Weatherization Center Student Handbook
The Montana Weatherization Training Center is one of twenty-one regional training centers sponsored by Department of Energy program activities. As an accredited training program, MWTC course offerings teach to the Weatherization Assistance Program’s Core Competencies. Additionally, MWTC incorporates Standard Work Specifications into course curricula to ensure students follow the quality work plan required for Home Energy Upgrades.
Trainings at the Center fall under two categories:
Tier 1 Trainings align with the NREL Job Tasks Analyses developed for DOE. These classes provide students with comprehensive, weatherization-professional specific training to meet the standardized knowledge base defined for four weatherization industry positions; Retrofit Installer Technician, Crew Leader, Energy Auditor or Quality Control Inspector. The knowledge and skills addressed in the Tier 1 courses are cumulative; as the student progresses through the series of classes, weatherization issues are introduced, reinforced and expanded on, preparing them to advance within their profession.
Tier 2 Trainings are focused classes that provide in depth training on a single-issue. Topics include Insulation Systems, Zonal Pressure Diagnostics, Advanced Furnace applications and others. MWTC can customize course content to address specific situations or problems encountered in the field.
MTWTC’s Tier 1 Training programs have passed IREC accreditation and are organized as follows:
Retrofit Installer Technician:
- Weatherization 101
- Weatherization 102
- Mobile Home Weatherization
- EPA Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule
- Complete the four courses for Retrofit Installer Technician plus...
- Basic Furnace
- OSHA 10
- Crew Leader
- Complete the four courses for Retrofit Installer Technician plus...
- Basic Furnace
- OSHA 10
- Energy Auditor
Quality Control Inspector:
- Complete the seven courses for Energy Auditor plus...
- Quality Control Inspector
By completing the courses listed above, the student will acquire the knowledge, skillsets and abilities needed to perform in each weatherization position.
For those who are interested, these same classes also are preparing them to take the third-party tests offered by Building Performance Institute (BPI) to become a certified Energy Auditor or Quality Control Inspector. MWTC is a BPI Testing Center and can assist any student in pursing those designations.
Below you can read the key policies relevant to students that govern the Montana Weatherization Training Center.
- Conduct Guidelines and Grievance Procedures for Students
- Trainer Ethical and Professional Standards
- Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, Stalking and Retaliation
- Affiliated Campus Conflict of Interest Policy
- Confidentiality Policy
- Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
- Data Stewardship Policy
- Commitment to Safety and Safe Practices
- Organizational Management
- Trainee Complaint Form
Conduct Guidelines and Grievance Procedures for Students
Policy: MSU Conduct Guidelines and Grievance Procedures for Students
Revised: August 2006; February 2009; August 2010; July 2011; April 2012; August 2012; March 2015; March 2018
Effective Date: August 23, 2006; updated March 7, 2018
Review Date: March 2021
Responsible Party: Dean of Students Office, SUB Room 174, (406) 994-2826
Introduction and Purpose:
The Dean of Students Office reviews the MSU Conduct Code and Grievance Procedures for Students annually. As changes occur in the organizational, operational, educational, and legal environments, the guide is revised.
100.00 Instructor Responsibilities
110.00 Course Outline and Syllabus
The general content of a course or academic program must be described with reasonable accuracy in catalogs and other written documents available to students. Instructors must state, in writing or by electronic means, the course content and objectives. This material must be given (or otherwise made available) to the students at the first or second class meeting.
120.00 Course Expectations
- Classroom Behavior - Instructors may establish additional reasonable rules for classroom behavior and must articulate such rules as part of the other course materials provided to the students. In the absence of any such written expectations, the expectations outlined in Section 310.00 AF, and Section 610.00 shall apply.
- Collaboration Among Students - Unless otherwise specified, students may not collaborate on graded material. Instructors are encouraged to provide collaborative learning opportunities but must state, in writing or by electronic means, the limits of assistance permitted between and among students in a course assignment or academic evaluation.
- Instruction Responsibilities - Unless otherwise stated, students are expected to be prompt and regular in attending classes, turning in assignments on time and in taking exams when scheduled. Instructors may establish additional rules for attendance and make-up exams and must articulate these clearly in writing. Instructors must be prompt in meeting their scheduled classes, be available for appointments with students at designated times, be well prepared for classes, and be fair and prompt in grading class assignments and tests. The scheduled final examination period must be used for final examinations in the class or other instruction.
130.00 Personal Information About Students
Factors such as race, creed, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, political beliefs or personal relationships must not be considered in matters of academic evaluation, academic assignments, or classroom procedures. If an instructor learns personal information about the student (religious and political views, sexual orientation, etc.) during the progress of the course, he or she must not share such information with the other students nor should such knowledge influence the evaluation of the student. Additionally, all university employees—including faculty, instructors and staff—must abide by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). This Act affords students certain rights with respect to their education records.
140.00 Office Hours
Instructors are required to make time available for student conferences preferably through regularly scheduled office hours. Office hours should be convenient to both students and the instructor with the opportunity provided for prearranged appointments. Available office hours should be communicated to students.
150.00 Absence From Class
Instructors are required to meet their classes regularly and at scheduled times. In case of illness or emergency, the department should be notified and arrangements should be made to have another staff member instruct the class or promptly notify students of cancellation. Classes may not be canceled for the convenience of the instructor. When an instructor knows in advance that he or she will miss a class, arrangements must be made to have the work of the class continue, either by arranging for a substitute instructor, by scheduling an examination for that day, or by providing some alternate work assignment for the students.
Instructors must specify in writing, as part of the syllabus, the specific grading policies for the class. Grading is the prerogative and responsibility of the instructor. Instructors are responsible for the assignment of the final course grade. The assigned grade must reflect the performance of the student in the course commensurate with the content and objectives of the course. If a student questions his or her grade, the instructor has a responsibility to discuss the matter with the student. If the instructor cannot satisfactorily resolve the matter, the student must be advised of the grievance procedures, see section 530.00.
Should a grievance be filed, the instructor will provide assistance as necessary to process the grievance. Graded examinations, papers, and other sources of evaluation are to be available to the student for inspection and discussion. If the instructor chooses ultimately to retain these materials, they must be kept for a period of one year. If graded materials become the property of the student, then uncollected materials must be kept for one semester. Adjunct and part-time instructors should arrange for storage with the department in their absence. The grade records will be retained for at least one year to provide the opportunity for review and resolution of grade disputes.
200.00 Instruction Complaint Procedures
Students who have complaints about instructors who have failed to meet their instructional responsibilities may submit an Instruction Complaint to the instructor's Department Head. The complaint must be presented in writing to the Department Head or Director no later than the fifteenth day of university instruction of the following term. The Department Head will address the matters raised in the complaint with the instructor and will advise the student of his or her determination regarding the complaint within ten (10) business days. If the Department Head fails to act or the student is dissatisfied with the Department Head's action, the student may forward the complaint to the Dean of the College within five (5) business days of receipt of the Department Head's determination. The Dean will submit a written decision to the student within ten (10) business days of the receipt of the appeal. The Dean's decision is the final decision of the University.
300.00 Student Responsibilities
310.00 Academic Expectations
- Be prompt and regular in attending classes;
- Be well prepared for classes;
- Submit required assignments in a timely manner;
- Take exams when scheduled, unless rescheduled under 310.01;
- Act in a respectful manner toward other students and the instructor and in a way that does not detract from the learning experience; and
- Make and keep appointments when necessary to meet with the instructor. In addition to the above items, students are expected to meet any additional course and behavioral standards as defined by the instructor and listed in the syllabus.
A student officially representing MSU in athletic events, government, performance, or in similar official capacities, is entitled to the rescheduling of exams or important assignments due to required absences, only if a student has met the academic expectations outlined in section 310.00 of the Student Conduct Code. Students who do not meet the academic expectations, however, may not be entitled to special accommodations. Students are expected to provide course instructors with official notification of scheduled activity(ies) as early as possible, preferably at least ten (10) days in advance of the event.
Students participating in official MSU activities should not expect any special accommodation for attendance at regularly scheduled practice sessions or meetings (i.e., the routine activities required for performance, athletic pursuits, etc.). However, students who are official representatives of MSU who have regularly scheduled meetings or practices that conflict with a Common Hour exam may request of their instructor that they be allowed to arrive up to 30 minutes late for a Common Hour Exam. The approval of such a request is entirely at the discretion of the instructor. The instructor must be notified at least ten days in advance. Students and instructors are encouraged to work with the Testing Center to assist with any accommodations if alternate testing possibilities cannot be arranged readily within the program or department
Students should seek assistance from the instructor and from the appropriate University support services (e.g., tutors, study skills counseling, career development, etc.), if the need for such services arises.
Students should follow fair and appropriate procedures when evaluating their courses and instructors. Factors such as race, ethnicity, color, religion, sex/gender, sexual orientation or preference, age, national origin, disability, marital status, political beliefs, veteran status or personal relationships may not be considered.
340.00 Academic Honesty
The integrity of the academic process requires that credit be given where credit is due. Accordingly, it is academic misconduct to present the ideas or works of another as one's own work, or to permit another to present one's work without customary and proper acknowledgment of authorship. Students may collaborate with other students only as expressly permitted by the instructor. Students are responsible for the honest completion and representation of their work, the appropriate citation of sources and the respect and recognition of others' academic endeavors.
400.00 Academic Misconduct & Classroom Disruption Procedures
The administration, faculty and students of Montana State University believe that academic honesty, integrity and appropriate behavior in the classroom are fundamental to the mission of higher education. The University has a responsibility to promote academic honesty and integrity and to assure the highest ethical and professional standards and behavior in the classroom. Accordingly, the University has developed procedures that address instances of academic misconduct and disruptions in the classroom. Students who violate these standards violate this policy and will be subject to academic and/or disciplinary sanctions.
410.00 Academic Misconduct & Disruptions in the Classroom
Includes cheating, plagiarism, forgery, falsification, facilitation or aiding academic dishonesty; multiple submission, theft of instructional materials or tests; unauthorized access to, manipulation of or tampering with laboratory equipment, experiments, computer programs, or animals without proper authorization; alteration of grades or files; misuse of research data in reporting results; use of personal relationships to gain grades or favors, or otherwise attempting to obtain grades or credit through fraudulent means.
420.00 Descriptions and Examples
A description of some forms of academic dishonesty and some examples are provided to help the student understand their responsibilities for academic honesty:
- Cheating - giving, using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, notes, study aids or other devices in any academic exercise including unauthorized communication of information. Examples of cheating include copying from another student's paper or receiving unauthorized assistance during a quiz, test or examination; using books, notes or other devices such as calculators, unless authorized; acquiring without authorization copies of tests or examinations before the scheduled exercise; or copying reports, laboratory work or computer programs or files from other students.
- Falsification / fabrication - the invention or unauthorized alteration of any information or citation in an academic exercise. Examples of fabrication include inventing or counterfeiting data or research procedures to give the appearance of results being achieved from procedures that were not undertaken. Examples of falsification include the false citation of a source of information; altering the record of, or reporting false information about practicum or clinical experiences; altering grade reports or other academic records; submitting a false excuse for absence or tardiness; or altering a returned examination paper and seeking a better grade.
- Tampering - interfering with, altering or attempting to alter university records, grades, assignments, laboratory experiments or other documents without authorization. Examples of tampering include using a computer or false-written document to change or affect the grade recorded for a student; forging the signature of a university official on a drop/add sheet or other official university record; erasing records or information of a student; unauthorized access to a university record by computer or unauthorized entry into an office or file; or obtaining information from the university without proper authorization.
- Plagiarism - presenting the work of another as one's own without proper acknowledgment. Examples of plagiarism include submitting as one's own work the work of another student, ghost writer or commercial writing service; directly quoting from a source without acknowledgment; paraphrasing or summarizing another's work without acknowledging the source; or using facts, figures, graphs, charts or information without acknowledging the source. Plagiarism may occur orally or in writing and may involve computer programs and files, research designs, distinctive figures of speech, ideas and images or any other information that belongs to another person and is not acknowledged as such. Inadvertent or unintentional misuse or appropriation of another's work (such as relying heavily on source material that is not expressly acknowledged) is still considered plagiarism. It is also considered Plagiarism when collaborating on work with the knowledge that the collaboration is not authorized or will not be reported
- Facilitating academic misconduct - giving assistance or attempting to assist another in the commitment of academic misconduct.
- Multiple submission - submitting the same paper or oral report for credit in two University courses without the instructor's permission; making minor revisions in a paper or report for which credit has already been received and submitting it again as a new piece of work.
- Other Academic Misconduct - Examples of academic misconduct include allowing another student to copy from one's paper during an examination or test; distributing test questions or substantive information about the material to be covered on a test before the scheduled exercise; or taking an examination or test for another student or signing a false name on an academic exercise.
- Disruptive Classroom Behavior – Examples of disruptive classroom behavior includes behavior prohibited by the instructor, including but not limited to: smoking in the classroom, persistently speaking without being recognized or called upon, refusing to be seated, unauthorized use of cell phones, laptops or other relevant technology, and disrupting the class by repeatedly leaving and entering the room without authorization. It must be emphasized that this provision is not designed to be used as a means to punish classroom dissent. The expression of disagreement with the instructor or classmates is not in itself disruptive behavior.
430.00 Disruptive Student
The primary responsibility for managing the classroom environment rests with the faculty. Students who engage in any prohibited or unlawful acts that result in disruption of a class may be directed by the instructor to leave the class for the remainder of the class period.
Longer suspensions from a class or dismissal from a course on disciplinary grounds must be preceded by a charge of a violation of the Student Conduct Code and by a Student Conduct Hearing as set forth in Section 650.00 of the Student Conduct Code, if requested by the student or the instructor. A student dismissed from a class as the result of a Student Conduct Hearing will be assigned a grade of F (Failing). The student may register to re-take the course at a later date in accordance with existing University policy.
The following sanctions may be imposed for academic misconduct and disruptive students. The instructor-imposed sanctions are limited to items A through F. Please note: Items G through I may be imposed as a result of a student conduct hearing (refer to 650.00).
- Oral reprimand;
- Written reprimand;
- An assignment to repeat the work or an alternate assignment;
- A lower or failing grade on the particular assignment or test;
- A lower grade or failing grade in the course;
- Removal of the student from the course in progress;
- Removal of the student from a major, college or program;
- Withdrawal of degree or academic credit previously bestowed; and
- Any sanction that may be imposed for violation of the Student Conduct Code (reference Section 660.00), including disciplinary probation, suspension or expulsion from the University.
