. The following sanctions may be imposed upon groups or organizations found to have violated the Student

  • Code of Conduct:
    • One or more of the sanctions listed above; and/or
    • Deactivation, de-recognition, loss of all privileges (including status as a University-registered group/organization), for a specified period.

6.6 Parental Notification

The University reserves the right to notify the parents/guardians of dependent students regarding any conduct situation, particularly alcohol and other drug violations. The University may also notify parents/guardians of non-dependent students who are under the age of 21 of alcohol and/or other drug violations. Parental notification may also be utilized discretionarily by administrators when permitted by FERPA or consent of the student.

6.7 Notification of Outcomes

The outcome of a conduct proceeding is part of the education record of the responding student and is protected from release under the Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), except under certain conditions. As allowed by FERPA, when a student is accused of a policy violation that would constitute a “crime of violence” or forcible or non-forcible sex offense, National University will inform the alleged victim in writing of the final results of a conduct proceeding and/or an appeal panel regardless of whether the University concludes that a violation was committed. Such release of information may only include the responding student’s name, the violation committed, and the sanctions assigned (if applicable). In cases of sexual misconduct and other offenses covered by Title IX, only, the rationale for the outcome will also be shared with all parties to the incident, in addition to the finding and sanction(s).

In cases where National University determines through the student conduct process that a student violated a policy that would constitute a “crime of violence” or non-forcible sex offense, the University may also release the above information publicly and/or to any third party. FERPA defines “crimes of violence” to include:

  • Arson
  • Assault offenses (includes stalking)
  • Burglary
  • Criminal Homicide—manslaughter by negligence
  • Criminal Homicide—murder and non-negligent manslaughter
  • Destruction/damage/vandalism of property
  • Kidnapping/abduction
  • Robbery
  • Forcible sex offenses
  • Non-forcible sex offenses

6.8 Failure to Complete Conduct Sanctions

All students, as members of the University community, are expected to comply with conduct sanctions within the timeframe specified by the CO (or designee). Failure to follow through on conduct sanctions by the date specified, whether by refusal, neglect or any other reason, may result in additional sanctions and/or suspension from the University.


Any party may request an appeal of the decision of the OSC by filing a Petition for Appeal, available at: www.nu.edu/studentservices/studentconduct/. All appeals of conduct decisions must be submitted within 5 business days of the original outcome, barring exigent circumstances. Any exceptions are made at the discretion of the OSC. If a party is granted an appeal, the party is granted only one appeal, based on the outline “Grounds for Appeal Requests” provided below. All sanctions imposed by the original decision-maker(s) remain in effect, and all parties will be informed (usually within five business days) of the status of requests for appeal, the status of the appeal consideration, and the results of the appeal decision.

7.1 Grounds for Appeal Requests

Appeals requests are limited to the following grounds:

  • A procedural error occurred that significantly impacted the outcome of the investigation (e.g., substantiated bias, material deviation from established procedures, etc.).
  • To consider new evidence, unavailable during the original investigation, that could substantially impact the original finding or sanction. A summary of this new evidence and its potential impact must be included.
  • The sanctions imposed are substantially outside the precedent set by National University for the same type of offense and/or the cumulative conduct record of the responding student.

7.2 Appeal Process

The presumptive stance of the University is that all decisions made and sanctions imposed by the original decision-maker are to be implemented during the appellate process. At the discretion of the OSC, implementation of sanctions may be stayed pending review only in extremely exigent circumstances. This does not include proximity to graduation, end of term, or exams. Instead, it refers to an overwhelming likelihood that the appeal would result in a reversal of the finding and/ or substantial modification of the sanctions.

Failure to provide information during or participate in an investigation or an EC, even resulting from concern over pending criminal or civil proceedings, does not make evidence “unavailable” at the time of the EC.

The Director of Student Affairs will consult with the original decision maker. The OSC will share the appeal by one party with the other party(ies) when appropriate under procedure or law (e.g., if the responding student appeals, the appeal is shared with the Reporter, who may wish to file a response, or request an appeal on the same grounds or different grounds).

In the case of timely and relevant appeals, the OSC will send a response to the appeal requestor(s), explaining whether the request(s) will be granted or denied, and the rationale. On reconsideration, the party assigned to hear the appeal may affirm or change the findings and/or sanctions of the original investigation in accordance with the granted appeal grounds. Procedural errors should be corrected, new evidence should be considered, and sanctions should be proportionate to the severity of the violation and the student’s cumulative conduct record.

