Faculty Handbook - version 8/12
Handbook for contracts dated prior to 7/1/03 (PDF)
Index | Faculty Senate | UNCA


8.1 Student Handbook

The UNCA Student Handbook is available from the Office of Student Life. It contains information on policies and procedures relating to students. A copy is distributed to each department Chair each year.  The Handbook also can be downloaded as a PDF file at http://www.unca.edu/StudentAffairs/handbook.pdf.

8.2 Awards and Grants

8.2.1 Recognition of Student Achievements

An awards ceremony is held each Spring to honor student recipients of academic and campus leadership awards. Departments may present student awards at this ceremony. Contact the Division of Student Affairs for more information (http://www.unca.edu/sdev/).

8.2.2 Scholarships

The Financial Aid Office has information and applications for both on-campus and off-campus scholarship programs. Some of these scholarships require students to qualify for financial aid. Encourage students to take advantage of these opportunities.  More information is available at http://www.unca.edu/financialaid.

8.2.3 Undergraduate Research Council

Contact the Office of Undergraduate Research (http://www.unca.edu/urp/) for information and applications for these funds available to students to do research. These grants may include funds for the student to travel to the National Undergraduate Research Conference.

8.3 Rights and Responsibilities

8.3.1 Academic Honesty (SD4396S)

Any act of plagiarism or cheating is academic dishonesty. A person who knowingly assists another in cheating is likewise guilty of cheating. According to the instructor's view of the gravity of the offense, a student may be punished by a failing grade or a grade of zero for the assignment or test, or a failing grade in the course. If it seems warranted, the instructor may also recommend to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs dismissal or other serious University sanction.

A student accused of academic dishonesty should talk with his or her instructor. In all situations where a student has been disciplined for plagiarism or cheating, the instructor is to submit to the VCAA a brief statement of the case; the student is to receive a copy of this document. Depending upon the severity and/or repetition of the offense, the VCAA may choose to impose a penalty of cancellation of graduation with honors; cancellation of scholarships; dismissal from the university; or any other penalty which he or she deems logical and deserved. A student has 10 class days to respond to this document, in writing; this response is to be sent to the VCAA for attachment to the document submitted by the instructor.

The student may choose to contact the Faculty Conciliator, who will advise the student of his or her rights, and attempt to mediate between the student and the instructor before proceeding to bring the case before the Academic Appeals Board. If the student is satisfied with the results of this mediation, then the formal hearing before the Board will not take place. The request for this formal hearing must be made by the student within ten class days of receiving the copy of the instructor's statement to the VCAA.

8.3.2 Policy on Academic Misconduct (SD2282)

Charges of Academic Misconduct 
In the event that an instructor accuses a student of academic misconduct, the student has the right to a hearing to determine the question of fact. Pursuant to that determination, disciplinary action such as the lowering of a grade due to the alleged action will be held in abeyance. In determining the facts the burden of proof will be upon the instructor who makes the allegation.

Academic Misconduct is any act that constitutes cheating or plagiarism.

Step 1. The student shall request a hearing by conferring with the Faculty Conciliator (see Section 10.3.3) within ten class days of the accusation. Failure to meet this time limit is taken as acknowledgment that the instructor's charge is true and any right to a later hearing is forfeited.

Step 2. The Faculty Conciliator will in writing request from the instructor a written statement of the charge, and the nature of the evidence upon which the charge rests. Upon receipt of this, the Conciliator may attempt to resolve the matter directly.

Step 3. If this appears to be inappropriate or is unsuccessful, the Conciliator forwards a copy of the instructor's charge to the student and to the Chair of the Academic Appeals Boards (AAB, see Section 10.2.7).

*Step 4. The Chair of the AAB will convene the hearing no sooner than five class days or later than 10 class days after receipt of the statement of charges. At the closed hearing, the instructor as well as the student will be present. Witnesses for either party may be called in to present evidence. After the instructor has presented the charge and supporting evidence, the student has the opportunity to be heard and to present evidence and his explanation of what took place in the matter of academic misconduct.

Step 5. The AAB by a simple majority of those present shall determine the question of fact based upon the preponderance of evidence. The AAB Chair shall then notify in writing both parties to the Hearing. If it is found that the instructor has not prove the case against the student, the AAB should indicate in writing that any action taken by the instructor to lower the student's grade or otherwise punish the student on the basis of the original accusation would not be justified by the evidence.

A statement of the AAB's findings shall be forwarded to the Registrar's Office for inclusion in the student's file.

