Academic Offenses

Definition of Academic Offenses

The following list of offenses, which is by no means all-inclusive, identifies categories that are subject to grade penalty and disciplinary action:

  1. Cheating on an examination or quiz
    To give, receive, offer, or solicit information on any quiz or examination. This includes the following classes of dishonesty:

    1. Copying from another student’s paper.
    2. Use during the examination of prepared materials, notes, or text other than those specifically permitted by the professor.
    3. Collaboration with another student during the examination.
    4. Buying, selling, stealing, soliciting, or transmitting an examination, or any material purported to be the unreleased content of a coming examination, or the use of such material.
    5. Substituting for another person during an examination or allowing such substitution for oneself.
    6. Bribery of any person to obtain examination information.
  2. Plagiarism
    To adopt and reproduce as one’s own, to appropriate to one’s own use and incorporate in one’s own work without acknowledgement, the ideas or passages from the writings and works of others.
  3. Collusion
    To obtain from another party, without specific approval in advance by the professor, assistance in the production of work offered for credit to the extent that the work reflects the ideas or skills of the party consulted rather than those of the person in whose name the work is submitted.
  4. Duplicity
    To offer for credit identical or substantially unchanged work in two or more courses without specific advance approval of the professor(s) involved.
Steps Toward Redress for Academic Offenses
Academic Dishonesty Procedures for Students Enrolled in a Course

These procedures are applicable when a student is enrolled in a course and a faculty member suspects the student of cheating, plagiarism, collusion, or similar activity, and when the suspicion is supported by substantial fact(s) or evidence.

The faculty member is responsible for notifying the student in writing of the specific charge(s), etc., using the Allegation of Academic Offense Form, and delivering the form by mail or in person. Also, the faculty member is responsible for retaining a copy of the form, and for forwarding one (1) copy each to the relevant department chairperson and to the dean of students or designee.

Upon receipt of the notice form, the student is responsible for contacting the faculty member for the purpose of arranging a conference. Both parties are then responsible for cooperating as necessary to conduct the conference within three (3) class days of the student’s receipt of the notice.

The purposes of this conference are: a) to ensure that the student is aware and understands the specific charge(s) and the substantiating evidence, and b) to ensure that the student has ample opportunity to present to the faculty member his or her position, explanation, and existing evidence of non-responsibility.

Regardless of the outcome of this conference, the faculty member is responsible for immediately notifying the dean of students of the results.

If the faculty member and student reach agreement that the student is responsible, grade penalty may not be imposed until and unless the student has failed to file a formal appeal by the official deadline for filing, or has signed an informed-decision waiver of the right to appeal, after conference with the dean of students or designee. If no formal appeal or waiver has been filed by the student at the expiration time of the allowable period, the faculty member may immediately impose a grade penalty.

Only the faculty member may impose a grade penalty. It is recommended that if a student is found responsible or admits responsibility, the faculty member will consider the individual circumstances, nature or severity of the offense, similar class violations, etc., before assessing the grade penalty. Grade penalties for consideration for academic offenses are:

  1. A grade of F in the course.
  2. A grade of F on the examination, project, etc.
  3. A grade adjustment.
  4. No credit for material presented.

If the conference outcome is that the faculty member continues to believe with objective cause that the student is responsible of an academic offense, and yet the student maintains a position of not responsible, the grade penalty may not be imposed until one (1) of the two (2) following conditions is met:

  1. Either ten (10) class days have passed since the student’s receipt of the Allegation of Academic Offense form and no official appeal or waiver of rights to a hearing (Disciplinary Alternate Form) has been filed by the student.
  2. The student has filed an appeal within the proscribed ten (10) class days and has pursued the university’s judicial appeal procedures to the maximum possible extent desired, and has been ultimately adjudged through and by those means to be responsible of the offense.

Upon receipt of notice that the faculty member/student conference has been completed, the student is responsible for initiating a conference with the dean of students or designee. Subsequently both the student and the dean of students or designee are responsible for cooperating as necessary to conduct the conference no later than six (6) class days from the date the student received the allegation form. Timeliness is emphasized because this conference is a prerequisite step in the event the student wishes to file a formal appeal and the deadline is ten (10) class days from the student’s receipt of the allegation form.

