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Policies and Procedures

Academic Dishonesty Policy and Process

A. Statement —The Department will not tolerate any form of academic dishonesty. Infractions will be appropriately penalized; students should understand that suspension or expulsion from the University is a possible result.

B. Definitions
Academic Dishonesty" infractions include but are not limited to the following:

1. Cheating
Cheating may be defined as the giving, receiving or taking of information whether on tests or other course assignments

2. Plagiarism
Plagiarism may include but is not limited to: stealing and/or passing off as one's own the ideas or words of another; using without crediting the source. It includes but is not limited to: (1) copying of text/research/assignments; (2) using someone else's papers/research/assignments without permission and citation; (3) representing as one's own work what is really the work of another person. This includes downloading from internet/web sources.

3. Other forms of academic dishonesty
Other infractions not described by the cheating and plagiarism definitions are included in the Department's academic dishonesty policy. Defining the academic Integrity violation and describing the particular infraction is the responsibility and at the discretion of the instructor.

C. Determination of Academic Dishonesty Infraction

1. Faculty accusation of student infraction
If a faculty member suspects a student has been involved in an academic dishonesty infraction, he/she may do the following:

a. Ask all involved students to meet in person, either as a group or individually, to hear the full extent of the accusations.

b. Another faculty member, Program Director or Chair may be invited by the faculty member to witness the meeting.

c. The student may invite his/her advisor to witness the meeting. If the student's advisor is the faculty member in question, the student may ask another voting Department faculty member of his/her choosing to serve as advocate.

2. Student admission of infraction

a. If the student(s) admit(s) wrongdoing, the faculty member is responsible for deciding the course of action that may involve one or more of the following penalties listed in section 4i below.

b. If further course of action listed in section 4iv below is desired by the accusing faculty member, an AI committee will be appointed by the Chair and in accordance with the by-laws, and the faculty member will submit a proposed course of action for the student and all accompanying evidence for the infraction to the AI committee and Chair.

3. Student contest of faculty accusation of infraction
If the student(s) would like to contest the faculty member's accusation of academic dishonesty, the following process will ensue:

a. The Chair will appoint an academic integrity committee in accordance with the Department by-laws. The AI will review all relevant information pertaining to the academic dishonesty accusation and will hear the faculty member(s) and student(s) recounts/perceptions/evidence of the situation individually. The student's advisor will act as an advocate and will be allowed to accompany the student during the committee's interview. If the student's advisor is the faculty member in question, the student may ask another voting Department faculty member of his/her choosing to serve as advocate.

b. The AI committee will deliberate and submit a decision of guilt and suggested course of action to the Chair for final approval. If the Chair has a conflict of interest, the AI committee will seek approval from the Dean of Students.

c. The Chair (or Dean of Students, if there is a conflict of interest) will inform the student, the student's advisor and/or acting advocate, and the accusing faculty member of the decision regarding guilt of academic dishonesty infraction(s) and resulting penalty(ies) in writing no later than one week after the committee meeting.

D. Appeal to Dean of Students
A student may appeal the Department's decision to the College of Arts and Sciences Dean of Students.

1. Penalties
a. Instructor penalty(ies)
A student determined to be guilty of academic dishonesty will be appropriately penalized at the discretion of the course instructor or AI committee and may involve one or more of the following penalties: 1) the student(s) will be asked to repeat the assignment, 2) the student(s) will earn a "zero" or failing grade for the assignment, 3) the student(s) will receive an "F" for the course.

b. Department and University student record of infraction
A record of the determined academic dishonesty infraction(s) will be added to the student's Department file. Repeating the assignment and/or receiving a zero for the assignment is considered a minor infraction. A determined academic dishonesty infraction resulting in an "F" for the course is considered a major infraction and consequently will be reported to the College of Arts and Sciences Dean of Students.

c. Expulsion from program
If a student who has declared a major or minor in the Department has been determined to have committed major academic dishonesty infractions in more than one Department course, the student may be expelled from his/her Department program. After one year, the Department may rescind the expulsion upon the application of the student provided the student evinces a genuine, informed, and vigorous commitment to academic integrity to the satisfaction of the Department's AI committee.


Grade Appeal Policy and Process

A. Student rights
Students have a right to appeal Department course grades for which they feel reflect a biased or inaccurate assessment of their work. Students should keep in mind, however, that once a grade is called into question, it can be adjusted in any direction. It is possible that an appeal may result in a lower grade.

B. Time restriction
Any student who wishes to appeal a grade should do so after the final grade for the course has been submitted and within 4 months of receiving a grade for the class. The Department does not guarantee consideration to appeals submitted more than 4 months after the original grade was issued.

C. Appeal to instructor
The first step a student should take to initiate an appeal would be to meet with the instructor who issued the grade. The student's advisor, serving as advocate for the student, may be asked to attend the meeting. If the student's advisor is the faculty member in question, the student may ask another voting Department faculty member of his/her choosing to serve as advocate. The instructor will review the work in question and make a determination as to the accuracy of the original grade. If it is warranted, the instructor may submit a change of grade form at that time. If the grade is found to be correct, the instructor should explain to the student how it was calculated.

D. Appeal to Chair
If the student is dissatisfied with the instructor's explanation and still feels that the grade is improper, with appropriate documentation, the next step in the appeal process would be to contact the Department Chair, who will appoint three voting members of the faculty to the grade appeal committee in accordance with the bylaws. The student must make available to the committee any disputed assignments and present in writing a detailed explanation of the alleged inaccuracies or improprieties in grading. The committee will review these materials and if necessary will hear the complaint of the student and the grade justification of the instructor. After conducting a thorough review, the committee will make a decision and suggest a final grade assignment to the Chair for final approval. If the Chair has a conflict of interest (e.g., is the student's instructor in question), the committee will submit the decision and final grade assignment to the Dean of Students for final approval. The Chair (or Dean) will provide the final decision in writing to all parties involved.

E. Appeal to Dean of Students
The student may appeal the final Department grade assignment decision to the College of Arts and Sciences Dean of Students.


Grievance Policy

All students are expected to follow the Code of Conduct detailed in the University's Community Standards and Racial and Ethnic Discrimination Policy.

If a student has a compliant about misconduct by a faculty or staff member of the Department, s/he is encouraged to contact the Chair unless s/he is the person in question to report the misconduct. The student has the right to report the misconduct to the University Office of Students without notifying the Department Chair and faculty. The student is encouraged to ask his/her Departmental advisor or another faculty member to serve as his/her advocate.

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