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Academic Integrity Policy

Academic Integrity Policy – version 2014-11-21 (printer-friendly PDF)

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I. Preamble

The University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS) is committed to community and academic excellence which thrive through honesty, trust, and mutual respect.

When faculty, students, and staff come to UIS, they join an academic community founded on the search for knowledge. At the heart of that search is personal honesty that makes possible an open and vibrant exchange of ideas. The intellectual health of the community depends on this honesty and sustains itself through the trust and mutual respect of each of its members.

Academic integrity is at the heart of the university’s commitment to academic excellence. The UIS community strives to communicate and support clear standards of integrity so undergraduate and graduate students can internalize those standards and carry them forward in their personal and professional lives. Living a life with integrity prepares students to assume leadership roles in their communities as well as in their chosen profession. Alumni can be proud of their education and the larger society will benefit from the university’s contribution to the development of ethical leaders.

Violations of academic integrity demean the violator, degrade the learning process, deflate the meaning of grades, discredit the accomplishments of past and present students, and tarnish the reputation of the university for all its members.

This policy applies to all UIS instructors, staff, and students admitted into UIS in any department or program, including conditional or probationary admittance. This policy provides a due process resolution for alleged violations by students. Resolutions of alleged violations of academic integrity by faculty or staff are not under the purview of this policy.

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II. Faculty and Students’ Responsibilities

1. Faculty

Faculty are responsible for being aware of the UIS Academic Integrity Policy and contributing to student development by promoting academic integrity, addressing dishonesty, and assisting in the development of ethical reasoning. Such behavior includes:

  • Providing a clear and complete syllabus which describes course expectations, guidelines, and standards of performance, as well as those of the university that concern academic integrity.
  • Holding students responsible for knowing these expectations and guidelines.
  • Fostering an environment where academic integrity is expected and respected.
  • Detecting and properly handling breaches of academic integrity.
  • Fostering a classroom environment in which all students are treated with courtesy and respect.
  • Creating assessments that are effective evaluations of student mastery of course content.
  • Evaluating student work based on its academic merit.
  • Giving students timely and honest feedback.
  • Being available to discuss appropriate academic matters.

2. Students

Students are responsible for being aware of the UIS Academic Integrity Policy and demonstrating behavior that is honest and ethical in their academic work. Such behavior includes:

  • Following the UIS Academic Integrity Policy.
  • Following the instructor’s rules and processes related to academic integrity as directed in the course syllabus and related course documents.
  • Asking the instructor for clarification if the standards of academic performance are not clear.
  • Asking the instructor for clarification if the syllabus, assignments, or grading policies seem unclear.
  • Helping to foster a campus environment where academic integrity is expected and respected.
  • Treating each other with courtesy and respect and helping to foster a classroom environment in which all students are treated with courtesy and respect.

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III. The Academic Integrity Council

The Academic Integrity Council (hereafter referred to as the Council) is a standing committee of the Campus Senate, whose responsibilities are to promote academic integrity at UIS and to oversee the implementation of the Academic Integrity Policy by ensuring fair and efficient operation of hearing panels, serving as appellate hearing panels, and deciding on petitions. The Bylaws of the UIS Campus Senate provide a more complete description of the duties and membership.

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IV. Definitions of Violations

These definitions do not represent a complete list of possible violations of academic integrity; rather, they are intended to provide a general range of conduct which constitutes violations.

1. Plagiarism

Submitted work should be one’s own work and it should properly acknowledge ideas, facts, the progression of thought or reasoning, and words from others. Plagiarism is intellectual theft in which the plagiarist presents work done by others—in writing or orally—as his or her own work. Plagiarism is the failure to properly and appropriately reference and acknowledge the ideas and words of others. This includes website material used in written, oral, or multi-media presentations.

Examples of plagiarism include:

  • Using direct quotations without quotation marks or proper citation.
  • Paraphrasing without proper citation.
  • Making only minor changes to an author’s words or style.
  • Insufficiently acknowledging sources.
  • Using the pattern, structure, or organization of an author’s argument or ideas without proper citation.
  • Failing to cite sources for uncommon facts or knowledge.
  • Working with another student on a project but failing to put both names on the final product.
  • Having someone else re-write or heavily edit a paper.
  • Possessing, copying, or any sharing of exam questions or answers.
  • Having another person take an exam.
  • Using notes, books, and other unauthorized materials in closed-book examinations.
  • Presenting work done by others as one’s own.
  • Fabricating text, sources, or citations.
  • Unauthorized altering of graded work after it has been returned, then submitting it for re-grading.
  • Signing another person’s name on an academic exercise or attendance sheet.
  • Collaborating on any assignments such as homework, take-home exams, or projects in which the instructor does not allow collaboration.

