Policy on Academic Honesty
- What is Academic Honesty?
- What is Academic Dishonesty?
- Academic Honesty for International Students
- Use of Academic Support Services
- A Brief Overview of the Handling of Academic Honesty Policy Violations
- Procedures for Handling Academic Honesty Violations
- Rights of Accused Students
- Determining Student Responsibility
- Sanction Guidelines
- Sanction Definitions
- The Appellate Process
- Interpretation and Revision
The pleasure and sense of accomplishment in doing original scholarship are central to the college experience. For some students, the resulting excitement and sense of purpose will be so great that they will decide to go beyond the undergraduate experience and dedicate their lives to research and writing. But for all students, the feeling of satisfaction and pride in producing their own work, without misusing or misappropriating the work of others, helps build confidence in their intellectual abilities and their powers of dealing with the larger world. To encourage this sense of purpose and accomplishment, Keene State College expects students to understand and observe widely accepted principles and standards of academic and intellectual honesty.
What is Academic Honesty?
Academic honest is taking responsibility for your course work and for your intellectual and educational development. One important aspect of academic honesty is acknowledging the writing, ideas, and research of others. This enables you to accept, without reservation, full credit for your own ideas and scholarly work. While learning from the work of others is essential to the educational process and to all serious research, it is important for you and for your audience to discern what is original in your work.
The accepted method of acknowledging the work of others when it appears in your writing is through citation and proper quotation. Citation may take one of several forms: footnotes, endnotes, or parenthetical citation within the text of your essay. The best method is the one generally accepted in the field in which you are business. Quotations should be exact and enclosed in quotation marks. Some form of citation usually accompanies quotations. If you are restating in your own words the ideas of others you should use some form of citation to remind the reader that these ideas originated elsewhere. Websites as well as books and articles are sources you should acknowledge. If in dealing with a website you are unsure of the author you should at least cite the location of the web page so your reader can examine it. Current handbooks and manuals such as the MLA Handbook and The Chicago Manual of Style explain how to cite websites as well as all kinds of printed materials.
Beyond the writing and research process, academic honesty extends to every aspect of course work. It requires proper conduct during exams, accepting assignments and carrying them out to the best of your ability, and always being truthful about every aspect of your course work, research, and laboratory work. The academically honest and responsible student respects the work of fellow students, respects the function and property of the library, honors scientific procedure, and understands the role of exams in determining intellectual growth.
What is Academic Dishonesty?
Honoring your own work is essential to the principles of academic honesty and integrity. If you plagiarize by incorporating the ideas or words of others without properly acknowledging them, you are violating those principles and doing yourself, your instructor, and the College a disservice. You cannot be fairly evaluated and cannot fairly evaluate your own education without distinguishing your own intellectual accomplishment from the accomplishments of others. If you cheat on exams, you are violating not only the regulations of the College and the trust of your instructor but your own intellectual integrity. If you fail to properly carry out laboratory experiments and simply fake the results, you are violating the principles of scientific research that have made the modern world possible. Because academic honesty is essential to the educational process, the College regards any violation of these principles as academic dishonesty and prescribes sanctions for these violations.
Academic dishonesty may include (but is not limited to) any of the following cases:
- Giving or receiving aid in quizzes or tests, in the writing of papers, or in the preparation of lab reports or other homework assignments, unless an instructor explicitly allows for or requires collaboration; in such cases where collaboration is allowed or required, instructor guidelines on the form(s) and extent of such collaboration must be adhered to;
- Taking an exam for someone else or having someone take an exam in one’s place;
- Purchasing a term paper, using one from a “file” of old papers, having someone write a paper, or writing one for someone else;
- Turning in a “dry” lab report (faking the data without doing the experiment);
- “Padding” items in a bibliography (i.e., listing works not actually used);
- Feigning illness to avoid an exam or other required work;
- Stealing a copy of an exam, or selling/using a stolen copy of an exam;
- Submitting an assignment, completed for one course, in any other course without explicit permission of the faculty.
- Sabotaging someone else’s work or removing material from the library that other students are required to use or cutting material out of books or journals in the library;
- Plagiarizing the work of others, including using material off the internet without proper citation;
- Two students in two different sections or classes sharing research for a paper or in-class presentation (without specific permission to do so);
- Altering or forging college documents (e.g., changing information in transcripts or grade reports or forging a faculty/library staff member’s name or initials on a form);
- Using materials, information, illustrations, charts or diagrams from websites without proper acknowledgement;
- Not properly citing sources of information in speeches and/or public presentations.
There may be occasions when a faculty member permits, recommends, or even requires collaborative effort; however, students should be careful to follow whatever guidelines are set up by faculty for collaborative work. Unless such collaboration is specifically discussed, students should assume that collaboration is not acceptable, that collaboration is, in fact, a violation of policy.
Plagiarism is the use, in a paper or presentation, of the words, ideas, or opinions of someone else, from any source whatsoever, that appears to be your own. The most obvious kind of plagiarism is the use of another’s exact words without quotation marks and/or without appropriate citation. A second kind of plagiarism is the use of another’s ideas, thoughts, or opinions without proper citation: simply putting another’s thoughts into your own words (paraphrasing) is not enough-you must also cite the source of material when you paraphrase another’s ideas.