440.00 Academic Misconduct & Classroom Disruption Procedures
441.00 Instructor Imposed Academic Sanctions
If an instructor has reason to believe that a student has engaged in academic misconduct or inappropriate behavior that disrupts the classroom, the following procedures apply:
441.01 Informal meeting
The instructor must attempt to personally and privately advise the student that there is reason to believe that the student has committed an act that constitutes academic misconduct or classroom disruption. The student is allowed a reasonable opportunity to respond or explain. If, after hearing the student's response (if any is provided), the instructor continues to believe the student engaged in academic misconduct or classroom disruption, they will inform the student of their determination and of any intended sanction (s). An instructor is limited to imposing sanctions A through F of Section 430.00. The instructor will prepare the Academic Misconduct Notification and will submit a copy to the student, the Department Head, Dean of the Graduate School (if a graduate student) and the Dean of Students’ office.
The instructor has the right to refuse to sign a drop form for the class in question. The Academic Misconduct Notification form shall be kept for seven years from the date of receipt.
442.00 Additional Sanctions Under Student Code of Conduct
442.01 Referral by Instructor
In addition to the imposition of the academic sanctions, an instructor may request in writing that the Dean of Students file a charge against the student for violation of the Student Conduct Code pursuant to Sec. 600.00. If the student is found in violation of the Student Conduct Code, sanctions G-I of Section 435.00 may be imposed in addition to the academic sanctions.
442.02 Recurrence of Academic Misconduct
A student who receives a second or subsequent instructor imposed academic sanction from any instructor will be charged with a violation of the Student Conduct Code (Section 650.00) and will be subject to additional disciplinary sanctions, including but not limited suspension or expulsion.
443.00 Appeal of Instructor-Imposed Academic Sanctions
443.01 Right to Appeal
A student who receives a sanction for Academic Misconduct or Disruptive Classroom Behavior under Sec. 441.00 may appeal the instructor’s determination that academic misconduct or classroom disruption occurred using the procedure outlined below.
443.02 Instructor-Imposed Academic Misconduct Sanction Appeal Procedure
- Dean’s Review for Undergraduate Students - The student may present a formal appeal in writing to the instructor's Dean (or designee) no later than five (5) business days after the Instructor’s determination of Academic Misconduct or Disruptive Classroom Behavior. The student must provide evidence that the instructor’s determination of academic misconduct or disruptive classroom behavior was incorrect and the precise relief sought by the student. The student may attach copies of any relevant documents or evidence. The student shall send a copy of the appeal to the instructor. The instructor shall have five (5) business days to respond in writing to the Dean after receipt of the appeal. The instructor shall present their evidence that the charged student committed academic misconduct or disruptive classroom behavior. The instructor shall send a copy of the response to the student. The Dean will receive and review all evidence provided by the student and instructor, and at the Dean’s discretion may interview either or both parties. The Dean shall render a written decision within five (5) business days of receipt of the instructor's response. The Dean’s decision may uphold, amend, or overturn the instructor’s-imposed sanction. However, the Dean may not impose a higher sanction than the sanction originally imposed by the instructor, unless new information is found through the appeal process. If a higher sanction is appropriate, the Dean shall refer the matter to the Office of the Dean of Students. The Dean shall send a copy of his/her decision to the student, the instructor and the Dean of Students’ Office. The decision of the Dean is the final decision of the University in the matter for undergraduate students.
- Dean’s Review For Graduate Students - The graduate student may present a formal appeal in writing to the Dean of the Graduate School (or designee) no later than five (5) business days after the Instructor’s determination of Academic Misconduct or Disruptive Classroom Behavior. The student must provide evidence that the instructor’s determination of academic misconduct or disruptive classroom behavior was incorrect and the precise relief sought by the student. The student may attach copies of any relevant documents or evidence. The student shall send a copy of the appeal to the instructor. The instructor shall have five (5) business days to respond in writing to the Dean of the Graduate school after receipt of the appeal. The instructor shall present his or her evidence that the charged student committed academic misconduct or disruptive classroom behavior. The instructor shall send a copy of the response to the student. The Dean will receive and review all evidence provided by the student and instructor, and at the Dean’s discretion may interview either or both parties. The Dean of the Graduate School shall render a written decision within five (5) business days of receipt of the instructor's response. The Dean’s decision may uphold, amend, or overturn the instructor’s-imposed sanction. However, the Dean may not impose a higher sanction than the sanction originally imposed by the instructor unless new information is found through the appeal process. If a higher sanction is appropriate, the Dean of the Graduate School shall refer the matter to the Office of the Dean of Students. The Dean shall send a copy of his/her decision to the student, the instructor and the Dean of Students’ Office. The decision of the Dean of the Graduate School is the final decision of the University in the matter for graduate students.
444.00 Grade Pending Resolution
If the student’s appeal of the instructor's academic misconduct determination has not been resolved before the instructor submits final grades in the course, an incomplete grade ("I") will be assigned until the matter is concluded. A grade assigned before the instructor's knowledge of academic misconduct may be changed after it was assigned if the grade was obtained through academic misconduct or by fraud.
445.00 Appeal of Additional Sanctions/Multiple Violations
Sanctions imposed by the Dean of Students pursuant to part 442.00 may be appealed in accordance with the provisions of the Student Conduct Code part 670.00.
500.00 Student Academic Grievance Procedures
Students who disagree with an academic decision made by an instructor or administrator, including the assignment of grades or decisions about program or degree requirements or eligibility, may file a grievance under these procedures.
520.00 Academic Decisions Reviewed
These procedures are available only to review allegedly unfair academic decisions and not mere differences of opinion regarding the professional judgment of the instructor in evaluating a student's work or making an academic decision. The academic decision, including the assignment of a grade, will be considered unfair if the decision is made:
- On some basis other than performance in the course and/or compliance with course assignments and requirements;
- By more exacting or demanding standards than were applied to other students in the same section;
- By a substantial departure from the instructor's, department's, college's or university's announced standards as articulated in the course syllabus, catalog descriptions and/or other written materials.
530.00 Student Academic Grievances
A student who wishes to grieve an academic decision must proceed as follows:
531.01 Informal Meeting
The student should attempt to resolve the matter directly with the instructor or administrator through a personal conference as soon as possible after the academic decision is known.
531.02 Department Head/Director Review
If the student and instructor cannot reach a mutually satisfactory resolution to the problem, the student may file a formal grievance. The grievance must be presented in writing to the instructor's Department Head/Director no later than the fifteenth day of university instruction of the following term. The student must describe the grievance, the date(s) of occurrence, why the student believes the decision was unfair, the student's attempts to resolve the grievance informally and the precise relief sought by the student. The student may attach copies of any relevant documents.
The student shall send a copy of the grievance to the instructor. The instructor shall have five (5) business days to respond to the student and Department Head/Director after receipt of the grievance.
Once a student files a grievance, he or she will be assigned an incomplete grade ("I") until the matter is concluded. A grade assigned before the filing of the grievance may be changed by the Dean or Graduate Dean, if, after the grievance procedures have been completed, the grade is found to be unfair or otherwise improper.
The Department Head/Director will receive and review all evidence, interview each party, if possible, and render a written decision with recommendations as to resolution within five (5) business days of receipt of the instructor's response. If the grievance is not concluded within this time, the student may carry it forward to the Dean or Graduate
531.03 Dean's Review
- For Undergraduate Students - Either party may appeal the Department Head/Director's decision in writing to the instructor's College Dean, with copies to the instructor, student and the Department Head/Director. Such appeal will be filed within five (5) business days of receipt of the Department Head / Director's determination. The Dean will submit a written decision to the student, instructor, and the Department Head/Director within five (5) business days of receipt of the appeal. The decision of the Dean is the final decision of the University in grievances for undergraduate students.
- For Graduate Students - Either party may appeal the Department Head/Director's decision in writing to the Dean of the Graduate School, with copies to the instructor, student and the Department Head/Director. Such appeal will be filed within five (5) business days of receipt of the Department Head/Director's determination. The Graduate Dean will discuss the appeal with the Dean of the student's academic college and will subsequently submit a written decision to the student, instructor, and the Department Head/Director within five (5) business days of receipt of the appeal. The decision of the Graduate Dean is the final decision of the University in grievances for graduate students.
600.00 Code of Student Conduct
(Revised March, 2015; Effective July 1, 2015)
The Montana State University academic community seeks to foster a campus environment conducive to academic inquiry, productive campus life, and thoughtful study and discourse. The student conduct process at MSU is an educational and developmental process that balances the interests of individual students with the interests of the academic community.
Students are essential members of the MSU community and are expected to uphold and abide by certain standards of conduct that form the basis of the Code of Student Conduct. The student conduct process at MSU is not intended to punish students; rather, it exists to challenge those whose behavior is not in accordance with our policies and to foster a better understanding of the expectations that exists for members of our academic community. Sanctions are intended to improve the students’ moral and ethical decision-making and to help them learn more about what is expected as members of our community. In cases where students fail to demonstrate an understanding of established conduct standards or pose a threat to the continuing safety of the academic community, the conduct process may determine that the student should no longer share in the privilege of being a member of this community.
Students should be aware that the student conduct process is quite different from criminal and civil court proceedings. Procedures and rights in the student conduct process are conducted with fairness, but do not include the same protections of due process afforded by the courts in criminal cases. Due process, as defined within these procedures, assures written notice and a hearing before an impartial board or hearing officer. No student will be found in violation of the MSU Code of Student Conduct without a determination that is more likely than not that a policy violation occurred. Any sanctions will be proportionate to the severity of the violation and to the cumulative conduct history of the student.
Students at Montana State University are responsible for reading and adhering to this Code of Student Conduct. Annually, students are provided a link to this Code of Student Conduct on the University website. Hard copies are available upon request from the Office of the Dean of Students.
610.00 Judicial Authority and Jurisdiction
- The Code of Student Conduct and the student conduct process apply to the conduct of individual students, both undergraduate and graduate, and all University-affiliated student organizations. For the purposes of student conduct, the University considers an individual to be a student when an offer of admission has been extended and during the student’s attendance.
- The University retains conduct jurisdiction over students who 1) are on University holidays and during summers between enrolled semesters; and/or 2) choose to take a leave of absence, withdraw or have graduated for any misconduct that occurred prior to the leave, withdrawal or graduation. If sanctioned, a hold may be placed on the student’s ability to re-enroll, obtain official transcripts, or graduate and all directives and/or sanctions must be satisfied prior to re-enrollment eligibility. If serious misconduct was committed while the student was enrolled but reported after the accused student has graduated or withdrawn, the University may invoke these procedures.
- The Code of Student Conduct applies to behaviors that take place on campus, at University-sponsored
events and may also apply off-campus when the Dean of Students or designee determines
that the off-campus conduct affects a substantial University interest. A substantial
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 him/herself or others;
- Any conduct that significantly impinges upon the rights, property or achievements of self or others or significantly breaches the peace and/or causes social disorder.
- The Code of Student Conduct may be applied to behavior conducted online, via email or other 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. The University shall not regularly search for this information but may take action if and when such information is brought to the attention of University officials. No violation of the Code of Student Conduct can occur when the speech that is subject to the complaint is protected by the student’s free expression rights under the First Amendment.
- Students who commit offenses that violate the laws of the city, state or United States are subject to prosecution by those authorities and may be subject to disciplinary action under this code if the offenses are also violations of this code. University disciplinary proceedings may precede, follow, or take place simultaneously with criminal investigations or proceedings and will not be subject to challenge on the ground that criminal charges involving the same incident have been dismissed or reduced.
- When a student has been charged by a civil authority for a violation of law, the University will neither request nor agree to special consideration for the student solely because of his or her status as a student.
- When a complaint is filed with appropriate University officials charging a student with violating the Code of Student Conduct, the University is responsible for conducting an investigation, initiating charges and adjudicating those charges. Charges under the Code of Student Conduct that are filed by the University are brought forward by the University and not an individual complainant. If the complainant decides to withdraw the complaint, the University may proceed with the case.
- University email is the University’s primary means of communication with students. Students are responsible for all communication delivered to their designated University email address.
620.00 Proscribed Conduct
Any student found to have committed a violation of the Code of Student Conduct is subject to disciplinary sanctions outlined in Section 660.00. The following offenses constitute violations of the Code of Student Conduct and can lead to serious disciplinary action, including suspension or expulsion from the University.
621.00 Acts of Dishonesty
Acts of dishonesty include but are not limited to:
- Cheating, plagiarism or other breaches of academic integrity, such as fabrication, facilitating or aiding academic dishonesty; theft, unauthorized possession or use of instructional materials or tests; unauthorized access to or manipulation of laboratory equipment or experiments; alteration of grades or files; misuse of research data in reporting results; use of personal relationships to gain grades or favors, or otherwise attempting to obtain grades or credit through fraudulent means. (Refer to Academic Misconduct Procedures, 420.00 for additional definitions)
- Knowingly furnishing false information to any University official, faculty member or office.
- Forgery, alteration or misuse of University documents, records, instruments of identification, computer programs or accounts.
622.00 Harassment, Hazing, and Bystanding
- Harassment includes but is not limited to verbal, psychological, graphic and/or written
abuse directed at another, beyond a reasonable expression of opinion, which:
- Is threatening or carries with it the intention to do bodily harm; or
- Disrupts or undermines a person's exercise of their responsibilities as a student, faculty or staff member including unreasonably interfering with a person’s educational or work performance.
- Harassment which is based upon discrimination as defined in MSU’s Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, and Stalking Policy is also proscribed conduct, but that type of harassment is covered in Section 635.00 below; it is a separate offence from Harassment under this section and such conduct is addressed as provided in Sections 635.00 and 650.00 below.
- Hazing includes, but is not limited to, any conduct or method of initiation, admission
or condition of continued membership in any student organization which:
- Endangers the physical or mental health or safety of any student or other person, including extended deprivation of sleep or rest; forced consumption of food, liquor, beverage, or drugs; beating or branding; involuntary confinement or imprisonment; or
- Destroys, vandalizes or removes public or private property
- Bystanding includes, but is not limited to:
- Conduct of a student who is present when a serious violation o the code of Student conduct occurs and who encourage, assists, or fails to take reasonable actions to prevent or stop conduct that: 1) could result in serious injury to person, including sexual misconduct; or:
- Conduct of an organized group that encourages, assists, or fails to take reasonable actions to prevent or stop conduct that could result in serious injury to a person, including sexual misconduct.
623.00 Assault and Harm to Persons
- Physical assault which includes, but is not limited to: physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature or physical interference with a person which prevents the person from conducting his/her customary or usual affairs, puts the person in fear for his/her physical safety, or causes the person to suffer actual physical injury.
- Threatening and Intimidating Behaviors
- Threat is defined as written or verbal conduct that causes a reasonable expectation of injury to the health or safety of any person or damage to any property.
