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Academic Integrity Code

From Appalachian State University Policy Manual

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Policy 401.1

1 Introduction

1.1 Appalachian State University’s Academic Integrity Code is designed to create an atmosphere of trust, respect, fairness, honesty, and responsibility. The Academic Integrity Code outlines “user-friendly” procedures and mechanisms for resolving alleged violations of academic integrity. The Academic Integrity Code is the result of cooperation among Appalachian’s faculty, students, and administrators, and promotes a campus dialogue about academic integrity. All members of the Appalachian State University community are responsible for promoting an ethical learning environment.

2 Scope

2.1 This policy applies to all students attending Appalachian State University.

3 Definitions

3.1 Integrity

adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty

4 Policy and Procedure Statements

4.1 The Academic Integrity Code

4.1.1 Students attending Appalachian State University agree to abide by the following Code:

  1. Students will not lie, cheat, or steal to gain academic advantage.
  2. Students will oppose every instance of academic dishonesty.

4.1.2 Students shall agree to abide by the Academic Integrity Code when submitting the admission application.

4.2 The Honor Pledge

4.2.1 The Honor Pledge is a cornerstone of the Appalachian State University’s Academic Integrity Code and serves as a reminder of the University’s commitment to academic integrity. No Appalachian student shall unfairly further their own academic performance.

4.2.2 Students attending Appalachian State University pledge:

I pledge on my honor that I have not violated the Appalachian State University Academic Integrity Code.

4.3 Academic Integrity Code Violations

4.3.1 Violations of the Academic Integrity Code will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Faculty should address incidents as possible Academic Integrity Code violations only when, in their professional judgment, such violations were intentional on the part of the student. The following is a list of violations of the Academic Integrity Code. This list is not exhaustive; however, its terms are broad enough to encompass most potential Code violations.

  1. Lying. False academic information in any form, regardless of communication method (e.g. including email or other electronic communication).
  2. Cheating. The use of fraud or deceit to gain an advantage in academic endeavors, regardless of delivery methods (e.g. face-to-face, online, or via distance education). Examples of cheating include but are not limited to fraud, deception, impermissible communication of information, copying, falsifying data, unauthorized use or possession of study aids, memoranda, books, data, or other information, for the purpose of unfairly manipulating academic materials.
  3. Plagiarism. Presenting the words or ideas of another as one’s own work or ideas. All directly quoted material must be properly cited. Plagiarism includes but is not limited to borrowing, downloading, cutting and pasting, and paraphrasing without acknowledgement, including from online sources, or allowing a person’s academic work to be submitted as another’s work.
  4. Unauthorized Assistance. Giving or receiving assistance not specifi cally permitted by an instructor. (Examples: see under cheating)
  5. Stealing of Academic Materials. The act of taking academic materials, without an instructor’s or student’s consent, for the purpose of gaining an advantage over other students. This includes but is not limited to stealing or attempted stealing of notes, papers, books, library materials, tests, answer keys, computer programs, or any electronic devices.
  6. Multiple Submission without an Instructor’s Consent. Submitting the same work more than once without permission from all faculty involved.
  7. Assisting Code Violations. Helping another student violate the Code. Examples of assisting code violations include but are not limited to allowing another student to copy work, provide answers to questions appearing on assignments, quizzes, or exams, unauthorized collaboration, and taking an exam for another student.

4.4 Roles of the University Community

4.4.1 Faculty

4.4.1.1 Faculty members are responsible for educating students about academic integrity by placing a statement about the Academic Integrity Code on class syllabi. Further, faculty members are encouraged to limit opportunities for dishonest behavior. Several strategies for reducing Academic Integrity Code violations are listed below. Faculty members may:

  1. Lead discussions about academic integrity during class.
  2. Create multiple versions of quizzes and exams.
  3. Proctor quizzes and exams.
  4. Provide a space for students to reaffi rm the Academic Integrity Honor Pledge(abbreviation: HP) on assignments, quizzes, and exams.
  5. Contact the Offi ce of Student Conduct in all appropriate cases of academic dishonesty.
  6. Include a statement about the Code of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity Code (with Offi ce of Student Conduct website address) on syllabi.
  7. Use current events to illustrate and discuss integrity issues.

