St. Cloud State University Policies & Procedures

Academic Integrity Link☍

Create PDF: Academic Integrity

Current Status: Approved

Policy Type: Academic

Department/Division: Academic Affairs

Effective Date: 02/28/2014

Last Updated: 09/11/2018

Applies To: Students, Faculty, Staff

Responsible University Officer: Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs

Policy Owner: Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs

Policy Contact: Office of Academic Affairs

Rationale

St. Cloud State University expects each student to fulfill his/her academic obligations honestly and fairly without engaging in cheating, plagiarism, falsification, collusion, or other forms of academic dishonesty.

Policy

St. Cloud State University (SCSU) expects instructors, research directors and test administrators to take reasonable measures to explain and prevent academic dishonesty. Reasonable measures include, but are not limited to, referencing this policy and procedures in a class syllabus and discussing the importance of integrity in academic and other professional work.

Students found in violation of this policy face sanctions such as a lower or failing grade for an activity or course, and university actions including but not limited to suspension or dismissal from the major, graduate school or the university. Findings may be reported to the undergraduate/graduate academic program, or University College for undeclared students, and/or the Office of Student Life and Development. Sanctions and findings will be reported to departments, majors, programs, and/or the Office of Student Life and Development. Sanctions and findings for graduate students will also be reported to the School of Graduate Studies. Students may appeal sanctions per the Academic Integrity Procedure.

 

Procedure

Procedural Guidelines -These procedural guidelines apply in cases of suspected academic dishonesty and/or at any relevant steps in the procedural steps that follow.

A. Completion of in-class activity:  If dishonesty occurs during a class in session such as cheating on a test, the student must be permitted to complete the test, presentation, or other classroom activity in a manner that removes the possibility of continued dishonesty if possible.             

B. Attendance and Participation: Until the appeal process has been completed, the student may:

  • Attend class and participate without prejudice.
  • Register for the next course in a sequence if applicable.  However, if the appeal fails the student can be removed from the more advanced class.

C. Timelines and Expedited Review:  Unless the student chooses to appeal, resolution of the academic integrity violation allegation should be within 10 duty days.              

Due to scheduling issues and the contractual availability of faculty, there may be times when the student is harmed by a relatively slowed process of resolution of an academic integrity violation sanction(s) appeal. As a result, the process of appealing an allegation of academic integrity violation will be continuous throughout the academic year. This may necessitate the scheduling of hearings and meetings during convocation and finals and may require extensive use of technology (e.g. conference phone call, Skype, Adobe Connect, etc.) to assure the student and faculty member every opportunity to have allegations investigated.              

It is possible that shorter processing times may be necessary if the student may be harmed by a delay or if findings/sanctions must be resolved in advance of a subsequent semester or the start of new classes in a sequence of clinical courses. Therefore, during calendar breaks of more than 10 duty days, the student may request an expedited appeal from the Office of Academic Affairs. The Provost or designee will determine if an expedited review is warranted.        

If expedited resolution is deemed necessary by the Provost, a duty day can be paid to faculty who are not under contract to meet with an appeal review committee.                      

If the faculty member involved in the appeal is unavailable, a College/School Academic Integrity Committee formed in collaboration with the colleagues within the college or school will collect information and attempt to resolve the student appeal.

All other procedures and timelines will apply during expedited academic integrity allegations.

D. Consultants:  The student and the instructor of record, research director, or test administrator may each request, one SCSU representative of his/her choosing knowledgeable in SCSU processes to serve as advisor, consultant, support, or resource person to any meeting during the process. See Assisting Students with University Policy and Procedure for a description of this role and sources for consultants. Consultants do not participate actively in questioning, hearings or investigations. They may not appear in the place of the student, the instructor, research director, or test administrator.

