Academic Honesty Policy
[This policy was approved by the University Council on May 20, 1982, revised by University
Council April 20, 1995, and approved by the President April 27, 1995, and further amended by
the University Council October 21, 2004, March 19, 2009, and March 21, 2013.]
The University exists primarily to sustain the pursuit of knowledge. Learning, to have true value, must be linked to a sense of honesty and integrity. It is the responsibility of every person in the academic community—faculty members, students, administrators—to ensure that dishonesty is not tolerated. Personal and communal integrity have always been fundamental in Jesuit education, and a sense of honor must be kept alive in every activity at Saint Joseph’s University.
In order to recognize the essential contribution of honor to University life, an official Academic Honesty Policy has been adopted. This policy addresses violations in two categories: acts of dishonesty in formal courses and acts of dishonesty outside those courses.
1. Acts of dishonesty in formal courses
In all courses, except for assignments where the instructor has explicitly directed otherwise, each student has the responsibility to submit work that is uniquely his or her own. All of this work must be done in accordance with established principles of academic integrity. Specific violations of this responsibility include, but are not limited to, the following:
a. cheating, copying, or the offering or receiving of unauthorized assistance or information in examinations, tests, quizzes, reports, assigned papers, or special assignments, as in computer programming, studio work, and the like;
b. the fabrication or falsification of data, results, or sources for papers or reports, as in laboratory reports;
c. any action which destroys or alters the work of another student;
d. the multiple submission of the same paper or report for assignments in more than one course
without the prior written permission of each instructor;
e. plagiarism, the appropriation of information, ideas, or the language of other persons or writers and the submission of them as one’s own to satisfy the requirements of a course. Plagiarism thus constitutes both theft and deceit. Compositions, term papers, or computer programs acquired, either in part or in whole, from commercial sources or from other students and submitted as one’s own original work shall be considered plagiarism.
All students are directed to the standard manuals of style or reference guides for discussions of plagiarism and the means by which sources are legitimately acknowledged, cited, quoted, paraphrased, and footnoted, whether presented in an oral report or in writing.
f. unauthorized collaboration.
g. soliciting or aiding another person or persons to engage in specific conduct which would constitute a violation or an attempt to commit a violation under this policy.
2. Acts of dishonesty outside formal courses
Students have other academic responsibilities that may pertain to conduct outside formal coursework and which also fall under the jurisdiction of the University Academic Honesty Policy. Specific violations of such responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:
a. the misrepresentation of one’s own or another’s identity;
b. the alteration or falsification of official University records;
c. the unauthorized use of University academic facilities or equipment, including computer accounts and files;
d. the unauthorized recording, sale, or use of lectures and other instructional materials;
e. the unauthorized removal, mutilation, or deliberate concealment of materials in University libraries.
While the main purpose of the University Academic Honesty Policy is positive, to stress the importance of personal and communal integrity within an atmosphere of learning, the commission of any offense of academic dishonesty makes the violator subject to penalties determined to be justified by the University, according to the procedures which follow.
3. Primary Responsibility
Primary responsibility for investigating alleged infractions of the University Academic Honesty Policy under section 1, above, rests with the faculty member in whose course the infraction occurred. The faculty member also has the responsibility for determining the sanctions, specified below, for infractions under section 1. Similar primary responsibilities for infractions under section 2, above, normally rest with the Provost or his or her designee, hereinafter referred to as the Vice President. Primary responsibility for investigating infractions filed as complaints under section 5, below, and for determining the sanctions also rests with the Vice President. Whenever an infraction is alleged, the faculty member or the Vice President shall summon the student to an interview.
An attempt to notify the student by letter, e-mail or phone must be made within 10 consecutive days of the discovery of the alleged infraction. An interview is to be held as soon as possible after the student is notified of the alleged infraction. However, cases in which the time frame cannot be met will not be dismissed for this reason alone.
i. Under section 1, above: After a review of the evidence, if a student is found guilty of an
infraction, depending on its severity, the faculty member must either record a grade of zero or failure for the examination or assignment, or record a grade of failure for the course. In cases of failure for the course, withdrawal from the course is not permitted; in cases of failure or the grade of zero for an assignment or examination, withdrawal from the course must have the written approval of the responsible faculty member.
ii. Under section 2, above: After a review of the evidence, if a student is found guilty of an
infraction (excepting those under section 2.e.), depending on its severity, the Vice President must either suspend or dismiss the student, or impose such other penalty as he or she determines appropriate for the offense. If a student is found guilty under section 2.e., one or more of the following sanctions may be imposed: restitution, fine suspension, or dismissal. In cases of suspension, no credits for courses taken during the suspension will be accepted towards graduation requirements.
