G-9: ACADEMIC INTEGRITY

 

Senate Policy:  49-20, Academic Integrity

 

Introduction:

Recognizing the importance of academic integrity to the Penn State community, the University Faculty Senate adopted a new Academic Integrity policy, Spring 2000. The shared conviction, represented in the procedures that follow, is that academic integrity is best taught and reinforced by faculty as an element of the teaching and learning process. Only in the limited instances in which faculty believe that disciplinary, as well as academic, sanctions are called for should the process move to the Office of Student Conduct.

Each campus or academic college at University Park, shall interpret and apply Academic Integrity Procedures consistent with University policy.

Campus or college Academic Integrity Committees shall maintain guidelines on ranges of appropriate sanctions for given types of infractions. Academic sanctions range from a warning to removal from the academic program.
 
Procedures:

A. When Academic Misconduct is Suspected:

1. The faculty member informs the student of the allegation while taking into account the confidential nature of the information and the goal of maintaining an environment that supports teaching and learning.

2. When evidence suggests that academic misconduct has occurred, the faculty member will enter the charge and the academic sanction on the campus or college’s Academic Integrity Form, will sign the form, and then convey the charge and sanction to the student for his or her signature (in person or through other methods if necessary). [Note: If the student is a member of the Schreyer Honors College, please refer to Section E for additional clarification.]

3. After reviewing the allegation of academic misconduct with the student, the faculty member may provide the student with an additional period of time (determined by the campus or college procedures) before the student has to make a decision and sign the Academic Integrity Form as to whether or not to accept the academic sanction. A student’s failure to sign and return the Academic Integrity Form, by the specified deadline, consistent with campus or college procedures, will be construed as not contesting the charge or sanction and the adjudication process will go forward as defined by campus or college procedures.

4. Normally, it is preferable to pursue academic sanctions with the campus or college, relying on the assignment of grades and course or program-related sanctions to support the learning process, rather than requesting additional University-level disciplinary sanctions. However, where integrity violations are considered to be extreme, the faculty member may also opt to pursue a disciplinary action in conjunction with both the campus or college Academic Integrity Committee and the Office of Student Conduct. A more detailed and comprehensive listing of the types of academic sanctions faculty may assign to students on the Academic Integrity Form can be found in the document Sanctioning Guidelines for Academic Integrity Violations.

5. Throughout the academic integrity process, the authority to administer academic sanctions remains the responsibility of the instructor and the campus or college AI Committee, as appropriate. In situations where a disciplinary sanction is requested and referred to the Office of Student Conduct, the application of academic sanctions will be carried out by the campus or college, while the application of any disciplinary sanctions will be carried out by the Office of Student Conduct or the Student Conduct designee, in consultation with the Academic Integrity Committee of the campus or college.

6. Once a student has been informed that academic misconduct is suspected, the student may not drop the course during the adjudication process. The Dean of the College (UP) and/or the Chancellor (campuses) or his or her representative is responsible for notifying the Office of the University Registrar when academic misconduct is suspected in a course. Any drop or withdrawal from the course during this time will be reversed. A student who has received an academic sanction as a result of a violation of academic integrity may not drop or withdraw from the course at any time. These drop actions include regular drop, late drop, withdrawal, retroactive late drop and retroactive withdrawal. Any such drop action of the course will be reversed. This drop policy may be superseded in exceptional circumstances (i.e. trauma drop). In these cases, the Office of Student Conduct or the Student Conduct designee will confer with the Dean of the College (UP) or the Chancellor (campuses) or his or her representative to determine if the drop is warranted.

In the case of a student who has dropped or withdrawn from a course before notification of an alleged academic integrity violation, the adjudication process can still go forward and a record of violation created, if appropriate.  In such a case, the Dean of the College (UP) or the Chancellor (campuses) or his or her representative, in consultation with the instructor of the course, will confirm that the student is notified of the alleged violation and proceed in accordance with the campus or college procedure.

NOTE: The following statement shall appear on all campus and college Academic Integrity Forms:

"You may not drop or withdraw from this course until this academic integrity case is resolved and you are not found responsible. Any such drop action of the course will be reversed. If, after notification of a violation of academic integrity, you fail to sign this form, the academic integrity adjudication process will go forward as defined by campus or college procedures."

