University of Southern Indiana
Academic Dishonesty Policy and Procedures

ACADEMIC DISHONESTY POLICY AND
ACADEMIC AFFAIRS STUDENT GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE

3.0 MISCONDUCT ACTIVITIES WHICH MAY SUBJECT A STUDENT OR STUDENT ORGANIZATION TO DISCIPLINARY ACTION
Students or student organizations shown to be in violation of these procedures, policies, and regulations may have disciplinary action taken against them as well as any action specifically stated in the regulation.

3.1 DEFINITIONS OF ACADEMIC DISHONESTY
The benchmarks of any great university are high academic standards for both faculty and students. For this reason, truth and honesty are necessary to a university community. The University expects both students and faculty to adhere to these principles and to foster them daily. Put simply, this expectation requires each student to do his or her academic work without recourse to unauthorized means of any kind. Both students and faculty are expected to report instances of academic dishonesty. Faculty should explain the special hazards regarding academic honesty in their discipline. Faculty should also plan and supervise academic work carefully so honest effort will be encouraged.

  1. Cheating
    A student must not intentionally use or attempt to use unauthorized materials, information, or study aids in any academic exercise.

    1. A student must not use external assistance during any examination unless the instructor has specifically authorized such assistance. This prohibition includes (but is not limited to) the use of  tutors, books, calculators, notes, formula lists, cues on a computer, photographs, and symbolic representations.

    2. A student must not copy from another student's work, including (but not limited to) a test paper, project, product, performance, or electronic document or file.

    3. A student must not take a test for someone else or permit someone else to take a test for him or her. A student must not knowingly allow another student to copy one's work in a test.

    4. A student must not submit, during the same semester, substantial portions of the same academic work for credit or honors more than once without permission from all of the instructors who may be involved. In the event a student seeks to submit in a current course a substantial portion of the same academic work submitted in a previous course, then only the current instructor need approve.

    5. A student must not allow others to conduct research or to prepare any work for him or her without advance authorization from the instructor. This prohibition includes (but is not limited to) submitting another's work as one's own, or using commercial term-paper companies or files of past papers maintained in a residence unit.

    6. Several people must not collaborate on a single project and turn in multiple copies, all represented implicitly or explicitly as individual work.

  2. Fabrication
    A student must not intentionally falsify or invent any information or citation in an academic exercise.

  3. Plagiarism
    A student must not intentionally adopt or reproduce ideas, words, or statements of another person without acknowledgment. A student must give due credit to the originality of others and properly reference the following:

    1. Quoting another person's actual words;

    2. Using another person's ideas, opinion, or theory;

    3. Borrowing facts, statistics, or other illustrative material, unless the information is common knowledge.

  4. Interference
    A student must not steal, change, destroy, or impede another student's work. Impeding another student's work includes (but is not limited to) theft, defacement, or mutilation of common resources so as to deprive others of the information they contain.

  5. Facilitating Academic Dishonesty
    A student must not intentionally or knowingly help or attempt to help another to commit an act of academic dishonesty.

3.2 PENALTIES AND PROCEDURES
An act of academic misconduct, even a first offense, places the student in jeopardy of the most severe form of sanction - expulsion from the University.

  1. A faculty member who has observed an act of dishonesty or has other evidence that a student has committed an act prohibited in Section 3.01 shall initiate the process of determining whether the student is in violation of the policy. NO penalty shall be imposed until the student has been informed of the charge, has been informed of the evidence on which it is based, and has been given an opportunity to respond.

  2. If the faculty member finds by a preponderance of the evidence the student to be in violation of the academic honesty policy, he or she may assess a penalty affecting the specific project, paper or test in which the act is found to have occurred. The student may appeal this penalty to the department chair.

    1. If the faculty member wishes to impose a more severe academic penalty (for example, to give a course grade of "F"), s/he will review the incident with the department chair prior to the imposition of the penalty. If the chair concurs with the penalty, the student may appeal to the dean.

    2. In the event the department chair is the instructor of the course, then s/he will review the incident with the dean prior to the imposition of the penalty. If the dean concurs with the penalty, the student may appeal to the vice president of Academic Affairs.

    3. In the event the dean is the instructor of the course, then s/he will review the incident with the vice president of Academic Affairs prior to the imposition of the penalty. If the VPAA concurs with the penalty, the student may appeal to the VPAA's designee.

