University of Rochester College of Arts, Sciences and Engineering Academic Honesty Policy
The students, faculty and administrators of the College comprise a community of scholars who are committed to the pursuit of excellence in learning, teaching, creativity and research. Academic honesty is the cornerstone upon which excellence in these endeavors is based, as it creates the necessary conditions of mutual trust and open communication that make intellectual inquiry and growth possible. The AS&E Academic Honesty Policy, in parallel to the College Statement of Communal Principles, recognizes our shared obligation to promote honesty and the related principles of respect and responsibility among all members of our institution. It establishes high standards of academic conduct, and requires that each individual meet those standards. All members of the College community further understand that adherence to our shared expectations for integrity requires not only clear communication about those expectations, but the individual and collective courage to uphold them.
Academic honesty means acting with truthfulness and sincerity in carrying out all aspects of our individual and collaborative work, maintaining ownership over our work and acknowledging our debt to the work of others.
Students can best meet their obligation to academic honesty by adhering to the Academic Honesty Policy in all academic matters. This includes completing their work through their own honest efforts and expecting and encouraging honesty among their peers.
Faculty members, course instructors, teaching assistants and staff have the responsibility to uphold the College policy, model integrity in their own practices and educate students about disciplinary standards.
Administrators have the obligation to model integrity through their leadership and to provide the resources necessary to promote best practices in teaching, learning, assessment, research and citizenship.
The specific policy measures that follow have been designed to promote a just and trustworthy community, and to ensure equity, clarity and consistency in our adjudication of all alleged academic dishonesty cases.
A. College of Arts, Sciences and Engineering undergraduate students.
B. College of Arts, Sciences and Engineering graduate students. Graduate students are covered by this policy, with the exception that this policy does not apply to misconduct in sponsored research.
C. All other students, matriculated or non-matriculated, who are enrolled in College courses.
D. College of Arts, Sciences and Engineering faculty members, course instructors, staff and teaching assistants in their role as educators.
A. Language expressing the central importance of academic honesty in the College will be included in student recruitment and admissions materials, and in the College’s offer of admission letter.
B. Pre-enrollment communications with all incoming undergraduate and graduate students will include the Academic Honesty Policy and require students to sign off on their acceptance of the Policy prior to arrival on campus for orientation.
C. The orientation program for first-year and transfer students at the undergraduate level will include a discussion of the Academic Honesty Policy.
D. Departments will provide their incoming graduate students with an orientation to the policy.
E. Course-specific materials such as syllabi and websites will refer to the Academic Honesty Policy and how it applies to the class.
F. All new instructors of College undergraduate and graduate courses at all ranks and in all schools across the University and all new academic staff will receive an orientation to the Academic Honesty Policy through a combination of College-wide and departmental efforts.
G. The College will aim to provide regular updates on the Academic Honesty Policy to all instructors of College courses and academic staff.
H. The Dean of the College shall appoint a designated academic honesty liaison.
I. Other means of engaging the College community in awareness of academic honesty issues will be overseen by mechanisms established by the Deans of the College.
The following Honor Pledge will be copied and signed by all students on all examinations: “I affirm that I will not give or receive any unauthorized help on this exam, and that all work will be my own.”
It is recommended that course instructors also require the following wording as a sign-off for other graded assignments:
“I affirm that I have not given or received any unauthorized help on this assignment, and that this work is my own.”
Suggested for group projects, to be signed by each group member:
“I accept responsibility for my role in ensuring the integrity of the work submitted by the group in which I participated.”
Note: Students are responsible for upholding the AS&E Academic Honesty Policy whether or not they are instructed to write and sign a pledge.
A. General Principles
In the academic work of students in the College, “dishonest behaviors are unacceptable because they jeopardize the rights and welfare of academic communities and they diminish the worth of the degrees that academic institutions grant” (International Center for Academic Integrity, Fundamental Values 2013). Dishonest behavior undermines the trust that is fundamental to the academic enterprise and threatens the intellectual freedom upon which our community thrives.
There are many different forms of academic dishonesty. The following list of honesty violations and their descriptions is not meant to be exhaustive. Rather, it provides examples of the most common kinds of unacceptable academic conduct by students. The policy also covers dishonest actions committed by students when the effects extend beyond the University and are judged to be prejudicial to the work or the reputation of the University. Ignorance of the policy does not excuse actions that violate its requirements.
Dishonest conduct that is detected after the end of a course, or after a student graduates or otherwise leaves the College, is subject to being reported and adjudicated under the Academic Honesty Policy. Assigned grades and earned degrees may be affected as a result of the decision made in such a case.
1) Receiving, Using or Having Access to Unauthorized Aid
Using unauthorized notes or other study aids during an examination; using unauthorized technology during an examination; improper storage of prohibited notes, course materials and study aids during an exam such that they are accessible or possible to view; looking at other students’ work during an exam or in an assignment where collaboration is not allowed; attempting to communicate with other students in order to get help during an exam or in an assignment where collaboration is not allowed; obtaining an examination prior to its administration; altering graded work and submitting it for re-grading; allowing another person to do one’s work and submitting it as one’s own; submitting work done in a class taken at the University of Rochester or at another school for credit in another class without the instructor’s permission; submitting work done in a prior semester without the instructor’s permission, when the student is retaking that course; obstructing or interfering with another student’s academic work; undertaking any activity intended to obtain an unfair advantage over other students.
2) Giving Unauthorized Aid
Aiding another person in an act that violates the standards of academic honesty. Examples include allowing other students to look at one’s own work during an exam or in an assignment where collaboration is not allowed; unauthorized editing or revising of another student’s work; providing information, material, or assistance to another person in a form that is likely to be used in violation of course, departmental, or college academic honesty policies; failing to take reasonable measures to protect one’s work from copying by others.
The representation of another person’s work as one’s own, or the attempt “to blur the line between one’s own ideas or words and those borrowed from another source.” (Council of Writing Program Administrators, January 2003, http://wpacouncil.org/node/9). More specifically, the use of an idea, phrase, or other material from a written or spoken source without signaling the source at the place of use in a work for which the student claims authorship.