2. Cheating

Honesty involves presenting one’s own level of knowledge as accurately as possible. Misrepresenting or providing false information in any matter of academic achievement or work is cheating.

Examples of cheating include:

  • Possessing, copying, or any sharing of exam questions or answers.
  • Having another person take an exam.
  • Using notes, books, and other unauthorized materials in closed-book examinations.
  • Presenting work done by others as one’s own.
  • Fabricating text, sources, or citations.
  • Unauthorized altering of graded work after it has been returned, then submitting it for regrading.
  • Signing another person’s name on an academic exercise or attendance sheet.
  • Collaborating on any assignments such as homework, take-home exams, or projects in which the instructor does not allow collaboration.

3. Misrepresentation of Academic Experiences, Ability, or Effort

One is expected to accurately and fairly present one’s experiences, ability, or effort so that others may accurately assess those accomplishments. Providing false or misleading information concerning academic background or academic work is a violation of academic integrity.

Examples of misrepresentation include:

  • Falsifying, altering, or presenting misleading information about the substance of an internship; the content of prior coursework; a graduation contract or student petition; reasons for classroom absences, late work, or inability to meet course requirements; the level of effort on a group or solo assignment; submission or use of “invented” data, such as lab experiments or interviews; or any official department, college, or university academic document, application, grade report, letter of permission or excuse, petition, drop/add form or other registration material, and university ID card.
  • Submitting essentially the same work in two or more courses without explicit permission from all instructors. Instructors have the right to assume that any work submitted for their classes has not earned or will not earn credit in another class. Presenting all or partial work done for one course in another course requires permission of all the instructors involved. Some connected or paired courses may require submission of the same work in the two associated courses; this will be explicitly stated for this type of assignment. In all other circumstances, failure to gain permission from all instructors in submitting the same work is
  • Failing to disclose a criminal conviction in appropriate circumstances when a conviction is relevant to the disciplinary area of study, professional credentialing, internships, placements, or practica. This includes convictions imposed after being admitted. For example, a conviction for child abuse would be relevant to the fields of elementary and secondary teaching and school counseling.

4. Academic Interference

Academic integrity means that one should respect another person’s work and efforts. Any activity undertaken with the purpose of creating or obtaining an unfair academic advantage over other students’ academic work, or inhibiting the progress of another person’s academic work, violates academic integrity.

Examples of academic interference include:

  • Stealing, destroying, defacing, or concealing library materials, computer software, or other academic equipment or resources with the intent to deprive others of their use.
  • Retaining, possessing, using, or circulating previously given examination materials, where those materials clearly indicate that they are to be returned to the instructor at the conclusion of the examination.
  • Intentionally obstructing or interfering with another student’s academic work, including laboratory experiments, research, and artistic creations.

5. Unauthorized Access to Academic Records or Systems

Academic integrity means honoring others’ right to privacy and the integrity of the university’s academic records or systems.

Examples of unauthorized access to academic records or systems include:

  • Interfering with any academic computer or computer system, or software in a way that can compromise confidentiality, integrity, or availability.
  • Accessing, disclosing, copying, or using data, grade books, or university, department or student academic documents or files.

6. Facilitating Violations of Academic Integrity

Academic integrity also means that one is honest with respect to another person’s work as well as with one’s own work. Any act which facilitates or encourages violations of academic integrity by another person is itself a violation of academic integrity.

Examples of facilitating violations of academic integrity include:

  • Providing material, information, or other assistance to another person with knowledge that such aid could be used in any of the violations stated above.
  • Providing false information in connection with any inquiry regarding academic integrity.

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V. Pursuing Allegations of Academic Dishonesty (See Appendix A for details of procedures)

1. Primary Responsibility for Bringing a Charge

Courses: The primary responsibility for bringing a charge of academic dishonesty involving academic work or other documents submitted in a course rests with the faculty or other instructors of record (hereafter called faculty). Graduate assistants, teaching assistants, research assistants, student workers, online coordinators, and any other persons who assist or support faculty in teaching should report suspected instances of academic dishonesty to the faculty.

Master’s Theses or Projects, Doctoral Dissertations, and Comprehensive Exams: The primary responsibility for bringing a charge of academic dishonesty involving a Master’s thesis or project, doctoral dissertation, or comprehensive examination rests with the student’s thesis, project, or dissertation advisor, or members of the committee evaluating the thesis, project, dissertation, or examination.

