Academic Integrity

It is the policy of Wright State University to uphold and support standards of personal honesty and integrity for all students consistent with the goals of a community of scholars and students seeking knowledge and truth. Furthermore, it is the policy of the university to enforce these standards through fair and objective procedures governing instances of alleged dishonesty, cheating, and other academic misconduct.

Academic Integrity Policy and Process

Approved by Faculty Senate 5/01/00
Approved by General Faculty 5/09/00
Revised and Approved by the Faculty Senate 10/06/08
Revised and Approved by the Faculty Senate 10/05/09

Approved by the Provost 11/02/09

The student discipline process for violations of academic integrity is activated whenever an undergraduate or graduate student is accused of violating Section X 4 of the Code of Student Conduct pertaining to academic integrity. Students who are participating in a professional practice program may be held accountable to additional standards and should refer to all relevant policies and procedures pertaining to their particular school or college.

Any member of the community may report an alleged violation. A violation may be reported to the instructor of the course in which the alleged act occurred, the chair or dean (or equivalent academic administrator) of the college/school with which the course is affiliated, or a member of the staff of the Office of Community Standards and Student Conduct. An individual who suspects a student of cheating may at any time contact the Office of Community Standards and Student Conduct at (937) 775-4240 to receive assistance with any aspect of the academic integrity process. All reports must be in written form to be adjudicated.

A student accused of a violation of academic integrity is not permitted to drop or withdraw from the course giving rise to the allegation of academic dishonesty unless the matter is resolved in the student's favor. Once notified by the professor, the Office of Community Standards and Student Conduct is responsible for notifying the Office of the Registrar that there is an alleged violation being considered. If the alleged violation cannot be resolved prior to the date upon which final grades must be reported to the Office of the Registrar, the instructor of the class, with the advice and counsel of the department chair or equivalent will assign a grade of "N." In the event that a student is exonerated as a result of an academic integrity investigation, the student may choose to either complete the course, with the opportunity to make up any work missed, or withdraw from the course without any notation of the course on the student's academic transcript.

When a student is suspected of committing an act of academic dishonesty, the faculty member should utilize the procedures listed below. Both the student and/or faculty member may invite an advisor to be present during any phase of this process; however, advisors are not permitted to speak or to participate directly in the process.

C. Faculty-Student Meeting Procedures

The faculty member will document the alleged violation utilizing either an Academic Integrity Violation Form or written memo. He/she will then notify the student of the allegations (preferably in writing). Within three business days of receiving the notification, the student should contact the faculty member and schedule a meeting. The subsequent meeting should be convened within two weeks. If the faculty member is not available, the student may be requested to see a suitable representative (department chair, Dean, etc). A copy of the Academic Integrity Violation Form or memo should be provided to the student when the faculty member and student meet. In the event the student fails to meet with the faculty member, a copy of the documentation can be provided to the student at his/her request by the Office of Community Standards and Student Conduct.

If the student chooses to not schedule a meeting or fails to attend a scheduled meeting, the student will be found responsible for violating the academic integrity policy. The faculty member will choose one or more academic sanctions provided in the policy and submit the Academic Integrity Violation Form or the memo to the Office of Community Standards and Student Conduct. Furthermore, upon receipt of the documentation, the Office of Community Standards and Student Conduct will bill a $35 noncompliance fee to the student's bursar account and he/she may be referred to the academic integrity hearing panel (AIHP) for consideration of further sanctioning.

If, as a result of the meeting with the student, the faculty member believes that no violation took place, the faculty member will dismiss the case and the issue will be considered resolved. Any academic misconduct documentation regarding the incident should be destroyed. However, if after discussing the incident with the student, the faculty member still believes that "more likely than not" a violation did occur; the faculty member will choose one or more academic sanctions provided for within this policy.

If the student and faculty member agree that a violation took place, the faculty member will complete the Academic Integrity Resolution Form and ask the student to sign the form. If the student refuses to sign, the faculty member will check the box “student did not sign” on the form. The form will then be sent to the Office of Community Standards and Student Conduct and a copy provided to the student. Additionally, the faculty member should retain his or her copy and forward all remaining copies of all forms to the Office of Community Standards and Student Conduct.

If, after reviewing all of the information, the faculty member believes that the seriousness of the incident warrants additional action beyond a grade sanction, the Resolution Form should be completed indicating that the case will be referred to the AIHP for consideration of additional sanctioning. Furthermore, any student who has previously been found responsible for committing an act of academic dishonesty according to the records maintained within the Office of Student Judicial Services will also be referred to the AIHP for further sanctioning.

In the event that the student denies the allegation(s), the faculty member will inform the student that the case will be forwarded to the AIHP for adjudication. The faculty member will then complete the Academic Integrity Resolution Form indicating a referral to the AIHP and ask the student to sign the form. If the student refuses to sign, the faculty member will check the “student did not sign” box on the form. All remaining documentation is then sent to The Office of Community Standards and Student Conduct. The Office of Community Standards and Student Conduct is responsible for the scheduling of the hearing.