Examples include: the misrepresentation of sources used in a work for which the student claims authorship; the improper use of course materials in a work for which the student claims authorship; the use of papers that are purchased and turned in as one’s own work; submission of written work such as laboratory reports, computer programs, or papers, which have been copied from the work of other students, with or without their knowledge and consent.
Students can avoid the risk of plagiarism in written work or oral presentations by clearly indicating the source of any idea or wording that they did not produce, either in footnotes or in the paper or presentation itself, and in a list of references (e.g., bibliography or works cited page). Sources must be given regardless of whether the idea, phrase or other material is quoted directly, paraphrased or summarized in the student-writer’s own words. Direct quotes must always be placed in quotation marks in addition to the other citation information that is required.
4) Misconduct in Group Projects
Failure to carry out the work in adherence with the academic honesty guidelines and expectations established by the course instructor.
5) Fabrication and Falsification
Falsifying or inventing any information, citation, text or data; using improper methods of collecting or generating data and presenting them as legitimate; misrepresenting one’s qualifications or one’s status in the University, as in an application for a fellowship or employment on campus or externally.
Forging signatures or falsifying information on official documents for the purpose of academic gain. Examples include: drop/add forms, incomplete forms, petitions, letters of permission, applications for positions or awards in the College, course attendance sheets, email communications and physician’s notes.
6) Denying Others Access to Information or Material
Any act that deliberately hinders the use of or access to library or course materials. Examples include: the removal of pages from books or journals or reserve materials; the removal of books from libraries without formally checking out the items; the intentional hiding of library materials; the refusal to return reserve readings to the library.
7) Unauthorized Recording, Distribution or Publication of Course‐Related Materials
Students may not audio or video record class lectures or other classroom or laboratory activities without the instructor’s permission.
The sharing of course materials on an individual level for educational purposes (e.g., working with groups or with a tutor) is permitted, provided that it has not been prohibited by the instructor. Students may not publish, distribute, or sell--electronically or otherwise--any course materials that the instructor has developed in any course of instruction in the University (e.g., presentation slides, lecture aids, video or audio recordings of lectures, and exams) without the explicit permission of the instructor. The sharing or distribution of course materials for purposes of giving or gaining unfair advantage in a course is prohibited. Students must further respect the requirements of copyright protection for materials that are made available for instructional purposes.
8) Misuse of a Student’s Username and Password
The username given to students and the password that they set authorize student access to course materials through Blackboard or other password-protected sites. Students are responsible for protecting their access to these materials, many of which are copyrighted. It is a violation of the University Information Technology Policy and the Academic Honesty Policy to allow unauthorized access to protected materials by the sharing of any usernames and passwords.
9) Impeding the Investigation or Conduct of Any Board on Academic Honesty Matter
Providing false information, including false alibis, to any member of the Board on Academic Honesty (hereafter also called the Board).
Providing false testimony during a hearing.
Causing or requesting another person to provide a false alibi or other false information in connection with a Board matter.
A. Course-specific Academic Honesty Statement
Because academic honesty is of vital concern to the College and because each discipline may have its own specific expectations and protocols, all course instructors must include an academic honesty statement on each course syllabus or on the course Blackboard page or website indicating any unique way in which the policy applies in the course. This may take several forms, e.g., an appended set of guidelines formulated by the instructor or by the department, the address of a website that contains this information, a course-specific statement linked to an “Academic Honesty” button on Blackboard, or simply a link to the policy. During the first two weeks of class, the course instructor must call attention to this information during at least one class session.
B. Assignment-specific Requirements
In addition, course instructors should make any discipline-specific or otherwise unique expectations and guidelines for academic honesty clear for each assignment given. This assignment-specific orientation may be conveyed in written or oral form early in the semester, or it may occur throughout the semester as assignments are given. The academic procedures that vary from discipline to discipline, such as proper and improper forms of academic collaboration and citation, demand particular attention on a course-by-course basis.
The Board on Academic Honesty exists to hear and adjudicate cases of alleged academic dishonesty brought by any member of the College teaching, administrative or support staff against any student, matriculated or non-matriculated, who is or was enrolled in College courses.
B. Composition and Selection of the Board
1) The Board on Academic Honesty is composed of a Chair, at least eleven faculty members, at least eleven undergraduate students, and at least two graduate students.
2) The Chair of the Board is a tenured faculty member selected by the Dean of the College from among faculty members who have previously served on the Board or are current Board members. The length of the Chair’s term is four years, and is renewable.
3) Faculty members of the Board on Academic Honesty are selected and invited by the Dean of the College from among full-time faculty (tenured, pre-tenure and non tenure-track). The Dean may consult with the Chair of the Board on Academic Honesty, the Arts, Sciences and Engineering (AS&E) Dean of Graduate Studies, department chairs and others as appropriate. Members serve for four-year terms, and may be reappointed once for a second term. Terms will be staggered in order to achieve a balanced mix of new and experienced members each year. In the case of the early resignation by a member, the person appointed to replace that position will serve out the remainder of the term and may then be appointed for a full term, with the possibility of reappointment for a second full term. The faculty cohort on the Board will represent all of the disciplines in the College: humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering.
4) The process for selecting undergraduate student representatives shall be decided and conducted by the Center for Student Conflict Management in collaboration with the All-Campus Judicial Council.
5) At least two graduate students are selected by the AS&E Dean of Graduate Studies, who may consult with the President of the Graduate Students Association and others as appropriate. Graduate student members serve for two-year terms, with at least one new member per year joining the Board.
All Board members will undergo uniform training on the policy, hearing procedures and proper conduct of hearings on an annual basis
D. Responsibilities of Chair and Board Members
1) Responsibilities of the Chair:
Participate in the selection of faculty members of the Board on Academic Honesty; serve as a resource for faculty, staff, students and parents in Board matters; participate in the training of Board members; oversee all aspects of the work of the Board; supervise the work of the Board Secretary; carry out other tasks specified in the Policy.
