Importance of Academic Integrity
The academic activities of the College, which contribute to the fulfillment of the College mission, are dependent upon the honest and open communication of ideas among students and faculty. Fundamental to academic integrity is a genuine respect for knowledge and intellectual inquiry. The academic community cannot thrive when these principles have been compromised by any of its members; therefore, this policy specifies the procedures to be implemented in cases where violations are suspected.
Violations of Academic Integrity: Academic Dishonesty
Academic dishonesty is defined as any act by a student that misrepresents or attempts to misrepresent to an instructor or any College official, the proficiency or achievement of that student or another student in any academic exercise, or that is intended to alter any record of a student’s academic performance by unauthorized means.
A student deemed guilty of an act of academic dishonesty may, depending on the nature of the offense, be subject to one or more of the following measures: failure of the assignment or examination, failure of the course, or dismissal from the College. Depending upon the severity of the violation, as determined by the College’s Office of Judicial Affairs, the student may be referred to the Standing Disciplinary Board. Second offenses will result in a mandatory referral of the case to the Standing Disciplinary Board, or, if the Board cannot be convened in a timely manner, the Director of Judicial Affairs will hear the case. The penalties that may be assessed by the Board are listed under the Procedures of the Standing Disciplinary Board as published in this publication; however, the normal penalty is suspension or dismissal.
It is the student’s responsibility to read and understand the policy on all aspects of academic integrity as published in this publication and the Catalog. However, individual faculty members may wish to explain the policy as it relates to their courses. It is emphasized that students who have any questions about what constitutes a violation of academic integrity have the responsibility of clarifying them by conferring with their instructor(s).
Examples of Academic Dishonesty
The following examples, although not all-inclusive, are intended to help students understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. Other acts should not necessarily be considered as falling outside the scope of this policy because of their absence from this list.
- Unauthorized giving or receiving of information on an examination, laboratory procedure, or other exercise
- Taking an examination for another student or allowing another student to take an examination for you
- Using materials (either specific words or unique ideas) from another person’s work without acknowledgment
- Using quotations without identification as such or paraphrasing without specific identification of the source
- Copying and/or modifying another person’s computer file, program, printout, or portion thereof for use in an assignment without permission of the instructor*
- Knowingly permitting one’s computer file, program, printout, or portion thereof to be copied or modified by another student for use in an assignment without permission of the instructor
Other Academic Dishonesty Infractions
- Altering or attempting to alter a grade on any piece of graded work, a grade written in an instructor’s personal records, or a grade written on any College form or transcribed in any official College record
- Falsifying, or attempting to falsify, data pertinent to academic requirements
- Contributing to another student’s work, or receiving contributions from another student, when the instructor has specified that collaboration is inappropriate
Re-use of Own Work
- Students who wish to submit the same paper or report for two different classes (in the same or different semesters) should consult with their instructors prior to submitting the paper or report as to whether this is acceptable.
- Students repeating a class who wish to submit their own previously written work should first consult with their instructor.
* Unauthorized use of another person’s computer user code may not necessarily be regarded as academic dishonesty. It is, nevertheless, a misuse of College property, perhaps theft, and will be dealt with under the provisions of the College Regulations as specified in this publication.
Procedures to be Followed When Academic Dishonesty is Suspected
- When academic dishonesty is suspected, the faculty member should discuss the evidence with the student, explaining why such evidence brings the student into suspicion of violating this policy and advising the student of the actions to be carried out as outlined in this policy.
- The faculty member may assign a grade of “E” for an assignment, for an activity, or for the course if he/she has a preponderance of evidence that the student is guilty of academic dishonesty in connection with this work. These instances of academic dishonesty, and the action taken, should be reported to the Office of Judicial Affairs, with a copy to the department chair. A form for reporting violations of academic integrity is available in the Office of Judicial Affairs.
- If, in the judgment of the Office of Judicial Affairs, the nature of the case warrants it, or if it is a second offense, the case will be referred to the Standing Disciplinary Board of the College (see next section of this publication). The student may appeal any action taken by either the Office of Judicial Affairs or the Standing Disciplinary Board to the Vice President for Student Development or his/her designee.
- Faculty members who encounter acts of academic dishonesty should report them in writing (preferably using the form) to the Office of Judicial Affairs with a copy of the report to the department chair. Faculty may choose to consult with the Director of Judicial Affairs at any point in the process to discuss the nature of the offense and its appropriate sanction. It is important to report cases of academic dishonesty to the Office of Judicial Affairs because it is the clearinghouse for such records and therefore is the entity most likely to have broad knowledge regarding a student’s prior and concurrent offenses.
- Faculty should include a copy of the course syllabus with the report to the Office of Judicial Affairs.
- Faculty are encouraged to use discretion in distinguishing between inadvertent violations and more egregious forms of academic dishonesty.
- Whenever possible, the faculty member should impound the evidence of suspected dishonesty. If necessary, photocopies can be made in the Registrar’s Office. Such evidence will not be returned to the student, but will be kept in the confidential files in the Student Development Office.
- The faculty member should obtain such signed statements from students and other faculty as may be necessary to complete the documentation. The statements will be kept in the confidential files of the Student Development Office.
- If a student admits to an act of dishonesty, the faculty member should obtain a statement to that effect signed by the student. The statement will be kept in the confidential files in the Student Development Office.
- Failure by the faculty member to execute any of these responsibilities will not constitute grounds for dismissal of charges against a student.
Students are expected to be familiar with this policy. Ignorance of this policy does not necessarily exempt a student from charges of, and penalties for, violations of this policy. For example, students who are not aware of the citation rules for their discipline may still be charged with plagiarism if those citation rules have been violated.
Students are expected to make every effort to attend meetings in which they have been implicated with a violation of academic integrity. If a second meeting must be scheduled due to a student’s absence at an earlier meeting, the student’s guilt or innocence in the case may be determined at the second meeting even though the student is not present.
Students are encouraged to notify the instructor if they observe an act of academic dishonesty. If a student reports such an incident, the instructor shall be obligated to pursue the matter as indicated above. If, in the opinion of the student who has reported the incident, the instructor has not fulfilled his/her responsibilities in this matter, that student may confer with one or more of the following:
- the department chairperson
- the student grievance committee of that department
- the appropriate academic dean
- the Office of Judicial Affairs staff
Additionally, the student may request a review in writing to the Subcommittee on Student Academic Grievances.
- A student who disputes a charge of academic dishonesty by a faculty member may request to have his/her case heard by the Standing Disciplinary Board. This request should be submitted in writing to the Office of Judicial Affairs within five (5) business days of the date upon which the faculty member explained the evidence of the violation to the student.
- In cases where the student disputes a charge of academic dishonesty, the Office of Judicial Affairs will be responsible for the investigation of the case.
- In cases of dispute, the appropriate academic dean should be consulted by the Office of Judicial Affairs, or he/she may enter the case on his/her own initiative.
Academic Dishonesty Procedure Flowchart