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Policy on Academic Integrity

This Policy applies to any and all student experiences in which academic credit is involved (e.g., courses, internships, practica, theses).

1. Academic Integrity

Because academic integrity is a cornerstone of the University’s commitment to the principles of free inquiry, students are responsible for learning and upholding professional standards of research, writing, assessment, and ethics in their areas of study. In the academic community, the high value placed on truth implies a corresponding intolerance of scholastic dishonesty. Written or other work which students submit must be the product of their own efforts and must be consistent with appropriate standards of professional ethics. Academic dishonesty, which includes cheating, plagiarism and other forms of dishonest or unethical behavior, is prohibited.

A breakdown of behaviors that constitute academic dishonesty is presented below. The definitions and clarifications are meant to provide additional information and examples of these behaviors. They are not intended to be all-inclusive. Questions regarding this policy or requests for additional clarification can be directed to the Office of Student Conduct.

2. Academic dishonesty includes:

A. Cheating on Examinations Definition

Cheating is using or attempting to use materials, information, notes, study aids, or other assistance in any type of examination or evaluation which have not been authorized by the instructor.


  1. Students completing any type of examination or evaluation are prohibited from looking at another student’s materials and from using external aids of any sort (e.g., books, notes, calculators, and conversation with others) unless the instructor has indicated specifically in advance that this will be allowed.
  2. Students may not take examinations or evaluations in the place of other persons. Students may not allow other persons to take examinations or evaluations in their places.
  3. Students may not acquire unauthorized information about an examination or evaluation and may not use any such information improperly acquired by others.

B. Plagiarism Definition

Plagiarism is intentionally or carelessly presenting the work of another as one’s own. It includes submitting an assignment purporting to be the student’s original work which has wholly or in part been created by another person. It also includes the presentation of the work, ideas, representations, or words of another person without customary and proper acknowledgement of sources. Students must consult with their instructors for clarification in any situation in which the need for documentation is an issue, and will have plagiarized in any situation in which their work is not properly documented.


  1. Every direct quotation must be identified by quotation marks or appropriate indentation and must be properly acknowledged by parenthetical citation in the text or in a footnote or endnote.
  2. When material from another source is paraphrased or summarized in whole or in part in one’s own words, that source must be acknowledged in a footnote or endnote, or by parenthetical citation in the text.
  3. Information gained in reading or research that is not common professional knowledge must be acknowledged in a parenthetical citation in the text or in a footnote or endnote.
  4. This prohibition includes, but is not limited to, the use of papers, reports, projects, and other such materials prepared by someone else.

C. Fabrication, Forgery and Obstruction Definition

Fabrication is the use of invented, counterfeited, altered or forged information in assignments of any type including those activities done in conjunction with academic courses that require students to be involved in out of classroom experiences.

Forgery is the imitating or counterfeiting of images, documents, signatures, and the like.

Obstruction is any behavior that limits the academic opportunities of other students by improperly impeding their work or their access to educational resources.


  1. Fabricated or forged information may not be used in any laboratory experiment, report of research, or academic exercise. Invention for artistic purposes is legitimate under circumstances explicitly authorized by an instructor.
  2. Students may not furnish to instructors fabricated or forged explanations of absences or of other aspects of their performance and behavior.
  3. Students may not furnish, or attempt to furnish, fabricated, forged or misleading information to university officials on university records, or on records of agencies in which students are fulfilling academic assignments.
  4. Students may not steal, change, or destroy another student’s work. Students may not impede the work of others by the theft, defacement, or mutilation of resources so as to deprive others of their use.

D. Multiple Submission Definition

Multiple submissions are the submission of the same or substantially the same work for credit in two or more courses.

Multiple submissions shall include the use of any prior academic effort previously submitted for academic credit at this or a different institution.

Multiple submissions shall not include those situations where the prior written approval by the instructor in the current course is given to the student to use a prior academic work or endeavor.


  1. Students may not normally submit any academic assignment, work, or endeavor in more than one course for academic credit of any sort. This will apply to submissions of the same or substantially the same work in the same semester or in different semesters. Students may not normally submit the same or substantially the same work in two different classes for academic credit even if the work is being graded on different bases in the separate courses (e.g., graded for research effort and content versus grammar and spelling).
  2. Students may resubmit a prior academic endeavor if there is substantial new work, research, or other appropriate additional effort. The student shall disclose the use of the prior work to the instructor and receive the instructor’s permission to use it PRIOR to the submission of the current endeavor.
  3. Students may submit the same or substantially the same work in two or more courses with the prior written permission of all faculty involved. Instructors will specify the expected academic effort applicable to their courses and the overall endeavor shall reflect the same or additional academic effort as if separate assignments were submitted in each course. Failure by the student to obtain the written permission of each instructor shall be considered a multiple submission.

