Institutions of higher education--whether public, private, or proprietary--share:
* a common function (the offering of structured educational opportunities);
* a common commitment to meeting specified educational needs of students beyond the secondary level;
* common concern for and obligation to the society which permits them to exist and helps to support them, directly and indirectly.
The essence of the social obligation of these institutions is expressed in the word _integrity,_ i.e., in the expectation that an institution is what it says it is and does what it says it does. In a complex institution, with many faculty and staff members carrying out a variety of tasks and interacting with students in numerous ways, this straightforward concept of institutional integrity is continually put to a number of tests. Therefore, it is desirable that important elements of the relation between the institution and its students be set forth in a document against which institutional obligations and performance may be assessed.
To that end, this Code of Fair Practice has been adopted by the University of Montevallo.
* Educational Objectives: The University of Montevallo will define its educational objectives in ways that clearly communicate its purposes and that lend themselves to meaningful evaluation. Umps Mission and Goals statement provides such definition.
* Fair Practice. The University of Montevallo will maintain responsive, responsible, and fair procedures, with full commitment to equal opportunity and nondiscrimination, in all matters affecting students. This includes the provision and delivery of educational programs, the provision of necessary supporting services, and due process regarding disciplinary matters and the handling of grievances, as described in the UM catalog and/or student handbook, the Fledgling. Moreover, the University seeks to ensure that students have an appropriate role in major policy, program, procedural, and budgeting decisions.
* Full Disclosure. The University of Montevallo will provide complete and accurate information on all pertinent aspects of institutional policies and practices directly affecting students, and, where practicable, include it in University publications.
* Careful attention will be given to the accuracy of the information in publications concerning the University of Montevallo. These include the institutional catalog, student handbook, course schedules, recruiting materials, and multi-institutional reference works.
* Publications will be reviewed annually to ensure that the material is accurate and current and that their language can be readily understood.
Admissions and Recruitment:
* The University of Montevallo will not pay employees commissions or bonuses for the recruitment of students nor contract with companies to provide this function.
* Admissions and recruiting staff members will be professionally qualified and will be provided with accurate information about the University of Montevallo and its educational programs.
* Recruiting materials will present an accurate and balanced picture of the University and its educational programs.
* Special articulation efforts will be undertaken to ensure the smooth transfer of students from other institutions, especially the community colleges of Alabama.
* Admissions requirements and procedures will be clearly stated in appropriate publications and will be adhered to, with mechanisms of appeal available in cases of disputed admissions decisions.
* Tuition costs and other fees will be fully described in appropriate publications, particularly when charges vary according to program, level or type of study, or student status.
* Insofar as possible, students will be notified of likely additional costs, such as charges for special equipment or laboratory fees. The Student Government Association will be advised of matters pertaining to increased costs.
* The terms for refunding tuition, housing or board charges and for waiving certain financial requirements will be explained and published.
* Students will be clearly informed about all types of financial assistance for which they may be eligible, including application and award procedures. Any limitations or restrictions will be described.
* Formal statements explaining University of Montevallo policies with respect to student records and accounts, the maintenance of their privacy, and their availability to students will be published in the University of Montevallo catalog.
* Efficient procedures will be maintained in handling records and in providing students with reasonable access to their records.
* Complaint or appeal mechanisms will be available for resolving difficulties that students may have concerning their records. The student's right to challenge, and request correction of, information will be made clear.
Instructional Programs and Requirements:
* The University of Montevallo will inform students about the full ranges and frequency of program options available to them and about all requirements for academic progress and program completion. Each student will be assigned an academic advisor. An official program audit will be maintained on seniors detailing progress toward completion of graduation requirements. Any student may request a program audit at any time.
* Students will be given advance notice of any changes in requirements or programs, and changes will not be made in a way that unduly impede the academic progress of students already enrolled.
* Informal complaint mechanisms will be available to students who may have concern about academic matters, and students will be encouraged initially to resolve their complaints through these channels. The Vice President for Academic Affairs serves as coordinator of these informal processes.
* Students will be provided with channels for registering, discussing and resolving academic and non-academic grievances. Such channels will include informal mechanisms to handle minor problems as quickly as possible and also more formal structures to allow for appropriate hearings. Every effort will be made to assure appropriate levels of confidentiality for the student. The Vice President for Student Affairs serves as coordinator of these formal processes.
* Descriptive information on complaint channels and on procedures for using them will be available to all students. The SGA Director of Student Life will be responsible for making public to students the appropriate mechanisms for handling complaints.
Student Services and Student Conduct:
* The University of Montevallo will provide full and accurate descriptions of the various services offered to students. When changes in such services must take place, whether in level of services, fees, or policies, adequate notice will be provided.
* Students will be given full information on University of Montevallo policies and procedures with respect to their conduct. The student handbook will clearly state student rights and responsibilities.
* Students will be informed of opportunities to participate in the formulation of student services policies affecting them.
* Special services will be maintained to provide students basic medical treatment, personal counseling and/or referral to external providers, where requested.
The University of Montevallo will indicate in the official catalog and other appropriate materials its accreditation status and, where appropriate, its status regarding programmatic accreditation.
To ensure that the commitments described here are achieved, the University of Montevallo will undertake periodic assessments of the extent to which they are, in fact, being carried out and will initiate corrective actions, if needed.
Last Revised 04/08