2) Responsibilities of All Board Members:
Faculty and student members of the Board on Academic Honesty will share as equally as possible in service on the Hearing Boards that are scheduled throughout the year. Board members are expected to be available to participate in hearings on the days and times established by the Chair and the Board Secretary.
A. Requirement to Report
The “College Faculty Rules and Regulations” require that all cases of suspected academic dishonesty be reported to the Board on Academic Honesty through one of the Instructor Resolution processes or the Board Resolution process. Course instructors may not come to a private agreement with a student in a case of suspected academic dishonesty. Course instructors may not ask or allow a student to drop or withdraw from a course, or impose a penalty of any kind on a student through any means that fall outside of the procedures for reporting cases outlined below.
The one exception is when an instructor, after meeting with a student about a suspected violation, is convinced that no violation was committed. In this situation, the case no longer counts as a suspected violation and does not need to be reported.
2) When a course instructor becomes aware of an incident of suspected academic dishonesty, s/he should contact the academic honesty liaison. Course instructors who have had experience with submitting similar cases in the past may proceed directly with the Instructor or Board Resolution process. Any reporting person always has the option of contacting the Chair of the Board at any point in the process with questions or for assistance in understanding and complying with our procedures.
3) Exam proctors (students, course instructors or staff members) who observe suspicious behavior during a quiz or exam, and teaching assistants who detect evidence of dishonest behavior in an assignment that they are grading must speak with the course instructor. They must provide a written report and all pertinent documentation to the instructor. The instructor must then follow established procedures for reporting the case. Originals of exams, lab reports, essays, homework or other written, electronic, recorded or visual work must be retained by the course instructor to submit with the case, and should not be returned to the student or students in question. In the case of suspected dishonesty during an oral presentation, the student’s electronic presentation and/or handouts should be retained by the instructor.
4) Incidents of suspected academic dishonesty are not always or exclusively detected by a course instructor and some violations are not related to a specific course, as in the following situations:
a. If false information is given by a student in communications with any member of the Board on Academic Honesty, that member should alert the Chair of the Board, who will write up and submit the case on behalf of the Board using the Board Resolution process.
b. Students, with the exception of students who are serving as exam proctors or teaching assistants, are not required to report, but they have several avenues for voluntarily reporting suspected academic dishonesty:
They may report the incident to the course instructor if the incident involves coursework.
They may contact the Chair of the Board with information about any incident of suspected academic dishonesty. This communication may be accomplished through an in-person meeting, a telephone call, an email, or the use of the online “Academic Honesty Concern Report.” The name of the reporting person may be kept confidential upon request, but anonymous reports cannot be acted upon.
c. Members of the College administrative, academic and support staff are required to report violations to the course instructor if the incident involves coursework. They must contact the Chair of the Board regarding any other violations detected.
All notices of all kinds that must be sent to students and/or reporting persons will be sent by email to their University of Rochester email account. The Board on Academic Honesty Decision Letter resulting from a hearing will also be sent to the student’s CMC. In the case of a student who is on suspension or is no longer enrolled in the College, the notification will be sent to the most current email address on file, if one is available, and mailed in hard copy form to the most current permanent address that is on file with the College.
IX. Procedures for Reporting: Instructor Resolution Processes
A. Instructor Resolution Warning Letter: Undergraduate Students Only
1) Purpose and Limitations
a. If improper academic conduct committed by an undergraduate student is judged to be minor and resulting from inexperience, the Warning Letter procedure may be followed at the instructor’s discretion. Consultation with the academic honesty liaison or the Chair of the Board prior to meeting with the student is strongly recommended.
b. The Warning Letter resolution may only be used to settle incidents that fall into the category of “Minor Violations” as described in Section XII, “Sanctioning Guidelines.” They pertain for the most part to course work, and therefore are usually handled by course instructors. The determination of a student’s relative experience or inexperience in the type of assignment or course in which the incident occurred will be made by the instructor upon speaking with the student. The Warning Letter may not be used in cases involving graduate students.
c. The Warning Letter option recognizes that the incident is best addressed as an educational opportunity. It is never required that a suspected incident be handled through the Warning Letter resolution. It is an available option to be used at the instructor’s discretion.
a. The instructor becomes aware of evidence of improper academic conduct and determines if the allegation has merit and is minor. That person will write up the incident using the Warning Letter template in consultation with the academic honesty liaison or Chair of the Board and will contact the student to set up a meeting. They will meet in a confidential setting to discuss the allegation and show the evidence. The student will have the opportunity to respond to the allegation by asking questions about the evidence and/or providing an explanation to demonstrate that s/he is not responsible for the alleged improper conduct.
b. If the instructor is convinced that no improper conduct occurred, no further action is required, as stated above (Section VIII.A).
c. If the instructor is convinced that improper academic conduct was committed, the student will have 48 hours to accept responsibility and sign the Warning Letter or decline to do so, unless circumstances justify giving the student additional time. This waiting period must be offered and the student must be referred to the Academic Honesty Policy, but a student is permitted to sign the Letter or decline to sign at the time of the meeting. The waiting period can be extended, but should not exceed two weeks without consultation with the Board Chair.
d. If the student accepts responsibility, the signed Warning Letter will be submitted by the instructor in hard copy or electronically to the Board Secretary, who will request that a "C" hold (confidential hold) be placed on the student's record, as transcripts may not be sent out until the case is fully resolved. The letter will specify either a rewrite of the work in question or an alternative equivalent assignment to be completed for educational purposes, but not for credit or a grade.
If a review of Board records reveals no prior finding of responsibility, the Chair of the Board will review the letter and either approve the resolution or contact the instructor for a modification. If a modification is needed, the Chair will then contact the student with the modification agreed to by the instructor and the Chair, and at that time, the student may accept the modification, or withdraw their original acceptance of responsibility and go to a hearing.
Final approval must be granted by the Chair. The approval process will take place within a week of receipt of the Letter, unless the Chair is temporarily unavailable to review it.
Upon notification of approval of the Letter (as above, Section VIII.B), the instructor will assign a grade to the assignment as originally submitted, discounting the parts under question as appropriate. The student must complete a required academic honesty tutorial. The "C" hold will remain in place on the student's record until the Board Secretary has received confirmation that the student has completed the assigned tutorial.
