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Professional Student Handbook

An Addendum to Texas A&M University Regulations - August, 2006

Table of Contents

Aggie Code of Honor | Veterinarian's Oath | Introduction
  1. Academic Regulations
    • Academic Definitions
    • Admission
    • Apply for Admission
    • Reapply for Admission
    • Readmission
    • Grade Reports
    • Academic Committees
    • Academic Progress Committees
    • Clinical Progress Committee
  2. Attendance
    • Excused Absence
    • Authorized Absence
    • Extended Absence
  3. Academic Performance
    • Grading
    • Examinations
    • Make-Up Examinations
  4. Academic Standards
    • Minimal Standards
    • Unsatisfactory Performance and Associated Procedures
    • Academic Probation
    • Academic Dismissal
    • Remediation of Courses in Semesters 1-6
    • Remediation of Courses in Semesters 7-9
  5. Student Academic Rights and Responsibilities
    • Appellate Procedure
    • Appellate Options
    • Informal Processing
    • Formal Processing
    • Continuing Appellate Procedures
    • Appeal of Department Head's Decisions[fig. 1]
    • Appeal of Decisions of Associate Dean for Professional Programs
    • Policy on Teaching Laboratories
    • Policy on Duty Hours
    • Policy on Student Insurance Coverage
    • Policy on Pregnancy
  6. Withdrawal from the Professional Program
  7. Readmission to the Professional Program
    • General
    • Readmission Following Dismissal For Academic or Personal Reasons
    • Readmission After Academic Deficiencies in Semester 1
    • Readmission Procedure Following Dismissal
    • For Disciplinary Reasons
    • For Scholastic Dishonesty
    • Ultimate Review of Decisions
  8. Dress and Personal Grooming Considerations for Students in the Professional Program
    • General
    • Lecture and Laboratory Classes
    • Clinical Rotations
    • Special Protective Clothing
    • Authority
  9. Veterinary Medical Code of Honor
    • Honor Code Statement
    • Honor Code Purpose
    • Student Honor Code Council
  10. Discipline Regulations
    • Student Discipline
    • Procedures in Violation and Misconduct Cases
    • College Disciplinary Appeals Committee
    • Standard of Review
    • Departure From Campus Following Suspension
  11. Policy Regarding Employee/Student Animals in CVM Buildings
  12. Appendix
    • Statement on Student Rights & Responsibilities
    • Statement on Harassment and Discrimination
    • Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974
    • Americans with Disabilities Act
    • Policy on Class Notes For Professional Courses
    • Student Alcohol Policy
    • Policy on Student Attendance of Southwest Veterinary Medical Symposium

Figures

Fig. 1

It is in the spirit and tradition of the "Aggie Code of Honor" and the "Veterinarian's Oath" that these regulations are set forth to govern certain aspects of the student's life while enrolled in the professional program in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M University.

Aggie Code of Honor

For many years Aggies have followed a Code of Honor which is stated in this very simple verse:

"Aggies do not lie, cheat, or steal, nor do they tolerate those who do."

The Aggie Code of Honor is an effort to unify the aims of all A&M men and women toward a high code of ethics and personal dignity. For most, living under this code will be no problem, as it asks nothing of a person that is beyond reason. It calls only for honesty and integrity, characteristics which Aggies have always exemplified.

The Aggie Code of Honor functions as a symbol to all Aggies promoting understanding and loyalty to truth and confidence in each other.

Veterinarian's Oath

Following commencement and prior to entrance into professional practice, each graduate veterinarian has traditionally taken the "Veterinarian's Oath," which reads as follows:

"Being admitted to the profession of veterinary medicine I solemnly swear to use my scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society, through the protection of animal health, the relief of animal suffering, the conservation of livestock resources, the promotion of public health and the advancement of medical knowledge.

"I will practice my profession conscientiously, with dignity, and in keeping with the principles of veterinary medical ethics. I accept as a lifelong obligation the continual improvement of my professional knowledge and competence."

The "Veterinarian's Oath" expresses essential aspects of professionalism involved in the day-to-day practice of the art and science of Veterinary Medicine. Professional students are expected to strive to form lifelong habits consistent with the philosophy embodied in the "Veterinarian's Oath."

Introduction

As part of Texas A&M University, the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) operates in accordance with general University regulations as published in Texas A&M University Student Rules. However, not all of the regulations which govern student conduct and student activities in the University are appropriate to students enrolled in the College of Veterinary Medicine. Candidates for the D.V.M. degree are classified as "professional students" and are subject to requirements of a well-defined curriculum that is collegiately administered by the College of Veterinary Medicine. Additionally, the students must respond to behavioral and professional standards and ethics that are imposed through professional accreditation and licensure authority. Consequently, the College of Veterinary Medicine has been authorized by the University administration to establish additional rules and regulations concerning academic, disciplinary, and student life areas within the College.

Rules and regulations of the College of Veterinary Medicine that differ from or expand on those of the University are set forth in this document as an addendum to the Texas A&M University Regulations for evaluation, advancement, and discipline for students pursuing a D.V.M. degree. All other Texas A&M University rules and regulations, where applicable, govern the conduct, rights and responsibilities of students currently enrolled in the College of Veterinary Medicine. In the event of conflict between Texas A&M University Regulations and the Professional Student Handbook, the Handbook will be the controlling standard.

The rules, regulations and policies contained in this publication pertain only to students enrolled in the professional curriculum leading to the D.V.M. degree in the College of Veterinary Medicine.

"The terms and conditions contained in this handbook do not constitute a contract between the university and the student. The guidelines set forth do not create any rights greater than those existing under current state and federal law. The information contained herein is subject to change without notice to the student."

I. Academic Regulations

  1. Academic Definitions

    Various words, phrases, and concepts are defined at the beginning of this document to ensure unambiguous communication or interpretation by the reader.
    1. Admission. Admission to the College of Veterinary Medicine is a process over which the CVM Selections Committee has responsibility. This process includes specific forms, details, requirements and deadlines that can be obtained from the Dean's Office of the College of Veterinary Medicine.
    2. Apply for Admission. To apply for admission means that the CVM Selection Committee process and procedures have been invoked. A person who has never been a student in the veterinary medical program applies for admission, invoking the policies and procedures that govern the operation of the Selections Committee. Each application for admission to the College of Veterinary Medicine is a new application, even for individuals who apply more than one time to the program.
    3. Reapply for Admission. Once a student has been accepted for matriculation in the professional veterinary medical program, there are some circumstances under which, having once been dismissed, a student would be eligible to be considered for reentry into the program. Such students would have to reapply for admission, thereby invoking the policies and procedures of the selection process of the College.
    4. Readmission. There are some circumstances under which a student, having once been dismissed from the professional veterinary medical program, may desire to reenter the program. For those students who apply for readmission, the governing body is the CVM Academic or Clinical Progress Committee that had jurisdiction that lead to their dismissal. The selection process is not invoked during the readmission process.
    5. Grade Reports. The terms grade point average (GPA) and grade point ratio (GPR) are used synonymously throughout this document. This value is determined by dividing the total quality points accumulated by the total credits attempted.
  2. Academic Committees

    The primary academic committees of the College of Veterinary Medicine are the CVM Academic Progress and Clinical Progress Committees. These committees oversee students' academic performance, assess their progress, and recommend consequences for all academic deficiencies. Each committee meets at least twice a semester. Each committee annually elects a chairperson.

    1. Academic Progress Committees

      Three Academic Progress Committees oversee the first three years of the professional veterinary medical program: each committee consists of all course coordinators within a specific year in the professional veterinary medical program. These committees report to the Associate Dean For Professional Programs, who is a non-voting member of each Academic Progress Committee.

    2. Clinical Progress Committee

      This committee oversees the fourth or clinical year of the curriculum. It also reports to the Associate Dean for Professional Programs. The Clinical Progress Committee consists of nine (9) members of the faculty--three (3) from small animal medicine and surgery, three (3) from large animal medicine and surgery, one (1) each from pathology, microbiology/parasitology, and public health. The Associate Dean for Professional Programs is a non-voting member of this committee.

