Academic Integrity Policy
Effective Spring 2020
Academic Integrity is a responsibility and commitment by faculty and students to uphold just and ethical behavior, including complete truthfulness, fairness, and respect in all areas of teaching, learning, and the pursuit of scholarship.
A. Position Statement on Academic Integrity
SUNY Delhi is committed to fostering and maintaining an engaging and ethical academic community within the framework of academic integrity. Principles of academic integrity in education apply to every member of the academic community and are based upon affirmation of honesty, integrity of scholarship, and the highest ethical standards and behaviors in the acquisition, pursuit, and investigation of knowledge. The college expects that every member of the Delhi community will be responsible for ensuring that academic integrity is upheld.
B. The Importance of Academic Integrity
The promotion and adherence to the values of academic integrity, including honesty and responsibility to uphold all of the expectations of the policy, add value and legitimization to the college, SUNY Delhi’s students, and the degrees conferred by the college and then used by students in their professional careers in the future. Violations of academic integrity threaten the sanctity, value, and integrity of learning and of higher education.
A commitment to the values of academic integrity ensures that:
- all individuals involved in the learning process accept full responsibility for their own work and ideas;
- fairness and respect are promoted throughout the college, so that no student is given an unfair advantage;
- expectation for lifelong learning and ethical behavior is fostered among all students;
- faculty are committed to fostering, guiding, and monitoring students for adherence to all principles of academic integrity; and
- the reputation of the college, the degrees, and its alumni are protected and enhanced.
C. Student Expectations
SUNY Delhi students are expected to adhere to the principles of academic integrity at all times. Students are responsible for their own work and their own actions related to all academic endeavors. Students will turn in their own assignments, work alone on all assignments unless otherwise directed by the instructor, follow rules provided for all assignments and examinations, will not resubmit previous work they have done, and will avoid dishonesty in interactions with peers and faculty. If students witness or become aware of a violation of academic integrity, they are encouraged to communicate this to the appropriate faculty member.
D. Faculty Expectations
In order to promote academic integrity, SUNY Delhi faculty are responsible for communicating expectations for academic integrity to students. Faculty must provide expectations for all assignments that clearly include the College Academic Integrity Policy, including any additional department-specific expectations. The College Academic Integrity (AI) Policy will include the processes of consequences, reporting, and follow through of AI violations. The security of examinations will be protected, prior to, during, and following their administration - including providing constant supervision during in-class examinations. Faculty will provide students with opportunities for education and remediation as part of the approach to address academic integrity violations.
E. College Expectations
The college will provide a clear, detailed, and systematic policy for academic integrity expectations for students. Students must agree to the terms of the SUNY Delhi Academic Integrity Policy at the start of each semester of a student’s tenure at Delhi. All course syllabi will include a link to the Academic Integrity Policy and reminders to review before the start of each course. In the event of violations, the policy will provide the direction to pursue appropriate remedial work, administer specific disciplinary actions and consequences, and provide the right to appeal via a specific process throughout the evaluation and follow-up of the incident. Online and on-ground activities are subject to the same expectations for honesty and ethical behavior towards academic integrity.
F. Potential Consequences When a Student Violates This Policy
The instructor has a right to address any violation of academic integrity in the manner defined in Academic Integrity Policy and as further addressed in the course syllabus. Examples of course sanctions include a failing grade on an assignment and/or failing the course. The student may be referred for remediation as well as further action through the academic integrity process.
In the event that the faculty member decides there has been a breach of security of an examination or an academic exercise has been compromised, the faculty member reserves the right to cancel the assignment for the entire class, and recalculate the points, provide other work, or whatever action is deemed necessary to preserve course outcomes and academic integrity.
While the nature of each class varies, the expectation is that all students will complete their own assignments and activities unless otherwise directed by the instructor.
G. Examples of Academic Integrity Violations
Examples of academic integrity violations are provided here, but are not limited to these examples.
1. Cheating and/or aiding academic dishonesty, which includes but is not limited to:
- Copying someone else’s work (tests, assignments) with or without that person’s permission, and using it as your own. Attempting to cheat is considered a violation, even if the attempt is discovered before it is completed.
- Looking at someone else’s, or allowing someone else to look at your test, quiz, or work sheet, during testing or whenever individual work is expected by the faculty member.
- Inappropriate collaboration on individual assignments, tests, or quizzes. Even when collaboration is permitted, student’s work should be based on their own understanding and effort, and not be identical to work of another student. The exclusion to this relates to group projects, when only one collaborative work product is required from a group of two or more students.
- Use of any electronic devices, including but not limited to cell phones, cameras, internet access, text messaging, crib sheets, hidden notes, or other resources or aids during examinations, without permission of the instructor.
