Our desire is to create an environment that is restorative and redemptive. Therefore, with the help of the Holy Spirit, Board members, students, administrators, faculty and staff strive to live lives that reflect the Kingdom values expressed in the following Community Standards of Conduct. However, violations of the expressed principles and policies described in this manual and in the Lausanne Covenant may result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal or termination.
Our Statements of Community Standards are affirmed by all BGU directors, faculty, administrators, staff, and students. These are:
Statement of Academic Freedom
Statement of Academic Integrity
Statement on Christian Conduct
Statement on Title IX
Statement on Non-Discrimination
Statement on Harassment
Statement on Sexual Orientation
Statement on Respect for People and Property
Statement on Substance Abuse
1. Statement on Academic Freedom
In the pursuit of truth before God, faculty members are free to express, in their writing, speaking, teaching, and activities, their individual positions. Upon initial consideration for a faculty position at BGU, faculty members are required to state their agreement or concerns with the mission, vision, values, doctrine (Lausanne Covenant), and educational philosophy of BGU. While faculty are free to develop and express new academic positions, the unique task of the institution requires that the ultimate positions of faculty members not be at variance with the basic theology of the community as set forth in the Faculty Handbook and other official statements derived from it and approved by vote of the faculty and the university’s Board of Directors (hereinafter “the Board”). Faculty members serve under the authority of the BGU community and must recognize their positions within BGU are dependent upon their continued respect for these official statements and authorities of the university. BGU recognizes that as its faculty members pursue their respective disciplines, scholarship will sometimes create a healthy and dynamic tension that BGU must encourage.
- Faculty members are entitled to freedom in research and in the publication of the results within their fields of academic competence.
- Faculty members are entitled to freedom in their classrooms, addressing matters within the general subject area implied by the course title and description.
- Faculty members are free as individuals and as citizens to speak and write about matters, whether or not the matters are directly related to theology. While BGU will not limit individual expression in any respect, when expressing views that are at variance with the official views of BGU, faculty members should avoid the impression that they are speaking for BGU.
- Students are required to respect the statements as found in the University Catalog and are free to take reasoned exception to the data or views offered in the BGU community. In their public expressions, students and student organizations should make clear that they speak only for themselves. Nevertheless, faculty members are responsible for safeguarding the academic freedom of their students to learn by encouraging free inquiry into controversial issues, presenting alternative viewpoints, refraining from undue influence which would interfere with the process of learning, taking dissenting student opinion seriously and offering a forum for discussion.
2. Statement on Academic Integrity
BGU is committed to intellectual and moral development, therefore, upholding the standard of academic integrity with its reliance on honesty as the collective responsibility of faculty, students and staff. Conduct regarded as violating academic integrity includes: dishonesty in an examination - copying from the examination paper of another, allowing one’s own examination paper to be copied, reading without the instructor’s consent a copy of the examination prior to the date it is given, giving or receiving non-permitted aid on a take-home examination or the submission of the same work product in more than one course without the express permission of the instructor(s), and plagiarism - passing off another’s ideas or writings as one’s own. Plagiarism is failure to acknowledge material that is copied from others or failure to acknowledge one’s indebtedness to another for the gist of important thoughts in a formal statement, written or oral. Since the issue of plagiarism is one of integrity, students will be asked to state on every project submitted to BGU that the work is original work written by the student and that every effort has been made to properly footnote all quoted material. The student is asked to insert on page 1 of their document: “I verify that the work contained in this project is my original work and that it has not been taken from another source, other than quoted materials that have been properly footnoted and referenced.”
The following is the policy with regard to how plagiarized work will be addressed:
- If a professor identifies plagiarism in a student’s work, the student will be allowed to explain the circumstances. The professor will consult with the Academic Dean and may allow the student to re-write the project to eliminate all incidents of plagiarism if this is the student’s first offense.
- If the student has plagiarized in other courses, the Academic Dean may impose a failing grade for the current course and the student may incur other penalties, up to expulsion from the school.