    3. Other Committees
      1. College of Veterinary Medicine Academic Appeals Committee is composed of one faculty member from each academic department for rotating three year terms. The committee serves as an appeals panel to hear matters relating to academic decisions, grade assignment disputes, and administrative academic decisions by the Associate Dean.
      2. College of Veterinary Medicine Executive Committee is composed of the Dean, Associate and Associate Deans, and Department Heads. This is the policy-making group of the College of Veterinary Medicine. Academic matters may be placed before the committee

II. Attendance

Class attendance is an individual student responsibility, priority and requirement. Students are required to attend all classes, laboratories and clinical rotations, and to complete all assignments. Instructors are expected to give adequate notice of the dates on which major tests will be given and assignments will be due. Pop quizzes are given at the discretion of the instructor. Students may request excused or authorized absences according to the policies and definitions in this Handbook. The instructor is under no obligation to provide an authorized absence or the opportunity for the student to make up work missed because of an unexcused absence or unauthorized absence.

  1. Excused Absence

    An excused absence is granted through the Office of the Dean. Notices of excused absences are sent to instructors. Students in the fourth or clinical years are also required to notify their assigned clinician. Among the reasons absences are considered excused are those described in the Texas A&M University Student Rules and are listed below:

    • Participation in an activity appearing on the university authorized activity list.
    • Death or major illness in a student's immediate family.
    • Illness of a dependent family member.
    • Participation in legal proceedings or administrative procedures that require a student's presence.
    • Religious holy day. Requires advance notice by the student. (See Texas A&M University Student Rules for Details).
    • Illness that is too severe or contagious for the student to attend class (documentation from a physician may be requested and documentation from a physician is required for missing a major or final examination.)
    • Required participation in military duties.
  2. Authorized Absence

    Note! Effective with the Fall 2006 semester, authorized absences will be restricted to 7 days per academic year.

    A student may request up to seven (7) authorized absences per academic year (reasons other than those listed for excused absences) from a class by seeking the permission of the individual instructor(s) teaching on the days requested 10 days in advance of the day of requested absence and acquiring appropriate signatures on the authorized absence forms. These forms must be filed in the Dean's Office by the student. The instructor may refuse to permit an authorized absence. If circumstances arise that require a student to need additional authorized days, the student will need to gain permission for additional days from the Associate Dean for Professional Programs.

    The instructor may refuse to permit an authorized absence. If the instructor permits the authorized absence, the instructor must provide only make-up quizzes or tests. The student is responsible for all information or exercises that are missed during the absence and the CVM has no obligation to make any special provisions.

  3. Extended Absence

    1. Absence of a student, for any reason, for 30 or more consecutive calendar days or for 30 percent or more of any course, whichever is less, during any phase of the veterinary medical program will constitute withdrawal, and the student must petition for readmission into the veterinary medical program. Exceptions to this policy may be granted for fourth year students by the Associate Dean for Professional Programs.
    2. Absence of less than 30 consecutive calendar days or of less than 30 percent of any course will be handled by the head of the department involved or the Associate Dean for Professional Programs in the case of VMID courses.
  4. Student Attendance at the Southwest Veterinary Medical Symposium and the Texas Veterinary Medical Association Meeting - See Appendix Section

III. Academic Performance

  1. Grading

    1. A student's course grade is based upon performance and participation in class or clinical rotation, laboratory work, examinations, and other activities as may be applicable to that course. Class and laboratory attendance may be a part of the grade. In some courses, part of the grade may be subjective. The proportionate weight assigned to each factor shall be determined by the course instructor(s) administering the course. The basis for all grades will be distributed as a written contract to all students during the first week of class. Additionally, course policies relating to re-examination will be distributed in writing at the beginning of each course.
    2. The following grades are used:
      • A - Excellent (90-100), 4 grade (quality) points per credit hour
      • B - Good (80-89.99), 3 grade points per credit hour
      • C - Satisfactory (70-79.99), 2 grade points per credit hour
      • D - Passing but below expected performance (65 - 69.99), 1 grade point per credit hour (limited number permitted, IV.C.4)
      • F - Failure (below 65), no grade points
      • I - Incomplete, no grade points
      • X - No grade submitted, no grade points
      • S - Satisfactory
      • U - Unsatisfactory
      • W - Assigned when student withdraws from all courses during the period
      • The A, B, C, D, and S grades are passing grades.
    3. An S grade will not be included in the computation of a student's cumulative GPR, but a U grade will be computed as if it were an F.
    4. When a student repeats or remediates a veterinary medicine (VM) course, grades for the original course and its replacement are both used by the University and the College to compute the GPR and are recorded on the student's transcript.
    5. The following grading standards are used:
      1. A student who attains an aggregate score of at least 90% or more in a course will receive a grade of A.
      2. A student who attains an aggregate score of 80 to 89.99 % will receive a grade of B.
      3. A student who attains an aggregate score of 70 to 79.99% will receive a grade of C.
      4. A student who attains a score of 65 to 69.99 % will receive a grade of D.
      5. A student who attains a score of less than 65% will receive a grade of F.
      6. Students receiving the temporary grade I may be allowed a make-up examination as described in Section III.B.3.a.
    6. A temporary grade of I indicates that the student has completed a course with the exception of a major examination or other requirement. This grade is given only when the deficiency is due to excused/authorized absences. An incomplete grade is reported to the Associate Dean for Professional Programs. The written report shall include:
      1. a statement of the basis for recording the incomplete grade;
      2. a statement defining the remaining work to be completed.

      The work is to be completed within the next academic term in which the student is registered, unless the Associate Dean for Professional Programs grants an extension of time for good reason. If the work is not completed within this period or, if the student registers for the same course again, then the I will be automatically changed to an F by the Registrar.

      Students must clear all I grades prior to advancement into the fourth or clinical year of the professional curriculum.

  2. Examinations

    1. Examination Schedule
      1. A two (2) hour final examination may be given in each 2-6 credit hour course. A four (4) hour final examination may be given in each course with more than 6 credit hours. Final examinations in one (1) credit hour courses will be one (1) hour exams or practical exams. In team‑taught and/or systems courses, final examinations may be given at the end of a section within the course. The course coordinator will approve the examination procedure to be used in the course.
      2. All major, midterm, and final examinations are to be administered in accordance with the schedule published by the Office of the Dean, College of Veterinary Medicine. Provisions for take‑home finals will be arranged by individual course coordinators.
        1. All midterm and final examinations are given within the designated week for the exams. Exceptions will be approved through the examination scheduling process of the Dean's Office.
        2. The scheduling of all examinations is under the complete authority of the Instructor and can only be changed by the Instructor. Students may request a change in the schedule of an examination by acting through the Student Faculty Representatives, but the Instructor is under no obligation to make a change and has the final authority and decision.
        3. Final semester grades and final examinations grades will not be released to students until all final examinations have been completed. When mid-term examinations are scheduled during a one-week block, grades on those examinations will not be released to students until all mid-term examinations have been completed
      3. No examination shall be given during the week beginning five (5) calendar days prior to the first day of final examinations, except:
        1. Courses carrying one credit
        2. Optional tests for special credit.
        3. Make-up tests.
        4. Laboratory tests.
        5. Team-taught systems courses
      4. Classes are not conducted during final week except:
        1. One hour elective courses in the third year
        2. Classes rescheduled by vote of the class and instructor approval or those rescheduled for unusual circumstances as approved by the Dean's Office.
    2. Make-Up Examinations
      1. A make-up examination is to be administered when a student misses an examination due to circumstances that constitute an excused or authorized absence as described in Section II.
      2. The nature of a make-up examination will be solely determined by the principal instructor(s) of the course. When a make-up examination is provided, the final course grade will be determined by the principal instructor(s)..
      3. A make-up examination must be administered and graded so that a final grade is reported within the time period prescribed by the Registrar for that term. However, instructors, at their discretion, have the prerogative of issuing a grade of Incomplete when circumstances warrant such action. This grade of Incomplete must be removed satisfactorily from the student's record in accordance with Section III.A.6.
      4. The course's make-up examination policy shall be announced in writing at the same time the grading policy is presented .