Another, more subtle form of plagiarism is the use of another’s sequence of ideas, arrangement of material, or pattern of thought without giving proper citation. Material taken from internet or web sources must also be acknowledged through appropriate citation, whether you use the original source’s words or not. In general, students should be aware that a good deal of material needs to have the source cited, that citations are not limited only to direct quotations (exact words within quotation marks).
There is, of course, nothing wrong with using the work of others, if the writer gives proper documentation. In fact, the use of sources (“authorities”) to support one’s views is often a tactic in increasing credibility; indeed, in certain kinds of papers students are often required to use other sources. A simple test is to ask yourself the following questions:
- Have I read any materials that I am using in this paper but have not cited?
- Am I deliberately referring to or recalling any particular source of information as I write this paper?
- Am I quoting or paraphrasing any source as I write?
If the answer to all three questions is “no,” the writer probably need not worry about using sources dishonestly; however, if the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” the student must provide proper citation of his or her source(s). If there is any doubt whatsoever, it is always best to ask the faculty/library staff member for whom the paper is being written. Indeed, any question about any form of academic dishonesty should be addressed to the appropriate faculty/library staff member. It is always “better safe than sorry.”
Academic Honesty for International Students
Academic honesty can have a very different meaning in educational institutions abroad, and there is an increasing number of international students at Keene State College. The Global Education Office provides assistance both to international students and to faculty/library staff who are dealing with issues of academic honesty with students from other countries. However, all Keene State students will be held accountable for adhering to the Academic Honesty Policy. Additionally, Keene State students traveling abroad will be held accountable to both the visiting institution’s policies and the policies of Keene State College.
Use of Academic Support Services
Academic honesty is a complex and broad topic that crosses all disciplines. The overarching principles and intent of this policy apply to all students; the manner in which students learn and complete class assignments may require specific assistance. It is the responsibility of students and of those working with them to understand the subtle differences between appropriate assistance and giving too much assistance or intervening in inappropriate ways.
A Brief Overview of the Handling of Academic Honesty Policy Violations
The College review of Academic Honesty Policy violations is an administrative process. It is not a criminal law process, nor is it intended to resemble one. The College review of Academic Honesty Policy violations is not required to observe formal rules of evidence and may exclude unduly repetitious or immaterial information.
Although all cases of academic dishonesty are serious, some are more serious than others. Those which are less serious will be handled by the faculty/library staff member, who will decide on the appropriate sanction - from restitution to redoing the assignment to failure for the assignment to an F for the course. The initial sanction will be imposed by the faculty/library staff member, but all violations must be reported to the appropriate Assistant Dean, who will schedule a meeting with the student to discuss the incident and the student’s right to appeal. The Assistant Dean will make a final decision regarding the student’s responsibility in the case based on the preponderance of evidence. The Assistant Dean will report the outcome to the Office of the Provost, where the reports will be kept on file. The reports, with appropriate supporting documentation, will be kept in the Provost’s “active” file for five years after a student either graduates or stops taking courses at the college, after which time the reports will be removed to an archival file. Critical information from the cases will also be entered into a computerized database.
More serious offenses - the stealing, selling, or buying of an exam; the presentation of a paper that is wholly or largely the work of another, including “purchased” or “file copies” of term papers; or having a “substitute” take an exam - will be considered as grounds for, and may result in, permanent dismissal from the College.
Academic Honesty Violation Reporting Procedures Flowchart
- An alleged violation occurs
- Faculty member fills out form that includes the following
- Evidence attached,
- Sanction issued after consulting sanction guidelines (normally within one business day of discovering the violation).
- Faculty member meets with student
- Form reviewed with student. Faculty member explains charges, evidence and sanctions.
- Student signs original of the form. This does not indicate responsibility, only that the student has been informed of, and understands the process and charges
- Faculty member explains the next step in the process is to meet with the Assistant Dean.
- Report is forwarded to Assistant Dean and a copy is proved to the Department Chair/Coordinator. (normally within 5 business days of filling out the form)
- Assistant Dean and Faculty Member Meet
- Discuss form, evidence and sanction
- (normally within 5 days of receipt of form from faculty/library staff).
- Assistant Dean and Student Meet
- Review student history before meeting.
- Meet with student and review form (normally within 5 days after meeting with faculty/library staff).
- Student gives his/her account.
- Student states whether or not he/she takes responsibility for incident.
- Assistant Dean determines student responsibility (Finding must normally be rendered within 5 days of meeting with student).
- Assistant Dean explains the appeal process and future consequences of violating policy.
- Assistant Dean shares sanction with faculty member.
- Assistant Dean Provides the Student with a Copy of the Assistant Dean’s Report
- All case records are filed in the Office of the Provost and the Student Development Office. Outcomes are also entered into the PAVE Judicial database. (normally, within 15 business days of final meeting with Student)
- Student Determines if She/He Wants to Appeal
- The Student has 5 business days from the receipt of the Assistant Dean’s Report to submit a written appeal to the Dean for outcomes less than suspension/dismissal, or to the Provost if case has resulted in suspension or dismissal. The letter must state the grounds and provide a rationale.
