Academic Integrity

Introduction
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.


Violations of Academic Integrity

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Violations of Academic Integrity


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 author less.
•  Misrepresenting one’s own work, which includes submitting the same paper or computer program,
or parts thereof, for credit in more than one 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 coursework, 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, 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 to 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 Print and Copy Services’ 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 a violation of academic integrity, 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 email. 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 whether this is the student’s first offense. 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.
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 violation 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 decision regarding that student.
4.  Contents of an Academic Integrity Incident Report 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 appealsor 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 about 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 conclusion is presented in writing to the parties directly involved and to such
other persons as need to know the results of the hearing. If some action is to be taken, the chair of
the Board is responsible for requesting that the action be performed and in ensuring that such action is
taken. Upon completion of the hearing, the chair maintains a file of relevant material for a period of at
least two years.
5. 
The decision of the Hearing Board is final.

 

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