IV. Academic Standards

  1. Minimal Standards

    1. All students selected, elected, appointed as officers for any class or club must have a minimum grade point ratio (GPR) of 2.5 immediately prior to the election/appointment and during the semesters of election/appointment. Failure to maintain a GPR of 2.5 during term of office will result in termination of assigned office.
    2. Academic standards apply to those grades earned in courses that are part of the professional veterinary medical program.
    3. Academic good standing is defined as achieving the program's academic expectations by maintaining a 2.0 GPR and not being on academic probation.
    4. Each student is expected to achieve a 2.0 GPR or better in each course in the professional curriculum.
    5. Each student is expected to achieve a 2.0 GPR or better in each semester of the curriculum. Students whose GPR falls below a 2.0 in a specific semester may be placed on academic probation as a warning.
    6. Each student must have achieved a cumulative GPR of 2.0 or better for advancement into the fourth or clinical year.
    7. A minimal cumulative GPR of 2.0 in the professional veterinary medical program is required for graduation with a DVM degree.
    8. A student will not be allowed to graduate with unremediated F grades; this includes grades in all professional veterinary medical courses (900) attempted, whether required for the degree or not.
    9. The semester and cumulative GPR are computed by using all courses completed in the professional veterinary medical program. This includes the original grade of F in a course that subsequently may have been remediated.
  2. Unsatisfactory Performance and Associated Procedures

    1. Students whose scholastic progress is unsatisfactory (as defined in the following sections) will be subject to probation (IV.C.), dismissal (IV.D.), or remediation (IV.E and IV.F.).
    2. The Academic and Clinical Progress Committees will monitor students' academic progress during the term and will forward this information to the Associate Dean for Professional Programs, who will transmit appropriate warnings or actions to the students.
    3. At the end of each semester, the Academic Progress Committees will review the academic performance of all students and recommend appropriate action to the Associate Dean for Professional Programs.
    4. The Associate Dean for Professional Programs will notify the students and the appropriate Academic Progress Committees of action taken.
    5. Recommendations from the Academic Progress Committees to the Associate Dean for Professional Programs include, but are not limited to: academic probation, dismissal, or remediation.
  3. Academic Probation

    1. Academic probation signifies a level of performance that, if continued, will lead to dismissal. Students are placed on academic probation for the purpose of monitoring academic performance, correcting academic deficiencies, and counseling. Students placed on probation will be allowed to continue in the professional program as long as the probationary terms, which are set by the appropriate Progress Committee and the Associate Dean for Professional Programs, are being met. Ultimately, the students must clear probation or be dismissed.
    2. Students whose cumulative GPR for VM courses falls below 2.0 will be placed on academic probation. Students placed on probation as a result of a cumulative GPR less than 2.0 must improve their GPR to 2.0 in accordance with the terms of their academic probation.
    3. Students readmitted to the program following dismissal for academic reasons will be placed on probation for a minimum of one semester, at the end of which time the terms of their academic probation will have been satisfied.
    4. A limited number of D grades are allowed in the program. The consequences of accumulating such grades are serious. There are circumstances under which a student may continue in the program with remediated or temporarily unremediated grades of F in a course.
      1. Students who accumulate two (2) D's and one (1) F, whether the F is remediated or not and whether in the same course or not, will be dismissed from the program regardless of the cumulative GPR.
      2. Students who accumulate three (3) D's or two (2) F's will be dismissed from the program regardless of the cumulative GPR.
      3. Students earning D or F grades will be given an official academic probationary warning by the Associate Dean for Professional Programs that earning such grades will lead to dismissal regardless of their cumulative GPR. (See Section IV.C.4.a. & 4.b)
      4. Students who earn a D grade in a second course will be placed on notification of potential dismissal by the Associate Dean for Academic Programs that the accumulation of a D in one (1) or more courses will lead to dismissal regardless of their cumulative GPR (See Section IV.C.4b).
    5. Grades received for required and elective courses will be used in calculations of GPR and will apply to credit limits for D and F grades to determine academic standing.
    6. The accumulation of F's, even if they have been remediated, not only may lead to dismissal, but if the student is readmitted, they count as a course in which a D or F has been recorded.
      1. Remediation provides an opportunity for retention in the program by allowing students to register for a course to make up a failed course. (See IV.E.)
      2. The original grade of F remains on the transcript and is counted as part of the accumulation of D's or F's.
    7. All grades of D or F earned in the professional veterinary medical curriculum remain part of the academic record, even upon readmission. These grades count toward grade accumulations described in this section and in Section IV.D.
  4. Academic Dismissal

    The following situations will result in academic dismissal:

    1. Students do not meet the terms of academic probation and do not clear probation.
    2. Students receive a second grade of F in a required course, whether it is the same course or not.
    3. Students accumulate any combination of two (2) D's and one (1) F or three (3) D's.
  5. Remediation of Courses in Semesters 1-6

    Remediation is defined as a procedure through which a student makes up work in a failed course while being retained in the program. Remediation requires the registration for credit in a 985/989 course equivalent in credit hours to the failed course. The specifications of the remediation are the sole discretion of the instructor.

    1. Remediation of course deficiencies may be recommended by the Academic Progress Committees to the Associate Dean for Professional Programs.
    2. If approved by the Associate Dean for Professional Programs, this action is binding on the department in which the deficiency occurred. The instructor shall determine the precise method of remediation; however, the remediation:
      1. shall be successfully completed prior to promotion into the next year.
      2. grade, as well as the F in the course that led to the remediation, will count toward the accumulation of D or F grades.
      3. will occur through formal enrollment in a course at the time of remediation, a 985/989 special topics course, determined by the department in which the deficiency occurred. Customarily, registration for this course occurs in the summer following the year in which the deficiency occurred.
    3. The department will officially inform the Associate Dean for Professional Programs of the remediation agreement and report the results and grade of the remediation in writing.
    4. If a passing grade is not achieved, then the Associate Dean for Professional Programs will refer the case to the appropriate Academic Progress Committee for its review and recommendation in accordance with the guidelines specified herein.
    5. All remediations (IV.E) must be completed prior to entry into the fourth or clinical year.
  6. Remediation of Courses/Rotations in the Fourth or Clinical Year

    1. Remediation of course deficiencies during the fourth year may be recommended by the Clinical Progress Committee to the Associate Dean for Professional Programs. Any course/rotation deficiency must be reported to the Associate Dean for Professional Programs within three (3) days following the end of the course/rotation.
    2. If approved by the Associate Dean for Professional Programs, this action is binding on the department in which the deficiency occurred. The instructor shall determine the precise method of remediation. The remediation:
      1. shall not replace required rotations or externships.
      2. may replace vacation time.
      3. may be postponed until the next cycle after graduation.
      4. grade results will count toward the accumulation of D or F grades.
      5. will occur through enrollment in a course determined by the department.
    3. The department will officially inform the Associate Dean for Professional Programs of the remediation agreement and report the results of the remediation in writing.
    4. All remediations of clinical rotations must occur within the same amount of time as the original rotation.
    5. If a passing grade is not achieved, then the Associate Dean for Professional Programs will refer the case to the Clinical Progress Committee for its review and recommendation in accordance with the guidelines specified herein.
  7. See Section IV.E also.

V. Student Academic Rights and Responsibilities

Every student has a right to a course grade that represents the instructor's good‑faith judgment of the student's academic performance. A lack of good faith must be established by proof that a grade was based on an arbitrary, capricious, or discriminatory academic evaluation.

  1. Appellate Procedure [Fig. 1]

    1. A student who believes that his or her final grade in a course reflects an arbitrary, capricious, or discriminatory academic evaluation should first discuss the matter with the instructor and/or the course coordinator (in the case of VMID courses).
    2. If satisfactory resolution is not reached with the instructor (in the case of VMID courses, the course coordinator), the student should file a written grievance with the head of the department responsible for administration of that course (the Associate Dean for Professional Programs in the case of VMID courses). No written grievance shall be considered unless it is filed within ten (10) University business days after notification of his/her final grade in a didactic course or rotation (Fig. 1.).
    3. A student may choose one of two ways to adjudicate a grievance. The choice of the student to use one of the following automatically waives the use of the other (Fig.1.):
  2. Appellate Options

    1. Informal Processing
      1. The grievance may be handled informally, upon the student's request, through an interview conducted by the department head (the Associate Dean for Professional Programs in the case of VMID courses). The instructor shall be present and the student shall be allowed to explain fully his or her position and bring witnesses to support his or her position.
      2. The student has the option of appealing the decision of the department head, the Associate Dean for Professional Programs, or the departmental faculty committee relative to the assignment of grades.
    2. Formal Processing

      The grievance may be adjudicated formally, upon student request, through a hearing before a departmental faculty committee appointed by the department head (the Associate Dean for Professional Programs in the case of VMID courses). The instructor shall be present, and the student shall be allowed to explain fully his or her position and bring witnesses to support his or her position. The decision of the departmental faculty committee is subject to appeal as detailed subsequently.