Step 6. If the AAB determines that this is a second offense or more by the student, it may recommend dismissal to the VCAA.

*A class day is any day in which the University is in session according to the academic fall-spring calendar. If the student is unable to file a grievance due to the end of classes for the summer, the student must notify the Conciliator in writing within 20 days of his intention to file when classes resume in the fall.

8.3.3 Class Attendance (see Section

8.3.4 Student Grievance Procedure (SD2981; See also the UNCA Student Handbook)

A student grievance procedure exists to serve all enrolled students at UNCA in the event that they judge they have been improperly or unfairly treated in academic matters. The detailed procedure may be found in the Student Handbook. It should be noted that written notice of the grievance must be filed with the Faculty Conciliator within ten class days of the incident or of the time a student could reasonably be expected to know of the incident.

The purpose of the student grievance procedure is to provide each student enrolled at UNCA with a standardized, formal process for seeking a resolution when, in his judgment, he has been treated unfairly or improperly in an academic matter by a faculty member of this University.

Unfair or improper treatment of a student by a faculty member is defined to be:

  1. The instructor's failure to abide by stated university policies, or failure to abide by written or stated course policies in such a way as to adversely affect the student's academic standing;
  2. abusive or improper conduct on the part of the instructor that clearly has an adverse affect on the student's academic standing,
  3. the instructor's prejudiced or capricious grading practices.

Grievance Procedure
Step 1. If a student believes that he or she has been treated unfairly or improperly by a faculty member, a conference must be scheduled with the instructor to discuss the matter. The student must explain his or her position to the instructor and attempt to understand the justification for the instructor's actions. The purpose of this meeting is to attempt to reach a mutual understanding of the student's situation and the instructor's actions and to resolve all differences in an informal, cooperative manner.

Step 2. If, because of the circumstances of the grievance, it is impractical to consult promptly with the instructor, or if the student is unsatisfied with the results of Step 1, the student must seek the assistance of the Faculty Conciliator within ten class days after the incident, or after the time the student could reasonably be expected to know of the incident. The Conciliator's role is to guide the student through the remaining steps.

Step 3. Within five class days after the initial meeting with the student, the Conciliator must then meet with the instructor and the instructor's chairperson in order to seek an amicable solution. If, when the Conciliator reports to the student the substance of the meeting, the student is still dissatisfied, he may then wish to proceed to Step 4 and file a formal grievance.

Step 4. To file a grievance, the student must obtain a grievance petition from the Conciliator. The petition must specify the date of the incident and detail the student's grievance against the instructor. The student must then file the petition with the Conciliator. This filing must occur within 20 class days of the incident or of the time a student could reasonably be expected to know of the incident. In cases of doubt concerning the application of the time limit, the Conciliator will decide. Failure to meet this deadline forfeits the right of appeal. The Conciliator must then immediately forward a copy of the petition to the instructor, to the instructor's department Chair, and the Chair of the AAB.

Step 5. The Chair of the AAB shall convene a meeting of the Board no sooner than five class days nor longer than ten class days after receipt of the Grievance Petition. In a closed hearing, the student shall present his grievance, along with relevant supporting evidence and pertinent arguments. He may only address issues that are described in the Grievance Petition. The instructor shall be given an opportunity to respond to the charges. The votes of two faculty members and two student members that are in concurrence with the student's position shall be required in order for the grievance to be found valid.

Step 6. If a grievance is unfounded the AAB shall provide written notification of that fact to the student, the faculty member, and the departmental Chair. If a grievance is deemed valid, the Board shall forward a written account of its deliberations, including its recommendations for redress, to the student, the faculty member, the department Chair, and the VCAA. The Chair of the AAB, after consultation with the VCAA, shall convene a meeting of himself, the VCAA, the Conciliator, and the faculty member to discuss the matter and suggest strategies for resolving the grievance.

Faculty Conciliator (see Section 10.3.3)

Academic Appeals Board (AAB) (see Section 10.2.7)

8.3.5 Student Referrals

In the case of (disruptive behavior) the policy on student referrals is outlined in the Student Judicial Code which is printed in the Student Handbook.

Each student is assigned an academic advisor. A faculty member who feels a student should seek the assistance of their academic advisor may refer that student to their faculty advisor. Students are not required to seek the assistance of an advisor.

8.4 Organizations

There are over 70 recognized student organizations on campus. A list is available in the UNCA Student Handbook and at http://www.unca.edu/students/student-org.html.