E. Reporting Findings: Findings at each step of the process, including the final determination will be communicated on the appropriate form to both the student and the instructor of record. Only when a final decision and sanctions are determined will that information be communicated to:

  • The department housing the student’s major (if declared). The student’s department or academic program may impose additional academic sanction(s) including, but not limited to, dismissal from the program. See below.
  • The University College (if student is in not in a major).
  • The School of Graduate Studies for graduate courses.
  • Student Life and Development. The Office of Student Life and Development shall maintain a record of the allegation finding for the period designated in the Student Code of Conduct and review the case to determine if there may be a possible violation of the Student Code of Conduct.             

F. Additional major program sanctions:  If the student does not respond or does accept the sanction(s), or exhausts appeals at any point, the student’s department or academic program may impose additional academic sanction(s) including, but not limited to, dismissal from the program. Each unit will have policies and procedures developed and published to determine if additional sanctions are warranted.                  

G. Registration status:  Students who withdraw from a class after this procedure is initiated may still be subject to sanctions.

Procedural Steps

Step One:  Notification of Academic Integrity Violation Allegation

The instructor, research director, or test administrator has the initial responsibility to immediately inform the student of an allegation of academic integrity violation by giving the student a copy of a completed Notification of Academic Integrity Violation Allegation Form (See Supporting Documents). This form is to be printed, signed by the instructor, research director, or test administrator, and given to the student. If dishonesty occurs during a class in session such as cheating on an in class test, the student may be warned discretely and immediately about the suspected infraction, and permitted to complete the test, presentation, or other classroom activity in a manner that removes the possibility of continued dishonesty if possible. The Notification of Academic Integrity Violation Allegation Form shall be provided at the soonest opportunity following the completion of the test, presentation, or other classroom activity. If a research director or the test administrator is the issuer of the form and they are not the instructor of record, a copy will be sent to the instructor of record as well. It is acceptable to send a scanned copy of this signed form to the student’s official St. Cloud State University email address. 

Step Two:  Instructor, Research Director, or Test Administrator Meets with Student and Reviews Evidence

The instructor of record, is to meet with the student to dismiss the allegation(s) or determine any sanctions within 10 duty days from the date the academic integrity violation is alleged to have occurred. At the discretion of the instructor of record, the research director or test administrator may also attend this meeting. Where possible, electronic communication (e.g., conference phone call, Skype, Adobe Connect, etc.) is to be used to assure the student and faculty member every opportunity to have allegations investigated. During the meeting, the student has the right to:

  • Review and question the information (documents, observations, etc.) supporting the allegation.  Documentation can include but is not limited to (a) a course syllabus if it outlines expectations regarding behavioral expectations, academic dishonesty and possible consequences; (b) copies of suspected plagiarism along with alleged plagiarized sources; (c) prior writing samples if the assignment in question is markedly different from the student’s typical writing style; and (d) relevant communications (such as e-mail) with the student.
  • Respond to the concerns indicated by the instructor, research director, or test administrator, as well as question the documentation and provide additional information.
  • Not participate in this meeting.

If the student chooses not to participate in the meeting, the instructor of record will use the “preponderance of evidence” standard to make a determination as to whether academic integrity violation(s) more likely than not took place. The instructor of record, will notify the student of this determination using Box 2 of the previously provided Notification of Academic Integrity Violation Allegation form.                                                           

Whether or not the student chooses to attend the meeting with the instructor of record, the student shall have 10 duty days from the completion of Step One to either (a) accept the sanction(s); or (b) appeal the sanction(s). The student shall communicate his/her decision by signing the corresponding line under the Step Two section of the Notification of Academic Integrity Violation Allegation form and submitting it to the instructor, research director, or test administrator.

Notification of final determination: If the student does not respond within 10 duty days to the allegation or accepts the sanction(s), the decision is considered final and the instructor, research director, or test administrator shall send a copy of the completed Notification of Academic Integrity Violation Allegation form along with a description of the Academic Integrity Policy violation and any sanction(s) that will be applied, to the list in Procedural Guidelines E. Reporting Findings.

If the student does not accept the findings, the student may opt to move on to Step Three.

Step Three (Optional):  Appeal of the Academic Integrity Violation Findings to College/School/Graduate Committee

Note: Each College or School will have an Academic Integrity Policy Committee. When the student is a graduate student, the Academic Integrity Committee will be comprised of graduate faculty members not affiliated with the student’s graduate program.

