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Academic Integrity Policy, Procedures, and Appeal Process

Academic Integrity Policy

All students, regardless of level or school, are responsible for following the St. John Fisher College Academic Integrity Policy in addition to any other individual school’s or program’s academic expectations and/or professional standards. Every student is expected to demonstrate academic integrity in all academic pursuits at all times. If a student suspects that another student has violated the Academic Integrity Policy, he or she should contact the instructor for that course and provide support for that suspicion. Any finding of responsibility and associated sanctions for a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy is retained per the College records policy.

Please Note: If a student is found responsible for two violations of the Academic Integrity Policy, the student will have a hearing with the Academic Integrity Committee to address the pattern of behavior. The committee may assign additional sanction(s) up to and including an Academic Integrity Dismissal from the College.

Violations of the Academic Integrity Policy include, but are not limited to:

  1. Cheating
    1. Possession of unauthorized material (e.g. books, notes) that could be used during an exam, quiz, test, etc.
    2. Hiding or positioning of notes or other tools for the purposes of cheating on an exam, quiz, test, etc.
    3. Unauthorized possession of, or knowledge of, an exam, quiz, test, etc., prior to its administration
    4. Looking at another person’s exam, quiz, test, etc. without permission of the instructor
    5. Marking an answer sheet in a way designed to deceive the person correcting it
    6. Altering a graded work after it has been returned
    7. Unauthorized access to Internet resources or an electronic device(s) during an exam, quiz, test, assignment, etc.
  2. Plagiarism
    1. Representing another person’s work as one’s own, or attempting “to blur the line between one’s own ideas or words and those borrowed from another source.” (Council of Writing Program Administrators, January 2003, http://wpacouncil.org/node/9)
    2. The use of an idea, phrase, or other materials from a written or spoken source without acknowledgment
    3. Submitting work that was procured through sale or trade
  3. Duplicate Submission of Work
    1. Submitting the same, or substantially the same, piece of work to more than one instructor without the express permission of all instructors involved
  4. Facilitation of Academic Dishonesty
    1. Giving improper aid to another student or receiving such aid from another student or source prior to or during an in class or take home exam, quiz, test, assignment, etc., without the express permission of the instructor
    2. Retaining, reproducing, possessing, using or circulating previously given materials when indicated that they are to be returned to the instructor at the conclusion of the an exam, quiz, test, etc.
    3. Taking a test for someone else or allowing someone else to take a test for you
    4. Allowing another person to do one’s work and submitting that work under one’s own name
    5. Providing work to another student to submit as their own
    6. Allowing a person to put their name on a group work submission when they did not work on the assignment
  5. Falsifying Data or Research
    1. Fabricating information, data or citation as part of a laboratory, fieldwork or other scholarly investigation
    2. Knowingly distorting, altering or falsifying the data
    3. Using data acquired by another student without the consent of the instructor
    4. Failing to include an accurate account of the method by which the data were gathered or collected
    5. Representing the research conclusions of another as one’s own
    6. Undermining or sabotaging the research investigations of another person
    7. Obtaining and/or reporting research data in an unethical and intentionally misleading manner
  6. Obstructing Library Use and/or Access to Materials
    1. Any action that deprives others of equal access to library materials such as hiding, selling, destroying, mutilating, removing or deliberately damaging library materials
  7. General Academic Misconduct
    1. Actions that violate standards of ethical or professional behavior established by a course or a program
    2. Theft, mutilation or destruction of another student’s academic work, including books, notes, computer programs, papers, reports, laboratory experiments, data, etc.
    3. Using means other than academic achievement or merit to influence one’s academic evaluation
    4. Attempts to bribe an instructor for academic advantage
    5. Actions or behaviors that violate standards for ethical or professional behavior established by a course or program in an off-campus setting that could damage the College’s relationship with community partners and affiliated institutions

Procedures for Addressing a Violation of the Academic Integrity Policy (Instructors)

The following outlines the process for addressing an alleged violation of the Academic Integrity Policy. Students may not withdraw from/drop a course while an academic integrity matter is pending.

Please Note: If a student is found responsible for two violations of the Academic Integrity Policy, the student will have a hearing with the Academic Integrity Committee to address the pattern of behavior. The committee may assign additional sanction(s) up to and including an Academic Integrity Dismissal from the College.

If there is a suspicion of a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy:

  1. The instructor will meet with the student to address the suspicion. During the meeting, the course instructor will share with the student the information that forms the basis for the suspicion and provide the student an opportunity to respond to the information. This meeting is closed to anyone other than those involved. At no time may legal counsel be present. No audio or other recording of an Academic Integrity meeting is permitted.

    After the discussion, the instructor will:
    1. Determine that no violation of the Academic Integrity Policy has occurred and no further action will be taken and the matter is closed;
    2. Determine the action does not reach the level of an Academic Integrity Policy violation but an educational intervention, as determined by the instructor, must be completed by student. Once the intervention is completed to the instructor’s satisfaction, the matter is closed; or
    3. Determine the student is responsible for a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy.
  2. The instructor will assign a sanction. After a determination of responsibility for a violation for the Academic Integrity Policy is made, the instructor may consult with his or her department chair, School Dean, or the Dean’s designee for sanctioning advice.

