Apr 16, 2024  
2023 - 2024 Undergraduate Academic Catalog 
    
2023 - 2024 Undergraduate Academic Catalog

Information and Notifications



Concealed Carry Weapons on UAFS Campus

Arkansas Act 562 allows lawful concealed carry weapon (CCW) on public university campuses with certain restrictions. Th ose who carry on the campus of the University of Arkansas Fort Smith, including on properties the university owns apart from the main campus, are responsible to know Act 562 and other applicable laws. Related university regulations will be enforced thoroughly and fairly.

Those who carry a concealed weapon (as defined under AR Act 562-2017), with the exception of those authorized to carry by virtue of their law enforcement status, must have a current Arkansas Enhanced CCW Endorsement Card on their person while carrying on campus property. Certain activities are exempted and may be designated as gun-free even for those with an enhanced endorsement. With proper notification and signage, intercollegiate athletic events, any grievance or disciplinary hearing last less than nine hours, and storage in a residential facility. There are no other exclusions currently in the law. Persons on UAFS property who are carrying a concealed weapon are required to show their enhanced license to University Police if so requested.

A person on UAFS property who possesses an enhanced license and is in possession of a covered firearm must conceal the weapon. Concealed, under AR Code 5-73-301, means to cover from observation so as to prevent public view. “Storage’ is a key concept under this law. Storage in a locked and unattended vehicle is allowed in any publicly owned and maintained lot on campus, if the weapon is otherwise possessed legally. Storage in a residential facility is not allowed.

To report a concern or incident related to Concealed Carry Weapons on campus property, please call University Police at 479-788-7140. The full UAFS Policy and procedure may be found on the University Police website under Resources.

Diversity

UAFS recognizes that diversity within the student body, the faculty and staff, and in the educational experience enriches learning and education. Our strong commitment to diversity will help shape the future of the institution and create a learning environment that welcomes all. Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to bring with them distinct perspectives that encourage thoughtful discussion and collegial deliberation.

Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Statement

UAFS provides equal employment, admission, and educational opportunities without regard to race, color, age, national origin, religion, disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, or gender identity. UAFS does not discriminate on the basis of disability in admission, access to, treatment, or employment in its programs and activities.

The university is committed to a policy of equal employment opportunity (EEO) and to a program of affirmative action. Any person who believes he or she has been discriminated against, or is aware of discrimination against another person, is encouraged to the director of human resources/EEO officer at (479) 788- 7839.

Federal Program Integrity Compliance

Oklahoma residents and online courses: students who only live full-time in Oklahoma and who enroll in online courses at UAFS should review the catalog for discipline-specific and institutional accreditation(s), and state, federal, and/or tribal licensing agreements, as applicable. Information related to the institution’s compliance procedures, including applicable appeals processes, may be found in the most current UAFS catalog. In addition, information for filing complaints with the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association, the Arkansas Department of Higher Education, and the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education can be obtained from the Provost’s Office at UAFS. 

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

Notification of Students’ Rights

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. (An “eligible student” under FERPA is a student who is 18 years of age or older or who attends a postsecondary institution at any age.) These rights include:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student’s college education records within 45 days from the day UAFS receives a request for access. Students should submit to the registrar written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The registrar will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the registrar, the registrar shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
  2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading. Students may ask UAFS to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If UAFS decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the student will be notified of the decision and advised of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
  3. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information (PII) contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. UAFS discloses education records without a student’s prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. School official includes any person employed by UAFS in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff ); a person serving on the board of trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee. A school official also may include a volunteer or contractor outside of UAFS who performs an institutional service of function for which the school would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the school with respect to the use and maintenance of PII from education records (e.g. attorneys, auditors, collection agents, the National Student Clearinghouse, or a student volunteering to assist another school official in performing his or her tasks). A school official typically has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for UAFS or assist a school official in doing so. Upon request, UAFS also discloses education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
  4. The right to file a complaint with the United States Department of Education concerning alleged failures by UAFS to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is noted below:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605

Directory Information as defined by the United States Department of Education means information contained in an educational record of a student that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. Students may request UAFS not release directory information by completing the proper form and submitting it to the Registrar’s Office, on the second floor or the Smith-Pendergraft Campus Center. Directory information at UAFS includes name, address, major field of study, degrees and awards received, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, telephone listing, electronic mail address, photographs, date and place of birth, dates of attendance, grade level, enrollment status (i.e., undergraduate or graduate; full- or part-time, no enrollment), honors received, and most recent educational agency or institution attended.