In all cases where a student is found guilty, the names of the principals, the pertinent dates, and the nature of the offense must be communicated in writing to the Office of the Registrar either by paper form or electronically to be maintained in a separate, confidential file. Upon receipt, the Registrar will send a copy of the Violation Report to the student. In cases of second offenses, the Director of the Office of the Registrar shall immediately notify the Chair of the Academic Honesty Board.
Any member of the academic community may file with the Vice President a written complaint against a student alleging that an infraction has occurred. If, after prompt investigation, the Vice President finds that the complaint may be justified, the Vice President shall investigate further hold an interview with the student, and also notify the instructor of the course involved.
5. Academic Honesty Board
a. Composition. The Academic Honesty Board shall consist of seventeen members: a chair; eight faculty members, including two from each of the four divisions (business, humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences/math); and eight students, including two from each of the four constituencies (CA&S, HSB, College of Professional and Liberal Studies, and Graduate Programs). All members, including the chair, shall be nominated by appropriate deans or student governments and appointed by the Vice President, with consideration given to anyone interested in serving on the Board. All members shall serve two-year terms which are renewable. In the event that the chair is temporarily unable to convene the board, he/she will designate one of the eight faculty members to act as chair until such time as the chair is again able to convene. Six Board members, including the Chair (or his/her designate) and at least one student representative, constitute a quorum in order to conduct business. Decisions of the Board shall be rendered by a simple majority of those present. The Chair (or his/her designate) shall vote only in the case of a tie.
b. Appeals and Referrals. An accused student may appeal to the Board in order to contest a determination of guilt if he or she believes the decision to have been unsubstantiated or procedurally unfair. The responsible faculty member or the Vice President may refer a case to the Board if he or she believes because of the severity of the offense that the penalties specified under section 4.b., above, are inadequate. All appeals and referrals must state grounds and must be made in writing to the Chair within seven days after notification of the decision.
c. Hearings. As soon as possible after the receipt of a written request for an appeal or a referral, the Chair (or his/her designate) shall consult a minimum of four board members, including at least one student representative, to determine whether sufficient grounds exist for conducting a formal hearing. For cases in which it is decided that there are not sufficient grounds for appeal, a letter explaining the basis for that decision shall be written and mailed to the student who made the appeal. Upon notification of a second offense, the Board must hold a hearing to decide what further action should be taken. Written notice of a formal hearing must be provided to the parties involved, normally seven days before the hearing. Present at the hearing may be the following: the accused student, the accusing person, any witnesses or advisor from the academic community called by the student or the accuser, anyone called by the Board. The decision of the Board shall be communicated in writing by the Chair to the accused student and to the responsible faculty member or the Vice President, as defined under section 3, above, usually within seven days after the hearing.
d. Penalties. If the Board finds a student guilty, it shall do one or more of the following: allow the original decision to stand; suspend the student for a specified period of time; dismiss the student from the University; or impose some other penalty which the Board deems more suitable. However, the Board cannot lessen penalties imposed under section 4.b., above.
e. Files. The Board shall retain a confidential file on each hearing specifying the names of the principals, the pertinent dates, the nature of the charge and its final disposition. At the end of each academic year the Chair shall submit a summary report on the proceedings of the Academic Honesty Board to the Vice President.
7. Academic Integrity Council
a. Purpose. The purpose of the Academic Integrity Council is to promote academic integrity throughout the university. The Academic Integrity Council is a special committee of the University Council.
Activities of the Council shall include, but are not limited to:
i. increasing awareness and knowledge of the principles and importance of academic integrity throughout the University community;
ii. educating members of the University community regarding practices that advance, uphold, and reinforce) academic integrity;
iii. encouraging faculty, students, and staff to enforce the University Academic Honesty Policy;
iv. educating members of the University community on methods to prevent academic integrity violations;
v. promoting compliance with the University Academic Honesty Policy throughout the academic community, in coordination with the Academic Honesty Board;
vi. educating the University community about the substance and procedures of the University’s Academic Honesty Policy, in coordination with the Academic Honesty Board; and
vii. in coordination with the Academic Honesty Board, advising faculty how to investigate alleged infractions of the University Academic Honesty Policy and to comply with related procedures. The Academic Integrity Council complements the role of the Academic Honesty Board described in section 6, above. The roles of the two bodies are explicit and distinct. The Academic Honesty Board deals with appeals and referrals regarding reported violations of the Academic Honesty Policy. The Academic Integrity Council has the responsibility for proactive initiatives and programs to advance academic integrity throughout the University community.