  3. Continuing Appellate Procedures

    1. Appeal of Department Head's Decisions [Fig. 1]:

      The student may appeal the decision of the department head in writing within ten (10) University business days to the Associate Dean for Professional Programs. The Associate Dean will hear the evidence, conduct whatever investigation is deemed appropriate, and render a decision in a timely manner.

    2. Appeal of Decisions of Associate Dean for Professional Programs [Fig. 1]
      1. A student may appeal two types of decisions that may be made by the Associate Dean:
        1. those decisions made as adjudicator of VMID course grades;
        2. those decisions made as appeals of department heads' decisions relative to other course grades.
      2. The student may appeal to the Dean of the College in writing within ten (10) University business days of the original or appellate decision having been made. Upon such notice, the Dean will convene the CVM Academic Appeals Committee, the members of which shall not have been participants of the course in question or members of the department in which the grade was earned, to hear the petition. The CVM Academic Appeals Committee shall have the right to call before them witnesses or persons having information relevant to the appeal. The student shall be allowed to explain fully his or her position to the Committee and bring witnesses to support his or her position.
      3. The chairperson of the CVM Academic Appeals Committee shall thereafter communicate the committee's findings and recommendations to the Dean. The Dean shall notify the student of his/her decision in writing. The decision of the Dean will be final.
    3. Due to the established calendar for the fourth or clinical year, students desiring to file a written grievance concerning a grade following semester 6 should do so by 12:00 Noon of the Friday prior to the beginning of the fourth year . (This is necessary to expedite the appeal process so that students are not provisionally retained in the fourth year with academic deficiencies.)
  4. Policy On Teaching Laboratories

    1. In the professional curriculum, some laboratory exercises require the use of live animals. The policy of the College of Veterinary Medicine is: to use animals in teaching and research only when deemed necessary and where acceptable alternatives are not available; to provide humane treatment of these animals; use as few animals as possible while maintaining high quality teaching and research. All animal usage is reviewed by the College for strict compliance with AAALAC, USDA, NIH, and any other appropriate guidelines and regulations. This policy is based on the conviction that the benefits of animal use and the skills and knowledge that can be gained are essential to animal and human health and welfare.
    2. Laboratory exercises that use animals are designed to complement didactic lectures and demonstrations through hands‑on experience with various species of animals. In all instances, the animals are humanely treated and anesthetized if the procedures are deemed painful. Animals are humanely euthanized at the termination of most invasive laboratory exercises.
    3. In a restricted number of courses, live animals are used in laboratory exercises for the teaching of basic concepts, skills, and procedures. Strict faculty supervision and specific procedures are enforced regarding the animals' well‑being. Participation in these exercises is required for all students to complete satisfactorily certain courses and to be given a passing grade and credit.
  5. Policy On Duty Hours

    1. During the fourth year of the professional curriculum, students are assigned on a rotational basis to the various clinical and diagnostic services of the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital.
    2. Emergency and intensive care services are offered to the public on a twenty-four-hour basis seven days a week.
    3. Student assignments in the clinical rotations are very time demanding, requiring time at night, weekends, and holidays for the delivery of patient care.
    4. Students are held totally responsible for their assigned rotation or block duties regardless of the time and day of the week.
    5. Non-compliance with these educational functions may, at the discretion of the faculty member in charge of the clinical course, result in the recording of an unsatisfactory grade.
  6. Policy on Student Insurance

    Students are eligible for care at the University Health Center under certain guidelines and restrictions. These medical services are described in the Texas A&M University Undergraduate Catalog. All current students who have paid the Student Health Center fee are entitled to receive services at the A.P. Beutel Health Center. Included are unlimited visits to the Health Center Physicians, basic laboratory tests, physical therapy, consultation with certain medical specialists or health educators, and educational programming and resources. All new students are required to submit a completed medical history form, including documentation of required immunizations.

    Any charges for medical treatment off campus are the responsibility of the student. To supplement the services provided by the Health Center, students are strongly encouraged to carry a Sickness and Accident Insurance Policy which is available at a reasonable cost.

    Students should arrange health insurance through any carrier. The following are available if the student does not have coverage:

    1. Sickness and accident insurance policy available through the University: This policy is offered by an independent carrier. All information is given to new students prior to orientation and to transfer students who are registered as of June 1 each year. Brochures are generally available in the Dean's Office reception area or the Associate Dean's Office.
    2. The AVMA group health and life insurance program: A representative of the AVMA insurance program gives a presentation at each of our first year orientations on this insurance program. Brochures are also available in the Dean's Office and from SCAVMA.

    In the event that a student becomes ill or is injured during activities that are a part of their academic programs, the following procedure should be followed:

    On Campus

    1. Provide first aid
    2. Transport student to the University Health Center
    3. For emergency ambulance service call Texas A&M University Emergency Medical Care Service at 9-911. If unavailable call: College Station 9-764-3700 (Non emergency ambulance service)
      Bryan 9-361-3888 (Non emergency ambulance service)
    4. Notify the Office of the Associate Dean for Professional Programs, 845-3878.
    5. After the student returns, she/he should fill out an accident report in the Dean's Office or the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital Administration Office (within 24 hours).
    6. If the student is an employee of the College, and is injured while on the job she/he is eligible for workman's compensation. The injury must occur during the employment period and within the scope of employment. This does not include injuries occurring during a clinical rotation as part of the curriculum.

    Off Campus

    1. Provide first-aid.
    2. If feasible, return to Texas A&M University campus and take the student to University Health Center.
    3. If it is not possible to return to the Texas A&M University campus, transport the student to nearest medical facility for treatment.
    4. Call a local ambulance if necessary.
    5. Determine if student has medical insurance.
    6. If the student has no medical insurance coverage, the hospital is still required to provide care. If it is a private hospital, they may choose to provide emergency care then transport the patient to another public facility.
    7. Notify the Office of the Associate Dean for Professional Programs - 845-3878.
    8. After the student returns, she/he should fill out an accident report in the Dean's Office or the VMTH Administrative office.
  7. Pregnancy Policy

    1. The potential for human injury always exists in the practice of veterinary medicine, and it increases whenever an involved person is pregnant. Undoubtedly the greatest hazards are accidents that can occur while working with animal patients that might cause physical trauma to the pregnant woman and/or her unborn child. Added hazards exist through exposure to toxic drugs, infectious agents, inhalation anesthetics, radiation and other agents.
    2. The pregnant student should:
      1. Contact a physician immediately to get recommendations and a plan to minimize exposure to the hazards that may be associated with a veterinary student's clinical assignments.
      2. Obtain a signed statement from the physician that defines permitted limits of exposure to possible hazards during pregnancy. The student should give a copy of this statement to the coordinator of each course and to the Associate Dean for Professional Programs.
      3. Inform administrators in the office of the Associate Dean for Professional Programs of her pregnancy as early as possible so that necessary steps may be taken to conform to the plan developed by the physician.
      4. When a student first finds that she is pregnant, she is required to immediately come to the Office of the Associate Dean for Professional Programs and sign a "Waiver or Release of Liability" form to not hold the faculty, staff, College or University liable in the event of any injury, harm or death to her or her unborn child while completing the curricular assignments in accordance with her personal decisions and her physician's prescribed plan.
    3. Available Options:
      1. Temporary withdrawal as a student. The pregnant veterinary student may temporarily withdraw as a student and plan readmission to permit graduation with the next class in veterinary medicine. This option minimizes the potential for injury to the student and her unborn child.
      2. Continuation as a regular student with some schedule and assignment changes if all curricular obligations can be satisfied by the student. If curricular obligations and assignments cannot be met by the pregnant student, she will be given an Incomplete by the Instructor of the course until such work can be successfully completed or the student will need to temporarily withdraw and return when she can safely complete the incomplete work.
  8. Rights and Responsibilities

    1. It is recognized that the pregnant woman has full rights and responsibilities for decisions concerning her pregnancy based on medical opinion regarding safety and childbearing.
    2. She should expect due considerations from everyone associated with her during her pregnancy, whatever her decisions may be.
    3. At the same time, she is expected to complete each and every requirement of the veterinary curriculum by a schedule or plan that can be implemented and by which the risks are deemed assumable by her and her physician.
    4. A faculty member has full rights to refuse to let a pregnant student temporarily participate in assignments or activities that the faculty member judges to be potentially hazardous. The faculty member may insist under these circumstances that a physician apprise the pregnant woman of the potential hazards. Documentation by both the faculty member and the physician should be kept on file.