- Use of any recording device during testing, without permission of the instructor.
- Facilitating cheating by other students, by assisting or attempting to assist others to violate any part of this policy.
- Changing test answers after having seen the test key.
- Obtaining and/or using copies of tests, and/or communicating test content to members of other sections of the class either within a semester or among semesters.
- Performing laboratory, studio, written work, or other types of learning activities for another person when an individual effort is expected.
2. Plagiarism which includes, but is not limited to:
- Using portions of text, designs, images, diagrams, videos, audio clips, data, or ideas of someone else as your own in any academic activity without proper and reasonable citation. This may range from small sections of content, up to and including purchasing content from another source.
- Including false references (citing work from a reference that is from another source, and/or using falsified references or uncited sources).
- Failing to cite, which may include lack of using quotation marks to designate direct quotes as part of a citation, or insufficient paraphrasing without giving proper credit to sources.
3. Fabrication and falsification, which includes but is not limited to:
- Falsifying/altering class-related documents or records, such as tests or assignments.
- Intentionally inaccurate recording or reporting of information.
- Falsification or alteration of licenses, certifications, honors, transcripts, diplomas and/or other measures of educational/professional validation.
- Fabrication or alteration of circumstances presented to an instructor to gain an unfair advantage in grading and/or over other students, or to gain an extension of time for the assignment.
- Impersonation: Having another person assume the identity of the student and complete the work for that student including in-person and online assignments.
- Falsifying the quantity or titles of sources used to validate information, or data in scientific experiments.
4. The following are examples of egregious violations, which are likely to result in recommendation for an Academic Integrity Council Hearing or Administrative Hearing with the Provost or designee.
- Submitting another’s work as one's own, including purchasing a paper or other content for the assignment.
- Sharing/giving graded or ungraded work to another student, for example, circulating exam questions.
- Self-plagiarism: Submitting the same or similar assignment, or any other content, that the student has previously completed from the same or different courses as original work without the instructor’s permission.
- Falsifying, forging, or altering signatures and course documents.
- Breaches of student identity or impersonating another student.
H. Academic Integrity Policy
Academic Integrity violations, whether minor or major, are cumulative during the student’s tenure at SUNY Delhi. A record is maintained of all violations, inclusive of academic and student life, and this record will be reviewed and considered in the event of academic integrity incidents.
HOWEVER, THE COLLEGE RESERVES THE RIGHT TO PLACE A STUDENT ON ANY OF THE FOLLOWING LEVELS GIVEN THE SEVERITY OF THE VIOLATION.
A. FIRST VIOLATION: If a faculty member suspects that a student has violated the Academic Integrity Policy, they must meet with the student about the charge, and possible sanctions (spelled out in Section G above). If necessary, the faculty member will submit an Academic Warning notice through Starfish, which notifies the Dean of the student’s School, the student’s academic advisor, and the student. The Academic Warning notice in Starfish alerts the Director of Academic Advising who will determine if there are any prior offenses.
In response to the FIRST violation, the Director of Academic Advisement will likely:
- Place details of the violation in a file prepared for that student.
- Communicate the violation, consequences for further violations, and the appeal process for the current violation to the student via letter.
- Communicate the violation to the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities for cross-referencing with any student life violations on record for that student.
B. SECOND VIOLATION: Will be discussed with the student and reported to the Director of Academic Advisement in the same manner as the first violation.
In response to a SECOND violation, the Director of Academic Advisement will likely:
- Place details of the violation in the student’s file.
- Communicate the second violation to the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities.
In response to the second violation, the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities will likely:
- Place the student on COLLEGE PROBATION, and so communicate in writing to the student.
- Communicate the violation and sanction to the parents/guardians of financially dependent students in writing.
C. THIRD VIOLATION: Will be discussed with the student and reported to the Director of Academic Advisement in the same manner as the first violation.
In response to the THIRD violation, the Director of Academic Advisement will likely:
- Place details of the violation in the student’s file.
- Communicate the violation to the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities.
In response to the third violation the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities will likely:
- Convene either a STUDENT CONDUCT COUNCIL or administrative hearing, according to established guidelines (Article II, Sections 1 & 3), to determine responsibility for the current violation. If found responsible, the student will likely be SUSPENDED or EXPELLED from the college.
- Communicate a summary of the hearing to the College Provost.
In response to the findings of the Student Conduct Council, the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities will inform the student in writing of the determination of the Student Conduct Council, indicating that a final appeal of that determination can be made to the College Provost.
D. APPEAL PROCESS: At any step, the student may appeal a decision.
- Appeal of first and second violation sanctions can be made to the Dean of the School through which the course is offered, and then to the College Provost, who will render the final decision.
