Q&A: Student Code of Conduct

What You Need to Know...the COB's Student Code of Conduct

We interviewed Dr. Robert Sutton, Associate Dean of the College of Business, to learn about the COB Student Code of Conduct to find out what it is and why we need one.

The following information addresses questions pertaining to the College of Business implementing student and faculty/staff/administrator codes of conduct.

"Essentially a code of conduct is promoting the type of behavior that you would always be proud to tell your mother about."

—Dr. Robert Sutton

BizWire: What is a Code of Conduct?

Sutton: According to Webster’s Dictionary, a code is “a system of principles or rules.” So a code of conduct is a set of rules that guide your behavior and gives you standards by which you live and work. Many professions such as accountants, physicians, engineers, lawyers, researchers and many others have a code of conduct. These codes may not all use the same terminology but they are essentially codes of conduct. Codes of conduct are intended to promote professional behavior in fields in which the practitioners work on their own with little oversight, and provide guidance for situations in which the practitioner could participate in unprofessional behavior. Webster defines professional as “characterized by or conforming to the technical or ethical standards of a profession.” The codes of conduct are implemented to promote a high level of ethical behavior among the members of that profession/society. Essentially a code of conduct is promoting the type of behavior that you would always be proud to tell your mother about.

BizWire: Why do we have one?

Sutton: The College of Business has two codes of conduct, one for students and one for faculty, staff, and administrators. As members of the college, we want everyone who is connected with the college to act professionally and in a way that would always reflect positively on the college and your chosen profession. People outside a profession gauge a profession by observing its members. If a member of a profession is observed acting unprofessionally or even worse, illegally, it reflects negatively on all members. We want everyone connected to the college to act professionally at all times and in everything they do.

BizWire: Do other schools have one?

Sutton: Yes, hundreds of other business schools have codes of conduct. The college’s accrediting agency, AACSB International, strongly encourages all of its member schools to have codes of conduct. Given that there are almost 12,000 business schools world-wide and approximately half are members of AACSB, there are many business schools that have codes of conduct. In addition, it is highly probable that you would find that many of the schools who are not members of AACSB also have codes of conduct.

BizWire: What impact will the Code of Conduct have on the College?

Sutton: The codes of conduct should have a positive impact on the college. Implementing a code of conduct can build trust and integrity among the members in a unit and create a more open environment. For example, students can have confidence in knowing they will be treated fairly and with respect. Faculty can have confidence in knowing that students are following the student code of conduct which promotes ethical behavior in all course related activities. How will the faculty and staff use it? All the faculty will discuss the student code of conduct in their classes at the beginning of each semester. In addition, the college is setting up an electronic system for the students to sign-off on the code when they are admitted to the college. The intent is to promote ethical behavior and to get people to think about the ethical implications of their decisions.

BizWire: Where can I find the college’s codes of conduct?

Sutton: The student code of conduct will be included in all of your business course syllabi and can be located on the College of Business website along with the Faculty and Professional Academic Staff code of conduct.

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