Academic Integrity

A breach of academic integrity occurs when students receive academic benefits they did not earn through their own work. In its more blatant forms, academic dishonesty includes:

  • Copying another’s work on an exam.
  • Preparing for an exam by using test questions from a stolen exam.
  • Bringing concealed answers to an exam.
  • Turning in another person’s work as his or her own.
  • Committing plagiarism (i.e., copying portions of another’s words from a published or electronic source without acknowledging that source).

It is not dishonest to discuss possible answers to an exam question as part of a study group, to discuss ideas for a paper with other members of the class, or to ask a friend to read a draft of a paper for suggestions to improve it, unless the professor has prohibited these activities. It is not dishonest to summarize, paraphrase, or quote the words of others in a paper so long as the student acknowledges the sources with appropriate citations.

Guidelines for penalties against academic dishonesty

The penalties for breaches of academic integrity shall be clearly spelled out in a course syllabus. They may range from no credit for the work in question to no credit for the course. Both the students and the instructor have obligations to report and to prevent cheating, plagiarism, or other academic misconduct.

If the instructor suspects academic dishonesty, the following guidelines apply:

  • The instructor arranges a conference with the student to discuss the incident.
  • If following the conference, the instructor is convinced that the student violated academic integrity, the instructor may propose appropriate action. If the student accepts such action as appropriate, both student and instructor will verify this in writing and no further penalty will be necessary.
  • If agreement is not reached between the instructor and the student, the instructor may propose a grade penalty against the student by notifying the appropriate graduate director (or the school dean, if the graduate director is the instructor) in writing with supporting evidence. The penalty imposed will be commensurate with the degree of offense, from loss of credit for the work involved in the infraction to loss of credit for the entire course, such penalty to be determined in consultation with the graduate director (or school dean as appropriate). The student may appeal this action by following the process and procedures previously outlined.
  • In the case of repeated offenses, or of flagrant dishonesty that warrant probation or dismissal from the University, charges will be made in writing by the instructor to the appropriate school dean. The student may appeal this action through the dean to the provost.
  • If the act of dishonesty is associated with a criminal act (e.g., breaking into a faculty office) or with concerted group effort (all or part of a class), such cases will be immediately referred to the provost.