7. If, after notification of a violation of academic integrity, a student fails to sign the Academic Integrity Form by the specified deadline, the adjudication process will go forward as defined by campus or college procedures.

8. Depending on the campus or college procedures, the final decision on a sanction may differ from the sanction recommended by the faculty member regardless of whether or not the student accepts responsibility for the violation.  For this reason, a student who has been notified of an alleged academic integrity violation should continue to attend classes and meet course requirements during the adjudication process.  If the student chooses not to attend class or fulfill course expectations while the College completes its review of the academic integrity case, he or she agrees implicitly with the sanctions recommended by the faculty member and will receive their grade as appropriate.  The imposed sanction will be communicated in writing to the student by the Dean of the College (UP) and/or the Chancellor (campuses) or his or her representative upon conclusion of the review.

9. The Dean of the College (UP) and/or the Chancellor (campuses) or his or her representative is responsible for ensuring that the process outlined in this document and the specific campus or college procedures are followed. If either the student or the faculty member involved in the instance of alleged academic misconduct thinks that there has been a procedural problem, then he/she should bring that concern to the Dean of the College (UP) and/or the Chancellor (campuses) or his or her representative for resolution.

B. If the Student Accepts Responsibility for the Violation and the Proposed Academic Sanction:

1. The faculty member asks the student to sign the campus or college's Academic Integrity Form, then forwards the form to the campus or college Academic Integrity Committee Chair or Coordinator (at University Park) or to the appropriate designee at other campuses or colleges.

2. In all cases, before submitting the Academic Integrity Form to the Office of Student Conduct for recording, it is the responsibility of the campus or college to determine through consultation with Student Conduct if the student has prior academic integrity violation(s).

3. If a prior recorded violation is discovered after the student has admitted responsibility and accepted the academic sanction(s), this additional information should be reviewed and a new academic sanction may be considered by the campus or college Academic Integrity Committee or Coordinator (at University Park) or the appropriate designee at other campuses or colleges in consultation with the faculty member. Information concerning prior academic misconduct may not be used as a basis for judging a student's guilt, but it may be used as a basis for imposing additional academic sanctions. If the sanction is to be changed, a new form should be provided to the student and he/she should have the opportunity to accept or contest the charge given the increase in sanction. If the student accepts, the academic sanction will be assigned and the case will be closed and sent to the Office of Student Conduct or the Student Conduct designee. If the student is a member of the Schreyer Honors College, the Schreyer Honors College will be notified of the outcome of the case by the appropriate Dean of the College (UP) and/or the Chancellor (campuses) or his or her representative. [Note: Please refer to Section E for additional clarification.] If the student chooses to contest, refer to section C. If the campus or college Academic Integrity Committee Chair or Coordinator (at University Park) or the appropriate designee at other campuses or colleges, in consultation with the faculty member, wishes to maintain the original sanction, the case will be closed and sent on to the Office of Student Conduct or the Student Conduct designee for record keeping. If the student is a member of the Schreyer Honors College, the Schreyer Honors College will be notified of the outcome of the case by the appropriate Dean of the College (UP) and/or the Chancellor (campuses) or his or her representative. [Note: Please refer to Section E for additional clarification.]

If the campus or college Academic Integrity Committee Chair or Coordinator (at University Park) or the appropriate designee at other campuses or colleges, in consultation with the faculty member, wishes to maintain the originally assigned academic sanction but now add disciplinary sanction(s) the College will assign the academic sanction and send a recommended disciplinary sanction to the Office of Student Conduct or the Student Conduct designee along with the Academic Integrity Form and other relevant documentation. The Office of Student Conduct or the Student Conduct designee will meet with the student and review the recommendation, as well as precedent guidelines in determining the appropriate disciplinary sanction to assign.  If the Student Conduct designee desires to reject the disciplinary recommendation, he/she must consult with the Dean of the College (UP) or the Chancellor (campuses) or his or her representative, which may include the chair of the Academic Integrity Committee.