VI. Withdrawal from the Professional Program

Withdrawal from the professional veterinary medical program is the prerogative of every student. The choice of withdrawal should be considered carefully; every option and consequence should be considered. The potential for readmission to the program will depend upon the circumstances at the time of withdrawal. Students will be allowed to withdraw for mental and physical reasons without inquiry as long as a medical or health professional has certified that the health condition precludes successful progress in the program. Additionally, students may be allowed to withdraw with subsequent readmission for other justifiable and documentable reasons.

VII. Readmission to the Professional Program

  1. General

    Students may apply for readmission to the professional veterinary medical program under various circumstances. Such applications are reviewed by the appropriate CVM Academic or Clinical Progress Committees.

    Students may also reapply for admission as a new applicant. In this case, re-entry into the program is through the regular selection process that is conducted by the CVM Selections Committee.

    Any request for readmission following disciplinary action taken by the CVM must follow section VII.D. and E

    1. Students who have been dismissed for academic reasons, disciplinary reasons, or who have withdrawn for academic, health or other reasons may apply for readmission. Those who seek readmission to the professional curriculum in veterinary medicine must submit a written request for readmission to the Associate Dean for Professional Programs. The request must include:
      1. The reason for dismissal or withdrawal.
      2. The reason for requesting readmission.
      3. If mental or physical health was a consideration in withdrawal or dismissal, the applicant must include a professional's current evaluation of his/her health status and may be required to submit additional substantiating documents.
      4. Transcripts of any college credits completed since last enrolled in the professional curriculum, if appropriate.
    2. Students readmitted to the professional curriculum following dismissal or withdrawal for academic reasons will be placed on academic probation for a minimum of one semester, even if their GPA is greater than 2.0. Readmitted students having less than a 2.0 GPA in the professional curriculum must make up any grade point deficiencies as specified in the terms of their probation. Any subsequent D or F grades will result in automatic dismissal from the professional curriculum, and any subsequent readmission must be sought through formal admission procedures for entering first year students.
    3. All grades of D or F earned in the professional veterinary medical curriculum remain part of the academic record, even upon readmission. These grades count toward grade accumulations described in Section IV.C and IV.D.
    4. Students who have been dismissed from the program twice for academic reasons will not be considered for readmission.
  2. Readmission Following Dismissal Or Withdrawal For Academic Or Personal Reasons

    1. The request (Section VII.A.1) for readmission and the applicant's prior records will be given to the CVM Academic Progress Committees (Fall and Spring Terms) or Clinical Progress Committee of the year in which the applicant is seeking readmission. Upon petition, the CVM Academic or Clinical Progress Committee will carefully examine the applicant's record. A majority vote of committee members is required for readmission.
    2. If the dismissal/withdrawal was for medical or physical reasons, then a professional must certify the mental and/or physical well‑being of the individual has been restored, enabling them to continue with their academic studies. If the dismissal/withdrawal was for other justifiable reasons, then appropriate documentation will be required to demonstrate the ability to continue with his/her academic studies.
    3. The committee will recommend one of the following to the Associate Dean for Professional Programs:
      1. Reinstatement of the student at the point in the curriculum deemed appropriate and recommend the academic probationary terms to be imposed, if appropriate.
        1. the reinstatement criterion may be simply retaking the course leading to the dismissal.
        2. the student may be required to retake other courses in which a passing grade had been achieved, or perform independent study, if in the judgment of the committee, it will be in the best interest of the student.
      2. Deny readmission.
    4. The Associate Dean for Professional Programs will review each case and affirm the recommendation of the Academic Progress Committee or recommend an alternate course of action to the Dean who retains ultimate authority for all decisions pertaining to readmission.
  3. Readmission For Academic Deficiencies In Semester 1.

    1. Students who are dismissed from the professional program at the end of Semester 1 must reapply for admission as a new applicant to the College program during the first admission cycle that begins after their dismissal. Since the application deadline is October 1 each year, the student's re-application for admission would not meet the deadline for being considered in the application cycle for the following Fall Semester after dismissal. The first admission cycle after dismissal at the end of Semester 1 would actually be the following year.
    2. Those students who reapply and are deemed qualified will be placed in the applicant pool and must compete for a position from among the applicant pool.
    3. The College of Veterinary Medicine, through its undergraduate biomedical science major, assumes no responsibility for placement of these students in remedial undergraduate programs. Admission and/or readmission to the undergraduate program is the prerogative of its Director, who shall follow all rules and regulations pertaining thereto.
  4. Readmission Procedure Following Dismissal or Suspension for Disciplinary Reasons

    1. All requests for readmissions must be made in writing to the Associate Dean for Professional Programs at least sixty (60) days prior to the start of the semester in which the dismissed or suspended student is seeking permission.
    2. The request for readmission along with the applicant's prior academic records will be presented to the College of Veterinary Medicine Executive Committee by the Associate Dean for Professional Programs. The Executive Committee will carefully evaluate the request for readmission, along with the student's academic record and other pertinent information related to the dismissal or suspension.
    3. The Executive Committee may request that the applicant appear before the Committee, or the applicant may request, but is not guaranteed permission to appear before the Committee to explain his/her request.
    4. The Executive Committee may consult with the appropriate Academic or Clinical Progress Committee to consider proper placement in the professional curriculum in cases where the Executive Committee is recommending readmission.
    5. The Executive Committee will recommend either denial of readmission, or readmission, to the Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine.
    6. The Dean will review the recommendation of the Executive Committee and advise the dismissed or suspended student of his/her decision. The decision of the Dean will be final. The Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine retains ultimate authority for all decisions pertaining to admission and readmission.
  5. Readmission Procedure Following a Grade of "F" Sanction for Scholastic Dishonesty:

    1. Since the Academic Standards of the College of Veterinary Medicine require that remediation of any grade of "F" for academic failure be successfully completed before a student can matriculate to the next year or semester of the professional curriculum, the student receiving the grade of "F" must successfully remediate the grade of "F" according to the Professional Student Handbook, Section IV.E and F.
    2. The remediation requirements for a passing grade shall be given in writing to the student by the instructor of the course with a copy to the Associate Dean for Professional Programs and the appropriate department head.
  6. Ultimate Review of Decisions

    1. The Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine retains ultimate authority for all decisions pertaining to admission and readmission.
    2. Upon written request by a student, the Dean may review the recommendations of an Academic Progress Committee, the Clinical Progress Committee, the Selections Committee, the Executive Committee, and the actions of the Associate Dean for Professional Programs.
    3. The Dean will advise the student of his/her decision, which will be final.

