Academic integrity is a fundamental value for our university. Students are expected to maintain the highest standards of honesty in their graduate work. Cheating, forgery, and plagiarism are serious violations of academic integrity, as is any effort that aids another person in academic dishonesty. Students found guilty of any violation of academic integrity are subject to disciplinary action, up to and including expulsion. Ignorance of the academic integrity policies does not constitute a defense. It is the student's responsibility to understand and to adhere to this policy. (NOTE: This revised policy is effective Fall 2020)

Definitions

Cheating is defined as giving or obtaining information by improper means when meeting any academic requirements. This includes, but is not limited to: 1) the use of any non-authorized assistance in taking exams, tests, or quizzes, 2) the use of any non-authorized aid in writing papers or reports, solving problems, or otherwise carrying out any course assignments, 3) the use of any non-authorized materials, 4) the non-authorized reuse for academic credit of any work previously submitted in whole or in part for academic credit, 5) accepting credit for work that you have not personally contributed to as directed in the assignments, and 6) purchasing or selling academic assignments for the purpose of submission in fulfillment of a course or program requirement.

Forgery is defined as the alteration of college forms, documents, or records, or the signing of such forms or documents by someone other than the proper designee.

Plagiarism is the representation, either intentional or unintentional, of someone else's words, ideas, or images as one's own. Since works are the property of an author or publisher, plagiarizing is a form of larceny punishable by fine. When using another person's words in a paper, students must place them within quotation marks or clearly set them off in the text and give appropriate citation. When students use only the ideas and change the words, they must clearly identify the source of the ideas with appropriate citation. Plagiarism, whether intentional or unintentional, is a violation of the property rights of the plagiarized author. It is implied that assignments submitted by students is their own work.

Aiding in academic dishonesty includes knowingly participating in or facilitating another student’s act of academic dishonesty. Examples include, but are not limited to, unauthorized sharing of answers to a test or exam or unauthorized sharing of a paper or completed assignment for submission by another student.

Penalties for Course-based integrity violations

Academic penalties and procedures may include any one or more of the following, each discussed in more detail below: 

  • Warning 

  • Revision and resubmission 

  • Remediation 

  • Grade reduction 

  • Course failure 

  • Dismissal 

All issues regarding academic integrity violations should be resolved in a timely fashion.  In addition to the policy provisions 
below, faculty should adhere to any departmental or school-level practices or procedures related to academic integrity violations.

Process

All penalties for addressing suspected Academic Integrity violations include the following steps: 

  • The faculty member notifies the student, in writing, that there has been a violation of the university academic integrity standards (it may be helpful to provide the student with a copy of the Graduate Academic Integrity Policy), describes and provides evidence of the violation, and notifies the student that repetition may result in higher sanctions. 

  • The faculty member should request a meeting with the student to discuss the violation.  This meeting might be conducted in person, by phone or web conferencing, or via email exchanges as necessary.  

  • Unless the violation seems very minor or likely the result of misinformation or confusion about standards, in order to determine the most appropriate penalty: 
    • The faculty member should consult with the Program Coordinator and Academic Dean (or designee) to discuss program precedent, determine whether the student has prior offenses, and consider recommended courses of action. 
    • The Academic Dean (or designee) will consult with the Assistant Vice President for Graduate & Extended Learning regarding Graduate Studies precedents and to determine whether Graduate Studies is aware of prior integrity violations 
    • A more severe penalty may apply to repeat offenses. 
  • The student will receive written notification of the penalty. The person to communicate that decision depends upon the penalty(see below).  In all cases, the written notification should be copied to the Assistant Vice President for Graduate & Extended Learning so that a record can be maintained in the student’s file.
Warning
  • If the faculty member determines that the violation warrants a warning, then the original notification and the meeting may serve that purpose.   

Revision and resubmission 
  • If the faculty member determines that it would be appropriate to have the student revise and resubmit the assignment in which the academic integrity violation occurred, then he/she/they will direct the student to do so. 

  • The student’s failure to satisfactorily remedy the violation in the revision and resubmission may result in a higher penalty. 

Remediation 
  • If the faculty member determines that it would be appropriate for the student to engage in some effort to remediate their understanding of academic integrity standards (ex: by taking the Preparation for Graduate Student Success course or by preparing a remediation plan for the student)then, together with the Academic Dean (or designee), they will communicate the remediation plan to the student in writing. 

  • If the student fails to successfully complete the remediation activity as directedthen a more severe penalty may apply. 

Grade reduction (assignment or course)   
  • If the faculty member determines that the violation warrants a grade reduction in the assignment or the coursethen he/she/they will notify the student, in writing, of the grade reduction.  

Course Failure   
  • If the faculty member determines that the violation warrants failing the entire course, then he/she/they will notify the student, in writing, of the failing grade.  

Dismissal 
  • If the faculty member, together with the Program Coordinator and Academic Dean (or designee), determine that the violation warrants dismissal, then they will communicate that decision to the Assistant Vice President for Graduate & Extended Learning.  

  • If the Assistant Vice President for Graduate and Extended Learning agrees that dismissal is the appropriate course of action, the student will receive formal notice, from the Assistant Vice President for Graduate & Extended Learning, of dismissal from the graduate program. If the Assistant Vice President for Graduate & Extended Learning does not agree that dismissal is the appropriate course of action, they will consult the Provost who will make the final determination. 

Process for appeal

Student appeals of an academic integrity penalty must follow the Graduate Academic Appeals Process.