Falsified documents: The primary responsibility for bringing a charge of academic dishonesty involving suspected falsification or use of falsified documents (e.g. graduation contracts) rests with the faculty or the head of the academic unit (e.g., department chair, director, associate dean, or dean) who received the document in question. Any violation that is discovered in an academic support unit in the division of Student Affairs (e.g., transcripts, letters of recommendation, medical documentation) shall be reported to the appropriate instructor or academic unit head in Academic Affairs.

Other Instances: The primary responsibility for bringing a charge against a student suspected of academic dishonesty of a nature that does not clearly fall under the preceding sections shall rest with the appropriate faculty or head of the academic unit involved. Any violation that is discovered in an academic support unit in the division of Student Affairs shall be reported to the appropriate instructor or academic unit head in Academic Affairs.

Students: When a student suspects that a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy has occurred, the student has an ethical choice to make about whether to promote academic integrity at UIS. Ideally, a student will report that violation to the Council using an Academic Integrity Violation Report Form (AIVRF). In this report, the student should describe what action the student has taken, such as talking with the other student(s) involved, or with the faculty or staff member. Every effort will be made to preserve the anonymity of the student reporting the incident; confidentiality, however, cannot be guaranteed. Students may also report anonymously to the faculty or staff member, with or without naming individuals, or confront the individual(s) believed to be in violation of the policy.

Charges at Higher Levels: When the person who bears the primary responsibility does not bring a charge within a reasonable time, the department chair or academic unit head may bring a charge with that person’s written consent.

2. Pending Charges in Courses

Once a student is notified in writing that a faculty member is pursuing an allegation of academic dishonesty in a course, the student may not change his or her registration in the course while the matter is pending. Any attempt to withdraw from a course under these circumstances shall be considered a separate violation of this policy.

3. Meeting with Student

If a faculty member or academic unit head suspects that a violation has occurred, the faculty or unit head may discuss the circumstances with the student. For communications via email, the PEAR email system should be used to encrypt the email and ensure security and confidentiality. To access the PEAR URL use the following address: go.uis.edu/PEAR. If the faculty or academic unit head concludes that there is no violation of this policy, the matter is over. If the faculty still believes a violation has occurred, the faculty member or academic unit head will complete and submit a Discovery Form to the Provost’s Office to determine if the student has a previous violation. Forms submitted via email should be sent using the PEAR system referenced above. If the student has a previous violation, the faculty member or academic head may pursue a Tier 1, Tier 2 or Tier 3 procedure. [See below for definition of Tiers.] The faculty member or academic unit head shall notify the student in writing, of the basis of the belief that a violation occurred and then allow the student 10 business days to respond to the allegation. If the student is either unwilling or unable to respond within 10 business days of the notice, then the case must be referred to the Provost for a Tier 3 hearing.

If the student does not admit responsibility for the violation or disagrees with the sanction to be imposed by the faculty member or academic unit head, either party may request that the case be referred to the Council. Either the faculty or student may seek the assistance of the department chair and subsequently the dean at any Tier level.

The faculty member or academic unit head bringing the charge is responsible for informing students of their option to refer the incident to the Council for review at any time or at any Tier level.

4. Notification to the Academic Integrity Council and Provost’s Office

If both the student and faculty member or academic unit head agree to the student’s responsibility for the violation and to the sanction to be imposed, the faculty or academic unit head must submit an AIVRF to the Council and send copies of the report to the student and the Provost’s Office as the office of record.

All reports of academic dishonesty will be reviewed by the Provost’s Office to verify whether reports have been received indicating that the student has been found responsible for any other act of academic dishonesty. Whenever the Provost or designee finds a repeat offense, the Provost or designee shall automatically refer it to the Council for review by a hearing panel.

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VI. Types of Resolutions to Academic Integrity Violations

Below are the three Tiers describing the types of violations that may occur. While an initial violation may occur at Tier 1, it is up to the faculty’s judgment to determine the appropriate level of the alleged violation. Thus, it is clearly within faculty’s role and discretion to bypass Tier 1 or Tier 2 and move directly to a higher Tier depending on the severity of the incident. The faculty may consult with the department chair, the academic dean or the Council Chair to make this determination. The student may request a hearing at any time. Education regarding UIS Academic Integrity policy must always occur despite the Tier level.