E. Complicity Definition

Complicity is assisting or attempting to assist another person in any act of academic dishonesty.


  1. Students may not allow other students to copy from their papers during any type of examination.
  2. Students may not assist other students in acts of academic dishonesty by providing material of any kind that one may have reason to believe will be misrepresented to an instructor or other university official.
  3. Students may not provide substantive information about test questions or the material to be tested before a scheduled examination unless they have been specifically authorized to do so by the course instructor. This does not apply to examinations that have been administered and returned to students in previous semesters.

F. Misconduct in Research and Creative Endeavors Definition

Misconduct in research is serious deviation from the accepted professional practices within a discipline or from the policies of the university in carrying out, reporting, or exhibiting the results of research or in publishing, exhibiting, or performing creative endeavors. It includes the fabrication or falsification of data, plagiarism, and scientific or creative misrepresentation. It does not include honest error or honest disagreement about the interpretation of data.


  1. Students may not invent or counterfeit information.
  2. Students may not report results dishonestly, whether by altering data, by improperly revising data, by selective reporting or analysis of data, or by being grossly negligent in the collecting or analysis of data.
  3. Students may not represent another person’s ideas, writing or data as their own.
  4. Students may not appropriate or release the ideas or data of others when such data have been shared in the expectation of confidentiality.
  5. Students may not publish, exhibit, or perform work in circumstances that will mislead others. They may not misrepresent the nature of the material or its originality, and they may not add or delete the names of authors without permission.
  6. Students must adhere to all federal, state, municipal, and university regulations for the protection of human and other animal subjects.
  7. Students may not conceal or otherwise fail to report any misconduct involving research, professional conduct, or artistic performance of which they have knowledge.
  8. Students must abide by the university’s Policy on Research Integrity where applicable, which can be found under Policies at the following web address: Applicability of this policy for students is found under I. GENERAL PROVISIONS, A. Applicability, number 3.

G. Computer Misuse Definition

Misuse of computers is disruptive, unethical, or illegal use of the university’s computer resources, including any actions which violate the university’s Responsible Use of Computing. Misuse of computers also includes disruptive, unethical, or illegal use of the computers of another institution or agency in which students are performing part of their academic program.


  1. Students may not use the university computer system in support of any act of plagiarism.
  2. Students may not monitor or tamper with another person’s electronic communications.
  3. Students may not use university computer resources to engage in illegal activity, including but not limited to the following: illegally accessing other computer systems, exchanging stolen information, and violating copyright agreements which involve software or any other protected material.

H. Misuse of Intellectual Property Definition

Misuse of intellectual property is the illegal use of copyright materials, trademarks, trade secrets or intellectual properties.


Students may not violate the university policy concerning the fair use of copies. Information can be found at the following web address:

3. Ethical and Professional Behavior

Students are expected to adhere to the ethical and professional standards associated with their programs and academic courses. Such standards are generally communicated to students by instructors and are available through publications produced by professional organizations. Unethical or unprofessional behavior will be treated in the same manner as academic dishonesty.

4. Discretion of Instructors

Since the circumstances in which allegations of academic misconduct arise are many and varied, no single process will be appropriate to every situation. The procedures offered below are meant to cover the majority of situations. However, reasonable deviations from these procedures may be appropriate, so long as they are consistent with the following guiding principles:

  • Students must be informed about the nature of and basis for any allegations of academic misconduct and the consequences that may be imposed.
  • Students have a right to contest any allegations of academic misconduct, and to provide their side of the story to the instructor.
  • Once the instructor has considered the evidence and considered anything that the student may say on his or her own behalf, the instructor has the right to exercise her or his professional judgment in determining whether the student has engaged in academic misconduct, and to determine the consequences of such misconduct on the student’s grade for the assignment and/or the course.
  • A student accused of academic misconduct has a right to appeal the instructor’s decision once s/he has discussed the matter with the instructor.
  • All parties should act in a reasonably prompt manner, given the circumstances.

Nothing in this policy shall prohibit an instructor from informally discussing a student's work with the student to determine whether academic misconduct has occurred, or to educate the student about standards of academic integrity, without or prior to accusing the student of engaging in academic misconduct. It is recognized that some cases of academic misconduct may be borderline, accidental, or minor. Instructors are free to address such cases as occasions for further education rather than allegations of misconduct. For example, it would be consistent with this policy for an instructor to forgo the procedures outlined below and simply educate a student who has engaged in what appears to the instructor to be minor, borderline, or accidental academic misconduct, and to allow the student to redo the work (for full or partial credit) so as to avoid any question of academic integrity.