A student may appeal the finding(s) and/or sanction(s) by completing and submitting the Appeal of Academic Integrity Violation Sanctions Form (See Supporting Documents) with supporting documentation to the dean’s office of the instructor of record. Upon receipt of the form, the dean’s office will forward it to the chair of the College/School Academic Integrity Committee. 

The College/School Academic Integrity Committee will within 10 duty days of receiving the form: 

  • Request that the instructor, research director, and/or test administrator provide the Notification of Academic Integrity Violation Allegation form and supporting documentation, and
  • Convene a hearing. 

Attendees at the hearing shall include:

  • The College/School Academic Integrity Committee.
  • The instructor of record, and, at their request, one SCSU representative. See Procedural Guidelines D. Consultants
  • At the discretion of the reviewer, the original complainant.
  • The student and, at their request, one SCSU representative. See Procedural Guidelines D. Consultants

Consultants may not appear in the place of the student, the instructor, research director, or test administrator.

Within 10 duty days of the hearing, the College/School Academic Integrity Committee shall make an appeal finding and communicate the finding to the student and to the instructor, research director, or test administrator. The committee may:

  1. Uphold the allegation finding(s) and sanction(s) of the instructor of record;
  2. Uphold the allegation finding(s), designate the academic sanction(s) as excessive, and prescribe the sanction(s) be modified by the instructor of record to be less excessive; or
  3. Dismiss the allegation of academic integrity violation because the evidence does not substantiate the accusation or it is not possible to determine the veracity of the allegation.

The student and instructor of record will sign the form and indicate their agreement or disagreement with the decision.   

When the appeal has been dismissed (finding (c) above), the College/School Academic Integrity Committee may recommend that the instructor of record, with the participation of the research director, or test administrator when necessary, evaluate the student’s work without regard to the allegation(s).

When the finding of the College/School Academic Integrity Committee matches conditions (b) or (c) above and the instructor of record does not accept the findings, the student may advance the appeal to Step 2 of the student Grade Appeal procedure after a final grade has been submitted.

If the student accepts the findings (a) or (b) above, the committee chair shall submit a copy of the Notification of Academic Integrity Violation Allegation form according to Procedural Guidelines E. Reporting Findings.

If the student does not accept the findings, the committee chair will send the original Notification of Academic Integrity Violation Allegation form and the Appeal of Academic Integrity Violation Sanction(s) form to the Office of Academic Affairs. The student must then file a Step Four appeal to Provost or Designee.

Step Four (Optional):  Appeal to Provost or Designee

Should the College/School Academic Integrity Committee fail to act on the appeal within the required timeline or the student not accept the recommendation of the College/School Academic Integrity Committee based on the appeal criteria (next paragraph), the student may appeal the findings of the College Academic Integrity Committee to the Office of Academic Affairs within 10 business days of the deadline for the committee decision.

An appeal to the Provost (or designee) for review by the Faculty Association Academic Affairs Committee may be made only for the following reasons:

  • A procedural error which substantially affected the investigation's outcome;
  • Failure of the College/School committee to hear the appeal or to render a decision;
  • New or newly discovered information of a character which may have substantially affected the outcome. 

If the Provost (or designee) determines that there is not sufficient justification to warrant an appeal, the decision of the College/School Academic Integrity Committee is final and not appealable.

If, however, such circumstances are found by the Provost (or designee) to exist, they will forward the request for a formal appeal review to the Faculty Association Academic Affairs Committee. A committee consisting of at least three members of the Academic Affairs Committee will hear and conduct the review. If a member of the Faculty Association Academic Affairs Committee is a member of the department of the academic integrity concern being reviewed, that faculty member will withdraw from the committee. Furthermore, anyone involved in the college level review should withdraw from this level of appeal. The review will be conducted within 10 business days of the Provost’s (or designee’s) determination that an academic integrity appeal review is warranted. The Provost (or designee) shall convene and chair the committee as a non-voting ex-officio member.

