General Policy on Conduct and Discipline


Columbia University Policy on Discipline


The continuance of each student on the rolls of the University, the receipt of academic credits, and the conferring of any degree or the granting of any certificate are strictly subject to the disciplinary powers of the University.



School of the Arts General Statement


The School of the Arts is committed to providing its students with equal opportunities to learn and train in their chosen disciplines. While students are free in the choice and expression of content in their work, the following guidelines refer to conduct that interferes with the rights or well-being of members of the School of the Arts and Columbia community. The School expects that in and out of the classroom, each student will act in an honest way and respect the rights of others. While not every subtlety of proper behavior can be detailed here, we state emphatically that verbal or physical conduct that denigrates or intimidates others because of their race, sex, religion, sexual orientation or political affiliation is unacceptable and will be subject to disciplinary action.



School of the Arts Unacceptable Actions


Actions that would subject a student to discipline include, but are not limited to, the following:


  1. Dishonesty in academic assignments or in dealings with University officials, including the faculty.

  2. Actions that cause or might cause injury to persons or damage to property.

  3. Harassment of others in the University community or of anyone visiting Columbia. In this context, harassment refers to repeated actions, performed by one individual or group that persistently annoy, distress, or disrupt the work of another individual or group.

  4. Threatening bodily harm.

  5. Theft of property.

  6. Sale or distribution of illegal drugs within the University.

  7. Refusal to show identification at the request of a University official; failure to respond to the legitimate request of a University official exercising his or her duty.

  8. Violating the Rules of University Conduct (copies of which are available in 406 Low Memorial Library).

  9. Violating the rules of the residence halls (see the University Residence Halls publication’s section entitled “services, Policies, and Procedures”).



Disciplinary Procedures


The following procedures are to be effective in all campus disciplinary cases arising out of causes not related to campus demonstrations or activities and, therefore, not subject to the disciplinary rules of the University. The associate dean has the responsibility to make a preliminary inquiry into charges of improper, dishonest, or wrongful behavior brought against any School of the Arts student. If this inquiry determines that there is sufficient cause to proceed, the associate dean will contact the chair of the student’s program. The associate dean and the chair will consult on one or more of the following courses of action:


  • The student will be summoned, in writing, to hold a conversation with the chair to discuss the alleged behavior. The written notification should indicate the nature of the accusations that have been made.


  • The student will be summoned, in writing, to hold a conversation with the associate dean to discuss the alleged behavior. The written notification should indicate the nature of the accusations that have been made.


  • The student will be summoned, in writing, to a formal procedure. The written notification should indicate the nature of the accusations that have been made. The student appears before a committee comprised of the associate dean and the chair of the student’s program. A faculty member designated by the associate dean may also be in attendance. The hearing is not intended to be an adversarial courtroom procedure; instead, it is meant to serve an educational function as well as to determine the degree of truth of the accusations. The student is given the opportunity to give his or her version of the events in question and to make a written submission, if the student so desires. After a careful consideration of all the factors that have emerged from the inquiry, the conversations, the formal procedure, and the student’s response, the committee will make a determination and the associate dean will notify the student in writing. If it is determined that the student committed an infraction, the student may receive written censure, disciplinary probation, suspension, or dismissal.


Disciplinary probation generally lasts until the student graduates but may be limited to a shorter period of time. A second offense for students on disciplinary probation will usually result in suspension or dismissal.


When a student is found to have committed an act of academic dishonesty, such as plagiarism or cheating, the student will fail the course involved and be subject to probation, suspension, or dismissal.





In general, under the University policy and federal law, information about pending dean’s disciplinary proceedings against a student is confidential and may not be disclosed to others.



Right to Appeal


The student has the right tot appeal to the dean of the School of the Arts any decision that results in a disciplinary action. The appeal must be made in writing within seven days of the time he or she is notified of the decision, and the grounds for the appeal must be clearly stated.


This policy was approved by the School of the Arts Committee on Instruction (COI) on December 12, 1989, with additions mandated by Columbia University on June 14, 1993. The COI may amend this document as it deems appropriate.


For information about Columbia University's Student Policies and Procedures on Discrimination and Harassment, Gender-Based Misconduct Policies for Students, and Consensual Romantic and Sexual Relationships, click here.