Academic Integrity

The University of Puget Sound is a community of faculty, students, and staff engaged in the exchange of ideas contributing to intellectual growth and development. Essential to the mission of the academic community is a shared commitment to scholarly values, intellectual integrity, and respect for the ideas and work of others. At Puget Sound, we share an assumption of academic integrity at all levels. Violations of academic integrity are a serious matter because they threaten the atmosphere of trust, fairness, and respect essential to learning and the dissemination of knowledge. In situations involving suspected violations of academic integrity, procedures and sanctions established for the Hearing Board (see below) shall be followed. Students are expected to be aware of and to abide by the university’s Academic Integrity Policy. Additionally, faculty members are urged to review course policies regarding academic integrity with their classes. The Collins Memorial Library also offers a guide to Academic Integrity at http://research.pugetsound.edu/academicintegrity.


Violations of Academic Integrity

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Violations of academic integrity can take many forms, including but not limited to the following categories:

Plagiarism,which is appropriating and representing as one’s own someone else’s words, ideas, research, images, music, video, or computer programs. This includes using papers or parts of papers that are purchased or that are written without compensation for a student by someone else. Copying or using material from public sources without proper citation, including material from the Internet, is also plagiarism even if the material appears authorless.

Misrepresenting one’s own work, which includes submitting the same paper or computer program, or parts thereof, for credit in more than once course without the prior permission of the instructors for all of the courses; and misrepresenting one's attendance in class or at events required of students enrolled in a course(e.g. viewing films, attending concerts, or visiting museums).

Unauthorized collaboration with other students on course work, which includes working together on projects designed to be independent work; copying another student’s work; and seeking or providing inappropriate oral or written assistance that would give the recipient an advantage over other students in an exam, or quiz or other course exercise.

Cheating on examinations, which includes the unauthorized use of notes, books, electronic devices or verbal or non-verbal communication to receive or give answers; and giving or receiving help from another person on a take-home exam.

Violation of honesty in research, which includes falsifying or inventing sources, data, results or evidence; hiding, destroying, or refusing to return sources in order to prevent others from using them; and marking, cutting, or defacing library materials.

Violation of copyright laws - see the Copy Center’s handbook for a summary of copyright guidelines.

Forgery, falsification, or misappropriation of information or documents, including signatures, documentation of an illness or emergency, and codes used for advising, registration, or identification.

Misuse of academic computing accounts and facilities.

 

