Academic Integrity Policy
Academic integrity is part of the foundation of an academic community. Any violation of the highest standards of academic honesty threatens the trust upon which an academic community is built and is conduct that violates its fundamental principles.
Academic dishonesty is a serious breach of the rules of proper academic conduct. The penalty for the first act of academic dishonesty will be a zero on the piece of work involved or an F in the course, at the discretion of the instructor in consultation with the academic dean as appropriate. A letter describing the incident and the action taken will be sent by the instructor to the student with a copy to the chief academic officer. Academic Affairs will then send a notice to the student and to the Registrar for placement in the student’s file. The letter will serve as a record of a first offense, but will be removed from the file upon graduation if no subsequent offense occurs. If a student commits a subsequent offense, the mandatory penalty will be an F in that course and a letter in the file. A student may be dismissed from the College for a second or subsequent offense at the discretion of the chief academic officer, in which case a notation will be placed on the student’s academic record (his or her transcript) noting only the fact of dismissal.
Violations of academic integrity that are not relevant to a course in which the student is or was enrolled at the time of the violation — for example, enabling others to be academically dishonest in a class in which the student is not enrolled, sabotaging another student’s academic work in another class, or vandalism, theft or tampering with regards to data files or equipment — may be referred to the judicial process administered by the Student Affairs Division and described in The Compass, at the discretion of the Provost. In such cases, documentation provided to Academic Affairs by faculty or others will be forwarded to the Dean of Students. The integrity charge will still originate from Academic Affairs, and the student will be subject to the provisions above concerning a letter to the student’s file, transcript notation, and potential dismissal.
A student found guilty of any academic integrity offense may lose his or her eligibility for college honors and awards, at the discretion of the provost.
Academic dishonesty can take many forms. In general, academic dishonesty is any behavior that results in the circumvention of the work required and expected to gain academic credit. For example, writing a paper without using your own thoughts and/or words, claiming participation in an academic requirement in which one did not participate, such as group work or required attendance, and submitting the same work more than once for credit all comprise acts of academic dishonesty. Following are further descriptions of behaviors that are considered academically dishonest. However, students should be aware that this list is not meant to be exhaustive. The fundamental question to always keep in mind is whether the behavior is a means by which to avoid the work required to secure academic credit. If the answer is yes, the behavior constitutes academic dishonesty.
One form of academic dishonesty is taking another person’s work and presenting it as one’s own. This can result from copying another student’s paper, display on a terminal or an exam; using data or information stored in a computer system without explicit authorization or acknowledgement of the author; presenting another person’s ideas or words as one’s own in a homework assignment or research paper; and so on.
Plagiarism is a distinct form of academic dishonesty in which a person uses the words or ideas of another without proper acknowledgment. But the definition of plagiarism cannot be satisfactorily stated in a few words, and students are encouraged to consult the handbook approved by the English Department for ENG 101 and 102. Students also are encouraged to consult with faculty members if they wish further clarification. Faculty will endeavor to distinguish between intentional plagiarism and the misuse of sources due to poor attribution skills.
Other examples of academic dishonesty include using unauthorized material or devices on examinations or in preparing for examinations; unauthorized collaboration with others; using information stored in a computer system without explicit authorization and acknowledgement of the author; claiming participation in an academic requirement in which one did not participate; submitting the same work more than once for credit (without express permission); falsifying or fabricating data or sources; denying access to information or materials to other students; sabotaging another student’s academic work; enabling others to be academically dishonest, whether one benefits or not; failing to acknowledge assistance from others and its specific results; allowing someone else to do work that one claims as one’s own; and knowingly violating the ethical code of a profession for which one is preparing. Theft and/or damaging of books, periodicals, and other instructional materials (including laboratory equipment) shall be deemed acts of academic dishonesty. As such, they are subject to monetary penalties and to the same penalties as apply to other such acts of academic dishonesty.
The unauthorized or inappropriate use of college computers or tampering with data files or equipment constitutes academic dishonesty. Plagiarism or violation of proprietary agreements concerning the programs and data of other users will be treated as acts of academic dishonesty. The Policy for Responsible Computing, available at the Computer Center, explains the College’s guidelines with respect to computer ethics.
The College and its faculty will endeavor to inform students about what constitutes plagiarism and academic dishonesty, but the ultimate responsibility for adhering to accepted standards of academic behavior rests with the student.
A student who feels that he or she has been unfairly treated in a case of academic dishonesty has the right of appeal to the Academic Appeals Board. The appeals process is described in the Academic Appeals section.