- If a student’s prior work is found to contain plagiarism, the grade for the course or work is subject to change.
- If a degree has already been granted at the time the violation is discovered, the degree may be revoked.
In each occasion listed above, when possible, the student will be given coaching and the opportunity to address their acts of plagiarism and penalties will be determined by the Academic Dean taking into consideration the severity of the plagiarism and the degree of the student’s repentance, diligence, and timely response.
3. Statement on Christian Conduct
Women and men of God are suited for Christian service by moral character, as well as by academic achievement and spiritual gifts. Among their qualifications should be compassion for individual persons, sensitivity to the needs of the communities of which they are a part, a commitment to justice, a burden that the whole of God’s will be obeyed on earth, personal integrity, a desire for moral, spiritual and psychological growth and mutual accountability.
The above statement is consistent with BGU's mission and supports conduct that is founded within the context of a Christian worldview that affirms Christian scriptures as the authority for personal and corporate behavior. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Gal. 5:22-23a, NIV).
With the help of the Holy Spirit, the university’s staff, faculty, board members and students will seek to live lives that demonstrate the above attitudes and behaviors, thereby making them a blessing in their churches, communities, professions, and families.
In like manner, the following scripture delineates those behaviors that are injurious to the community and are therefore to be avoided. “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery, idolatry and witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy, drunkenness, orgies, and the like” (Gal. 5:19-21a, NIV).
BGU recognizes the fact that Christians may have varied interpretations regarding some of the behavioral standards listed above and will take that fact into consideration when investigating allegations of violations of the standard on Christian conduct.
4. Statement on Title IX
Title IX and federal regulations prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex. BGU is governed by Title IX and is covered by certain provisions of Title IX. Sex discrimination violates an individual’s fundamental rights and personal dignity. BGU considers sex discrimination to be a serious offense. Title IX refers to all forms of sex discrimination, including, but not limited to sexual harassment, sexual assault, and sexual violence by employees, students, or third parties meeting applicable title IX definitions.
The Director of Operations serves as BGU’s Title IX Coordinator and oversees implementation of BGU’s compliance. Inquiries and reports regarding this policy may be made to Carolyn Cochran, Title IX Coordinator, 8515 Greenville Ave., S206, Dallas, TX 75243 (214) 329-4447 Carolyn Cochran
5. Statement on Non-Discrimination
BGU affirms its commitment to promote the goal of nondiscrimination on the basis of race, color, gender, national or ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship programs or any other school-administered program. As a university that teaches from a Christian perspective, it is expected that all students respect Christian faith and practice, as well as the Community Standards of Conduct.
6. Statement on Harassment
It is expected that staff, students and faculty will treat each other with respect for their dignity. Any form of harassment related to another's race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or physical or mental ability or other protected characteristic is a violation of this policy and will be subject to disciplinary action. Harassment is a barrier to learning in the classroom and to productivity in the workplace. It includes but is not limited to ethnic jokes, racial slurs, derogatory name-calling or any other offensive conduct that severely impairs another's ability to perform the job. Faculty, administrators, and supervisors have the responsibility for participation in the creation of a university environment free from all forms of harassment, an environment that bears joyful witness to the God-given worth of all persons.
According to the U.S. Supreme Court:
When the workplace is permeated with “discriminatory intimidation, ridicule, and insult,” that is “sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of the victim's employment and create an abusive working environment,” Title VII is violated.
Definitions of Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment is defined as systematic persecution by besetting with annoyances, threats or demands, unwelcome advances and other verbal or physical conduct, when such conduct has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive academic and/or work environment; when such conduct interferes unreasonably with a person’s advancement; or when a person’s reaction to such conduct is used as the basis for academic/employment decisions affecting that person. This policy applies to students, faculty, and staff.
Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:
- Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a condition of instruction, employment or participation in other institutional activity;
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for evaluation in making any academic or personnel decision affecting that individual;
- Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s performance or participation in instructional, employment-related or other institutional activity.