5. Academic Consequences of Violations of the Policy on Academic Integrity

A student is not permitted to withdraw from a course in which an instructor has imposed academic consequences (such as a reduction in grade) for academic misconduct. The instructor shall exercise his or her professional judgment in determining the appropriate academic consequences of the violation. Academic consequences may include a warning or reprimand, a requirement to resubmit work (with or without an additional reduction in grade for the assignment), a lowering of the grade for the assignment (including withholding of any credit for the assignment), or a lowering of the grade for the entire course (including failing the course).

In addition, instructors are encouraged to report serious incidents of academic misconduct to the Office of Student Conduct for formal proceedings seeking disciplinary sanctions under the Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities and Disciplinary Procedures.

6. Procedures for Handling Alleged Violations of this Policy

A. Initial Notification

If an instructor believes that a student has committed a violation of the Policy on Academic Integrity, the instructor will attempt to contact the student within a reasonable period of time (normally ten (10) university business days) to notify the student of the suspected violation of the Policy on Academic Integrity. This contact may be in written form (including e-mail), by phone, or in person. In any case, the instructor should convey to the student the following information:

  • A description of the nature of the alleged violation (e.g., plagiarism on a term paper; looking at another student’s work on an exam, etc.);
  • The basis for believing that the student has violated the Policy (e.g., a Turnitin originality report, a description of a report made by someone who observed the academic misconduct, etc.);
  • The academic consequences that the instructor may impose if s/he concludes that there is sufficient evidence that academic misconduct has occurred;
  • An offer to discuss the matter further and to respond to the allegations. Depending on the circumstances, this further discussion may occur at a separate time, or it may be continuous with the initial notification. The discussion may take place in person, via email, or by phone. If the student declines to discuss the matter with the instructor, then s/he forfeits the right to appeal the instructor’s decision.

The instructor is encouraged to keep a record of this contact.

B. Discussion between Instructor and Student

The instructor will offer the student an opportunity to discuss the allegation of academic misconduct, and to present any evidence or other information on his or her behalf. This discussion may be continuous with the initial contact, or it may occur at a later time. It may take place by phone, email, or in person. The instructor will determine the most appropriate format for this discussion, taking into account the details of the situation and the student’s availability and preferences about how the discussion is to be conducted.

If this discussion occurs during a face-to-face meeting, either the instructor or the student may request that a mutually agreeable third party attend to serve as a neutral facilitator or observer. However, neither the instructor nor the student may be represented or accompanied by an attorney or any other advisor.

Regardless of the format of this discussion, the student will be provided the opportunity to respond to the allegation and to explain any suspected or alleged misconduct by presenting evidence, giving additional information relevant to the matter, explaining extenuating or mitigating circumstance, or acknowledging a violation.

C. Determination of Academic Consequences of Violation

After either (1) the instructor and student have discussed the alleged violation of the Academic Integrity Policy, or (2) the student has admitted that s/he violated the Academic Integrity Policy, or (3) the student has declined to discuss the violation, then the instructor will exercise his or her professional judgment in determining whether a violation has occurred, and, if so, what academic consequences are appropriate and what grade is appropriate for the assignment and course. Once this decision has been made, the instructor should communicate his/her decision to the student in writing. This may be done through regular mail, campus mail, email, or hand delivery to the student. The instructor should retain a copy of this communication. Instructors are encouraged to report serious violations of the Policy on Academic Integrity to the Office of Student Conduct, and to include a copy of this communication in the report.

If the student wishes to discuss the allegations but it is not possible to have this discussion before grades are due, or if the instructor is unable to contact the student before grades are due, the instructor shall determine whether to (1) forgo submitting a grade for the student or (2) submit a grade which has been lowered to reflect the consequences of academic misconduct. If the instructor decides not to submit a grade until the matter is resolved, the system will assign a grade of “N,” which the instructor will remove once the discussion with the student has occurred. If the instructor submits a grade before a discussion with the student occurs, the instructor should notify the student of this decision and offer to discuss the matter. If, as a result of the discussion, the instructor determines that the evidence of the violation was faulty or insufficient to warrant a determination of academic misconduct, or if s/he determines that mitigating factors presented by the student warrant a less serious academic consequence than was reflected in the grade submitted, then s/he will file a change of grade request. In such a case, the instructor should communicate this decision to the student.

D. Appeal of an Instructor’s Decision

A student may appeal the instructor’s decision that a violation of the Policy has occurred, and/or the academic consequences imposed by the instructor. However, if a student has refused to discuss the matter with the instructor, s/he forfeits the right to such an appeal.