- The Dean or Provost will make final decisions on all cases. If a case involves suspension or dismissal, and if the timing is within the academic calendar parameters, the Provost may refer the case to an Appellate Board.
- Appellate Board makes recommendations to the Provost.
- All case records are filed in the Office of the Provost and the Student Development Office. Outcomes are also entered into the PAVE Judicial database.
- Appellate outcomes are normally issued in writing to the student within 15 business days of the receipt of the student’s appeal letter.
Procedures for Handling Academic Honesty Violations
1. A Violation of the Academic Honesty Policy is Identified and Recorded
When a faculty member determines that a violation of the Academic Honesty Policy has occurred, the faculty member will report the violation by filing out a “Faculty Report” form found in the Outlook Public Folders or in the faculty Handbook. Normally documentation will occur within one business day of discovering the violation. The form should include complete demographic information, the charge and the sanction issued. Supporting evidence should be attached to the form. The charge must be specified clearly on the form. (Please see the list of possible infractions in the “Sanctioning Guideline” for help in defining the charge and determining the appropriate sanctions.) The submitted evidence should include a copy of the student’s work. Other evidence may include but is not limited to copies of the original work copied by a student (website, paper etc…), evidence of cheating, and previously submitted papers.
2. The Faculty Member and the Student Meet
The faculty member making the charge shall meet with the student normally within five business days of filling out a report of an academic honesty violation. If the student fails to communicate with the faculty member, the faculty member shall complete the form without the student present and send the form to the Assistant Dean. The faculty member should include information regarding the attempted communications with the student. The faculty member should clearly explain the charge, the evidence of an academic honesty violation, and the sanction that she/he chooses to impose to the student. The faculty member should explain the academic honesty policy in general and its attendant system of three levels of charges and sanctions. Finally, the student must sign the original report of academic dishonesty. Student signature on the form is in no way an admission of responsibility. The faculty member should present the student with a copy of the “Faculty Report” form. The Faculty Report Form is then forwarded to the Assistant Dean and the Department Chair/Coordinator. The role of the Department Chair/Coordinator is to clarify questions regarding the process for faculty and students and refer all other questions to the Assistant Dean.
3. The Assistant Dean and Faculty Member Meet
The Assistant Dean and faculty member reporting the infraction shall normally meet within five business days to discuss the report form and any of the evidence of the violation. During this meeting, the faculty member will explain the rationale for the sanction being issued to the student in question and the Assistant Dean will also address any concerns she/he has with the faculty member’s report.
4. The Assistant Dean and the Student Meet
Normally, within five business days of meeting with the faculty member the Assistant Dean will meet with the student. The Assistant Dean will send communication using the student’s KSC mailcruiser account. If the student fails to respond, the case will go forward and the student will receive the outcome in writing. Before the Assistant Dean meets with the student, she/he will review the student’s Academic Honesty history, to see if there is any prior charge of Academic Honesty on file in the Office of the Provost. When the Assistant Dean meets with the student, she/he will discuss the report of a violation of the College’s Academic Honesty policy filed by the faculty member and then ask the student to give her/his account of the incident. At this time, the student may choose to accept responsibility for the charge or dispute it. The Assistant Dean will determine if the student is responsible and will share the rationale for the finding with the student (if possible, in this meeting, but if not, soon after). In this meeting, the Assistant Dean will discuss with the student the faculty member’s sanction and will explain the ramifications of the charge being entered into the file maintained in the Office of the Provost. The Assistant Dean will inform the student that should he/she not complete an educational sanction, the outcome of the case will become more serious. The Assistant Dean will inform the student of the potential non-compliance sanction and include the same information in the “Assistant Dean’s Report.” The non-compliance sanction should move the final outcome to the next higher level of sanctioning (i.e. if a level one sanction was initially issued, the non-compliance sanction would come from the level two list of sanctions. The Assistant Dean may alter the sanction issued by the faculty/library staff member only when the student’s prior Academic Honesty history necessitates a more serious charge. The Assistant Dean may, however, wish to discuss the severity of the sanction with the faculty member, before or after meeting with the student. A copy of the Assistant Dean’s report will be sent to the Faculty member.
The Assistant Dean will explain the appeal process to the student. In most cases, the student will leave the Assistant Dean’s Office with a completed copy of the report. The student must receive a copy of the report within 15 business days of the meeting. The original form should be filed in the Office of the Provost and the complete file should be forwarded to the Student Development Office. The outcome will also be entered into the PAVE Judicial Database by the Administrative Assistant to the Provost.
Either the accused student or the faculty member who filed the original complaint may appeal the findings of the Assistant Dean to the Dean or his/her designee, except in cases which have resulted in suspension or dismissal. These cases will be assigned to the Office of the Provost. The role of the Dean, Provost or Appellate Board is not to repeat the duties of the Assistant Dean. Generally, an appeal review is limited to an analysis of the letter of appeal and the record/documents of the meeting with the Assistant Dean. If, however, new relevant evidence has emerged, this information may be included as part of the review process.