In the case of a violation that is not connected to a course, the "C" hold will remain in place until the Secretary has received confirmation that the student has completed the assigned tutorial.
e. A Warning Letter does not affect the student’s option to drop, withdraw or declare the S/F grading option as permitted under College rules. If a student drops or withdraws from the course in question, the "C" hold will remain on their record until the academic honesty tutorial has been completed.
f. If the student declines to sign the Letter, the incident must be reported using the Board Resolution process (Section X).
g. If the Letter is the first academic dishonesty report of any kind submitted for the student, it will open a Board on Academic Honesty file on that student.
h. If a student with a prior finding of academic dishonesty on file is reported again by either of the Instructor Resolution processes, a hearing must be held and the reporting person will be asked to complete a Board Resolution Form (Section X). The Warning Letter on file will be taken into account when determining a sanction for a subsequent finding of responsibility for academic dishonesty and may result in a more severe penalty than is typical for a first offense in light of the educational measures that have been offered.
B. Instructor Resolution with Penalty: Undergraduate students
1) Purpose and Limitations:
The Instructor Resolution with Penalty process is appropriate for many cases involving undergraduate students. However, instructors using this process may not assign XE or XF grades (see Section XII.D.1), nor impose suspension or expulsion, nor impose sanctions listed under Academic Disciplinary Probation. These are reserved for Board actions based on a hearing. The reporting person (r.p.), that is, the person who completes and submits the form, will most often be a course instructor, but may also be a University staff member or administrator. The reporting person will never be a student.
a. The reporting person becomes aware of evidence of dishonesty and determines if the allegation merits further investigation. That person will fill out the Instructor Resolution with Penalty Form. S/he should consult with the academic honesty liaison or at a minimum review Section XII, “Sanctioning Guidelines” before offering a penalty to the student.
b. The r.p. will meet with the student in a confidential setting to explain the allegation and show the evidence. If more than one student is involved, individual meetings are required. The student will have the opportunity to respond to the allegation by asking questions about the evidence and/or providing an explanation to demonstrate that s/he is not responsible for the alleged violation.
c. If the r.p. is convinced that no violation was committed, no further action is required, as stated above (Section VIII.A.1).
d. If the r.p. is convinced that a violation was committed, the student will have 48 hours to accept responsibility and sign the Form or decline to do so, unless circumstances justify giving the student additional time. This waiting period must be offered and the student must be referred to the Academic Honesty Policy, but a student is permitted to sign the Letter or decline to sign at the time of the meeting. The waiting period should not exceed two weeks without consultation with the Board Chair.
d.1) If the student accepts responsibility the signed Instructor Resolution with Penalty Form will be submitted by the instructor in hard copy or electronically to the Board Secretary, who will request that a "C" hold (confidential hold) be placed on the student's records, as transcripts may not be sent out until the case is fully resolved.
If a review of Board records reveals no prior finding of responsibility, the Chair will review the Form and either approve it or contact the course instructor to discuss any needed modification. If they agree that any change should be made, the Chair will work with the student to modify the Form. At this point in the process, the student may choose to have a hearing before the Board rather than accept the modified penalty. Final approval must be granted by the Chair before any penalty can be applied. The approval process will take place within a week of receipt of the Form, unless the Chair is temporarily unavailable to review it. Students and reporting persons will be notified as above (Section VIII.B).
Students may not drop, or withdraw from, or choose the S/F grading option for the course during this process or when an Instructor Resolution with Penalty Form has been signed and filed. If the student drops or withdraws, s/he will be reinstated in the course. The S/F option will be rescinded whether declared prior to or after the violation.
The student must complete a required academic honesty tutorial. The "C" hold will remain in place on the student's record until two conditions are met: The student's semester grade has been submitted by the course instructor; and the Board Secretary has received confirmation that the student has completed the assigned tutorial.
In the case of a violation that is not connected to a course, the "C" hold will remain in place until the Secretary has received confirmation that the student has completed the assigned tutorial.
d.2. If the student signs the form and is found to have a prior responsible finding, the reporting person will be informed of the need to complete and submit a Board Resolution Form, and the student will be informed of the need to appear at a Board hearing for adjudication of the case (as above, Section VIII.B).
Students may not drop, or withdraw from, or choose the S/F grading option for the course during this process or when a Board Resolution Form has been filed. If the student drops or withdraws, s/he will be reinstated in the course. The S/F option will be rescinded whether declared prior to or after the violation.
d.3. If the student does not accept responsibility and declines to sign the form, the reporting person will submit the case on a Board Resolution form (Section X).
C. Instructor Resolution with Penalty: Graduate Students
When the violation committed by a graduate student is minor as described in Section XII “Sanctioning Guidelines,” the course instructor may implement the Instructor Resolution with Penalty process as described above after a required consultation with the AS&E Dean of Graduate Studies, who will check for prior violations. If none exists, the course instructor in consultation with the Dean of Graduate Studies will determine the appropriate penalty to offer.
If the student accepts responsibility, the signed Instructor Resolution with Penalty form will be submitted by the reporting person in hard copy or electronic form to the Board Secretary. A "C" hold is placed on the student's records by the AS&E Graduate Studies Office, as transcripts may not be sent out until the case is fully resolved. The student must complete a required academic honesty tutorial. The "C" hold will remain in place until two conditions are met: The student's semester grade has been submitted by the course instructor; and the Board Secretary has received confirmation that the student has completed the assigned tutorial.
In the case of a violation that is not connected to a course, the "C" hold will remain in place until the Secretary has received confirmation that the student has completed the assigned tutorial.
If the student declines to accept the Instructor Resolution, then the case will go to a hearing before a Board on which the two student members are graduate students. Violations of the moderate or major categories must go to a hearing.