Tier 1 – Written Warning with Learning Plan:

A Tier 1 violation occurs when a student’s act of academic dishonesty appears unintentional or is based on a misunderstanding of the UIS Academic Integrity policy. Although a student will typically have only one Tier 1 violation before advancing to a higher level Tier, it is possible for a student to have more than one Tier 1 violation if the violations occurred in significantly different areas.

For example, one violation may be plagiarism and a second violation may involve excessive collaboration of laboratory work or other collaborative assignments. The critical distinguishing characteristic of the Tier 1 violation is that the act appears unintentional and is based on a misunderstanding or lack of awareness of Academic Integrity Policy. A faculty member in doubt as to the nature of the violation should feel free to consult with a member of Academic Integrity Council.

  1. Sanctions regarding the violation are determined by the faculty in discussion with the student.
  2. Such discussion should result in a learning plan designed to help the student understand UIS Academic Integrity Policy.
  3. The learning plan provides the faculty an opportunity to use the violation as a “teachable moment.”
  4. A member or the chair of the Council are available to consult with the faculty to discuss available learning options.
  5. The learning plan provides an opportunity for the student to be referred to the Center for Academic Success to receive assistance with proper citations and references.
  6. The violation must be reported to the Provost’s Office along with a signed copy of the AIVRF and the learning plan.
  7. All learning plans must include a comprehensive overview of the UIS Academic Integrity Policy.

Tier 2 – Written Agreement with Sanctions:

A Tier 2 violation may occur when a student has one or more prior Tier findings of academic integrity violations; or if the alleged violation appears intentional or is of such severity as to merit a more severe consequence. Examples may include intentional copying, cheating on tests or exams, or pervasive plagiarism throughout a project or paper. A Tier 2 violation’s distinguishing characteristics are that they appear intentional, are of heightened severity, and/or that the student should have had knowledge that the act violated Academic Integrity Policy.

  1. Faculty may consult with a Council member or the Council Chair regarding appropriate sanctions.
  2. Using the AIVRF gives faculty an opportunity to spell out sanctions for the academic integrity violation.
  3. The completed AIVRF will include the specifics regarding the violation and evidence of the violation.
  4. A signed copy of the AIVRF must be provided to the Provost’s Office.
  5. Either the student or the faculty may request a hearing if both parties cannot come to a consensus regarding sanctions.

Tier 3 – Referral to a Hearing:

Cases not resolved through Tiers 1 or 2 will be referred for a hearing. This would occur when a student has at least two or more prior findings of academic integrity violations or when the alleged violation is an act so egregious that it may merit suspension or expulsion from the university. Tier 3 is also used in those circumstances when the faculty and student are unable to come to a common understanding of the student’s responsibility involving a lower level (Tier 1 and Tier 2) allegation and the hearing panel is required to resolve the issue.

A hearing is initiated when the Council receives a request for a hearing by either the student or the faculty or academic unit head. In the case of online students or faculty whose physical presence at a hearing would impose a hardship, the hearing may be conducted using technologies deemed appropriate by the hearing panel presiding officer.

Tier 3 is applicable in cases of multiple violations and may be requested by the student to contest a charge. Tier 3 can also be requested when a faculty member or department chair/administrator determines an egregious, pervasive, or, intentional act of academic dishonesty occurs, or when suspension or dismissal is a possibility. Following the hearing, the hearing presiding officer reports the findings to the Provost Office using the AIVRF. Council Hearing Panel proceedings are not legal proceedings.

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VII. Possible Sanctions for Academic Integrity Violations:

  • A formal warning.
  • A requirement to successfully complete a university sponsored non-credit seminar on academic integrity.
  • Community work assignment for a defined period of time.
  • A reduction in grade for the assignment.
  • A failing grade for the assignment.
  • A reduction in grade for the course.
  • A failing grade for the course.
  • Rescinding or changing a grade for a past course in which a violation occurred.
  • Disciplinary probation. (Requires a hearing)
  • Removal of the privilege of representing the university in any official function or leadership position. (Requires a hearing) Sanctions that suspend a student’s privileges shall have a set time of duration indicating when and under what conditions the student may regain the Examples include, but are not limited to, intercollegiate athletics, peer mentors, student organization leadership positions, student ambassadors, cheerleaders, committee membership or officer position, and residence assistants.
  • Failing grade with transcript notation of academic dishonesty. (Requires a hearing)
  • Suspension or dismissal from the university. (Requires a hearing) Suspension for academic dishonesty will ordinarily take place immediately. Disciplinary suspension from the university may occur for one or two semesters, excluding summer terms. In the case of an appeal, the suspension is held in abeyance until the appeal process is completed. In the event of extraordinary or extenuating circumstances, the hearing panel has the right to assign a lesser sanction or to delay the
  • Suspension with transcript notation. (Requires a hearing) Suspension for academic dishonesty will ordinarily take place immediately. Disciplinary suspension from the university may occur for one or two semesters, excluding summer terms. In the case of an appeal, the suspension is held in abeyance until the appeal process is completed. In the event of extraordinary or extenuating circumstances, the hearing panel has the right to assign a lesser sanction or to delay the Students suspended for academic dishonesty must apply for readmission according to the Board of Academic Standards guidelines. Students suspended for academic dishonesty cannot transfer into UIS any credits earned during the suspension. Re-admission applications by students suspended for academic dishonesty must be approved by the Council.
  • Dismissal from the university. (Only possible when considering a Tier 3 violation and requires a hearing)
  • Rescinding admission into UIS, a department, program, or internship.
  • Rescinding an academic degree or certificate. (Only possible when considering a Tier 3 violation and requires a hearing)
  • Other sanction(s) as deemed appropriate and agreed upon in writing.

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VIII. Hearing Panels

1. Composition of Hearing Panels

A Hearing Panel will normally consist of a presiding officer, two faculty members, and one student who are selected by the Council Chair from a pool of faculty and students solicited by the Council. An alternate will also be selected to serve in case a member of the panel needs to be excused during the course of the hearing. Decisions will be by a majority vote (two votes or more). The presiding officer will vote only in the event of a tie.

Students have the right to object to any member of the Hearing Panel they believe to be biased in the case. In such instances, the presiding officer will decide whether or not to act on that objection. Members of the Hearing Panel have the responsibility to remove themselves from cases in which there may be a conflict of interest.

2. Presiding Officer

The chair or vice chair of the Council will normally serve as the presiding officer of all Hearing Panels. If the chair or vice chair is unavailable, or the caseload becomes unmanageable, the Chair will appoint another faculty member of the Council to preside over the hearing.

3. Pool of Panel Members

Each academic department shall select one faculty member who will serve for a term of two years as a potential hearing panel member. Each year the Student Government Association will select 10 students who will be added to a pool of potential hearing panel members.

4. The Hearing Panel Process

The purpose of a hearing is to explore and investigate the incident giving rise to the appearance of academic dishonesty and to reach an informed conclusion as to whether or not academic dishonesty occurred. All persons at a hearing are expected to assist in a thorough and honest exposition of all related facts. Council Hearing Panel proceedings are not legal proceedings.

The sequence of a hearing is necessarily controlled by the nature of the incident to be investigated and the information to be examined. It lies within the judgment of the presiding officer to determine the most reasonable approach. Details of the Hearing Procedures are outlined in Appendix A.

Presence at a hearing also lies within the judgment of the presiding officer. A hearing requires a deliberative and candid atmosphere, free from distraction. Accordingly, it is not open to the public or other interested persons.

A hearing is not a trial. The Hearing Panel will consider all relevant, probative, and credible evidence. The presiding officer will determine what evidence will be considered.

Members of the Hearing Panel may conduct private deliberations at such times and places as they deem proper.

Failure to appear before a Hearing Panel will not preclude the Hearing Panel from hearing evidence and determining outcomes.

5. Hearing Panel Outcomes

If the Hearing Panel determines that the allegations of academic dishonesty are unfounded, no sanctions will be imposed.

If the Hearing Panel determines that the allegations of academic dishonesty are founded, it will send copies of its decisions to the referring faculty or other individual, the student, and the Provost’s Office as the office of record.

If this is a first violation and the faculty member, academic unit head, department, or program has provided a clear statement about penalties for violations of academic integrity in the syllabus, department or unit handbook, website, or other documents or materials that the student received, the Hearing Panel shall not normally substitute its judgment as to the penalty.

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IX. A Failing Grade with a Notation of Academic Dishonesty

1. A failing grade may be recorded on the student’s transcript with the notation “failure due to academic dishonesty.” The failing grade with a notation of academic dishonesty shall be treated in the same way as a comparable failing grade for the purposes of grade point average, course repeatability, and the determination of academic standing.

2. A student may file a written petition to the Council to have the notation of academic dishonesty removed. The decision to remove the notation requires a majority vote of the Council provided that:

  • At the time the petition is received, at least 12 months have elapsed since the grade and notation was imposed; and
  • At the time the petition is received, the student successfully completed a university sponsored non-credit seminar on academic integrity; or, for a person no longer enrolled at the university, an equivalent educational activity will be determined by the Council; and
  • The Provost’s Office certifies that no reports have been received indicating that the student has been found responsible for any other act of academic dishonesty at the university or at another institution.

