Characteristics of academic integrity include fairness, respect for others, personal responsibility, and proper recognition and acknowledgement of resources used in all educational activities. In order for this diverse community of learners to fulfill its mission of shared exploration, creativity, and justice, all members must feel free to participate in an atmosphere of trust. A goal of the University is for the concept of integrity to become a habit of the mind and a reality in performance, enriching and guiding all members of the community. Members of the Spalding University community will demonstrate a high standard of integrity in all areas of academic work and university experiences. Faculty are held to high expectations of integrity through professional and disciplinary practices and through policies outlined in the Faculty and Employee Handbooks. In this same spirit, students who breach the University's Policy on Academic Integrity are subject to disciplinary action.
Students, faculty and staff have the duty to report any instance of academic dishonesty to the appropriate authority (i.e., faculty member, dean, chair, program director, etc.). Penalties for academic dishonesty may vary or be more stringent in particular academic units.
Definition "Academic dishonesty" includes academic lying, stealing, or cheating for the purpose of affecting one's grade, course credit, or status, including but not limited to the following:
- Submitting another person's work as one's own and misrepresenting assigned work as the product of one's sole independent effort;
- Fabricating work and/or resources as authentic material;
- Submitting work for more than one course without the prior approval from each faculty member involved;
- Plagiarizing (i.e., using verbal, written, or visual representations of ideas, works, phrases, paragraphs, or entire documents by others as though the work were one's own);
- Conducting research that does not comply with the established university policies (see the Policy on the Use of Human and Animal Subjects);
- Fabricating or falsifying data;
- Assisting student(s) in engaging in academic dishonesty;
- Using any unauthorized assistance in completing quizzes, tests, or examinations, or specific course assignments/projects;
- Acquiring, without permission, any academic evaluative or testing materials;
- Influencing or attempting to influence through the use of bribery, threats, or any other means of coercion, any Spalding University official, faculty member, graduate student, or employees responsible for processing grades, evaluating students, or maintaining records;
- Unethical activities related specifically to professional standards and practices (i.e., expectations regarding internships, practica, externships, clinical field placements, etc.). These violations are governed by individual school or program policies and guidelines and the Policy on Professional Integrity for graduate students and students in professional education programs.
Procedure for Instance of a Possible Breach in Academic Integrity
Students, faculty and staff have the duty to report any possible instance of academic dishonesty to the appropriate authority (i.e., faculty member, program director, Chair, Dean, etc.). When a faculty member (responsible for the course, program, etc.) becomes aware of a possible instance of academic dishonesty, she or he is responsible for initiating the following procedure:
- Within 5 business days, the faculty member will investigate the matter thoroughly. This investigation may include, but is not limited to, a review of the student’s file and the use of available resources to analyze the paper or assignment. It is normative that the faculty member and student have a conversation to discuss the faculty member’s discovery and to provide the student with an opportunity to present an explanation. If a face to face meeting is not feasible due to schedule or distance, a phone or e-mail conversation will be attempted. All e-mail communication will be directed to the student’s Spalding e-mail address; the Spalding e-mail address is the official address for all communication from Spalding University. (Each attempt should be documented by the faculty member. After the third attempt at contacting the student without response, the process will move forward without this conversation.) If the conversation is held, it is to include:
- Faculty member’s rationale for concern of academic dishonesty
- Student’s response
- Clarification of possible consequences
1.1. If the aforementioned conversation is held, within 2 business days of such, the faculty member will write a confirmation that the conversation occurred, with a copy given to the student. If given in person, the student will sign a form confirming the conversation occurred. If the meeting is not in person, an email confirmation of the meeting will be sought. (Refusal of the student to sign does not prevent the progression of the process.) This confirmation will only acknowledge that:
- the student and faculty member spoke of the concern, and
- the student had an opportunity to express her/his perspective
1.2 If student contact is attempted three times without response, and no conversation with the student can occur, the faculty member will render a decision about the issue based on all other available information.
- Faculty Decision:
2.1 If the faculty member determines there has been no incidence of academic dishonesty, no further action is required, other than written notification to the student that no action will be taken.
2.2 If the faculty member determines there has been an incidence of academic dishonesty, within 5 business days of the conversation with the student (or after the third failed attempt at contacting the student for this conversation), the faculty member will write a formal document articulating her/his findings and sanctions. Copies of this document will be given to the student, in person with signature verifying receipt or via registered mail with delivery confirmation requested. Further, copies will be disseminated to the student’s program director and the student’s file. A copy will be retained, also, by the faculty member.
- Sanctions that may be imposed by the responsible faculty member include the resubmission of the relevant assignment, a lowered or failing grade for the assignment, and/or a lowered or failing grade for the course, as may be delineated in each college/school's printed sanctions policy.
- Each individual School’s/College's sanction policy will vary, based upon individual course requirements and/or specific program level standards and may be more stringent in some Schools based upon their external professional accreditation standards and regulatory requirements for the discipline.
NOTE: In instances when a student earns a course grade that prohibits the continuation in a course sequence, the student will not register or attend sequential classes. In instances where the grade results in termination from a program/dismissal from the University, the student will not register or attend any further classes and will be withdrawn from current courses.
- Copies of all documentation will be retained on file in the School of the responsible faculty member for three years.
- All disciplinary actions taken will be reported to the Provost and recorded in the student’s official file in the University Registrar’s Office.
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