All appeal decisions are to be made within fifteen (15) business days of submission and are final.


All conduct records are maintained by the University indefinitely from the time of their creation and in line with University records policy and procedures established by the Office of the Registrar.

Pregnancy and Parenting Policy

National University is committed to creating and maintaining a community where all individuals enjoy freedom from discrimination, including discrimination on the basis of sex, as mandated by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX). Sex discrimination, which can include discrimination based on pregnancy, marital status, or parental status, is prohibited and illegal in admissions, educational programs and activities, hiring, leave policies, employment policies, and health insurance coverage. National University hereby establishes a policy and associated procedures for ensuring the protection and equal treatment of pregnant individuals, persons with pregnancy-related conditions, and new parents.

Under the Department of Education’s (ED) Title IX regulations, an institution that receives federal funding “shall not discriminate against any student or exclude any student from its education program or activity, including any class or extracurricular activity, on the basis of such student’s pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or recovery therefrom.” According to the ED, appropriate treatment of a pregnant student includes granting the student leave “for so long a period of time as is deemed medically necessary by the student’s physician,” and then effectively reinstating the student to the same status as was held when the leave began.

This generally means that pregnant students should be treated by National University the same way as someone who has a temporary disability and will be given an opportunity to make up missed work wherever possible. Extended deadlines, make-up assignments (e.g., papers, quizzes, tests, and presentations), tutoring, independent study, online course completion options, and incomplete grades that can be completed at a later date, should all be employed, in addition to any other ergonomic and assistive supports typically provided by Student Accessibility Services. To the extent possible, National University will take reasonable steps to ensure that pregnant students who take a leave of absence return to the same position of academic progress that they were in when they took leave, including access to the same course catalog that was in place when the leave began. The Title IX Coordinator or designee has the authority to determine that such accommodations are necessary and appropriate, and to inform faculty members of the need to adjust academic parameters accordingly.

As with disability accommodations, information about pregnant students’ requests for accommodations will be shared with faculty and staff only to the extent necessary to provide the reasonable accommodation. Faculty and staff will regard all information associated with such requests as private and will not disclose this information to anyone, unless there is a legitimate need to know. Administrative responsibility for these accommodations lies with the Title IX Coordinator or designee, who will maintain all appropriate documentation related to accommodations.

In situations such as clinical rotations, performances, labs, and group work, the institution will work with the student to devise an alternative path to completion, if possible. In progressive curricular and/or cohort-model programs, medically necessary leaves are sufficient cause to permit the student to shift course order, substitute similar courses, or join a subsequent cohort when returning from leave.

Students are encouraged to work with their faculty members and National University’s support systems to devise a plan for how to best address the conditions as pregnancy progresses, anticipate the need for leaves, minimize the academic impact of their absence, and get back on track as efficiently and comfortably as possible. The Title IX Coordinator or designee, will assist with plan development and implementation as needed.

Scope of Policy

This policy applies to all aspects of National University’s program, including, but not limited to, admissions, educational programs and activities, extracurricular activities, and student leave policies. Reporting Any member of the National University community may report a violation of this policy via the following link: reportit@nu.edu or they may file a report with any supervisor, manager, or any of the below listed Title IX Coordinators. All employees at National University are considered “Mandated Reporters” and are required to promptly forward such reports to the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion via the above link to the online reporting form. The Title IX Coordinator and Equity Resolution Process (EGP) Officers are responsible for overseeing reports of discrimination involving pregnant and parenting students.

Title IX Coordinator

Heather Tyrrell Institutional Equity Officer

11255 N. Torrey Pines Road

La Jolla, CA 92037

(858) 642-8087

Email: htyrrell@nu.edu

EGP Officer

Michelle Vandenbergh Senior HRBP; Human Resources

11355 N. Torrey Pines Rd.

La Jolla, CA 92037

(619) 372-0712

Email: mvandenbergh@nu.edu     

EGP Officer

Sara Kelly, Ed.D. Professor; College of Professional Studies

(619) 573-0384

Email: skelly@nu.edu  

EGP Officer

Durrel K. Parker, Ph.D. Director, Adjunct Academy Center for Teacher and Learning