- Appeal of Student Conduct Council Hearing sanctions can be made to the College Provost, who will render the final decision.
Glossary of Terms
Academic Dishonesty: any kind of cheating that is intended to gain unfair advantage in any aspect of a scholastic program.
Academic Integrity: a responsibility and commitment by faculty and students to uphold just and ethical behavior, including complete truthfulness, fairness, and respect in all areas of teaching, learning, and the pursuit of scholarship.
Academic Sabotage: behaviors that impede the academic progress of others violate the principles and practices of academic integrity. This is a threat to the academic potential, process, outcomes, and value of a given program and affects the integrity of the campus. This may include theft, destruction, unauthorized access, hacking, altering computer files, removing posted reserve materials, or any method of damaging another’s work.
Warning Notice: a form at SUNY Delhi that is completed online by faculty to report and alert the student of current academic issues, which may include violations of academic integrity. The form is automatically sent upon completion to the student, the student’s academic advisor, the student’s instructor, the School Dean/Program Director, and the Director of Academic Advisement.
Appeal: the ability of students and faculty to challenge a decision resulting in consequences for a violation of Academic Integrity policies.
- Intentionally using, attempting to use, or aiding another in the use of materials, information, notes, study aids or other devices in any academic exercise without the permission of the instructor. (source: adapted from Western Michigan)
- “Obtaining or attempting to obtain, or aiding another to obtain credit for work, or any improvement in evaluation of performance, by any dishonest or deceptive means.” (source: Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo)
Deception: providing false information to faculty about academic work, such as time on a take-home test or reasons for extensions on assignments that are false.
Deferred Suspension: written notice that college rules have been violated and while the offense could result in suspension, circumstances exist that would mitigate suspension.
Expulsion: permanent removal of the student from the college, which generally follows suspension, although in particularly egregious incidents (See Section G4), expulsion may occur without suspension.
Fabrication: the creation of unsupported data, information, citations, or background knowledge. See Section G3.
Faculty: For purposes of this policy, any college employee with student interaction.
Falsification: deliberate and unauthorized misrepresentation of information or identity.
Facilitation of Dishonesty/Complicity: acts that assist another student in violations of Academic Integrity. This includes allowing the use of one’s own work by other students, without permission of the faculty. A student who knowingly assists another to violate academic integrity principles is as culpable as the student who receives the assistance, and both are subject to consequences under this policy. Examples include, but are not limited to, sharing work, providing test questions, selling an assignment paper, or impersonating a student and taking an exam for that student.
Integrity: uncompromised and consistent adherence to honesty and ethical principles.
On-ground: Activities that occur in a face-to-face setting.
Plagiarism: Plagiarism is the act of using the ideas, words, or work of another person(s) as if they are your own, without giving proper credit to the source in any academic work. Thoughts that are common knowledge (as determined at the sole discretion of the instructor) or ideas that were arrived at through logical progression are not considered plagiarism.
- Intentional: using ideas or statements that are from other sources, including verbal, without giving credit to the source.
- Unintentional: when attempts are made to cite sources, but there are errors in the required writing format. Although this is considered plagiarism, given the attempt is made, then remediation is suggested, and first offenses may consist of a verbal and academic warning and grading consequences. Other factors considered are the level of experience of the student, degree of premeditation and malicious intent, and lack of understanding and knowledge of how to properly prepare, write, and present assignments.
Professorial misconduct: improper review, evaluation, and/or grading of student’s work or violations related to personal academic work. This may include grade fraud, inflation or falsely lowered scores, negligence in managing student’s academic violations, and/or aiding in cheating. Misconduct in personal scholarship endeavors includes, but is not limited, to plagiarism, falsification, and/or fabrication.
Remediation: In minor academic integrity violations, including improper citation and very limited unintentional plagiarism, education on academic integrity practices will be required, such as an online academic integrity module, individual tutoring through the Writing Center, and/or an assignment related to academic integrity. This can suffice or be in addition to other consequences.
Suspension: temporary removal from the college for violation of specific campus policies, as defined in the Student Handbook. Specific to Academic Integrity violations, a suspension may be part of the consequence, depending on the severity and timing of the incident.
Violations: Violations of academic integrity are those that threaten and/or breach the expected just and ethical behavior by faculty, staff, and students in the pursuit of learning, teaching, and scholarship.
- Ethical: this category includes violations to professional standards and guidelines or to generally accepted ethical behaviors.
- Criminal: these include, but are not limited to, stealing examinations or transcripts, selling
a stolen examination, forging a signature, and falsifying transcripts.
Policy revised December 2019