All appeals must be in writing and contain the substantive or procedural grounds for the appeal. The written appeal must be received by the Dean, Provost or his /her designee within five (5) business days from the date indicated at the top of the Assistant Dean’s Report form. The Dean, Provost or his/her designee will determine, based on the appeal letter, whether or not there are grounds for appeal (see below). If he/she determines there are grounds the appeals process will proceed.
The Dean, Provost or his/her designee will consider and make decisions regarding appeals. In cases where the outcome has resulted in suspension or dismissal the Provost or his/her designee will normally refer the case to an appellate board if the timing of the case is within academic calendar parameters. In these most serious cases students will have an opportunity to come before the Provost or his/her designee or the Appellate Board to make a personal statement and answer questions. If the case goes before an Appellate board, the board will make recommendations to the Provost or his/her designee who will render the final decision and communicate with the student. The process will normally be completed within 15 business days of receipt of the student’s appeal letter. A copy of the outcome letter should be filed in the Office of the Provost and the complete file should be forwarded to the Student Development Office. The outcome will also be entered into the PAVE Judicial Database by the Dispute Resolution Coordinator. The decision of the Dean, Provost or his/her designee is final. No further appeals are possible.
Rights of Accused Students
In keeping with the fundamental concepts of due process, all meetings shall be fair and reasonable. Meetings shall be conducted according to procedural rules of the Academic Honesty Policy and in a manner consistent with the provisions set forth in the Academic Honesty Policy. Along with the right to privacy and the right to protection against discrimination, both of which apply to all Keene State College students, students accused of violating the Academic Honesty Policy shall also be given the following rights:
- Right to adequate and timely notification that a “Faculty Report” form has been created indicating they have violated the Academic Honesty Policy. A student against whom charges have been made is entitled to notification within reasonable time, normally within five (5) business days of the generation of the form.
- A student is presumed not responsible until a decision is reached as a result of a preponderance of evidence formally presented before the Assistant Dean. An accused student may voluntarily accept responsibility for a violation(s).
- A student alleged to have violated the Academic Honesty Policy shall be given the opportunity to appear, present statements, and present evidence and witnesses. Any witnesses presented in support of the charges normally shall be subject to cross-examination by the accused student. Unless otherwise authorized by the Assistant Dean for the purpose of protecting an individual or the College community (with the exception of some victims/witnesses), all such presentations and cross-examination shall occur at the time of the meeting with the Assistant Dean. The Assistant Dean shall assure that the accused student is apprised of the evidence and testimony against them in sufficient detail to enable them to prepare their case. It is the responsibility of the Assistant Dean to determine the nature and extent of the testimony and other evidence to be considered in deliberations.
- A student may invoke the right to remain silent. The choice to remain silent will not exclude the student from the right to present and cross-examine witnesses and other evidence, nor shall it be regarded as an admission of misconduct or an acceptance of responsibility.
- A student found responsible for violating the Academic Honesty Policy shall have five (5) business days from the date of the “Assistant Dean’s Report” in which to file a written appeal with the Dean or Provost if the case outcome has resulted in suspension or dismissal. Upon a finding of responsibility, the accused student may request an appeal on either procedural or substantive grounds. While an appeal is pending, the status of the student shall not be altered, nor her/his right to be present on campus and to attend classes, except for reasons relating to the physical or emotional safety of the accused student and/or another member of the College community, the protection of College property, or to prevent material disruption of the College’s educational process.
- The accused student has a right to have an advisor of her/his own choosing at her/his own expense. The advisor will not play a formal role in the meeting, that is, neither make statements nor cross-examine witnesses or other evidence. The advisor shall not address the Assistant Dean during a meeting, unless authorized to do so by the Assistant Dean.
- A student has the right to timely notification of the results of a hearing or an appellate review. A decision may be rendered orally immediately after the conclusion of the hearing or appellate review. Written notification of the finding(s) and, when applicable, sanction(s) shall be delivered to the accused student normally within five (5) business days following the completion of a meeting or in the case of any appeal, fifteen (15) business days from the date of the student’s appeal letter.
Determining Student Responsibility
The Academic Honesty system is not a court of law; the rules of evidence do not apply. Meetings are designed to be educational and corrective rather than punitive. Students who demonstrate behavior that is found to be in violation of the Academic Honesty Policy are found to be “responsible” rather than “guilty,” and are given sanctions that are intended to assist in their development as responsible members of the college community. The determination of responsibility will be based on the standard of evidence known as “a preponderance of evidence.” This standard requires that it be more likely than not that the accused student has committed the violation(s) as charged. Academic Honesty Policy Violations
As members of the College community, students have an obligation to know and obey the College Academic Honesty Policy. Through its policies and regulation statements, the College has made an effort to outline the academic honesty standards it holds. In general, the College expects that the common sense of a mature and responsible individual will determine if the behavior is one that should be avoided. Accordingly, the following list is intended to serve as examples of behaviors that are considered unacceptable to students enrolled at Keene State College. This list is intended, therefore, to be illustrative and not exhaustive.