b. Composition. The Academic Integrity Council (AIC) shall consist of four (4) faculty representing each division, four (4) students, and one (1) additional faculty member serving as chair. The chair shall be appointed by the senior academic officer. All members shall serve two-year terms (except as noted in iii. f, below), which are renewable.The Council shall consist of both representative faculty and student members of the four academic divisions of the University, as well as function- or role-specific members who may be faculty or staff of the University.
i.Faculty members. The Academic Integrity Council shall consist of four (4) faculty members, one from each academic division of the university. All faculty members shall be nominated by Faculty Senate and appointed by the Chief Academic Officer, with consideration given to anyone interested in serving on the Council.
ii. Student members. The Academic Integrity Council shall consist of four (4) students, includingone (1) from each of the four student constituencies (College of Arts and Sciences, Haub School of Business, College of Professional and Liberal Studies, and Graduate Programs). All student members shall be nominated by student government and appointed by the Chief Academic Officer, with consideration given to anyone interested in serving on the Council.
iii. Function- or role-specific members. Given the charge of the Academic Integrity Council, a number of University functions shall be represented on the AIC. Members of the University community who hold either faculty or staff appointments may be named to the Council in such a capacity. Faculty members named to the Academic Integrity Council as function- or role-specific members shall not be counted against the number of faculty members indicated in section i, above. All function- or role-specific members are appointed by the Chief Academic Officer (except as noted in f, below) to two-year terms, and based on nominations as follows:
a. The Vice President overseeing International Programs or his/her designee shall nominate one (1) staff member or one (1) faculty member to service on the Academic Integrity Council.
b. Information technology. The Information Technology Management team or its designee shall nominate one (1) University, College, or department level faculty or staff whose primary job functions include information technology to serve on the Academic Integrity Council.
c. Library. The Library Director or his/her designee shall nominate one (1) Librarian to serve on the Academic Integrity Council.
d. Student life. The Vice President overseeing student life or his/her designee shallnominate one (1) member of Student Educational Support Services whose primary job responsibilities are within Student Educational Support Services to serve on the Academic Integrity Council.
e. Writing Center. The Director of the Writing Center (whether a member of faculty orstaff) shall serve as a member of the Academic Integrity Council. Additional functional members may be added to the AIC upon the approval of the University Council, provided however, that the AIC shall not seek a change in the number of functional representatives until it has had one year of operating experience.
c. Exclusions from membership. Members of the Academic Honesty Board, The Director of the Teaching Institute at SJU, Deans, Associate Deans, Assistant Deans, and Officers of the University may not serve on the Academic Integrity Council. In the event of a conflict between any of these exclusions and any functional or role specific member described in section b, above, the Chief Academic Officer shall name an appropriate member of the University community to serve in place of that individual as a member of the AIC.
d. Quorum and functioning. In the event that the Chair is temporarily unable to convene the AIC, he/she will designate one of the other faculty members to act as Chair until such time as the Chair is again able to convene the AIC. A quorum shall be one (1) more than half the members of the Council with at least two (2) student representatives being required for a quorum. Should changes occur in the names or structure of the University functions or roles indicated in sections b and c above, the Chief Academic Officer shall name an appropriate member of the University community to serve on the AIC in place of the named function or role. The applicable section of this policy should be subsequently revised as a matter of course.
e. Resources and support. Financial support for the activities of the AIC will be provided through the budget allocated to the Teaching Institute at SJU. Approval by both the Director of the Teaching Institute and the Chair of the AIC is required for such expenditures, subject to the normal budget and expense controls of the University.
f. Reporting. Each Academic year the Chair of the Academic Integrity Council shall submit a report (“Annual Report”) to the Chief Academic Officer for review and discussion by the University Council that will include: (1) a reporting of its activities, (2) an assessment of progress, (3) identification of current and emerging issues, (4) future plans, (5) recommendations, and (6) requests for funding or other substantive support. The goals and activities of the AIC contained in its Annual Report shall be reviewed by the University Council to ensure that there is no duplication or conflict with the activities of the Academic Honesty Board or other university bodies.
g. Initial review. The University Council will review the functioning, impact, and effectiveness of the Academic Integrity Council five years after its approval and formation. This review should be initiated through the appropriate annual report described in section f, above.