X. Procedures for Reporting: Board Resolution Process
1) The Board Resolution process is used to adjudicate cases under five circumstances:
a. The course instructor chooses to refer the matter directly to the Board.
b. The reporting person is not a course instructor.
c. The student declines to accept responsibility and/or the offered penalty when the Warning Letter or Instructor Resolution with Penalty Form has been offered.
d. A review of the Board database reveals a prior finding or findings of responsibility for academic dishonesty when a Warning Letter or an Instructor Resolution with Penalty Form is received.
e. The case involves a graduate student and a violation in the moderate or major category under Section XII, “Sanctioning Guidelines.”
1) The reporting person completes a Board Resolution Form and submits it with all pertinent documentation in hard copy or electronically to the Board Secretary. Instructors should retain a copy of all materials submitted. The r.p. may, but is not required to, notify the student that s/he has taken this action.
2) Receipt of a Board Resolution Form triggers several actions:
a. For undergraduate students The Board Secretary will request that a "C" hold (confidential hold) be placed on the student's records, as transcripts may not be sent out until the case is fully resolved.
b. For graduate students: A “C” hold is placed on the graduate student’s records by the AS&E Graduate Studies Office as transcripts may not be sent out until the case is fully resolved.
For all students: The "C" hold will remain in place until two conditions are met: The student's semester grade has been submitted by the course instructor; and the Board Secretary has received confirmation that the student has completed the assigned tutorial.
In the case of a violation that is not connected to a course, the C-hold will remain in place until the Secretary has received confirmation that the student has completed the assigned tutorial.
c. The student (undergraduate or graduate) is notified of the receipt of the Form and the need for a hearing to resolve the case (as above, Section VIII.B).
d. With the notification, the student will be directed to review the Board on Academic Honesty website and will be informed of the availability of consultation with the academic honesty liaison.
e. Students may not drop, or withdraw from, or choose the S/F grading option for the course during this process or when an Instructor Resolution with Penalty Form has been signed and filed. If the student drops or withdraws, s/he will be reinstated in the course. The S/F option will be rescinded whether declared prior to or after the violation.
f. The Chair of the Board on Academic Honesty will review the Form and the other materials submitted within one week of receipt, and will contact the reporting person if any additional materials are required to complete the case file or if any clarification of the report or the evidence is needed.
g. Once a reporting person has submitted a board resolution form, the reporting person may submit additional evidence. In undergraduate cases, the reporting person may not retract the form unless the Chair of the Board on Academic Honesty and the reporting person both approve the substitution of a signed Instructor Resolution Warning Letter or Instructor Resolution with Penalty Form. In graduate cases, the reporting person may not retract the form unless the Dean of Graduate Studies and the reporting person both approve the substitution of a signed Instructor Resolution with Penalty Form. In undergraduate cases, only the Dean of the College, upon the recommendation of the reporting person and the Chair of the Board, has the right to retract a board resolution form without the substitution of a signed Instructor Resolution Warning Letter or Instructor Resolution with Penalty Form. In graduate cases, only the University Provost, upon the recommendation of the reporting person and the Dean of Graduate Studies, has the right to retract a board resolution form without the substitution of a signed Instructor Resolution with Penalty Form.
1) A hearing will generally be held within one month of the receipt of the Form, except when College recesses, the summer break or an excess number of cases to be heard make it impossible to schedule a hearing within the one-month time frame.
2) Hearings will be scheduled with knowledge of the student’s class schedule and will not be scheduled during his or her class hours. A student’s employment or extracurricular activities schedule will not be taken into account.
3) The student will be notified of the hearing date, time and location as specified above at least five business days in advance of the hearing.
D. Preparing for the Hearing
1) The student is permitted to review the case file by making an appointment with the Board Secretary. In order to protect the confidentiality of Board documents, the student must review the file in the College Deans’ Office and is not permitted to photocopy, photograph or otherwise reproduce the documents contained in the file, although s/he may take notes on the contents of the file to assist in formulating a response to the allegation. A student may invite one person to accompany him or her to review the file, but such person may not photograph, photocopy or otherwise reproduce the case documents.
2) The student may submit a written response to the allegation for distribution to the Board in advance of the hearing, but this is not required. The student may seek advice from the academic honesty liaison in writing a response.
3) Members of the Hearing Board will have access to the case file in electronic form at least five business days in advance of the hearing.
4) The Presiding Officer of the Hearing Board will contact the reporting person once prior to the hearing.
5) Cases reported after students have left campus at the end of the Fall semester will be heard no later than in the first four weeks of the Spring term. Cases reported after students have left campus at the end of the Spring semester will be heard no later than in the first four weeks of the following Fall term.
A. Who Attends a Hearing
1) The student who has been reported via a Board Resolution Form is expected to attend the hearing. If the student does not attend, the Hearing Board may proceed to deliberate, reach a determination of responsibility and assign a penalty, or decide to exonerate the student in the student’s absence.
2) The student has the right to bring one community member (University of Rochester faculty, administrator, student or staff member) to the hearing for moral support and advice during the hearing. This community member must not be acting as attorney for the student.
3) The Hearing Board will consist of three faculty members and two student members of the Board. At a hearing for an undergraduate student, the student Board members will be undergraduate students. At a hearing for a graduate student, the student Board members will be graduate students.
A hearing may be held with one member missing. However, all hearings will be initially scheduled with five members assigned. One faculty member of the Hearing Board will be designated in advance to serve as the Presiding Officer with the role of reading the opening and closing statements, determining if a line of questioning is appropriate, moderating the post-hearing deliberations, counting the paper ballots when the vote is taken and drafting the decision letter.
4) The reporting person for the case will not be present at the hearing, but s/he must be available by telephone to answer questions during the hearing except under circumstances approved by the Chair of the Board on Academic Honesty.
1) Board on Academic Honesty hearings will be held in a quiet, confidential setting.
2) All hearings will be recorded, but not transcribed. The recording will be limited to the introductions of those attending the hearing, the opening statement made by the Presiding Officer, the student’s statement, the question period and the closing of the hearing. Any Board deliberations during the hearing when the student is excused from the room and the final deliberations of the Board will not be recorded. The recordings will be kept confidential and will be used only by the Hearing Board during their deliberations or by administrators with a need to know. The recordings will be maintained for a period of seven years after the date of the hearing, and then they will be destroyed.