|16.1||Violation of any published policies, rules and regulations pertaining to Academic Honesty for the Keene State College Community.|
|16.2||Missing or misleading citation (not meeting, MLA, APA, etc, guidelines). In cases where there appear to be minor editorial errors and not a pattern of missing or misleading citation, this may be handled informally at the discretion of the faculty.|
|16.3||“Padding” items in a bibliography (i.e. lying regarding sources, making up texts).|
|16.4||Turning in a “dry” lab report (faking the data without doing the experiment).|
|16.5||Submitting an assignment, completed for one class, in any other class without explicit permission of the faculty|
|16.6||Plagiarizing, either in written format or orally, the work of others including unacknowledged information from the internet or other electronic databases.|
|16.7||Purchasing a term paper or using one from a “file” of old papers, or downloading whole or significant parts of a paper.|
|16.8||Altering or forging college documents (e.g., changing information in transcripts or grade reports or forging a faculty or staff member’s name or initials on a form.)|
|17.1||Giving aid in quizzes or tests, in the writing of papers, or in the preparation of lab reports or other homework assignments (without specific permission to do so).|
|17.2||Seeking and receiving unauthorized aid in quizzes or tests, in the writing of papers, or in the preparation of lab reports or other homework assignments.|
|17.3||Sharing research for a paper or in-class presentation in two different sections or classes (without specific permission to do so).|
|17.4||Cheating on a exam (i.e., using notes, copying another student’s work).|
|17.5||Feigning illness or emotional distress to avoid an exam or other required work.|
|17.6||Removing material from the library that other students are required to use.|
|17.7||Cutting material out of books or journals in the library.|
|17.8||Taking an exam for someone else.|
|17.9||Using a stolen copy of an exam.|
|17.10||Violations of the Computer Usage policy.|
|17.11||Having someone take an exam in one’s place.|
|17.12||Stealing, buying and/or selling an exam.|
|17.13||Misrepresenting one’s identity in an academic context.|
|17.14||Sabotaging someone else’s work (in a lab or on a computer disk for instance).|
The purpose of sanction guidelines is to assist faculty members and others managing violations of the Academic Honesty Policy by offering definitions of violations and guidelines for sanctions. In determining the seriousness of a policy violation, it may also be appropriate to take into consideration the year of the student. It seems more likely to believe that a first-year student might lack the skills or knowledge to use proper citation than it would be to believe the same of a senior; therefore, issuing sanctions which might lean in a more educational direction may be appropriate for first year students than for more experienced students.
An initial transgression of the academic honesty policy may result in a level - one, two, or three violation charge, depending upon the seriousness of the offense. All initial infractions (with the exception of those that result in dismissal) require that the student take the MITT (Multimedia Integrity Teaching Tool) program for educative purposes. A subsequent confirmed violation at any level will automatically be charged at the next highest level in relation to the initial transgression. For example, if a student already has an initial level-two infraction, any subsequent violation would be charged as a level three. Moreover, three consecutive confirmed level-one violations will result in the second such breach being treated as a level two and the third as a level three. Finally, any subsequent confirmed offense after a level-three violation requires a sanction of immediate dismissal.
- Level One Violations: These violations affect only the individual student. Some of these violations may be due to ignorance or misinformation. These violations have minimal impact on the outcome of the course and can be addressed through education and/or some form of reparation. Some issues that arise in this category are due to discipline-specific demands that require specialized instruction.
- Level Two Violations: These include subsequent confirmed Level One Violations. Initial level two violations affect the individual and could have some affect on other students within the class. These violations have a major impact on the outcome of the class that cannot be completely addressed through education and/or some form of reparation.
- Level Three Violations: Includes subsequent confirmed Level One and Two Violations. Initial level three violations affect the individual and usually have an impact on other students within the class. The violation is blatant. These violations typically have a grievous impact on the student’s college career, and no form of education and/or reparation would be appropriate.
Violation and Sanction Examples
- Examples (this list is not exhaustive):
- Missing or misleading citation (not meeting MLA, APA, etc. guidelines). In cases where there seems to be minor editorial errors and not a pattern of missing or misleading citation, this may be handled informally at the discretion of the faculty/library staff.
- Giving inappropriate aid in quizzes or tests, in the writing of papers, or in the preparation of lab reports or other homework assignments (without specific permission to do so or apart from the College sanctioned tutoring services).
- Seeking and receiving unauthorized aid in quizzes or tests, in the writing of papers, or in the preparation of lab reports or other homework assignments.
- Two students in two different sections or classes sharing research for a paper or in-class presentation (without specific permission to do so).
- Repeated occurrences of attempting to inappropriately remove materials from the library.
- Sanctions: Participation in the MITT is required, and one or more of the following is possible: Other Educational Sanctions such as: *Requiring the assignment to be redone on a different topic, or requiring additional assignments to be completed. *Restitution (in cases of damage to materials, such as in the Library). *Receiving an “F” for the assignment. *Loss of a privilege such as use of a computer lab, the ability to check materials out of the library or loss of the use of the library. This sanction is usually for a set amount of time. *Issuing an Official Reprimand or written warning which will be recorded in the student file.
