Summary: School faculty, administrators, and staff may not disclose personally identifiable information about students nor permit inspection of their records without written permission of the student unless release or inspection is covered by certain exceptions permitted by the Act. Access to student information is limited to a school official's legitimate educational interest.
The primary purposes of a university are to produce new knowledge and to share knowledge acquired from others. These purposes can be achieved only when intellectual property rights are recognized by everyone within the university. Thus academic integrity is essential; university citizens must take responsibility for their own work and give credit when using the work of others.
Academic integrity is undermined whenever one is dishonest in the pursuit of knowledge. Dishonesty takes many forms, including cheating, plagiarism, and other activities for undermining the educational process:
Cheating occurs whenever one attempts to gain an advantage through violation of rules regarding the relevant behavior. It should be assumed that collaboration is cheating unless explicitly authorized.
Plagiarism involves intentionally or unintentionally presenting another person's expressions –ideas, opinions, illustrations, data, style–as one's own expression.
Undermining the Educational Process occurs whenever one attempts to prevent another's learning or subverts the recognized means by which learning occurs.
The first step should be a review of evidence to ensure that there is sufficient reason to warrant a charge of academic dishonesty. This should be accomplished prior to failing a student for an assignment or a course and/or referring the matter to the Office of Student Conduct Programs. Faculty may elect to consult with a department chair, academic dean or the Coordinator of Student Conduct Programs. When the violation involves plagiarism, faculty members are encouraged to employ all available resources (e.g., Turnitin.com, Google searches, etc.) in developing a set of evidence.
All provisions for due process will be afforded to students charged with a violation of academic integrity. The disciplinary process is outlined in its entirety in the Code of Student Conduct.
The Hearing Panel may impose sanctions upon any student determined to be accountable for violations of the Academic Integrity Policy. Sanctions are cumulative and may be increased based on a past disciplinary record, the severity of the violation, and the impact upon the academic community. There may be circumstances that are cause for exception as determined by the Hearing Panel.
Students have the right to appeal outcomes of hearings and/or sanctions imposed. Written appeals must be submitted within three days following the written notification of the decisions reached by the Hearing Panel. Appeals will be reviewed jointly by the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Vice President for Student Services and Enrollment Management.
All cases concerning academic dishonesty must be recorded in the Office of Student Conduct Programs. Additionally, student grade grievance proceedings that occur due to academic dishonesty must be recorded in the Office of Student Conduct Programs. This means that faculty, academic chairs or deans must notify the Office of Student Conduct Programs when a student's grade is changed for reasons of academic dishonesty.
Every course syllabus should include the following:
If a student's academic integrity is called into question, the faculty member will need to follow his/her syllabus statement when dealing with the issue. Many faculty use syllabus statements such as the following:
Example One (D. Boehm):
The value of a university degree is based on its academic integrity; it certifies that the student has acquired the knowledge, skills and professional behaviors required by his/her program of study. Thus, scholarly honesty is an expectation for all student work. In the case of researched writing assignments, scholarly honesty requires a student to appropriately document sources for all material that is not personal knowledge or public doman. The student who incorporates source material into a paper, whether by summary, paraphrase, or quotation, will identify the source of that material both in-text and in a bibliography, following the documentation format required for that assignment.
Unethical writing practices, such as plagiarism, often occur when students fail to provide in-text citations and/or references, when they fail to use their own language when summarizing or paraphrasing, or when they fail to mark the original language of a source as a quotation. Such unethical writing practices are subject to the policies stated in the SVSU Student Handbook and in the Code of Student Conduct , Section 1.8, Academic Dishonesty.
Example Two (F. Dane):
Every student enrolled in this course is expected to be familiar with the Code of Student Conduct. If, at any time, you have any questions about the Code or information about a violation of the Code related to this course, you should contact me. You may do this in any way that is most comfortable for you (e.g., email, telephone, in person).
According to Webster's II New Riverside University Dictionary, to plagiarize means either "to steal and use (the ideas or writings of another) as one's own" or "to take passages or ideas from and use them as one's own" (p. 898). In an academic setting, academic dishonesty includes:
If material you submit fits any of the above examples, you shall receive a zero on the relevant assignment; dishonest work is not an acceptable means by which to fulfill course requirements. In addition, your case will be referred to the Dean of Student Affairs.
You must neither receive, nor give, assistance on any test. I encourage students to study with others for this course. However, it is important that you prevent any appearance of collusion during exams. If questions arise about collusion during an examination, then the fact that two people studied together will not be acceptable explanation except when the students were well separated during the examination. Academic dishonesty on examinations will earn a zero on the examination. Violations of the no-assistance rule for examinations will also result in your case being referred to the Dean of Student Affairs.
A faculty member who wishes to implement an honor code must incorporate it into his/her syllabus and course policies/practices. One way to do this is to have students sign and date an Honor Code statement, such as the following, each time they submit an assignment:
I pledge on my honor that I have not given or received any unauthorized assistance on this assignment/examination.
Several methods can be used:
FERPA laws must be observed. Faculty may not disclose personally identifiable information about students, nor permit inspection of their records without written permission of the student, unless release or inspection is covered by certain exceptions permitted by the Act. Access to student information is limited to a school official's legitimate educational interest.
In the case of a student being sanctioned due to academic dishonesty, the faculty member will receive notification about the disposition of the case.
If you have a question that isn't answered here, check out the Faculty Resources page. It contains links to valuable resources for answering questions regarding academic integrity
Instructors deal with plagiarism and/or academic dishonesty according to their own professional judgment, but must adhere to any processes stated in their course syllabus and/or departmental policy. Many faculty give a 0 or F for the first instance of plagiarism, depending on the level of the course. Subsequent violations usually result in course failure; these are to be reported to the Office of Student Conduct Programs for disciplinary action. Other types of academic dishonesty are handled in a similar fashion.
The reporting process for allegations of academic dishonesty would follow the same protocol as any other complaint regarding student behavioral issues. The regulation that would most likely be cited in the Code of Student Conduct would be 1.8 Academic Dishonesty, 1.8.1: "No student shall cheat, plagiarize, or facilitate academic dishonesty by another student. Students are responsible for completing all assigned academic work without unauthorized aid of any kind."
Faculty may contact Marie Rabideau, Coordinator of Student Conduct Programs, Curtiss 113, (989) 964-2220, for clarification or assistance in filing a complaint.
It is up to the instructor to decide what constitutes plagiarism or other breaches of academic integrity.
The adjucation process would follow due process as outlined in the Code of Student Conduct, Article 2: Disciplinary Process . The procedure would be facilitated by the Coordinator of Student Conduct.
The instructor is free to assign whatever penalties he/she deems appropriate for various types of academic dishonesty. However, students do have the right to a hearing if they feel that they have been wrongfully accused or if they feel that the penalty assigned is too severe.
According to Section 1.8.1 of the Code of Student Conduct, "No student shall cheat, plagiarize or facilitate academic dishonesty by another student." Instructors may consider failure to report another student for academic dishonesty to be facilitation of academic dishonesty. The instructor would be free to impose penalties for this violation. Once again, students do have the right to a hearing if they disagree with the penalty.