    If sanctions are required, the following may be assigned by the instructor:
    1. Academic Written Warning;
    2. Re-examination, re-writing the paper, re-producing the assignment by the student;
    3. Reduction in grade/score for the examination, paper or assignment; or
    4. Assigning a failing grade for the course.
  3. The instructor will notify the student of the determination of responsibility and sanction. The instructor the will notify the student of their determination of responsibility and sanction(s) by email within three (3) business days of the meeting.
  4. The student will file the determination of responsibility and sanction(s) and any associated documentation electronically within three (3) business day of the meeting with the student. 
  5. After the instructor files the determination, sanction(s), and associated documentation, the Academic Integrity Committee Chair will email a summary of the case to the student and request that he or she respond to the decision within three (3) business days.

    The student may indicate that he or she either: 
    1. Accepts the decision and sanction; or
    2. Does not accept the decision or sanction and wishes to request an appeal.

                    Failure to respond within the specified time will constitute automatic acceptance of the instructor' s decision and sanction(s) by the student.

Any finding of responsibility and associated sanctions for a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy is retained per the College records policy.

Academic Integrity Appeal Process — First Violation (Student)

A student who has been found responsible for violating the Academic Integrity Policy or has been Academically Dismissed by the Academic Integrity Hearing Committee may request an appeal of the decision of responsibility and/or sanction(s). The student must submit the appeal request electronically within three (3) business days of receipt of the decision. Students may not withdraw from/drop a course while an academic integrity matter is pending. Any finding of responsibility and associated sanctions for a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy is retained per the College records policy.

Criteria for Requesting an Appeal

The request for an appeal must demonstrate with sufficient detail how the grounds below apply to the situation. Documentation of all information and correspondence regarding the matter must be included. Appeal requests must be based on, and will only be considered on, one or more of the following grounds:

  1. Process: The established process was not followed
  2. Sanction: The sanction imposed was not consistent with the severity of the violation
  3. New Information: Information is available now that was not available at the time of my meeting with the instructor/committee which may substantially change the outcome.

Academic integrity appeal requests are reviewed by the Chair of the Academic Standing Committee. An academic integrity appeal hearing will be considered only on the ground(s) alleged by the student. The Chair of the Academic Standing Committee will consider the information contained in the appeal request and relevant information provided by the student in determining whether or not to proceed with the appeal process. The student will be notified of the status of his/her appeal request within three (3) business days of the submission of the Appeal Hearing Request Form.

Academic Integrity Appeal Committee and Attendance

If an appeal hearing is granted, the matter will be brought before the Academic Integrity Appeal Committee.

Committee Membership

  1. Three faculty members who are trained in the Academic Integrity Hearing Procedures. The faculty members may not be from the same discipline as the appealing student or the same discipline of the instructor who assigned the original decision and/or sanction.
  2. A student representative appointed by the Coordinator of Student Conduct from those students who have been trained to participate in student conduct hearings. The student representative may not be from the same discipline as the appealing student nor the same discipline of the instructor who assigned the original decision and/or sanction.
  3. The College Registrar or designee is the Administrative Chair of the committee and votes only in the case of a tie.

Please Note: If the student is appealing an Academic Integrity Dismissal decision, the original Administrative Chair, faculty members and student representative may not serve on the Academic Integrity Appeal Committee.

Student’s Advocate

The student may ask for a faculty or staff member who is not a member of the committee to serve as his/her Advocate in the Academic Integrity Appeal Process. The Advocate is not allowed to speak directly to the committee and only serves to support and advise the student throughout the process.

The time, date, and location of the appeal hearing will be provided in an appearance letter and the student is expected to attend as directed. If the student has a conflict with the date and/or time of the meeting it is his/her responsibility to reschedule. The appeal hearing will take place in the appealing student’s absence if he/she fails to appear.

Appealing an Instructor’s Decision: Appeal Hearing Procedures

When appealing an instructor’s decision, if the student and/or the instructor wishes to have a witness who has direct and first-hand knowledge of the violation in attendance at the hearing, the student and/or instructor must provide the Administrative Chair with the name and contact information of the witness(es) no later than one (1) business day prior to the scheduled hearing. It is the responsibility of the student and/or instructor to insure the witness(es) attend the hearing.

Other than the appealing student, the instructor who made the original decision and assigned the sanction, any witnesses, the Advocate, and the committee members, the appeal hearing is closed to all others. At no time may legal counsel be present. No audio or other recording of an Academic Integrity Appeal hearing is permitted.

