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Policy on Academic Misconduct

Article ID: 307
Last updated: 07 Jul, 2015

Part VIII:  Policy on Academic Misconduct

At Eastern Connecticut State University, we value personal integrity as fundamental to our interactions with each other. We place special weight on academic honesty in all of our intellectual pursuits because it is a value fundamental to academic life and scholarly practice. All members of the University community are obligated to uphold high standards of academic honesty in their scholarship and learning, and this obligation extends to students.

Instructor’s Role:

Instructors should inform their students in the course syllabus and during class time of course-specific requirements and the penalties the faculty may impose for academic misconduct as informed by their professional judgment. Instructors should also refer students to the definition of academic misconduct in the CSU Student Code of Conduct.

Student’s Role:

Students are expected to take personal responsibility for their intellectual work and to respect and acknowledge the ideas of others. Academic honesty means doing one’s own work and giving proper credit to others whose work and thought are drawn upon. It is the responsibility of each student to become familiar with what constitutes academic dishonesty and plagiarism, and to avoid all forms of cheating and plagiarism. Students may not engage in any form of academic misconduct, and are responsible for learning how to present the ideas of others in their own work, and avoid all other forms of academic misconduct. For current documentation practices, consult the instructor or a style manual (e.g., APA, MLA).

The CSU Student Code of Conduct definition of academic misconduct includes, but is not limited to, plagiarism, cheating, and acts of dishonesty. Academic misconduct may take many forms. The following list of behaviors is intended to represent the types of acts that constitute violations of this policy. Although the list is extensive, it should not be regarded as all-inclusive. It includes the following actions unless such actions are explicitly authorized by the instructor:

Examinations:

Copying from another person’s paper or receiving any unauthorized assistance in taking examinations or any other form of academic evaluation (e.g., tests, quizzes);

Knowingly allowing another person to copy from one’s own examination or any other form of academic evaluation;
 

Use of unauthorized materials or devices during an examination or any other form of academic evaluation (e.g., use of signals, notes or additional materials such as books, calculators, or other electronic devices) during an examination when the instructor has not approved their use;

Giving or receiving unauthorized information prior to, during, or after an examination;

Use of another person as a substitute, or acting as a substitute for another person, in any form of academic evaluation;

The acquisition or distribution of improperly obtained examinations or other forms of academic evaluation (e.g., stealing examinations before the test period or taking a copy of an examination from a testing room without the permission of the instructor). Examinations which have been provided by an instructor are legitimate study tools.

Improper Behavior:

Unauthorized collaboration in the preparation of materials to be submitted for academic evaluation (i.e., working with another student on an assignment when the instructor has not explicitly authorized working together.)

Submission of the same work, or substantially similar work, in more than one course without prior consent of the evaluating instructors in all courses;

Disruptions in classrooms, labs, or research and study areas; any conduct or actions that grossly or persistently interfere with the academic process. See the CSU Student Code of Conduct.

Theft, alteration, or destruction of the academic work of other members of the community or of the educational resources, materials, or official documents of the University.
 

Students who witness any act of academic misconduct by other students are required to inform the faculty member of that misconduct.

Falsification or Misuse of Academic Information:

Falsification or misrepresentation of one’s own academic record or that of anyone else (e.g., altering a transcript for admission, hacking into the University’s computer system for any reason, having another student take an examination in one’s place, or signing someone else’s name on an attendance sheet);

Unauthorized use of information in University computer records or the computer files of other students (see CSU Policy Statement on Student Use of University Computer Systems and Networks);

Using unauthorized materials or fabricated data in an academic exercise (e.g., falsifying data in a research paper or laboratory activity or conducting research on human or animal subjects without approval by the appropriate panel or supervisor).

Plagiarism:

Copying sentences, phrases, paragraphs, tables, figures or data directly or in slightly modified form from a book, article, Internet site or other published or unpublished source, or adapting the ideas of another authority without following acceptable forms of citation (i.e., quotation marks, endnotes, footnotes, parenthetical notes, and/or other contextual information);

Using or buying a paper written by someone else for the purpose of turning it in as one’s own work;

Selling or lending papers for the purpose of violating academic misconduct policies. This may also be a criminal offense; cf. Connecticut General Statutes;

Submission of the same work, or substantially similar work, in more than one course without the consent of the evaluating instructors in all courses;

Failure to follow discipline-specific standards of citations (e.g., APA, MLA).

