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Edward R. Murrow College of Communication

Murrow College Student Professional Code of Conduct

The Murrow College of Communication is named after Edward R. Murrow, a legendary journalist, communicator, and WSU alumnus who held strong personal values of honesty, integrity, and truth. The Student Professional Code of Conduct is an outline of behavior expectations set for all students admitted to a major within the Murrow College of Communication. These standards serve to uphold the professionalism and ethical behavior that was demonstrated by our namesake, and ensure an environment of academic excellence. They provide a foundation for the many skills, lessons, experiences, and opportunities you will gain as a student and future alum of the Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University.

Throughout your experience at Murrow, you will acquire skills and knowledge to prepare you for life after graduation. The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) outlines eight competencies that are highly sought after by employers of college graduates. These are:

1. Critical Thinking & Problem Solving
2. Professionalism & Work Ethic
3. Digital Technology
4. Leadership
5. Oral & Written Communication
6. Teamwork & Collaboration
7. Global & Intercultural Fluency, and
8. Career Management & Self Development.

These competencies are not just terms, they are employable skills that will be gained through your experiences at Murrow. You will be expected to demonstrate them throughout your educational career and will be able to showcase them on your resume, cover letter, interviews, networking opportunities, and as you develop your life and career into the future. These are core competencies that you will utilize as a unique individual. Through responsible action, you can leverage this experience to make informed decisions.

All Murrow students are expected to engage in the following behaviors both in and outside of the classroom. These serve as an extension of the WSU Community Standards (

The Murrow College will provide you with a professionally oriented, knowledge and skills-based education that emphasizes experiential learning and excellence in critical thinking, writing, speaking and digital communication skills. You will receive support throughout the process of completing your degree, from the planning to the implementation of your coursework and education.

The faculty will instruct, guide, advise and assist you in your coursework, learning, understanding and career growth. They are dedicated professionals devoted to assisting you across your educational journey. However, your education is your responsibility, and there are many expectations you will need to meet.

In addition to resources offered by WSU and Murrow faculty, the Murrow College provides dedicated academic advising services to guide you in your scholarly pursuits and assist in navigating the University system in the form of the Murrow Center for Student Success (MCSS) staff. The MCSS staff are a team of recruitment, advising and career planning professionals who will serve as your advisors and advocates, as well as your teachers and consultants. It is their job, and pleasure, to help you succeed and they will go above and beyond to assist you in addressing your academic, institutional, and professional development needs.

It is, however, your responsibility to make and keep appointments with advisors, learn and meet deadlines, and enroll in classes in a timely manner. If appointments or deadlines are missed, the consequences for not getting into courses falls upon you. Advisors will not respond to requests to lift holds without being seen, nor grant access to a class that is full. Failure to comply may result in consequences such as a delay in your graduation timeline.

The Murrow College is here to assist you on your journey, answer questions, and provide access to services and support. The central part of any learning experience is to be actively engaged and personally responsible: you must take care of engaging in, and being responsible for your own educational journey.

Academic, Educational and Course Responsibilities and Participation
You are responsible for understanding and meeting the requirements to earn your degree. You are accountable for learning the materials and lessons taught in class. This means a student must be resourceful and review requirements, read the syllabi, engage with course materials, be curious, ask clarifying questions early and often, and punctually attend the courses and meetings meant to exchange information.

Remember, you are not expected to know all about the topics you are taking a course in at the start of a class; if you did, there would be no point in taking that course. Students are, however, responsible for treating their education as a fulltime career and committing to study and perform 2-3 hours of course work per credit per week, outside of time spent in classes. You are also expected to engage in activities to supplement your academic and professional growth, and be curious about the world around you.

You are expected to be on time for all classes and meetings scheduled with your instructors, academic advisors, peers, support services, etc. and respond to communications (i.e., emails, letters, assignment comments, phone calls) in a timely manner. You are expected to review your course syllabi for the attendance policies and will be held responsible for following them. You are, of course, also responsible for the content of any missed classes and/or lessons. It is important to identify peer and study groups early on to assist if you miss or fail to understand in-class content for any reason.

You should communicate well and often with your instructors and academic advisors. They are here to help you learn, and navigate the educational system, but they cannot predict your needs without communication. Regular communication ensures we know if you need answers, advice, and/or support. Please utilize academic office hours if you are having difficulties or for any reason desire to further develop your knowledge of a topic. Similarly, you are also expected to communicate regularly with members of any collaborative class or team you are engaged with. Murrow is a college of communication, and your first step is to communicate your own requests and needs.

