301.1 - Academic Integrity

University Group Policy #301.1

Policy Statement

Winston-Salem State University puts forth every reasonable effort to maintain academic integrity in the instructional program. To compromise integrity through acts of academic dishonesty seriously jeopardizes the quality of instruction and the caliber of education we purport to provide our students.

Definitions

Cheating: Intentionally and knowingly using unauthorized materials, information, or study aids in any academic exercise or matter.

Plagiarism: Intentionally and knowingly representing in any academic exercise or matter the words or ideas of another as one’s own.

Fabrication: Intentionally and knowingly falsifying or inventing information or citations in an academic exercise.

Facilitating Academic Dishonesty: Intentionally and knowingly helping or attempting to help another to commit an act of cheating, plagiarism, or fabrication.

Guidelines

Procedures

The following procedures shall apply to situations where students are accused by faculty of engaging in acts of academic dishonesty.

  1. The instructor of the course shall report all allegations of academic dishonesty to the department chair. (In cases where the department chair is the instructor, allegations should be reported directly to the division director.)
  2. The chair shall review the case to determine if there is reason to believe that academic dishonesty may be involved.
  3. If such a reason exists, the chair shall then refer the case to the dean of his or her division along with other pertinent information.
  4. The dean shall then consult with the student involved. If the act of academic dishonesty is admitted, the dean shall confer with the associate vice chancellor for student affairs to determine if the student has any record of prior offenses involving academic dishonesty. If it is the student’s first violation, the dean may dispose of the charges provided the penalty is accepted by the student in writing. In such cases, a written report of the matter, including the action taken, shall be sent to the coordinator of judicial affairs for inclusion in the student’s file. If the student does not accept the penalty imposed by the dean, he or she has the option of being heard by the Committee on Academic Integrity consistent with the provisions below beginning at Section II.6.
  5. If there is insufficient evidence or reason to believe that a violation has not occurred, a report shall be written and maintained by the dean; but will not be included in the student’s file.
  6. If the case is not resolved in the manner specified above, the dean shall inform the standing Committee on Academic Integrity. The committee shall consist of seven (7) faculty members, five (5) regulars and two (2) alternates, selected by the Faculty Senate. The academic ranks of the regular faculty members shall include one (1) assistant professor, two (2) associate professors, and two (2) professors. The academic ranks of the alternates shall be one (1) assistant professor and one (1) associate professor or professor. The committee also shall include four (4) students, two (2) regulars and two (2) alternates, selected by the Student Government Association. A chair shall be elected from the faculty on the committee. Members shall serve for one academic year.

The committee shall hear the allegation, following the hearing procedures outlined in Section III of this policy.

Hearing Guidelines

  1. Those students/respondents entitled to a hearing shall be informed of the specific charges against them in writing by the committee chair at least five (5) days in advance.
  2. A hearing panel shall consist of four (4) faculty members and two (2) students drawn from the committee by the chair. A faculty member serving on the panel and elected by the panel members shall serve as the president officer, but shall not vote.
  3. Respondents may be accompanied and assisted by a representative. Representatives cannot take part in the hearing, but may advise the respondent.
  4. The complainant shall be the referring faculty member who may be accompanied by the department chair, program coordinator, or other department official.
  5. Hearings must be transcribed, at the expense of the department, to ensure sufficient review on appeal.
  6. The hearing shall be under the control of the panel chair. Evidence and testimony that is immaterial or repetitive shall not be allowed.
  7. Prospective witnesses, other than the complainant, respondent, and representatives, shall be excluded from the hearing during the testimony of other witnesses.
  8. The complainant shall present evidence first, followed by the respondent who shall offer rebuttal. Evidence may be oral or written.
  9. The respondent and complainant shall be accorded an opportunity to cross-examine witnesses who testify for the other party.
  10. The burden of proof shall be upon the complainant who must establish the guilt of the respondent by a preponderance of the evidence.
  11. Affidavits shall not be admitted into evidence unless signed by the affiant and witnessed by a notary public.
  12. The final decision of the panel as to guilt or innocence shall be by simple majority vote.
  13. A determination of guilt shall be followed by a supplementary proceeding in which either party may submit evidence or make statements concerning the appropriate sanction to be imposed. The disciplinary record of the respondent shall be made available for purposes of the supplementary proceeding. The final decision of the panel as to a penalty shall be by simple majority vote.
  14. The sanctions specified by the panel are regarded as recommendations.
  15. The recommendation of the committee is transmitted to the vice chancellor for academic affairs who accepts or rejects the penalty and informs the respondent of his/her decision. The decision of the vice chancellor, both as to guilt and degree of penalty, may be appealed to the chancellor; the decision of the chancellor may be appealed to the Board of Trustees. The decision of the Board of Trustees is final.

Roles and Responsibilities

Suggestions for Faculty and Staff

  1. Educate students about academic offenses and penalties. For example, copying laboratory assignments constitutes a violation of this policy.
  2. Outline expectations on the course syllabus for academic integrity.
  3. Keep examinations in a secure location.
  4. Carefully proctor examinations.
  5. Implement methods for preventing plagiarism.
  6. Verify faculty signatures on grade change forms.
  7. Assign all grades in ink.

Applicability

This policy applies to all Winston-Salem State University students.

Compliance

Penalties

Any respondent who commits an act of academic dishonesty, including a first offense, shall be penalized based on the infractions by the following sanctions. These sanctions are intended to offer guidance to those responsible for recommending penalties. The direction is toward the imposition of more serious disciplinary measures in serious cases.

Reprimand: The respondent is reprimanded in writing by the dean, who warns the student of the seriousness of the infraction and the importance of maintaining academic integrity.

Reduction in Grade: The respondent may receive a reduced, but not failing, grade for either the academic exercise, the course, or both. The grade actually earned by the student shall be reduced by only one grade. This penalty must be accompanied by a reprimand to be included in the student’s file.

Failing Grade: The respondent may receive a grade of F for either the academic exercise or the course. When a grade of F is recommended for the course, a grade of F is automatically applied to the academic exercise. This penalty must be accompanied by a reprimand to be included in the student’s file.

Suspension: Suspension from the university for a period not to exceed one semester, or portion thereof (not including summer sessions), may be recommended by the panel. The minimal period of a recommended suspension shall be the remainder of the current semester. In all such cases, respondents shall be withdrawn administratively from the university and a W inserted on their transcripts next to each course in which they are enrolled. At the end of the suspension period, the respondent may return to the university under the provisions for returning students contained in the university catalog. This penalty shall be accompanied by a written reprimand to be included in the student’s file.

Expulsion: A recommendation from the panel for expulsion indicates that the respondent shall be withdrawn from the university. In instances of expulsion, the respondent may, after two semesters (not including summer sessions), apply for re-admittance through written correspondence to the vice chancellor for academic affairs who, after reviewing the record, shall act upon the request and inform the respondent of the decision. The decision of the vice chancellor for academic affairs may be appealed to the chancellor; the decision of the chancellor may be appealed to the Board of Trustees. The decision of the Board of Trustees is final.

Disciplinary records for any act of academic dishonesty are maintained indefinitely. These records are considered part of a student’s file and referred to when requests from prospective employers and educational institutions are made about the disciplinary records of respondents.


Responsible Division: Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

Authority: Board of Trustees

History:

  • Approved: October 17, 1992