Fabrication or alteration of data:

When any material is borrowed from another person, the source must be cited according to some academically accepted standard (e.g., APA, MLA, etc.). There are three ways in which other writers’ materials may appear in the work of another:

1) by putting quotation marks around short passages that are borrowed verbatim (word for word) or by setting off from the text, without quotation marks, longer quotations (more than three sentences).
2) by précis (i.e., condensing part of a writer’s argument).
3) by paraphrase (i.e., interpretation of a writer’s ideas). 

All three must be acknowledged formally, either in the text or with footnotes, according to the style required by the instructor.

CONSEQUENCES OF ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT

The purpose of imposing sanctions for violations of the Academic Misconduct Policy is to uphold the academic integrity of our campus community, but also to provide an opportunity to use appropriate sanctions as a means of educating students and fostering their academic development. These actions are based on the philosophy that students’ learning and associated behavior extend beyond the scope of the classroom to the broader Eastern community. Incidents of academic misconduct can range in severity from minor violations to major violations. Instructors determine sanctions according to their professional judgment as to the severity of the misconduct. Faculty members may decide to handle minor cases informally. In such cases, it is suggested that the faculty member document the incident.

When a faculty member determines that a case of academic misconduct warranting a sanction has occurred, that faculty member will document the incident, meet with the responsible student to discuss the issue, and inform the student of the sanctions imposed as a result of the misconduct. Should the faculty member be unable to meet with the student, a designee (e.g. faculty member’s department head) may be appointed. The student will receive a copy of the Academic Misconduct Report and all supporting materials at the meeting with the faculty member. After this meeting, the student has five university calendar days to appeal the faculty member’s findings to the Academic Misconduct Committee.

If, after reasonable, documented efforts to meet with the student, the student fails or refuses to attend a meeting with the faculty member or their designee, the faculty member will submit all materials to the Director of Judicial Affairs. Academic Misconduct Reports will not be accepted by the Director of Judicial Affairs until the faculty member has met with the student or has provided written documentation of reasonable efforts to do so. The Director of Judicial Affairs will return to the faculty member any Academic Misconduct Report that does not satisfy this requirement.

Sanctions the faculty member may impose include, but are not limited to:

  1. Assigning a revision of the material
  2. Assigning a reduced grade for the material being evaluated
  3. Assigning additional course work
  4. Assigning a grade of “F” for the material being evaluated
  5. Assigning a grade of “F” for the course

In all cases where the sanction is a failing grade for the course, the faculty member is required to submit a copy of an Academic Misconduct Report and all supporting materials to the Director of Judicial Affairs within three university calendar days of the meeting with the student. The Director of Judicial Affairs will maintain a file on all students who have received at least one referral from a faculty member for academic misconduct. When a student has accumulated two referrals resulting in failing grades in those courses, or three referrals with any sanction, the Director of Judicial Affairs will convene the Academic Misconduct Committee to consider additional sanctions against the student.

When a student receives a failing grade for a course due to academic misconduct, the Registrar’s Office will place an F on the student’s transcript. The student will not be allowed to withdraw from the course and the grade of F will not be changed, even if the student withdraws from the University.

Optional Additional Steps/Appeals

Action taken on issues relating to academic misconduct that go beyond the faculty/student meeting will be handled solely by the Academic Misconduct Committee. Grade issues relating to cases that do not involve academic misconduct are to be pursued through the Grade Appeals Committee. Cases relating to instances of academic misconduct do not fall under the jurisdiction of the Grade Appeals Committee and cannot be appealed to that Committee.

The Academic Misconduct Committee will be convened if one of the following events occurs:

1) If the faculty member believes the imposition of additional sanctions against the student is appropriate.

2) If the student disagrees with the finding of academic misconduct made by the faculty member, the student may appeal to the Committee. In cases where the student appeals but the faculty member does not request additional sanctions, the Committee will not have the option of imposing additional sanctions on the student.

3) When a student has accumulated two referrals to the Director of Judicial Affairs that have resulted in failing grades for those courses, or three referrals with any sanction imposed, the Committee will be convened to consider additional sanctions against the student.

In cases where there is no student appeal of faculty request for additional sanctions, paper records of the case will be forwarded to the Director of Judicial Affairs to be stored in the student’s file.

In cases of a student appeal or faculty member request for additional sanctions, the Director of Judicial Affairs will convene the Academic Misconduct Committee to hear the case. When the requisite number of referrals pertaining to an individual student has accumulated, the Director of Judicial Affairs will also convene the Committee to consider appropriate sanctions. Normally, hearings will be scheduled within 14 university calendar days of the initial filing.

