Campus Life: Academic Dishonesty & Integrity Policy
Date to be reviewed:
|Director for Undergraduate Student Success
The academic community at Wheeling Jesuit University prides itself not only on encouraging intellectual growth but also on fostering moral development by maintaining an environment of honesty, trust, and respect. The responsibility to maintain this environment rests with students as well as faculty members.
Graduates of Wheeling Jesuit University place a high value on the education and degree they have received, which can be attributed to high standards of 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:
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 standard of honor required by the Honor Code.
- Lack of trust in the student body;
- Loss of individual self-esteem;
- Loss of University integrity;
- Loss of value of a degree.
The Student Honor Code (adapted by Student Government in spring 2002) states: "We, as 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." 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.
For more information about academic honesty, contact Academic Affairs, Student Development, or your department chair.
Academic Dishonesty Guidelines
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 cited correctly, then the person who uses that source has engaged in theft of intellectual property.
Why is academic integrity important?
What constitutes a violation of academic integrity?
- Lack of academic integrity is unfair to you. When you come to the University, you are committing yourself to engagement in learning and growth. If you commit an academic integrity violation, then you have cheated yourself out of important experiences that could change your life.
- Lack of academic integrity is unfair to others. Other students will be disadvantaged if you have access to illicit information because it will diminish the meaning of grades. Grade inflation is detrimental to 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 lacking the skills or knowledge that you claim to possess.
- Lack of academic integrity lowers the reputation of the school. A poor reputation will make Wheeling Jesuit University's degree much less valuable. If grades are inflated because of cheating, then the grades earned will have little meaning to those organizations for which student grades are important. As a result, graduate programs, future employers, and University accreditation boards will question the viability of the school as a place of learning.
What does "intellectual property" mean?
- It is unethical to present as your own work the ideas, representations, or work of another.
- In addition, if you permit someone else to present your ideas, representations, or work as his/her own intellectual property, then a violation of academic integrity has occurred.
Intellectual property refers to "property (as an idea, invention, or process) that derives from the work of the mind or intellect" (http://www.merriam-webster.com/). In other words, intellectual property refers both to one's original ideas and to the manner in which one represents those ideas. Some concrete examples of intellectual property are: ideas, words, phrases from a document; an individual's interpretation of-or argument about-a particular topic, work, etc.; a student's original contribution to a classroom discussion; 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 concept, consult your instructor for clarification and/or proper citation.
To what do the phrases "academic assignments" and "evaluation" refer?
"Academic assignments" and "evaluation" refer to the tools that your instructor may use to measure your intellectual growth and understanding. Examples include-but are not limited to-papers, exams, quizzes, and presentations.
What actions constitute a violation of academic integrity under the first definition above?
An academic integrity violation under Definition #1 involves the practice of any form of deceit in the proceeding of an academic evaluation. More specifically, if a student depends 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, the student has committed a violation of academic integrity.
Some examples of this type of academic dishonesty include:
What actions constitute a violation of academic integrity under the second definition above?
- Using unauthorized "study guides," websites, or databases in the preparation of a paper;
- Looking over others' exams to see if they have transcribed similar answers;
- 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);
- Referring to literal or electronic "cheat sheets" during an exam;
- Possessing, buying, obtaining, or using a copy of any material intended to be used as an instrument of academic evaluation prior to its administration;
- Buying papers off the Internet;
- 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;
- Submitting the work of another person in a manner that represents the work to be one's own;
- Allowing one or two people in a group project do all of the work;
- Presenting as one's own, for academic evaluation, the ideas, representations, or words of another person or persons without customary and proper acknowledgment of sources;
- Fabricating data from empirical research;
- Changing data on a lab report in order to demonstrate desired (but not actual) results;
- Fabricating sources and experts for a paper;
- Attempting to influence or change one's official academic record (e.g., paying an employee of the Registrar's office to change final grades).
An academic integrity violation under Definition #2 involves active violations of academic integrity on another's behalf. If a student knowingly allows another student to cheat and/or assists another student in the practice of academic dishonesty, both students have violated academic integrity. More specifically, if a student provides aid to 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 the student has committed a violation of academic integrity.
Some examples of this type of academic dishonesty include:
What if I reuse part-or all-of my own work from a previous class in order to complete a current assignment?
- Letting someone look over your old paper for a class as he/she prepares a similar paper for his/her class;
- Allowing someone else to look at your exam to see if he/she has transcribed similar answers;
- Providing another student with a literal or electronic "cheat sheet" for an exam;
- Sending unauthorized content to a student during an exam or in-class assignment via cellular phone, email, etc.;
- Possessing, selling, obtaining, or giving a copy of any material intended to be used as an instrument of academic evaluation prior to its administration;
- Selling previously written papers;
- Sharing information with a student about a quiz or assignment in a class that you attended earlier that day/week;
- Knowingly permitting your ideas, representations, words, and/or written work to be submitted by another person in a manner that represents that work to be his/her own.
Unless your instructor sanctions this course of action, the act of resubmitting ideas, representations, or written work that has been submitted at any time in any form for credit in another course constitutes a violation of academic integrity. When an instructor expects each student to submit original work for a given academic assignment, it is academically dishonest to present as original content any ideas, representations, and/or written work that have been previously prepared and/or evaluated.
What are consequences for violating academic integrity?
The sanctions that may be imposed upon finding that an offense related to academic integrity has been committed include:
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, G, and H are under the specific authority of the Academic Life Committee and/or the Academic Dean to impose. All violations are reported to the Faculty Academic Integrity Officer, 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 Faculty Academic Integrity Officer 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.
- Reduction in grade, or assignment of a failing grade, on the paper or examination in which the offense occurred.
- Reduction in grade, or assignment of failing grade, in the course in which the offending paper or examination was submitted.
- Dismissal from the course in which the offense occurred without the opportunity to re-enroll in that course at a future date.
- Dismissal from the department in which the student has declared a major, and/or exclusion from courses offered in that department, either permanently or for a stated period of time.
- Placement on academic probation for a specific period of time.
- Prohibition from walking at graduation.
- Suspension from the University for a specific period of time.
- Dismissal from the University without expectation of re-admission.
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 Faculty Academic Integrity Officer, 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.
If this is the student's first recorded violation of academic integrity and he/she opts to appeal, the Faculty Academic Integrity Officer 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 Faculty Academic Integrity Officer 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 may impose sanctions E, F, G and/or H in addition to the faculty member's original sanction(s).
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 is conclusive.
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 Director of Undergraduate Student Success, the student's advisor, the chairperson of the department in which the offense occurred, the chairperson of the department in which the student has declared a major, and the Academic Dean.
A record of the student's academic integrity violations will be maintained by the Faculty Academic Integrity Officer for five years after graduation and then destroyed.