Statement of Professional Ethics

The Department of History at California State University, Stanislaus, adheres to the professional ethics and standards of the historical profession and the larger academic community. Both faculty and students are responsible for practicing and enforcing professional standards of conduct and scholarship.

Standards applicable to History Faculty

In its "Statement on Professional Ethics," the American Association of University Professors (Policy Documents and Reports, 1995) cites "general standards that serve as a reminder of the variety of responsibilities assumed by all members of the profession." The responsibilities of professors include the following:

seek and to state the truth as they see it...intellectual honesty...scholarly and ethical standards of their discipline...respect...honest academic conduct... [refraining from] any exploitation, harassment, or discriminatory treatment...[observing] the stated regulations of the institution.

The Department specifically endorses the American Historical Association's "Statement on Plagiarism," which defines plagiarism as the "expropriation of another author's findings, interpretation, or text, presented thereafter as one's own creation without proper attribution to its actual source;" such action is "a cardinal violation of the ethics of scholarship." (AHA Perspectives, January, 1989)

Standards applicable to History Students

Applicants to the Department of History, especially to the Master's Program, will be evaluated both on prior academic performance and on their ability to meet the Department's high standards of professional ethics. References may be contacted to determine the applicant's eligibility in these areas.

The Department of History requires that students abide by the above scholarly and ethical guidelines in all courses, fieldwork, and research endeavors. Students shall also adhere to any other official policies of the University, as well as relevant statutes of federal, state, and local governments.

Students may be placed on probation or expelled for actions consistent with those described in Title V, "Guidelines for California State Universities and Colleges," pp. 493-494. Such actions include but are not limited to the following:

Graduate students may be placed on probation or may be disqualified by appropriate campus authorities for unsatisfactory scholastic progress regardless of cumulative grade point average or progress points. Such actions shall be limited to those arising from repeated withdrawal, failure to progress toward an educational objective and noncompliance with an academic requirement, and shall be consistent with guidelines issued by the Chancellor.

Students engaging in any of the following activities shall be expelled from the M.A. program in History:

"Cheating or plagiarism...forgery...Misrepresentation of oneself...abusive behavior directed toward, or hazing of, a member of the campus community (the term 'behavior' includes conduct and expression)."

Students who have been disciplined and suspended or expelled by the University may be removed from the M.A. program in History.

Review of Graduate Status
The History Graduate Committee will meet periodically to determine student admission to the Masters Program in History. On a regular basis, the History Graduate Committee will meet to review the status of continuing students in the graduate program in light of their progress, based on academic and professional ethical standards. Decisions made by the History Graduate Committee shall be communicated in writing to the student, the Graduate Dean, the Coordinator of Graduate Studies, and any other appropriate persons.