It is important to note that the institution, at its sole discretion, designates what is considered “directory information,” as well as what is released in each circumstance.

Additionally, educational records and personal information may be released in the following circumstances:

  • Judicial subpoena of records, upon condition that UAFS makes a reasonable effort to notify the student in advance of the release of records.
  • Health or safety emergency, if knowledge of personal information is necessary to protect the health and safety of a student or other person(s).
  • In connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or which the student has received, if the information is necessary to determine eligibility for the aid, determine the amount of the aid, determine the conditions of the aid, or enforce the terms and conditions of the aid.
  • To parents of an eligible student if the student is a dependent for IRS tax purposes.
  • To a victim of an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense. The disclosure may only include the final results of the disciplinary proceeding with respect to that alleged crime or offense, regardless of the finding.
  • To the general public, the final results of a disciplinary proceeding, if the school determines the student is an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense and the student has committed a violation of the school’s rules or policies with respect to the allegation made against him or her.
  • To parents of a student regarding the student’s violation of any Federal, State, or local law, or of any rule or policy of the school, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance if the school determines the student committed a disciplinary violation and the student is under the age of 21.

UAFS is required to comply with military requests for student information, in accordance with the Solomon Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, 1995/1996, and the Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act, 1997.

Physical Health

Chronic Communicable Diseases

UAFS places a high priority on the need to prevent the spread of chronic communicable diseases on campus. Because there is currently no cure or vaccine for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) or many types of hepatitis, prevention of transmission is essential. Approximately one to two percent of middle-class Arkansans under the age of 20 ill test positive for tuberculosis (TB), a disease of the lungs. The transmission risks of chronic communicable diseases such as AIDS, hepatitis, and tuberculosis can be greatly reduced by providing a program of education on prevention to students and employees. Equally important is to establish a policy regarding victims of chronic communicable diseases which safeguards individual rights while protecting others on campus from needless, careless exposure. Consequently, the following guidelines are hereby instituted:

  1. Individual Responsibility
    A student who has a chronic communicable disease or who is a carrier of a chronic communicable disease may attend the University and participate in programs and activities whenever, through reasonable accommodation, there is no significant risk of transmission of the disease to others. A student who has a chronic communicable disease or who is a carrier of a chronic communicable disease may be denied admission to, or may be dismissed from, a particular program or course of study whenever such chronic communicable disease presents significant risks of transmission having a direct effect on the student’s ability to perform effectively, thereby rendering the student not qualified for the program or course of study. No other person who has a chronic communicable disease, or who is a carrier of a chronic communicable disease, shall be denied the use of the University facilities or service whenever, through reasonable accommodation, there is no significant risk of transmission of the disease to others. Willful or careless exposure of other persons by an individual who has or is a carrier of a chronic communicable disease is a reckless, inconsiderate, negligent act which endangers everyone. If it is determined that a person has or is a carrier of a chronic communicable disease and that person has not taken adequate precautions to prevent transmission of the disease to others, then that person will be subject to dismissal from the University.
  2. Reporting Procedures
    Students shall notify the vice chancellor for student affairs if they have, or are carriers of, chronic communicable diseases. Such notification allows the University to evaluate each individual case and take the necessary precautions to minimize the risks of transmission to others. Students who suspect they are suffering from TB or other chronic communicable diseases must contact their doctor immediately. Local county health departments will be informed of all confirmed TB cases. Additionally, students are required to notify the vice chancellor for student aff airs if TB is confirmed. The campus response to reported TB cases on campus will be fully coordinated with the Sebastian County Health Department. Students and faculty who shared classroom or office space with the individual will be notified. Confidentiality of the student will be protected. International students, as a part of the application for admission process, are required to obtain a medical doctor’s certification that no symptoms of the disease are present. Following enrollment and in accordance with ACT 96 of 1913, international students are required to do additional testing to confirm the lack of TB symptoms. A confidential appointment with the vice chancellor for student affairs may be arranged by calling (479) 788-7310.

State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement

UAFS is approved by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education (ADHE) to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (NC-SARA) to offer online programs and courses to out-of-state students. NC-SARA provides states a mechanism for monitoring the quality of online programs delivered by out-of-state colleges and universities to its citizens. Institutions that are members of SARA are authorized to provide online education to students from all SARA member states.