3) Every student who is suspected of academic dishonesty will be given an individual hearing; two or more students will never be heard together.
4) The following rules governing the hearing process will provide consistency across hearings, but they are informal and are meant to permit the student and the Hearing Board to come to as clear and complete an understanding of the case and the evidence as possible. Civil or criminal court procedures are not applicable, nor are formal rules of evidence.
a. The Presiding Officer will open the hearing by having all individuals present introduce themselves. Then s/he will read an opening statement that outlines the hearing process.
b. Next the student will be asked to make a statement addressing the allegation and the evidence contained in the case file. The student may read a prepared statement, speak extemporaneously, or present a combination of the two.
c. After the student has finished the statement, the Hearing Board will ask questions of the student. These questions may pertain not only to the case under consideration, but also to the student’s academic experience in other courses as it may be relevant to the alleged violation. The Presiding Officer may excuse the student from answering a question that s/he considers irrelevant.
d. If any member of the Hearing Board wishes to ask the reporting person a question, s/he will write the question down and pass it to the Presiding Officer, who will determine if it is advisable to contact the reporting person by phone. Alternatively, if a Hearing Board member wishes to consult with the other members on a more extensive matter than a single question for the reporting person, the Presiding Officer may excuse the student and the accompanying person from the room during the consultation. A call will be placed on speaker phone to the reporting person once the student has returned to the room. Any questions posed to him or her and the answers given will be heard by the student and the Hearing Board. If the student wishes to ask a question to the reporting person, the student must address the question directly to the Presiding Officer, who will determine if the question is relevant. If so, the Presiding Officer will pose the question to the reporting person on behalf of the Board. The reporting person and the student will not engage in a direct exchange of questions or comments.
e. When the Hearing Board agrees by informal consensus that they have no further questions to ask, the phone call will be terminated. Follow-up phone calls by the Hearing Board will be permitted, provided that the procedures in (d) above are followed.
f. When the question period is concluded, the student will be invited to make a final statement, but s/he is not required to do so. The Board will have an opportunity to respond to a student’s closing statement. When the student is finished speaking and Board responses are complete, the Presiding Officer will read a closing statement that outlines next steps and explains the confidentiality of our hearings and decisions. At that time, all except the Hearing Board members will be excused from the room.
C. Deliberations and Decision
1) The Hearing Board will deliberate on all of the evidence that was presented and they may review the recording as needed. When the Board members determine by informal consensus that their deliberations have been completed, the Presiding Officer will conduct a vote using secret ballots to find the student responsible or not responsible for academic dishonesty. The decision is reached by majority vote.
2) The standard of proof is preponderance of evidence, that is, if it is more likely than not that the alleged violation was committed.
3) If the student is found not responsible by majority vote, no further information is revealed and the case is ended.
4) If the student is found responsible by majority vote, the Presiding Officer will open an envelope provided by the Board Secretary to see if the student has had any prior responsible finding. If so, the Board will have the opportunity to review the file of the prior case or cases. This information is required for the determination of an appropriate sanction. The Hearing Board will determine a sanction, consulting with the Chair as needed regarding their interpretation of the Sanctioning Guidelines and Board precedent.
5) If there are four members of the Board present at the hearing for an undergraduate student and the final vote is tied, the Chair will be informed immediately and s/he will cast the deciding vote after reviewing the case file and the hearing recording. If a responsible finding is reached, the Hearing Board will reconvene with the Chair to determine the sanction.
If there are four members of the Board present at the hearing for a graduate student and the final vote is tied, the AS&E Dean of Graduate Studies will be informed immediately and s/he will cast the deciding vote after reviewing the case file and the hearing recording. If a responsible finding is reached, the Hearing Board will reconvene with the Dean to determine the sanction.
This concludes the hearing process.
The free exchange of ideas is the foundation of our academic community and rests upon the integrity of all members of the University and on our trust in that integrity. Violating that integrity and trust undermines our core purpose by deeply damaging academic endeavors. For this reason, violations of the Academic Honesty Policy are considered serious breaches of our accepted codes of conduct; the related sanctions reflect the seriousness with which these breaches of conduct are viewed by the University.
Sanctions are based on the following principles:
1) The range and seriousness of penalties distinguish to some degree between undergraduates and graduate students. While undergraduates may in some circumstances be considered novice learners who are in the process of becoming proficient in the standards of academic honesty, the Policy is founded on the conviction that all students must accept responsibility for understanding and upholding its provisions.
2) Repeat offenses require sanctions that are graduated in severity and in their impact on a student’s academic career.
3) Sanctions for similar offenses should generally be consistent. The Chair of the Board has the responsibility to ensure the fairness and the consistency of sanctions.
The following provisions apply to all offenses:
1) All first-time offenders must complete a designated academic honesty tutorial.
2) Effective with courses taken starting in Fall 2015, any failing grade of E or XE that results from a finding of academic dishonesty will be recorded as a permanent grade for purposes of the calculation of the student's grade point average (GPA). If the student repeats the course subject to the College repeat policy, both the original grade of E or XE and the new grade will count towards the student’s GPA.
The grade and credit policies listed here will go into effect beginning with courses taken in the semester when the registrar’s system is updated and capable of their implementation: Any semester grade that results from a finding of academic dishonesty reached through either the Instructor Resolution with Penalty process or the Board Resolution process will be recorded as a permanent grade for purposes of the calculation of the student’s grade point average (GPA). If the student repeats the course subject to the College repeat policy, both the original grade and the new grade will count towards the student’s GPA. If the student earns credit with a grade of D- or higher as a result of a finding of academic dishonesty, and then decides to repeat the course, no additional credits will be awarded.
3) With the exception of the XE and XF grade, grades recorded as a result of a Board on Academic Honesty decision will not be marked as such on the transcript.
Refer to Section V for more complete descriptions of the violations categorized below.
1) Minor Violations
a. Submitting work that misrepresents or does not fairly acknowledge the contributions of others due primarily to inexperience.
b. Unauthorized collaboration on assignments when the identical work constitutes a small portion of the work submitted.
c. Other behavior not directly linked to course work that is judged by the Chair of the BAH to be minor and having an academic implication.
