Academic Integrity

Policy and Procedures

The pursuit of knowledge can proceed only when scholars take responsibility and receive credit for their work. Recognition of individual contributions to knowledge and of the intellectual property of others builds trust within the University and encourages the sharing of ideas that is essential to scholarship. Similarly, the educational process requires that individuals present their own ideas and insights for evaluation, critique, and eventual reformulation. Presentation of others' work as one's own is not only intellectual dishonesty, but it also undermines the educational process.

Standards

Academic integrity is violated by any dishonest act which is committed in an academic context including, but not restricted to the following:

Cheating is the fraudulent or dishonest presentation of work. Cheating includes but is not limited to:

Plagiarism is the act of taking the words, ideas, data, illustrations, or statements of another person or source, and presenting them as one's own. Each student is responsible for learning and using proper methods of paraphrasing and footnoting, quotation, and other forms of citation, to ensure that the original author, speaker, illustrator, or source of the material used is clearly acknowledged.

Other breaches of academic integrity include:

Collusion is defined as assistance or an attempt to assist another student in an act of academic dishonesty. Collusion is distinct from collaborative learning, which may be a valuable component of students' scholarly development. Acceptable levels of collaboration vary in different courses, and students are expected to consult with their instructor if they are uncertain whether their cooperative activities are acceptable.

Promoting Academic Integrity: Roles of Community Members

Student Roles in Maintaining Academic Integrity

Students have a responsibility to maintain high standards of academic integrity in their own work, and thereby to maintain the integrity of their degree. It is their responsibility to be familiar with, and understand, the University policy on academic integrity.

Students who become aware of a violation of academic integrity by a fellow student should respond in one of the following ways:

Students who have serious concern that a faculty member is not living up to his or her responsibility to safeguard and promote academic integrity should speak with the faculty member directly, or should bring their concern to the attention of the department chairperson or associate dean.

Faculty Roles in Fostering Academic Integrity

Faculty members should provide students with a positive environment for learning and intellectual growth and, by their words and actions, promote conditions that foster academic integrity.

Faculty should be concerned about the impact of their behavior on students. Students are sensitive to messages communicated in informal discussions and in casual faculty remarks about personal decisions and value judgments. Students are perhaps most sensitive to how responsibly faculty members fulfill their obligations to them in the careful preparation of classes, in the serious evaluation of student achievement, and in their genuine interest in and availability to students.

Faculty should promote academic integrity in the following specific ways:

Academic Deans

Academic deans have overall responsibility for academic integrity within their schools. In particular, deans' responsibilities include the following:

Procedures

In each school a Committee on Academic Integrity with both faculty and student members is to be constituted annually.

When a faculty member determines that a student's work violates the standards of academic integrity, the faculty member is encouraged to discuss the matter with the student, but in any case the faculty member should notify the student of the substance of the violation and the action that the faculty member proposes to take. If the faculty member decides to impose a grading penalty, a letter of notification describing the incident and the proposed grading penalty is to be sent to the student's class dean.

On receipt of such a notification the class dean will notify the student of the allegation and the grading penalty proposed by the faculty member. The student will be given an opportunity to respond to the faculty member's notification in writing. While a case is pending, the student may not withdraw from or change status in the course.

Each reported violation of the standards of academic integrity will be reviewed by the Committee on Academic Integrity of the student's school. In cases involving students from more than one school, or students in joint or dual degree programs, the Committees on Academic Integrity of the pertinent schools will cooperate in their review.

A board chosen by the chairperson of the Committee on Academic Integrity from the full Committee will be assigned to each case, with one of the faculty members as chairperson of the review board. The associate dean will serve as a non-voting administrative resource, and will maintain the Committee's record of notifications and relevant materials.

The faculty member bringing the accusation and the student will be notified that the case is under review by the Academic Integrity Committee. The student will be given an opportunity to respond to the faculty member's notification letter in writing. The board at its discretion may interview any individual with knowledge pertinent to the case.

The board will decide a case by simple majority vote, and the associate dean will convey to the faculty member and the student the board's findings as to responsibility and recommended sanctions. The associate dean will compile a complete file of each case, to be kept confidential in the Dean's office. Files on students found not responsible will be destroyed.

Penalties for students found responsible for violations will depend upon the seriousness and circumstances of the violation, the degree of premeditation involved, and the student's previous record of violations. The committee may simply affirm the faculty member's penalty and issue the student a "warning," which will be kept in a confidential file in the Dean's Office until the student graduates and will not be reportable to professional schools or outside agencies; or it may recommend a different grading penalty and/or impose additional administrative penalties. Such penalties may include university probation, suspension, or expulsion, all of which become part of a student's academic record and are reportable to graduate/professional schools and outside agencies.

Appeal of the board's decision may be made by written request to the Dean of the school not later than ten days following notice of the board's decision, and the Dean's decision will be final.