4.4.2 Students

4.4.2.1 Students are responsible for completing their own work on assignments, quizzes, and tests and for discouraging their peers from violating the Academic Integrity Code. When instructed to do so by a faculty member, students are required to include the Academic Integrity Honor Pledge (or an abbreviated form of it) on assignments, quizzes, and exams. Further, students may:

  1. Report all incidents of academic dishonesty to the Offi ce of Student Conduct.
  2. Inform the appropriate persons when witnessing academic dishonesty.
  3. Participate in discussions about academic integrity.
  4. Challenge their peers to uphold academic honesty.

4.4.3 Administration

4.4.3.1 Appalachian State University’s administration provides support for the Academic Integrity Code through the activities described in Section VI.

4.5 Administration of the Code

4.5.1 Violations

4.5.1.1 Alleged Academic Integrity Code violations must be reported to the Offi ce of Student Conduct if the faculty member proposes that a sanction, as defi ned in Section VIII, be imposed on the student. The Director of Student Conduct or his or her designee will explain all available options to the faculty member and student involved in the alleged violation. Cases in which the faculty member proposes to take no action beyond requiring the student to repeat the assignment may be resolved informally between the faculty member and the student without being brought before the Offi ce of Student Conduct or the Academic Integrity Board (AIB). In such cases, however, the faculty member must utilize the form entitled “Proposed Requirement That You Repeat Assignment; Notification of Due Process Rights.” This requires the student to affi rm in writing that he/she is aware of his/her option to refer the issue to Student Conduct but chooses the opportunity to repeat the assignment instead. The faculty member should provide one copy of this written statement to the student and retain the original in the faculty member’s files.

4.5.1.2 A student that has an alleged violation of the Academic Integrity Code is prohibited from withdrawing from the course. Should a student withdraw from the class prior to the accusation and/or resolution, the mark of "w" will be considered temporary pending the final resolution of the case. If a student is found responsible for an Academic Integrity violation and receives a lower or failing grade in a course for violating the Academic Integrity Code that course cannot be retroactively dropped.

4.5.2 Resolution by Consent Without Resort to Academic Integrity Code Formal Processes

4.5.2.1 Academic Integrity Code violations may be resolved by consent between the student and the faculty member without resort to the formal processes of the Academic Integrity Code, pursuant to this Section VI.A.1., or such violations must be reported to the Offi ce of Student Conduct as provided in Section VI.A.2, below. If the faculty member proposes to resolve the violation by consent by imposing one of the sanctions specifi ed in Section VIII.A., the faculty member must do so utilizing the form entitled “Notifi cation of Proposed Imposition of Sanction for Academic Integrity Violation; Notifi cation of Due Process Rights (Notifi cation).” A faculty member may not impose sanctions to resolve a violation by consent pursuant to this Section VI.A.1 without utilizing the Notifi cation form. If the student decides to resolve the violation pursuant to this Section VI.A.1, the student must sign the form, and the faculty member must make a copy of the form for the student and retain the original for at least fi ve years. A copy is also to be transmitted to the Offi ce of Student Conduct and kept on fi le there for at least five years.

4.5.3 Reporting Violations

4.5.3.1 Academic Integrity Code violations not resolved by consent pursuant to this Section VI.A.1., must be reported to the Offi ce of Student Conduct if the faculty member proposes that one or more sanctions (as described in Section VIII) be imposed. The Director of Student Conduct will explain all available options to the faculty member and student involved in the alleged violation.

