Policy on Academic Honesty
Revised March 30, 2016
- I. Introduction
- II. Procedures for Handling Academic Honesty Violations
- III. Rights of Accused Students
- IV. Determining Student Responsibility
- V. Academic Honesty Policy Violations
- VI. Sanction Guidelines
- VII. Sanction Definitions
- VIII. The Appellate Process
- IX. Records
- X. Interpretation and Revision
- XI. Conclusion
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.
B. What is Academic Honesty?
Academic honesty is taking full 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 audien ce 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 studying. 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 web site 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, the APA 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.
C. 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 (see also below);
- 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 member for whom the paper is being written. Indeed, any question about any form of academic dishonesty should be addressed to the appropriate faculty member. It is always “better safe than sorry.”
D. Academic Honesty and International Students
Academic honesty can have a very different meaning in educational institutions abroad, and there are an increasing number of international students at Keene State College. The Global Education Office provides assistance both to international students and to faculty members 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.
E. 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.
F. 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. .
- The initial sanction will be recommended by the faculty/library staff member, but all violations must be reported to the appropriate Assistant or Associate Dean, who will schedule a meeting with the student to discuss the incident, the recommended sanction, and the student’s right to appeal.
- The Assistant or Associate Dean will make a final decision regarding the student’s responsibility in the case based on the preponderance of evidence.
- The Assistant or Associate 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 kept in the student’s file in the Office of the Dean of Students.
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 expulsion from the college.
The due date of any assignment/project/lab or the administration date of a quiz/exam or the date on which the violation is alleged to have occurred is deemed to be the start date for alleged policy violations and a case remains pending until the matter is fully resolved. If found responsible for an Academic Honestly policy violation the sanctions (i.e., grade of F, suspension, etc.) will be applied and enforced regardless of the student’s enrollment status.
G. Academic Honesty Violation Reporting Procedures Flowchart
1.) An alleged violation occurs
2.) Faculty member fills out form that includes the following
- Evidence attached.
- Recommended sanction offered after consulting sanction guidelines.
(normally within one business day of discovering the violation)
3.) 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 provided to the Department Chair/Coordinator.
(normally within 5 business days of filling out the form)
4.) Assistant or Associate Dean and faculty member meet
- Discuss form, evidence and sanction.
(normally within 5 business days of receipt of form from faculty member)
5.) Assistant or Associate Dean and student meet
- Review student history before meeting.
- Meet with student and review form (normally within 5 business days after meeting with faculty member).
- Student gives his/her account.
- Student states whether or not he/she takes responsibility for incident.
- Assistant or Associate Dean determines student responsibility (finding must normally be rendered within 5 business days of meeting with student).
- Assistant Dean explains the appeal process and future consequences of violating policy.
- Assistant or Associate Dean shares sanction with faculty member.
6.) Assistant or Associate Dean provides the student with a copy of the Assistant or Associate Dean’s Report
- All case records are filed in the Office of the Provost and the Dean of Students Office.
(normally, within 15 business days of final meeting with Student)
7.) Student Determines if she/he wants to Appeal
- The Student has 5 business days from the receipt of the Assistant or Associate Dean’s Report to submit a written appeal to the Dean for outcomes less than suspension/expulsion, or to the Provost if case has resulted in suspension or expulsion. 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 expulsion, and if the timing is within the academic calendar parameters, the student may appeal to the Provost or his/her designee.
- The decision of the Provost or his/her designee in such appellate cases is final.
- All case records are filed in the Office of the Provost and the Dean of Students Office. Appellate outcomes are normally issued in writing to the student within 15 business days of the receipt of the student’s appeal letter.
II. Procedures for Handling Academic Honesty Violations
A. A Violation of the Academic Honesty Policy is Identified and recorded
The due date of any assignment/project/lab or the administration date of a quiz/exam or the date on which the violation is alleged to have occurred is deemed to be the start date for alleged policy violations and a case remains pending until the matter is fully resolved. If found responsible for an Academic Honestly policy violation the sanctions (i.e., grade of F, suspension, etc.) will be applied and enforced regardless of the student’s enrollment status. 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.
B. 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 or Associate Dean. The faculty member should include information regarding the attempted communications with the student. The faculty member should clearly explain to the student the charge, the evidence of an academic honesty violation, and the recommended sanction.. 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 or Associate 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 or Associate Dean.
C. The Assistant or Associate Dean and Faculty Member Meet
The Assistant or Associate 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 recommended sanction and the Assistant or Associate Dean will also address any concerns she/he has with the faculty member’s report.
D. The Assistant or Associate Dean and the Student Meet
Normally, within five business days of meeting with the faculty member the Assistant or Associate Dean will meet with the student. The Assistant or Associate Dean will send communication using the student’s KSC.keene.edu account. If the student fails to respond, the case will go forward and the student will receive the outcome in writing. Before the Assistant or Associate 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 or Associate 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 or Associate 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 or Associate 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 or Associate 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 or Associate Dean will inform the student of the potential non-compliance sanction and include the same information in the “Assistant or Associate 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. If the student is found responsible, the Assistant or Associate Dean may alter the recommended sanction issued by the faculty/library staff member only when the student’s prior Academic Honesty history necessitates a more serious charge. The Assistant or Associate 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 or Associate Dean’s report will be sent to the Faculty member.
