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: 01/28/2022

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 students to fulfill academic obligations honestly and fairly without engaging in cheating, plagiarism, fabrication, collusion, scientific misconduct 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 academic integrity in alignment with the values outlined in the Husky Compact. 

Students found in violation of this policy may 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/program, graduate school, or the university. Findings and sanctions, if imposed, will be reported to the college or school which housed the major or program, and the Office of Student Life and Development. Student Life and Development may review for possible further action under the Student Code of Conduct, and will retain this record according to the retention for code of conduct violations. Sanctions and findings for graduate students will also be reported to the School of Graduate Studies. Students may request a review of findings and original sanction(s) and an appeal of additional major/program sanction(s) per the Academic Integrity Procedure. If a student’s grade in a course is changed through the procedure that implements this policy that grade change cannot be subject to an appeal through the SCSU Grade Appeal Policy and Procedure.

Retaliation against any party involved in the Academic Integrity procedure is strictly prohibited. Retaliation may be subject to action under appropriate student or employee policies.

Procedure

Students who are given notice of an academic integrity violation should continue to attend class and participate in educational experiences without prejudice while the following procedural steps are in process and a final outcome is reached. This may not be possible when an accused student is subject to external ethical or behavioral expectations, such as when the allegation occurs in a course that involves placement at a clinic, school, or other experiential learning site. If a contract with the site or the program’s published process allows for suspension or removal from placement, the site or program may suspend or remove a student from a placement location prior to or during the completion of the academic integrity procedure.

A student may withdraw from a course during this procedure, but could still be subject to sanctions. Students may register for classes occurring in a subsequent academic term during this procedure, including a repeat of the same course or the next course in a sequence. However, if the next course in a sequence requires completion of the pre-requisite before the student can be placed for internship, clinical or experiential learning, or other applied learning opportunity, students are encouraged to not register for those subsequent courses. A student enrolled in the next course in a sequence shall be permitted to complete that subsequent course even if the outcome of the academic integrity procedure requires them to retake the pre-requisite course, except when successful completion of the pre-requisite is required before an internship, a clinical or experiential placement, or other applied learning opportunity.

All academic integrity violations, findings, and sanctions must be documented using the appropriate forms. (See Supporting Documents). Specific routing instructions are included on the forms to ensure that the appropriate parties have a record of findings and/or sanctions. Deadlines are also included on the forms. If extraordinary circumstances arise preventing the timeline from being met, either party may contact the dean of the college or school in which the course is housed. The dean may also be contacted about process or committee issues.

The student(s) may request one representative of their choosing and at their own expense, if any, to serve as a consultant at any meeting during the process. For a description of this role and sources for consultants, see the Related St. Cloud State University Policy section for a link to Assisting Students with University Policy and Procedure. A student’s chosen consultant may be present during meetings of the academic integrity procedure, but may not appear in the place of, nor speak, write, or otherwise communicate on behalf of, the student.

Step One: 

Notification of Academic Integrity Violation Allegation

The professor, instructor, research director, test administrator, or other university employee who observes a possible academic integrity violation has the initial responsibility to immediately, or as soon as possible upon discovery, and when reasonable, inform the student of an allegation by giving the student a copy of a completed Box 1 of the Academic Integrity Allegation Form (See Supporting Documents). 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 Academic Integrity Allegation Form shall be provided at the soonest opportunity following the completion of the test, presentation, or other classroom activity. If a research director, test administrator, or other university employee is the issuer of the form and they are not the Professor or Instructor of Record (PIR), a copy will be sent to the PIR as well (See Definitions). It is acceptable to send copies of this signed form to official St. Cloud State University email addresses.

Informal Resolution: Within 10 duty days from the date the Academic Integrity Allegation Form is received with Box 1 completed, the PIR is to meet with the student to discuss the allegation(s) and whether the information and/or documentation supports the allegation(s), and determine whether to dismiss the allegation or apply sanction(s). At the discretion of the PIR, the research director, test administrator, or other university employee overseeing the course at the time of the allegation may also attend this meeting. Electronic communication (e.g., conference phone call, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, etc.) may be used in lieu of a face to face meeting. During the meeting, the student has the right to:

  • Review and question the information (documents, observations, etc.) supporting the allegation.
  • 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.

