Related University Policies and Guidelines
ACADEMIC HONESTY POLICY
Academic dishonesty may take a variety of forms, ranging from criminal offenses such as stealing a test from an instructor’s office to a breach of ethics such as glancing at a classmate’s answers during a test. Academic dishonesty can occur in both face-to-face and online courses. Students are responsible for knowing standards of academic conduct, whether stated or routinely assumed. No one should claim credit for the work of others, misrepresent or misappropriate the work of others, or try to gain unfair advantage over others. Students in doubt about a given practice should ask the instructor.
Faculty has a professional responsibility for taking all reasonable measures to prevent academic dishonesty and for taking appropriate actions when it comes to their attention. Students also have a responsibility to fulfill, and indeed an investment to protect, in helping to ensure that academic achievement is characterized by honesty and fair play.
Students have the responsibility to report any possible instances of academic dishonesty that they may be aware of to the faculty of the course where the academic dishonesty may be suspected or to the appropriate School Dean for possible instances that do not involve a particular instructor.
Forms of Academic Dishonesty
Nothing distinguishes academic dishonesty from plain dishonesty except for the particular forms that it may take. Some common, but by no means exhaustive, examples are:
- Cheating on tests by giving, receiving, or soliciting unauthorized information about questions or answers.
- Submitting work actually done by another person or for another course (without the instructor’s permission).
- Plagiarizing the work of others by representing their words and/or thoughts as one’s own.
- Deliberately misrepresenting works and/or thoughts attributed to others - i.e., putting words in their mouths.
- Appropriating as one’s own or attempting to mar the programs, experiments, calculations, creations, or similar products of others’ endeavors.
- Altering documents - such as a grade on a paper, test, or transcript.
- Giving false information, e.g., concerning grade point average earned, prerequisite coursework taken, etc.
The following sanctions listed are not mutually exclusive and do not preclude other reasonable and appropriate sanctions in proven cases of academic dishonesty:
- Reduced grade for assignment or course
- Failure for the assignment or course
All acts of academic dishonesty are considered serious. Instructors have the right to impose penalties up to and including failure of the course for proven instances of academic dishonesty that occur within their courses. The university has the right to impose probation, suspension, or expulsion for repeat offenses, those involving collusion by more than one person, and those compounded by criminal actions such as theft. Acts of dishonesty that also break the law will be made known to local law enforcement agencies.
- In every course syllabus instructors will refer students to the Academic Honesty Policy of the university as printed in the Student Handbook.
- Instructors who suspect an instance of academic dishonesty are expected to notify the student or students involved as soon as reasonably possible, ordinarily within a week.
- Instructors should pursue the matter on their own and, if a finding of academic dishonesty is made, follow the School’s written policy for making a record of the resolution.
- If reasonable proof of dishonesty is ascertained, instructors may, on their own, impose penalties up to and including failure for the course. Any penalties are to be made known to the student or students involved within a reasonable time, ordinarily within two weeks after the student or students have been confronted with and responded to the evidence.
- Instances of suspected dishonesty that involve more than one student in a course (e.g., copying each other’s homework), or more than one course or instructor (e.g., copying the work of a student enrolled in another section of the same course), will be resolved by the instructor or instructors of the course or courses involved.
- Instances of suspected dishonesty that do not involve a particular instructor (e.g., cheating on a school-wide or standardized test) should be referred to the Dean for resolution.
- The School will promulgate a written policy for keeping a record of proven instances of academic dishonesty and distribute this policy to its faculty. No record will be kept of any unproven allegations.
Academic dishonesty may rise to the level of university-wide action when suspected instances of student collusion, repeat offenses, or criminal conduct may warrant consideration of provisional or permanent exclusion from the academic community. Such cases may be referred to the Academic Council at the discretion of the instructor or School Dean. Also, students who feel that they have been unjustly penalized by an instructor or School for academic dishonesty may petition the Provost to review the matter for possible referral to the Academic Council. Referrals will be handled as follows:
- The instructor or Dean will present the evidence to the Academic Council, along with any relevant testimony.
- The student(s) involved will have the opportunity to appear before the Council, may present evidence and testimony, and may bring a witness to the proceedings.
- The Council will conduct an investigation and hearing, if needed, as expeditiously as possible, ordinarily within three weeks following the date of the referral.
- After deliberation, the Council will reach judgment and advise the Provost, with regard to the soundness of the evidence, significance of the incident, and imposition of sanctions.
- The Provost will inform the student, instructor, and Dean (if absent from the proceedings) of the sanctions imposed, which may include probation, suspension, or expulsion.
- The Provost will keep a record of all proven instances of academic dishonesty brought before the Council. No record will be kept of any unproven allegations.