4.5.4 Review Officer

4.5.4.1 The Director of Student Conduct serves as the review officer or, as may be necessary, appoints a member of the AIB to act in this capacity. An AIB member serving as a review officer in a given case may not vote in a hearing on it. The responsibilities of the review officer include:

  1. Investigating all reported incidents of academic dishonesty.
  2. Advising the parties involved in hearings.
  3. Handling all outside correspondence.
  4. Conducting and reporting on all faculty/student resolution processes.
  5. Preparing written statements for the hearing process.
  6. Forwarding all appeals to the Provost or his or her designee for a decision.

4.5.5 Faculty/Student Resolution Process

4.5.5.1 All first time offenses may be handled in the faculty/student resolution process. Written notice of the resolution process must be mailed to the faculty member and the student involved at least seven (7) business days in advance of a resolution process meeting. The review officer facilitates and records the meeting’s outcome. The faculty member and the accused student must agree upon one of the sanctions to decide the case in this phase or determine that there was not an intentional violation of the Academic Integrity Code. If agreement is reached, the faculty member, student, and hearing offi cer sign a standard form stating the terms of the resolution. A copy of the resolution form is retained in the Office of Student Conduct until the student leaves the University. If the faculty member and student do not agree upon a resolution, the case is referred to the AIB for a hearing. All decisions agreed to in the resolution phase are final and cannot be appealed. Either the faculty member or student may waive their right to the resolution process. If a faculty member or student does not wish to participate in the resolution process, the case is referred to the AIB for a hearing. Faculty members may re-enter the process during the hearing as a complainant or witness.

4.5.6 Hearings

4.5.6.1 Proceedings under the Academic Integrity Code shall be consistent with the provisions of the AIB by-laws. First offenses may be resolved between the student and the faculty member; a record is then maintained in the Offi ce of Student Conduct. All second offenses are decided through an AIB hearing. The Chairperson of the AIB presides over the hearing. Seven AIB members constitute a quorum. The AIB’s final decision is made by a majority vote. The rules governing AIB hearings include:

  1. Notification of the hearing date and the specifi c charges of academic dishonesty, including an outline of the information to be introduced, are mailed to the accused student at least fi ve (5) academic days, including fi nal examination days, in advance.
  2. The burden of proof is on the faculty member and/or student bringing forth the charges. The Office of Student Conduct provides administrative support for faculty and students bringing forth charges of academic dishonesty. The Office of Student Conduct also provides information about the process for the accused student.
  3. Formal rules of evidence are not applicable. The AIB Chairperson must give attention to the rules of confidentiality and privilege.
  4. Students and faculty are allowed one (1) advisor. Advisors may speak to the student or faculty member, but may not speak for the student or faculty member.
  5. The accused student and the Academic Integrity Board are permitted to question the complainant and all witnesses.
  6. AIB hearings and deliberations are closed to the public.
  7. All hearings are recorded and may be transcribed when necessary. Recordings of hearings remain the exclusive property of the University. Students must review recordings in the presence of Student Conduct personnel.
  8. Witnesses are excluded from the hearing during the testimony of other witnesses. All witnesses are excluded from AIB deliberations.
  9. The AIB finds in-violation or not in-violation of the Academic Integrity Code on the basis of the preponderance of evidence.
  10. If the AIB finds the student in-violation, the Offi ce of Student Conduct retains a record of the finding and sanction for a minimum of five (5) years.

4.6 Academic Integrity Board (AIB)

4.6.1 Composition

4.6.1.1 Appalachian State University’s Academic Integrity Board consists of twelve (12) members. Six (6) faculty members and six (6) students are appointed to the Board. Faculty AIB members are nominated by the Committee on Committees of the Faculty Senate from a list of volunteers willing to serve, and approved by a vote of the Faculty Senate. Faculty members serve three-year staggered terms and may be nominated for consecutive terms. Student AIB members are selected by the Conduct Personnel Committee (see Section 3.06 of the Code of Student Conduct). Student AIB members serve two-year staggered terms.