In determining whether the alleged conduct constitutes harassment, consideration shall be given to the record as a whole and to the totality of the circumstances, including the context in which the alleged conduct occurred.
7. Statement on Sexual Orientation
While Bakke Graduate University celebrates human sexuality as a gift of God for enjoyment, worship, and procreation, it holds that biblical sexual standards require abstinence outside of the marriage of one male to one female. Since BGU is preparing whole-person godly leaders, including their knowledge, character, and skills, it is expected that students adhere to this character standard while enrolled in BGU.
8. Statement on Respect for People & Property
As a community of Christians with a special commitment to treat one another in a loving manner, BGU expects the community to behave in a manner that demonstrates the highest standard of respect for people and property. The following represent some examples of behaviors that are not acceptable according to the Statement on Respect for People and Property. Where appropriate, violations may be reported to civil authorities for legal or other action.
- Dishonesty. Lying, misrepresentation or deception in representations an individual makes about self or others in any phase of University life, especially in formal statements.
- Injurious or Offensive Action. Physical assault and the spreading of malicious rumors are unacceptable. Persistent profane or obscene language that gives offense is subject to disciplinary action.
- Disruption. Acts by individuals or groups that substantially interfere with the rights of others or interfere with the normal activities of the university are unacceptable.
- Stealing or Destruction of Property. Unauthorized possession, theft or damage to the property of another person or of BGU is unacceptable.
- Purposeful Violation of Institutional Policies. Purposeful violations include refusal to comply with contractual arrangements with BGU offices or services.
9. Statement on Substance Abuse
In accordance with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989, BGU is committed to maintaining a drug-free working environment, one conducive to the promotion of wellness and positive self-development of all members of its community. In keeping with this objective, the University will seek to ensure that all of its workplaces are safe and free from the problems and risks associated with the unauthorized use and abuse of alcohol and the illegal use and abuse of drugs.
Therefore, the unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs by students and employees on BGU property or at other BGU activities is prohibited. Additionally, it is expected that BGU students and employees will exercise moderation and wisdom in the use of alcohol in all BGU functions.
Pending the outcome of investigations, local, state, and federal laws establish severe penalties for the unlawful possession of illicit drugs and the distribution of alcohol to minors. These legal sanctions, upon conviction, may range from the payment of a small fine and probation to imprisonment and fines up to $1,000,000.
Violations of Community Standards of Conduct
In the application of the above statements of Community Standards of Conduct, the university encourages individuals to follow, where feasible, the steps of conflict resolution in Matthew 18:15-22. BGU staff, faculty, and students will support the honest pursuit of truth when violations of the Community Standards of Conduct are in question. BGU is committed to encouraging and recommending when appropriate, education and counseling for those in its community struggling with difficult life and relationship situations. In the event of an alleged violation of these Community Standards of Conduct, the following will apply:
The Director of Student Services will interview involved parties to establish a course of action in consultation with the Personnel Director. If the Director of Student Services or one of the involved parties requests a formal investigation, the Director of Student Services or the Academic Dean will constitute a two- to three-person committee, including male and female representation, none of whom are implicated in the allegation(s). The committee shall investigate the allegation(s) and make a written report to the Director of Student Services or the Academic Dean, as appropriate. All employees and/or students are expected to cooperate with the investigation. Failure to do so may lead to discipline, including dismissal. Providing false information in the course of an investigation is grounds for discipline, including dismissal. The findings of such an official investigation shall inform the appropriate administrator as to the appropriate disciplinary action that should be taken, if any. The findings of such an official inquiry shall be confidential.
For verified violations of the Community Standards of Conduct, members of the community are subject to several kinds of penalties. The applicability and exact nature of each penalty vary for faculty, students, professional staff, employees and guests. In general, however, the penalties, depending upon the seriousness of the violation, include the following in ascending order of severity:
- Warning: A formal admonition that does not become part of an individual’s permanent record but may be taken into account in judging the seriousness of any violation.
