Undergraduate Catalog 2005- 2006

Academic Integrity Policy and Procedures

The University has a responsibility to promote academic honesty and integrity and to develop procedures to deal effectively with instances of academic dishonesty. Students are responsible for the independent and honest completion and representation of their work, for the appropriate citation of sources, and for respect for others' academic endeavors.* By placing their name on academic work, students certify the originality of all work not otherwise identified by appropriate acknowledgements.

*Adapted from the University of Wisconsin's Student Disciplinary Guidelines.

Preamble

Academic integrity is a fundamental university value. Through the honest completion of academic work, students sustain the integrity of the university while facilitating the university's imperative for cultural and knowledge transmission based upon generation of new and innovative ideas.

When an instance of suspected or alleged academic dishonesty by a student arises, it shall be resolved according to the procedures set forth herein. These procedures assume that many questions of academic dishonesty will be resolved through informal consultation between the student and the instructor. If informal consultation does not resolve the question, the student has the right to ask for an appeal of the decision. If the instructor feels that the circumstances of the alleged academic dishonesty warrant additional review, formal procedures may be used.

It is recommended that the instructor or student consult with the department chair, the school/college dean, or the Office of the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education if there are any questions regarding these procedures.

Examples of Academic Dishonesty

From Article 3, University Standards - Judicial Affairs and Ombudsman, University at Buffalo. Academic integrity includes, but is not limited to:

a) Previously submitted work: submitting academically required material that has been previously submitted in whole or in substantial part in another course, without prior and expressed consent of the instructor;

b) Plagiarism: copying or receiving material from a source or sources and submitting this material as one's own without acknowledging the particular debts to the source (quotations, paraphrases, basic ideas), or otherwise representing the work of another as one's own;

c) Cheating: receiving information, or soliciting information, from another student or other unauthorized source, or giving information to another student, with the intent to deceive while completing an examination or individual assignment;

d) Falsification of academic materials: fabricating laboratory materials, notes, reports, or any forms of computer data; forging an instructor's name or initials; resubmitting an examination or assignment for reevaluation which has been altered without the instructor's authorization; or submitting a report, paper, materials, computer data, or examination (or any considerable part thereof) prepared by any person other than the student responsible for the assignment;

e) Misrepresentation of documents: forgery, alteration, or misuse of any university or official document, record, or instrument of identification;

f) Confidential academic materials: procurement, distribution, or acceptance of examinations or laboratory results without the prior and expressed consent of the instructor;

g) Selling academic assignments: No person shall, for financial consideration, or for the promise of financial consideration, prepare, offer to prepare, cause to be prepared, sell, or offer for sale to any person any written material which the seller knows, is informed, or has reason to believe is intended for submission as a dissertation or thesis, term paper, essay, report, or other written assignment by a student in a university, college, academy, school, or other educational institution to such institution or to a course, seminar, or degree program held by such institution.

h) Selling computer assignments: No person shall sell or offer for sale to any person enrolled in the State University of New York any computer assignment, or any assistance in the preparation, research, or writing of a computer assignment intended for submission in fulfillment of any academic requirement.

Informal Proceedings - Consultation between Student and Instructor

Informal consultation between the student and the instructor is the desired method of resolving many questions of academic dishonesty. In all cases, informal review must be conducted promptly.

Step 1: If an instructor has reason to believe that a student may have committed an act of academic dishonesty, the instructor shall consult with the student. The instructor shall notify the student suspected of academic dishonesty in advance of such consultation. The instructor shall consult with the student within a reasonable period of time [defined as 15 academic weekdays after discovery of the alleged incident when classes are in session].

Once the student is notified of the scheduling of a consultation, the student may not resign from the course without permission of the instructor.

Step 2: At the consultation, the instructor shall inform the student of the allegations relating to the specific infringement, and the student shall be given a copy of the Academic Integrity Policy and Procedures.

A departmental note-taker may record consultation proceedings, however the student must be informed that the purpose of the note-taker is to protect the student and faculty member. (Note-taker must be a staff member or faculty member and may not be a teaching assistant.) Student must agree to the presence of the note-taker, and the student may also have a note-taker in attendance or may record the meeting.

The student shall be provided with the opportunity to explain any suspected or alleged misconduct, including any extenuating or mitigating circumstances; to present evidence of innocence; and/or to give information relevant to an investigation.

Neither the instructor nor the student shall be represented or accompanied by an attorney or any other advisor.

