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Campus Life: Academic Dishonesty & Integrity Policy

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The academic community at the University prides itself on intellectual growth as well as stimulating and encouraging moral development. This is accomplished through nurturing and maintaning an environment of honesty, trust, and respect. The responsibility to maintain this environment rests with students as well as faculty members.


2.1 Graduates of Wheeling Jesuit University place a high value on the education and degree they have recieved. This can be attributed to high standards for excellence and the aforementioned environment of honesty, trust, and respect. Students involved in academic dishonesty are contributing to the breakdown of this system. Failure to fulfill this responsibility can result in:

  • Lack of trust in the student body;
  • Loss of individual integrity;
  • Loss of individual self-esteem;
  • Loss of University integrity;
  • Loss of value of a degree

2.2 Wheeling Jesuit University recognizes that academic honesty and integrity are fundamental values of the University community. Students who enroll at the University commit to holding themselves and their peers to the high standards of honor required by the Honor Code. Any individual who becomes aware of a violation of the Honor Code is bound by honor to take corrective action. The quality of a Wheeling Jesuit University education is dependent upon the community acceptance and enforcement of the Honor Code.

2.3 The Student Honor Code (adapted by Student Government in spring 2002) states: 'We, as a unique members of the Wheeling Jesuit University community, strive for constant improvement of ourselves through discipline, honesty, and responsibility. While embodying the values of integrity, accountability, and respect for others, we wish to be instruments of hope, justice, and righteous action.' For information about academic honesty, contact Academic Affairs, Student Development, or your department chair.


3.1 What is academic integrity?

Academic integrity means giving credit where credit is due in an academic setting. It is an ethical obligation of all people who perform intellectual work, including students, faculty members, and administrators, to preserve the importance of academic integrity. If the source of intellectual work is not correctly cited, then the person who uses that source has stolen the property of someone else and has engaged in theft of intellectual property.

3.2 Why is academic integrity important?

  1. Lack of academic integrity is unfair to yourself. When you come to the University, you are committing yourself to engagement in learning and growth. If you cheat, then you have cheated yourself out of important experiences that could change your life.
  2. Lack of academic integrity is unfair to others. Other students will be disadvantaged if you have access to illicit information because it will dimminish the meaning of grades. Grade inflation hurts all students' grades. In addition, it is unfair to future employers and clients: if someone hires you as his/her accountant or nurse, he/she expects you to have the expertise in all areas of that field. You are cheating your employer or client by not having the information that you represent yourself as having.
  3. Lack of academic integrity lowers the reputation of the school. A poor reputation will make this University's degree much less valuable. If grades are inflated because of cheating, then the grades earned will have little mearning to those organizations for which student grades are important. As a result, graduate programs, future employers, and University accreditation boards will take a dim view of the viability of the school as a place of learning.

3.3 What is a violation of academic dishonesty?

  1. It is unethical to present as your own work the ideas, representations, or work of another
  2. In addition, if you permit someone else to present your ideas, representations, or work as their, then a violation of academic integrity has occurred.

3.4 What is meant by ideas, representations, or work?

In essence, these words refer to anything that comes out of intellectual work, whether it be ideas or the ways in which those ideas are represented. Some concrete examples of intellectual property include: an idea or words from a document, a published piece of work, a computer program, images on a web page, an oral presentation, a math problem, a lab report, a clinical assessment, and/or an answer on a test. If you are unsure of the originality of your idea or ceoncept, consult your faculty member for clarification and/or proper citation.

3.5 What is meant by academic assignments and evaluation?

Academic assignments and evaluations are the tools that your instructor may use to measure your intellectual growth and understanding. Examples include: papers, exams, quizzes, and presentations.

