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Academic Affairs / Provost

Administration 203
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4116



Academic Honesty Policy

Academic Policies and Procedures

Academic Honesty Policy

Date of Current Revision:  December 2015

Primary Responsible Officer:  Associate Vice Provost Student Engagement

 

Academic Honesty Policy

 

Honesty in all endeavors is essential to the functioning of society. Honesty in the classroom among students and between students and faculty is a matter that should concern everyone in the university community. Indeed, academic honesty is one of the most important qualities influencing the character and image of an educational institution. As higher education is challenged to improve the quality of its programs, there is great value in emphasizing academic standards and integrity.

 

I. Honesty

 

A. University Responsibility: It is the university's responsibility to provide an educational process that informs both students and faculty of their rights and responsibilities regarding such important matters as cheating, plagiarism, and professional ethics. Most of what is considered unethical or dishonest behavior can be avoided if faculty and students clearly understand both what constitutes these practices and their consequences. The university community should also be aware of the procedures to be followed should a breach of academic honesty occur.

B. Student Responsibilities. Students must be aware that the consequences of violating standards of academic honesty are extremely serious and costly and may result in the loss of academic and career opportunities. Students found to have committed violations against academic honesty face removal from university classes and degree programs, and/or suspension while remaining fully responsible for payment of current and any past due tuition and fees.

To that end, the following Procedures for Enforcement of the University's Academic Honesty Policy shall be followed to ensure that constitutionally required due process safeguards are extended to an accused student.


II. Procedures for Enforcement of Central Missouri's Academic Honesty Policy.


A. Defining Offenses Against Academic Honesty

A violation against academic honesty committed by a student is any act, which would deceive, cheat, or defraud so as to promote or enhance one's academic standing. Academic dishonesty also includes knowingly or actively assisting any person in the commission of an offense of academic dishonesty.

Examples of offenses against academic honesty include, but are not limited to, the following:


• Plagiarism - Plagiarism is defined as the borrowing of ideas, opinions, examples, key words, phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or even structure from another person's work, including work written or produced by others without proper acknowledgment. "Work" is defined as theses, drafts, completed essays, examinations, quizzes, projects, assignments, presentations, or any other form of communication, be it on the Internet or in any other medium or media. "Proper acknowledgment" is defined as the use of quotation marks or indenting plus documentation for directly quoted work and specific, clearly articulated citation for paraphrased or otherwise borrowed material.


• Cheating - Includes, but is not limited to, those activities where a student (either on campus or on-line):

(a) Obtains or attempts to obtain the pre-knowledge content of an examination;

(b) Copies someone else's work;

(c) works in a group when the student has been told to work individually;

(d) uses unauthorized reference material in an examination;

(e) Has someone else taken an examination.

(f) Has someone else complete course work and/or an examination using a student's secure login and passcode.


• Breach of Standards of Professional Ethics - In certain degree programs, students will be instructed on and provided with that particular profession's code of ethics (e.g. The American Nurses Associations Code for Nurses). Under some circumstances, if a student is found to have violated that professional code, that violation may be considered a breach of the Academic Honesty Policy.

 

B. Reporting Violations of the Academic Honesty Policy

If a faculty member believes that a student has committed a violation of the Academic Honesty Policy with regard to an examination or other assigned work (laboratory assignment, term paper, etc.), the faculty member shall preserve any evidence (e.g. plagiarized article, examination or other material) which substantiates that a violation has occurred. Within one week of the incident, the faculty member will schedule a private conference with the student, advise him/her that the faculty member believes a violation of this Policy occurred, and allow the student to provide his/her side of the story or otherwise offer an explanation. Upon consideration of the information, if any, provided by the student, the faculty member shall make an independent determination within five calendar days whether a violation of the Academic Honesty Policy has occurred. If the faculty member is unable, for whatever reason, to contact the student within a five-class day period, the incident will be reported to the faculty member's department chair for further action.

 

(1) In the event the faculty member finds no violation of the Academic Honesty Policy has occurred, the faculty member shall notify the student, in writing, of this finding.


