Students’ Quick Reference Guide to Academic Integrity

The Student Code is the authoritative source for academic integrity rules and procedures. This guide is not intended to replace it.

What is your responsibility?

It is your responsibility to refrain from infractions of academic integrity, from conduct that may lead to suspicion of such infractions, and from conduct that aids others in such infractions. “I did not know” is not an excuse. Ask instructors for clarification if you are unsure of their expectations.

What is an infraction of academic integrity?

  • Cheating – using or attempting to use unauthorized materials
  • Plagiarism – representing the words, work, or ideas of another as your own
  • Fabrication – the falsification or invention of any information, including citations
  • Facilitating Infractions of Academic Integrity – helping or attempting to help another commit an infraction
  • Bribes, Favors, and Threats – actions intended to affect a grade or evaluation
  • Academic Interference – tampering, altering or destroying educational material or depriving someone else of access to that material

What happens if you are accused of a violation of academic integrity?

The instructor will notify you in writing of the allegation. DO NOT PANIC and DO NOT STOP ATTENDING CLASS. If it is eventually determined the allegation is not true you can talk to your college about dropping the course, but while the case is pending you must remain enrolled. You may meet with the instructor but your written response, delivered to the instructor within ten (10) business days, is your ONLY opportunity to respond to the allegation. The response should include all relevant information, materials and witness statements.

What happens after the instructor receives your response?

The instructor, acting as fact finder, will make a decision and communicate it to you in writing. They have to decide whether it is more probably true than not true, that you have committed an infraction. The instructor does not have to prove, “beyond a reasonable doubt” that an infraction has occurred.

If it is determined you did not commit an infraction the case is closed though you have choices regarding continued enrollment.  Visit your college office within ten (10) days to discuss these choices.

If it is determined you committed an infraction the instructor shall impose a sanction. Sanctions vary from a written agreement between you and the instructor to failure in the course. You may appeal any sanction you have not agreed to in writing to the Executive Officer (EO) of the department or College in which the infraction occurred.

What is the appeal process?

If you intend to appeal, you must write to the EO (not the instructor or TA) and state your grounds for appeal within five (5) days of receiving the decision. YOU bear the burden of establishing that one of the following grounds exists:

  1. The Instructor (or any other involved university official) did not follow the procedures described in Article 1, Part 4 of the Student Code, and this procedural error affected the outcome of the case.
  2. The Instructor (or any other involved university official) had a conflict of interest or bias that affected the outcome of the case.
  3. Any sanctions imposed were not appropriate for the violation(s).
  4. New information that was not available at the time of the Instructor’s decision exists and would have affected the outcome of the case.

You must not only include the applicable ground, but also an explanation for the basis of the appeal.

A committee will be formed to hear the appeal. During the hearing, they will determine if the grounds for an appeal have been established, allow you and the instructor to present your case, and ask questions. An appeal hearing will not be a re-hearing of the case.  The sole purpose of an appeal hearing is for you to demonstrate that one of the criteria has been substantially met.  You are allowed to bring a consultant with you to the hearing though the consultant can only talk to you.  The committee will review the evidence and give the EO a written report within three (3) days of the hearing.

Can I be suspended or dismissed for academic integrity violations?

Your instructor may recommend dismissal in the case of a serious infraction but that decision can only be made by the Student Committee on Student Discipline.  Repeated violations of the academic integrity policy may lead to suspension or dismissal.

Are violations of academic integrity part of my records?

Reported cases that result in a finding by the instructor that you did not commit a violation do not become part of your record. Reported cases that result in a finding that you did commit a violation of academic integrity are recorded in your permanent file. The consequences of such a notation in the official record may require explanation on graduate school applications, application for professional licensure, or some government jobs, etc.