SUU Seal (for official use only)

POLICY #6.33
SUBJECT: Academic Integrity


I. PURPOSE

The purpose of this Policy is to create a campus-wide policy on academic integrity for students and faculty to use if a student is found to be cheating while working towards academic credit.


II. REFERENCES

  1. Southern Utah University Policy 5.54 Copyright Policy
  2. Southern Utah University Policy 6.14 Responding to Allegations of Research Misconduct
  3. Southern Utah University Policy 6.31 Academic Standards
  4. Southern Utah University Policy 11.2 Student Conduct Code

III. DEFINITIONS

N/A


IV. POLICY

  1. Introduction
    1. Southern Utah University’s goal is to foster an intellectual atmosphere that produces educated and literate people. This can best be achieved in a community committed to honor, respect, trust, and moral courage. These values define academic integrity which is expected of all SUU community members. Cheating and plagiarism are at odds with this goal and therefore will not be tolerated in any form. All work submitted by a student must represent that student’s own ideas and effort; when the work does not represent the student’s own work it must be properly cited, if it is not the student has engaged in academic dishonesty. Cheating, forgery, plagiarism or the unauthorized use of work belonging to another, except under federal exemptions such as Fair Use, are all considered academic dishonesty.
  2. Types of Academic Dishonesty
    1. A breakdown of behaviors that constitute academic dishonesty is presented below. The definitions and clarifications are meant to provide additional information and examples of these behaviors. They are not intended to be all-inclusive. Questions regarding this policy or requests for additional clarification can be directed to individual faculty members or the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs.
      1. Cheating on examinations or other forms of assessment or assignments. The University defines cheating as using or attempting to use materials, information, notes, study aids, fellow students, or other assistance which have not been authorized by the instructor.
      2. Plagiarism of any work. The University defines plagiarism as intentionally or carelessly presenting the work of another as one’s own. It includes submitting an assignment purporting to be the student’s original work which has wholly or in part been created by another person, or cutting and pasting of source material. It also includes the presentation of the work, ideas, representations, or words of another person without customary and proper acknowledgement of sources. It is the responsibility of the student to consult with their instructors for clarification in any situation in which the need for documentation is an issue. Faculty are encouraged to share with students various resources that can help identify plagiarism before assignments are submitted.
      3. Fabrication or forgery. The University defines fabrication as the use of invented, counterfeited, altered or forged information in assignments of any type including those activities done in conjunction with academic courses that require students to be involved in out of classroom experiences. Students must have participated in the activities for which they have reported participation.
      4. Obstruction of learning. The University defines obstruction as any behavior that limits the academic opportunities of other students by improperly impeding their work or their access to educational resources.
      5. Multiple submission of assignments. The University defines multiple submission as the submission of the same or substantially the same work for credit in two or more courses without the consent of the respective instructors. Multiple submissions shall include the use of any prior academic effort previously submitted for academic credit at this or a different institution.
      6. Copyright infringement. The University definition of copyright infringement can be found in Policy 5.54.
      7. Misconduct in research and creative endeavors. The University defines misconduct in research as serious deviation from the accepted professional practices within a discipline or from the policies of the university in carrying out, reporting, or exhibiting the results of research or in publishing, exhibiting, or performing creative endeavors. It includes the fabrication or falsification of data, plagiarism, and scientific or creative misrepresentation. It does not include honest error or honest disagreement about the interpretation of data. Additional information about misconduct in research can be found in Policy 6.14.
      8. Complicity. The University defines complicity as assisting or attempting to assist another person in any act of academic dishonesty. This includes but is not limited to allowing other students to copy their work, paying for resources or assistance, providing material of any kind that may be misleading to an instructor, and providing information about tests or other assessments.
    2. Use of translation devices (print, electronic, or otherwise) in an academic setting is only permitted when prior authorization from the appropriate faculty member has been obtained.
  3. Process for Handling Alleged Violation of this Policy
    1. Initial Conference
      1. If an instructor has reason to believe that a student has committed a violation of Academic Integrity, the instructor will contact the student within a reasonable period of time, typically within five (5) business days to make the student aware of the suspected violation and to request a meeting with the student. The goal of this Initial Conference will be to determine if a violation did occur, if there was intent to deceive and/or if the student admits to the violation. The faculty member may choose to contact the office of Vice President for Student Affairs to request a judicial officer participate in a preliminary investigation and to have a judicial hold placed on the student's account until the issue is resolved. The judicial hold will prohibit a student from withdrawing from the class during the investigation.
      2. Following the notice of the alleged violation, if the student is unwilling to schedule a meeting within 10 business days or fails to attend a scheduled meeting, or fails to make themselves available for more than 10 business days, the instructor shall make a determination as to whether a violation of this policy has occurred and what the appropriate remedy(ies) will be. A decision rendered under such circumstances -- failure of the student to respond to a request to participate in an Initial Conference -- is not subject to appeal, with the exception of a student being recommended for dismissal from the University. Following the notice of the alleged violation, faculty members should make every effort to meet with the student as soon as possible. If the faculty member is unavailable or off contract the faculty member may choose to have a Dean or Department Chair conduct the initial conference.
      3. In conducting the Initial Conference, the faculty member will allow the student to respond to the allegations. The faculty member will discuss their perceptions and the choices and decisions made by the student. Upon considering all available information, the faculty member, using their best judgment, must draw a conclusion regarding whether or not the student did violate University/faculty expectations as outlined in policy or as defined in other relevant policies or the course syllabus.
      4. In cases where the faculty member reasonably believes that it is more likely than not that a violation of the University expectations has occurred, they will issue appropriate academic remedy(ies), which may include the following:
        1. Written notice to the student that they have committed a violation of the academic integrity policy and that further violation may result in more severe action.
