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Effective August 31, 2009 This policy and its procedural guidelines are effective February 9, 2009, replacing all previously existing policies and procedures. The policy statement applies to all Union Institute & University students and employees, however, the procedural guidelines section is specific to incidents of academic dishonesty of students; procedures for employee academic dishonesty are provided in the Personnel Policy Manual.
Union Institute & University is committed to ensuring the highest level of academic integrity. Violations of academic integrity of any kind are strictly prohibited. Violations of academic integrity include but are not limited to plagiarism, cheating, and dishonesty.
Academic Integrity is characterized by honesty and responsibility in scholarship, based on the following assumptions about academic work at Union Institute & University:
Academic integrity means understanding and respecting these basic truths, without which no university can exist. Academic dishonesty is not just “against the rules,” but violates the assumptions that are at the heart of all learning. Violations of academic integrity destroy the mutual trust and respect that should exist among students and faculty, as well as being unfair to students who operate with integrity and honesty¹.
is the practice of claiming or implying authorship of another person’s written or creative work, ideas, and/or words through incorporation, in whole or in part, into one’s own without adequately acknowledging or crediting the source. Plagiarism usually takes the form of submitting the work or ideas of another (written, artistic, technical, etc.) as one’s own. Commonly plagiarized sources include books and articles (published and unpublished), Internet sites, and other students’ work. Plagiarism may be unintentional or intentional; this policy and related procedures apply regardless of intentionality.
is the use of deception, tricks, or other devices in an effort to obtain credit for a learning activity. There are other forms of academic dishonesty, which include, but are not limited to: providing false or inaccurate information about one’s academic and/or professional background, such as claiming a degree one has not earned or submitting false letters of recommendation; submitting the same work for credit more than one time, or violating any protocols and/or procedures specified in a course syllabus. ¹Adapted from “A Student’s Guide to Academic Integrity,” University of Oklahoma.
Assignments submitted by students as part of any undergraduate or graduate course or as a component of any student’s academic program are regularly reviewed for plagiarism, which may include use of plagiarism identification software. Each enrolled student agrees that, by registering for learning activities, he or she consents to the submission of her or his work for textual similarity review to identify possible plagiarism.
The procedural guidelines detailed herein are to be followed in all cases where a Union Institute & University student is suspected of violating academic integrity. These guidelines are to be followed for any case that arises on or after the effective date of this policy. While concerns about violations of academic integrity are most typically raised by faculty, they may also be raised by another student, a graduate, or a non-instructional employee, Concerns of non-faculty regarding student violations should be reported to the dean responsible for the student’s program: the dean (not the person raising the concern) is responsible for ensuring that all applicable steps of this procedure are then followed. Consequences for violations of the policy on academic integrity will vary, depending on the severity of the infraction and the extent to which the student was aware of university and external standards. Graduate students are expected to be better informed regarding what constitutes plagiarism, cheating, and dishonesty than are undergraduate students, especially those undergraduate students who have had no or little previous postsecondary education. The scope of the violation will be considered in determining consequences, including, the consequences for student work that is substantially or entirely the work of another will have more serious consequences than will a case where there is either a single or small number of non-accredited citations.
Regardless of the student’s degree level and the extent/scope of the action, Union Institute & University takes all alleged violations of academic integrity seriously. Accordingly, all initial warnings and informal resolutions and all formal incidents and resolutions must be reported to the dean. Reports may be submitted to the program director, but he/she is required to relay them to the responsible dean.
If a violation of the policy on academic integrity is suspected, the faculty member (or the dean, if the concern was raised by someone other than faculty) will contact the student, explain the university’s policy on academic integrity, and discuss the alleged infraction. In this process, the faculty member or dean will orally warn the student and instruct him or her in the appropriate conventions of citation or academic practice. As part of that conversation, the student must be given a copy of this policy and procedural guidelines. The faculty member has the right to consult with another faculty member and/or the dean at any point during this stage. There are three potential outcomes of stage 1. The first two outcomes result in the conclusion of the incident review process, the third moves the incident review to stage 2.
When a case is moved to Stage 2, all documentation will be placed and retained in the student’s permanent academic record; the student must be given a copy of the report and advised that it is part of her or his permanent record. In all procedural stages the dean may assign another faculty member or administrator as his or her designee.
Whenever an incident reaches stage 2, a formal written report of the incident, including a complete description of the allegation must be prepared by the faculty member or the dean involved in the stage 1 process. The report should include: attempts at informal resolution and any and all interactions and responses between the faculty member, dean and the student. The dean must provide this report to the student and place a copy of the report in the student’s permanent record. The dean will invite the student to respond to the allegations and to supply any relevant evidence he or she wishes to make part of the discussion. That invitation will include a thirty (30) day deadline for the student to submit her or his response. (The student may request an extension.) The student’s response must be in writing, signed by the student and dated: an email response is not appropriate. The dean will review the formal report and any response from the student, in consultation with the faculty member. The dean will make a determination regarding an appropriate consequence based on the seriousness of the incident and the academic level of the student (i.e., undergraduate or graduate level). Possible consequences include: requiring the student to revise the work and resubmit it (least serious); reduction of the grade awarded for the work, or assignment of a failing grade for a course or learning activity (most serious). There must be some consequence at the conclusion of the stage 2 process; one consequence might be moving the incident to stage 3. There are two possible outcomes of stage 2: resolution or non-resolution:
Once a formal incident report of student violation of the academic integrity policy has been filed with or written by the dean, the incident moves to a formal institutional-level review and resolution. When the formal incident report is received, the dean will immediately notify the provost, forwarding the report and all related documentation to the provost. All formal institutional level reviews are conducted by the university’s Academic Integrity Committee (AIC), a standing university committee appointed by the provost. The AIC is recommendatory to the provost, whose decision is final. On receipt of the formal incident report, the provost will inform the student, in writing, that the case is to be considered by the AIC. To ensure due process, the provost will send a letter to the student, inviting the student to respond to the allegations and to supply any relevant evidence he or she wishes to make part of the discussion. The letter will include a thirty (30) day deadline for submission of the response. (The student may request an extension.) The student’s response must be in writing, signed by the student and dated: an email response is not appropriate.
A student may appeal the outcome of the formal institutional-level review process (Stage 3) to the president.