2) Moderate violations
Moderate violations are quantitatively and/or qualitatively more serious than minor violations, as follows:
a. Unauthorized collaboration on assignments in which the identical work is more than a small portion of the work submitted.
b. Submission of work done for another course, or work done in a previous attempt of a repeated course without instructor permission.
c. Providing a fraudulent excuse for missed coursework or when requesting an extension on an assignment or a rescheduled exam.
d. Facilitating or permitting copying of one’s own work by another student.
e. Falsifying a signature on any official university document (e.g., drop/add form, UHS form, attendance sign-in sheet).
f. Misuse of College-issued username and password.
3) Major violations
When a minor or moderate offense involves pre-planning, conspiracy with other students or with individuals outside the University, or is accompanied by payment to a conspirator, those factors may increase the severity to the level of a major violation.
a. Plagiarism (any instance beyond that described in XII. C 1.a).
b. Receiving unauthorized assistance on quizzes and exams
c. Deliberately denying others access to library or course materials.
d. Facilitating or permitting cheating by another student on a quiz or exam.
e. Submitting an altered exam for re-grading.
f. Fabrication or falsification of data, information, citations, etc.
g. Unauthorized distribution or publication of course-related materials.
h. Impeding the investigation or conduct of any Board on Academic Honesty matter.
i. Obtaining an examination prior to its administration.
The following are the most typical penalties assigned by the Board. These are guidelines not mandates, and the Board is not limited to these actions, although fairness requires that precedent be taken into account in determining an appropriate sanction. The penalties that affect a student’s grade or that involve time away from the University are listed in ascending order of severity for first and second offenses.
Additional sanctions that do not affect the student’s grade are listed in Part E, “Academic Disciplinary Probation.” A combination of both types of sanctions may be assigned by the Board, or as recommended by the Chair of the Board in the case of either type of Instructor Resolution Process.
The Hearing Board will take into account the seriousness of all violations on record with the Board when determining a penalty. Fairness dictates applying less severe penalties for an offense classified as minor, particularly when it is a first offense. Moderate and major offenses will be sanctioned at more severe levels. Planning or pre-meditation to commit a violation, involvement of another student in a violation, and compromising the integrity of the work of another individual or an entire class when committing a violation increase the severity of the act.
1) First offense
Zero on assignment and a further reduction in the semester grade of 1/3, 2/3, or one full grade level, based on the severity of the infraction, independent of the relative value of the work in question.
Any provision listed below for Academic Disciplinary Probation.
Assigned failing grade of E or F (“F” in the case of a course offered for all students on the P/F basis).
XF or XE grade. Note: The XF and XE grades are indicated on the student’s transcript as resulting from a violation of the academic honesty policy. The XE or XF grade is not generally used for a first offense, except when the offense is moderate or severe and an aggravating factor exists.
Suspension for one semester. Credits earned at another institution during the period of suspension may not be transferred back to the University of Rochester. Suspension is not generally applied for a first offense except when the offense is moderate or severe and an aggravating factor exists.
Expulsion from the University, only in very rare and egregious cases of a severe nature.
2) Second Offense: One sanction that must be considered but will not be automatically imposed for second offenses is the XF or XE grade and suspension. If both violations were minor, or one was minor and one was moderate, the XE/XF grade will not typically be imposed without aggravating circumstances.
Assigned failing grade of E or F (“F” in the case of a course that is offered for all students on the P/F basis), when both offenses were minor.
Any provision listed below for Academic Disciplinary Probation.
XF or XE grade.
XE grade and up to four semesters of suspension. Credits earned at another institution during the period of suspension may not be transferred back to the University of Rochester.
Expulsion from the University, only to be considered when the first offense was moderate or severe and the second offense is severe.
3) Third offense:
Expulsion from the University.
The following may be used for course-related violations, or when academic dishonesty is not associated directly with coursework. Sanctions described below are not expected to replace sanctions that affect a student’s course grade when the offense involves coursework, but may be assigned as additional measures in any cases. A student’s failure to comply with the requirements of probation may result in further charges.
Conditions of Academic Disciplinary Probation are in effect for up to two semesters and may include:
a. Prohibition from course overloads.
b. Exclusion from extracurricular activities, including athletics and Student Association.
c. Requirement to meet with the academic honesty liaison during the period of probation.
d. Higher likelihood of suspension or permanent separation, based on the severity of the violation, for any subsequent finding of responsibility during the period of probation.
Graduate students may be in violation of the Academic Honesty Policy in their coursework or for any other infraction defined in Section V. These violations, with the exception of misconduct in research, are handled through the Board on Academic Honesty procedures, and they may range in seriousness as described in the preceding paragraphs. Violations raise immediate concerns about the student’s ability to conduct original scholarship as required for graduate degrees. They also undermine the trust that a mentor, dissertation committee, or an academic department must have for a graduate student in the pursuit of new knowledge. Such breaches of trust must therefore be subject to a range of sanctions that reflect the gravity of these concerns, and may result in expulsion from the University.
1) All first-time offenders must complete a designated academic honesty tutorial.
2) First offenses by graduate students that are considered minor as defined in the previous paragraphs may present important opportunities for education. Sanctions for first-time minor offenses, whether submitted via the Instructor Resolution with Penalty Form or the Board Resolution process, must include some reduction in the course grade equal to or greater than that which is stipulated above for undergraduates. The Board should take into account the different grading options for AS&E graduate students. The student is further required to complete a designated academic honesty tutorial. Specific sanctions by the department in question including, for example, ineligibility for supplemental stipends or teaching awards, may also result from a responsible finding.
3) First-time offenses that are considered moderate or major must be reported via the Board Resolution process. The Board’s finding and the sanction decided upon must be approved by the AS&E Dean of Graduate Studies as per University policy. A responsible finding will result in the recommendation to the Dean of Graduate Studies of the XE grade, and may result in expulsion from the graduate program.
4) Second offenses at any level of severity must go to a hearing as above, and will normally result in expulsion from the graduate program following consultation with the department’s director of graduate studies and the AS&E Dean of Graduate Studies.
