POL-U2100.02 Ensuring Academic Honesty

Dates and Approval

Effective Date:

September 16, 2017

Approved by:

President Bruce Shepard

Who does this policy apply to?

Upholding Academic Honesty is integral to the educational mission of the University, particularly in assessment and recognition of student performance (e.g., meeting academic standards, conferring awards/degrees). Recognizing the intention of the University to promote and sustain a culture of integrity, this policy serves a key role as part of a comprehensive program to encourage behaviors of integrity and discourage violations of such behavior.

Overview

There is no overview for this policy.

Definitions

Academic Honesty

  • Students use their own ideas and work to fulfill the academic obligations of their classes and the University
  • Students cite sources for material included in their work
  • Students use only authorized resources in the construction of course assignments.

Academically honest behavior occurs within the context of the classroom, but also includes other activities such as publication or presentation of scholarly and/or creative works.

Academic Honesty Violation

A dishonest, fraudulent, or misrepresentation action taken by a student (or a group of students) in order to gain some benefit (which can include social/non-academic benefits).

Academic honesty violations apply to exams, research, course assignments, and other scholarly and/or creative activities. An intent to violate this policy is not required for a violation to occur.

Academic honesty violations include, but are not limited to cheating, multiple submissions, fabrication, plagiarism, or assisting others to engage in these behaviors. For additional examples of academic honesty violations, see the Western Coalition for Integrity webpage.

Additional Violation

An additional academic honesty violation of the Ensuring Academic Honesty Policy occurs whenever a student engages in academically dishonest behavior more than once. Additional violations refer to the subsequent discoveries of academic honesty violations after a student has had sufficient time to follow the Appeal process and has been given due process for the prior violation. Additional violations may occur with the same dishonest action if multiple opportunities for benefit would come from the same action (e.g., see “Multiple Submissions” below).

Multiple Submissions

The practice of submitting a single assignment for credit in two different classes (in the same quarter or in different quarters).

Group Violations

Academic honesty violations involving communication or collaboration between two or more students.

Academic Honesty Board (AHB)

Board that investigates allegations of academic dishonesty by students. AHB members must be impartial, lack independent knowledge of the case, and must not have other potential conflicts of interest with the student(s) and instructor(s) involved. The Board consists of two faculty members and two students selected from a pool of students and faculty. The Faculty Senate nominates faculty members for the pool, and the Associated Students Vice President for Academic Affairs nominates student members. The Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs shall select the Board Members and appoint the chairperson for each hearing.

Suspension

Removal of a student from the University for a designated period of time, after which the student may return to the University.

Expulsion

Permanent and complete dismissal of a student from the University. This is the most severe sanction that can be imposed by the Academic Honesty Board.

Working Day

A working day shall constitute a standard business day (8:00am – 5:00pm) Monday through Friday, excluding weekends and holidays, while the University is in session.

Chair/Director

The administrative head of the department in which the instructor of the course resides. In cases where there is no Chair, this is the Director of the program in which the instructor of the course resides. If the Chair/Director is also the instructor involved in this incident, or the violation falls within Fairhaven College or the Libraries, then the Dean can appoint a Chair/Director Pro-Tem. Any references to “Chair/Director” in this document imply “Chair/Director Pro-Tem” if one has been appointed.

Email

The official WWU faculty and student email address on file, which will be used for all official correspondence. Students are obligated to check their WWU email accounts on a regular basis.

Sanction

A disciplinary action for a violation to be determined by the reporting Instructor or, in cases of Additional Violation hearings, by the Academic Honesty Board.

Exploratory Meeting

A candid information-gathering conversation between instructor and student. This meeting is informal and does not require any advance notification or other preparatory work.

Support Person

The instructor and student can bring a support person to meetings or Academic Honesty Board hearings. This person can accompany and confer directly with the student or instructor, but cannot participate or speak in the discussion.

Secretary to the Academic Honesty Board

The Secretary is a representative of the office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs who coordinates and maintains the timeline in the procedural processes, and may grant extensions to the timeline in special circumstances.

Timeline

The schedule of steps and deadlines in the Addressing Academic Honesty Violations and Appealing Academic Honesty Violations procedures

Policy Statements

1. Students Shall Be Honest in Their Academic Work

Students shall use their own ideas and work to fulfill the academic obligations of their classes and the university, cite sources for material included in their work, and refrain from using unauthorized resources in the construction of course assignments. Academically honest behavior occurs within the context of the classroom, and includes other activities such as publication or presentation of scholarly and/or creative works. No student shall claim as their own the achievements, work or arguments of others, nor shall they be a party to such claims.