The Assistant or Associate Dean will explain the appeal process to the student. In most cases, the student will leave the Assistant or Associate 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 Dean of Students Office.
Either the accused student or the faculty member who filed the original complaint may appeal the findings of the Assistant or Associate Dean to the Dean or his/her designee, except in cases which have resulted in suspension or expulsion. These cases will be assigned to the Office of the Provost. The role of the Dean, Provost or his/her designee is not to repeat the duties of the Assistant or Associate 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 or Associate 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 or Associate 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 expulsion the student may appeal the case to the Provost or his/her designee. The student may meet with the Provost or his/her designee to make a personal statement and answer questions.
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 Dean of Students Office. Once all appeal processes are complete, the Dean of Students and the Registrar will be notified. No further appeals are possible.
If a student does not appeal, the Provost will confirm the outcome of the Assistant or Associate Dean’s Report Form to the student in an outcome 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 Dean of Students Office. The Dean of Students and the Registrar will be notified.
III. 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:
A. 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.
B. A student is presumed not responsible until a decision is reached as a result of a preponderance of evidence formally presented before the Assistant or Associate Dean. An accused student may voluntarily accept responsibility for a violation(s).
C. 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 questions from the accused student. Unless otherwise authorized by the Assistant or Associate Dean for the purpose of protecting an individual or the College community (with the exception of some victims/witnesses), all such presentations and questions shall occur at the time of the meeting with the Assistant or Associate Dean. The Assistant or Associate Dean shall assure that the accused student is apprised of the evidence and testimony against him/her in sufficient detail to enable him/her to prepare their case. It is the responsibility of the Assistant or Associate Dean to determine the nature and extent of the testimony and other evidence to be considered in deliberations.
D. A student may invoke the right to remain silent.
E. The choice to remain silent will not exclude the student from the right to present and question witnesses and other evidence, nor shall it be regarded as an admission of misconduct or an acceptance of responsibility.
F. A student found responsible for violating the Academic Honesty Policy shall have five (5) business days from the date of the “Assistant or Associate Dean’s Report” in which to file a written appeal with the Dean or Provost if the case outcome has resulted in suspension or expulsion. 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.
G. The accused student has a right to have an advisor who may be anyone of the student’s choosing as long as s/he is a current member of the College community.. 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 or Associate Dean during a meeting, unless authorized to do so by the Assistant or Associate Dean.
H. 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.
IV. 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.
V. 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 course, in any other course 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 someone else’s 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 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).
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 an 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 Violating 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).
VI. Sanction Guidelines
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.
B. Violation Definitions
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 expulsion) require that the student take the college-designated educational sanction. 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 expulsion.
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 effect 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.
C. Violation and Sanction Examples
Level - One Violations
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 college-designated educational sanction 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.
- 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 college-designated educational sanction, 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.
- Academic Misconduct 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 college-designated educational sanction, 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 Misconduct Suspension: while suspended from the institution the student may be required to complete educational sanctions (i.e., completion of the college-designated educational sanction) 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 may be required to participate in additional Educational Sanctions.
- Academic Expulsion.
VII. Sanction Definitions
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.
Restitution: 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 will 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 expulsion from the College.
Academic Misconduct Suspension: An academic misconduct 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. 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/Vice President for Academic Affairs. A notation of “Academic Misconduct Suspension” is entered on the student’s transcript. Students suspended for a semester or more must apply to the Director of Admissions for formal re-admission to the College.
Academic Expulsion: 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 expelled for violations of the Academic Honesty Policy may be allowed on campus for legitimate campus administrative business with the prior approval of the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs. The notation of “Academic Expulsion” is entered on the student’s transcript and becomes a part of her/his permanent record.
VIII. The Appellate Process
A. 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 or Associate 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 or Associate 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 or Associate Dean. If an appeal is upheld by the Dean, Provost or his/her designee due to new information or a procedural error, the matter shall be handled by the Dean, Provost or his/her designee.
B. 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 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 Provost or his/her designee will make a decision 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.keene.edu 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 Dean of Students Office and the Office of Student Conduct. The Director of Student Conduct will enter the outcome into a database which the Assistant or Associate Deans can access for any future cases.
C. In appeals of suspension or expulsion, the Provost or his/her designee will be solely responsible for the appeal process.
Appellate Review Outline
a. The student may provide testimony in writing and is not required to be at the appeals hearing. The student also has a right to meet with the Provost or his/her designee in order to clarify the grounds for the appeal.
b. Function of the Appeals Process: 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 Provost or his/her designee will review any new information to determine if it provides substantive evidence to change the outcome of the hearing.
c. Outcome: The decision of the Provost or his/her designee will be final and will be delivered in writing through the KSC email 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 expulsion, 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). .
A. Written Records
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 Dean of Students Office. Student academic misconduct files are also maintained in the Office of the Provost. An additional copy should be forwarded to the Office of Student Conduct 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 Misconduct Suspension” and “Academic Expulsion” are entered on a student’s academic transcript as well as in his/her official file. The notation of an “Academic Misconduct 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 misconduct suspension shall not be a basis for the early removal of this notation. The notation of “Academic Expulsion” shall not be removed from a student’s transcript except upon the order of the President.
X. 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.