Step 3: If, after consultation with the student, the instructor believes the student did not commit an act of academic dishonesty, no sanctions shall be imposed. The student shall be notified of the instructor's decision by via certified, return receipt mail. Procedures end, and no formal record is kept.

or,

If, after consultation with the student, the instructor believes the student did commit an act of academic dishonesty, the instructor has the authority to impose one or more of the following sanctions:

a) Admonition: An oral statement to the student that he or she has violated a University standard of academic integrity.

b) Warning: Written notice to the student that the repetition of the wrongful conduct may be cause for more severe sanctions including: suspension, expulsion, or other appropriate sanctions. [Please note: Only the University President, or designee, may suspend or expel students.]

c) Revision of Work: Requiring the student to replace or revise the work in which dishonesty occurred. [The instructor may choose to assign a grade of "I" (Incomplete) pending replacement or revision of the work.]

d) Reduction in Grade: With respect to the particular assignment/exam or final grade in the course.

e) Failure in the Course: To be indicated on the transcript by a grade of "F" without comment.

f) Recommendation of University sanctions: Institution of Formal Proceedings (See Formal Proceedings section)

Step 4: The instructor shall provide the student with a copy of the decision, sanction(s) imposed, and student right to appeal the instructor's decision via certified return receipt mail within a reasonable period of time [defined as 10 academic weekdays from the date of the consultation meeting when classes are in session].

If the student is found in violation of the academic integrity code, the instructor will report this decision to the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education in writing. This Statement of the Decision shall be included in the student's confidential file maintained in the Office of the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education . The student shall have access to this file.

Informal Proceedings - Departmental Appeal:

The student has the right to appeal the instructor's decision.

Step 1: The appeal must be submitted in writing to the instructor and to the chair of the department no later than 10 academic days* after the instructor has notified the student of his or her decision.

Pending resolution, the instructor shall temporarily assign a grade of Incomplete ("I"). This grade of "I" can only be adjusted by resolution of the pending case.

A copy of the appeal shall be forwarded to the Office of the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education and become part of the confidential file maintained with respect to the matter.

Step 2: The department chair shall convene the Departmental Appeal Committee hearing within 20 academic days* of receipt of hearing. The Departmental Appeal Committee shall be comprised of no fewer than two faculty members and two students (from the cognizant department) or a larger number of participants maintaining this same ratio.

The instructor and student have no more than 10 academic days* following the filing of the appeal to deliver evidentiary materials to the department chair. The instructor shall provide the Departmental Appeal Committee with a written statement of the evidence against the student, any relevant documentation, and the names of potential witnesses. The student shall also provide the Departmental Appeal Committee with a written statement including evidence supporting his/her position, any relevant documentation, and names of potential witnesses.

The Department Appeal Committee shall convey these evidentiary materials to the student and the instructor at the time that the notice of the hearing is delivered. The student and the instructor shall be given at least 72 hours notice of the hearing.

Step 3: At the hearing(s), the Departmental Appeal Committee shall provide sufficient opportunity for both principals to present their positions and shall allow each principal the right to question the presentation(s), written or verbal, of those who contribute information to the Committee.

Each principal shall have the right to be present and to have one advisor present at all hearings. In no such case shall the advisor be an attorney, unless he or she is a member of the faculty not acting in his/her capacity as a member of the bar. Such hearings shall be confidential. [The technical and formal rules of evidence applicable in a court of law are not controlling, and the Appeal Committee may hear all relevant and reliable evidence that will contribute to an informed result. The chair of the Departmental Appeal Committee may exclude irrelevant or unduly repetitious evidence or cross-examination.]

The Departmental Appeal Committee shall only consider evidence presented at hearing(s), including previously submitted evidentiary materials. Discussion of a student's formerly alleged or documented academic misconduct shall not be admissible as evidence to prove responsibility for breaching academic integrity. A finding of the Departmental Appeal Committee shall be supported by clear and convincing evidence.

Step 4: The Departmental Appeal Committee may request the Office of the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education to provide documentation of former instances of academic dishonesty to be used for the purpose of recommending disciplinary measures should the student be found responsible for breaching academic integrity.

Step 5: The Departmental Appeal Committee shall provide the departmental chair with a written statement of recommendations and reasons for recommendations within 10 academic days* after the final meeting of the Committee.

Recommendations may include:

  • Findings overturned. No file will be maintained.
  • Findings Sustained. The Departmental Chair shall forward the record of the matter consisting of all written communications, all written evidence, audiotape or other record of the hearing, and its decision statement to the Office of the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education.
  • Finding of Reduced Sanction. The Departmental Chair shall forward the record of the matter consisting of all written communications, all written evidence, an audio tape or other record of the hearing, and its decision statement to the Office of the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education.