- Intimidation is defined as implied threats or acts that cause a reasonable fear of harm in another.
- 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.
624.00 Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, and Stalking Policy Offenses
Violation of Montana State University’s Policy on Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual, Misconduct, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, and Stalking (Discrimination Policy) is a violation of this Code of Student Conduct. The definitions of discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, domestic violence, and stalking are contained in the Discrimination Policy. Violations of the Discrimination Policy include retaliation against an individual for taking any of the actions in support of the Discrimination Policy as defined in Section 128.00 of the Discrimination Policy
625.00 Alcohol and Drug Offenses
- Use, possession, manufacture, distribution or sale of narcotics or dangerous drugs as defined by city, state or federal laws. This includes mind-altering drugs, designer drugs or synthetic substances used as a substitute for a controlled substance, except as expressly permitted by law or University policy. This also includes the abuse, distribution or improper use of prescription drugs.
- Use, possession or distribution of intoxicants, including alcohol, in the buildings or on the grounds of Montana State University except as expressly permitted by law or University policy.
- Smoking or tobacco use on campus in violation of the University's Tobacco Free Campus Policy.
626.00 Firearms, Explosives, and Weapons Offenses
627.00 Illegal and Disruptive Conduct
- Violation of federal, state or local law on University premises or at University sponsored activities; violation of published University policies, rules or regulations.
- Acting to impair, interfere with or obstruct the orderly conduct, processes and functions
of the University, including but not limited to:
- Violence or threat of violence against self or any member or guest of the University community.
- Interference with the freedom of movement of any member or guest of the University.
- Interference with the rights of others to enter, use or leave any University facility, service or activity.
- Obstruction or disruption of teaching, learning, research, administration, disciplinary procedures or other University activities, or of other authorized activities on University premises.
- Use of public address systems on the campus outside of University buildings except with written permission of the Office of Student Activities.
- Failure to comply with directions of law enforcement officers and University officials acting in the performance of their duties and/or failure to identify oneself to those persons when requested.
- Failure to comply with any authorized Student Conduct Code sanction(s)/condition(s).
- Trespassing or unauthorized entry into University buildings or property.
- Unauthorized use (including misuse) of University or organizational names, trademarks, and images as specified in the Graphic Identity and Branding Policy and Use of University Name and Logos by Registered Student Organizations Policy.
628.00 Theft/Misuse of Property
- Theft, attempted theft, unauthorized possession, use, or removal of University property or the property of any member of the University community.
- Defacing, tampering, damaging or destroying University property or the property of any member of the University community.
- Unauthorized presence in or use of University grounds, facilities, or property.
- Theft or other abuse of computer facilities, capabilities and/or computer time, including
but not limited to:
- Unauthorized entry into a file, to use, read, or change the contents, or for any other purpose.
- Unauthorized transfer of a file.
- Unauthorized use of another individual's identification or password.
- Use of computing facilities to interfere with the work of another student, faculty member or University official.
- Use of computing facilities to send harassing or abusive messages.
- Use of computing facilities to interfere with the normal operation of the computing system.
- Unauthorized use of computer resources, or the unauthorized use or copying of computer data or software. Examples of unauthorized use or copying include: attempts to alter systems, unauthorized access or copying of data or software, attempts to release data, text, files or software in violation of copyright protection and the condoning, approving, or directing of unauthorized use or copying.
- Unlawful downloading and distribution of copyrighted digital media via peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing applications including, but not limited to video (movies) and sound (music) files.
- Attempts to circumvent or defeat any University owned system firewall or any other mechanism put in place to manage the network.
- Theft of telephone services or other auxiliary services, including food services, housing, parking, etc.
629.00 Other Proscribed Conduct
- Fire Safety - Violation of local, state, federal or campus fire policies including,
but not limited to:
- Intentionally or recklessly causing a fire which damages University or personal property or which causes injury;
- Failure to evacuate a University building during a fire alarm;
- Improper use of University fire safety equipment; or
- Tampering with or improperly engaging a fire alarm or fire detection/control equipment while on University property. Such action may result in a local fine in addition to University sanctions.
- Wheeled Devices – Skateboards, roller blades, roller skates, bicycles and similar devices are not permitted to be ridden inside University buildings. Bicycles are not permitted inside University buildings for storage, except as allowed in the residence halls and family housing by Residence Life Policy. Additionally, skateboards and other wheeled items may not be operated in a dangerous or reckless fashion, or on railings, curbs, benches, or any such fixtures that may be damaged by these activities. Individuals may be liable for damage to University property caused by these activities. Failure to yield to pedestrians or failure to abide by traffic laws/rules on campus is considered a conduct violation.
- Abuse of Conduct Process - Interference with, or failure to comply in, University
conduct and academic misconduct hearings including, but not limited to:
- Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information;
- Failure to provide, destroying or concealing information during an investigation of an alleged policy violation;
- Attempting to discourage an individual’s proper participation in, or use of, the conduct system;
- Harassment (verbal or physical) or intimidation of witnesses or a member of a conduct hearing board prior to, during or following a conduct proceeding;
- Failure to comply with the sanction(s) imposed by the conduct program;
- Influencing, or attempting to influence, another person to commit an abuse of the campus conduct system.
- Failure to Comply – Students must 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 the student’s arrest by any law enforcement agency to the Office of the Dean of Students within seventy-two (72) hours of for any felony crime that occurs 1) on University premises, 2) at University sponsored activities, or 3) off-campus. A felony crime is a crime for which more than one year in prison may be imposed.
630.00 Student Conduct Programs
The University shall establish appropriate procedures to adjudicate alleged violations of the Code of Student Conduct under the direction of the Dean of Students in a unified manner. All conduct programs must follow the procedures as outlined the Code of Student Conduct.
631.00 Residence Life Student Conduct Program
- In addition to this Code, students who reside in the Residence Halls are subject to the conduct requirements set forth in the Residence Life Handbook. Residence Life staff are hereby delegated responsibility for investigating and adjudicating allegations that involve violations of the Residence Life Handbook and may impose sanctions related to a student’s use of the Residence Halls.
- All allegations of violations of the University’s Code of Student Conduct reported to Residence Life Staff will be promptly referred to the Dean of Students. In such cases, the Dean of Students may delegate the investigation and adjudication to the Residence Life staff. When such matters are delegated, the investigation and adjudication shall be conducted in accordance with the procedures of this Code.
- The Director of Residence Life will coordinate the delegated Residence Life Conduct Program and will work closely with the Dean of Students to assure consistency.
632.00 Department of Athletics
- In addition to the requirements of this Code, student athletes are also subject to the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics conduct requirements found in team rules, NCAA policies, and the Student-Athlete Code of Conduct. The Director of Athletics, or designee, will coordinate the Student-Athlete Code of Conduct for alleged violation of departmental conduct requirements and may impose sanctions related to a student’s participation in intercollegiate athletics.
- The Director of Athletics will refer allegations of violations of the University’s Code of Student Conduct to the Dean of Students for processing under the Code of Student Conduct. Additional University sanctions by the Dean of Students may be in addition to, or in lieu of, the process outlined in the Student-Athlete Code of Conduct.
633.00 Office of the Dean of Students
- The Dean of Students is responsible for administering the University’s Student Conduct Program, including the investigation and adjudication of cases involving alleged violations of the Code of Student Conduct except alleged violations of MSU’s Policy on Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual, Misconduct, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, and Stalking Policy in which case Section 640.00 below will apply.
- The Dean of Students may appoint either a Hearing Officer or a Hearing Board to adjudicate violations of the Code of Student Conduct. The Hearing Officer or Hearing Board will conduct hearings using the procedures outlined in Sections 653.00 through 655.00.
- For the purposes of deadlines in this Code, days shall mean “calendar” days unless stated otherwise, and the Dean of Students or designee may extend or waive any deadline herein upon a showing of good cause, the responsibility and burden of proof of "good cause" will be upon the party requesting the extension. Good cause will include circumstances such as the impact of academic calendar breaks or holidays or other causes beyond the party’s s control (e.g., illness, death in the family).
634.00 Composition of University Student Conduct Hearing Board
- A University Student Conduct Hearing Board is appointed by the Dean of Students with
five members comprised of:
- One (1) professional staff member selected by the Dean of Students after consultation with the Professional Council;
- Two (2) faculty members selected by the Chair of Faculty Senate after consultation with the Dean of Students; and
- Two (2) student members selected by the President of ASMSU after consultation with the Dean of Students.
- One member of each Hearing Board shall be appointed as the Presiding Officer by the Dean of Students.
- A non-voting recording secretary will be provided by the Dean of Students to take minutes during conduct hearings.
- The Dean of Students will select replacements for any board members for good cause.
A quorum is considered to be three members.
640.00 Investigation and Adjudication of Allegations of Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking Policy Violation Offenses
- Complaints against student(s) accused of violations of MSU’s Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, and Stalking Policy (Discrimination Policy) will be referred to the Title IX Coordinator who will follow the procedures for reports and complaints of Discrimination Policy violation in accordance with MSU’s Discrimination Grievance Procedures. The Student Conduct Adjudication Procedures, Appeals, and Interim Sanctions found in Sections 650.00 “STUDENT CONDUCT ADJUDICATION PROCEDURES”, 670.00 APPEALS, and 680.00 INTERIM RESTRICTIONS shall not apply in allegations of such Policy Violations and shall be replaced by MSU’s Discrimination Grievance Procedures.
- When a student is found to have engaged in Discrimination Policy violations, the Dean of Students will determine and assign sanctions as allowed by the Code of Student Conduct in Section 660.00, including suspension or expulsion from the University. The Dean of Students’ sanction is the final University decision and shall not be subject to the appeal right and procedures found in Section 665.00 (P) and Section 680.00 of the Code of Student Conduct. The Student may appeal under the provisions of Policy 203.5.2 of the Montana Board of Regents Policies and Procedures Manual.
650.00 Student Conduct Adjudication Procedures
651.00 Filing of Charges
On its own initiative or upon receiving a complaint from any student, faculty or staff member, the University, through the Office of the Dean of Students, may, after an investigation, file appropriate charges against a student accused of violating the Code of Student Conduct.
- Charges should be filed no later than four months after the alleged violation of the Code of Student Conduct, unless good cause is shown to justify the delay. When charges are referred to the Dean of Students for investigation and adjudication, any resulting hearing will normally be convened within seventy-five (75) calendar days from the date the charges were filed, unless good cause can be shown for delay.
- If a student has withdrawn or withdraws from the University after charges have been
filed, the University may:
- Place a hold on the student's academic record, re-enrollment and notify the student that disciplinary action will be initiated before the student's re-enrollment in the University; or
- Upon notice to the charged student, proceed with the disciplinary process, determining sanctions to be imposed if the student is readmitted.
- The Dean of Students may order that University administrative services such as grades, registration, course drop/adds, fee payment, refunds, withdrawals, fee waivers, etc., be withheld to compel students accused of violation(s) of the Code of Student Conduct to meet with the Dean of Students as necessary to properly investigate and adjudicate the alleged violation(s).
652.00 Preliminary Investigation and Administrative Adjudication Procedures
- Whenever a complaint is filed or when it appears that a student may have violated
the Code of Student Conduct, the Dean of Students will designate a Conduct Officer
to conduct an investigation of the incident. The Conduct Officer conducting the investigation:
- Determines the facts through interview, reports and other information collected.
- Informs the student of the findings of the investigation.
- Allows the student an opportunity to respond to the evidence and potential charge(s).
- Makes a determination whether there is reasonable cause to believe that a violation of the Code has occurred.
- The Conduct Officer conducting the investigation may withdraw any charge determined to be without reasonable cause. No reasonable cause means that there is insufficient credible evidence to support the charge or even if proved, the conduct does not violate the Code. The complainant, if any, who filed the charge initially may appeal this decision to the Vice President for Student Success under the appeal processes set forth in Section 670.00.
- After the conclusion of the investigation the Conduct Officer may propose an Administrative Agreement for the accused student(s). If the student agrees with the facts and any sanction(s) proposed, the Administrative Agreement will be agreed to by both the student and the Dean of Students, or designee. By agreeing to the Administrative Agreement, the student waives the right to a hearing and any appeal and agrees to accept the sanction(s).
- After the conclusion of the preliminary investigation, an Administrative Agreement can be proposed between the Officer and the accused student(s) if the student agrees with the facts and any sanction(s) proposed. The Administrative Agreement will be signed by both the student and the Dean of Students. By signing the Administrative Agreement, the student waives the right to a hearing and any appeal and agrees to accept the sanction(s).
- If the student denies the charges or the sanctions, the case will be referred for a hearing under section 654.00 and 655.00.
If an Administrative Agreement is not signed within seven (7) calendar days following its submission to the student, the matter shall be referred for a hearing under sections 654.00 and 665.00, unless the charged student(s) can show good cause for the extension of the deadline as provided in Section 633.00 D.
In the event of a student conduct hearing, the charged student shall be notified at least seven (7) calendar days prior to the date of the hearing (except a hearing on the alleged violation of Interim Restrictions imposed under Section 680.00 which may be called with one (1) calendar day notice to the student). Such notice shall be in writing and shall include the following:
- The specific charge(s) citing the Student Conduct Code provisions allegedly violated.
- A description of the alleged violation(s), including the time and place of the alleged act(s) (insofar as may reasonably be known) and a summary of the information upon which the charges are based.
- The time and place of the pre-hearing conference.
- The procedures to be followed in the hearing.
- Notice of the student’s right to be assisted throughout the hearing and appeal process by any advisor the student chooses at the student’s own expense. Typically advisors are members of the campus community, but the parties may select whomever they wish to serve as their advisor (including attorneys).
654.00 Pre-Hearing Conference
The Presiding Officer of the Hearing Board or the Hearing Officer may convene a pre-hearing conference (in person, by electronic, written or other means) including the Complainant (if any) and the charged student to:
- Narrow and define the issues to be presented at the hearing.
- Identify and list all witnesses for the hearing. The Presiding Officer or Hearing Officer may establish restrictions on the numbers of witnesses and may disallow witnesses who have not been identified at the pre-hearing from providing testimony at the hearing.
- Identify and list all documents to be presented at the hearing.
- Provide for a pre-hearing exchange among the parties of any documents to be presented at the hearing. The Presiding Officer or Hearing Officer may prohibit the presentation of evidence that is not provided to the parties before the hearing.
- Set a time and place for the hearing.
655.00 Hearing Procedures
Hearings are conducted by the Student Conduct Board or Hearing Officer according to the following guidelines:
- The member(s) of the Hearing Board or Hearing Officer shall be impartial, i.e., without personal bias in favor of or against the charged student. Any participant in the hearing who believes the members of the Hearing Board or Hearing Officer have a personal bias must raise the issue before the hearing or as soon as the knowledge of personal bias is known to the participant, whichever is sooner; failure to do so will result in a waiver of such claim.