If the campus or college Academic Integrity Committee Chair or Coordinator (at University Park) or the appropriate designee at other campuses or colleges, in consultation with the faculty member, wishes to modify the originally assigned academic sanction to a more serious academic sanction, as well as add a disciplinary sanction, a new form should be provided to the student and he/she should have the opportunity to accept or contest the charge given the increase in sanction.  If the student accepts, the academic sanction will be assigned and a recommended disciplinary sanction will be sent to the Office of Student Conduct or the Student Conduct designee along with the Academic Integrity Form and other relevant documentation.   The Office of Student Conduct or the Student Conduct designee will review the recommendation, as well as precedent guidelines in determining the appropriate disciplinary sanction to assign.  If the Office of Student Conduct or the Student Conduct designee desires to reject the disciplinary recommendation, they must consult with the Dean of the College (UP) and/or the Chancellor (campuses) or his or her representative, which may include the chair of the Academic Integrity Committee.

4. Upon final disposition of the case, the Office of Student Conduct or the Student Conduct designee will communicate the outcome to the campus or college Academic Integrity Chair and/or appropriate Dean of the College (UP) and/or the Chancellor (campuses) or his or her representative. If the student is a member of the Schreyer Honors College, the Schreyer Honors College will be notified of the final disposition by the appropriate Dean of the College (UP) and/or the Chancellor (campuses) or his or her representative. [Note: Please refer to Section E for additional clarification.]

C. If the Student Does Not Admit Responsibility for an Academic Integrity Violation:

1. The faculty member asks the student to sign the campus or college's Academic Integrity Form indicating that the charge or sanction(s) is being contested and then forwards the form to the Academic Integrity Committee Chair or Coordinator (at University Park) or to the appropriate designee at other campuses or colleges.

2. The campus or college Academic Integrity Committee will conduct a review in accordance with their respective procedures.

3. If the student is found responsible for the alleged misconduct by the Academic Integrity committee, the committee will then be informed if the student has prior Academic Integrity violations. This information will be obtained from Student Conduct by the Dean of the College (UP) and/or the Chancellor (campuses) or his or her representative but not made available to the Academic Integrity Committee until the determination of responsibility occurs. With this information, the AI Committee will determine the sanction to be assigned. If the sanction is only an academic sanction, the Academic Integrity Committee will assign the final charge and sanction and close the case. The Office of Student Conduct or the Student Conduct designee will be notified of the outcome for record-keeping. If the student is a member of the Schreyer Honors College, the Schreyer Honors College will be notified of the final disposition by the appropriate Dean of the College (UP) and/or the Chancellor (campuses) or his or her representative. [Note: Please refer to Section E for additional clarification.] If the Academic Integrity committee determines that disciplinary sanctions should be considered, the student is notified by the College that he/she has been found responsible for the charge, and that the academic sanction will be put into place. In addition, the student's case will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct or the Student Conduct designee for consideration of a disciplinary sanction. The Academic Integrity committee will also send their recommendation for a disciplinary sanction.

4. When communicating with a student who has been found responsible by an Academic Integrity Committee and has been recommended for disciplinary sanctions, the Office of Student Conduct or the Student Conduct designee will review precedent guidelines, as well as the Academic Integrity Committee's recommendation, in determining the appropriate disciplinary sanction to assign. If the Office of Student Conduct or the Student Conduct designee desires to reject the disciplinary recommendation, they must consult with the Dean of the College (UP) and/or the Chancellor (campuses) or his or her representative, which may include the chair of the Academic Integrity Committee.

5. If the student is found not responsible for the alleged misconduct by the Academic Integrity committee, the Dean of the College (UP) and/or the Chancellor (campuses) or his or her representative is responsible for notifying the Office of the University Registrar that academic misconduct has not occurred in the course. The student may drop or withdraw from the course at any time.

D. Sanctions:

1. Faculty may assign a wide range of sanctions to a student found responsible for violating academic integrity. Most faculty may choose to utilize academic sanctions (the modification of grades due to misconduct), but when referring cases to Student Conduct, faculty have the option to also recommend a full range of disciplinary sanctions available to Student Conduct such as: Disciplinary Warning; Disciplinary Probation; Suspension, Indefinite Expulsion or Expulsion; or the "XF" transcript notation (see: Sanctioning Guidelines for Academic Integrity Violations and Explanations for Disciplinary Sanctions).


2. "XF" sanctions are assigned only after consultation with the instructor, the campus or college Academic Integrity Committee, and Student Conduct. Assigning an "XF" notation to a student’s transcript should be a rare occurrence and is reserved for the most serious breaches of academic integrity, which may include repeat misconduct.