VIII. Dress and Personal Grooming Considerations for Students in the Professional Program

  1. Professional Responsibility

    1. The personal appearance and dress for the man or woman in the health professions and for those students working toward these careers are extremely important in establishing and maintaining respected doctor - client relationships. The public demands and expects that the doctor be neatly dressed and properly groomed. Research has clearly confirmed the importance of this professional appearance and behavior. Students in the College of Veterinary Medicine are expected to develop and uphold these standards at all times and to use good judgment in proper dress and grooming. Students have a professional responsibility to demonstrate these standards and to set proper attitudes and behaviors while pursuing their DVM degree.
    2. Students enrolled in the professional curriculum of the College of Veterinary Medicine participate in a professional medical field where the threat of exposure to and the chance for spread of infectious agents are greater than in the general population. Therefore, for the safety of all personnel, extra care and attention must be given to cleanliness and sanitation as essential safeguards.
    3. The person, his/her equipment, and his/her environment must be kept in such orderliness as to reduce the chance of his/her becoming infected or his/her spreading infection to others. It is for this reason that students will not wear the protective clothing, smock, lab coat, overalls or coveralls, in public places away from the College of Veterinary Medicine (retail establishments, public gatherings, entertainment and sports events, etc.). These clothing items are to be worn only while engaged in educational, research and/or service activities directly related to veterinary medicine.
    4. The College of Veterinary Medicine takes seriously its responsibility to the veterinary medical profession to teach and to train our students the professional ethics to respect colleagues, clients and authority. Interactions and respect for colleagues, clients and licensing authorities are a part of the daily professional life. Therefore, the College expects students to dress and act in a manner consistent with this obligation and requests that hats and caps not be worn in class or indoor laboratories, with the exception of religious head wear.
  2. Lecture And Laboratory Classes

    The following regulations are established by which students will be guided.

    1. Students should be attired in neat, professional clothing.
    2. The student should be dressed appropriately. Protective wear or a white jacket or white coat will cover dress clothes, except in the large animal clinic, in necropsy, and in other laboratories specified by the instructors in which dark blue coveralls or overalls will be worn.
    3. Name tags must be worn at all times.
  3. Clinical Rotations

    Students will dress in the manner prescribed by the clinic in which they are meeting the public. Maintaining a professional appearance is of the utmost importance. Adherence to the specified criteria is an essential factor in performance evaluation in the clinical setting. Name tags will be worn at all times.

  4. Special Protective Clothing

    Special protective clothing will be worn in designated areas as specified by the course instructor.

  5. Authority

    For violation of these dress and personal grooming regulations, the instructor is authorized to dismiss a student from the laboratory, clinic, or other official activity. Repeated violation may be sufficient cause for an unsatisfactory grade.

IX. Veterinary Medical Code of Honor

  1. Honor Code Statement

    Since the integrity of the veterinary medical profession and the professional curriculum in the College of Veterinary Medicine is a reflection of the sum of the integrity of its members, veterinary medical students are required to conduct themselves toward colleagues, faculty, staff, clinical patients, clients and the public in an exemplary ethical and professional manner. Enrollment in the College of Veterinary Medicine is limited to a select few who will be endowed with the sacred trust of the control over life and death of animals under their care and the administration of controlled and prescribed drugs while performing this trust. Therefore, it is required that these individuals be of the highest moral character and that their ethical and professional conduct be unquestionable. The inherent, self-imposed discipline of the professional person should prevent them from committing any act that may reflect unfavorably upon the profession, the individual or the College of Veterinary Medicine. This primary responsibility lies within the individual. Likewise, the correction of unethical behavior or practices by a colleague is the responsibility of fellow colleagues. The Veterinary Medical Code of Honor is intended to promote and strengthen this individual responsibility of students, faculty and staff.

  2. Honor Code Purpose

    1. To build character and integrity through individual responsibility and actions.
    2. To advance ethical and professional standards of personal conduct among students enrolled in the professional curriculum in the College of Veterinary Medicine.
    3. To promote the educational experience through a spirit of total honesty, friendly relations, and mutual respect among faculty, staff and students.
    4. To inculcate in the students the qualities which will uphold the dignity and integrity of the veterinary medical profession.
    5. To charge the faculty and students with the responsibility for ethical and complete scholastic integrity.
    6. To provide the students and faculty an avenue to handle any acts or behavior which violate the ethical, academic and professional standards of conduct of the University and the CVM
  3. Student Honor Code Council

    The Student Honor Code Council shall receive the reported scholastic dishonesty, violation or misconduct against any student that has been submitted to the Associate Dean for Professional Programs. At the beginning of each academic year, the four professional classes will each elect two (2) students as class representatives to serve on both the Student/Faculty Relations Committee and the Student Honor Code Council. The Council will elect its own chairperson from these eight (8) student members. One non-voting faculty advisor will be appointed by the Dean and be present at all Council meetings. An alternate faculty advisor will also be appointed by the Dean. A quorum will consist of three-fourths or more of the student members and the faculty advisor or alternate. A Council member may be excused from service in cases in which there is a conflict of interest or prejudicial position. Determination of the existence of a conflict is in the sole discretion of the College.

X. Discipline Regulations

  1. Student Discipline

    If a student behaves in a manner that would be unacceptable in the professional curriculum, in the College of Veterinary Medicine, or in the practice of veterinary medicine, disciplinary proceedings may be initiated against the student for misconduct or for breach of professional ethics. Examples of such misconduct or breach of professional ethics shall include, but not be limited to, the following: scholastic dishonesty according to Texas A&M University Student Rules; violation of a federal or state law; forgery, alteration or misuse of University or hospital property, documents or records; conduct that significantly interferes with University teaching, research or administration; conduct that endangers the health or safety of the student or others; illegal use, illegal possession and/or illegal sale of a drug, narcotic or other controlled substance as defined in the Texas Controlled Substances Act on or off campus; theft or any misappropriation of CVM, VMTH or University property;inappropriate, unprofessional, or disrespectful behavior toward other students, faculty, university or hospital staff, patients, clients; or engaging in conduct prohibited by the Texas A&M University Student Rules.

  2. Procedures in Violation and Misconduct Cases:

    It shall be the individual duty and responsibility of every student, staff and/or faculty member to act on any student violation or misconduct. When a violation or act of misconduct is recognized, the student, staff and/or faculty member should take prompt action as follows depending on the violation or misconduct:

    1. Option I: Directly contact the student involved in the questionable activity, violation, or misconduct and request him/her to cease the questionable activity, violation or misconduct. If the accuser feels the questionable activity, violation or misconduct warrants, he/she should proceed with Option II or III depending on the nature of the offense. Option II is only for scholastic dishonesty cases. Option III is for violations and misconduct cases other than scholastic dishonesty.
    2. Option II for Scholastic Dishonesty:
      1. The categories of scholastic dishonesty are as listed in the Texas A&M University Student Rules and in the specific course syllabi of the courses and clinical rotations in the professional curriculum.
      2. The instructor or course coordinator for a course shall be the instructor of record for the course in which the claim of scholastic dishonesty is being made by a student, staff, or faculty member. The instructor shall inform the student of the alleged scholastic dishonesty, what sanction(s) he/she will recommend and the procedures that the Student Honor Code Council will follow. If, after hearing the student's version of the events, the instructor judges the student to be guilty of scholastic dishonesty, the instructor will make a written report, signed by the appropriate department head, to the Student Honor Code Council through the Associate Dean for Professional Programs with copies to the student and the respective department head of the instructor, giving an outline of the incident and including a recommendation of sanction(s) to be imposed, according to the Texas A&M University Student Rules. The instructor must also inform the student of his/her right to appeal to the Student Honor Code Council regarding either the question of guilt or the sanction(s).
      3. If the student has not appealed and the Student Honor Code Council concurs with the instructor's recommendation, the Associate Dean for Professional Programs will implement the sanction(s). When the student appeals, the assigned work in the course and the grade in the course are to be considered and reported as an Incomplete until the final resolution of the case has been achieved. The student should continue to attend classes, take examinations and participate in the academic requirements.
      4. The instructor's recommendation may be dismissed, reduced, upheld or increased by the Student Honor Code Council. Before reaching a final decision regarding any sanction(s) to be imposed, the Student Honor Code Council shall check the student's record in the Office of the Associate Dean for Professional Programs. Sanctions that may be decided by the Student Honor Code Council will be according to the Texas A&M University Rules and will be implemented by the Associate Dean for Professional Programs.
      5. If the Student Honor Code Council proposes to change the instructor's recommendation or if the student has appealed the instructor's recommendation, the Student Honor Code Council shall conduct a hearing. The College will record all Student Honor Code Council hearings. The student and the instructor shall be allowed to present witnesses and provide evidence relating to the charge. The decision, including any and all sanctions, resulting from this hearing shall be forwarded in writing to the Associate Dean for Professional Programs, and to the student. The student may appeal to the College Disciplinary Appeals Committee according to the procedures given in Section X.C. below of the Professional Student Handbook.
      6. Student Rights and Responsibilities in Scholastic Dishonesty Cases: The student shall be afforded the following rights in the hearing conducted by the Student Honor Code Council:
        • Right to a written notice of the charges at least five (5) working days before the hearing may proceed.
        • Right to waive the five-day (5) notice of charges.
        • Right to an explanation of the College's evidence by receiving reasonable access to the case file.
        • Right to a list of the names of witnesses against him/her and a brief statement of the facts to which each will testify.
        • Right to question any witness against him/her called before the Student Honor Code Council hearing and the right to present documentary evidence or witnesses (live or by affidavit) on his/her behalf. Character witnesses should be presented only by letter or affidavit provided to the Council during the hearing.
        • Right to have a non-participating observer present during the hearing. The observer cannot be a witness (or other person involved in the incident), participate, represent the student, or communicate directly to the Student Honor Code Council in the hearing. A student may not be represented by an attorney at a hearing before the Student Honor Code Council, unless the Student Honor Code Council chooses to have an attorney present and has informed the student in advance. If an attorney is present for the Student Honor Code Council and the student elects to have an attorney present at the hearing, the student must notify the Associate Dean for Professional Programs three (3) working days in advance of the hearing that he/she will have an attorney present.
        • The burden of proof shall be on the College to prove its case by a preponderance of evidence. Preponderance of evidence is defined as the greater weight and degree of credible evidence admitted at the hearing.
        • Right to appeal the disciplinary decision of the Student Honor Code Council to the College Disciplinary Appeals Committee.
        • Right to request a copy of the recording from the Student Honor Code Council hearing at the expense of the student.

