Indiana University of Pennsylvania Academic Integrity Policy
According to the IUP student handbook, academic integrity is defined as consistently exhibiting honesty and responsibility in scholarly endeavors and behaviors. Essentially, it means that all academic works should be the result of an individual's own effort. Academic misconduct can take on various forms. Violations of IUP's principles of academic misconduct include, but are not limited to, the following broadly defined categories:
- Plagiarism: defined as a form of fraud that involves taking someone else's work or ideas and lying about it. Plagiarism involves using someone else's words, ideas, or data and passing it off as if it were one's own. Plagiarism applies to any type of source, whether published or unpublished, and to any type of assignment, either written, verbal, or otherwise. Basically, any assignment that includes the work of another without proper acknowledgment is an example of plagiarism.
- Fabrication: Fabrication entails making something up to deceive or mislead someone for academic merit. This includes, but is not limited to, the use of fictitious data, citations, research, or any kind of information. Fabrication could also include making up false claims or excuses to influence the testing or grading process to gain academic credit.
- Cheating: This is an attempt to misrepresent one's knowledge, skills, or mastery of information that is being assessed. Cheating takes a multitude of forms, including submitting the same assignment more than once without the authorization of all faculty members involved or allowing another person (known as a stand-in) to take an exam for you.
- Technological Misconduct: Also known as computer dishonestly, includes using or attempting to use computing accounts or other information to obtain a computing account or access to other information resources, attempting to obtain information resource access codes (passwords, usernames, pin numbers etc.) for another person's computing accounts, sharing information resource codes, etc.
- Classroom Misconduct: Any conduct that significantly disrupts the learning process in a classroom is a threat to others. Listening to loud music in your headphones, arguing with a professor, or talking loudly with peers are some examples of classroom misconduct.
The university reserves the right to discipline any student who violates school policy in the ways mentioned above or any other action a student should reasonably know is unacceptable. If you are a student who has acquired academic misconduct charges, your first step should be to thoroughly read your code of conduct. Although I've provided some core terms, definitions, and examples listed in your school's handbook, it's important you read it for yourself to get a grasp on all the major and minor details your school's policy entails. A well-informed respondent is a person who will make good decisions that will maximize their chances of a favorable outcome.
Faculty members (usually instructors) who hold a suspicion that a student has committed academic misconduct must first confront the student by means of a confidential meeting. In this meeting, a student should be notified of an instructor's suspicions, evidence that fuels these suspicions, and his or her intentions of filing charges. After this presentation of information, an instructor will give the student in question an opportunity to provide an explanation.
If an instructor proceeds to bring charges after a meeting, an instructor must use one of the following two options to resolve the alleged violation.
1. Resolution by Documented Agreement
In the wake of the establishment of academic misconduct, an administrator who wishes to proceed with the process will schedule a conference with a student. This formal conference is intended to aid in both parties reaching a mutually agreeable resolution on their own terms. If an agreement is reached, the instructor must fill out a Documented Agreement Referral Form. It outlines the capacity of the agreement and that is has been acknowledged by both parties. In the event that an agreement is not reached, the instructor will initiate the formal adjudication process by filing an Academic Integrity Referral Form with the Provost's Office within 10 calendar days of the conference with the student.
Before a student opts to choose this decision, it's important to note that by signing this form, a student waives any right to appeal the sanctions agreed upon and set forth in the document.
2. Resolution by Formal Adjudication
If a student reaches this phase of this process, it is assumed that an agreement couldn't be reached by document agreement or that the violation is so severe that it warrants more serious sanctions. Formal adjudication entails having an objective board panel (the academic integrity board or provost) reach a decision given the circumstances of a case. An instructor and student will be able to submit written, physical, and testimonial evidence to further support their cases. Once all sides have been heard, the board panel will make a decision pertaining to whether or not there was a violation.
If a matter is resolved be documented agreement, the following sanctions are available to impose:
- Single grade reduction: a “0” or reduced grade on the particular assignment
- Course grade reduction: A failing grade for the entire course
- Constructive or educational task: a task that requires a student to examine his/her behavior
In addition to the sanctions mentioned above, the following sanctions can be imposed during the formal adjudication phase of the process:
- Letter or warning: a warning that dictates a failure to comply with policy in the future may result in severe disciplinary actions.
- Disciplinary probation: a period of time in which a student's status at the university is seriously jeopardized.
In addition to the sanctions listed above, the Academic Integrity Board has the authority to impose the following sanctions:
- Involuntary withdrawal from a program: a student may be denied the right of participating in their degree program
- Suspension: A student may be suspended for a period of time
- Expulsion: A student is permanently withdrawn from a school
- Rescission of a degree: A student may have his or her degree taken away
The appeals process only applies to cases that have went through formal adjudication. A student has within ten calendar days of the determination to file an appeal to the Provost.
Pennsylvania Student Defense Attorney
For students who may be facing sanctions that include a program withdrawal, suspension, or expulsion as a result of academic misconduct charges, retaining a student defense attorney is a must. Legal professional Joseph D. Lento has over 15 years of experience helping students in this predicament come out on top, and he can do the same for you. Contact him today for help.