fbpx Code of Conduct | Harvard Kennedy School

Achieving Harvard Kennedy School’s mission requires an environment of trust, mutual respect, professionalism, and a commitment to truth, learning, and freedom of expression.

The Harvard Kennedy School community has agreed upon the following principles to accomplish this mission:

  1. Respect for all members of our community and for the space we share.
  2. Professional excellence and intellectual and academic rigor and integrity.
  3. A disciplined learning environment, respecting different opinions and cultures and contributing to the understanding of all.
  4. Accountability for actions inconsistent with this Code of Conduct.

It is the expectation of the school that all students, whether or not they are on campus or are currently enrolled as a degree candidate, will behave in a mature and responsible manner. This includes taking accountability for one’s own well-being, including responsible decision making regarding physical and mental health. Further, the school expects every student to be familiar with the regulations governing membership in the Harvard and HKS community as set forth in the student handbook. Because students are expected to show good judgment and use common sense at all times, not all kinds of misconduct or behavioral standards are codified here; other behaviors that violate the social norms of Harvard Kennedy School or Harvard University also may be subject to disciplinary sanctions. Students are expected to comply with all disciplinary rules from matriculation until the conferring of their degree. A degree will not be granted to students who are not in good standing or have a disciplinary charge pending against them.

In addition to the behaviors described elsewhere in this Handbook, the following behaviors are examples of conduct that may be subject to disciplinary sanctions: cheating, plagiarism, forgery or other forms of academic dishonesty; furnishing false information to university officials; and disruption or obstruction of teaching, research or other university activities, including occupation of a university building. Any of the following behaviors are also grounds for disciplinary sanctions: physical violence or abuse (including without limitation sexual assault); verbal abuse, harassment, coercion or other conduct that threatens the health or safety of any person or persons; theft of or damage to property; violation of published University rules or federal, state, or local law on University premises or at University-sponsored activities; and misuse or abuse of library or computer facilities. (Note that allegations of sexual and gender-based harassment, including sexual assault, initially are subject to specific procedures under Harvard’s University-wide policy, as adopted by HKS).