- Hearings will be closed to the public unless all parties, witnesses and other participants waive their rights to privacy. Admission to the hearing of persons other than the parties involved will be at the discretion of the Presiding Officer or the Hearing Officer.
- Minutes will be kept by the recording secretary and an audiotape may be used to record the hearing. The audiotape is the property of the University.
- The University bears the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that the charged student violated the Code of Student Conduct. A preponderance of evidence is described as evidence that is of greater weight or is more convincing than the evidence that is offered in opposition to it. A staff member from the Office of the Dean of Students will present the case to the Student Conduct Hearing Board or the Hearing Officer on behalf of the University. The presenting staff member shall not be a member of the Hearing Board.
- The University may proceed with a hearing in any case in which the charged student fails to appear after receiving proper notice. Proper notice is defined as notice sent to the student's official University email address.
- Students, even those who are accompanied by an advisor (including attorneys), are responsible for presenting the student’s own case. Advisors are not permitted to speak or participate directly in any hearing. The advisor may not make a presentation, speak for or represent the party bringing the complaint or responding student during the hearing. Advisors may confer with their advisee, exchange notes, and clarify procedural questions with the Presiding Officer or Hearing Officer.
- The complainant (if any) and the charged student(s) shall have the opportunity to review all statements and written evidence collected or prepared during the investigation prior to the hearing, to present witnesses and evidence at the hearing, and to question the evidence and witnesses during the hearing.
- The Presiding Officer or Hearing Officer may preclude the presentation of duplicative, irrelevant or unnecessary evidence and may limit the number of witnesses.
- The Presiding Officer or Hearing Officer shall control the hearing, and shall make all decisions regarding evidentiary and procedural questions.
- Every reasonable effort will be made to elicit and consider the most reliable evidence. The statutory Rules of Evidence, rules of discovery and rules of procedure that govern state and federal court proceedings do not apply during student conduct hearings.
- The charged student and complainant (if any) must submit all evidence either intends to submit to the Presiding Officer or Hearing Officer no later than five (5) calendar days before the hearing date for the Presiding Officer's or Hearing Officer’s review to determine admissibility. Evidence not submitted five (5) calendar days before the hearing date will not be allowed at the hearing unless there is good cause for exception, as determined by the Presiding Officer or Hearing Officer. All parties will have opportunity to review such evidence prior to the hearing. The decision of the Presiding Officer or Hearing Officer on the admissibility of the evidence and procedural matters is final.
- Any person, including the charged student, who disrupts a hearing or who fails to adhere to the rulings of the Presiding Officer or Hearing Officer may be excluded from the proceedings.
- The determination of the hearing shall be made on the basis of whether it has been proven by a preponderance of evidence that the charged student violated the Code. Any decision shall be based only upon evidence and testimony presented at the hearing.
- The decision of the Student Conduct Hearing Board or Hearing Officer shall be in writing. If the charged student is found to have violated the code, the Hearing Officer or Hearing Board may recommend sanction(s) to the Dean of Students.
- The record of the hearing shall consist of written minutes of the hearing, any documentary evidence presented, the audiotape, if made, and the written decision of the hearing board or Hearing Officer.
- The Dean of Students shall, within seven (7) calendar days after receiving the decision and recommendation, determine what sanction(s), if any, will be imposed if a violation is found to have occurred. The Dean shall send a copy of the decision and the sanction(s) to be imposed to the charged student(s) and complainant, if any.
- The decision of the Student Conduct Hearing Board or Hearing Officer and the sanctions imposed by the Dean of Students may be appealed to the Vice President for Student Success as set forth in section 670.00.
- Individual Sanctions - In determining a sanction, the Dean of Students may consider the student's present and past disciplinary record, including Residence Hall disciplinary record, the nature of the offense, the severity of any damage, injury, or harm resulting from the violation, and other factors relevant to the case.
- If the student is found to have violated the Code of Student Conduct, the Dean of
Students may impose one or more of the following sanctions:
- Expulsion - Permanent separation of the student from the University. The student may also be barred from University premises, events or activities. This sanction may be enforced with a trespass action as necessary.
- Suspension - Separation of the student from the University for a specified period of time, but not less than the remainder of the semester. Eligibility for return to the University may be contingent upon satisfaction of specific conditions noted at the time of suspension. The student is required to vacate the campus within twenty-four (24) hours of notification of the action, though this deadline may be extended upon application to, and at the discretion of, the Dean of Students. During the suspension period, the student is banned barred from University property, functions, events and activities without prior written approval from the Dean of Students. This sanction may be enforced with a trespass action as necessary.
- Conduct Probation/Suspension Warning - A status that is imposed for a designated period of time and includes the probability of more severe disciplinary sanctions, including suspension or expulsion, if the student is found to have violated the Code of Student Conduct during the period.
- Disciplinary Reprimand - A formal reprimand which may be imposed either in verbal or written form for violating the Code of Student Conduct and a warning that further misconduct may result in more severe disciplinary action.
- Restitution - Compensation for actual loss, damage or injury. This may take the form of appropriate service and/or monetary or material replacement.
- Residence Hall Sanctions - Disciplinary action may consist also include residence hall sanctions such as a Warning, Residence Hall Probation, Residence Hall Suspension, Restrictions of Residence Hall Privileges, Constructive Work Projects, Removal from Floor, Hall, or Residence Hall System, or a combination of sanctions.
- Community or University Service Requirements – Completion of a specific, supervised University or community service.
- Loss of Privileges - The student will be denied specified privileges for a designated period of time.
- Other Sanctions - Other sanctions may be imposed instead of, or in addition to, the sanctions specified above, such as withholding registration, limitation of access to University housing facilities or other property, imposition of mandatory educational or counseling requirements or other sanction appropriate under the circumstances.
- Group Sanctions - The following sanctions may be imposed upon sororities, fraternities,
groups or organizations registered with the University:
- Those sanctions listed in subparagraphs 3 – 5 and 7-9 above.
- Deactivation - Loss of all privileges, including University recognition or registration, for a specified period of time.
- The student who is found responsible for violating the Code of Student Conduct may
appeal the decision of the Student Conduct Hearing Board or Hearing Officer and/or
the sanction imposed by the Dean of Students following a student conduct hearing by
emailing a letter of appeal to the Vice President for Student Success within seven
(7) calendar days of the official’s decision. Sanctions shall be kept in abeyance
pending the determination on appeal, except that any interim sanctions shall continue.
The letter of appeal must specifically allege and factually support one or more of
the following grounds:
- The student's rights as set forth in this Code of Student Conduct were violated (i.e., there was an error in the procedure or the interpretation of the Code of Student Conduct which substantially affected the student's ability to receive a fair hearing);
- New evidence, unavailable during the original hearing or investigation, has been discovered that could substantially impact the original finding or sanction. A summary of this new evidence and its potential impact must be included in their letter of appeal.
- If a sufficient claim is presented under one or more of the specified grounds, the Vice President for Student Success shall accept the appeal, notify the student and complainant, if any, and request a copy of the record of the hearing. If sufficient claim is not presented, the appeal shall be dismissed with written notice to the appealing student and complainant, if any.
- Within twenty (20) calendar days from receipt of the record, the Vice President for Student Success shall review the entire record and render a written decision. The Vice President for Student Success may remand the case to the original Hearing Board or Hearing Officer for further findings of fact or clarification.
- The decision of the Vice President for Student Success shall be based on the record only and is the final decision of the University. A copy of the decision shall be sent to the charged student, the complainant (if any) and included in the record.
680.00 Interim Restrictions
- The Dean of Students or designee may impose interim Residence Hall restrictions or University suspension or other restriction(s) upon a student pending the resolution of disciplinary proceedings if there is reason to believe that the student's conduct poses an imminent and substantial threat of injury to, or interference with, persons or property.
- Interim restrictions may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Residence Hall and/or University suspension;
- Assignment to alternate housing for students residing in University housing;
- Limitation of access to University housing facilities, other campus facilities or University property in general;
- Restriction of communication with named individuals or groups within the University community;
- The requirement to secure advance authorization to engage in a specified activity and/or professional evaluation, intervention and/or treatment.
- The official imposing the interim restrictions shall notify the student in writing of the restrictions imposed and shall schedule a meeting with the student to be held within three (3) calendar days after the imposition of the interim restrictions. If the student is unable to attend for good cause, the meeting or the hearing will be held as soon as the student is able to attend.
- At the meeting the student shall be informed of the basis of the allegations that led to the imposition of the Interim Restrictions and shall be offered the opportunity to explain his or her position regarding the charges and the imposition of the Interim Restrictions. If, after hearing the student's position, the official believes the imposition of the Interim Restrictions was made in error or is too restrictive, the official may rescind or modify the restrictions. Otherwise, the restrictions shall continue until the decision is rendered in a future student conduct proceeding.
- In cases where interim restrictions have been imposed, the disciplinary hearing shall be held as soon as possible, but not later than thirty (30) calendar days from the date of the imposition of interim restrictions.
- The time limitations set forth in this section may be expanded upon the consent of the student.
690.00 Records and Confidentiality
- The Office of the Dean of Students shall maintain student conduct records. Relevant student conduct records and related information shall be made available to hearing boards to assist in recommendation of an appropriate sanction, and to other University personnel who require such information to fulfill their official duties.
- Students may arrange to review their own student conduct records and related information by contacting the Office of the Dean of Students.
- Except as provided elsewhere in this Code and/or as required by law, the University shall not communicate a student's conduct record to any person or agency without the prior written consent of the student.
- Student conduct records shall be maintained for seven (7) years from the last recorded entry, then destroyed.
Trainer Ethical and Professional Standards
Policy: ETHICAL AND PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS
Effective date: July 1, 2017
Review date: July 1, 2020
Responsible Party: Office of the Provost
INTRODUCTION AND PURPOSE
The faculty and university administration are responsible for assuring the highest ethical and professional standards and behavior in:
- working with undergraduate and graduate students, including the elimination of discrimination from the classroom and entire university community,
- working with faculty and staff,
- performing their contracted responsibilities, including the employment and use of graduate assistants or adjunct faculty and staff,
- working with public and private agencies, organizations, and businesses,
- preventing conflicts of interest and reporting work done outside the university,
- conducting peer review,
- conducting research and creative activity, ( See, e.g. Research Misconduct Policy)
- adhering to standards for biosafety, research utilizing human and animal subjects, and the use of radioactive materials,
- respecting confidentiality and privacy in the use of information systems (see Enterprise Information Technology Policies),
- respecting copyright and patent requirements,
- respecting confidentiality and privacy in personnel decisions, including search committee discussions,
- participating in university planning and governance, and
- reporting alleged breaches of ethical standards.
INVESTIGATION OF COMPLAINTS AND VIOLATIONS OF STANDARDS
Complaints of alleged breaches of these standards shall be investigated using the procedures set forth in the university’s Reporting Violations Policy and the Research Misconduct Policy as general guidelines. The procedures may be adapted as necessary to consider a specific complaint.
Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, Stalking and Retaliation
Subject: Students, Personnel
Policy: Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, Stalking, and Retaliation
Effective date: March 6, 2014
Review date: March 6, 2017
Responsible Party: Campus Title IX Coordinators
This Policy applies to the following MSU Campuses:
MSU Bozeman (including MSU Extension, Agricultural Experiment Stations, and Gallatin
MSU Billings (including City College)
Great Falls College MSU
For the purpose of this policy, the term “University” means all campuses listed.
100.00 Introduction and Purpose
State and federal laws and regulations prohibit certain kinds of discrimination in employment and in educational services. This policy is intended to comply with the following laws and regulations: Titles IV, VI, and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; 34 C.F.R. pt. 100; Title IX; 28 C.F.R. pt. 54 and 34 C.F.R. pt. 106; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act; 34 C.F.R. pt. 104; Age Discrimination Act of 1975; 34 C.F.R. pt. 110; and Titles I and II of the Americans with Disabilities Act; 28 C.F.R. pt. 35; Montana Human Rights Act and Governmental Code of Fair Practices, Title 49, Montana Code Annotated.
In addition, this Policy is intended to comply with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and its implementing regulation, at 34 C.F.R. § 106.31 (a), which provide that no person shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any academic, extracurricular, research, occupational training, or other education program or activity operated by the university.
200.00 Policy Statement
Montana State University’s campuses are committed to providing an environment that emphasizes the dignity and worth of every member of its community and that is free from harassment and discrimination based upon race, color, religion, national origin, creed, service in the uniformed services (as defined in state and federal law), veteran’s status, sex, age, political ideas, marital or family status, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, genetic information, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation. Such an environment is necessary to a healthy learning, working, and living atmosphere because discrimination and harassment undermine human dignity and the positive connection among all people at our University. Acts of discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, and retaliation will be addressed consistent with this policy.
200.10 Disability Discrimination
The University is committed to eliminating disability-based discrimination against persons with disabilities and making reasonable accommodation for any known disability that interferes with an applicant's ability to compete in a selection process, an employee's ability to perform the essential functions of a job, a student's ability to meet the essential requirements of an academic program, or a person's ability to benefit from a University service or participate in a University sponsored or hosted activity or event. Applicants, employees, students or participants with a disability seeking an accommodation shall contact the University's Human Resources or the Office of Disability, Re-Entry, and Veteran Services.
200.20 Retaliation Prohibited
Retaliation against an individual who takes any action in support of this policy as defined in Section 229.00 below is prohibited. It is central to the values of this University that any individual who believes they may have been the target of unlawful discrimination or harassment feel free to report their concerns for appropriate investigation and response, without fear of retaliation or retribution.
200.30 Off Campus Conduct
Conduct that occurs off campus can be the subject of a complaint or report and will be evaluated to determine whether it violates this policy, e.g., if off-campus harassment has continuing effects that create a hostile environment on campus. Allegations of off-campus sexual misconduct are of particular concern and should be brought to the University’s attention.
200.40 Remedying Effects of Past Discrimination
The University is committed to taking positive and effective actions in the recruitment, hiring, training, and promotion of persons in all classes of employment to help overcome the present effects of past discrimination and increase opportunities for qualified women and minorities, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans. In addition, Montana State University assumes particular responsibility for providing opportunities for education and training for the state's Native American peoples in the various disciplines and professions at the University.
This policy prohibits discrimination and harassment of employees by the employer and between members of the University community more generally: for example, between an instructor and a student, between two students, or between a student and an applicant or campus guest. The policy applies in all University programs and activities, including, but not limited to, athletics, instruction, grading, university housing, and university employment.