Step 6: The departmental chair's final decision (Statement of Decision), sanctions imposed, and the student's right to appeal the department chair's decision shall be submitted in writing from the department chair to the principals [via certified, return receipt mail] as well as to the individuals responsible for implementing the recommended actions, and the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education within 10 academic days* from receiving written recommendations from the Departmental Appeal Committee.

If found responsible for breaching academic integrity, the Statement of the Decision shall be included in the student's confidential file maintained in the Office of the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education . The student shall have access to review this file.

Informal Proceedings - School/College Appeal

Step 1: If the student wishes to appeal the decision of the department chair, the student shall file a written statement of appeal within 10 academic days* of receipt of the Statement of Decision. The appeal shall be filed with the cognizant academic dean who will notify the cognizant department chair and the instructor. The written appeal shall directly respond to the Departmental Appeal Committee's findings and explicitly state reasons for seeking appeal.

The student and the instructor shall have no more than 10 academic days* after the filing of the appeal to deliver any evidentiary materials to the academic dean.

Step 2: Upon review of relevant materials [including all evidence and statements communicated during prior hearing(s)], if the cognizant dean deems it necessary to further consider circumstances of the appeal, he/she will convene a Decanal Appeal Committee within 20 academic days* of receipt of the appeal. The Decanal Appeal Committee shall be comprised of no fewer than two faculty members and two students (from outside the cognizant department) or a larger number of participants maintaining this same ratio.

The academic dean shall convey all evidentiary materials to the student and instructor at the time the notice of the hearing is delivered. The student and instructor shall be given at least 72 hours notice of the hearing.

If the dean does not deem it necessary to further consider circumstances of the appeal, the dean will notify the student [via certified, return receipt mail], the cognizant dean, department chair, and instructor of his/her final decision within 20 academic days* of receipt of appeal.

Step 3: If a hearing of the Decanal Appeal Committee is convened, the Decanal Appeal Committee shall provide sufficient opportunity for both principals to present their positions and shall allow each principal the right to question the presentation(s), written or verbal, of those who contribute information to the Committee.

Each principal shall have the right to be present and to have one advisor present at all hearings. In no such case shall the advisor be an attorney, unless he or she is a member of the faculty not acting in his/her capacity as a member of the bar. Such hearings shall be conducted in confidence. [The technical and formal rules of evidence applicable in a court of law are not controlling, and the Decanal Appeal Committee may hear all relevant and reliable evidence that will contribute to an informed result. The Chair of the Decanal Appeal Committee may exclude irrelevant or unduly repetitious evidence or crossexamination.]

The Decanal Appeal Committee shall only consider evidence presented at hearing(s). Discussion of a student's formerly alleged or documented academic misconduct shall not be admissible as evidence to prove guilt or innocence. However, the Decanal Appeal Committee may request of the Office of the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education to provide documentation of former instances of academic dishonesty to be used for the purpose of recommending sanctions should the student be found responsible for breaching academic integrity. A finding of the Decanal Appeal Committee shall be supported by clear and convincing evidence.

Step 4: The Decanal Appeal Committee shall provide the cognizant academic dean with a written statement of recommendations and reasons for recommendations within 10 academic days* after the final meeting of the Committee.

Recommendations may include:

  • Findings overturned. No file will be maintained.
  • Findings sustained. The Dean shall forward the record of the matter consisting of all written communications, all written evidence, an audio tape or other record of the hearing, and its decision statement to the Office of the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education.
  • Finding of reduced sanction. The Dean shall forward the record of the matter consisting of all written communications, all written evidence, an audio tape or other record of the hearing, and its decision statement to the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education.

Step 5: The dean's final decision (Statement of Decision), sanctions imposed, and student's right to appeal the dean's decision shall be submitted in writing from the academic dean to the principals via certified, return receipt mail, as well as to the individuals responsible for implementing the recommended actions, and the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education within 10 academic days* from receiving the Decanal Appeal Committee's written recommendations.

If found responsible, the Statement of the Decision shall be included in the student's confidential file maintained in the Office of the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education . The student shall have access to review this file.

Informal Proceedings - Vice Provostal Appeal

Step 1: The student may only appeal the dean's decision to the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education based on limitations of due process.

If the student wishes to appeal the decision of the dean, the student shall file a written statement of appeal within 10 academic days* of receipt of the Statement of Decision. The appeal shall be filed with the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education who will notify the cognizant dean, department chair, and instructor. The written appeal shall directly respond to the Decanal Appeal Committee's findings and explicitly state the reasons for seeking appeal.