8.4.1 Student Government Association (SGA)

Student Government Association Represents you, the student, at the local, state and national levels. Strives to make the voice of the student body heard through constant contact with UNC General Administration, the General Assembly and UNCA administration. The SGA president is a full voting member of the UNCA Board of Trustees. SGA is not a token government; it plays an active and vital part in the decision- and policy-making processes at UNCA. Recognized by the university as the official governing body of its students, SGA is organized into executive and legislative branches. Each branch focuses on a specific area while keeping in contact with the other. This creates a checks and balances system that ensures every decision is made fairly and in the best interests of students.

Every student enrolled at UNCA is considered an SGA member and is invited to get involved. Officials are elected each spring, except freshman senators who are elected in the fall. Appointments of qualified applicants are made throughout the year. A 2.0 (or better) grade-point average and current enrollment in at least six semester hours of classes is required to hold a position.

The SGA office is located in the Highsmith University Center.  More information is available at http://www.unca.edu/sga/.

8.4.2 Recognition of Student Organizations by SGA

Each year, the Office of Student Development and the Student Government Association have the responsibility of recognizing student organizations in order for them to receive funding for activities and the use of various campus facilities. Existing organizations must be recognized each year by filling out the appropriate forms in the spring. Both old and new organizations must submit a constitution, membership list and recognition forms before they can be recognized.  All forms and additional information may be obtained from the SGA office.

8.4.3 Funding by Campus Commission from Student Fees

The Campus Commission exists for the purpose of funding organization-sponsored activities. All check requests from student organizations need to be made in advance through the Campus Commission office located in the Highsmith University Center.

8.4.4 Sponsorship by Faculty Members

All recognized student organizations must have a UNCA faculty or staff sponsor. Being an organization advisor can be a rewarding experience and important extension of the classroom.

8.5 Student Conduct Code

Student conduct on the UNCA campus is governed by the University Judicial Code (UJC) adopted by the Student Government Association and UNCA Administration. It is described in the UNCA Student Handbook. Violations of the UJC are directed through he Office of Student Conduct which serves to provide students a safe learning environment through the handling of student disciplinary issues in a true developmental manner.

8.6 Student Counseling and Career Advising

8.6.1 Counseling Center 

The Counseling Center provides services to students through short-term individual and group counseling, support groups, education programs, information and referrals, crisis intervention and consultation.

Personal counseling and group counseling is available around issues such as loneliness, lack of self-confidence, interpersonal relationships, eating disorders, depression, family and social problems, substance abuse, and sexuality concerns that might interfere with educational success. Students may also receive counseling for academic problems that have a psychological component, such as test anxiety, difficulty in concentrating, procrastination, fear of failure, time management, stress reduction, fear of public speaking, and writing blocks.

Other clinical services include 24-hour emergency service, and assessment and referral services, including referral services for faculty and staff. A referral guide is sent to new faculty each year.

Outreach services include consulting with faculty, staff, RA's and administration on issues like student referrals, withdrawal from classes, conflict resolution, and employee assistance. We also serve on various campus committees.

Counseling and support groups on topics such as stress management, conflict management, test anxiety, procrastination, assertiveness training, communication in relationships, trust building and self-confidence, adult children of alcoholics and other dysfunctional families, co-dependency issues, gay and lesbian support, women's support, and men's support groups are offered each semester. Specific topics change from semester to semester depending on student demand and staff availability.

Educational programs and training include seminars such as communication skills, coping with college, conflict management, team building, leadership training, and alcohol and substance education, and are offered in the Center, in residence halls, for clubs and organizations, in classes, and in various departments.

More information is available at http://www.unca.edu/StudentAffairs/CounselCenter/.

8.6.2 Career Center

The Career Center, located in Weizenblatt Health Center, assists students in making decisions about majors, careers, and graduate study. Career counseling and testing is available by appointment. The Career Library houses information about careers, companies, internships, and graduate schools. Software packages are also available to assist in career planning, graduate school selection and resume writing. Job opportunities are promoted through full-time, part-time, and summer job listings. The Career Center is also responsible for coordinating the administration on campus of national testing programs like the GRE, Miller Analogies Test, LSAT, and others. Services are available to UNCA alumni(ae) as well.

More information is available at http://www.unca.edu/career/.

8.7 FORMS for Section 8.0

No forms for this section.

Faculty Handbook - version 8/12
Handbook for contracts dated prior to 7/1/03 (PDF)
Index | Faculty Senate | UNCA