D. Academic Integrity Hearing Panel (AIHP)

The AIHP consists of two faculty members and a student member. One of the faculty members will be the chair of the committee. Faculty panel members are nominated by the Executive Committee of Faculty Senate and approved by the Faculty Senate. The Office of Community Standards and Student Conduct is responsible for the selection of the student representatives. The AIHP will review the written material submitted by the faculty and the student and select one of the following actions (1) AIHP concurs with the faculty member’s opinion that the student has committed a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy, (2) AIHP concurs with the faculty member’s opinion that the student has committed a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy and recommends an additional sanction, or (3) AIHP is unable to make a determination based on the written documentation and asks the student and faculty to appear at an AIHP hearing.

The AIHP hearing is an opportunity for the student and faculty member to present views, call witnesses, and present documents and other evidence. The student accused of violating the academic integrity policy is required to represent himself/herself at the hearing. The university may be represented by the instructor of the course giving rise to the alleged incident, by the chair of the department offering the course, or by the dean or designee of the college or school with which the course is affiliated.

The AIHP will consider the documents, testimony, or other evidence presented to it by the student charged and the faculty representative. Based upon the standard of a preponderance of the evidence ("more likely than not"), the AIHP will render a decision. The AIHP will confer in private to determine whether the student committed an act of academic dishonesty and, if so, the proper sanction(s). If the AIHP finds in favor of the student, the grade of "N" previously assigned to the student's record shall be expunged. The AIHP will refer the matter back to the faculty member who gave rise to the charge with the instruction to reevaluate the student's work based on its merits.

If the AIHP finds against the student, it may impose any of the sanctions set forth in the Code in addition to the letter grade sanction that was issued by the faculty member. The student's cumulative disciplinary history will be taken into account during the sanctioning phase of the process. The AIHP shall mail to the student written notice of its decision and the student's appellate rights. The student may appeal the decision of the AIHP to the University Appeals Board in writing, within five business days from the date of the decision letter. All appeals should be delivered to The Office of Community Standards and Student Conduct. (See Section XI)

Additional Information Regarding Academic Misconduct

E. Appeal of Academic Integrity Hearing Process

The AIHP decision as to whether a student is responsible or not responsible for a violation of academic misconduct is final. Furthermore, if the student is found responsible by the AIHP, then the academic sanction recommended by the faculty member is also final. Only non academic sanction levied by the AIHP (e.g. a suspension for a second violation) may be appealed to the University Appeals Panel. Any appeal must be delivered, in writing, to the Office of Community Standards and Student Conduct within five business days from the date of the original AIHP decision letter. (See Section XI)

F. Notification of Faculty

The AIHP decision will be relayed to the faculty member who initiated the process by the Office of Community Standards and Student Conduct within one week of the panel decision.

G. Sanctioning Guidelines

The appropriate sanction(s) for an act of misconduct must be decided on a case-by-case basis as appropriate by academic discipline, teaching method, course level, maturity of the student, and degree of misconduct. When possible, the sanction should be selected with an eye towards aiding the student in understanding the seriousness of
their behavior and the consequences of ethical misconduct. The faculty member may issue any of the sanctions listed below separately or in combination. Additionally, the faculty member may also refer a student to participate in an Academic Integrity hearing
to determine if additional sanctions beyond the academic sanctions assessed by the professor are appropriate.

Written Reprimand:

A written reprimand that the student’s behavior was in violation of the academic integrity policy and should not be repeated may be an appropriate sanction for very minor violations (generally poor citations or other plagiarism without intent to defraud).

Retake/Replace Assignment:

Allowing a student to retake an assignment or to make-up an assignment with different work may be an appropriate sanction for minor violations in which the student admits culpability. Retake/Replaced assignments should have a maximum score less than that of the initial assignment.

No Credit (“0” for Assignment):

This sanction is the recommended sanction for most minor violations of academic integrity. This sanction is generally appropriate for collaborating on homework and/or minor plagiarism in a writing assignment.

Reduction of Final Class Grade:

This sanction may be appropriate in violations where the student refuses to take responsibility for their misconduct or compounds their misconduct with a pattern of inappropriate behavior. This sanction may also be appropriate for major violations in which the student is fully cooperative.

Failure of Class:

This sanction is recommended for most major violations of academic integrity. Such violations include cheating on a midterm or final exam, plagiarizing a term paper, or other misconduct on a major summative experience.

Non-academic Sanction(s):

Non-academic sanctions may impose by the Academic Integrity Hearing Panel (AIHP) in addition to the academic sanction that was issued by the faculty member. The AIHP may issue any sanction set forth in the Code of Student Conduct. Educational sanctions (i.e. ethics workshop), a notation on a transcript, revocation of a degree suspension or other non-academic sanctions are generally reserved for serious or repeated misconduct. Non-academic sanctions are automatically considered by the panel for repeat offences. The student’s cumulative disciplinary history is also taken into account when determining the student’s sanction(s).

 

Also see Faculty's Guide to Academic Integrity at http://www.wright.edu/students/judicial/integrity.html