Whether or not the student participates in the meeting, the PIR shall complete Box 2 of the form. If the student chooses not to participate, the PIR 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 student shall have 5 business days from the date of the scheduled meeting to either (a) accept the decision and any associated sanction(s); or (b) express their intent to appeal. The student shall communicate their decision by signing in Box 3 of the Academic Integrity Allegation Form and submitting it to the PIR.

Notification of final determination: If the student does not respond within 5 business days to the allegation or accepts the sanction(s), the decision is considered final. If the student does not accept the decision, and they submitted the signed Academic Integrity Allegation Form within the 5 business day deadline, they may opt to request a review. When a review has been requested, the PIR shall withhold placing any sanctions until the review process is complete.

Step Two (Optional):  College/School/Graduate Committee Review

Within 5 business days of receiving the completed Academic Integrity Allegation Form, a student may request that the finding(s) and/or sanction(s) be reviewed by submitting the Academic Integrity Decision Review Form (See Supporting Documents) to the dean’s office of the PIR. Upon receipt of the form, the dean’s office will have 6 duty days to form a College/School Academic Integrity Committee, assign a committee chair, and provide both the Academic Integrity Allegation Form and the Academic Integrity Decision Review Form along with supporting documents to the committee chair.

The College/School Academic Integrity Committee is made up of at least three, and up to 6, faculty members selected from the same pool that is used for processing student complaints concerning faculty. This pool is established annually by each dean. All members assigned by the dean from this pool must be from departments within the college or school other than that which houses the PIR and at least three members must be full time faculty. 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.

The College/School Academic Integrity Committee will within 10 duty days of receiving the forms convene a meeting to review the original allegations, findings, and sanctions. The student and PIR will be informed prior to the meeting who the committee members will be so they can express concern to the Dean if conflicts of interest may exist. The Dean will determine whether a different member should be appointed on this basis. Attendees at the meeting shall include:

  • The College/School Academic Integrity Committee.
  • The Professor or Instructor of Record (PIR).
  • The student and, at their choosing, one consultant.

Within 5 duty days of the review meeting, the College/School Academic Integrity Committee shall make a recommendation about the findings and sanctions to the dean. The committee may make a recommendation to:

  • Dismiss the allegation because the supporting materials and information do not substantiate the accusation or it is not possible to determine if the allegation is truthful.
  • Uphold the allegation finding(s) and sanction(s) of the PIR.
  • Uphold the allegation finding(s), designate the academic sanction(s) as excessive, and suggest specific lesser sanction(s) to be applied by the PIR. The PIR shall remove any previous sanctions in place and apply the new sanctions.

The College/School Academic Integrity Committee chair shall submit the Academic Integrity Decision Review Form to the dean. The dean may choose to meet with any individual associated with the allegation. The dean’s office may also contact Student Life and Development for information about previous academic integrity violations.

The dean shall make a determination, complete the Academic Integrity Decision Review Form and submit documentation according to the instructions on the form within 8 duty days. The decision of the dean is final. Sanctions determined by the dean shall be enacted by the PIR accordingly:

  • Dismiss - The PIR shall remove any sanction(s) that have been placed and reevaluate the student’s assignment(s) from which the allegation was lodged.
  • Uphold - The PIR may keep the original sanctions or apply the original sanction(s) if not already in place;
  • Uphold but alter - The PIR shall remove any previous sanctions in place and apply the new sanctions.

Expedited Procedure

It is expected that the academic integrity process will be continuous throughout the academic year. This is especially necessary for students on suspension and for students waiting to progress in their programs. However, due to the nature of the course (i.e. an 8 week course, a pre-requisite course), scheduling issues, the contractual availability of faculty (i.e. academic calendar breaks), any summer course, or other unique situations there may be times when the student could be harmed by a prolonged integrity review process or the regular timeline is untenable.