11355 N. Torrey Pines Rd.

La Jolla, CA 92037

(858) 642-8078

Email: dparker2@nu.edu  

EGP Officer

J.B. Robinson, Ph.D. Associate Director, Accessibility & Wellness Student Services

(858) 226-1369

Email: jrobinson2@nu.edu  

Complaints may also be filed with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights at:

Office for Civil Rights (OCR) U.S. Department of Education

400 Maryland Avenue, SW

Washington, DC 20202-1100

Customer Service Hotline #: (800) 421-3481

Facsimile: (202) 453-6012 TDD#: (877) 521-2172

Email: OCR@ed.gov  

Web: https://www.ed.gov/ocr  

Complaints may be filed online, using the form available, at www.ed.gov/ocr/complaintintro.html


Caretaking: caring for and providing for the needs of a child.

Medical Necessity: a determination made by a health care provider (of the NU community member’s choosing) that a certain course of action is in the patient’s best health interests.

Parenting: the raising of a child by the child’s parents in the reasonably immediate post-partum period.

Pregnancy and Pregnancy-Related Conditions: include (but are not limited to) pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, conditions arising in connection with pregnancy, and recovery from any of these conditions.

Pregnancy Discrimination: includes treating an individual affected by pregnancy or a pregnancy-related condition less favorably than similar individuals not so affected and includes a failure to provide legally mandated leave or accommodations.

Pregnant/Birth-Parent: refers to the NU community member who is or was pregnant. This policy and its pregnancy-related protections apply to all pregnant persons, regardless of gender identity or expression.

Reasonable Accommodations: (for the purposes of this policy) changes in the academic or typical operations that enables pregnant students of the NU community or those with pregnancy-related conditions to continue to pursue their studies and enjoy equal benefits of National University

Reasonable Accommodation of Student Affected by Pregnancy, Childbirth, or Related Conditions

  1. National University and its faculty, staff, and other employees will not require students to limit their studies as the result of pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions.
  2. The benefits and services provided to students affected by pregnancy will be no less than those provided to students with temporary medical conditions.
  3. National University students with pregnancy-related disabilities, like any student with a short-term or temporary disability, are entitled to reasonable accommodations so that they will not be disadvantaged in their courses of study, research and may seek assistance from the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.
  4. No artificial deadlines or time limitations will be imposed on requests for accommodations, but National University is limited in its ability to impact or implement accommodations retroactively.

Reasonable accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

  1. Providing accommodations requested by a pregnant student to protect the health and safety of the individual and/or the pregnancy (such as allowing the individual to maintain a safe distance from hazardous substances);
  2. Making modifications to the physical environment (such as accessible seating);
  3. Providing mobility support;
  4. Extending deadlines and/or allowing the student to make up tests or assignments missed for pregnancy related absences;
  5. Offering remote learning options;
  6. Excusing medically-necessary absences (this must be granted, irrespective of classroom attendance requirements set by a faculty member, department, or division);
  7. Granting leave per National University’s Leave of Absence Policy or implementing incomplete grades for classes that will be resumed at a future date.

Breastfeeding individuals must be allowed reasonable time and space to pump breast milk in a location that is private, clean, and reasonably accessible. *Bathroom stalls do not satisfy this requirement.

Nothing in this policy requires modification to the essential elements of any academic program. Pregnant students cannot be channeled into an alternative program or school against their wishes.

Modified Academic Responsibilities Policy for Parenting Students

  1. Students with child caretaking/parenting responsibilities who wish to remain engaged in their coursework while adjusting their academic responsibilities because of the birth or adoption of a child or placement of a foster child may request an academic modification period up to two (2) quarters during the first six (6) months from the time the child entered the home. Extensions may be granted when additional time is required by medical necessity or extraordinary caretaking/parenting responsibilities.
  2. During the modification period, the student’s academic requirements will be adjusted and deadlines postponed as appropriate, in collaboration with the Title IX Coordinator or designee, the student’s academic advisor, and the appropriate academic department(s).
  3. Students seeking a period of modified academic responsibilities may consult with their academic advisor, who will in turn contact the Title IX Coordinator or they may contact the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion directly. The Title IX Coordinator or designee, will coordinate accommodation-related efforts with the advisors unless the students specifically requests that their advisors be excluded. Students are provided with a letter that details out approved accommodations and students are encouraged to work with their advisors and/or faculty members to reschedule course assignments, lab hours, examinations, or other requirements, and/or to reduce their overall course load, as appropriate, once authorization is received from the Title IX Coordinator or designee. If, for any reason, caretaking/parenting students are not able to work with their advisors/faculty members to obtain appropriate modifications, students should alert the Title IX Coordinator or designee, as soon as possible, who will help facilitate needed accommodations and modifications.
  4. In timed degree, certification or credentialing programs, students who seek modifications upon the birth or placement of their child will be allowed an extension of up to twelve (12) months to prepare for and take preliminary and qualifying examinations, and an extension of up to twelve (12) months toward normative time to degree while in candidacy, to the extent those deadlines are controlled by National University. Longer extensions may be granted in extenuating circumstances.
  5. Students can request modified academic responsibilities under this policy regardless of whether they elect to take a leave of absence.
  6. While receiving academic modifications, students will remain registered and retain educational benefits accordingly.

