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Faculty Policy Series #11

Procedure For Handling Violations Of Academic Honesty By Undergraduate Students At Hofstra University

(See Faculty Policy Series #llA for the School of Law and Faculty Policy Series #11G for Graduate Students)

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I.       Statement of Principles

Hofstra University places high value upon educating students about academic honesty. At the same time, the University will not tolerate dishonesty, and it will not offer the privileges of the community to the repeat offender.

  1. Education, prevention and faculty responsibility:
    It is the responsibility of the faculty not only to share knowledge, but also to communicate understanding of, and respect for, the process and ethics by which knowledge is produced.  Faculty are obligated to promote awareness of, and to educate all students about what constitutes academic honesty.  Faculty should provide students with helpful sources of information on the subject such as the Hofstra Writer’s Guide, and websites covering issues related to academic honesty (e.g., www.academicintegrity.org; ). Faculty can disseminate this information through a variety of media, including course outlines and handouts, discussions regarding acceptable classroom behavior, and explanations of grading policies and the consequences of dishonesty. Faculty are also asked to encourage students to take advantage of structured opportunities to learn about academic honesty, such as workshops offered by the Writing Center. And, faculty should teach by example, with instructors’ teaching materials including appropriate citations. Such educational efforts will foster a cooperative climate that deters instances of academic dishonesty. 

    To assure impartiality in the classroom, instructors should provide students with an explicitly stated grading policy.  Such a grading policy may also include an academic honesty policy, which provides for specific penalties for certain academic honesty violations.

    When deciding how and when to disseminate the ethics and processes by which knowledge is produced, faculty are encouraged to use their judgment and to confer with their colleagues in arriving at a conclusion as to what constitutes a reasonable penalty that is neither too harsh nor too lenient.

    To ensure that the University appropriately responds to students who repeatedly violate the principles of academic honesty, it is incumbent upon faculty to report all violations by completing the “Report Form on Violations of Academic Conduct” (see Section III C.) 
  2. Students’ responsibility:
    The academic community assumes that work of any kind--whether a research paper, a critical essay, a homework assignment, a test or quiz, a computer program, or a creative assignment in any medium--is done, entirely and without unauthorized assistance, by the individual(s) whose name(s) it bears. If joint projects are assigned, then the work is expected to be wholly the work of those whose names it bears.  If the work contains facts, ideas, opinions, discoveries, words, statistics, illustrations, or other elements in any media form (including electronic) that are beyond the assumption of being common knowledge, these must be fully and appropriately acknowledged, following a prescribed format for doing so. They may be acknowledged through footnotes, endnotes, citations, or whatever other means of accreditation is acceptable according to the format prescribed in that particular field of study.

    Students bear the ultimate responsibility for implementing the principles of academic honesty.  Students must understand that it is not enough to identify the source of quoted material; it is also necessary to indicate when one is paraphrasing (restating in other words) material found in a source. Thus, the use of other's ideas as well as their words needs to be acknowledged.

 II. Violations

Any violation of these principles constitutes academic dishonesty. Indeed, it is important for students to avoid even the appearance of dishonesty. The following is a partial list of such violations and is not exhaustive:

  1. Violations Regarding Exams:
    1. obtaining unauthorized information concerning an exam and/or giving such information to another student;
    2. communicating with anyone, other than the exam proctor, while taking an exam;
    3. helping another person to cheat on an examination;
    4. reading or copying another student’s examination sheet or book during an exam;
    5. possessing unauthorized materials or tools (such as cellphones, calculators, electronic hand-held devices, computers) in the examination room during an exam and/or consulting such materials or tools during an exam;
    6. without proper authorization, beginning an exam before the prescribed time   or continuing to work on the exam after the prescribed time;
    7. failing to submit all bluebooks and examination materials at the end of an exam or removing bluebooks or examination materials from the exam room without the proctor’s or faculty member’s approval;
    8. having another person take an exam in one’s place;
    9. submitting work produced with unauthorized collaboration or assistance;
  2. Violations Regarding Plagiarism:
    1. copying or substantially copying someone else's words without both citing the author of the quotation and using either quotation marks or an indented block quotation;
    2. paraphrasing someone else's words or work without citing the source;
    3. using paid "research services";
    4. copying from another’s term paper or computer disk;
    5. submitting work produced with unauthorized collaboration or assistance;
    6. fabricating sources.
  3. Other Violations:
    1. submitting the same or a significantly similar work for credit in more than one course without the consent of the faculty members involved;
    2. falsifying experimental data;
    3. using computer programs or data without proper authorization or acknowledgment;
    4. making one’s own academic work available to others to present as the recipients’ own;
    5. submitting work produced with collaboration or assistance unauthorized by the faculty member.