SARA applies solely to distance education activity conducted across state lines. It does not apply to distance education activity of an institution within its home state or to on-ground campuses in any state.

The University of Arkansas at Fort Smith is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Distance education courses and programs are approved by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education.

UAFS is committed to ensuring that its distance learning programs and courses are intellectually stimulating and professionally rewarding. Online classes are taught by qualified faculty who are highly trained in using the Blackboard LMS for course development and delivery.

Complaint/Grievance Procedures

Complaints regarding student grades or student conduct violations are governed entirely by UAFS policy and the laws of the state of Arkansas. The UAFS Academic Grievance Process is outlined in this catalog and the UAFS Student Handbook. Please note that students who wish to file a complaint relating to an online course or program offered by UAFS must first go through the UAFS procedures for resolution of grievances. If, after exhausting the institutional process, a student feels a complaint has not been adequately addressed, the student may file a complaint with the Arkansas SARA portal, in this case the Arkansas Department of Higher Education (ICAC@adhe.edu). A student wishing to file a complaint regarding an online course or program should complete the online form found on the UAFS SARA webpage. The complainant will be contacted within five (5) business days after the complaint is received.

Student Conduct

UAFS Alcohol Policy

Student possession and use of alcohol on University properties, including residential housing, and at official University functions held on campus is prohibited. It is the policy of the University that the illegal or abusive use of drugs or alcohol by employees and students is prohibited on University property or as a part of any university activity whether on or off campus. Irresponsible behavior while under the influence of intoxicants is not to be condoned and may be subject to review and/or action by the appropriate judicial body.

UAFS Drug Policy

Possession, use, or manufacture of illicit drugs is strictly prohibited at the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith. Students at UAFS are subject to disciplinary action for violation of federal or state laws regarding the possession, purchase, manufacture, use, sale, or distribution (by either sale or gift) of any quantity of any prescription drug or controlled substance, except for the use of any over-the-counter medication or for the prescribed use of medication in accordance with the instructions of a licensed physician. Possession of paraphernalia associated with the use, possession or manufacture of a prescription drug or controlled substance is also prohibited.

Alcohol/Drug Abuse

UAFS recognizes its’ responsibility to provide a healthy environment in which students may learn and prepare themselves to be fully functioning and productive individuals. Alcohol and other substance abuse is a university concern. When students abuse alcohol and other drugs, academic performance, health, personal relationships, and safety suffer. Abusive levels of alcohol use and other drugs often result in problems such as automobile and other accidents, student fights, property damage, aggravated physical illness, and sometimes death. Students need to know what their responsibilities are as members of the university community and understand the university’s expectation and regulations. The abuse of alcohol and other drugs is considered to be detrimental to the attainment of the educational mission of this institution.

UAFS has implemented the following policy regarding substance abuse:

  1. Any student found in violation of these procedures will immediately be placed on probation and shall be subject to additional disciplinary actions which may include dismissal from UAFS.
  2. The vice chancellor for student affairs or director of housing and residential life will make information available to students about the dangers of drug abuse, the availability of counseling, and the penalties for violations. Such information will be promulgated in the student handbook, visual displays, drug-awareness sessions, etc.
  3. Students who have no record of conviction for drug abuse and who voluntarily seek counseling for drug-abuse problems may not be dismissed from the University. However, if a drug-abuse conviction occurs after counseling/rehabilitation has begun, the student is liable for the full range of University disciplinary measures.
  4. Th e vice chancellor for student affairs will be responsible for the implementation of these procedures.
  5. Specific degree programs may have additional policies related to prevention and management of substance abuse. Students enrolled in these degree programs are responsible for adhering to College-specific policies as well as University policies.

Code of Conduct for Students

The Student Code of Conduct is an expression of behavioral standards that are intended to allow students and others at UAFS to live, work, study, recreate, and pursue their educational goals in a productive and secure environment. The Code is crafted to reflect expectations based on values essential to such an environment and to a flourishing academic community, such as honesty, integrity, respect, and fairness. That said, we strive to recognize and honor core tenets of our free society and our academic legacy, such as free speech, the ‘marketplace of ideas,’ and free association. Therefore, much expression that may be off ensive, unpopular or both will not be actionable under this Code. Further, those who administer the Code attempt to craft both hearings and sanctions in a manner that takes into account the developmental issues and educational needs of students, as well as the well-being of the university community

Tobacco-Free Campus Policy

The use of any tobacco product, including electronic cigarettes, is prohibited on the grounds of UAFS in order to establish a healthier and more beautiful learning environment. The tobacco-free environment includes all University property, which according to Arkansas Code Annotated §25-17-301, “… shall include all highways, streets, alleys, and rights-of-way that are contiguous or adjacent to property owned or controlled by the institution.”