In the event that the academic integrity process is expedited, Step 1 of the process shall be followed, except that the PIR will have 5 business days rather than 10 duty days to meet with the student to discuss the allegation and complete Box 2 of the Academic Integrity Allegation Form. The student will have 2 business days from the date of the scheduled meeting, whether they chose to attend the meeting or not, to complete Box 3 of the form indicating their decision. If the student choses to proceed to Step 2, the student will have 2 business days from the date they signed and returned the Academic Integrity Allegation Form to complete and submit the Academic Integrity Decision Review Form. The dean or supervisor will consult with the Provost or Provost’s designee to determine shortened deadlines for an expedited process and will communicate those new deadlines with the chair of the ad-hoc committee.

During an expedited integrity review process, the student(s) and faculty shall be given every reasonable opportunity (including the use of electronic means of communication) to participate in the process. If deemed necessary by the Provost/Provost’s designee, an extra duty day can be paid to faculty serving on an ad-hoc integrity review committee.

Additional Major or Program Sanctions/Appeals

If the student is found responsible for a violation of the academic integrity policy, the student’s major or academic program (or the School of Graduate Studies) 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. Additional sanctions by the program or major and any associated appeals processes are managed by the program or major outside of this policy and procedure.

Programs shall not apply additional sanctions until either the student has agreed to the sanctions at Step 1, or the dean has made a determination at Step 2 of this procedure, except in cases where a contract with a placement site or a program’s published process allows for suspension or removal from a placement location. In such cases, the suspension or removal may occur before there is a final outcome in the academic integrity procedure.

Student Code of Conduct Sanctions/Appeals

If the student is found responsible for a violation of the academic integrity policy, Student Life and Development will review the documentation and may assign additional sanctions. Student Life and Development shall not apply additional sanctions for academic integrity violations until either the student has agreed to the sanctions at Step 1, or the dean has made a determination at Step 2 of this procedure. However, they may proceed with the published general procedures at any time during the academic integrity process for all other alleged violations of the Student Code of Conduct (See Supporting URLs).

Guidelines

Resources

The Write Place is a resource for getting assistance with paper writing, including, but not limited to, help getting started, review of drafted language, understanding cultural differences in paper writing, and help with documenting sources.

Advisors can assist with degree completion plans.

Student Accessibility Services is a valuable resource for students with a disability who may benefit from an accommodation.

Rights and Responsibilities

Students

Regarding an allegation by a professor, instructor, research director, test administrator, or other university employee, a student has the right or responsibility to:

  • receive a written notice of the allegation.
  • complete an examination or other work that is in progress when the allegation arises.
  • be accompanied by a consultant of their choosing  to any meeting during the process.
  • meet with, review documentation from, and ask questions of a professor, instructor, research director, or test administrator regarding the allegation in a timely manner.
  • present supporting information and their perspectives or rationale to the Professor or Instructor of Record (PIR).
  • receive a written notice of the decision regarding the allegation and resulting sanction(s) from the PIR.
  • request a review of the decision about the allegation and proposed sanctions and receive a written notice of the decision regarding the allegation and resulting sanctions from the dean.
  • 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).

Professors, Instructors, Research Directors, Test Administrators, and Other University Employees

Regarding allegations that a student has engaged in an academic integrity violation, a professor, instructor, research director, test administrator, or other university employee overseeing a course has the right or responsibility to: 

  • take reasonable measures to explain and prevent academic dishonesty from occurring.
  • make a written notice to the student(s) of the allegation of academic integrity violation when information supporting the allegation appears, including any suspected deviation from testing protocol or breeches of the integrity of testing.

Professor or Instructor of Record (PIR)

Regarding allegations that a student has engaged in an academic integrity violation, the PIR has the right or responsibility to:

  • decide whether academic dishonesty occurred.
  • determine academic sanction(s) resulting from the academic integrity violation(s).
  • notify the undergraduate academic program and the Office of Student Life and Development upon final resolution of the allegation about the student’s behavior(s) (if student does not request a review).
  • 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) (if student does not request a review).
  • permit the student to complete an examination that is in progress when the allegation arises.
  • invite the student to meet, review documentation, and ask questions about the allegation(s).
  • permit the student to present their perspectives or rationale 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.