3. Prior to making a decision, the Council will review the record of the case, and consult, if possible, with a referring faculty or academic unit head who originally reported the violation(s). If the Council denies the petition, the student cannot submit another petition for two years, unless the Council specifies an earlier date.

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X. Subsequent Allegations of Academic Dishonesty

In the event of a subsequent allegation of academic dishonesty, the Provost will automatically refer the case to the Council for review by a Hearing Panel. Ordinarily, a second finding of academic dishonesty will result in either suspension for one or two full semesters, excluding summer terms, or permanent dismissal from the university.

Suspension for academic dishonesty will ordinarily take place immediately. In the case of an appeal, the suspension is held in abeyance until the appeal process is completed.

In the event of extraordinary or extenuating circumstances, the Hearing Panel has the right to assign a lesser sanction or to delay the suspension.|

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XI. Appeals

A student may appeal the decision of the Hearing Panel to an Appeals Panel of the Council. The Appeals Panel shall consist of two faculty members and one student of the Council selected by the Council Chair. A typed and signed appeal, including the reason(s) for appeal, and supporting documentation, must be received by the chair of the Council within 10 business days of receipt of the Hearing Panel decision. Appeals are limited to one or more of the following three conditions:

1. There is new and significant evidence which was not available for the Hearing Panel and which may further clarify and support the defense of the student. In this instance, the case should be referred back to the original Hearing Panel for reconsideration.

2. There is clear reason to believe that the sanction is not consistent with the seriousness of the violation. In such cases, the Appeals Panel may issue a different sanction.

3. There is substantial credible evidence that the initial hearing was not fair and impartial, or that the established process was not followed. In this instance, the case should be referred back to a new Hearing Panel to rehear the case.

If the appeal documentation does not fall into one of the permissible grounds, or does not support the claim, the appeal shall be denied.

In cases of academic dishonesty, the decisions of the Appeals Panel are final and may not be further appealed.

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APPENDIX A
PROCEDURES FOR ACADEMIC INTEGRITY PROCESS

Below are the basic procedures that are followed when an academic integrity violation is suspected.

I. Making A Charge

  1. Gather evidence, which should include making copies of any documents related to the case.
  2. Determine who is responsible for making a charge. (See Table 1: Primary Responsibility for Bringing a Charge)
  3. Determine whether prior violations exist by completing and submitting a Discovery Form to the Provost’s Office using the PEAR email system at go.uis.edu/PEAR to ensure the security and confidentiality of your email
  4. The faculty member or academic unit head should then notify the student in writing of the basis of the belief that a violation occurred, using the PEAR email system referenced above. This notice should advise the student he or she has 10 business days to respond to the allegation. If the student is either unwilling or unable to respond or drops the course, the case must be referred to the Academic Integrity Council (Council) for review by a Hearing Panel. Discuss the circumstances with the student and decide whether a violation occurred.
  5. If both the student and faculty member or academic unit head agree to the student’s responsibility for the violation and to the sanction to be imposed, the faculty or academic unit head must submit an Academic Integrity Violation Report Form to the Council and send copies of the report to the student and the Provost. If the student disagrees, the student may request a hearing.
  6. Determine the Tier level that applies to the alleged allegation (See Preface for Tier levels).
    • If no prior violations have occurred, proceed to Tier 1 (written warning with a learning plan) or to a more consequential Tier which includes Tier 2 (agreement with sanctions) or Tier 3 (referral to hearing).
    • If one or more prior violation(s) have occurred, but the new violation is different in kind to the previous violation, then proceed to Tier 1, Tier 2 or Tier 3.
    • If one or more prior violation(s) have occurred, and the new violation is the same in kind as the previous violation(s), proceed to Tier 2 (agreement with sanction) or Tier 3 (request a hearing).
    • If one or more violations have occurred and you are uncertain about how to proceed, please consult with the Council Chair to make this determination.

II. Referral to a Hearing

Cases not resolved through Tiers 1 and 2 will be referred for a hearing. If a student disagrees with the charge, he or she may request a hearing. A hearing is initiated when the Council receives a request for a hearing by either the student or the faculty or academic unit head. In the case of online students or faculty whose physical presence at a hearing would impose a hardship, the hearing may be conducted using technologies deemed appropriate by the Hearing Panel presiding officer.