Level - Two Violations (includes subsequent Level - One Violations)
- Examples (this list is not exhaustive):
- Subsequent confirmed violations of items listed above.
- Cheating on an exam (i.e., using notes, copying another student’s work).
- “Padding” items in a bibliography (i.e. lying regarding sources, making up texts).
- Providing false information that affects academic performance.
- Removing material from the library that other students are required to use.
- Cutting material out of books or journals in the library.
- Taking an exam for someone else.
- Turning in a “dry” lab report (faking the data without doing the experiment).
- Using a stolen copy of an exam.
- Violations of the Computer Network Use policy.
- Submitting an assignment, completed for one class, in any other class without explicit permission from the faculty/library staff.
- Plagiarizing, either in written format or orally, the work of others, including unacknowledged information from the internet or other electronic databases.
- Sanctions: Participation in the MITT, if not previously assigned, is required, and one or more of the following is possible: Other Educational Sanctions such as:
- Requiring the assignment to be redone on a different topic, or
- Requiring additional assignments to be completed.
- Receiving an “F” for the course.
- Loss of a privilege such as use of a computer lab or ability to check books out of the library. This sanction is usually for a set amount of time.
- Academic Probation.
- Threat of Academic Suspension.
Level - Three Violations/ Subsequent Level - One and Level - Two Violations
- Examples (this list is not exhaustive):
- Subsequent confirmed violations of items listed above.
- Having someone take an exam in one’s place.
- Purchasing someone else’s term paper or using one from a “file” of old papers, or downloading whole or significant portions of a paper.
- Stealing, buying and/or selling an exam.
- Misrepresenting one’s identity in an academic context.
- Sabotaging someone else’s work (in a lab or on a computer disk for instance).
- Altering or forging college documents (e.g., changing information in transcripts or grade reports or forging a faculty/library staff or staff member’s name or initials on a form).
- Sanctions: Participation in the MITT, if not previously assigned, is required before returning to KSC (where possible), and one or more of the following is possible:
- Receiving an “F” for the course with the notation that the grade is a result of an Academic Honesty Policy Violation.
- Academic Suspension: while suspended from the institution the student may be required to complete educational sanctions (i.e., completion of the MITT) and/or to participate in counseling before being allowed to return as a student. In addition when the student returns to the college she/he may be placed on Academic Probation and/or Threat of Academic Suspension and may be required to participate in additional Educational Sanctions.
- Academic Dismissal.
Students who demonstrate behavior that is found to be in violation of the Academic Honesty policy are given sanctions that are intended to assist in their development as responsible members of the College community. Although the goal of the Academic Honesty Policy is to ensure that students take full responsibility for academic course work and for their intellectual/educational development, some behaviors might jeopardize academic integrity and/or compromise the reputation of the College and may result in sanctions that are punitive.
Educational Sanctions: Specific educational assignments, workshops, or actions may be identified to be performed by a student. Educational sanctions are designed with the intent of teaching the student about academic honesty and why the behavior displayed is not acceptable within the context of our learning community.
Resetitution: Paying for damage that occurred during a violation of the Academic Honesty policy. Students will be billed through the Bursar’s Office. The ability to register for classes and/or request transcripts can be withheld until such time as the bill is paid.
Official Reprimand: A written communication that serves as a documented warning that unacceptable behavior has occurred and that any further such behavior will result in more serious sanctions.
Loss of Privilege: Assigned for a specific period of time, generally not less than one semester. Loss of Privilege means that due to a specific policy violation, a student will be unable to access resources such as a computer lab or the library.
Academic Probation: Assigned for a specific period of time, generally not less than one semester. Academic probation places restrictions on the degree of activities that a student may participate in. Certain scholarships may be withheld or lost due to academic probation. A student on academic probation is not viewed as “in good standing” by the College. Further violations of the Academic Honesty Policy that occur while the student is on probation generally result in more serious action such as suspension or dismissal from the College.
Threat of Academic Suspension: This sanction may be activated by the failure of a student to comply with a prior sanction, or behavior contract, or by a repeated violation. When this sanction becomes active, the suspension will occur immediately, and there will be no right of appeal except on the grounds that the failure to comply did not occur. Pending the result of an appellate review, full suspension shall remain in effect.
Academic Suspension: An academic suspension occurs when, as a result of a student’s violating the Academic Honesty Policy, she/he loses the privilege of attending Keene State College for a specified period of time, not normally less than one semester or more than two years. During the period of suspension, the student is not eligible for a statement of “good standing” from the College. A suspended student is banned from campus. She/he may not register for or attend classes during any semester including the summer sessions. She/he may not participate in any class offering from the Continuing Education Department or any other extension service of Keene State College. No credits from other colleges will be accepted for transfer if taken during the period of suspension. She/he may not attend or participate in any College function during this period except as stipulated by the Provost. Students who are suspended for violations of the Academic Honesty Policy may be allowed on campus for legitimate campus administrative business with the prior approval of the Provost. A notation of “Academic Suspension” is entered on the student’s transcript and may be removed upon completion of the suspension with the approval of the Provost. Students suspended for a semester or more must apply to the Director of Admissions for formal re-admission to the College.