Response to Violations of Academic Integrity

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  1. If a faculty member has reason to suspect academic dishonesty, the following actions are taken:
    A. The faculty member may consult with the department chair, program director, or the Registrar regarding his or her suspicion of a violation. The faculty member may also consult with a library liaison for assistance.
    B. The faculty member notifies the student that she or he suspects a violation of academic integrity and that an appropriate response will be made.
    C. The faculty member meets with the student as a part of the process of determining if a violation of academic integrity has occurred. This meeting may at the faculty member’s discretion include the department chair or program director. If the student is not available on campus because the semester has ended or for other reasons, the meeting can happen by phone, mail, or e-mail. If the student is unreachable, then the faculty member determines responsibility based on the available evidence.
    D.  If the faculty member determines that a violation of academic integrity has occurred, he or she is required to submit to the Registrar an Academic Integrity Incident Report (available from the Office of the Registrar), including reasonable documentation of the violation. The report should also indicate penalties the instructor intends to impose and whether or not the instructor recommends further sanctions through the Hearing Board process. Because other processes and subsequent decisions that affect student enrollment may be connected to receipt of a faculty member's report, faculty should make every effort to complete and send the report to the Registrar immediately. The faculty member must provide a copy of the form to the student. The Registrar will then inform the faculty member if this is the student’s first offense or not. Because the other processes and subsequent decisions that affect a student's enrollment may be connected to receipt of a faculty member's report, faculty should make every effort to complete and send the report to the Registrar immediately.
    E. If there has been no prior reported violation of academic integrity, the penalties imposed by the faculty member conclude the case unless either the student appeals the faculty member’s decision or the faculty member asks for a Hearing Board. If either the student or faculty member asks for a Hearing Board, the Dean of the university (or a designee) will meet with both parties to seek an appropriate resolution. The Dean may also consult with the chair or director of the department or school involved. If no resolution is possible, a Hearing Board will be convened.
  2. When step 1D is reached and if a previous violation of academic integrity has been reported to the Office of the Registrar, the following actions are taken:
    A. The Registrar notifies the faculty member that at least one previous case has been reported.
    B. The Registrar refers the matter to an Associate Academic Dean with a recommendation that a Hearing Board be convened to consider the case and to apply appropriate sanctions (see the next section). All Academic Integrity Incident Reports pertaining to the student are forwarded to the Hearing Board and the faculty member may be consulted by the Board. Depending on the gravity of the offense, the Board may impose any of the sanctions described in Step 4 of the Hearing Board procedures listed below.
  3. Academic Integrity Incident Report forms are retained in a confidential file maintained by the Registrar to provide a record of violations of academic integrity for a Hearing Board should a student be the subject of more than one report. Academic Integrity Incident Reports are disposed of following a student's graduation or four years following a student's last enrollment, provided the student in question has no more than one incident report or a Hearing Board does not direct otherwise. A student who is the subject of more than one incident report may have those reports included with the student's permanent academic file as part of a Hearing Board regarding that student.
  4. Contents of the Academic Integrity Incident Report Forms and subsequent Hearing Board actions are revealed only with the written consent of the student, unless otherwise permitted or required by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
  5. No entry is made on the student's academic transcript of a violation of academic integrity unless so directed by a Hearing Board.
  6. If a staff member has reason to suspect a violation of academic integrity, the following actions will be taken:
    A. If the incident took place outside the context of a course, the staff member will report his or her concern in writing to an Associate Academic Dean not otherwise involved with the appeals or hearing board process.  In this context, the Associate Academic Dean will follow procedures outlined above for the faculty member in responding to the allegations.  If the Associate Dean suspects that a violation of academic integrity has or may have occurred, he or she will submit to the Registrar an Academic Integrity Incident Report and will request that a Hearing Board be convened to investigate and possibly impose sanctions if appropriate.
    B. If the incident took place in the context of a course, the staff member will report his or her concern in writing to both the instructor of the course and to an Associate Academic Dean not otherwise involved with the appeals or hearing board process.  The instructor of the course and the Associate Academic Dean will consult on how to proceed with the allegation.  If the instructor elects to pursue the allegation, he or she will follow the procedure outlined in points 1-5.  If the instructor does not elect to pursue the matter further because he or she did not witness or discover the incident, then the Associate Academic Dean may substitute for the faculty member in responding to the allegation.  If the Associate Dean suspects that a violation of academic integrity has or may have occurred, he or she will submit to the Registrar an Academic Integrity Incident Report and will request that a Hearing Board be convened to investigate and possibly impose sanctions if appropriate.

 

Hearing Board Procedures in Matters of Academic Integrity

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The Hearing Board functions as a fact-finding group so that it may determine an appropriate resolution to the charge of a violation of academic integrity. Its hearings are informal, and the parties directly involved are expected to participate. To make knowingly false statements or to otherwise act with malicious intent within the provisions of Hearing Board procedures shall constitute grounds for further charges of violations of academic integrity.

  1. If an integrity incident has been referred to the Hearing Board, a Hearing Board is convened to review the case.
  2. The Hearing Board consists of the Dean of the University (chair) and the Dean of Students or their designees, two faculty members selected by the chair of the Academic Standards Committee, and two students selected by the chair of the Academic Standards Committee in consultation with the president of the Associated Students. The parties directly involved may have one other person present who is not an attorney. The chair designates a secretary, responsible for recording the salient issues before the Board and the actions of the Board.
  3. The parties involved are asked to submit written statements and any written statements submitted are circulated by the chair to the members of the Hearing Board. All parties have the right to appear before the Board, and may be asked to appear before the Board, but the hearing may proceed regardless of failure to appear. The Board reviews written statements submitted by the parties and any such other relevant material which the Chair of the Board deems necessary. In hearings involving charges of plagiarism, the Hearing Board may make a judgment that plagiarism has occurred on grounds other than a comparison of the student’s work with the original material. Internal stylistic evidence, comparison of the work that is suspect with other written work by the same student, or the student’s inability to answer questions on what he or she has written, may each support a judgment of plagiarism. When all presentations are complete, the Board, in executive session, reaches its resolution of the problem.
  4. The Hearing Board may find the allegations not to be factual, or the Hearing Board may impose sanctions.  Sanctions include, but are not limited to, warning, reprimand, grade penalty, removal from the course or major, disqualification from receiving university honors, probation, dismissal, suspension, and/or expulsion.

The decision of the Hearing Board is final.

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