Leave of Absence – Academic

  1. As long as students can maintain appropriate academic progress, faculty, staff, or other National University employees will not require them to take a leave of absence, or withdraw from or limit their studies as the result of pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions, but nothing in this policy requires modification of the essential elements of any academic program.
  2. Pursuant to Title IX, the University treats pregnancy and related conditions as justification for a leave of absence for as long a period of time as is deemed medically necessary by a student’s physician. Enrolled students may elect to take a leave of absence because of pregnancy and/or the birth, adoption, or placement of a child. The leave term may be extended in the case of extenuating circumstances or medical necessity.
  3. Students taking a leave of absence under this policy will provide notice of the intent to take leave 30 calendar days prior to the initiation of leave, or as soon as practicable. In unforeseen circumstances, in which the situation prevents the student from doing so, the student may request a retroactive leave of absence under this policy.
  4. Intermittent leave may be taken with the advance approval of the Title IX Coordinator or designee, and students’ academic department(s), when medically necessary.
  5. Students who elect to take leave under this policy may register under an [inactive/”on leave” etc. status] to continue their eligibility for certain benefits.
  6. To the extent possible, National University will take reasonable steps to ensure that upon return from leave, students will be reinstated to their program of study, in the same status as when the leave began.

Leave of Absence – Students Receiving Financial Aid or Scholarships

  1. To avoid a disruption of financial aid funding, please review the National University leave of absence policy in the General Catalog.
    • A student will need to apply for a leave of absence through the Office of the Registrar to avoid cancelation of future financial aid disbursements and/or a return of Title IV funds due to a break of over 35 days.
    • Students utilizing federal financial aid may be subject to a Return to Title IV calculation once the student exceeds 180 days on an Approved Leave of Absence in a rolling calendar year.
    • If a student is no longer meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) due to a break or breaks in attendance, they will be required to submit an appeal and provide supporting documentation to reinstate their eligibility.
  2. Continuation of students’ scholarship, fellowship, or similar external sponsored funding during the leave term will depend on the students’ registration status and the policies of the specific funding program regarding registration status.
  3. Students will not be negatively impacted by or forfeit their future eligibility for their scholarship, fellowship, or similar National University-supported funding by exercising their rights under this policy.
  4. The Title IX Coordinator or designee can and will advocate for students with respect to financial aid agencies and external scholarship providers in the event that a leave of absence places eligibility into question.

Employee – Leave of Absence

  1. If an employee is requesting a Leave of Absence, they must contact National University’s Benefits Department at benefits@nu.edu or (858) 642-8199

Student-employee Leave of Absence

  1. If a student, who is also an employee is requesting a Leave of Absence, they must first contact National University’s Benefits Department at benefits@nu.edu or (858) 642-8199, who will in turn collaborate with the Title IX Coordinator regarding approved accommodations.

Retaliation and Harassment

  1. Harassment of any member of National University community based on sex, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, or parental status is prohibited.
  2. Faculty, staff, and other National University employees are prohibited from interfering with any member of the National University community’s right to take leave, seek reasonable accommodation, or otherwise exercise their rights under this policy.
  3. Faculty, staff, and other National University employees are prohibited from retaliating against any member of National University for exercising the rights articulated by this policy, including imposing or threatening to impose negative educational outcomes because a member of National University requests leave or accommodation, file a complaint, or otherwise exercise their rights under this policy (Please see National University’s Equal Opportunity, Harassment and Nondiscrimination Policy for more details).