210.00 Reporting Violations Of This Policy
All reports or any concerns about conduct that may violate this policy and/or retaliation should be reported to the campus official responsible for receving reports of discrimination referred to throughout this Policy as the Responsible Official (“RO”).
The campus Responsible Officials (ROs) are:
Director, Office of Institutional Equity/Title IX Coordinator
Office of Institutional Equity/Title IX
118 Hamilton Hall
Montana State University
P.O. Box 172430
Bozeman, MT 59717-2430
Tel: (406) 994-2042
Fax: (406) 994-7999
Director of Human Resources/Title IX Coordinator
Human Resources Office
McMullen Hall 310
Montana State University Billings
1500 University Drive
Billings MT 59101
Great Falls College MSU
Executive Director, Human Resources/Title IX Coordinator
G-1 Administrative Area
2100 16th Ave. South
Great Falls, MT 59401
Human Resources Manager/Title IX Coordinator
Cowan Hall 210
Montana State University-Northern
300 W 11th Street
PO Box 7751
Havre, MT 59501
Tel: (406) 265-3568
Fax: (406) 265-3530
Guidance concerning means and methods of reporting, criminal reporting, confidentiality and anonymous reporting are found in the Discrimination Grievance Procedures. Upon receiving a report, the RO will follow the procedures described in the Discrimination Grievance Procedures.
Please do not wait to report conduct of concern until harassment becomes sufficiently serious (i.e., severe, pervasive, or persistent) to create a hostile environment. The RO can take proactive steps to prevent harassment from continuing and perhaps escalating and to protect or otherwise assist the person harassed. For example, in the case of a student experiencing harassment, the University can arrange for no-contact orders, counseling and changes in class schedules, living arrangements, class requirements, and testing schedules as needed. The RO can also provide expertise and advice to help identify conduct that might be a warning sign of or constitute sexual harassment or hostile environment harassment prohibited by this policy and address concerns appropriately.
210.10 Mandatory Employee Reporting
To enable the University to respond effectively and to stop instances of discrimination, harassment, violence, and retaliation proactively, all University employees must promptly (normally within 24 hours) report all known or suspected discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, dating or domestic violence, stalking, or retaliation as defined in this Policy to the RO. An employee is strongly encouraged, but is not required, to report if they themselves are the victim of one of these types of prohibited behavior.
Employees who are hired by the University to work under a license or statutory privilege under Montana law that provides for confidentiality are not required to repot but may be required to provide de-identified statistics annually.
Upon receiving a report of alleged or possible actions that could violate this Policy, the RO will evaluate the information and determine what further action should be taken, following the procedures described in the Discrimination Grievance Procedures. The RO will take steps, either directly or through a reporting person, to provide information about the University’s Discrimination Grievance Procedures, as well as available health and advocacy resources, and options for criminal reporting.
221.00 Discrimination is conduct that is based upon an individual’s race, color, religion, national origin, creed, service in the uniformed services (as defined in state and federal law), veteran’s status, sex, age, political ideas, marital or family status, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, genetic information, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation that excludes an individual from participation, denies the individual the benefits of, treats the individual differently or otherwise adversely affects a term or condition of an individual’s employment, education, living environment or participation in a University program. This includes failing to provide reasonable accommodation, consistent with state and federal law, to persons with disabilities.
222.00 Harassment is covered under this policy if it is based upon an individual’s race, color, religion, national origin, creed, service in the uniformed services (as defined in state and federal law), veteran’s status, sex, age, political ideas, marital or family status, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, genetic information, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation. Harassing conduct may take various forms, including, name-calling, graphic verbal or written statements (including those communicated through cell phones, social media, or the Internet), or other conduct that may be physically threatening, harmful, or humiliating. Harassment does not have to be based on intent to harm, be directed at a specific target, or involve repeated incidents. Sex-based harassment includes sexual harassment, which is further defined below, and non-sexual harassment based on stereotypical notions of what is female/feminine v. male/masculine or a failure to conform to those gender stereotypes.
223.00 Sexual Harassment includes: unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, including sexual misconduct. Sexual harassment, including sexual misconduct, can involve persons of the same or opposite sex.
Consistent with the law, this policy prohibits two types of sexual harassment:
- Tangible Employment or Educational Action - This type of sexual harassment occurs when the terms or conditions of employment, educational benefits, academic grades or opportunities, living environment or participation in a University program is conditioned upon, either explicitly or implicitly, submission to or rejection of unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors, or such submission or rejection is a factor in decisions affecting that individual’s employment, education, living environment, or participation in a University program. Generally, this type of sexual harassment will involve agents or employees with some authority from the University.
- Hostile Environment [as defined in 224.00 below]
224.00 Hostile Environment Harassment A Hostile Environment based on race, color, religion, national origin, creed, service in the uniformed services, veteran’s status, sex, age, political ideas, marital or family status, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, genetic information, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation exists when harassment:
- is sufficiently serious (i.e., severe, pervasive, or persistent) and objectively offensive so as to deny or limit a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s programs, services, opportunities, or activities ; or
- when such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s employment or academic performance.
A hostile environment can be created by anyone involved in a university program or activity (e.g., administrators, faculty members, students, and even campus guests). Mere offensiveness is not enough to create a hostile environment. Although repeated incidents increase the likelihood that harassment has created a hostile environment, a serious incident, such as a sexual assault, even if isolated, can be sufficient.
In determining whether harassment creates a hostile environment, the harassment will be considered not only from the perspective of the individual who feels harassed, but also from the perspective of a reasonable person in a similar situation. Also, the following factors will be considered:
- The degree to which the conduct affected one or more students’ education or individual’s employment;
- The nature, scope, frequency, duration, and location of the incident or incidents;
- The identity, number, and relationships of the persons involved;
- The perspective of a “reasonable person” in the same situation as the person harassed; and
- The nature of higher education.
225.00 Sexual Misconduct includes sexual assault, inducing incapacitation for sexual purposes, and sexual exploitation.1
- Sexual Assault means an actual or attempted sexual contact with another person without
that person’s consent. Sexual assault includes, but is not limited to:
- Involvement in any sexual contact when the victim is unable to consent.
- Intentional and unwelcome contact with the breasts, buttock, groin or genitals or touching another with any of these body parts or coercing or forcing or attempting to coerce or force another to touch the perpetrator or themselves with or on any of these body parts.
- Any other intentional bodily contact in a sexual manner, including contact by a penis, tongue or finger, and oral copulation (mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact).
- Sexual intercourse without consent, including acts commonly referred to as “rape.”
- Consent is an understandable exchange of affirmative words or actions, which indicate a willingness to participate in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. Consent must be informed, freely and actively given. If coercion, intimidation, threats, or physical force are used there is no consent. There is no consent if a person is mentally or physically incapacitated so that such person cannot understand the fact of, or make a reasonable judgement as to, the nature, potential harmfulness of the conduct, or extent of the sexual situation. This includes incapacitation due to mental disability, alcohol or drug consumption, or being asleep or unconscious. A person who knows or reasonably should have known that another person is incapacitated may not engage in sexual activity with that person. There is no consent when there is force, expressed or implied, or use of duress or deception upon the victim. In the absence of mutually understandable words or actions, it is the responsibility of the initiator, or the person who wants to engage in the specific sexual activity, to make sure that he/she has the consent from his/her partner(s). Silence does not necessarily constitute consent. Past consent to sexual activities does not imply ongoing future consent. Whether an individual has taken advantage of a position of influence over an alleged victim may be a factor in determining consent. Effective consent may not be given by minors less than 16 years old.
- Inducing incapacitation for sexual purposes includes using drugs, alcohol, or other means with the intent to affect or having an actual effect on the ability of an individual to consent or refuse to consent (as “consent” is defined in this policy) to sexual contact.
- Sexual Exploitation/coercion occurs when a person takes non-consensual or abusive
sexual advantage of another for anyone’s advantage or benefit other than the person
being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of the preceding
sexual misconduct offenses. Examples of sexual exploitation include:
- Prostituting another person;
- Non-consensual visual (e.g., video, photograph) or audio-recording of sexual activity;
- Non-consensual distribution of photos, other images, or information of an individual’s sexual activity, intimate body parts, or nakedness, with the intent to or having the effect of embarrassing an individual who is the subject of such images or information;
- Going beyond the bounds of consent (such as letting your friends hide in the closet to watch you having consensual sex);
- Engaging in non-consensual voyeurism;
- Knowingly transmitting a sexually transmitted disease, such as HIV, to another;
- Exposing one’s genitals in non-consensual circumstances, or inducing another to expose his or her genitals; and
- Possessing, distributing, viewing or forcing others to view illegal pornography.
1.While sexual assault and other sexual misconduct is often considered a subset of “sexual harassment,” for purposes of this policy and the consequences that may result from violating this policy, the terms are distinct
226.00 Dating Violence is abuse or violence between partners or persons in a social relationship of an intimate or romantic nature involving one or more of the following elements:
- Battering that causes bodily injury;
- Emotional abuse creating apprehension of bodily injury or property damage;
- Repeated telephonic, electronic, or other forms of communication -- anonymously or directly -- made with the intent to intimidate, terrify, harass, or threaten.
The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on consideration of the following factors:
- The length of the relationship;
- The type of relationship; and
- The frequency of interaction.
To the extent applicable as provided in Sections 200.30 and 200.50 above, allegations of dating violence, regardless of whether they are based on discrimination, shall be addressed and considered in accordance with this Policy and the Discrimination Grievance Procedure.
227.00 Domestic Violence is an act of violence committed by a current or fomer spouse of the victim, by a person with whom the victim share a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the the victim as a spouse, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic and family violence laws of Montana [Title 40, Ch. 15, MCA] or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected under the domestic or family violence laws of Montana. Persons protected include mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, and other past and present family members of a household. To the extent applicable as provided in Sections 200.30 and 200.50 above, allegations of domestic violence, regardless of whether they are based on discrimination, shall be addressed and considered in accordance with this Policy and the Discrimination Grievance Procedure.
228.00 Stalking includes repeatedly following, harassing, threatening, or intimidating another by telephone, mail, electronic communication, social media, or any other action, device or method that purposely or knowingly causes substantial emotional distress or reasonable fear of bodily injury or death. To the extent applicable as provided in Sections 200.30 and 200.50 above, allegations of stalking, regardless of whether they are based on discrimination, shall be addressed and considered in accordance with this Policy and the Discrimination Grievance Procedure.
229.00 Retaliation is action taken by an accused individual or an action taken by a third party against any person because that person has opposed any practices forbidden under this policy or because that person has filed a complaint, testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in an investigation or proceeding under this policy. This includes action taken against a bystander who intervened to stop or attempt to stop discrimination, harassment, or sexual misconduct. Retaliation includes intimidating, threatening, coercing, or in any way discriminating against an individual because of the individual’s complaint or participation. Action is generally deemed retaliatory if it would deter a reasonable person in the same circumstances from opposing practices prohibited by this policy.
230.00 Sanctions and Corrective Action
Violations of this policy will be addressed through the Discrimination Grievance Procedures. Consequences for violating this policy will depend upon the facts and circumstances of each particular situation.
In determining the severity of sanctions or corrective actions, factors such as the frequency and severity of the offense and any history of past discriminatory, harassing or retaliatory conduct are relevant. A finding of discrimination, harassment that creates a hostile environment or results in a tangible employment or educational action, or sexual misconduct may be cause for disciplinary action up to and including the discharge of employees and the expulsion of students, in accordance with applicable University policies and procedures and collective bargaining agreements.
240.00 Amnesty for Drug or Alcohol Possession and Consumption Violations
The University strongly encourages students to report instances of sex-based discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual misconduct involving students. Therefore, students who provide information about sex-based discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking involving students will not be disciplined by the University for any violation of the University’s drug or alcohol possession or consumption policies in which they might have engaged in connection with the reported incident.
250.00 Free Speech and Academic Freedom
This policy shall not be construed or applied to restrict academic freedom at the campuses of Montana State University, nor shall it be construed to restrict constitutionally protected expression, even though such expression may be offensive, unpleasant, or even hateful.
In addressing all complaints and reports under this policy, the University will take all reasonable permissible actions to ensure the safety of students and employees while complying with free speech requirements for students and employees.2
2.For more information about free speech requirements in the context of sexual harassment complaints, please see U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, 2001 Revised Sexual Harassment Guidance at http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/shguide.htmlat section XI.
260.00 External Complaints
If you are a student and filed a complaint with the RO and believe the University’s response was inadequate, or as a student, you otherwise believe you have been discriminated against by the University on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, including sexual harassment, disability, age, or retaliation, you may file a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Education based in Seattle or the Educational Opportunities Section (EOS) of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Justice Department of Justice, and a complaint based on religion with EOS of the U.S. Justice Department. Contact information for the Office for Civil Rights is as follows:
U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights
915 Second Avenue, Room 3310
Seattle, WA 98174-1099
As a student or employee, if you filed a complaint with the RO and believe the University’s response was inadequate, or you otherwise believe you have been discriminated against by the University on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, including sexual harassment, disability, age, religion, creed, pregnancy, marital status, familial status (housing only), or political beliefs, or retaliation, you may file a complaint with the Montana Human Rights Bureau. Contact Information is as follows:
Montana Human Rights Commission
1625 11th Ave.
PO Box 1728
Helena, MT 59624-1728
Toll free: 800-542-0807
To educate staff and faculty on the importance of non-discrimination and the prevention of sexual harassment in the work environment and classroom, each Montana State University campus requires all employees (faculty, all Graduate Teaching Assistants, Graduate Research Assistants, Administrators and staff members) to:
- complete discrimination and harassment prevention training on a biennial basis; and
- complete MSU’s Title IX on-line training in accordance with Montana Board of Regents Policy 507.
New employees must complete the training within 45 days of employment. Temporary employees and student employees are required to complete the training program only at the discretion of the RO or Human Resources and/or in conjunction with the department of hire.
Supervisors shall support the employee in providing a reasonable amount of work time for the employee to complete the training program. Training programs can be selected from resources such as online programs, presentations or self-study options as determined and pre-approved by the RO
The University also requires primary prevention, risk reduction and awareness training programs for all incoming students and new employees concerning sexual misconduct, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking. And, the University shall maintain ongoing prevention, risk reduction, and awareness campaigns concerning sexual misconduct, domestic violence, and stalking for students and employees.