Policy for Faculty, Staff, Students, and Visitors

Everyone on campus (faculty, staff , students, and visitors) has a responsibility to encourage peers and others to adhere to the tobacco-free campus policy. As such, an environment of positive peer support can move the campus community significantly toward the goal. When peer or supervisor encouragement is not effective, the primary responsibility for enforcement rests with the appropriate supervisors in each area with the assistance of the University Police Department. Failure to adhere to policy will be handled as would any other disciplinary issue. Employees should refer to the Employee Handbook. Visitors will be informed of the policy and asked to comply. Student compliance will be addressed by the three-level process listed below. The intent of the progressive corrective action models in the Employee Handbook and listed below are to create a better learning environment for everyone on campus.

Corrective Actions (Students)

First Level: Warning

A verbal warning will be given to the off ending tobacco user by anyone observing the behavior. The first-level warning is done to ensure that the person is aware that tobacco use on campus is not allowed and to help the person change the behavior. An attempt to identify the offender will be made by ascertaining the person’s name or vehicle license plate number. Verbal warnings will be documented by reporting the same to the University Police Department or the vice chancellor for student affairs.

Second Level: Written Warning

A written warning will be issued when the off ending behavior continues following a verbal warning. The off ending person’s name and the circumstances should be reported to the University Police Department, the vice chancellor for student affairs, or the dean’s office in that area/building. A report will be prepared by the University Police Department, and the person(s) involved will be counseled by the vice chancellor for student affairs with a written warning to the student/file to document the behavior and assist the person in ceasing the use of tobacco on campus.

Third Level: Administrative Sanctions including Suspension from the University

Should the second-level written warning be ineffective, additional administrative sanctions will be levied to include required attendance at a tobacco-use information session or suspension from the University for a semester or longer. The sanctions imposed must be delivered in writing.

Due Process - Appeal of Action

The normal disciplinary action due process procedures in the Student Handbook and Course Catalog will be used should an appeal be filed.

Student Responsibilities for Copyrighted Materials

It is the policy of the University of Arkansas System and its institutions to follow the United States Copyright Law and other statutes that protect the rights of copyright owners. All UAFS faculty, staff , and students should use copyrighted materials within the confines of the statutes and seek guidance from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Finance in determining fair use. Copyrighted materials include, but are not limited to, computer software, audio and video recordings, photographs, and written material. Violators are subject to University discipline, including suspension, as well as legal liability, even if the work did not contain a written copyright notice. It is also a violation to use a campus computer to illegally copy, display, or distribute copyrighted materials, such as software, MP3 files, or MPEG files.

Use of commercial (for-profit) copyshops may not relieve an individual of liability for infringement. It would depend on:

  • whether the copying was fair use, and
  • whether the copyshop pays royalties.

Online courses often contain copyrighted materials that the faculty member is using under the TEACH Act of 2002. Students may use these materials within the online course, but may not save, alter, or redistribute them to those not enrolled in the course.

Title IX

Title IX, part of the Education Amendments of 1972, is a federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in education. The Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs has primary responsibility for compliance with Title IX. Any case involving allegations of sexual harassment, other forms of discrimination based on protected status, sexual assault, sexual violence, sexual exploitation, stalking, domestic abuse, pregnancy, relationship violence, or retaliation related to any of the above will be handled in accordance with the procedures outlined in the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith Complaint/Grievance Procedure. Complaints made concerning any member of the UAFS community, whether student, employee, or guest, will be addressed by the Title IX office. Any concerns, questions or incidents regarding Title IX should be directed to the UAFS Title IX coordinator and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Dr. Lee Krehbiel, at (479) 788-7310. Reports may also be made to Human Resources (479 788-7080 or University Police (479) 788-7140. UAFS will respond to complaints in a manner that maintains or restores a safe and productive learning environment, while looking into the complaint in a prompt, thorough, and impartial fashion.