Student Conduct

Mission and Principles


The Office of Student Conduct promotes a culture of integrity as articulated in the Duke Community Standard and as embodied in the policies that flow from it. Through educational initiatives and processes for adjudication of alleged misconduct, the Office of Student Conduct encourages honesty, fairness, respect, and accountability.

Guiding Principles

  • Duke University has high expectations and regard for its students' engagements and achievements.
  • The University has an obligation to aid students in their development as "adults committed to high ethical standards and full participation as leaders in their communities" (Duke University Mission Statement).
  • An integral part of a student's education is the opportunity for self-determination reflected by academic and co-curricular choices and concomitant behavioral decisions.
  • Institutional policies and procedures should balance the provision of a safe and productive learning environment with protection of individual freedoms.
  • Students are accountable for the decisions they make and are expected to take responsibility for the consequences (positive and negative) of those decisions.
  • Duke's behavioral policies specify community expectations derived from the Duke Community Standard.
  • All members of the community - students, faculty, and staff - play a role in defining community norms and standards and for enabling students' accountability.
  • Students' actions have bearing on the University community regardless of location and venue.
  • It is important to balance fundamental fairness/due process with the flexibility required to maintain order and foster learning in a university environment.
  • Balancing the interests/concerns of individuals with those of the larger community is challenging but of paramount importance.
  • Each student and situation is unique and should be considered in context, while holding high regard for fairness and consistency.
  • Parents can play both supportive and challenging roles.
    • Outreach and response to parents is balanced with students' need for self-determination.
  • Duke University's disciplinary process is educationally focused.
    • Responses to violations of policy (sanctions) include educational components that encourage self-reflection.
    • The disciplinary process in and of itself is educational.
    • Resources are available to help students navigate the disciplinary process (e.g., disciplinary advisors) who can also support/challenge them, maximizing learning opportunities.
  • Disciplinary policies and the disciplinary process reflect Duke's history of respect for academic freedom and freedom of speech.
  • Both the University transcript and disciplinary record accurately reflect a student's performance inside and outside of the classroom.
  • Outreach and interaction with various facets of the University community help reinforce community expectations and reduce instances of misconduct.
    • Partnerships across the institution are important.


  • Members of the University community care for one another.
  • Everyone makes mistakes. It is not an indictment of one's character to be found in violation of university policy.
  • Confidentiality is highly valued and is expected of all participants in the disciplinary process.
  • Motivations of those involved in the disciplinary process are honorable. There are no personal agendas.
  • There is inherent value in a disciplinary system that engages students, faculty, and staff with each other at all levels of the process.
  • Students will participate with integrity in the disciplinary process. What students say is assumed true unless information indicates to the contrary.
  • Personnel have the skills and knowledge base to effectively do their jobs.