Academic Dismissal: This is the most serious sanction that can be imposed on a Keene State College student. It constitutes a final separation from the College and renders the student ineligible for re-admission at any time in the future. In addition, the student is permanently barred from the College premises and may never receive a statement of “good standing.” Students who are dismissed for violations of the Academic Honesty Policy may be allowed on campus for legitimate campus administrative business with the prior approval of the Vice President for Academic Affairs. The notation of “Academic Dismissal” is entered on the student’s transcript and becomes a part of her/his permanent record.
The Appellate Process
Grounds for Appeal
An appeal shall only be granted if it is based on one or more of the following purposes:
- A violation of the accused student’s rights has occurred. The student or faculty member must clarify and give specific examples to support that the student’s rights were violated before, during or after the meeting with the Assistant Dean. This meeting must have been conducted in a manner that conforms with the prescribed procedures, allowing the faculty member who presented the complaint reasonable opportunity to prepare and present evidence that the Academic Honesty Policy was violated and allowing the accused student reasonable opportunity to prepare and present a rebuttal to the allegations.
- The finding of responsibility was arbitrary. The student/faculty member must clarify whether the facts of the case were sufficient to establish that a violation of the Academic Honesty Policy occurred and, based on a preponderance of evidence presented at the meeting, whether the accused student, more likely than not, committed the violation.
- The sanction imposed was capricious. The student/faculty member must clarify whether the sanction imposed was appropriate in relation to the violation committed and the past Academic Honesty history of the student.
- New information becomes available that was not known at the time of the hearing. The student/faculty member must clarify the new evidence not brought out in the meeting with the Assistant Dean and offering supporting argument that it is sufficient to alter the decision or outcome. New evidence or facts will be considered if it is clear that such information could not have been known by the student appealing at the time of the meeting with the Assistant Dean. If an appeal is upheld by the Dean, Provost or his/her designee or the Appellate Board due to new information or a procedural error, the matter shall be handled by the Dean, Provost or his/her designee.
Changes to Sanction(s)
When there is reason to believe that the sanctioned student or other members of the College community are at risk, or when a need exists to protect College property or prevent material disruption of the College’s educational process, the Provost or his/her designee may immediately enforce any or all of the sanctions, and they shall remain in effect pending the final outcome of the case. Sanctions that are appealed by the student may not be increased; instead, the outcome of a successfully appealed sanction may be a reduction, alteration, or continuation of the original sanction(s). An accused student will not risk a more severe sanction simply by exercising the right to request an Appellate Review of the original sanction.
In cases where the appeal is requested by the faculty member filing the complaint, the Dean, Provost or his/her designee or the Appellate Board may reduce, alter, or increase the original sanction. An increase in sanction must be based on the student’s academic honesty history. Normally, sanctions will not be increased unless prior violations are discovered.
The Appellate Board will make recommendations to the Provost or his/her designee regarding the disposition of the case. A written notification of the decision shall be sent to the student requesting the appeal within fifteen (15) business days of receipt of the student’s appeal letter. Notification will occur as an attachment to an email using the student’s KSC mailcruiser account and through Registered Mail. The decision of the Provost or his/her designee is final. No further appeals are possible
A case is deemed closed when all records are forwarded to the Office of Student Development and the Office of Mediation and Dispute Resolution. The Dispute Resolution Coordinator will enter the outcome into a database which the Assistant Deans can access for any future cases.
Normally the Provost or his/her designee will assemble a board of three (3) members from the pool of Student Conduct Board members to hear appeals of the most serious cases resulting in suspension or dismissal. However, during summer session, and other times deemed necessary due to calendar, personnel, and/or other special considerations, the Provost or his/her designee will be solely responsible for the appeal process. The student may provide testimony in writing and is not required to be present at the meeting of the appellate board.
- Composition of Appellate Boards: The Appellate Board is comprised of trained and qualified students, faculty and staff. The board members have been nominated, reviewed, selected and have successfully completed the training necessary to serve on a student conduct board. The training provided will include information regarding serving on an Appellate Board. The Dispute Resolution Coordinator shall be responsible for ensuring that all members of the pool are in good standing with the College. The Provost constitutes an Appellate Board, as needed, by drawing from members of the Student Conduct Boards. An Appellate Board is authorized to perform appellate reviews of any finding issued that has resulted in suspension or dismissal. The Appellate Board is comprised of three (3) members one of whom should be a student and another of whom should be a faculty member. Appellate reviews shall be conducted according to the procedural rules of appeals and in a manner that is consistent with the provisions set forth in the Academic Honesty Policy. All members of the Appellate Board, whether students, faculty or staff shall participate and be regarded as equals. It is the responsibility of the Appellate Board to utilize a process that is thorough, fair, and respectful of the sensitivities, rights, confidentiality, and integrity of those involved. Should the Board determine that one of its members is unable to review a particular case without prejudice, that member shall voluntarily remove herself/himself from that discussion and will be replaced. The Provost will designate a non-voting chairperson for the board to facilitate the hearing process. The Chairperson shall also observe all deliberations, and advise on procedural matters, sanctions, and interpretations of the College Academic Honesty Policy and other College policies.