III. Procedures for Handling Violations

  1. Since the goal of Hofstra University's policy on academic honesty is to educate, rather than to punish, the instructor has an obligation to inform a student as soon as possible that a violation of academic honesty may have occurred.  The faculty member should explain the nature of the alleged offense, inquire into the student's knowledge of its character and seriousness, ascertain the student's motivation, and take into consideration any relevant information the student wishes to provide. If after a good-faith effort such a discussion cannot take place, the faculty member should proceed with filing the “Report Form on Violations of Academic Conduct,” nonetheless, as detailed in III.B. below.  The student may appeal this charge and/or penalty  as outlined in Section IV.

    Once a faculty member determines that a violation of academic honesty has occurred, the instructor shall assess the penalty according to the following criteria:
    1. Predetermined academic honesty policy
      If the instructor previously prepared and issued to students a predetermined academic honesty policy, which includes specific penalties for certain violations, then the instructor should abide by the provisions of this policy.
    2. Consultation and Assessment
      Before a penalty for an infraction is imposed, the faculty member should attempt to assess the appropriateness of the penalty with the student. Faculty are also encouraged to confer with their colleagues in arriving at a conclusion as to what constitutes a reasonable penalty that is neither too harsh nor too lenient. In cases of academic dishonesty, a range of penalties may be appropriate. In cases of plagiarism, or cheating on an examination, some faculty give failing grades for the assignment or examination and others give failing grades for the course. In cases in which the grade of F is awarded for the course, the student may not withdraw from the course.
  2. The instructor must inform the Provost and the Dean of Students of each violation by completing the "Report Form on Violations of Academic Conduct." This information will be filed exclusively in the Provost’s Office and the Dean of Students Office until the student graduates.  A copy of the “Report Form on Violations of Academic Conduct” must also be given to the student by the faculty member within ten (10) days of the date of the determination of the infraction
  3. An undergraduate student who commits a second violation of academic honesty shall be subject to suspension or dismissal. The Office of the Provost shall inform the student by letter of both their status and his or her right to appeal.

IV. Right of Appeal

  1. The student has the right to appeal a charge of academic dishonesty, the grade resulting from the charge, or a suspension/dismissal decision.
  2. Upon receipt of notification from the Dean of Students, the student has seven days to appeal in writing to the Office of the Provost a charge of academic dishonesty, the grade resulting from the charge, or a suspension/dismissal decision.  The Provost shall review the appeal and the procedures followed up to that point. The Provost shall see that any procedural violations are remedied and attempt to mediate a resolution of the dispute.
  3. If resolution is not achieved, the Provost will then appoint an Ad hoc Board of Appeals. The Ad hoc Board of Appeals will consist of three (3) voting members chosen from the Honor Board, including one (1) student, one (1) academic administrator, and one (1) faculty member.  In addition, the Ad hoc Board of Appeals will contain four (4) non-voting members including a representative from the Provost’s office (who chairs the Ad hoc Board of Appeals), Student Affairs, the Dean’s office in the school or college where the alleged violation was said to have occurred, and the department (normally the Department Chair) where the alleged violation was said to have occurred.
  4. The Ad hoc Board of Appeals will be governed by the following bylaws:
    1. The presumption of innocence shall apply. The board shall review the case de novo: The burden of proof of the violation and the justification of the penalty is upon the faculty member making the charge.
    2. The student must have an explicit statement of the charges and a reasonable amount of time prior to the first formal meeting of the Board.
    3. The student may have an adviser of his/her choice from within the University.
    4. Both parties must be present when either party is presenting statements or evidence to the Board.
    5. Both parties may elect to present evidence or call witnesses on their behalf.
    6. Both parties must receive copies of written evidence presented to the Board.
    7. Both parties may elect to cross-examine those who appear.
  5. Decisions of the ad hoc Board of Appeals are final and binding and will be presented in writing to the student and the faculty member, with a copy to the Provost.

FPS #11
(rev. 2012)