280.00 Consensual Relationships
There are inherent risks in any romantic or sexual relationship between individuals in unequal positions (such as faculty and student, supervisor and employee). These relationships may be less consensual than perceived by the person whose position confers power. A consensual romantic relationship in which one party has supervisory or evaluative responsibilities for the other is a conflict of interest and, as such, and as provided in the University Conflict of Interest (COI) Policy the party in the evaluative or supervisory position must promptly disclose the relationship to his or her supervisor and to the campus official responsible for COI reporting. The supervisor and the University official responsible for COI management shall take steps to ensure that the situation is appropriately managed in accordance with the campus COI Policy. This could result in the removal of the employee or student from the supervisory or evaluative responsibilities by their romantic partner. As provided in the COI Policy, an employee's failure to promptly disclose a conflict of interest may result in discipline.
Affiliated Campus Conflict of Interest Policy
Subject: Conflict of Interest Policy
Policy: Affiliated Campus Conflict of Interest Policy
Revised: August 24, 2012; November 16, 2012; May 3, 2017
Effective Date: May 3, 2017
Review Date: May 2020
Responsible Party: Office of Research Compliance
This policy applies to the following MSU Campuses:
- MSU Bozeman (including MSU Extension, Agricultural Experiment Stations, and Gallatin College)
- MSU Billings (including City College)
- MSU Northern
- Great Falls College MSU
For the purpose of this policy, the term “University” means all campuses listed.
The Institutional Official for each campus is:
- MSU Bozeman – Director of the Office of Research Compliance (or designee)
- MSU Billings – Director Human Resources (or designee)
- MSU Northern – Director of Human Resources (or designee)
- Great Falls College MSU – Director of Human Resources (or designee)
The administration, faculty, and staff of the campuses of Montana State University (MSU or University) all bear the responsibility of serving the respective teaching, research, and service missions of the campuses. That mission is enhanced by the sustained, active interaction of members of the University community with business, government, not-for-profit groups, professional societies, academic institutions, and other individuals and organizations. Therefore, entrepreneurial activities are encouraged that support the University’s mission through dissemination of knowledge, enhancement of educational opportunities for students, and economic development.
These many interactions and activities can, however, create the potential for conflict of interest in which University employees' external activities or interests could influence—or could appear to influence—the manner or extent to which those individuals carry out their University responsibilities. Such influences—real or apparent—may undermine public and professional confidence in the University, diminish the University’s ability to accomplish its mission, and violate state or federal law. Typically, conflicts of interest can be dealt with effectively through disclosure and other steps to resolve or manage the conflict. Thus, an integral part of this Policy is the disclosure and management system detailed in §§500-600 below.
The University is committed to fulfilling its mission with integrity and in full compliance with state and federal ethics and conflicts of interest laws and regulations and with the Montana Board of Regents Policy §770. This Policy is intended to implement the requirements contained therein. A conflict of interest may exist when an employee has a financial or personal interest in the outcome of an endeavor such that the employee’s actions or decisions could be perceived as subject to influence in favor of the employee’s interest, as more fully defined in §410.
Therefore, it is the policy of the University that in all activities—the education of students; the design, conduct, and reporting of research; the hiring and supervision of staff; the procurement of materials and services; and all other tasks incident to their mission—each campus and its employees shall endeavor to be free of inappropriate influence or bias that may result from conflicts of interest. This Policy is intended to enable employees to recognize perceived or potential conflicts of interest and, thus, to protect themselves and the University from inappropriate influence or bias through disclosure, evaluation, and, if required, management or elimination of conflicts of interest.
- Applicable law, regulation, and policy. In addition to this Policy, MSU employees’ ethical conduct is governed by:
- Montana law, Standards of Conduct—Code of Ethics, Title 2, Chapter 2, Part 1 M.C.A.
- Federal regulations governing sponsored research. For example, the National Science
Foundation and the National Institutes of Health (and all other Public Health Service
“PHS” agencies) require institutions receiving funding to have a conflict of interest
policy which complies with its regulations:
- NSF - Grantee Standards, Award and Administration Guide
- Responsibility of Applicants for Promoting Objectivity in Research for which PHS Funding is Sought (42 C.F.R. Part 50, Subpart F)
- Responsible Prospective Contractors (45 C.F.R. Part 94)
- The Board of Regents Policy § 770, Conflicts of Interest.
- The Board of Regents Policy § 407, Approval of University System Employee Equity Interest and/or Business Participation. This policy implements M.C.A. 20-25-109.
- Relevant Campus Nepotism Policies
- Billings Nepotism Policy and Procedure
- Bozeman Nepotism Policy
- Great Falls College Nepotism Policy
- MSU Northern Nepotism Policy
- MSU Consensual Romantic Relationships Policy (see 280.00)
- Relevant Campus Consulting Policies
- Billings Consulting Policy
- Faculty Consulting Policy (see 800.00)
- Professionals & Classified Consulting Policy
- Great Falls Consulting Policy
- Northern Consulting Policy
This policy applies to all employees of the University. Employees are expected to review and understand their obligations under this Policy and to be familiar with their obligations under the laws, regulations and policies referenced in §210 of this Policy.
- GENERAL DEFINITIONS
- Conflict of Interest. A conflict of interest may exist:
- When a University employee has a personal interest that could or could appear to compromise or impinge on the employee’s obligation to the University to exercise the employee’s best judgment in pursuit of the interest of the University and its students;
- When a non-University activity could or could appear to unreasonably encroach on the time an employee should devote to the affairs of the University; or
- When an employee’s non-University activities could or could appear to unreasonably impinge on or compromise the loyalty or commitment to the employee’s University duties and responsibilities.
In determining whether a Conflict of Interest exists, an important consideration is whether an independent observer might reasonably conclude that the employee’s professional actions or decisions are influenced by considerations of personal gain, financial, or otherwise.
- Institutional Official. Each campus will designate Institutional Official(s) or office to oversee the reporting, disclosure, and management of potential conflicts of interest.
- DISCLOSURE PROCEDURE
The key mechanism for implementation of this Policy is disclosure. Disclosure allows the campus and the employee to evaluate personal interests to determine if they present a conflict of interest and to take appropriate action based on the evaluation. All employees, unless exempted as provided in §530, must annually complete and submit a Conflict of Interest Disclosure Report (§520). In addition, all employees, including those exempted from the annual disclosure requirement, are required to comply with this Conflict of Interest Policy and to make disclosures of any potential conflicts of interest whenever they occur to the designated Institutional Official.
- Circumstances Requiring Disclosure. All employees must disclose the following whenever they occur. These situations apply to the employee and members of his/her family and as directly related to the employee’s University responsibilities:
510.1. Related Outside Interest. The acquisition of any personal or financial interest in an entity engaged in University commercial or research activities that may create a conflict of interest. This may include but is not limited to consulting arrangements, research activities, University contracts and agreements, or other business relationships.
510.2. Related Purchase/Sale Interest. Any financial interest of the employee or an immediate family member in an entity involved in a University purchase or sale whenever the employee is in a position to recommend or approve the purchase or sale. Such interests must be disclosed to Procurement Services for purchases and to the Property Management Department for sales. NOTE: This disclosure requirement does not include textbook adoptions when the employee is clearly identified as an author, contributor, or editor of the textbook or course material under consideration. However, faculty members should not receive a profit as a result of recommending a specific vendor for the purchase of textbooks or course materials by their students, whether online or from other sources.
510.3. Related Sponsored Research Interest. In Sponsored Research, acquisition of a Significant Financial Interest (see §1000).
510.4. Related Interest by Outside Position. The holding of an executive or officer position in or serving as a member of the board of directors of an entity engaged in University commercial or research activities.
510.5. Employee Inventor Equity Interest and/or Business Participation. Participation as an employee, officer, board member, or owner in an entity which has, or wishes to have, rights to intellectual property invented or created during the course of MSU employment per BOR §407.
510.6. Nepotism/Relationship Interest. The planned direct participation in a University decision which would or could appear to involve a direct benefit or detriment to:
A relative as defined by the relevant campus Nepotism Policy. (For MSU-Bozeman, the Nepotism Policy includes parent, grandparent, great-grandparent, child, grandchild, great-grandchild, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, or cousin, by blood relationship; spouse; or brother, sister, parent, or child of spouse; or spouse of one's brother, sister, parent or child);
A person in whom or with whom the employee has a financial interest; or
A person with whom the employee has a consensual romantic relationship.
510.7. Outside Supervisory Interest. Arrangements for the employment or use of students or employees outside the University. Such arrangements must be approved through the appropriate University channels to avoid supervisory conflicts.
- Annual Disclosure. Annually, all employees (unless exempted under §530) must complete and submit a Conflict of Interest Report as follows:
520.1. Reports shall be completed online via MyInfo upon receiving notification via email for the Bozeman Campus. Each other campus shall establish a procedure for reporting.
520.2. The employee’s completion of the report certifies that:
The employee does not have any interests which require disclosure;
The employee has a potential conflict of interest which has been duly disclosed previously and there has been no change which requires an updated disclosure; or
The employee has new interests which may create a conflict of interest and has disclosed them.
520.3. Each campus will submit an annual written conflict of interest report to the Board of Regents per BOR §770.
- Exemptions. The following groups of employees are exempt from the annual disclosure obligation, (although they remain obligated to make disclosures under § 510 above):
- Employees working less than one-half time
- Classified employees
- Disclosure Submission. All annual and new circumstantial disclosures shall be submitted to the Institutional Official or designee. Records will be made available to the employee’s supervisor. Upon request, records are also available to the appropriate Department Head, Dean or Director, and any other supervisor in the line of authority when applicable.
- DISCLOSURE REVIEW AND MANAGEMENT
- Initial Review. The Institutional Official or designee shall review all disclosures and determine whether a conflict of interest exists.
- Determination of Conflict. After the initial review, the Institutional Official or designee, along with Legal Counsel if necessary, will provide a written resolution to determine the nature of the conflict:
The disclosure does not represent a conflict that is prohibited by statute or regulation nor is it likely to influence the actions of the employee and, therefore, requires no further action;
The disclosure represents a conflict that requires management; or
The disclosure represents a conflict that must be eliminated.
- Statement of Best Interest. Whenever a decision is made to manage rather than eliminate the potential for inappropriate influence or bias in a conflict that has not been waived, the Institutional Official or designee shall make a written statement explaining why management is in the best interest of the University. Such a statement should be included in the Conflicts Management Plan.
- Conflicts Management Plan. If a conflict of interest exists and is deemed manageable, the Institutional Official or designee, the employee, a Plan Manager (§632), Conflict of Interest Committee, and any others deemed helpful in assessing the situation, will develop a written Conflicts Management Plan to manage, reduce, or eliminate the inappropriate influence or bias, or the appearance thereof. The purpose of the plan is to:
Accurately describe the potential conflicts in writing
Create explicit agreements to protect against inappropriate influence or bias
- Plan Manager. A Plan Manager is assigned to monitor the plan, ensure that safeguards are followed, and, if applicable, to monitor the employee’s professional actions or decisions related to the conflict of interest. Any individual identified to monitor a conflict must have the technical knowledge necessary to determine whether there has been inappropriate influence or bias in the results of a project, and must be free from influence of the parties to the conflicts management plan, e.g., the Plan Manager must not report to the person being monitored. Plan Managers review plans with employees annually to cover the upcoming year. Plans are updated as circumstances change, and the annual reviews continue until the conflict no longer exists. Additional monitoring may take place at any other time of year.
- APPEAL PROCEDURE
- Appeal. At MSU Bozeman, if an employee believes the conditions or restrictions in the Conflict Management Plan or the determinations of the Institutional Official are inappropriate, the employee may appeal the decision to the President, for all other campuses the request for appeal shall be submitted to the campus CEO. If the President or CEO was involved in the decision appealed then President’s or CEO’s decision is the final decision of the University. The President or CEO or designee may appoint and convene a Conflict Review Committee to provide advice on an appeal. The President’s or CEO’s decision on the appeal shall be the final decision of the University.
- Conflict Review Committee. If the President or CEO wishes to have the benefit of advice from a Conflict Review Committee, the President or CEO shall appoint a three member committee. The members shall include employees or community members who have had no involvement in the decision being appealed and who have relevant experience or training to assess the conflict.
- Montana University System Appeal. An employee who disagrees with the final decision of the University may appeal further as provided in the Board of Regents Appeal Policy, §203.5.2.
- RECORD MAINTENANCE
- The Institutional Official or designee shall maintain all disclosure and conflict management records (both general and Sponsored Research records) for the period of time required by state and federal laws and regulations. Records will be maintained in a manner to protect sensitive and confidential information.
- Breach of Policy. The University expects all employees to comply fully and promptly with all requirements of this Policy. Breaches of this Policy include, but are not limited to:
intentionally filing an incomplete, erroneous, or misleading disclosure form;
failure to provide additional information as required;
failure to provide a disclosure as required by this policy;
failure to comply with University requirements concerning the Conflict of Interest; or
failure to follow a Conflicts Management Plan.
- Disciplinary Action. A violation of this policy may be the basis for discipline of an employee and result in potential sanctions. Such discipline will be in accordance with the policies and procedures and collective bargaining agreements applicable to the particular employee. Potential sanctions may include, but are not limited to, the following:
Letter of warning
Suspension or termination of participation in a Sponsored Research grant
Removal or suspension of privileges related to the violation, such as suspension of the privilege to apply for Sponsored Research grants or contracts, to supervise graduate students, or to perform research which requires approval of any MSU Compliance or Institutional Review Board
Suspension without pay
- SPONSORED RESEARCH
The Institutional Official or designee and the University office overseeing federal grant management are responsible for compliance duties related to conflicts of interest in Sponsored Research. As a University that receives U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) funding, including National Institutes of Health (NIH), the University has adopted PHS terminology and perspective for reviewing sponsored research conflicts related to any funding agency. For reporting purposes, the interest threshold at which the University must disclose varies by agency.
While acting within the law, the intent of this policy is to identify conflicts and manage them by defining the boundaries within which conflicts occur while allowing investigators to proceed with their research. The primary goal is to maintain objectivity in research by establishing standards to ensure that there is no reasonable expectation that the design, conduct, or reporting of research will be biased by a Financial Conflict of Interest of an Investigator.
- Sponsored Research Definitions.
- Financial Conflict of Interest (FCOI). A significant financial interest that could directly and significantly affect the design, conduct, or reporting of research.
- Financial Interest. Anything of monetary value, whether or not the value is readily ascertainable.
- Immediate Family. The employee’s spouse and dependent children.
- Institutional Responsibilities. An Investigator's professional responsibilities on behalf of the University including activities such as research, research consultation, teaching, professional practice, institutional committee memberships, and service on panels such as Institutional Review Boards or other institutional committees.
- Investigator. The Project Director or Principal Investigator and any other person, regardless of title or position, who is responsible for the design, conduct, or reporting of funded research, or proposed for such funding, which may include, for example, graduate research assistants, collaborators, or consultants.