Dissemination of the Policy and Training

A copy of this policy will be published in the General Catalog and posted on the National University, Title IX website. All new members of the National University community will be made aware of this policy and the location of this policy during the enrollment and/or new hire process. All students and employees will be provided with a copy annually. The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will make additional educational materials available to all members of the National University community to promote compliance with this policy and familiarity with its procedures.

Institutional Statement on Artificial Intelligence (AI) Use  

The National University Catalog specifies that students are responsible for the integrity of the work they submit and must give credit for any information that is not either the result of original research or common knowledge. NU students are permitted to utilize available tools to learn and apply the material in their courses and prepare for exams, assignments, and papers unless otherwise directed in individual courses, programs, or schools. Tools include those associated with generative artificial intelligence (AI). 


Students who submit AI-generated work as their own are committing plagiarism.  Failure to submit original work, cite sources according to disciplinary standards (e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago, Bluebook), and confirm the validity of the content represents academic dishonesty and is subject to the Student Code of Conduct.  

Acceptable Use of Information Technology

Through NCUOne, the 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 and Finance 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 University facilitated access to student or faculty NCUOne, 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 NCUOne, computer systems, phones, email, the network, network resources, and University Internet and Intranet connections.

The University 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 University business. Irresponsible use reduces their availability for critical business operations, compromises security and network integrity, and leaves the University open to potentially damaging litigation. All use of the University IT resources must be in support of business, education, and research consistent with the purposes of the University. This policy discusses acceptable usage for computers, e-mail, and the Internet.

Fair Use of Copyrighted Material

The 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 substantially 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. The 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

The University 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, the University has established an Institutional Review Board (IRB). The IRB reports to the Office of the Provost. The University will ensure there is IRB Director, IRB Chairperson, and sufficient resources and personnel are provided to the IRB in accordance with 45 CFR 46.103(b)(2).

Signatory Official

The signatory official for the University is the University Co-Provost overseeing IRB operations.

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.

Institutional Research and Course-Based Projects

The following types of institutional research do not require IRB review: internal research to evaluate institutional programs or determine institutional effectiveness, data collection and analysis for accreditation purposes, and reviews of course or instructor ratings. However, if these data are intended for publication or to contribute to generalizable knowledge, then the study requires IRB review.

All dissertation research must be submitted to the IRB for review. Students who are working on course projects that are not designed to contribute to generalizable knowledge do not need to submit to the IRB as these projects are not considered research proposals. University faculty and staff involved with designing course projects related to research are strongly encouraged to contact the IRB to verify that the projects will not require IRB oversight.

Researcher Responsibilities

Researchers are responsible for compliance with this policy. Primary responsibilities include:

  • All researchers must complete the University required Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) course modules
  • Researchers must use the current IRB research application form and supplemental documents.
  • Researchers may not obtain data for purposes of conducting research without IRB review and approval
  • Researchers may not access identifiable or legally protected information unless the IRB has approved a procedure to obtain appropriate authorization from each participant
    • Researchers must provide evidence to the IRB that the information will be obtained in compliance with all applicable local, state, and federal laws, policies, and regulations related to privacy and confidentiality of legally protected information
  • Researchers may not perform any procedure, intervention, or data collection for future research purposes and then retrospectively deem those data “archival” and not in need of appropriate safeguards to participants (including consent)
  • Researchers must submit an IRB application if they intend to change or modify an approved application
    • The modification request must be approved by the IRB before any changes are implemented in the research
  • Researchers must contact the IRB to report any injuries, problems, or complaints from participants within 24 hours of occurrence
  • Researchers must fully disclose dual roles with sites or participants in their research application
    • This information is required for adequate risk assessment
  • When performing research with participants who live outside of the United States, it is the researcher’s responsibility to know and comply with local laws, research regulations, and requirements to obtain approval from the appropriate in-country ethics board
    • The IRB may request additional documentation as evidence of adequate compliance
  • If an approved study was determined to be greater than minimal risk researchers must submit an IRB application for continuing review of an approved IRB protocol before the expiration date on the University IRB approval letter if they intend to continue recruitment and/or data collection beyond the approved expiration date
    • If the continuing review is not yet approved by the IRB at the time of the approved expiration date, the researcher must confirm in writing that all study procedures have ceased, and all study procedures may not resume until the IRB has completed the continuing review and approved the application for an extension with a new expiration date
  • Researchers must submit an IRB study closure form as soon as data collection is complete, and all data are de-identified
  • Student researchers doing dissertation research may not submit an application for their dissertation research to the IRB until the final Dissertation Proposal is approved by the committee and Chair
  • Student researchers must be enrolled in an active dissertation course with the University while any recruitment, consent, and data collection are in-process

