Academic Integrity

The University is committed to assuring ethical behavior by all its members toward all its members, and all members of the university community are expected to share in this commitment to ethical behavior.

Academic dishonesty is an offense against the University. A student who has committed an act of academic dishonesty has failed to meet a basic requirement of satisfactory academic performance. Thus, academic dishonesty is relevant to the evaluation of the student’s level of performance, and is also a basis for disciplinary action by the Provost’s office.

All members of the University community will maintain an environment in which each member of that community is given equal opportunities to achieve academic success and each member’s academic achievements are assessed fairly and objectively.

Academic Dishonesty

Academic dishonesty refers to any act that is intended to produce an academic assessment that is not commensurate with an individual’s performance, or any act that is intended to unfairly assist or hinder an individual’s academic efforts. Such acts include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Allowing the work of one person to be academically assessed as the work of another.
  2. Allowing academic credit to be assigned to work that was not performed.
  3. Unauthorized possession of resources (e.g., reserved library material, laboratory material, art work, computer software or medical excuses).
  4. Misrepresentation of an academic record (e.g., changing grades, failure to report work done at other institutions).
  5. Denial of access to resources (e.g., reserved library material, laboratory material, art work, computer software) intended to be available to others.

Roles in the promotion and maintenance of academic integrity

All members of the University will take active roles in the promotion and maintenance of an environment of academic integrity. These roles include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Knowing and abiding by the academic regulations of the University.
  2. Beginning each semester, the instructor must inform the class in writing of his/her policy regarding academic dishonesty. This policy must be consistent with Article VI.
  3. Taking safeguards to deter the opportunistic violation of the academic regulations of the University.
  4. Reporting any suspected acts of academic dishonesty to the appropriate party.
  5. Ensuring that other members of the University are diligent in their responsibilities to the maintenance of academic integrity

Students

Students should report any suspected acts of academic dishonesty to the instructor as soon as possible. The instructor will then determine whether to submit a report as described in Section 6 below.

  1. The student’s report to the instructor must include any information or evidence that can assist the instructor in determining whether to pursue the alleged incident.
  2. The student’s report should include a description of the circumstances leading to the suspicions of academic dishonesty.

Instructors

Instructors must notify students of their intention to report a suspected incident of academic misconduct within ten calendar days of detecting the incident. Instructors must report, using Option A or Option B, the circumstances and academic assessment impact of any suspected acts of academic dishonesty to the Provost’s office as soon as possible after notifying the student, but in no case longer than fourteen calendar days after notifying the student. The Provost’s office will copy the report to the course department chair, the student’s divisional dean and the divisional dean of the course, and contact the student.

 Option A – Discussion Agreement

Instructors have the option to discuss the specific allegation with the student. If the instructor and student agree on a sanction (e.g., reduction in course grade, failing course grade, assignment of additional work), no disciplinary action will be taken by the Provost’s office as a result of this specific act alone. If, however, this specific act represents the student’s second or greater instance of academic dishonesty, the Provost’s office may choose disciplinary sanctions (e.g., suspension, dismissal). Instructors must indicate on the form if no agreement was reached by the instructor and the student.

In all cases, the form, and relevant materials must be forwarded to the Provost’s office for evaluation.

Option B – Academic Integrity Violation Report

If the instructor chooses not to complete the discussion agreement, he or she must nonetheless notify the student, complete the academic integrity violation report, attach relevant materials, and forward this information to the Provost’s office.

Regardless of the option used, instructors may award a failing grade on the assignment, a failing grade in the course, or may otherwise adjust the assignment or course grade as deemed appropriate. In addition, instructors may choose to assign additional work.

Instructors should reflect on their academic determination in light of the Provost’s decision concerning disciplinary sanctions. Students wishing to appeal a course grade should follow the grade appeal process, described in Article VII of the Faculty Handbook and included in the M-Book. Forms are available from the Provost’s office.

Grades are to be assigned based on the individual efforts of each student. No credit will be given for any work that does not represent the individual efforts of a particular student or his or her contribution to a collaborative effort. Instructors are solely responsible for assessing academic performance, and the Provost is solely responsible for the application of disciplinary measures.

Response to academic dishonesty

The Provost will determine whether any punitive actions should be taken in response to an act of academic dishonesty, and the Provost will determine the nature of any such actions in accordance with the rules and regulations of the University.

  1. Disciplinary proceedings may result in a hearing before the Student Conduct Committee.
  2. Any person connected to the events surrounding a suspected act of academic dishonesty (e.g., instructor, teaching assistant, classmate) is expected to cooperate with the Provost’s investigation.
  3. Disciplinary outcomes may include no action, a warning, probation, suspension, permanent expulsion from the University, and withholding of transcripts and diplomas.