Coordination, notification, and distribution of reports of the committee shall be handled through the Office of Academic Affairs.   

If the Faculty Association Academic Affairs Committee reviews the appeal, its decision concerning the specific violation is final. If the student is found responsible, the decision and the recommended sanctions will be reported according to Procedural Guidelines E. Reporting Findings.

If the Provost (or designee) determines there is sufficient justification to warrant conducting a further investigation into the committee process, the Provost shall require all parties submit documentation within 10 business days. After the deadline for receipt of information, the Provost may engage in interviews or other fact finding activities. The appeal must be addressed and resolved within ten (10) business days after the deadline for receipt of information. The decision of the Provost or designee regarding any process issue shall be final. That decision will be communicated according to Procedural Guidelines E. Reporting Findings.

Step Five (Optional): Possible Major Program Sanctions

If the student is found responsible for a violation of the academic integrity policy, the student’s major or academic program may impose additional sanctions up to and including dismissal from the program or graduate school. This sanction will be in keeping with the department’s published polices, practices and standards.

If a major or program determines that the additional program sanction for a violation of academic integrity is suspension or dismissal from a major or program, when the student is so notified, this recommendation will also be sent to the Office of Academic Affairs or the School of Graduate Studies. That office will review the sanction recommendation to determine if this decision is arbitrary, capricious or improper.

If the Provost (or designee) or Dean of the School of Graduate Studies determines there is sufficient justification to warrant conducting a further investigation into the program-recommended sanctions the Provost or Graduate Dean shall require all parties submit documentation within 10 business days. After the deadline for receipt of information, the Provost or Graduate Dean may engage in interviews or other fact finding activities. The appeal must be addressed and resolved within 10 business days after the deadline for receipt of information.

The decision of the Provost or Graduate Dean regarding process issues shall be final. The student and the major department/program will be notified. 

Guidelines

Rights and Responsibilities

Students

Regarding an allegation by an instructor, research director, or test administrator, a student has the right to:

  • receive from the instructor, research director, or test administrator an oral and written notice of the allegation in a timely manner.
  • complete an examination that is in progress when the allegation arises.
  • meet with, review documentation, and ask questions of an instructor, research director, or test administrator regarding the allegation in a timely manner.
  • present the student’s side of the story to an instructor, research director, or test administrator.
  • choose not to meet with the instructor, research director, or test administrator.
  • receive from the instructor, research director, or test administrator, a written notice of the decision regarding the allegation and resulting academic sanction(s) in a timely manner, which at the end of a term means no later than the submission of final grades.
  • appeal the allegation.
  • appeal any academic sanctions imposed with the allegation.
  • contact the Student Government Association Academic Affairs Committee.
  • be accompanied by an SCSU representative of his/her choosing knowledgeable in SCSU processes to serve as advisor, consultant, support, or resource person to any meeting during the process, including the student’s initial notification by the instructor, research director, or test administrator.
  • continue attending classes and participate in the course where the allegation arose pending resolution of the allegation(s).
  • continue in the major or degree program, including registration in course-sequels, pending resolution of the allegation(s).

Instructors, Research Directors, and Test Administrators

Regarding allegations that a student has engaged in academic integrity violation, an instructor, research director, or test administrator has the right and responsibility to: 

  • take reasonable measures to explain and prevent academic dishonesty from occurring.
  • make an oral and written notice to the student(s) of the allegation of academic integrity violation when evidence appears.
  • identify incidents of cheating.
  • make a decision regarding academic dishonesty based on evidence.
  • determine academic sanction(s) resulting from the academic integrity violation(s).
  • notify the undergraduate academic program or University College for undeclared students, and the Office of Student Life and Development upon final resolution of the allegation about the student’s behavior(s).
  • notify the graduate program and School of Graduate Studies for graduate students and the Office of Student Life and Development upon final resolution of the allegation about the student’s behavior(s).
  • permit the student to complete an examination that is in progress when the allegation arises.
  • invite the student in a timely manner to meet, review documentation, and ask questions about the allegation(s).
  • permit the student to present the student’s side of the story along with any supporting documentation.
  • use the standard of “preponderance of evidence” (i.e. more likely than not) to determine sanction(s).
  • allow registration preferences at the end of an academic term and apply the In Progress (IP) grade until the allegation is resolved.
  • be accompanied by an SCSU representative of his/her choosing knowledgeable in SCSU processes to serve as advisor, consultant, support, or resource person to any meeting during the process.