- Appellate Review Outline
- Introduction of Chair and Members: The Chair of the Appellate Board will introduce himself/herself and explain his/her role in the process. The Chair will explain that he/she does not vote and that her/his role is to serve the Board as advisor on policies, procedures, and sanctions. Chair will remind all parties present that all information shared is expected to be complete and truthful. The Chair will ask all other members to introduce themselves.
- Function of the Appeals Process: The Chair will read the following statement: “It is the goal of this review to determine that the appropriate procedures have been followed, that sufficient evidence exists to confirm a finding of responsibility and that the sanction issued is appropriate considering the violation and any prior student history. In addition, the board will review any new information to determine if it provides substantive evidence to change the outcome of the hearing.”
- The student’s letter of appeal will be read aloud and clarification regarding the grounds for appeal will be shared.
- The Accused student will make a personal statement: The Chair will ask if the student has any additional information to add to the letter.
- The Chair or board members will ask questions of the student: The Chair will ask the Board if any member wishes to have anything clarified.
- Final Statements from the Chair: The chair will inform all parties that the recommendation of the board and the decision of the Provost or his/her designee will be final and will be delivered in writing through the KSC mailcruiser system and though registered mail, fifteen (15) business days from the receipt of the student’s appeal letter. The student will also be informed that the College has a policy limiting the amount of information that will be released from a student’s educational record. If a student receives a sanction of probation, suspension, or dismissal, the student’s parent or legal guardian will be notified, in the case of ‘dependent’ students (as determined by the information maintained in the Student Financial Services Office for students receiving any financial aid). If the decision of suspension or dismissal is upheld notification will go out through the registrar’s office to all other institutional members of the USNH system informing them of the status of the student and that he/she should not be allowed to register for classes at any institution within the system. The student will then be excused.
- Deliberation by the Board: The Board will then discuss the merits of the case and the student’s history and render its decision. The Chair will listen to the conclusions of the Board. If the Chair does not accept the rationale of the Board, he/she will ask the Board to re-consider. If the Board members are firm in their decision, the decision carries. The decision will be communicated to the Provost or his/her designee within 24 hours.
- Closing a case: The Board chair will draft an outcome letter and forward the draft to the Provost or his/her designee where it will be reviewed and distributed to the student and all other appropriate parties.
The written records of all actions, including academic misconduct sanctions that are forwarded from the Office of Academic Affairs, shall be kept in the student’s official file that is maintained by the Office of Student Development. Student academic misconduct files are also maintained in the Office of the Provost. An additional copy should be forwarded to the Office of Mediation and Dispute Resolution to be kept with all other conduct files. All records are maintained for five (5) years after a student has discontinued her/his relationship with the College. These confidential records cannot be removed through any method and may be accessed only by written request of the student, by campus officials who have a legitimate educational interest in accordance with FERPA, or through a court order.
“Academic Suspension” and “Academic Dismissal” are entered on a student’s academic transcript as well as in his/her official file. The notation of an “Academic Suspension” shall remain on the transcript unless the student petitions the Provost to have the notation removed. Generally, consideration for removal will not be granted in less than a one-year period following the end of the suspension. A student-initiated leave of absence or a withdrawal during the period of academic suspension shall not be a basis for the early removal of this notation. The notation of “Academic Dismissal” shall not be removed from a student’s transcript except upon the order of the President.
Computer records of academic misconduct will also become part of the campus Judicial Network. This network is maintained in the Office of Mediation and Dispute Resolution. Access to the database will be given to the Assistant Deans, Deans/Director of the Mason Library and the Provost.
Interpretation and Revision
Upon the request of any member of the College community, the Provost or his/her designee shall constitute the Academic Integrity Review Committee for the purpose of interpreting policies. Requests for such a review shall be made in writing to the Provost or his/her designee. The review meeting shall be arranged as soon as possible, preferably within five (5) business days of the receipt of the letter. The interpretation of the Academic Integrity Review Committee shall be final. It will be delivered, in writing, to the Provost or his/her designee, as soon as possible, but within five (5) business days from the date of the review meeting.
The Academic Honesty Policy shall be reviewed every three (3) years starting in 2009, or more often. The Provost or his/her designee shall propose non-substantive changes as necessary. It is the responsibility of the Provost or his/her designee to ensure that adequate notice of any and all changes is given to the College community.
As indicated at the outset, the principle of academic integrity is so central to an academic institution that academic dishonesty is one of the most serious offenses in any college and it is one that Keene State College will not tolerate. Ignorance about what constitutes academic dishonesty or about the policy of the College will not be considered an acceptable defense, and to that end, efforts will be made to inform students of Keene State’s policy - through discussions at Orientation and in appropriate and through publication in appropriate places (the Catalog and Student Handbook, for instance). Any questions about the policy or the procedures may be addressed to the Provost. Questions about specific cases should be addressed to the appropriate faculty member.