College/School Academic Integrity Committee

The College/School Academic Integrity Committee reviewing a decision regarding an academic integrity violation has the right or responsibility to: 

  • review all supporting documentation about the allegation.
  • review the PIR’s findings and sanction decisions.
  • meet with the student and the PIR.
  • make a recommendation to uphold sanction(s), dismiss sanction(s) or suggest a lessened or altered sanction to the dean.

Academic Department or Program

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

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

Office of Student Life and Development

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

  • Assign additional sanctions in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct against a student found to have violated the Academic Integrity Policy.
  • Address other Student Code of Conduct policy violations related to, or in addition to, the academic integrity allegations.
  • Document the final determination of the Academic Integrity process in the student’s conduct record.

School of Graduate Studies

The School of Graduate Studies has the right or responsibility to:

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

Frequently Asked Questions

Printable version also available in Supporting Documents section. 

Q. How should PIRS handle cell phones/smart watches during tests?

A. The PIR should use their syllabus to give direction about test protocols in advance and even post expectations in the testing room that day to eliminate the need for questions. Directions including the use of supporting materials, cell phones, smart watches, calculators, tablets, applications, or other helpful tools is at the discretion of the PIRS as documented in their syllabus.

Q. Does the PIR have the right to look at a student’s cell phone if they suspect cheating during an exam?

A. The PIR can ask the student to look at their phone and show screens that have been viewed. The PIR cannot take the phone away or physically search it. If the PIR observes the student viewing a device they should make a note of this.

Q. Can a student initiate an academic integrity allegation against another student if the PIR does not? 

A. A student should not initiate an allegation directly with another student, but they may discuss their allegation with the PIR or complete Box 1 of the Academic Integrity Allegation Form and submit to the PIR for processing. The PIR may acknowledge receipt of the allegation to the student and express that they will process it according to the Academic Integrity policy/procedure. The PIR may seek additional information or supporting materials from the student. If the PIR is unresponsive about the allegation, the student may address their concerns with the PIR’s dean. The student submitting the allegation, however, will not be provided with information or details about the outcome of the Academic Integrity process.

Q. If another student comes to the PIR with an academic integrity allegation, should the PIR let the student against whom the allegation was made know which student came forward?

A. No. The PIR should only share such information with other school officials (University employees or others performing services for the University) who have a legitimate educational interest in the records or information in order to perform their duties.

Q. How does the PIR weigh the evidence provided by another student?

A. The other student must provide physical and/or direct witness testimonial evidence that their allegation is more likely than not to be true. If such evidence exists, the PIR should proceed with the procedural steps. A student may not rely upon hearsay to lodge an allegation.

Q. If the allegation is that Student B cheated off of Student Y’s test, can Student B see a copy of Student Y’s test in order to review that evidence?

A. Generally no, because the test is part of the Student Y’s educational record. However, if it is possible to redact information (such as Student Y’s name), and if nothing else could give away Student Y’s identity (such as their handwriting), then it may be possible to share if Student B puts their request in writing. This can be done by email or by using the Data Request Form. The PIR or Committee Chair should contact the Special Advisor to the President, Policy and Data Specialist, or University’s Data Practices Compliance Official for direction.

Q. If the PIR uses software to ensure integrity or deliver test materials, can the PIR or accused student have access to those data?

A. Yes, it is possible if the software is integrated within university systems such that data can be retrieved by university staff – either physically or legally upon request.

Q. When PIRs request to meet with a student, do they need to let the student know that the meeting is about an academic integrity allegation prior to the meeting?

A. Yes. The student will have already received the Academic Integrity Allegation Form and should be expecting a meeting invite.