The student and the instructor shall have no more than 10 academic days* after the filing of the appeal to deliver any evidentiary materials to the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education

Step 2: Upon review of relevant materials [including all evidence and statements communicated during prior hearing(s)], if the Vice Provost deems it necessary to further consider circumstances of the appeal, he/she will convene a Vice Provostal Appeal Committee within 20 academic days* of receipt of appeal. The Vice Provostal Appeal Committee shall be comprised of no fewer than two faculty members and two students (from outside the cognizant department) or a larger number of participants maintaining this same ratio.

The Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education shall convey all evidentiary materials to the student and instructor at the time the notice of the hearing is delivered. The student and instructor shall be given at least 72 hours notice of the hearing.

If the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education does not deem it necessary to further consider circumstances of the appeal, the Vice Provost will notify the student [via certified, return receipt mail], the cognizant dean, department chair, and instructor within 20 academic days* of receipt of appeal.

Step 3: If a hearing is held, the Vice Provostal Appeal Committee shall provide sufficient opportunity for both the principals to present their positions and shall allow each principal the right to question the presentation(s), written or verbal, of those who contribute information to the Committee.

Each principal shall have the right to be present and to have one advisor present at all hearings. In no case shall the advisor be an attorney, unless he or she is a member of the faculty not acting in his/her capacity as a member of the bar. Such hearings shall be conducted in confidence. [The technical and formal rules of evidence applicable in a court of law are not controlling, and the Vice Provostal Appeal Committee may hear all relevant and reliable evidence that will contribute with an informed result. The Chair of the Committee may exclude irrelevant or unduly repetitious evidence or cross-examination.]

The Vice Provostal Appeal Committee shall only consider evidence presented at hearing(s). Discussion of a student's formerly alleged or documented academic misconduct shall not be admissible as evidence to prove guilt or innocence. However, the Vice Provostal Appeal Committee may request of the Office of the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education to provide documentation of former instances of academic dishonesty to be used for the purpose of recommending sanctions should the student be found responsible for breaching academic integrity. A finding of the Vice Provostal Appeal Committee shall be supported by clear and convincing evidence.

Step 4: The Vice Provostal Appeal Committee shall provide the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education with a written statement of recommendations within 10 academic days* after the final meeting of the Committee.

Recommendations may include:

  • Findings overturned. No file will be maintained.
  • Findings sustained. The Vice Provostal Appeal Committee shall forward the record of the matter consisting of all written communications, all written evidence, an audio tape or other record of the hearing, and its decision statement to the Office of the Vice Provost for of Undergraduate Education.
  • Finding of Reduced Sanction. The Vice Provostal Appeal Committee shall forward the record of the matter consisting of all written communications, all written evidence, an audio tape or other record of the hearing, and its decision statement to the Office of the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education.

Step 5: The Vice Provost's final decision (Statement of Decision) and sanctions imposed shall be submitted in writing from the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education to the principals via certified, return receipt mail, the cognizant dean, department chair, and instructor, as well as to the individuals responsible for implementing the recommended actions within 10 academic days* from receiving the Vice Provostal Appeal Committee's written recommendations. The decision of the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education is final.

If found responsible for breaching academic integrity, the Statement of the Decision shall be included in the student's confidential file maintained in the Office of the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education . The student shall have access to review this file.

Formal Proceedings

If the student disagrees with the instructor's decision after informal consultation, the instructor may recommend to the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education the initiation of Formal Academic Integrity Procedures. Formal Academic Integrity Procedures may be initiated in situations that, if the student is found to be in violation of the Academic Integrity Code, may require harsher sanctions than imposable through Informal Academic Integrity Procedure. Formal Academic Integrity Procedures require a review of the allegation of academic dishonesty by a panel comprised of faculty and students.

Step 1: The instructor believes the student committed an act of academic dishonesty. The instructor shall provide a written statement of notification, within 15 academic days*, after discovery of the alleged incident to the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education requesting formal proceedings.

Step 2: The instructor shall temporarily assign a grade of "Incomplete" (I). This grade of "I" can only be adjusted by resolution of the pending case.

Step 3: The Office of the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education will officially notify the student, via certified, return receipt mail, of the allegation of academic dishonesty and the institution of formal proceedings.

Once the student is notified of the institution of formal proceedings for an alleged academic integrity violation, the student may not resign from the course.

Step 4: The Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education shall establish a University Academic Adjudication Committee to hear the case. (The Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education may request of the cognizant dean to assemble University Academic Adjudication Committee.) The Committee shall convene within 20 academic days* from the date which the Office of the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education received written notification from the instructor recommending the institution of formal proceedings.