1. Composition of Hearing Panels

A Hearing Panel will normally consist of a presiding officer, two faculty members, and one student who are selected by the Council Chair from a pool of faculty and students solicited by the Academic Integrity Council. An alternate will also be selected to serve in case a member of the panel needs to be excused during the course of the hearing. Decisions will be by a majority vote (two votes or more). The presiding officer will vote only in the event of a tie. Students have the right to object to any member of the Hearing Panel they believe to be biased in the case. In such instances, the presiding officer will decide whether or not to act on that objection. Members of the Hearing Panel have the responsibility to remove themselves from cases in which there is a conflict of interest.

2. Presiding Officer

The chair or vice chair of the Council will normally serve as the presiding officer of all Hearing Panels. If the chair or vice chair is unavailable or the caseload becomes unmanageable, the Chair will appoint another faculty member of the Council to preside over the hearing.

3. Pool of Panel Members

Each academic department shall select one faculty member who will serve for a term of two years as a potential hearing panel member. Each year the SGA will select 10 students who will be added to a pool of potential hearing panel members.

4. Procedures Preliminary to Hearing

An allegation of academic dishonesty will be reviewed by the Council Chair who will appoint a Hearing Panel and designate whether the Council Chair or the Council Vice Chair shall serve as the presiding officer. No other members of the Council shall be eligible to serve on Hearing Panels, however, if the chair or vice chair are not available to serve, the council chair shall appoint a member of the Academic Integrity Council to serve as presiding officer.

The presiding officer will select the date, time, and place for the hearing and notify both the referring faculty member or academic unit head and the student by personal delivery or campus mailbox a minimum of five business days prior to the hearing. It is desirable that the hearing occur as soon as reasonably possible after the alleged incident. While not always possible, a hearing should occur no later than 20 business days after the Council receives the request for a hearing, excluding any tolling of the timelines.

The presiding officer shall notify the student of the allegation in writing, including the report of the faculty member or academic unit head and will request a written response to the allegation from the student. Any written response will become part of the record and be reviewed by the Hearing Panel in preparation for the hearing.

Both the student and the faculty or academic unit head may submit a list of witnesses to appear at the hearing. Witnesses are limited to only those individuals who can present direct evidence that bears on the allegation. The presiding officer shall determine in advance of the hearing anyone who may be called as a witness.

Timelines shall be tolled (held in abeyance) during Thanksgiving, winter and spring breaks, as well as any times when no classes are scheduled. Timelines may be tolled in other circumstances only with the consent of the presiding officer, but in no case shall exceed an additional 20 business days. Faculty not on summer contract, sabbatical, other leave, or otherwise unavailable may delegate authority to another faculty member, including the department chair, to appear and act on their behalf. Any delegation shall be reduced to writing and received by the presiding officer before the hearing.

A member of the Council will meet with the student before the hearing to review hearing procedures and process and after the hearing to discuss the ramifications of the findings and the student’s options for appeal.

5. The Hearing Panel Process

The purpose of a hearing is to explore and investigate the incident giving rise to the appearance of academic dishonesty and to reach an informed conclusion as to whether or not academic dishonesty occurred. All persons at a hearing are expected to assist in a thorough and honest exposition of all related facts.

The purpose of a hearing is to explore and investigate the incident giving rise to the appearance of academic dishonesty and to reach an informed conclusion as to whether or not academic dishonesty occurred. All persons at a hearing are expected to assist in a thorough and honest exposition of all related facts. Council Hearing Panel proceedings are not legal proceedings.

The sequence of a hearing is necessarily controlled by the nature of the incident to be investigated and the information to be examined. It lies within the judgment of the presiding officer to determine the most reasonable approach.

The following steps are generally recommended:

  • The referring faculty member or academic unit head reporting an alleged violation, and then the student will briefly present their respective cases, including any relevant information or arguments. The faculty may recommend a sanction.
  • Only witnesses who have knowledge of the incident or can offer documents or other materials bearing on the case may be called. Members of the Hearing Panel may request additional material or the appearance of other persons, as needed.
  • The referring faculty member or academic unit head reporting the allegation and the student may make brief closing statements.
  • The Hearing Panel will meet privately to discuss the case and determine whether a violation has taken place based on a preponderance of evidence.
  • If the student is found in violation, the Hearing Panel will independently determine an appropriate sanction. When determining the sanction, the Hearing Panel will be informed of any other violations of academic integrity on the part of the student, as well as past sanctions.
  • The presiding officer will provide the referring faculty or academic unit head, the student, and the Provost with a written report of the facts found, identifying the parts of the policy that have been violated and describing the sanction, if any, to be imposed.