3. With any recommendation to Student Conduct for an XF grade, the campus or college Academic Integrity Committee must include those conditions (if any) under which it would approve the removal of the "XF" sanction from the transcript. Student Conduct will consider this recommendation when deciding upon the length of time that the "XF" notation will remain on the student's transcript. When the conditions (if any) are met for removal of the "XF", an academic "F" will remain on the transcript. Such conditions must reflect both the circumstances of the individual case and consultation among the instructor, the campus or college Academic Integrity Committee, and the Office of Student Conduct.

4. Through the Student Conduct process the student will be able to request a sanction review for the disciplinary sanction assigned, but not for the academic sanction assigned. Once the student is found responsible in the process, the academic sanction recommended by the faculty and/or the Academic Integrity Committee will be put into place. The only exception occurs when the academic sanction assigned by the faculty member or the Academic Integrity Committee is a dismissal from the academic program. On those occasions, students may request a sanction review from the Dean of the College (UP) and/or the Chancellor (campuses) or his or her representative.  A student assigned any level of disciplinary sanction will have the right to request a sanction review from the Office of Student Conduct or the Student Conduct designee.
 
E. Schreyer Honors College Students:

1. For honors courses, as with all other courses, the campus or academic college delivering the course maintains responsibility for reviewing and issuing academic sanctions and/or referring cases to the Office of Student Conduct.

2. When a campus or college finds a Schreyer Scholar has committed, or has not contested, academic misconduct, the Schreyer Honors College is notified and will respond through on internal process that may lead to dismissal from the Schreyer Honors College.

3. The Schreyer Honors College maintains authority over alleged breaches of academic integrity for its students in all cases in which the violation concerns Schreyer Honors College work, such as thesis research, but in which the student is not enrolled in a course.
 
F. Students Enrolled in Intercollege Majors or Minors:

For intercollege programs, the Dean of the College (UP), the Chancellor (campuses), or the Vice President for Commonwealth Campuses or his or her designee responsible for approving the course instructor for the course in which the alleged violation occurred will determine and manage the appropriate Academic Integrity procedures. These responsibilities will include communicating with the Office of Student Conduct or Student Conduct designee and the sanction review process, when applicable.

G. Students Enrolled in Other Credit-bearing Activities or Programs:

Students enrolled in other Penn State credit-bearing academic activities or programs (e.g. World Campus, Continuing Education, Cooperative Education, internships, study abroad programs, etc.) are subject to the University Academic Integrity Policy as implemented by the appropriate Dean of the College (UP), Chancellor (campuses), or the Vice President for Commonwealth Campuses or his or her designee who has academic responsibility for the program, course or activity.

H. Record Keeping:

1. The appropriate Dean of the College (UP), Chancellor (campuses), or the Vice President for Commonwealth Campuses or his or her designee is responsible for forming Academic Integrity Committees and seeing that students and faculty have ready access to such bodies. They are also responsible for seeing that all cases are reported to Student Conduct. The specific information reported to Student Conduct should include: a) a copy of the signed Academic Integrity Form, and b) other supporting documents that were established or reviewed while managing the case.

2. Student Conduct alone is responsible for the central record keeping and disclosing of student disciplinary records at the University, including academic dishonesty cases. Student Conduct will disclose student disciplinary records of academic dishonesty to third parties when those records include University-level disciplinary sanctions assigned by the Office of Student Conduct or Student Conduct designee. The Office of Student Conduct will disclose student discipline record information to third parties in accordance with federal law (FERPA) and the University policy on managing Student Discipline Records (http://www.studentaffairs.psu.edu/conduct/policies/records.shtml).

 

Approved: ACUI (1-5-78)
Revised: ACUI (5-19-83)
Revised: ACUI (3-29-84)
Revised: ACUE (7-26-96)
Revised: ACUE (11-2-00)
Revised: ACUE (7-5-01)
Revised: ACUE (1-8-04)
Revised: ACUE (9-1-05)
Revised: ACUE (11-3-05)
Revised: ACUE (5-1-08)
Revised: ACUE (1-8-09)
Revised: Editorial (4-29-10)
Revised: ACUE (1-6-11)
Revised: ACUE (3-3-11)
Revised: Editorial (7-22-11)

 

Senate Policy:  49-20, Academic Integrity


 

The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. Please consult a Penn State academic adviser for more detailed information. Penn State is an affirmative action, equal opportunity university.