2. Students May Use the Same or Substantially Similar Work for Assignments in Two or More Courses Only With Permission of Instructors Involved

Students may request, from all past or current Instructors involved, permission to use the same or substantially similar work for assignment in more than one class. Instructors may grant written permission to do so but are under no obligation to grant such requests.

3. Students Shall Not Engage in Academic Honesty Violations

Academic Honesty Violations occur when students:

  1. claim as their own the achievements, work or arguments of others or are parties to such claims
  2. use unauthorized resources to complete a course assignment or requirement
  3. help someone else to engage in academically dishonest behavior. For additional examples of academically honest and dishonest behaviors, see the Western Coalition for Integrity webpage.

4. Instructor Is Responsible for Initiating Communication with the Student(s) Suspected of Academic Honesty Violation, and for Taking Appropriate Action When Suspected Violations Have Occurred

  1. The instructor shall follow the Addressing Academic Honesty Violations Procedure when it becomes apparent that a violation has occurred.
  2. The instructor has 10 working days after discovering a violation to initiate the Addressing Academic Honesty Violations Procedure. An Academic Honesty Violation may not be apparent until after final grades have been determined or after several subsequent quarters have passed.

5. All Participants Must Follow the Appointed Timeline

All participants must follow the timeline appointed by the Secretary to the Academic Honesty Board (AHB). If an appealing student or instructor does not appeal by the date specified by the timeline, the appeal will be considered void. If a non-student party in the process does not respond by the date specified in the timeline, the appealing party has the right to move directly on to the next step in the process.

6. University Establishes Guideline for Group Violations

  1. If the alleged incident takes place among a group of students, then the Secretary to the Academic Honesty Board may establish one timeline, yet hold each student individually responsible for the violations.
  2. Students have a responsibility individually and collectively to uphold academic honesty.
  3. Students who believe they have been wrongly sanctioned due to another student’s behavior (e.g. theft of personal property such as study notes or sabotage such as destroying another student’s paper) can refer to the “Theft or Intentional Damage of Property” (WAC 516-21-200) portion of the Student Conduct Code.

7. Students May Sustain Sanctions for Each Violation of Academic Honesty

A student in violation may be sanctioned by the instructor or AHB. Academic Departments cannot impose any kind of sanction for academic honesty violations. Sanctions include, but are not limited to:

  1. The reporting instructor may determine disciplinary action for the Academic Honesty Violations. The instructor may impose sanctions up to and including failing a course.
  2. In cases of Additional Violation hearings, the AHB may impose external University sanctions, including suspension or expulsion from the university. The AHB makes the determination based on the severity of the offense(s).
  3. The AHB may consult with the department Chair of the student’s academic major about possible sanctions, which could include denying access to resources such as laboratories.
  4. Documentation of a third offense is likely to result in expulsion, although the AHB has discretion in determining sanctions based on the severity of offenses. The AHB may specify conditions for readmission to the University.
  5. Academic Integrity Workshop - The Academic Integrity Workshop is a self-paced program managed by the office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, and overseen by the Western Coalition for Integrity. This is an immediate sanction for all students found in violation of the Ensuring Academic Honesty Policy. Failure to complete the Academic Integrity Workshop will result in a hold on the student’s ability to register for classes.

8. In Cases of Allegations of Academic Honesty Violations, the Standard of Proof is a Preponderance of the Evidence

The applicable standard of proof in all Academic Honesty hearings is the “preponderance of evidence” standard. This means that, in order for a student to be held responsible for an Academic Honesty Violation, the AHB must conclude based on all the evidence in the record, that it is more likely than not that the student engaged in an Academic Honesty Violation. The burden of proof in a hearing before the AHB rests with the party seeking to establish that the violation occurred.

9. No Students Will Be Allowed to Withdraw From a Course or From the University to Avoid the Consequences of an Academic Honesty Violation

No additional description for this statement.

10. Students Shall Not Be Barred from Attending Class if They have Filed an Appeal

No additional description for this statement.

11. Students or Instructors May Appeal a Decision (See PRO-U2100.02B)

The student instructor, or administrator involved may request extra time to prepare an appeal or response. Extensions will be granted on a case-by-case basis and only in exceptional circumstances by the Secretary of the AHB in agreement with the Provost. If the extension is granted, all parties will receive written notification by the Secretary to the AHB.

12. Students in Violation of Academic Honesty are Not Eligible to Follow the Academic Grievance Procedure