6. The Hearing Panel presiding officer will ensure that the following rules are observed:

  • The student may be accompanied by a person of his or her choosing for emotional support only, provided that the support person is not a party to the case. This person will not actively participate in the hearing process in any way.
  • Hearings will be audio recorded for the purposes of the Hearing Panel’s deliberations and any Council appeals and kept for a minimum of five years.
  • Presence at a hearing lies within the judgment of the presiding officer. A hearing requires a deliberative and candid atmosphere, free from distraction. Accordingly, it is not open to the public or other interested persons.
  • The presiding officer may remove from the hearing any person who disrupts or impedes the investigation, or who fails to adhere to the rulings of the presiding officer.
  • The presiding officer will direct that persons, other than the student, who are to be called upon to provide information be excluded from the hearing except for that purpose.
  • Members of the Hearing Panel may conduct private deliberations at such times and places as they deem proper.
  • Failure to appear before a Hearing Panel will not preclude the Hearing Panel from hearing evidence and determining outcomes. It is the responsibility of the person desiring the presence of a witness before a Hearing Panel to ensure that the witness Written statements by witnesses should not be used unless the individual cannot reasonably be expected to appear. Any written statement must be dated, signed by the person making it, and witnessed by a university employee. The work of a Hearing Panel will not, as a general practice, be delayed due to the unavailability of a witness.
  • A hearing is not a trial. The Hearing Panel will consider all relevant, probative, and credible evidence. The presiding officer will determine what evidence will be considered.

7. Hearing Panel Outcomes

If the Hearing Panel determines that the allegations of academic dishonesty are unfounded, no sanctions will be imposed.

If the Hearing Panel determines that the allegations of academic dishonesty are founded, it will send copies of its decisions to the referring faculty or other individual, the student, and the Provost’s Office as the office of record.

If this is a first violation and the faculty or academic unit head, or department or program has provided a clear statement about penalties for violations of academic integrity in the syllabus, department or unit handbook, website, or other documents or materials that the student received, the Hearing Panel shall not normally substitute its judgment as to the penalty.

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TABLE 1: Primary Responsibility for Bringing a Charge

UNDER WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES WHO MAKES THE CHARGE
  • For incidences of academic dishonesty in courses
  • Instructor of record/faculty.
  • If charge is not made within a reasonable time, the department chair/unit head may bring charge if needed with or without faculty’s written consent
  • The department chair/unit head will be involved in the academic integrity process if the faculty member is an adjunct
  • For instances of dishonesty in a Master’s thesis or project, dissertation, or comprehensive examination
  • Thesis, project, dissertation, or comprehensive exam chair/head or committee member
  • In cases of falsified documents, such as transcripts, letters of recommendation, medical documentation
  • Faculty or department chair/unit head, director, associate dean, or dean
  • For instances of student academic dishonesty not covered above
  • Faculty or department chair/unit head, director, associate dean, or dean
  • Plagiarism, such as using a direct quotation without quotation marks or citation, paraphrasing without citing, or having someone else re-write or heavily edit a paper
  • Cheating, including unauthorized possession, copying, or sharing of an exam or exam questions, or having another person take an exam
  • Misrepresentation of academic experiences, ability, or effort
  • Academic interference such as stealing, destroying, defacing, or concealing library materials or retaining, possessing, or using examination materials
  • Department chair or unit head with consent of person bringing charge:

A student may report a violation to:

  • Council using the Academic Integrity Violation Form
  • A faculty or staff member with or without naming the individual suspected of the violation*
  • Student reported violations follow the AIC procedures described for courses.

*Every effort will be made to preserve the anonymity of the student reporting the incident; confidentiality, however, cannot be guaranteed

  • Charges at higher levels
  • When the person who bears the primary responsibility for bringing a charge fails to do so within a reasonable period of time, it becomes the responsibility of the department chair or head of academic unit, who may do so with or without the primary person’s written consent
  • Appropriate faculty or department chair/unit head of the academic unit involved
  • Other instances not covered above
  • Any violation that is discovered in an academic support unit in the division of Student Affairs shall be reported to the appropriate faculty or academic unit head in Academic Affairs.
  • Appropriate faculty or chair/head of the academic unit involved
  • Academic dishonesty during or after the application process
UIS Registrar or UIS Admissions will
  • Examine evidence
  • Determine whether a violation has occurred
  • Discuss with student
  • Consult with the Council

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