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The pursuit of knowledge proceeds 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 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:
- use or attempted use of unauthorized aids in examinations or other academic exercises submitted for evaluation;
- fabrication, falsification, or misrepresentation of data, results, sources for papers or reports, or in clinical practice, as in reporting experiments, measurements, statistical analyses, tests, or other studies never performed; manipulating or altering data or other manifestations of research to achieve a desired result; selective reporting, including the deliberate suppression of conflicting or unwanted data;
- falsification of papers, official records, or reports;
- copying from another student's work;
- actions that destroy or alter the work of another student;
- unauthorized cooperation in completing assignments or during an examination;
- the use of purchased essays or term papers, or of purchased preparatory research for such papers;
- submission of the same written work in more than one course without prior written approval from the instructors involved;
- dishonesty in requests for late registrations, make-up exams, for extensions of deadlines for submitting papers, and in any other matter relating to a course.
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:
- the misrepresentation of one's own or another's identity for academic purposes;
- the misrepresentation of material facts or circumstances in relation to examinations, papers, or other evaluative activities;
- the sale of papers, essays, or research for fraudulent use;
- the alteration or falsification of official University records;
- the unauthorized use of University academic facilities or equipment, including computer accounts and files;
- the unauthorized recording, sale, purchase, or use of academic lectures, academic computer software, or other instructional materials;
- the expropriation or abuse of ideas and preliminary data obtained during the process of editorial or peer review of work submitted to journals, or in proposals for funding by agency panels or by internal University committees;
- the expropriation and/or inappropriate dissemination of personally-identifying human subject data;
- the unauthorized removal, mutilation, or deliberate concealment of materials in University libraries, media, or academic resource centers.
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.
Collaboration at acceptable levels varies in different courses. Students are expected to consult with their instructor if they are uncertain whether their cooperative activities are acceptable.
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 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 may discuss their concerns with the student whom they suspect of a violation. Direct contact by another student may be the best means of resolving the problem. Repeated demonstration of student concern for academic integrity will in the long run build a peer-regulated community.
- If the incident is a major violation or part of a repeated pattern of violations, students should bring their concerns to the attention of the instructor or to the dean. Suspected violations by students reported to members of the faculty or to the dean will be handled according to the procedures set forth below.
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 dean.
Positive Learning Environments
Students are required to refrain from any type of cruel or hurtful behavior toward anyone that creates a risk to the individual or group’s physical and/or mental health and safety.
STUDENT APPEALS: Grievance Policy
Procedures for Grievances
Situations where the student is in disagreement with faculty evaluation and/or program planning or assesses a violation of rights should be approached in the following manner:
1. Student shall arrange to meet with the faculty member involved and attempt to resolve the differences/difficulty. If this does not lead to an appropriate resolution, then...
2. Student shall notify the advisor and instructor/faculty member of a continuing difference/difficulty. If this does not lead to an appropriate resolution, then…
3. Student advisor shall discuss the situations with the student and with the instructor/faculty member and shall try to assist in resolving the difference/difficulty. If this does not lead to an appropriate resolution, then…
4. The student shall write a formal description of the situation and attempts at resolution and submit the narrative to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Advising (or, if appropriate, the Dean); If this does not lead to an appropriate resolution, then…
5. The student shall request the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs (or Dean) submit the student’s written narrative and faculty’s written narrative to the Education Policy Committee (EPC) for formal review and decision. Upon recommendation of the EPC, the Dean shall make a determination. This determination will be the final resolution of the grievance.
Timeline for Grievances
Any student who believes he or she has been aggrieved should communicate with the faculty member involved as soon as possible after the action in question, but no later than the close of the semester after which the action giving rise to the complaint occurred (for Spring semester, no later than the end of Summer Session I). A grade grievance beyond a year is not considered.
During the academic year the faculty member should communicate within two weeks of the student’s request to discuss the grievance. If the matter cannot be resolved, the student should notify the advisor in writing of the grievance specifying the nature of the complaint and the remedy requested. Within two weeks of receiving the complaint, the student's advisor shall discuss the situation with the student and with the instructor and shall try to assist in resolving the difference/difficulty. If a mutually acceptable solution cannot be reached, the student shall notify the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs (or Dean) in writing if additional input into resolving the difference/difficulty is sought or if attempts at resolution are unsatisfactory.
If the situation leads to an EPC review, the EPC shall meet within one month of a written request (except during summer months which grievance shall be deliberated by September 30th).
Conflict of Interest
If a member of the WCAS administration or EPC has a conflict of interest, he or she will recuse themselves from consideration of the matter under review.
During deliberations that reach the EPC, only members of EPC shall be present. The EPC shall determine the seriousness and/or validity of the student's difficulties and/or grievances. After considering any recommendations made by the Dean, the advisor, the student and/or relevant others, the EPC must recommend to the Dean a course of action to be followed. Their recommendation may include no action, probation, dismissal, program modification or action as seems warranted regarding a grade grievance. When the difficulty or disagreement appears to be amenable to remedy, a specific time period shall be established for overcoming the issue under deliberation. At the end of this period, the EPC shall again review the situation and recommend appropriate action. The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs (or Dean) shall notify the student of the final decision in writing.