        Note: Deviations from this process required by special circumstances shall not be considered a violation of a student's due process unless it results in substantial prejudice to the student.

      7. If the student wishes to appeal the decision made by the Student Honor Code Council, he/she must provide written notice to the Chair of the College Disciplinary Appeals Committee within five (5) working days of receiving notice of the decision. An appeal can only be made on the basis of unjust sanction or violation of due process. Only in unusual circumstances may this deadline be extended.
    3. Option III Violations and Misconduct Other than Scholastic Dishonesty:
      1. For violations, misconduct or questionable activities other than scholastic dishonesty, the student, staff or faculty member is to report the claim in writing to the Student Honor Code Council through the Associate Dean for Professional Programs within ten (10) University business days. When a faculty or staff member submits an alleged violation or act of misconduct to the Student Honor Code Council and Associate Dean for Professional Programs, it is to include the signature of acknowledgment from his or her respective Department Head.
      2. The Student Honor Code Council through the Associate Dean for Professional Programs shall notify the student in question of the charges and his/her rights and conduct a hearing under the same procedures as given above for Scholastic Dishonesty in Section X.B.2.e. and f. of the Professional Student Handbook.
      3. Any student who has appealed the decision of the Student Honor Code Council to the College Disciplinary Appeals Committee according to Section X.C. of the Professional Student Handbook.
  3. College Disciplinary Appeals Committee:

    1. Membership: At the beginning of each academic year, the Dean shall appoint a faculty member as Chair, four (4) additional faculty members and six (6) professional students with two (2) each from the 2VM, 3VM and 4VM classes to serve on the College Disciplinary Appeals Committee. A quorum shall consist of three (3) faculty and three (3) students. Student members may be excused from service in a disciplinary appeals hearing involving a member of their class.
    2. Procedures:
      1. The student must file a written request for an appeal hearing with the Chair of the College Disciplinary Appeals Committee within five (5) working days of the delivery of the decision regarding disciplinary action taken by the Student Honor Code Council. The student must identify in the written request the specific reason for the appeal. An appeal can only be made on the basis of unjust sanction or violation of due process. The request for appeal should also indicate whether the student prefers an open or closed hearing; the decision for an open or closed hearing is ultimately that of the College. Following the filing of the written appeal and pending the appeal hearing, the disciplinary action taken by the Student Honor Code Council shall be stayed, unless the Council has determined in a case involving suspension, dismissal or expulsion that the presence on campus of the student poses a continuing danger to persons or property or an ongoing threat of disrupting the academic process. If the student is allowed to remain on campus during the appeal, the student should continue to attend classes, take examinations and participate in the academic requirements.
      2. Upon receipt of the written request for a hearing, the Chair shall set a time and place for the hearing as soon as practicable.
      3. The Chair shall sit as the hearing officer, rule on all procedural matters, and admissibility of evidence. The Chair will participate in the deliberations of the Committee and not vote except to cast the tie breaking vote. Though a formal proceeding, the hearing process does not require strict adherence to formal courtroom procedures or the rules of evidence.
      4. In all cases where the Student Honor Code Council has conducted a hearing and rendered a decision, the burden of proof in an appeal to the College Disciplinary Appeals Committee shall be with the College to prove its case by a preponderance of the evidence i.e., there were no due process violations or the sanction was not unjust. Preponderance of evidence is defined as the greater weight and degree of credible evidence admitted at the hearing. The report and decision from the Student Honor Code Council hearing shall be forwarded to the College Disciplinary Appeals Committee as a part of the appeals process.
      5. The student shall have the right to consult with counsel of his or her own choosing, to present such witnesses and documentary evidence as may be pertinent, and to cross-examine witnesses offered by the College. An attorney or an individual acting as an advisor may not represent the student directly, directly question, or cross-examine witnesses, except in a case where the College is represented by an attorney. The student must notify the College three (3) working days prior to the hearing that he/she intends to have an attorney present.
      6. All parties shall be afforded the opportunity for reasonable oral argument and shall be permitted to file typewritten or reproduced material.
      7. Upon the request of either party, the Chair shall cause the testimony presented at the hearing to be recorded. A copy of the recording may be obtained from the Chair of the Committee at the expense of the requesting party.
      8. After hearing the appeal, the Committee will go into closed session to deliberate. Upon conclusion of its deliberation, the Committee shall inform the student in writing by formal letter within five (5) working days of its decision. A copy of this letter outlining the decision of the Committee shall be sent to the student, the Honor Code Council, any instructors involved, the Associate Dean for Professional Programs, and the Dean.
      9. The decision of the College Disciplinary Appeals Committee will be final.
  4. Standard of Review:

    The standard of review to be used in all proceedings under this section shall be fundamental fairness. Strict rules of evidence and procedures are not required so long as the proceedings are conducted in such a manner as to allow the student to fairly explain the circumstances. Decisions regarding the admissibility of evidence and the weight to be given to same shall be made by the hearing body who is conducting the hearing.

  5. Departure from Campus Following Expulsion, Dismissal or Suspension:

    Students who have been required to withdraw from the College of Veterinary Medicine for disciplinary reasons shall leave the premises within three (3) days after being notified or sooner if so directed by the Dean. The student will further be required to return his/her Student ID card, any issued security keys and all security access cards to any of the facilities in the Veterinary Medical Complex.

XI. Employee/Student Animals in CVM Buildings

  1. The existing College Policy on private animals in the workplace was reaffirmed at the January 25, 2000 meeting of the College of Veterinary Medicine Executive Committee, as reported below.
  2. Texas A&M University rules prohibit personal pets and animals in University buildings except where authorized. Item 36.1 of the Texas A&M University Student Rules states the following:
    • 36.1 With the exception of Seeing Eye dogs, fish for aquaria, and the official university mascot, animals are not permitted in residence halls, university food service areas, university- owned apartments or other university buildings except where authorized. Such authorization must be obtained in writing from the particular building proctor. When a classroom situation is involved, the pet owner must also obtain additional authorization from the instructor of the class.
    • 36.2 Animals will not be allowed to run at large on campus and must be leashed at all times.
    • 36.3 Animals shall not be left unattended or secured to university property.
  3. The College of Veterinary Medicine and Hospital Board recognizes that many employees in the College of Veterinary Medicine do have pets. However, University and College operations cannot be properly performed if all persons are allowed to have pets and animals with them in the buildings,and itis unfair to allow exceptions or special treatment for certain individuals. The policy of the College will be as stated above in the Texas A&M University Student Rules with the following addendum:

    "Pets and animals of the employees and students shall not be brought to, or housed in, College of Veterinary Medicine and Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital buildings except by appointment, and shall be housed in an approved animal housing area. The Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery will provide a cage or run to employees and students who have appointments to bring their animals for treatment. However, arrangements must be made in advance of the appointment date with the clinician handling the case, and the clinician or his/her representative must be present at the time the animal is admitted. Casual 'drop-offs' without prior arrangements will not be accepted. Employee and student owned animals being used for teaching purposes must have prior approvals and releases signed according to college policies and will not be provided housing by the academic department in which the course is taught. No overnight housing is allowed and only one day or ½ day housing will be approved."