- Manage. Taking action to address a FCOI, which can include reducing or eliminating the FCOI, to ensure, to the extent possible, that the design, conduct, and reporting of research will be free from bias.
- Senior/Key Personnel. The Project Director/Principal Investigator and any other person identified as senior/key personnel by the University in the grant application, progress report, or any other report submitted to PHS
- Significant Financial Interest (SFI). Consists of one or more of the following interests of the Investigator (and the Investigator’s Immediate Family) that reasonably appears to be related to the Investigator’s Institutional Responsibilities received from an entity within twelve months preceding the disclosure. For purposes of this definition, “compensation” includes salary and any payment for services not otherwise identified as salary (e.g., consulting fees, honoraria, paid authorship); equity interest includes any stock, stock option, or other ownership interest, as determined through reference to public prices or other reasonable measures of fair market value:
For any publicly traded entity, SFI is compensation and equity interest totaling $5,000 or greater.
For any non-publicly traded entity, SFI is compensation of $5,000 or greater and/or any level of equity interest.
Non-University intellectual property rights and interests (e.g., patents, copyrights), upon receipt of income related to such rights and interests.
Significant Financial Interest does not include:
Salary, royalties, or other compensation received from or through the University if the Investigator is currently employed or otherwise appointed by the University.
Intellectual property rights assigned to the University and agreements to share in royalties related to such rights.
Income from seminars, lectures, or teaching engagements sponsored by governments, institutions of higher education, academic teaching hospitals, medical centers, or research institutes affiliated with institutions of higher education.
Income from service on advisory committees or review panels for governments, institutions of higher education, academic teaching hospitals, medical centers or research institutes affiliated with institutions of higher education.
Investments in and income from investment vehicles, such as mutual funds and retirement accounts as long as the employee does not directly control the investment decisions made in these vehicles.
- Sponsored Research. Research, creative activities, scholarship, training and instructional projects involving funds, materials, or other compensation from outside sources under agreement. Research in this context means a systematic investigation, study or experiment designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge. The term encompasses basic and applied research (e.g., a published article, book or book chapter) and product development (e.g., a diagnostic test or drug). This may also include a research grant, career development award, center grant, individual fellowship award, infrastructure award, institutional training grant, program project, or research resources award.
- Sponsored Research Disclosures and Review.
- Sponsored Research Disclosure. In Sponsored Research, all Investigators must disclose any SFIs and PHS Sponsored Travel prior to the University expenditure of funds.
- Disclosure Prior to Proposal Submission. Disclosure to the University shall be made before submitting a proposal for funding. On the MSU-Bozeman campus, employees will use the forms included with the e-Proposal Clearance Form (ePCF) via the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP), covering the previous 12 months of activity. The questions contained in the ePCF shall provide the vehicle to inform Investigators of this Policy, their disclosure responsibilities, and federal regulation.
- Disclosure During Sponsored Research. For as long as the Sponsored Research continues, new Investigators and existing Investigators acquiring new interests shall disclose SFI and/or PHS Sponsored Travel to the University that would reasonably appear to be related to the Investigator’s Institutional Responsibilities within 30 days of discovering or acquiring (e.g., through purchase, marriage, or inheritance). All disclosures must be also updated on the Annual Report per §520 during the period of the award.
- Disclosure Review. The Institutional Official or designee shall review all Investigator disclosures prior to funding expenditure to determine if the SFI is a FCOI by evaluating (1) whether the Investigator’s SFI could be affected by the research or the research could affect the entity in which the Investigator has an interest, and, if so, (2) whether the interest could directly and significantly affect the design, conduct, or reporting of the research. If a FCOI exists, appropriate action to manage the conflict will be taken as provided below in §1031.
- PHS Sponsored Travel Disclosure. Travel that is paid on behalf of a PHS Investigator related to their Institutional Responsibilities; provided however, that this disclosure requirement does not apply to travel that is reimbursed or sponsored by governments, an institution of higher education, an academic teaching hospital, a medical center, or a research institute that is affiliated with an institution of higher education. The disclosure must include:
the purpose of the travel;
the identity of the sponsor;
the duration of the travel; and
any additional information requested by the University, including monetary value, in order to determine whether the travel constitutes an FCOI
- Sponsored Research Conflicts Management.
- Sponsored Research Conflicts Management Plan. If the Institutional Official determines the SFI constitutes as FCOI, a conflicts management plan may be implemented. The plan may employ safeguard strategies including, but not limited to, the following:
Public disclosure of FCOI (e.g., when presenting or publishing the research);
For research projects involving human subjects research, disclosure of financial conflicts of interest directly to participants;
Appointment of an independent monitor capable of taking measures to protect the design, conduct, and reporting of the research against bias resulting from the financial conflict of interest;
Modification of the research plan;
Change of personnel or personnel responsibilities, or disqualification of personnel from participation in all or a portion of the research;
Reduction or elimination of the financial interest (e.g., sale of an equity interest); or
Severance of relationships that create financial conflicts.
- Sponsored Research Reporting and Records.
- FCOI Reporting. As applicable by agency, the University will provide the Investigator’s FCOI and implemented management reports to the funding agency. PHS FCOI Reports shall contain all the agency designated elements and will be submitted:
Prior to the expenditure of PHS funds;
Within 60 days of discovering or acquiring a new FCOI of an Investigator on any PHS-funded research; and
Annually for ongoing, managed FCOI cases.
- No Reporting for Elimination of Conflict. In cases in which the University identifies a FCOI and eliminates it prior to the expenditure of awarded funds, the University shall not submit an FCOI report to the awarding agency.
- PHS Public Reporting Requirements. The University will make information concerning identified FCOI held by Senior/Key Personnel on PHS-funded research to any written request within five business days of a request in accordance with the requirements of the PHS FCOI regulations.
- Record Retention. Records of all conflicts disclosures submitted with grant proposals and records of actions related to such disclosures shall be maintained in the grant or contract file for the length of time specified by the funding agency, typically three years from the date of submission of the final expenditure report.
- Sponsored Research Noncompliance.
- PHS Retrospective Review and Remedies. Within 120 days of a determination of noncompliance, the University will complete a retrospective review of the Investigator's activities and the research project to determine whether any research conducted during the time period of the noncompliance, was biased in the design, conduct, or reporting of such research. The University will document the retrospective review, retain all information, and submit a mitigation report if necessary as required by agency regulations. Such noncompliance may occur:
When a FCOI is not identified or managed in a timely manner (including failure by the Investigator to disclose a SFI that is determined to constitute a FCOI);
When there is failure by the University to review or manage such a FCOI; or
When there is failure by the Investigator to comply with a Sponsored Research Conflicts Management Plan.
- The noncompliance provisions of §900 will also apply to sponsored research noncompliance.
- PHS Training. PHS Investigators must complete Conflict of Interest Training prior to engaging in research related to any PHS-funded grant and at least every four years thereafter, and immediately when any of the following circumstances apply:
The University revises its financial conflict of interest policies or procedures in any manner that affects the requirements of Investigators;
An Investigator is new to the University; or
The University finds that an Investigator is not in compliance with the Institution's financial conflict of interest policy or management plan.
- PHS Subrecipients. When the University carries out PHS-funded research through a subrecipient (e.g., subcontractors or consortium members), the (prime awardee) institution’s office overseeing federal grant management will take reasonable steps to ensure that any subrecipient Investigator complies by written agreement with the subrecipient terms that establish whether the FCOI policy of the awardee Institution or that of the subrecipient will apply to the subrecipient's Investigators in accordance with PHS regulations.
Introduction and Purpose
This policy is being introduced as required by the Federal Trade Commission under the Gramm-Leach Bliley (GLB) Act.
At Montana State University, safeguarding the privacy and confidentiality of personal information is important. As an institution of higher education, we collect, retain, and use personal non-public information about individual students and staff members. We may collect personal information from such sources as hard copy applications, electronic forms, background checks, or over the Internet. The objectives of our information security program are to ensure the security and confidentiality of such personal information; to protect against any anticipated threats to its security or integrity; and to guard it against unauthorized access to or use.
Any sharing of nonpublic personal information about our students or employees must be done in strict adherence to the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) guidelines. The University may exchange such information with certain nonaffiliated third parties (under limited circumstances) to the extent permissible under law. Examples may include (but are not limited to) medical insurance institutions or credit card processing software companies.
We restrict access to student and employee information only to those employees who have business reasons to know such information, and we educate our employees and contract service providers about the importance of confidentiality and privacy.
In order to provide adequate safeguards over customers' credit card data and electronic addresses as they are received over the Web, the university will adhere to the following minimum technical specifications:
- Any server on the University network that makes non-personal public information available must be certified secure. A copy of the security certificate must be forwarded to UIT before any such server is connected to the network.
- Customer information, including credit card data, must be reasonably secured against disclosure and modification.
- The University must oversee local and contracted service providers by taking steps to select and retain providers that are PCI-DSS compliant.
- MSU will contractually require service providers to implement and maintain such safeguards; and
- MSU will periodically evaluate, based on results of testing and monitoring, any material changes to the service providers' operations.
Departments may develop Web pages to accept payment by credit card under the following circumstances:
The department must complete the application for Authorization to Process Bankcard Transactions to apply to become an authorized merchant department and return it to University Business Services. (Request MSU startup procedures for processing credit cards from University Business Services). Procedures for timely deposit of credit card transactions and safe and proper handling of the data must be followed.
The department must also complete the application for Authorization to Process Bankcard Transactions Over the Internet, requesting approval from University Business Services, Institutional Audit & Advisory Services, and UIT before the Web page is approved to be put into production.
UIT will review, at the department's own expense, the department's hardware and software to ensure that the server is secure and the program requirements for a secure Internet site have been adhered to. (See Procedures below). Institutional Audit & Advisory Services will review the department's internal procedures to ensure that personal information is handled utilizing reasonable confidentiality security practices.
The following safeguards should be in place:
- Personal computers containing confidential information must be secure.
- Adequate internal controls regarding separation of duties must be in place.
- It is the merchant department's responsibility to maintain the customer's credit card or e-mail information in a confidential manner as shown in PCI-DSS Procedures Departmental Agreement Form.
- Any hard copy documents containing confidential information must be shredded in a timely manner.
- The merchant department must follow the MSU Business Procedures Manual Section 350.00 regarding procedures for safe handling of money deposits.
- Approvals - Obtain approvals from the UIT, Institutional Audit & Advisory Services, and University Business Services by completing the required forms.
- Program Requirements - Follow these procedures to establish a secure Internet site.
- Install and maintain an effective network firewall to protect data accessible via the Internet.
- Keep operating system and application software security patches up-to-date.
- Encrypt stored data.
- Encrypt data sent across open networks.
- Use and regularly update anti-virus software.
- Develop adequate office procedures for staff or contract service providers to maintain
secure information as shown in PCI-DSS Procedures Departmental Agreement Form.
- Restrict access to data by business "need-to-know".
- Assign a unique ID to each person with computer access to data.
- Do not use vendor-supplied defaults for system passwords and others security parameters.
- Track access to data by unique ID.
- Regularly test security systems and processes.
- Maintain a policy that addresses information security for employees and contractors.
- Restrict physical access to cardholder information.
Segregation of duties is important to protect against fraud and maintain confidentiality.
- Individuals who collect monies and/or write receipts may not be the same individuals who account for deposits.
- Different Individuals are to perform the following functions:
- Collecting monies and preparing receipts
- Depositing receipts
- Accounting for receipts
- Limit access to information such as ID and credit card numbers only to those individuals who need to know.
- Protect and shred confidential information.
- Small departments that do not have sufficient staff to meet ideal segregation of duties requirements must ensure that detailed supervisory review compensates for this weakness.
Effective Date and Review
These procedures are effective immediately.
University Business Services will review and update this policy annually.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records.
Right of Access
Students at Montana State University may access to their educational records. This includes nearly all information maintained by the university which is directly related to the student. In most cases, an educational record that's "directly related to a student," consists of grades and semester enrollment. Students have the right to review their educational record within 45 days of the day the university receives a request for access. Students should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The university official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the university official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
Note: Students must provide photo identification in order to access their education records.
Right to Amend
The right to request the amendment of the student's education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading. Students who believe their record is inaccurate or misleading should write to the university official responsible for the record. Clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the university decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the university will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing about the request for amendment. Additional information about the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
Note: FERPA does not address grade disputes or grievances, which are pursued through other university and/or college procedures. Students should consult section 530.00 of the Student Code of Conduct.
The Right to Consent
At institutions of higher education, students may authorize the release of their educational records--but the student has the exclusive right to decide whether or not to authorize the release. This means that, in most cases, even a student's parent may not demand the release of the student's educational record. Moreover, students' access to their own educational records--as well as the right to limit disclosure of those records--continues even after they graduate or otherwise leave the institution.
A student may give consent in writing to release their enrollment information to a third party, this includes a letter of verification or an official transcript. Students may also complete a FERPA Release to have certain information made available to their parent or guardian.
Disclosure of Directory Information can be made without a student's consent.
Disclosure without consent is also permitted to school officials with legitimate educational interests. School officials include administrators, faculty, professional staff, academic advisors, clerical or support employees, including MSU law enforcement unit personnel and MSU health staff; volunteers; a person or company with whom the university has contracted as its agent, acting with a legitimate educational interest, to provide a service instead of using university employees or officials (such as an attorney, auditor, collection agent, service provider); a person serving on the Board of Regents; staff in the Alumni Association and MSU Foundation offices; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the interest in an education record is justified under one or more of the following conditions:
the information or records requested are relevant and necessary to accomplish some task or determination related to the legitimate educational interest of the student
the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for the university
the task or determination is an employment responsibility or a properly assigned subject for the inquirer's determination and/or
the task or determination is consistent with the purpose for which the records, information, or data are maintained.
Letters of Recommendation
Occasionally, a school official may be asked, or volunteer, to write a letter of recommendation on behalf of a student.
This usually would not require the student's written release or authorization. But if the letter includes information that falls within FERPA's definition of educational records--such as grade point average or class ranking--the student's written consent to include such information would be necessary.
The University has designated certain information as “directory information” which it may disclose without the student’s written consent. Montana State University has designated the following as directory information:
- name, campus address, home address, telephone listing and campus email address.
- state of residence
- age, date, and place of birth
- sex and marital status
- name of advisor
- name and address of parent(s)
- major field of study, including the college, division, department, or program in which the student is enrolled
- classification as a freshman, sophomore, junior, senior, or graduate student, or by number referring to such cases
- participation in officially recognized activities and sports
- weight and height of members of athletic teams
- dates of attendance and graduation, and degrees received
- the most recent educational institutional attended
- honors and awards received, including selection to a Dean’s list or honorary organization, and the grade point average of students selected
- photographic, video or electronic images of students taken and maintained by the University
Any student may refuse to permit the university from designating any or all of the personally identifiable information designated as directory information with regard to his or her records. Any student wishing to exercise this right must inform the University Registrar in writing no later than the10th class day of the semester, of the categories of personally identifiable information which are not to be designated as directory information with respect to that student.