  3. In all cases where a penalty has been imposed, the faculty member will file the "Academic Dishonesty Report Form" with the department chair, who will forward the report to the dean with a copy to the office of the dean of students. If the student is not enrolled in the school in which the course is offered, the dean of that school will provide a copy of the report to the dean of the school in which the student is enrolled.

  4. If the department chair and/or dean of the school in which the student is enrolled believe that further action is warranted, additional penalties may be imposed. The department chair may remove the student from the academic major, following review and approval by the dean; the student may appeal this penalty to the vice president of Academic Affairs. The dean may remove the student from the academic school, following review and approval by the vice president of Academic Affairs; the student may appeal this penalty to the Student Academic Grievance Committee.

  5. Any appeal by a student of a decision herein must be made within 14 calendar days of notification of the decision.

  6. The dean (or any other interested party) may pursue University sanctions, up to and including suspension or expulsion, by filing a complaint against the student for violating Section 3.01 of the Code of Student Conduct with the dean of students.

3.3 APPEALS

  1. Where the student's University standing has not been affected, any appeal of penalties provided for in Section 3.02 is limited to the process described therein.

  2. If the student's University standing has been affected, as per Section 4.03, Conduct Adjudication Process, s/he may appeal to the Campus Appeals Commission (see also Section 4.05, Appeals).

3.4 IMPLEMENTATION OF POLICY
Specific procedures and reporting forms for faculty members may be found in the University handbook. Students who wish to report an act of academic dishonesty should contact the instructor or the department chair. The dean of students will collect reports of cases in which findings of academic dishonesty have been adjudicated in order to maintain an accurate, cumulative record on each student. The dean of students will make an annual report on academic dishonesty, including a statistical summary of cases, dispositions, and penalties, and deliver the report to the vice president of Academic Affairs and the members of the Student Academic Affairs Committee.

The Academic Affairs Student Grievance Procedure

It is the goal of the Student Academic Grievance Policy and Procedure to provide a simple and expeditious process, allowing both informal and formal resolution of conflicts. Resolutions may include student reinstatement or other corrective action for the benefit of the student, but may not award monetary compensation or take disciplinary action against any employee of the University.

Departmental or school procedures, where they exist, must be followed before the University grievance procedure can be initiated; where such procedures exist, the informal procedures as outlined below may be precluded.

  1. General Conditions

    1. Violation of Policy
      This policy addresses academic grievances only. Academic grievances are complaints brought by students regarding the University's provision of education and academic services affecting their role as students. Academic grievances must be based on a claimed violation of a University rule, policy, or established practice. This policy does not limit the University's right to change rules, policies, or practices.

    2. Not Applicable
      This policy does not apply to conflicts connected with student employment or actions taken under the Board of Trustees policy on student conduct. Complaints concerning judgments of academic performance are not grievances under this policy. Any complaint alleging discrimination in the University/student relationship, including sexual harassment, may be filed with the Office of Affirmative Action.

    3. Qualified Students
      Student must have been enrolled at the time of the alleged incident or action that resulted in the grievance in order to file an academic grievance under this policy. Grievances must be filed in a timely manner, as outlined in Section E.

  2. Informal Resolution

    1. The First Step
      The first step of any resolution should be at the lowest unit level between the student and the faculty member involved or the appropriate administrator. If no informal resolution results at this level, informal resolution may be sought at the departmental level. If the issue cannot be resolved informally, then the complaint may move to the formal level.

    2. Judgments on Academic Performance
      Grievances involving an instructor's judgment in assigning a grade based on academic performance must be resolved through the informal resolution procedure.

  3. Formal Resolution

    1. Student Academic Grievance Committee
      The student Academic Grievance Committee, a composite pool of ten members (five faculty and five students), will be elected in the spring to two-year terms, with graduate and undergraduate members being elected for staggered terms. The five faculty members will include at least two members of the graduate faculty and three members of the undergraduate faculty. The student members will include three undergraduate students and two graduate students.

      1. Committee Selection
        The Student Government Association will elect two undergraduate student members and one undergraduate faculty member. The Faculty Senate will elect one undergraduate student and two undergraduate faculty members. The Graduate Council will elect two graduate faculty members. The Graduate Student Advisory Committee will select two graduate students.
         
        Members of the undergraduate faculty and undergraduate students will be elected in odd-numbered years to two-year terms; members of the graduate faculty and graduate student members will be elected in even-numbered years to two-year terms. Initially, members of the undergraduate faculty and undergraduate students will be elected to a one-year term, while members of the graduate faculty and graduate students will be elected to a two-year term.
         