  1. The Administrative Chair of the Academic Integrity Appeal Committee will facilitate the hearing and be responsible for documenting the participants in attendance and decision of the committee.
  2. The instructor and appealing student will present relevant information to the committee.
  3. The appealing student and instructor may present witnesses who have direct and first-hand knowledge of the violation and produce materials for consideration. Witnesses may be asked questions by the appealing student, instructor, and committee members.
  4. After reviewing all the documentation and information provided, everyone but the appeal committee will be excused and the committee will deliberate. By majority vote, the committee will make the decision to:
    1. Uphold the finding of responsibility and/or sanction
    2. Dismiss the finding of responsibility and/or sanction
    3. Uphold the finding of responsibility and impose a new sanction
      If sanctions are required, the following may be assigned by the committee:
      1. Academic Written Warning
      2. Reduction in grade/score for the coursework in question
      3. Assigning a failing grade for the course
      4. Administrative withdrawal of the student from the course with a recorded grade of “W” appearing on the student’s transcript
  5. After a decision is made, the student, Advocate, and instructor will be asked to return to the room, the decision will be read, and the hearing concluded. Appeal decisions made by the committee are final and not subject to further appeal.
  6. The Administrative Chair will file the decision electronically within one (1) business day and the student will receive confirmation of the decision electronically within three (3) business days of the close of the appeal hearing.

Any finding of responsibility and associated sanctions for a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy is retained per the College records policy.

Academic Integrity Hearing Process — Two or More Violations (Student)

If a student is found responsible for two violations of the Academic Integrity Policy, the student will have a hearing with the Academic Integrity Committee to address the pattern of behavior. The committee may assign additional sanction(s) up to and including an Academic Integrity Dismissal from the College. Any finding of responsibility and associated sanctions for a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy is retained per the College records policy.

Academic Integrity Committee and Attendance

Committee Membership

  1. Three faculty members who are trained in the Academic Integrity Hearing Procedures. The faculty members may not be from the same discipline as the student.
  2. A student representative appointed by the Coordinator of Student Conduct from those students who have been trained to participate in student conduct hearings. The student representative may not be from the same discipline as the student.
  3. The College Registrar or designee is the Administrative Chair of the committee and votes only in the case of a tie.

Student’s Advocate

The student may ask for a faculty or staff member who is not a member of the Academic Integrity Committee to serve as his/her Advocate in the Academic Integrity Hearing Process. The Advocate is not allowed to speak directly to the committee and only serves to support and advise the student throughout the process.

Other than the student, the Advocate, and the committee members, the hearing is closed to all others. At no time may legal counsel be present. No audio or other recording of an Academic Integrity Hearing is permitted.

The time, date, and location of the Academic Integrity Hearing will be provided in an appearance letter and the student is expected to attend as directed. If the student has a conflict with the date and/or time of the meeting it is his/her responsibility respond and request to to reschedule. The hearing will take place in the student’s absence if he/she fails to appear.

Academic Integrity Hearing Procedures

  1. The Administrative Chair of the Academic Integrity Committee will facilitate the hearing and be responsible for documenting the participants in attendance and decision of the committee.
  2. The Administrative Chair and the student will present relevant information to the committee.
  3. After reviewing all the documentation and information provided, everyone but the committee will be excused and the committee will deliberate. By majority vote, the committee will make the decision to:
    1. Take no further action; or
    2. Impose a sanction
      If sanctions are required, the following may be assigned by the committee:
      1. Academic Written Warning
      2. Academic Written Warning and educational sanction
      3. Academic Integrity Dismissal from the College
  4. After a decision is made, the student, and Advocate will be asked to return to the room, the decision will be read, and the hearing concluded. Decisions of an Academic Warning or Academic Warning and Educational Sanction are final and may not be appealed. Students may appeal a sanction of Academic Integrity Dismissal through the Academic Integrity Appeal Process.
  5. The Administrative Chair will record the committee’s decision within one (1) business day and the student will receive confirmation of the decision by email within three (3) business days of the close of the hearing.

Any finding of responsibility and associated sanctions for a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy is retained per the College records policy.

Appealing an Academic Integrity Dismissal: Appeal Hearing Procedures

Other than the appealing student, the Advocate, the Administrative Chair from the meeting at which the Academic Integrity Dismissal was assigned and the committee members, the appeal hearing is closed to all others. At no time may legal counsel be present. No audio or other recording of an Academic Integrity Appeal hearing is permitted.

  1. The Administrative Chair of the Academic Integrity Appeal Committee will facilitate the hearing and be responsible for documenting the participants in attendance and decision of the committee. The Administrative Chair from the original meeting at which the Academic Integrity Dismissal was assigned (the “original Administrative Chair”) will serve as the complainant.
  2. The original Administrative Chair and the appealing student will present relevant information to the committee.
  3. After reviewing all the documentation and information provided, everyone but the appeal committee will be excused and the committee will deliberate. By majority vote, the committee will make the decision to:
    1. Uphold the sanction of Academic Integrity Dismissal; or
    2. Dismiss the sanction of Academic Integrity Dismissal and assign a new sanction
      If sanctions are required, the following may be assigned by the committee:
      1. Academic Written Warning
      2. Academic Written Warning and educational sanction
      3. No further action
  4. After a decision is made, the student, Advocate, and original Administrative Chair will be asked to return to the room, the decision will be read, and the hearing concluded. Appeal decisions made by the appeal committee are final and not subject to further appeal.
  5. The Administrative Chair will record the committee’s decision electronically within one (1) business day and the student will receive confirmation of the decision by email within three (3) business days of the close of the appeal hearing.

Any finding of responsibility and associated sanctions for a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy is retained per the College records policy.