FERPA permits the disclosure of certain information from the students’ education records without the consent of the student if the disclosure meets certain conditions as outlined in the federal regulations (34 C.F.R. §99.31. The University will comply with the requirements of FERPA as outlined in 20 U.S.C. 1232G and 34 C.F.R., Part 99.
If you believe Montana State University is not complying with state or federal regulations regarding FERPA or other privacy protections, please bring the Registrar's Office or Legal Council your concerns to see if we can agree upon a resolution. Every effort will be made to address your concern; if you are not satisfied; you have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Montana State University to comply with the requirements of FERPA. A complaint may be filed in writing with the Department of Education at the following address: Family Policy Compliance Office U.S. Department of Education 400 Maryland Avenue, SW Washington, DC, 20202.
Education Record —Any record(s) directly related to a student and maintained by MSU or by a party acting for the university. Education records include any information or data recorded in any medium, including but not limited to handwriting, print, computer media, video or audio tape, film, microfilm, and microfiche.
Personally Identifiable Information —Includes not only the name of the student and other personal identifiers, but also a list or description of personal characteristics or any other information that, alone or in combination, is linked or linkable to a specific student that would allow a reasonable person in the school community, who does not have personal knowledge of the student and/or relevant circumstances, to identify the student with reasonable certainty. Further, personally identifiable information includes all information about a student that is not defined as directory information, as well as any information that the student has indicated may not be released, including directory information.
Student —Any individual formally admitted who is or has been in attendance at MSU. The term does not apply to applicants for admission, nor does it apply to persons who have been admitted but who have not registered.
Enterprise Data Stewardship Policy
Subject: Information Technology
Revised: July 25, 2017
Effective: October 4, 2017
Review Date: October 2020
Responsible Party: Chief Information Officer
Data associated with administrative functions and research activity is a vital asset to the University. As such, maintaining the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of University data is critical to the success of the University. The University expects all stewards and custodians of its administrative and research data to manage, access, and utilize this data in a manner in accordance with this policy.
Proper stewardship of data protects against misuse while providing for appropriate use, balancing the three core values of availability, integrity, and confidentiality.
200.10 Board of Regents policies governing the use of university information technology apply to all University faculty, staff, students, and patrons. All users of University information technology must comply with MSU Enterprise policies as well as Board of Regents policies, state and federal law. References to associated policies and laws are provided in section 400.00.
200.20 All University information that is stored, processed or distributed is subject to the specific parameters of the University Data Stewardship Guidelines, Board of Regents policies, Montana state government policies, Montana State University policies, and state or federal laws as they may apply.
200.30 Data collected and/or produced under programs supported through external funds may also fall under requirements specific to the funding agency.
200.40 Certain University authorities are identified as Data Stewards with responsibility for the protection and appropriate use of data on their campus .
200.50 All University constituents shall understand and comply with the Data Stewardship practices on their campus as codified in 300.00 below.
200.60 Individuals who create, collect, handle, or manage data are responsible for complying with the Data Stewardship Standards.
200.70 Responsibilities are assigned to specific Data Stewards and detailed in each campus’ Data Stewardship Procedures. The following positions are the official top-level Data Stewards for each campus data area. Responsibility for data elements may be delegated by the Data Steward to different individuals; however, the Data Steward retains ultimate accountability for proper stewardship.
Any delegation of stewardship responsibility shall be documented and communicated
to the Chief Information Officer and Legal Counsel. This data shall be reviewed annually
by the Data Governance Council.
|Data Type||MSU-Billings||MSU-Bozeman||Great Falls College MSU||MSU-Northern|
|Student Data1||Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs||Vice President for Student Success||Assistant Dean of Student Services||Registrar|
|Instructional Data2||Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs||Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost||Chief Academic Officer||Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs|
|Financial Data3||Vice Chancellor of Administrative Services||Vice President, Administration and Finance||Chief Financial Officer||Vice Chancellor for Finance and Business|
|Personnel Data4||Vice Chancellor of Administrative Services||Chief Human Resources Officer||Chief Student Affairs & Human Resources Officer||Director of Human Resources|
|Research Data5||Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs||Vice President of Research & Economic Development||Chief Academic Officer||Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs|
1 Student Data examples: GIDs, grades, application information
2 Instructional Data examples: faculty teaching loads, student credit hour production, promotion and tenure
3 Financial Data examples: Credit card and banking information, Student Loan Balances and payment information
4 Personnel Data examples: social security numbers, financial information, birthdates
5 Research Data examples: research expenditures, research personnel and activities, and research products created by Montana State faculty or staff
The authority to interpret this policy rests with the President and is delegated to the Chief Information Officer, University Legal Counsel and the Data Governance Council, in conjunction with the appropriate Data Stewards.
Individual campuses maintain campus-specific standards and procedures that implement this policy. Constituents will be required to comply with any standards and procedures developed for their campus:
Great Falls College MSU
* MSU agencies follow MSU-Bozeman campus procedures
Report broken links to PMO@montana.edu.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), available at http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html.
Gramm-leach-Bliley (GLB), available at http://business.ftc.gov/privacy-and-security/gramm-leach-bliley-act.
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), available at http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/index.html.
MUS Board of Regents policy 1300.1 Security of Data and Information Technology Resources, available at http://mus.edu/borpol/bor1300/bor1300.asp.
MUS Board of Regents policy 1306. Logging On and Off Computers, available at http://www.mus.edu/borpol/bor1300/bor1300.asp.
“Constituent” refers to any individual or group associated with the University including students, staff, faculty, or patrons as well as any contractors, regents, committees, councils, groups, agencies, departments, entities, campus, or community.
“Data Steward” refers to a University authority, or designate, who has management responsibility for defined segments of institutional data.
“Information Technology” or “IT” refers to any resource related to the access and use of digitized information, including but not limited to hardware, software, devices, appliances, network bandwidth and resources.
“University” refers to any and all campuses, agencies, departments, or entities within the Montana State University enterprise.
“University authority” refers to an official of the University with significant responsibility for campus activities, who has the authority and duty to respond to issues on behalf of an institution, including but not limited to a Vice President, Provost, Chief Information Officer, Dean, or Athletic Director.
“University Legal Counsel” refers to the University’s attorney and/or designated legal staff based at MSU-Bozeman.
Facility Safety Plan
Effective Date: 01/15/2012
Revision Date: 01/25/13; 3/15/15; 1/28/19
Responsible Party: Safety Committee, Montana Weatherization Training Center
Introduction and Purpose:
The Montana Weatherization Center is a branch of the Montana State University Extension Service. The Weatherization Center’s Function is to provide building weatherization training to non MSU employees. As a result, both MSU and non MSU employees are in the facility. Classroom and hands on training with power and hand tools takes place in the facility. The Montana Weatherization Center employees and students will comply with all applicable OSHA Regulations.
The facility resides in the City Limits of Bozeman and is protected by professional Fire and Police Departments. The building is a two story facility. The building is protected with properly located portable multipurpose fire extinguishers, an automatic fire alarm warning system, an automatic fire sprinkler system, and emergency lighting. The facility is in compliance with all applicable building, fire, and mechanical codes for the time it was constructed.
Emergency Response may include response to fire, hazardous atmosphere or condition, bomb threat, intruder, or serious injury to employee or student.
Facility Evacuation maps are placed at or near each exit from the facility to be clearly visible by both employees and students. Employees are instructed to provide exiting and evacuation procedures to students at the beginning of training. Primary and secondary pre-designated personnel assembly points are established well away from the facility for both employees and students. Employees are instructed to call 911 immediately in the event of any fire. Use of portable fire extinguishers to fight any fire should only be done if the fire is small in size; the employee has been trained in their operation, and can do so safely without becoming trapped. In general all employees and students are encouraged to evacuate the building as quickly as possible. No person shall re-enter the facility until given permission by emergency responders.
Discovery or suspicion of any hazardous atmosphere shall result in notification to occupants, calling 911 and immediate evacuation of the facility. Occupant notification is best accomplished by activating a manual fire alarm pull station. Employees and students shall gather well away from the facility at one of the pre-designated assembly points, preferably upwind. No person shall re-enter the facility until given permission by emergency responders.
Remain inside if inside, stay away from walls, watch for falling light fixtures, glass etc. Protection may be found under strong doorways, desks, or tables. If outside, avoid tall buildings, falling objects, and downed power lines. Protection may be found in the nearest strong building.
Call 911, relay any information gathered about the threat, and follow instructions provided.
Call 911, follow any instructions regarding evacuation or lock down.
The facility is equipped with an Automated External Defibrillator (AED), First Aid Kits, and Eyewash Stations. Visible signage is located near all the devices. In the event of a serious injury to an employee or student, 911 should be called immediately. Care should be provided only if there will be no additional injuries to the rescuer, and in accordance with the level of training of the rescuer. Any available person will be assigned outside to direct emergency responders in.
Students and employees shall be expected to have and wear proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) while operating any power tools, pneumatic equipment, or while working in any other potentially dangerous environment. This includes, but is not limited to, foot and hand protection, head protection, hearing protection, eye protection, respiratory protection, and disease transmission protection. Failure to wear proper PPE may result in disciplinary action.
Training personnel shall promote a safe work environment and exercise safe work practices at all times. In the case of extreme situations, as outlined below, staff shall adhere to these safety guidelines and those stated in the MSU Environmental, Health, Safety and Risk Management Policy posted at http://www.montana.edu/policy/environment-health-safety/.
Training personnel shall maintain current industry safety certifications pertinent to their position including but not limited to EPA Lead Renovation Repair and Painting Rule, OSHA 10/30 Construction Workplace, Asbestos Inspector, Respiratory Protection, AED/CPR, First Aid and others as may be requested by the MTWTC Director. Staff shall provide photocopies of all safety certifications to the MTWTC to be kept in their personnel files.
All staff shall familiarizer themselves with and know when to use:
- The SRM Report of Incident form located at http://www.montana.edu/srm/insurance/incidentreporting.html;
- The Workplace Self-Inspection Checklist forms located at http://www.montana.edu/srm/ehs/resources.html.
All incident and inspection forms shall be routed to the Director. Incident reports involving vehicles shall be forwarded to MSU Safety and Risk Management.
Power equipment and hand tools shall remain in good repair. All equipment and tools to be used in trainings shall be tested and confirmed in proper operating condition prior to class use. Electrical equipment and cords shall be properly grounded. Power cords shall be disconnected, coiled, secured and stored away from traffic areas. Machine guards shall be in place and in use whenever the equipment is being used. Equipment and power tools found to be in disrepair shall be taken out of service until proper repair or replacement is accomplished. Power sources to any power or pneumatic equipment shall be secured prior to any work being done on the equipment; this includes, but is not limited to, blade or bit changes, or any repair work. Work areas and exit ways throughout the building shall remain clear to prevent tripping or fall hazards, and to allow for unhindered evacuation during an emergency. Flammable or combustible materials shall not be stored inside except in allowable quantities as allowed by the 2009 International Fire Code, or unless they are stored in an approved Flammable Liquid Storage Cabinet.
When warranted, students receive indoctrination training on emergency procedures, and proper PPE and machine usage upon their arrival. Employees receive at least annual training in the following subjects; Facility Safety Plan, Emergency Procedures and Building Evacuation, General Fire Safety and Use of Portable Fire Extinguishers, Basic First Aid, AED Use, Hazard Communications, Proper selection, fit, and use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Machine Guarding, and Proper Lifting Techniques.
The Safety Committee includes all Center program and support staff and meets once per year. The Facility Safety Plan is reviewed and updated annually at the time that the MTWTC Scope of Work is revised for funding renewal.
Management System Policy Statement
Effective date: 10/23/2012; revised 12/22/2013, 04/28/2015
Review date: Annually
Responsible Party: Director, Montana Weatherization Training Center
Introduction and Purpose:
The Montana Weatherization Training Center is committed to providing quality educational services to professionals working in fields devoted to improving energy efficiency to existing housing.
To achieve this objective the Center commits to:
- Provide up-to-date and relevant training in weatherization fundamentals and best practices, heating system efficiency and maintenance, health and safety issues for workers and their clients and energy efficiency alternatives for homeowners.
- Require that all instructors, including short-term hires, are provided and required to use MTWTC-approved materials and procedures for courses.
- Operate and maintain the Center as a safe and accessible learning environment for all participants.
- Provide continuing professional development opportunities for staff to assure students and participants are exposed to high quality instructors.
- Provide quality equipment and laboratory situations to enhance the learning experience of students and ensure their safety while participating in courses.
- Adhere to Montana State University policies and procedures for student rights and protection of information.
- Comply with State of Montana and Montana State University business and purchasing practices.
- Review all policies, practices, course content and equipment, at a minimum, on an annual basis to evaluate and improve the functioning of the Center.
MTWTC policies are provided to all staff in the Policy Manual as part of their orientation at time of hire. This includes contractors that may be hired to fulfill training duties in the case of interruptions and changes in personnel. Subsequently the Center Director and others, as appropriate, review Center policies and procedures as outlined in the Center’s Management Review Policy.
- quality and relevant trainings, staff and management follow the guidelines set out in the Commitment to Quality Policy, Contracted Trainer Qualifications Policy, Curriculum Development Policy and are dedicated to the mission of the MTWTC.
- a safe and accessible learning environment, staff and management follow MSU and State of Montana policies for facility safety, equal access to all, protection of student information and document security.
- continuing professional development of trainers, MTWTC management facilitates staff training opportunities both in-house and off-site and follows the Contracted Trainer Qualifications Policy when outside trainers are needed.
- quality equipment and laboratory situations, management and staff evaluate classroom and lab props as-needed. At the end of reach training instructors assess equipment and training materials and make necessary upgrades, with management participation.
- protect student rights, staff and management follow MSU policies for equal access to all, protection of student information and document security.
- business is conducted professionally, MTWTC management follows MSU and State of Montana business policies and attends sponsored trainings to stay current with revisions and updates to those polices.
- management review, the Center Director and staff conduct an annual review of all Center policies per the Management Review Policy and make adjustments and updates as necessary.
The Center Director is responsible for initiating all management system processes and may delegate authority to staff to complete tasks as needed.
Trainee Name: _______________________________________
Class Name: _________________________________________
Date of Complaint: ____________________________________
Trainer Name: ________________________________________
Please describe your complaint below:
Trainee Signature: ___________________________________________ Date:_____________________