        In the event of a resignation, the replacement will be selected by the same representative body as the person resigning.

      2. Length of Term
        Terms will be for two years, beginning in the fall and ending at the conclusion of the summer III term following the second year of service.

      3. Eligibility to Serve in the Composite Pool
        Faculty must be tenured to be eligible to serve. Undergraduate student members shall have earned at least 45 semester hours at the University, have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 and be in good standing.
         
        Graduate students must be admitted to a graduate program, be enrolled in graduate program classes during the spring term of the pool selection, have earned at least six graduate hours, have a cumulative 3.0 GPA at the graduate level and be in good standing.
         
        Faculty members must have been at the University full time for at least three years.

      4. Meeting Time
        The pool shall be convened at the beginning of each fall semester by the vice president for Academic Affairs or his designated representative. At that meeting, members of the pool shall choose the chair and vice-chair and participate in orientation and training.
         
        Only faculty members are eligible to serve as chair and vice-chair. Once chosen, the chair serves in that position for twelve months. The chair serves in a non-voting position, except in case of a tie, with full discussion rights. For each grievance, the chair has the responsibility for selecting hearing panel members and administering the work of the hearing panel.

    2. Filing a Complaint
      A complaint must be submitted in writing to the dean of the school in which the alleged incident occurred. The complaint should identify the student grievant; the respondent faculty member or administrator; any other person involved; the incident, the rule, policy or established practice claimed to have been violated, and a brief statement of the remedy sought.

    3. Preliminary Resolution Procedure
      The dean of the school in which the alleged incident occurred will meet with the student and the faculty or administrator involved to determine whether satisfactory resolution can be reached. If this cannot be achieved, the dean shall obtain a written answer from the responding faculty member or administrator and refer the matter to a hearing before a panel of the Student Academic Grievance Committee.

    4. Hearing Panel
      Hearing panels will be chaired by a faculty member and will be composed as follows: three faculty members (one of whom is the chair) and two student members.  If the grievance concerns an undergraduate student, the hearing panel will include at least one undergraduate student. The faculty will include at least two undergraduate faculty.
       
      If the grievance concerns a graduate student, the hearing panel will include at least one graduate student and two graduate faculty.
       
      If the chair of the grievance committee is unable to select a hearing panel member from members of the pool, an alternate member will be appointed to serve on that hearing panel by the chair of the appropriate selection body (Faculty Senate, Graduate Student Advisory Committee or the Student Government Association.)

    5. Hearing Panel Responsibilities
      The hearing panel will review the evidence and hold hearings as necessary. The hearing will be an informal non-adversarial, fact-finding meeting concerning the allegations. Both the student and the faculty or administrator may be present throughout the fact-finding meeting and may present any relevant evidence. The meeting will not be open to the public.
       
      Deference shall be given to the determination of the lower body; the hearing panel will base its recommendation solely on whether a rule, policy, or established practice was violated. The panel will prepare a written report recommending a resolution to the matter and will send the report to the parties and to the vice president for Academic Affairs for review and action. If the vice president for Academic Affairs does not accept the recommendation, the vice president for Academic Affairs will provide a written explanation of any non-concurrence to the parties involved.

  4. Deliberation
    The hearing panel shall deliberate privately at the close of the fact-finding meeting. If a majority of the panel finds the allegations are supported by "a preponderance of the evidence," the panel shall take any action which it feels would bring about substantial justice. The committee is not authorized to award a letter grade or to reprimand or otherwise take disciplinary action against any faculty member.
     
    The vice president for Academic Affairs shall be responsible for implementing the final decision.

  5. Timeliness
    All complaints must be filed within 45 class days after the incident being grieved occurred. "Class days" are defined as days when the University is open for classes or examinations. A response to the complaint must be filed within fifteen class days thereafter. These time lines may be adjusted if there are compelling reasons for delay offered by any of the parties. However, the grievance must still be initiated within the stated time frame of 45 class days after the alleged incident in order for the grievance to warrant review.

  6. Complaints Filed with ICHE
    The Indiana Commission for Higher Education, as the federally-designated agency under the State Post-secondary Review Program, records formed complaints registered against institutions. The Commission, for the purposes of this program, only records such complaints when they have been reviewed fully under existing institutional complaint procedures without a satisfactory conclusion. The student should contact:


    Indiana Commission for Higher Education
    101 West Ohio Street - Suite 550
    Indianapolis, IN 46204
    Tel: (317) 464-4400
    FAX: (317) 464-4410


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