The appeal must be submitted in writing to the instructor and to the dean (or his/her designated representative, e.g., an associate dean) of the college in which the violation occurred no later than ten (10) university business days after the instructor notifies the student of her/his final decision, or ten (10) university business days after the final course grades have been posted, whichever is earlier. However, if a discussion between the student and instructor has been scheduled to be held after grades are submitted, then the student shall have ten (10) university business days after the student has been notified of the instructor’s decision. An appeal not made within the time limit will not be heard unless an exception is made by the dean of the college. The written statement of appeal must state: the name of the person appealing, the basis of the appeal, the instructor making the decision from which the appeal is made, and the remedy which the person appealing is requesting from the dean.

As soon as practical, the dean will convene a committee composed of faculty and students to hear the appeal and to make a recommendation to the dean. The dean will designate one member of the committee as the Proceedings Officer. The role of the committee is to advise the dean.

The student and the instructor are each permitted to have an advisor of his or her choice present at the hearing of the appeal. If either party’s advisor is an attorney, that party must notify the Proceedings Officer of this at least three (3) business days in advance of the hearing. The advisor’s role is limited to providing advice to the student or instructor. The advisor is not permitted to ask or answer questions or make oral arguments.

The Proceedings Officer is responsible for notifying members of the appeals committee of the appeal and for setting a time and place for holding a meeting of the appeals committee. The Proceedings Officer will provide notice of time and place of the meeting of the appeals committee to the student, instructor, and other University persons deemed appropriate by the Proceedings Officer.

The Proceedings Officer will retain the documentary evidence introduced at the hearing, as well as the record made of the hearing; these materials will be available to the appeals committee during its deliberations, and will be forwarded to the Dean with the committee’s recommendation.

The appeals committee has the discretion to establish hearing procedures which are appropriate to the circumstances, fair to all parties involved, and respectful of the values of academic integrity. Normally, the participants in the appeals hearing will appear in person; however, in unusual cases, the appeals committee may allow participation by telephone.

The purpose of the appeals committee is to determine whether the instructor abused his or her professional discretion in finding that academic misconduct occurred and/or in the choice of academic consequences for such misconduct. It is not the purpose of the appeals committee to substitute its judgment for that of the instructor. It is not the purpose of the appeals committee to decide whether it would have reached the same decision had it been the instructor. It is not the function of the appeals committee to rehear the charges against the student. The burden of proof shall be upon the student to show that there was insufficient basis for a reasonable instructor to find that academic misconduct occurred, and/or that the instructor’s selection of academic consequences for the misconduct was arbitrary, capricious, or grossly unjust (e.g., a clear departure from the instructor’s announced polices). The appeals committee may:

  • Uphold the instructor’s decision.
  • Find that the facts of the situation could not provide a reasonable instructor with sufficient basis for finding that academic misconduct occurred, and recommend that the dean of the college set aside the finding or determine the facts differently.
  • Find that the instructor’s selection of academic consequences for the violation was arbitrary, capricious, or grossly unjust, and recommend that the dean of the college set aside the academic consequences or impose a different academic consequence.

After receiving this recommendation the dean will either sustain or deny the appeal. The dean’s decision will be in writing. The dean’s decision will be final.

If it is necessary, pending the resolution of an appeal, the student will be assigned a deferred grade.

E. Formal Proceedings in the Office of Student Conduct

If the instructor believes that a student has violated the Policy on Academic Integrity and that the violation is sufficiently serious, the instructor may refer the case to the Office of Student Conduct for the consideration of additional sanctions. The following procedures will be followed.

  1. The instructor will inform the student that formal proceedings in the Office of Student Conduct are being requested.
  2. The instructor will forward all documentation supporting the allegation of violation to the Office of Student Conduct with a cover letter describing the situation. Examples of documentation include the course syllabus, quiz or exam, assignment, source of plagiarism.
  3. The “Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities and Disciplinary Procedures” will govern the sanctions which can be imposed, and the appeal process.
  4. The Office of Student Conduct will determine a sanction and will notify the instructor of its determination.
  5. This sanction will be recorded on the student’s permanent disciplinary record, subject to release only under the terms of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

F. Proceedings With a Department or Program

  1. Departmental or Program Action
    1. In cases where an instructor judges a student to have violated the Policy on Academic Integrity, that person is encouraged to report the incident to the chair of the department or unit in which the student’s program is housed.
    2. Departments and programs will follow their internal procedures for deciding whether the student’s status in the academic program should be reviewed because of the violation of the Policy on Academic Integrity and, if so, what review process will take place.
  2. Appeal of Departmental or Program Action

    A record of the department, program and/or college decision and appeal (if any) will be part of the file on the violation of Policy on Academic Integrity maintained by the Office of Student Conduct.

Passed by Academic Senate May 5, 2009

Revised: 3/26/13

Editorially revised: 11/24/15; 2/8/17