Additional Responsibilities for Faculty

Faculty who are supervising research must:

  • Be current (completion dates are not more than three years old) in the University required modules and any elective and supplemental CITI training modules that apply to their own research or research they supervise
  • Emphasize student awareness of and compliance with all aspects of this policy
  • Support and sign students IRB applications

IRB Director Responsibilities

The IRB Director will:

  • Ensure the IRB operates in a manner consistent with the statement of principles in section 1 of this policy
  • Assist the IRB Chair with selection of members to the Full Board
  • Assist the IRB Chair with operation of the Full Board, including facilitation of meetings when the IRB Chair is not able to be present
  • Select and supervise IRB reviewers performing minimal risk reviews that are not assigned to the Full Board
  • Oversee and document the selection of IRB membership that complies with the requirements set forth in 45 CFR 46.103(b) (3) and 45 CFR 46.107
  • Maintain written Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in accordance with 45 CFR 46.103(b)(4,5)
  • Maintain, review, and update additional SOPs as needed to optimize the effective function of the IRB and delivery of timely reviews for researchers
  • Maintain records in accordance with 45 CFR 46.115
  • Facilitate IRB registration in accordance with 45 CFR 46 Subpart E
  • Oversee the University’s Federal Wide Assurance documentation, compliance, renewal, updates, and requests for applicable addenda (e.g. Department of Defense).
  • Appoint IRB Members

IRB Chair Responsibilities

The IRB chair is nominated by the Director and members for a term one calendar year with the possibility of a second year.

The IRB Chair will:

  • Facilitate Full Board meetings
  • Oversee completion of minutes of Full Board meetings
  • Collaborate with the IRB Director to communicate Full Board determinations to researchers
  • Coordinate review of resubmissions to verify conditions are met when the Full Board determination is “approval with conditions”

Assist with expedited review of minor modifications to studies previously approved by the Full Board in accordance with IRB Standard Operating Procedures.

IRB Member Responsibilities

IRB Members are appointed. Appointments are renewed at the discretion of the IRB Chair and IRB Director.

In accordance with 45 CFR 46, the IRB members will:

  • Maintain awareness of community attitudes and promote respect for the IRB’s advice and counsel in safeguarding the rights and welfare of human subjects
  • Possess professional competence in research, except in the case of the non-scientist member(s)
  • Remain knowledgeable about institutional commitments and regulations, applicable laws, and standards of professional conduct and practice
  • Recuse themselves from initial or continuing review of any project in which there is a conflict of interest, except to provide information as requested by the IRB
  • Maintain working knowledge of 45 CFR 46 and approve studies only when required items are met
  • Be current (completion dates are not more than three years old) in all University required, elective, and supplemental CITI training modules
  • Adhere to the University Code of Conduct

Appeals Process

If a researcher believes an IRB determination does not fall within the regulatory language, the researcher should first informally discuss the concern with the IRB Director and IRB Chair. If an informal resolution cannot be reached, the researcher should submit a formal appeal letter to the Office of the Provost. The formal appeal letter must detail the rationale for the researcher’s concerns and support proposed alternatives with reference to applicable university policy and federal regulation (i.e. 45 CFR 46).


Suspected violations of this policy should be communicated to the IRB Director immediately. The IRB Director will determine if a non-compliance investigation is warranted and initiate an investigation and corrective action plan when needed. Notification of initiation or findings and/or corrective action plan from a non-compliance investigation will be made to the researcher, dissertation committee Chair (when applicable), Associate Dean and/or Associate Director, and Dean, Graduate School. The IRB Director will notify appropriate institutional officials if made aware of violations of other University policies or local, state, or federal laws or regulations.

Corrective actions for IRB noncompliance may include, but are not limited to:

  • Establishment of more frequent continuing reviews of IRB approved research
  • Suspension or termination of IRB approved research
  • Referral for a suspected Code of Conduct violation
  • Restriction of access to sites or participant groups affected by noncompliance
  • Other appropriate actions as determined by the IRB Director and/or Full Board