- Disciplinary Probation: A more serious admonition assigned for a definite amount of time. It implies that any future violation during that time, of whatever kind, may be grounds for suspension or, in especially serious cases, for dismissal from BGU.
- Suspension for a Definite Period: Removal from membership in or employment by BGU for a specified period of time.
- Indefinite Suspension: Removal from membership in or employment by BGU for at least the period of time specified by the suspension, with the suspension to continue until certain conditions stipulated by the appropriate body applying this sanction have been fulfilled. These conditions may include but are not limited to, restitution of damages or a formal apology.
- Dismissal: Permanent removal from membership in or employment by BGU without hope of re-admission to the community.
The recommendation and/or the requirement of completing an appropriate rehabilitation program may accompany any of the five disciplinary actions listed above. Incidents on the BGU campus or incidents involving members of the BGU community may have to be reported to civil authorities for legal action.
1. Fire Safety
a. Fire Alarms
In the event of a fire emergency, a fire alarm will sound for the building.
b. Evacuation Routes and Plans
BGU shall have an emergency evacuation plan. All emergency exits shall conform to NFPA standards.
c. Emergency Evacuation Plan
BGU’s offices meet all Texas Fire Department safety standards with regular inspections as required by law. In the event of a fire, the alarm system will sound. Whenever the alarm system sounds, except during announced testing, all employees must leave the building until it is determined safe to re-enter. Exit via the nearest stairwell (north or south end of the hallway) unless smoke or heat make it unsafe to do so.
Do not use elevators. Should the fire involve the control panel of the elevator or the electrical system of the building, power in the building may be cut and you could be trapped between floors. Also, the elevator shaft can become a flue, lending itself to the passage and accumulation of hot gases and smoke generated by the fire. Emergency coordinators will be responsible for verifying personnel have evacuated from their assigned areas.
2. Fire Emergency Procedures
a. If you discover a fire
- Activate the nearest fire alarm.
- Notify the fire department by dialing 911. Give your location, the nature of the fire, and your name.
- Notify your emergency coordinator and other occupants.
b. Fight the fire ONLY if
- The fire department has been notified of the fire, AND
- The fire is small and confined to its area of origin, AND
- You have a way out and can fight the fire with your back to the exit, AND
- You have the proper extinguisher, in good working order, AND know how to use it.
- If you are not sure of your ability or the fire extinguisher’s capacity to contain the fire, leave the area.
c. If you hear a fire alarm
- Evacuate the area. Close windows and doors as you leave.
- Leave the building and move away from exits and out of the way of emergency operations.
- Assemble in the designated area.
- Report to the monitor so he or she can determine that all personnel have evacuated your area.
- Remain outside until a competent authority states that it is safe to re-enter
d. Evacuation Routes
- Learn at least two escape routes, and emergency exits from your
- Never use an elevator as part of your escape
- Learn to activate a fire alarm.
- Learn to recognize the alarm
- Take an active part in fire evacuation
- All employees will be instructed on fire emergency procedures, including the location of exits and fire extinguishers.
3. Fire Exits & Drills
Supervisors should instruct each new employee of the location of the two exits nearest his working place. In case of fire, WALK to your assigned exit. Do not shout or say anything that might lead to panic among fellow employees. A building can be emptied quickly if everybody keeps calm.
Fire drills are held a minimum of once a year to ensure the prompt and safe exit of employees from the building in case of an actual fire. Prompt obedience to supervisor’s and fire captains’ instructions is required during these drills.
4. Personal Safety
The following are some reminders that can help ensure personal safety as a staff member while at BGU.
- Always let the appropriate person know your plans;
- Practice self-defense. Carry your keys in your hand when walking to and from your car;
- Always lock your car, and do not leave valuables in full view. Check the back seat and floors as you approach your car;
- Hang up if you receive an obscene telephone ca Repeated calls should be reported to the Director of Operations.
- Report unusual situations to the Director of Operations. Let him/her determine if it is necessary to investigate;
- Immediately report what you know to the Director of Operations if you are a witness to a crime or a victim of a crime