        2. Reduction to the grade of the corresponding assignment where the violation occurred. This can result in a grade of "0" on the assignment.
        3. Revision of the work where the violation occurred within a specified period of time to be determined by the instructor.
        4. Manual submission of a grade for the course to the Registrar's Office. A note indicating that there was "Academic Dishonesty" will be attached to the course and grade signifying that the student cheated in the course. Grades assigned as part of this policy shall not be eliminated by the University retake policy or the academic forgiveness policy
        5. Dismissal from class with a failing grade.
        6. Recommendation to the Dean that the student be expelled or suspended from the University with this recommendation being forwarded to the University Committee for Student Discipline for consideration.
      5. Students will not be allowed to withdraw from a course until the violation has been resolved and remedy(ies) imposed. If the student is awarded a failing grade the student will not be permitted to withdraw from the course. Notification of decision should be forwarded to the Registrar's Office and appropriate holds will be placed on the student's academic record.
    2. Written Notification of Decision
      1. Decision letters should be mailed via email or through the United States Postal System to the student using whichever medium the student prefers. Upon request, decisions letters should be made available for pickup.
      2. Once dictions are rendered, a copy of the findings of facts and the corresponding remedy(ies) will be forwarded to the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs to keep a centralized database of academic integrity violations. The academic Dean should also be notified of the infraction.
    3. Appeal Process
      1. A student found responsible for violation of the Policy on Academic Integrity may appeal the decision based on a due process violation or new information that was not available at the time of the Initial Conference. The appeal must be submitted in writing and within five (5) business days of receiving the decision letter to the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs.
      2. If appropriate, the Vice President for Student Affairs will convene a review panel to consider the appeal. The panel will be comprised of five (5) members of the University Committee for Student Discipline (UCSD), to include a minimum of three faculty members chosen from those trained to serve on the UCSD. (See Policy 11.2 for further information on the UCSD and the associated process.)
      3. Review panels considering reviews of alleged violations in graduate courses should include at least one (1) member of the graduate faculty.
      4. Any academic remedy issued by the faculty member will be held in abeyance pending the panel's review and decision on the case. Should allegation of misconduct occur at the end of the course, a grade of incomplete will be issued to the student pending a resolution.
      5. A review panel decision regarding what, if any, violation occurred will be determined by a simple majority vote.
      6. If a Hearing Panel finds a student responsible, the academic remedy(ies) prescribed by the faculty member will stand.
      7. Students may seek help while going through the appeal process by contacting the Southern Utah University Student Association Judicial Council or by seeking outside advice.
    4. Appeal Procedures
      1. The following steps should be taken to aid in the University's compliance with appropriate due process:
        1. A date, time, and place of the panel shall be determined with notification given to all parties. Every effort shall be made to schedule this panel within two (2) weeks of the date of the notification of the alleged violation, unless previously agreed upon by all parties.
        2. The student respondent will be notified of the allegations they is being accused of in advance, generally in writing.
        3. All hearings are closed to the public.
        4. In cases involving more than one student, the panel may hear the case as one, but will make independent determinations for each student involved.
        5. Both the faculty member and the student will be allowed to present relevant information to the panel.
        6. In situations where the student or the faculty member does not attend the hearing, the proceedings will continue as planned using available information.
        7. The student may have an advisor present throughout the proceedings. The role of the advisor is limited to "advising" and as such is limited to conferring with the advisee only.
        8. Witness statements may be considered and should be submitted three days prior to the scheduled hearing, to be considered by the panel members.
        9. Questioning witnesses will be limited to panel members only.
        10. In closed session, the panel will deliberate, and determine the facts of the case and determine the propriety of the proposed remedy(ies).
        11. The student will be notified of the panel's decision within five (5) business days after the date of the hearing.
    5. Transcript Notations
      1. Generally, transcript notations will not be expunged. Students seeking such action must submit their request in writing to the Chief Judicial Officer. Consideration will only be given four (4) or more years after the determination of responsibility. If a notation is removed, the judicial record will remain intact unless expungement of this record is required by court order.
  4. Multiple Violations of the Academic Integrity Policy
    1. As outlined in Section IV.C.2.b. of this Policy, written notification of decisions rendered following an initial conference are to be provided to the Vice President for Student Affairs. Upon receipt of such notification, the violation will be recorded in the university's judicial database. Maintaining a centralized database of students' violations allows for the effective tracking of student infractions.
    2. When a student is found to have violated academic expectations more than once, the University's judicial process will be used to determine whether the student should be permitted to continue at the University. (See Policy 11.2.)
    3. The focus of such a hearing will be on continued enrollment; such hearings will not be used to "re-hear" the facts of any case that has already been decided.
    4. While decisions about the specific incidents that lead to the judicial hearing are based solely on related information (judicial history is not introduced), judicial history can be considered when the students continued enrollment is being evaluated.
  5. Violations Discussed Post-Enrollment
    1. When an academic integrity violation is discovered after the conferring of a degree, the University will consult with Legal Counsel to determine the best course or action which may include a repeal of the "earned" degree.
    2. When academic integrity violation is discovered after a grade has been recorded, the faculty/Department Chair should report the incident to the College/School Dean. The Dean will review the allegations and meet with the course faculty member and student if possible to discuss the incident. Among the remedies available to the Dean in this instance will be voiding the grade issued and retroactively issuing a failing grade for the course.

V. RELEVANT FORMS/LINKS

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VI. QUESTIONS/RESPONSIBLE OFFICE

The responsible office for this Policy is the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs. For questions about academic integrity violations, contact the Office of the Provost. For questions about the appeal process, contact the Dean of Students.


VII. POLICY ADOPTION AND AMENDMENT DATES

Date Approved: July 6, 2011

Amended: May 4, 2012