College/School Academic Integrity Committee

The College/School Academic Integrity Committee hearing an appeal regarding academic integrity violation has the right and responsibility to: 

  • consider the appeal.
  • either uphold sanction(s), dismiss sanction(s) or deem that sanction(s) should be lessened.

Testing Center Representatives

The use of proctors and testing centers is common and they have the responsibility to: 

  • report quickly and accurately any suspected deviation from testing protocol or breeches of the integrity of testing.

Academic Department or Program

The student’s academic department or program has the right to: 

  • impose sanctions, including removal from courses or dismissal from the major or program, against a student found to have violated academic integrity.
  • recommend additional sanctions to the School of Graduate Studies, including probation, suspension, or dismissal from the graduate program, against a graduate student found to have violated academic integrity.

Office of Student Life and Development

The Office of Student Life and Development has the right to: 

  • pursue action in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct against a student found to have violated academic integrity.

School of Graduate Studies

The School of Graduate Studies has the right to:

  • request a recommendation from the program regarding additional sanctions.
  • impose sanctions, including academic warning, suspension, or dismissal from the graduate program, against a student found to have violated academic integrity.

Keywords

fabrication, allegation, deception, bribery, sabotage, misconduct, impersonation, academic sanction,

 

Supporting Documents (Forms, Instructions)

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Related St. Cloud State University Policies

Definitions

Cheating

Includes, but is not limited to: a. Use of any unauthorized assistance in taking quizzes, tests, or examinations; b. Use of resources beyond those authorized by the instructor in writing papers, preparing reports, solving problems, or carrying out other assignments; c. Acquisition, without permission, of tests or other academic material belonging to a member of the university faculty or staff; d. Engagement in any behavior specifically prohibited by the instructor in the course syllabus or class discussion.

Collusion

Includes, but is not limited to: intentionally or knowingly helping or attempting to help another to commit an act of academic dishonesty. The sale or sharing of academic materials (including one's own work) by any means to other students without the clear authorization of an instructor.

Fabrication

Includes, but is not limited to: intentional or unauthorized falsification or invention of any information or citation in an academic exercise or sponsored activity.

Plagiarism

Includes, but is not limited to: a. Submitting the published or unpublished work of another person as one's own, including paraphrase or direct quotation, without full and clear acknowledgement such as adequate footnotes, quotations, and other reference forms; b. Submitting the work of others as one's own with only minor changes; c. Submitting multiple versions of the same work, written or oral, for more than one course without the permission of the instructor of each class, and/or making minor revisions on work which has received credit and submitting it again as new work; d. Submitting, without acknowledgment, materials prepared by another person or agency engaged in the selling or distribution of term papers, class notes, or other academic materials without the instructor's permission; e. unauthorized distribution or sale of class notes or materials created from the faculty member's intellectual property.

Scientific Misconduct

Includes, but is not limited to: fabrication of data, falsification of data, inappropriate alterations of approved Institutional Review Board (IRB) thesis and doctoral approved procedures and methodology, inappropriate analysis of data, violation of ethical standards regarding human and animal experimentation, falsification of experimental procedures/methods, and other fraudulent actions.

Contacts

Responsible University Officer
   Gregory, Daniel D.
   Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs
 
ddgregory@stcloudstate.edu
320-308-3143
Owner
   Gregory, Daniel D.
   Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs
 
ddgregory@stcloudstate.edu
320-308-3143
Contact
   Schwartzkopf, Lucie B.
   Office of Academic Affairs
 
lbschwartzko@stcloudstate.edu
320-308-3143

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