XII. Appendix

  1. Statement on Student Rights and Responsibilities

    The College of Veterinary Medicine supports and recognizes the Students Rights and Responsibilities as stated in Texas A&M University Student Rules.

  2. Statement on Harassment and Discrimination

    Students should be aware that any form of harassment and any form of illegal discrimination against any individual is inconsistent with the values of the University and this College. Students who believe they have experienced harassment or illegal discriminations are encouraged to contact the Associate Dean's Office.

  3. Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974

    To comply with the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, The College announces publicly the rules and procedures implementing the act. Additional information is available from the registrar.

    Generally, with certain exceptions, the law provides that students and former students have the right to review their records, request explanations concerning them, obtain copies and challenge records that they feel are inaccurate, misleading or otherwise inappropriate. The challenge procedure includes a full and fair opportunity for the student to present relevant evidence at a hearing. The law also provides that students may waive their right of access to confidential letters of recommendation and may also grant permission to release certain personally identifiable information to unauthorized personnel.

    The college can release directory information@ such as name, address, telephone number, etc. (See Texas A&M University Student Rules )

    Student records for veterinary students are maintained in the Office of the Associate Dean for Professional Programs.

  4. Americans With Disabilities Act

    The College recognizes the Americans with Disabilities act and is committed to seeking reasonable accommodations for qualified students. The College has adopted technical standards which describe minimum capabilities necessary to obtain the knowledge and skills to succeed in the program and to function in a manner that ensures the safety of the individual, colleagues, clients and animals. Inability to meet these standards may prevent some applicants with disabilities from qualifying for enrollment and some students with disabilities from continued enrollment. A copy of the technical standards is available upon request from the Office of the Associate Dean for Professional Programs. All students with a qualified disability should review the standards.

  5. Policy on Class Notes for Professional Courses

    Introduction:A set of course notes are provided by the instructors of many courses in the professional curriculum to supplement required textbooks and readings, to abstract from the massive informational base in the discipline and to reduce the number of required textbooks that a student would have to purchase. These notes represent hours of work by the faculty and are done as a service to the students and to enhance the educational process. The following policy shall guide the academic departments and faculty in making these course notes available to students in the professional curriculum.

    1. Print quality course notes for all professional courses should be prepared by the instructor or assembled by the course coordinator in advance of the start of the semester in which the course is to be taught.
    2. The course notes for distribution to the students should be duplicated in advance of the first day of class and made available for purchase by the students through the CVM Educational and Communication Resources (ECR) unit or one of the local vendors. If an academic department elects, it may provide these notes to the students at departmental expense.
    3. If the course instructor uses power point presentations in the course, these can be downloadable by the students from the web and printed within the student's computer print page allocation or downloaded onto an electronic disk and be printed offsite. Students are given a maximum computer print copy number of 250 - 300 pages each semester. When this number is exceeded, students will be required to download extra materials that they wish to print onto an electronic disk for printing copies offsite or they may purchase an "Ikon" Print Card and use the Pay Printer located in the ATLAB (B21).
    4. Course instructors should consider making the power point slides a part of the original course notes for purchase or combining them into a single document for duplication and purchase as given in Item 2 above. When a course requires group projects with class reports and papers, the presented materials should be collected by the instructor for duplication and subsequent sale to the students through ECR. Single presentations and lectures cannot be handled or sold in this matter and must be appropriately combined at reasonable times depending on the amount of material and the course schedule.
    5. Course instructors must be in compliance with copyright laws on all class notes and printed materials for distribution.
  6. Student Alcohol Policy*

    The Student Alcohol Policy of the College of Veterinary Medicine defines the stipulations and requirements set forth for all student organizations and classes relative to the consumption of alcoholic beverages at any event/activity/function directly or indirectly associated with this college. This policy applies to all professional DVM students, graduate students, and undergraduate students affiliated with the College of Veterinary Medicine. The need for alcohol at any student-related activity should first be carefully evaluated and weighed against its potential liabilities and other disadvantages. If alcohol is served, it shall be in compliance with TAMU Student Rules and allowed only through a private vendor duly licensed to provide cash sale of alcoholic beverages in strict compliance with Texas State Laws. A licensed vendor must submit to the sponsoring organization a written verification of its current license ten (10) days in advance of a scheduled event. Free alcoholic beverages are prohibited at all student-related activities, and funds from student organizations or classes shall not be used directly or indirectly to purchase alcohol. Legally underage persons shall not consume alcoholic beverages under any circumstances, and only the individual legally purchasing an alcoholic beverage at a student-related event shall consume it. Private companies sponsoring a student event are included in this policy, and there are no exceptions to this policy.

    *This Policy was adopted and shall be enforced to: (1) ensure compliance with all University rules and Texas State Laws pertaining to consumption of alcoholic beverages; (2) protect all college students, staff, faculty, and administration from risks and legal liabilities resulting from misuse of alcohol by participants at student-related events; and (3) provide responsible and professional conduct consistent with a medical profession and its members.

    Approved by CVM Executive Committee - 6/18/02

  7. Policy on Student Attendance

    Southwest Veterinary Medical Symposium and Texas Veterinary Medical Association Meeting
    Southwest Veterinary Medical Symposium in October

    Location:This meeting will be held each October in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

    Fourth-Year Students:Fourth-year students are given an Excused Absence from clinical rotation duties beginning at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday before the meeting to 8:00 a.m. on Monday following the meeting. Students who serve on and will be attending TVMA committee meetings on Thursday afternoon must request and receive an Authorized Absence from their assigned clinical faculty member ten (10) days in advance and be pre-registered through the TVMA Office for the meeting. Third-year students not attending the Symposium will be scheduled to cover clinical patient and service responsibilities in the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital so that fourth-year students registered for and attending the Symposium may be able to do so.

    Other Students:Students in the first, second and third year classes may attend the Symposium on Saturday and Sunday with no Authorized Absence being required. Students who serve on a TVMA committee and who will be attending the committee meetings on Thursday and/or the Symposium on Friday must request and receive an Authorized Absence from all of their instructors ten (10) days in advance and be pre-registered for the meeting through the TVMA Office.

    Texas Veterinary Medical Association Meeting in February

    Location:This meeting will alternate between Austin and College Station each February.

    All Students:When the meeting is in College Station, students may attend on Saturday and Sunday as time allows and as clinical patient responsibilities allow for fourth-year students. However, fourth-year students must work with their assigned clinical faculty for any release from their clinical responsibilities and patients which come first. Students who wish to attend TVMA committee meetings on Friday afternoon must request and receive an Authorized Absence ten (10) days in advance and be pre-registered for the meeting through the TVMA Office. Most students, except for fourth-year students on clinical rotations, will not have Friday afternoon classes and will not require an Authorized Absence. When the meeting is in Austin, all students will be required to have an Authorized Absence by all of their instructors if missing any class on Friday afternoon and from the assigned clinicians for all fourth-year students ten (10) days in advance of the meeting and be pre-registered through the TVMA Office. Fourth-year students are not given an Excused Absence as is done for the Symposium in October and may only attend if they have an approved Authorized Absence and can work out the schedule with their assigned clinical faculty and rotation group of students for VMTH clinical services and assigned patients.

    Note:The Dean's Office will attempt to schedule major examinations away from these dates as best as possible and in coordination with the course instructors. The TVMA Office will provide the CVM with a list of registered students and students will be required to submit proof of attendance.

CVM Executive Committee 07/02/02