All members of the Murrow College are expected to communicate in a collegiate and professional manner. “Hey” is not an appropriate or professional way to address staff, colleagues, advisors or instructors. Unless told otherwise, you should refer to your instructors by their proper name and title (i.e., Dr. Jones, Professor Smith) when speaking to, emailing, or otherwise communicating with them. You may like them, they may like you, but professional communication is expected from you, and an unbiased assessment of your work is required from them. Instructors are here to help you learn and evaluate your progress in doing so; being nice, friendly and approachable is different from being a friend. To this end, proper communication assists everyone in understanding and accepting that professional relationship.

Email Provider and Communication
State regulations require any and all official WSU email communication to be sent to students’ WSU email address. Absolutely NO communication will be sent to external addresses (e.g., Yahoo, Gmail, and so forth). This is done to protect your safety and confidentiality. Under all circumstances, Murrow College and its representatives will use either the email within Canvas or “” system. It is your responsibility to use and frequently monitor your WSU email account. Failure to do so will result in missing key academic, administrative, and security information that could impact your grade, performance, status in the University, and personal health and safety.

Murrow College courses are grounded in professional preparedness, and provide students with the insight, tools, and confidence needed to be successful. Professional conduct is always required. You are therefore expected and required to arrive to class on time, remain attentive, and not leave classes early unless it is otherwise arranged.

The classroom climate and academic environment is designed to be relaxed yet organized, fun yet professional, and engaging yet challenging. You must demonstrate respect, honesty and maturity when responding to peer posts and classroom discussions. You are expected to participate in group discussions and demonstrate your ability to be fully present throughout each class session.

The Murrow College is committed to respectful engagement practices. Personal attacks, use of harsh language or expletives, discriminatory or inflammatory statements will not be tolerated – in-person or via any remote communications (text, chats, email, telephone, social media, etc.). Anyone who violates, abuses or misuses this policy is subject to removal from teams, dismissal from the course, course failure and/or referral to the Office of Student Conduct per Standards of Conduct for Students WAC 504-26-218, 504-26-220, and 504-26-222.

As a student of Murrow College, you must be prepared and fully committed to actively engaging in classes and working in teams. If you struggle with teamwork, you are expected to take agency over your education and use this opportunity to improve: one cannot be a communication professional if one cannot communicate.

As in all coursework, it is the student’s job to be a high-performing member of your team. If you cannot make this commitment, you are at risk of being removed from your team at the request of peer team members and/or the instructor’s discretion. If you are removed from your team, you must either 1) do the entire project on your own, 2) find another group to take you on, or 3) drop the class.

Both as a college student and future expert in communication, you are expected to seek answers for yourself. You will not necessarily find answers in your books or class notes. You will be expected to draw your own conclusions and support your own ideas using the facts at hand, but will also be expected to note the difference between and opinion and a fact.

Throughout your college career you will be expected to review course syllabi, search college and university resources (including, but not limited to, libraries, facilities and websites), and ask questions and opinions of your peers, instructors, and academic advisors. This does not mean expecting your parents/supporters or friends to find or present the answers for you. It does mean informing yourself of different resources provided by the College and the University, including, but not limited to the University Writing Center, the WSU Academic Support Center and, of course, the Murrow Center for Student Success. It is important to remember that the use of these resources is not intended to be limited to students who are struggling; they are to be used by anyone who wishes to have their work, progress, and/or understanding reviewed and/or improved.

Intellectual humility is an important academic and professional virtue and central to a Murrow and WSU education. At its core, it is the recognition that there is always more to learn and new ways to understand a topic. Intellectual humility is characterized by openness to new ideas and
evidence, an ability to acknowledge mistakes, and an appreciation for the contributions and experiences of others. Intellectual humility helps us avoid making hasty decisions, enables us to engage constructively with views that are contrary to our own and determine when and if our views need to be adapted or modified. Intellectual humility is key to academic inquiry and to the communication professions. It is what changes data into information, information into knowledge, and knowledge into wisdom.

Intellectual curiosity goes beyond intellectual humility to promote actively seeking out new information, experiences, and perspectives. It describes, essentially, a “drive to know.” Intellectually curious people are open minded problem-solvers who ask questions and dig deeper into topics in pursuit of more knowledge. Such people are not content with their knowledge remaining at a “surface” level but always want to know more, asking “how” and “why” questions. Research shows that cultivating intellectual curiosity can help people become more adaptive to change, more creative in resolving problems, and stronger collaborators on team projects. It is the difference between a mundane practitioner and an expert in the field.

In summary, we expect you to be professional. Being professional means being respectful and respected as an adult learner and professional. To be curious while being understanding, to be attentive while inquisitive, and to be truthful while humble. If you can live up to these standards, you will have gone a long way to earning your degree and beginning your career as a professional in the field of communication