College of Forestry Code of Professional Conduct


The College of Forestry is a community of faculty, staff, students, and visitors that stretches across all spectrums. Every member of the College community is responsible for conduct that creates, promotes, and maintains a learning and work environment that is open to and welcomes all persons. As a community, we embrace each member through the acknowledgement, honoring, and celebration of our commonalities and our differences.

The foundation for maintaining this environment requires that all persons must treat all others with dignity and respect at all times. The College fully supports the mission and goals of Oregon State University and affirms its support of the University policy against discrimination (http://oregonstate.edu/dept/affact/policy/discrimination.html), as well as the University’s policies on honesty, ethics, and substance abuse (including alcohol) (http://oregonstate.edu/admin/stucon/).

Code Applied to Instructional Activities

The purpose of the Code of Professional Conduct is to foster a learning environment and to practice behavior that is acceptable in the professional workplace. This conduct can be described simply as honest, civil, courteous, and responsible.

Forestry students will use only authorized sources of information in completing their exams and assignments, will honestly report all sources (and references) for work submitted, and will not assist others in using unauthorized sources or in misrepresenting the sources they use. (Copying from others’ exams, submitting dry-labbed data, and plagiarism are example violations.) Forestry faculty and students assume that forestry students are honest and that they consistently abide by the Professional Code. Therefore, Forestry instructors may leave the classroom during tests and in other ways help students develop and promote personal integrity.

Forestry students will participate in classroom, lab, or field activities, and participate in groups with whomever one is assigned. Students and instructors will be respectful of the dignity and diversity of individuals, and strive to build constructive relationships with other students and instructors. Students will avoid disruptive and discourteous behavior such as coming to class late, talking at inappropriate times, reading newspapers in class, or monopolizing class time. Students and instructors will make safety a priority in class and field activities, and will always use/operate equipment (including vehicles and tools) in a safe and legal manner. During class activities*, students, faculty, and staff will completely abstain from the consumption of illegal drugs and alcohol, and be free from their influence. During other COF-sponsored activities**, students, faculty, and staff of legal drinking age will act responsibly and moderately when consuming alcohol. 

Publicizing the Code

  • This memo will be part of every course syllabus and all instructors will be asked to make this known at the first meeting of each course every term.
  • New faculty and staff hires will be given this memo as part of the introduction to the College.
  • All graduate students will have this memo as part of their introductory materials. The graduate student major professor will be asked to go over this memo with the new graduate student soon after their arrival.
  • A copy of the document "Living Within the Acceptable Use Policy" regarding use of Forestry computing resources will accompany this memo in all packets.
  • Instructors and faculty members who oversee COF-sponsored activities (such as club advisors) are encouraged to give the Professional Code of Conduct in writing to students. Student organizations should work together with their faculty advisors to develop consequences for violations, and these should be incorporated into the by-laws of each organization.


* A class activity is any scheduled activity associated with a course, including lectures, labs, and field trips. This includes overnight field trips, field school, Starker Lecture dinners, and applies to students, faculty, and staff. It does not include activities done independently by students, such as studying for classes, working on independent study classes, theses/dissertations, or internships.

** A COF-sponsored activity is any activity that is held on or off-campus that is funded or organized by the College of Forestry, or that is attended by COF faculty, students or staff using any COF funds.

The definition of student is any matriculated undergraduate or graduate student. The policy applies to all students taking COF classes or attending COF-sponsored events, whether they are Forestry students or not.

Violations of the Code

Violations of acceptable conduct not only affect the persons directly involved but the community as well. Our goal is to first treat violations through education where effective. However, the College treats all violations as serious and will follow with disciplinary actions where necessary.

The College policy for student violations of the drug and alcohol code during class activities is a failing grade in the class. Faculty and staff violations will be reported to the Dean’s office for disciplinary action. All violations of the drug and alcohol rule must be reported and enforced. Violations of other aspects of the Code will be reported to the Dean’s Office, and student violations will be turned over to the College of Forestry Honor Board.

The Honor Board

The student Honor Board administers the College of Forestry's Professional Code of Conduct. The Board has two major functions:

  • To publicize the Professional Code of Conduct
  • To determine the guilt or innocence of students charged with violations of the Professional Code of Conduct. The Dean of the College determines penalties.

The Honor Board is not necessarily involved in every alleged violation of the Professional Code of Conduct.

  • If an individual professor chooses to determine guilt and assign penalties, he or she may do so, but the student may appeal the decision of guilt to the Honor Board and the penalty to the Dean.

The Honor Board is separate from all other functions of the College of Forestry and all Forestry clubs.

  • This does not bar any club official from Board membership, but keeps people from becoming Board members simply on the basis of other affiliations.

Reporting violations:

  • It is the responsibility of all Forestry faculty and students to report violations of the Professional Code of Conduct.
  • Apparent violations should be submitted in writing to the Dean, who will turn them over to the student Chair of the Honor Board or to the Faculty Advisor.

Periodic review of the Professional Code of Conduct:

  • The Honor Board should review the Professional Code of Conduct and these associated guidelines at least every two years. They should obtain input from both students and faculty on the effectiveness of the system. The Honor Board will submit any proposed changes of the system to the Dean for approval.

Other information:

  • Board composition: one undergraduate from each of the following majors: FE or FE/CE, FOR, RM, RRM, and NR, and two graduate students from any two departments. The faculty advisor is non-voting.
  • All Honor Board decisions are confidential. Decisions of the Board are not included in the accused student's file.
  • The principle of "innocent until proven guilty" applies to all Honor Board cases.
  • A unanimous vote of the Board members present is required for a guilty verdict.