The purposes of this conference will differ, as will responsibilities pertinent to it, depending upon whether the student maintains a position of responsibility or non-responsibility regarding the academic offense. Therefore, two categories follow:

  1. In a case wherein the student has admitted responsibility to the faculty member and also maintains that responsible plea after conference with the dean of students or designee, and the offense warrants a severe penalty such as expulsion or suspension the dean of students or designee within (3) class days, refer the case to the chairperson of the Academic Integrity and Grievance Committee. If the offense does not warrant a severe penalty such as suspension or expulsion, the dean of students or designee will elect one of two options:
      The dean of students or designee, with agreement of the student, may opt to directly impose sanction, provided due process conditions have been met in the student’s interest.
    1. The case may be referred to the Academic Integrity and Grievance Committee chairperson for disposition.
  2. In a case wherein the outcome of the faculty member/student conference is that the faculty member maintains the student is responsible but the student maintains a position of non-responsibility, the dean of students or designee will review the following information with the student: the specific charge and evidence, student’s rights and privileges, appeals procedures, operating policies of the Academic Integrity and Grievance Committee, disciplinary proceedings, etc.

After this review the dean of students or designee may ask the student whether he or she wishes to continue to maintain the plea of non-responsibility. If the student elects to change the plea to responsible, the dean of students or designee will immediately notify the faculty member and the relevant department chairperson.

If the student elects to maintain the plea of not responsibility, the dean of students or designee will offer to assist the student in writing a statement of appeal; this formal written statement of appeal, when it is delivered to the chairperson of the Academic Integrity and Grievance Committee, constitutes the student’s initiation of the university’s judicial appeals procedures. The student is responsible for delivering the appeal statement to the Academic Integrity and Grievance Committee chairperson or designee. This delivery must take place no later than ten (10) class days from the date of the student’s initial receipt of the allegation form.

Regardless of the outcome of the conference between the dean of students or designee and the student, the dean of students or designee is responsible for immediately notifying its results to the faculty member and to the relevant department chairperson.

The student’s conferences with the faculty member and with the dean of students or designee are mandatory steps prerequisite to the filing of an official appeal. The intent of this guideline is to ensure that all reasonable efforts have been made to resolve the outcome of the academic offense allegation before the matter is brought to the Academic Integrity and Grievance Committee.

The Academic Integrity and Grievance Committee chairperson or designee is responsible for immediately notifying the following persons, upon receipt of a student’s appeal in regard to allegation of academic offense:

  1. The relevant faculty member.
  2. Department chairperson.
  3. The dean of students or designee.

The student has the right to attend classes until the appeal is resolved. The student may not withdraw from a course while an allegation of academic dishonesty in that course is being adjudicated. If the student withdraws from a course after receiving notification of an allegation of academic dishonesty, the student will be reinstated, pending final adjudication of the allegation.

At the conclusion of the adjudication process:

  1. If academic dishonesty is found, and a grade of “F” in the course is assigned, then the failing grade  will be recorded and remain on the student’s transcript.
  2. If academic dishonesty is found, and a penalty less than a grade of “F” for the course was assigned, then the student may continue in the course or withdraw from the course at that time.
  3. If academic dishonesty is not found, the student may continue in the course or withdraw from the course at that time.

If the adjudication process is not completed before the end of a semester, a temporary grade not affecting the student’s GPA will be submitted until the adjudication process is completed. The student may re-take a course in which a grade of “F” is assigned as a penalty for academic dishonesty. However, in such cases, the original grade of “F” will not be replaced but instead be included in the calculation of the student’s cumulative GPA along with the subsequent grade received.

Academic Dishonesty Procedures for Students Not Enrolled in a Course and Students Representing an Academic Department or the University in a University-Oriented or Sponsored Activity On or Off Campus

When a faculty member on his or her knowledge or on information given by a student believes that a student has behaved dishonestly, he or she should immediately notify the dean of students or designee of the suspicion of cheating, plagiarism, collusion, or the like. On receiving the notification of the alleged academic violation, the dean of students or designee shall investigate, consult the involved faculty member(s), and summon the student(s) for a conference within five (5) class days. No action shall be taken until the student has been informed of the charge, has been given an opportunity to present his or her defense, and has been notified of his or her right to appeal the case or have a hearing before the Academic Integrity and Grievance Committee. In a case of academic dishonesty in which the student admits responsibility and the offense does not warrant suspension or severe sanction, the matter may be handled by the dean of students or designee and a lesser disciplinary action (sanction) imposed.

In such cases, the fundamentals of due process will be followed. This informal/administrative route may be taken when responsibility is admitted by the student(s) involved; accused student(s) request this administrative route; the student is made aware of the disciplinary action that will be imposed; and the dean of students or designee can deal with the case objectively. In a case of academic dishonesty where the student may be suspended, a severe sanction is warranted, or the student does not admit responsibility, the case will be referred within three (3) class days to the chairperson of the Academic Integrity and Grievance Committee.