Policy dealing with academic integrity
Institutions of higher education are dedicated to the pursuit of truth. In this pursuit, academic honesty is of fundamental importance. Faculty, students and administrators all have a responsibility to value, demonstrate and safeguard academic integrity as one of the university's most essential institutional values.
The university has an obligation to establish and promote standards of academic integrity, and each member of the university community has the responsibility to understand, support and practice them. When standards of academic integrity are followed, teaching and learning can proceed in an environment of trust. When such standards are violated, teaching and learning are in doubt and under suspicion. Therefore, the best interests of the university community require that cases of alleged academic dishonesty be addressed seriously but equitably.
At Bridgewater State University, academic honesty is expected of all students; plagiarism and cheating are not condoned and are subject to academic penalty, which may result in a failure for the course in which the violation took place. A violation may result in a reduced grade, suspension or dismissal from the university.
Academic misconduct includes, but is not limited to, plagiarism, cheating and dishonest practices. The procedure for implementing an academic penalty for academic misconduct is as follows:
- The instructor shall notify the student of the alleged violation, and they shall discuss the matter usually within seven days of the notice of the alleged infraction. The instructor and/or the student may request that the department chair, or other party from the university, be present at this meeting. The instructor shall notify the department chair and the associate provost for faculty affairs of the nature of the alleged violation, the outcome of the meeting held with the student, and the penalty, which may include a reduced grade on an assignment or in the course, including failure. The instructor reports the case to the academic review panel, and may refer the case for review. The instructor shall inform the student that further action may be taken by the associate provost, in cases of repeat offenses. The associate provost for faculty affairs will refer cases of repeat offenses to the academic review panel.
- If the matter is not resolved, the student or instructor may request a hearing within five school days before the academic review panel, and the student and instructor, each with a representative serving in an advisory capacity, should either choose to have one, shall meet with the panel to discuss the alleged violation of university policy. The academic review panel shall conduct its investigations usually within 15 days following notification and shall follow the requirements of due process. Based upon the allegations or evidence received, the panel may recommend further sanctions, or no change in sanctions, or a reduction in sanctions, and will take into account any previous infractions only after it concludes its investigation of the present case. Further sanctions may include suspension or expulsion.
Requests by students for hearings by the academic review panel will be considered on the basis of inappropriate sanctions, violation of due process, procedural error that negatively impacted the outcome, or new evidence that was not reasonably available at the time of the meeting with the instructor.
The academic review panel will consist of three faculty members and two student members of the academic policies committee, appointed annually by the chairperson of that committee; three members must be present, including at least two faculty members, to constitute a quorum. In addition, the associate provost for faculty affairs will serve in a non-voting capacity as adviser to the panel and will maintain a record of reported violations by students. Multiple offenses by a student may have a bearing on the sanctions imposed by the panel. All evidence before the Academic Review Panel is confidential.
Any decision of the academic review panel shall be forwarded in writing to the associate provost for faculty affairs, who shall inform both the student and the instructor of the decision in writing by hand delivery or by return-receipt-requested, addressee-only mail. Once a student has received notice from the instructor that he or she has been charged with an academic integrity violation, the university reserves the right to award a letter grade or impose other sanctions as determined by the instructor or Academic Review Panel even if the student has withdrawn from the course, should proceedings by the instructor or the Academic Review Panel conclude that such sanctions are appropriate. Where applicable, a formal written notice will be sent to the Registrar's Office so that the student's record can be adjusted.
An appeal by either party shall be made to:
Dr. Howard B. London, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Boyden Hall, Room 104