The University shall make a recording of the hearing. The recording shall be the property of the University. No other recordings shall be made by any person during the hearing. Upon request, the Accused Student may review the recording in a designated University office in order to prepare for an appeal of the decision rendered by the Hearing Body. Further disclosure of the recording shall be governed by applicable state and federal law.

The Academic Misconduct Committee will consist of three full-time faculty members chosen by the University Senate, one student chosen by the Student Government Association, and the Dean of Students or a representative chosen by the dean. The Director of Judicial Affairs will serve as facilitator at all hearings. The faculty member and the student will be allowed to provide any evidence relevant to the case, including witnesses, at the hearing.

After each hearing, the Committee may:

1) Find sufficient evidence of academic misconduct, and:

a) terminate the student appeal without applying additional sanctions (if the case was appealed by the student without a request for additional sanctions by the faculty member). The Committee may impose additional sanctions if requested by the faculty member;

b) impose any additional sanctions the Committee believes are warranted (if a student has accumulated the requisite number of referrals or a faculty member has requested additional sanctions pertaining to a single incident).

2) Find there is insufficient evidence of academic misconduct and reverse the sanction imposed by the faculty member.

If the Committee finds that additional sanctions against a student are appropriate, the Committee may:

1) Place the student on Academic Misconduct Probation. This probation will last for an amount of time determined by the Committee and will be monitored by the Director of Judicial Affairs. Any future violation of the Academic Misconduct Policy by the student while on probation will result in an automatic suspension from the University, unless the Committee deems an alternative sanction is more appropriate. The length and beginning date of this suspension will be determined by the Committee.

2) Suspension from the University. The length and beginning date of this suspension will be determined by the Committee.

3) Expulsion from the University.

This list is not exhaustive and the Committee may impose other sanctions it deems appropriate on a case-by-case basis.

The decision of the Academic Misconduct Committee will be provided in writing to the faculty member and the accused student within 10 university calendar days after the hearing. Any additional sanctions to be imposed by the board will be indicated in this written notice.

Additional sanctions are those sanctions imposed by the Academic Misconduct Committee independently and on top of any sanctions already imposed by the professor (such as an F for the course). A student who is found responsible for academic misconduct and is the subject of added sanctions as imposed by the Academic Misconduct Committee may appeal the additional sanctions to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Students who wish to file an appeal must directly notify the Vice President for Academic Affairs in writing within 10 university calendar days of the receipt of the findings.

If an appeal is filed, any additional sanctions shall be held in abeyance pending the review and final decision of the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

The Vice President for Academic Affairs shall consider and make a determination as to the fit of the additional sanctions as appropriate to that case. The Vice President for Academic Affairs is the last agent of appeal within the University and has the following two options:

1. The Vice President for Academic Affairs may find the additional sanctions appropriate and compose a letter to the student rejecting the appeal with a copy to the Academic Misconduct Committee.

2. The Vice President for Academic Affairs may find the additional sanctions not appropriate and compose a letter to the student attenuating and/or eliminating the sanctions with a copy to the Academic Misconduct Committee.

The Vice President for Academic Affairs will conduct the review and notify the student and the Academic Misconduct Committee of the final decision of that office within 30 calendar days of the filing of the appeal.

As a result of the appellate review process, the Vice President for Academic Affairs shall not compose or enact any additional sanctions that exceed those assigned or originated by the Academic Misconduct Committee.

GENERAL APPEALS

The decision rendered by the Academic Misconduct Committee may be appealed to the Vice President for Academic Affairs, who shall review the record of the hearing, including any and all documents presented to the Academic Misconduct Committee (e.g., syllabus, submitted work). An appeal shall be in writing and shall be delivered to the Vice President for Academic Affairs within 10 university calendar days of receipt of the Academic Misconduct Committee's written decision.

An appeal may be brought on any of three grounds: (a) a claim that error in the hearing procedure substantially affected the decision; (b) a claim that new evidence or information material to the case was not known at the time of the hearing; and/or (c) a claim that the academic sanction imposed has resulted in a palpable injustice.

The Vice President for Academic Affairs will conduct the review and notify the student and the Academic Misconduct Committee of the final decision of that office within 30 calendar days of the filing of the appeal.

The Vice President for Academic Affairs shall have the right to deny an appeal not brought on any of the foregoing grounds. The decision rendered by the Vice President for Academic Affairs shall be final and there shall be no further right of appeal.

Article ID: 307
Last updated: 07 Jul, 2015
Revision: 1
Views: 552
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