3.6 What sort of actions would be considered violations of academic integrity under the first definition above?

One major category of violation would be the practice of any form of deceit in the proceeding of an academic evaluation. More specifically, depending on the aid of others in a manner either expressly prohibited or not authorized by the instructor in the research, preparation, creation, writing, or publication of work submitted for academic credit or evaluation is a violation of academic integrity. Some examples of this type plagiarism include:
  1. Using Cliff Notes, Spark Notes, or other types of materials in the preparation of a paper;
  2. Looking over others' exams to see if they have transcribed the same answers;
  3. Using devices or referring to materials or sources not authorized by the instructor; including all types of technology (e.g., e-mail, websites, camera phones, or stored information on a calculator);
  4. Referring to crib notes during an exam;
  5. Possessing, buying, obtaining or using a copy of any material intended to be used as an instrument of academic evaluation prior to its administration;
  6. Buying papers off the Internet;
  7. Asking a student in an earlier class for information on a quiz or assignment that you will take in the same class later that day/week
  8. Submitting the work of another person in a manner that represents the work to be one's own;
  9. Allowing one or two people in a group project do all of the work;
  10. Presenting as one's own, for academic evaluation, the ideas, representations, or words of another person or persons without customary and prper acknowledgement of sources;
  11. Fabricating data from empirical research;
  12. Changing data on a lab report in order to demonstrate desired (but not actual) results;
  13. Making up sources and experts for a paper;
  14. Attempting to influence or change one's official academic record (e.g., paying an employee of the Registrar's office to change final grades).

3.7 What sort of actions would be considered violations of academic integrity under the second definition above?

The sanctions that may be imposed upon finding that an offense related to academic integrity has been committed include:
  1. Reduction in grade, or assignment of a failing grade, on the paper or examination in which the offense occurred.
  2. Reduction in grade, or assignment of failing grade, in the course in which the offending paper or examination was submitted.
  3. Dismissal from the course in which the offense occurred without the opportunity to re-enroll at a future date.
  4. Dismissal from the department in which the student has declared a major or denial of admission into academic program, and/or exclusion from courses offered in that department, permanently, or for a stated period of time.
  5. Placement on academic probation for a specific period of time.
  6. Suspension from the University for a specific period of time.
  7. Dismissal from the University without expectation of re-admission
These sanctions may be imposed individually, in whole or in part, or in any combination. Sanctions A and B are within the authority of the individual faculty member to impose, subject to appropriate discussion with the student or students, during which the department chair may or may not be present. Sanctions C and D are under the specific authority of the department chair, in consultation with department faculty and with the concurrence of the Academic Dean and/or his/her designee. Sanctions E, F, and G are under the specific authority of the Academic Life Committee and/or the Academic Dean to impose. All violations are reported to the Director of Undergraduate Student Success, who will keep a record of student violations of academic integrity. Before the faculty member formally notifies the student of the sanction(s), the faculty member may contact the Director of Undergraduate Student Success to determine whether this is the student's first academic integrity violation. If the faculty member learns that the student has been guilty of a prior violation, he or she may choose a more severe sanction.

3.8 In all cases of alleged violations of academic integrity, the student has the right to confidentiality and to a fair hearing of the matters at issue. Consequently, the student will meet with the Director of Undergraduate Student Success, who will review with the student the concept of academic dishonesty, the sanction(s) imposed by the faculty member, and the process by which a student can appeal the instructor's charge of an academic integrity violation. The student will either accept or appeal the charge.

3.9 If this is the student's first recorded violation of academic integrity and he/she opts to appeal, the Director of Undergraduate Student Success brings the case to the Academic Life Committee for discussion and vote. If this is the student's second recorded violation of academic integrity, the Director of Undergraduate Student Success automatically brings the case to the Academic Life Committee, regardless of the student's decision to accept or appeal the charge. If the Committee determines that the student has committed a second violation of academic integrity, the Committee will impose sanctions E, F, and/or G in addition to the faculty member's original sanction(s).

3.10 In all appeal cases, both the student and the faculty member bringing the allegation have a right to appear before the Academic Life Committee to make statements about the truth or falsity of charges. Each party may request to bring a relevant member of the WJU community with him/her to the hearing. The chair of the Academic Life Committee approves or denies this request on a case-by-case basis. Having heard all parties, the Committee determines whether or not the student has committed a violation of Academic Integrity. The Committee's decision is subject to appeal to the Academic Dean, whose hearing of the case and subsequent action constitutes an exhaustion of all required academic remedies.

3.11 In any case involving a violation of academic integrity, the following parties may receive official correspondence about the incident: the student, the faculty member who imposed the initial sanction(s), the Academic Dean, the student's advisor, the chairperson of the department in which the offense occurred, and the chairperson of the department in which the student has declared a major.

3.12 A record of the student's academic integrity violations will be maintained by the Director of Undergraduate Student Success for five years after graduation and then destroyed.



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