5) Graduate students who engage in academic dishonesty in the pursuit of sponsored research, normally termed “misconduct in research,” will not be subject to the AS&E Academic Honesty Policy presided over by the Board. Such violations are in conflict with Federal statutes that bind funding agencies, and must be dealt with by departmental procedures that have been approved by the AS&E Dean of Graduate Studies. Disciplinary actions that may accompany such procedures range from expulsion to revocation of advanced degrees.
A. Decision Letter
1) The Presiding Officer will draft a decision letter stating either exoneration or a finding of responsibility and send it electronically to the other Hearing Board members for discussion, revision and approval.
2) For cases involving undergraduate students, the decision letter will be forwarded by the Presiding Officer to the Chair of the Board. S/he will review it to ensure that the exoneration or the finding of responsibility and the sanction conform to established guidelines and precedents, and the wording of the letter is consistent with the Policy and with College rules.
3) The Chair may contact the Presiding Officer of the Hearing Board to discuss the decision and the sanction if s/he has questions or finds any discrepancy with the Policy. The Presiding Officer will communicate with the other members of the Hearing Board and respond to the Chair’s questions. The Chair, at his or her discretion and after listening to the hearing recording, may reconvene the Board to discuss and reconsider the finding.
4) The Chair will finalize, sign and send out the letter to the student and simultaneously to the reporting person (as above, Section VIII.B).
5) For cases involving graduate students, the Hearing Board letter will be sent to the AS&E Dean of Graduate Studies, who will review the finding, the sanction and the wording of the letter and follow up if needed as specified above (Section XIII A.2 and 3). The Dean will forward the finding and his or her recommendation to the University Dean of Graduate Studies as per the University “Judicial Process for Academic Misconduct by Graduate Students.” The University Dean of Graduate Studies will issue the final decision letter.
A. Officer to Whom Appeals Are Made
1) Undergraduate students may appeal the decision of the Hearing Board with regard to the finding of responsibility and/or the sanction to the Dean of the College.
2) Graduate students may appeal the decision of the Hearing Board with regard to the finding of responsibility and/or the sanction to the University Provost.
1) Appeals must be submitted in writing within seven days of the date of the decision letter. The decision of the Dean or Provost is final. The letter answering the appeal will be sent to the student and the Chair of the Board on Academic Honesty or the AS&E Dean of Graduate Studies. If and only if some modification of the finding or the sanction is granted, the letter is also sent electronically to the reporting person.
2) Acceptable bases for appeal are
a. Procedural error (if the error is substantive enough to alter the decision).
b. Excessive or inappropriate sanction.
c. New information exists that was not available at the time of the hearing and this information is sufficient to alter the decision.
If new information is provided to the Dean or Provost that s/he determines is sufficient for a reconsideration of the case, the case will be referred back to the Hearing Board for a further meeting with the student and determination of a finding. If the Dean or Provost determines that referring the case back to the Hearing Board will cause an undue delay in the resolution of the case, or is otherwise inadvisable, s/he will reconsider the case in consultation with one member of the Board on Academic Honesty. Their finding will be final.
Reporting persons and Board members must refrain from sharing the names of students involved in reported cases with any other individual or organization except under the conditions described below for Reporting.
1) The files for cases that result in exoneration will be destroyed within thirty days of the date of the exoneration letter.
2) All paper and electronic records and recordings of cases that result in a finding of responsibility after a hearing, will be kept by the College for a period of seven years after the date of the signed Warning Letter or Instructor Resolution with Penalty Form, or the Hearing Decision Letter, and then they may be destroyed. The Board database will be kept permanently.
3) XF or XE grades will be noted on the transcript as due to academic dishonesty.
4) Suspension will be noted on the transcript as due to academic dishonesty during the period of suspension.
5) Expulsion will be noted permanently on the transcript as due to academic dishonesty.
1) Internal Reporting
a. Within the University, applications for on-campus employment, Students’ Association positions, membership on the Board on Academic Honesty, Study Abroad, fellowships, scholarships or other awards for undergraduate or graduate students may include a waiver for the student to sign giving permission for the person in charge of the process to request information about the student’s Board on Academic Honesty history.
b. Findings of responsibility will be reported, with the following exception: when a Warning Letter is the only report on file, it will not be reported.
c. Without a signed waiver, no information will be released internally for the purposes described in paragraph 1.a.
d. Any record created pursuant to this policy may be disclosed with or without a waiver if required by law (e.g., subpoena, court order or valid discovery request in pending litigation).
2) External Reporting
a. Findings of responsibility for academic dishonesty will be reported upon request to external entities when a waiver has been signed by the student or when the student submits a request for disclosure directly to the College, as when applying to transfer to another school or for admission to graduate school, or for employment.
b. As for internal reporting, a Warning Letter will not be reported externally unless it is one of multiple findings of responsibility.
c. Any record created pursuant to this policy may be disclosed with or without a waiver if required by law (e.g., subpoena, court order or valid discovery request in pending litigation).
3) Self-reporting by Students
The Warning Letter process is an educational intervention for matters that do not rise to the level of a reportable violation subject to institutional disciplinary action. Therefore, Warning Letters should not need to be self-reported as a violation of the AS&E Academic Honesty Policy.
Questions about academic disciplinary history, whether on internal or external applications for graduate school, employment, licensure, security clearance, fellowships, scholarships and awards, for example, will vary. Therefore, definitive guidance on how to answer all such questions cannot be given. If a student is at all in doubt about whether to disclose the existence of a Warning Letter in response to a particular question, being honest and forthright is the recommended approach. A student may fairly describe the Warning Letter as an educational tool that is not considered by the University of Rochester as a violation of the AS&E Academic Honesty Policy.
Findings of responsibility for academic dishonesty arrived at through the Instructor Resolution with Penalty or Board Resolution processes are properly considered to be reportable violations under our Policy.
Policy approved by Faculty Council in May 2015, and revisions approved by the Steering Committee of Faculty Council on January 18, 2016, November 1, 2016, February 21, 2017, and December 19, 2017.