Students are expected to maintain the highest standards of honesty in their college work. Cheating, forgery, and plagiarism are serious violations of academic integrity. 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.
Cheating is defined as giving or obtaining information by improper means when meeting any academic requirements. The reuse for academic credit of the same work in more than one course without knowledge or consent of the instructor(s) is a form of cheating and is a serious violation of academic integrity.
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, 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 author plagiarized and of the implied assurance by the students when they hand in work that it is their own.
Course-based Integrity Violations
For course-based integrity violations, faculty members are responsible for
- compiling appropriate evidence materials (the course syllabus, assignment, and evidence of the academic integrity violation) and
- making the initial determination of the grade for the assignment and any additional academic penalty to be imposed based on the degree of severity of violation.
In general, academic penalties include reprimand, failure on the individual assignment, resubmission of the assignment, additional work for the course, or a failing grade in the course.
The grade for the assignment and the academic penalty are generally within the faculty member’s decision-making purview. A penalty that includes potential failure for the course requires the review and approval of the divisional dean.
In any case in which a faculty member seeks to render a penalty that exceeds a reprimand the faculty member must inform the student in writing of the alleged violation and penalty. This communication should occur at the time that the graded assignment is returned to the students in the class. From the date that the assignment is returned to the class (or the student has been informed of the integrity violation), then a student charged with an integrity violation has ten (10) business days to appeal to the divisional dean.
If the faculty member seeks to impose a penalty that includes failure for the course, then the faculty member should consult with the department chair and dean prior to any communication with the student or otherwise inform the student that an additional academic penalty may be levied after consultation with the divisional dean.
No later than three (3) business days after notifying a student of any alleged course-based integrity violation, the faculty member must communicate in writing to the Department chair and divisional dean the nature of the violation, the penalty imposed, and provide copies of the evidence materials.
After reviewing the materials submitted by the faculty member, the divisional dean will write a letter to the student that confirms the integrity violation and the penalty; this letter will be copied to the faculty member, the department chair, the director of Student Conduct & Community Standards, and the Provost. In those instances in which the penalty calls for failure in the course, the divisional dean will render the final decision as to whether course failure is warranted, and will communicate this decision in writing to the student, copying the faculty member, the department chair, the director of Student Conduct & Community Standards, and the Provost.
Per the procedure outlined in the undergraduate catalog, a student electing to appeal the divisional dean’s decision has ten (10) business days from the date of the notification letter to submit an appeal to the Committee on Academic Standing & Appeals. Students with an open academic integrity case, in which the penalty has not been finalized, or students who have been assigned a failing grade in the course due to an integrity violation are not permitted to withdraw from the class. Students who have received a lesser penalty may still withdraw under the normal withdrawal policies and deadlines. Any graduate student who seeks to appeal a decision regarding a violation of academic integrity should follow the “Graduate Appeals Procedures” outlined in the “Graduate Academic Policies Handbook.”
The director of Student Conduct & Community Standards will maintain a record of any violation, consistent with New York State policy.
Non-course Based Integrity Violations
Management of non-course based violations affecting a student’s academic record or standing (for example, forgeries) is a separate policy, found in the Student Handbook.
Approved by faculty on 10/20/2017; Enacted on 10/26/2017