4.6.2 Committees

4.6.2.1 The AIB contains two (2) standing committees: (1) the faculty committee and (2) the student committee.

4.6.2.2 Faculty Committee - The Faculty Committee is composed of the AIB’s six (6) faculty members and one (1) student member. This committee is charged with:

  1. Providing their peers with guidelines for promoting and enforcing academic integrity.
  2. Educating faculty about academic integrity issues.
  3. Conducting academic integrity workshops for faculty.
  4. Observing faculty reactions to the operation of the Code and to the academic environment of Appalachian State University.

4.6.2.3 Student Committee - The Student Committee is composed of the AIB’s six (6) student members and one (1) faculty member. The committee shall:

  1. Promote academic integrity among their peers through a series of seminars, workshops, and classes.
  2. Educate students about the seriousness of academic integrity.
  3. Observe student reactions toward the operation of the Code and Appalachian State University’s academic environment.

4.6.3 Academic Integrity Board Chairperson

4.6.3.1 AIB members select a Chair and Vice Chair yearly in the Spring semester. The Chair may vote only in the case of a tie. A student Chair must be a junior or senior and have a minimum GPA of 2.5 at the time of election. The Chair’s duties include:

  1. residing over all meetings and hearings of the full AIB.
  2. acting as spokesperson for the AIB.
  3. working closely with the Offi ce of Student Conduct throughout the Code’s peration.

4.6.3.2 In the event of the Chair’s absence or inability to perform these duties, the Vice Chair assumes the above duties.

4.7 Sanctions

4.7.1 Under the Academic Integrity Code, there are three (3) times when sanctions may be imposed: (1) by consent of the student pursuant to Section VI.A.1.; (2) during the faculty/student resolution process; and (3) during an AIB hearing’s sanction phase.

4.7.2 Faculty/Student Resolution Process Sanctions

4.7.2.1 All offenses may be discussed between the faculty member and the accused student, unless the faculty member or student waives the right to the resolution process. Every violation presents faculty members the opportunity to educate students about academic integrity. The faculty member and the student may agree upon one (1) or more of the following sanctions:

  1. A reduced grade on the assignment.
  2. A reduced grade for the course.
  3. A grade of F on the assignment.
  4. A grade of F for the course.
  5. Faculty members may require a student found in-violation of the Academic Integrity Code to attend a workshop on academic integrity.

4.7.2.2 Members of the AIB conduct all workshops. The AIB reserves the right to impose another sanction on students who do not attend the mandatory workshop.

4.7.3 Academic Integrity Board (AIB) Hearing Sanctions

4.7.3.1 First time offenses are referred to the Offi ce of Student Conduct and all second offenses are subject to an AIB hearing. The AIB may recommend one (1) or more of the following sanctions when a student is found in-violation:

  1. Referring the decision about sanction to the faculty member limited to the resolution process listed in VIII.A.
  2. Probation.
  3. Disciplinary suspension.
  4. Expulsion.
  5. Special programs.

4.7.3.2 Students found in-violation of the Academic Integrity Code must attend a workshop on academic integrity (refer to VIII.A.).

4.7.3.3 The AIB considers all relevant factors when recommending sanctions: e.g., seriousness, previous student record.

4.8 Appeals

4.8.1 Students found in violation of the Academic Integrity Code may submit a written appeal to the Provost or his or her designee within five (5) business days after notification of their having been so found. Grounds for an appeal include significant new evidence and procedural error. The Provost or his or her designee reserves the right to accept or reject any appeal.

4.9 Amendments to Academic Integrity Code and Academic Integrity Board By-Laws

4.9.1 Proposed amendments to the Academic Integrity Code and AIB By-Laws are recommendations to the Chancellor. The Academic Integrity Board may make recommendations for such changes to the Chancellor.

4.9.2 Resolution forms can be downloaded from Student Conduct website.

5 Additional References

6 Authority

7 Contact Information

8 Effective Date

Adopted May 21, 2001

9 Revision Dates

Revised July 2008