(2) In the event the faculty member determines a violation of the Academic Honesty Policy has occurred, he/she shall notify the student, within five class days, in writing, of this finding. The written notification shall contain a statement of finding and shall specify the provision of the policy violated and, consistent with the severity of the violation, shall indicate which of the following action(s) he/she shall take:


a. Give the student an opportunity to resubmit the assignment or be retested to make up the work or test where the violation occurred;

b. Assign a grade of "F" to the assignment or examination affected by the violation;

c. Assign a grade of "F" for the course;

d. Recommend to the Office of the Vice Provost for Student Experience and Engagement, and the Vice Provost for Academic Programs and Services if the student is enrolled for graduate credit, that the student be dis-enrolled from class;

e. Recommend to the Department Chair and the Vice Provost for Student Experience and Engagement, and the Vice Provost for Academic Programs and Services if the student is enrolled for graduate credit, that the student be removed from the degree program; or

f. Recommend to the Office of the Vice Provost for Student Experience and Engagement that the student be suspended from the university.


(3) In the event the faculty member determines a violation of the Academic Honesty Policy has occurred, the faculty member will complete an Academic Alert Form. When the faculty submits an Academic Alert Form, the faculty will receive an email confirmation. A member of the Academic Alert team will attempt to follow up and provide updates on the progress/results.


(4) The faculty member shall keep the evidence and a copy of all summaries and documentation on file in the event the student wishes to appeal the faculty member's decision. The faculty member may interview other students and members of the university community to ascertain the pertinent facts and circumstances and may request written statements from them. However, the anonymity of witnesses or witness statements cannot be guaranteed.


(5) In the event that the student does not appeal the faculty member's decision within ten class days of notification, the faculty member's decision shall become final and the recommended action shall take place.


(6) A student charged with a violation of this policy shall not be barred from participating in and attending classes, or from taking quizzes, tests and/or final examinations during the ten-day period described in paragraph (4) (above) and/or during the appeal process.

 

 

C. Student Appeal Process

In the event a student charged with a violation of this policy disagrees with the faculty member's decision and wishes to appeal, the student is responsible for notifying the appropriate parties where he/she may be reached for purposes of appeal and must follow the following process:


Level 1 of The Appeal Process

Within five (5) class days of receipt of the faculty member's decision, the student should schedule a meeting with the faculty member's department chair. The chair will review the faculty member's documentation and evidence, review the circumstances with the student, and if possible, consult the faculty member. The chair will determine within five (5) class days of the meeting an appropriate action which may include, but is not limited to, endorsing, modifying, or overturning the faculty member's original decision, or he/she may determine an alternate course of action.

The chair shall communicate his/her decision to the student, faculty member, and the Office of the Vice Provost for Student Experience and Engagement, and prepare a report of the evidence and reasons for making this decision.


Level 2 of The Appeal Process

In the event the student disagrees with the chair's actions, he/she may request a meeting with the college dean, to be scheduled within five (5) class days of receipt of the chair's decision. The dean will discuss the facts and circumstances of the violation with the student, and other involved parties, on a collective or individual basis depending on the circumstances. The dean may also interview witnesses and undertake further investigative activities if he/she believes the circumstances merit further action. The dean shall complete his/her meetings and investigation and issue a finding within fifteen (15) class days of receipt of the student's appeal. In the event the dean is unable to accommodate this time frame, the student and other affected parties will be notified of this fact and the anticipated length of time needed to render a decision. The dean will notify the student, faculty member, chair, and Vice Provost for Student Experience and Engagement of his/her findings, and his/her intended course of action in writing.


Level 3 of The Appeal Process

If the student disagrees with the dean's decision, the student may request, within five (5) class days of receipt of notification of the dean's decision, a meeting with the Provost. The Provost will consider all the evidence on the record and shall decide, within ten (10) class days to take one of the following actions:


(1) Uphold one or all of the previous decisions.

(2) Overturn the decisions outright and make an alternate resolution.

(3) Refer the matter to a university grievance committee. The Provost will appoint a committee of two students and two faculty members to review the matter within fifteen class days of the Provost's referral. The committee will make its recommendation to the Provost within five (5) days of completing its work. In the event of a tie vote of the committee, the Provost shall cast the deciding vote. The Provost shall immediately, upon receipt of the committee's recommendation, notify the student of the grievance committee's decision in writing.

 

The Provost's decision is final and binding on all parties, and once communicated, shall be placed in full force and effect immediately.

Questions concerning this policy or other issues related to academic honesty should be addressed to the Office of the Provost or the Office of Student Experience and Engagement.

 

Revision History:

Established and archived prior to 1999

Updated by Vice Provost for Academic Programs and Services May 30, 2013.

Updated to include Academic Alert System. Approved by Vice Provost for Academic Programs and Services December 2015.

Edited for web links, formatting and plain language. Approved December 2015.

Previously annotated as II.A. Academic Honest Policy. Renamed Academic Honest Policy for alphabetical listing, grammar and spell check,  and transitioned into policy library April 2017.