The University Academic Adjudication Committee shall be comprised of no fewer than two faculty members and two students (from outside the cognizant department) or a larger number of participants maintaining this same ratio.

The University Academic Adjudication Committee shall give the student and instructor at least 72 hours notice of the hearing. The instructor shall provide the Office of the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education with a written statement of the evidence against the student and the names of potential witnesses. The student shall also provide the Office of the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education with a written statement including evidence supporting his/her position and the names of potential witnesses. The student and instructor have 10 academic days* after the notification of the institution of formal proceedings to submit evidentiary materials to the Office of the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education. The Office of the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education shall convey all evidentiary materials to the student and instructor at the time the notice of the hearing is delivered.

Step 5: At the hearing(s), the University Academic Adjudication Committee shall provide sufficient opportunity for both principals to present their positions and shall allow each principal the right to question the presentation(s), written or verbal, of those who contribute information to the Committee.

Each principal shall have the right to be present and to have one advisor present at all hearings. In no case shall the advisor be an attorney, unless he or she is a member of the faculty not acting in his/her capacity as member of the bar. Such hearings shall be conducted in confidence. [The technical and formal rules of evidence applicable in a court of law are not controlling, and the University Academic Adjudication Committee may hear all relevant material and reliable evidence that will contribute to an informed result. The Chair of the Committee may exclude irrelevant or unduly repetitious evidence or cross-examination.]

The University Academic Adjudication Committee shall only consider evidence presented at hearing(s). A finding of the Committee shall be supported by clear and convincing evidence. Discussion of a student's formerly alleged or documented academic misconduct shall not be admissible as evidence to determine whether the student is responsible for breaching academic integrity.

Step 6: The University Academic Adjudication Committee may request of the Office of the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education to provide documentation of former instances of academic dishonesty to be used for the purpose of recommending sanctions should the student be found responsible for breaching academic integrity.

Step 7: The University Academic Adjudication Committee shall provide the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education with a written statement of recommendations and reasons for recommendations within 10 academic days* after the final meeting of the Committee.

Recommendations may include:

  • Dismissal of Case: Insufficient evidence shall be grounds for dismissal of the case. No file shall be kept.
  • Not Responsible for Breaching Academic Integrity: No sanctions shall be imposed, and no file shall be kept.
  • Responsible for Breaching Academic Integrity/Sanctions Imposed: If a majority of the University Academic Adjudication Committee is convinced that the student committed a violation of academic integrity standards, the Committee has the right to recommend to the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education one or more of the following sanctions:

a) Admonition: An oral statement to the student that he or she has violated a University standard of academic integrity.

b) Warning: Written notice to the student that the repetition of the wrongful conduct may be cause for more severe sanctions including suspension or expulsion. [Please note: Only the University President or his/her designee may suspend or expel students.]

c) Revision of Work: Requiring the student to replace or revise the work in which dishonesty occurred. [The instructor may choose to assign a grade of "Incomplete" (I) pending replacement or revision of the work.]

d) Reduction in Grade: With respect to the particular assignment / exam or the course.

e) Failure in the Course: To be indicated by an "F" on the transcript without comment.

f) Failure in the Course with Citation of Academic Dishonesty: To be indicated by an "F" on the transcript with the notation that the grade of "F" was assigned for reason of academic dishonesty.

g) Suspension from the University: For a definite term upon stated conditions. [Please note: Only the University President or his/her designee may suspend a student from the university.]

h) Expulsion from the University: With comment on the transcript. [Please note: Only the University President or his/her designee may expel a student from the university.]

Upon thorough consideration of the Committees' findings and recommendations, the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education shall, if s/he finds the student responsible for breaching academic integrity, keep a record of the matter consisting of all written communications, all written evidence, an audiotape, or other record of the hearing, and the decision letter in the Office of the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education .

The Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education shall, if s/he finds the student not responsible for breaching academic integrity, expunge the student's record regarding this matter.

Step 8: The final decision (Statement of Decision) and sanctions imposed shall be submitted in writing from the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education to the principals via certified, return receipt mail, the cognizant dean, department chair, and instructor as well as to the individuals responsible for implementing the recommended actions, within 10 academic days* of receiving the University Academic Adjudication Committee's written recommendations.

The decision of the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education is final. The only ground by which a student may challenge the decision of the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education is based upon limitations of due process.

If found responsible, the Statement of the Decision shall be included in the student's confidential file maintained in the Office of the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education . The student shall have access to review this file.

*Academic days are defined as weekdays when classes are in session, not including summer sessions.