Q. Can the PIR request that a SCSU employee serve as an observer to the step 1 meeting with the student?

A. No, the step 1 meeting is an excellent opportunity for the PIR to provide information, education, or resources about academic integrity. It is also intended to be about sharing facts and perspectives from both parties in an informal, non-threatening manner. Including another SCSU employee could make students apprehensive about speaking up or engaging in the informal process. The meeting can take place electronically if there are concerns about heightened emotions.

Q. Can the student have a consultant at meetings associated with the Academic Integrity procedure?

A. Yes. Any university employee chosen as a consultant must abide by Assisting Students with University Policy and Procedure. A student may chose a non-university individual (such as a friend, parent, or guardian) to serve as a consultant, but the expectations of Assisting Students with University Policy and Procedure still apply; expressly that the consultant is not a representative and should not speak or complete forms/correspondence/documentation on behalf of the student. The consultant should only be in contact with the student for whom they are providing consultation. It is the student’s responsibility to express this expectation to any non-university consultant. Whoever is conducting the meeting has the authority to maintain a productive process, which may including, but is not limited to, reminding a consultant or other attendee about protocols, taking a break if needed, or asking someone to leave if they are disruptive or are stepping outside of their role.  

Q. How should a PIR or committee chair handle an outside party (legal counsel, parent, etc.) who goes outside of a consultant role and/or approaches them outside of the Academic Integrity procedure about the allegation or process?

A. If the individual who contacts them has concerns about the student, they should be directed to Student Life and Development. If the concern is about the policy, procedure, or standard practices, the individual may be referred to the appropriate dean, the Special Advisor to the President, or the Policy and Data Specialist.

Q. Can the PIR request that a SCSU employee serve as an observer to the step 1 meeting with the student?

A. A research director, test administrator, or other university employee who was overseeing the course at the time of the allegation may be invited to attend the step 1 meeting. No other SCSU employee should be included at this step unless they are serving as the student’s consultant. This meeting is an excellent opportunity for the PIR to provide information, education, or resources about academic integrity. It is also intended to be about sharing facts and perspectives from both parties in an informal, non-threatening manner. Including additional SCSU employees could make students apprehensive about speaking up or engaging in the informal process. The meeting can take place electronically if there are concerns about heightened emotions.   

Q. Can the PIR bring a consultant to the committee review?

A. No, the PIR is not under investigation and the committee consists of faculty peers. 

Q. Does the PIR have the right to see all of the documentation provided by the student in advance of the committee review? 

A. The PIR has the right to see any documentation the student provides at the informal meeting held at Step 1. Additional documentation, if any, provided to the review committee may be viewed at the meeting held at Step 2, but copies are not provided prior to, during, or following that meeting.

Q. Does the student have a right to see all of the documentation provided by the PIR in advance of the committee review?

A. The student has the right to see any documentation the faculty provides at the informal meeting held at Step 1. Additional documentation, if any, provided to the review committee may be viewed at the meeting held at Step 2, but copies are not provided prior to, during, or following that meeting.

Q. Under what circumstances and who can access the academic integrity records in Student Life and Development and the major program/department?

A. In a standard Academic Integrity procedure, generally the Dean and a Student Life and Development employee are the only parties who will access these records. However, all records created on students are subject to state and federal laws and can be accessed by others as the law permits.

Q. How long are the academic integrity records kept on file in Student Life and Development and the major program/department? 

A. Student Life and Development will retain the records according to their retention schedule for Code of Conduct violations even if they choose not to process a code violation or apply additional sanctions. 

Q. Do academic integrity violations appear on the student’s transcript?

A. Violations themselves do not appear on the transcript, but sanctions related to violations might. Grades that are affected by a sanction will appear on the transcript. Sanctions that result in suspension or expulsion will appear according to already established protocols. https://www.stcloudstate.edu/studenthandbook/code/sanctions.aspx

Keywords

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

 

Supporting Documents (Forms, Instructions)

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Related St. Cloud State University Policies

Supporting URLs

Websites, Related External Documents, Statutes

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.

PIR - Professor or Instructor of Record

The person officially assigned by the University to deliver a course. 

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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