Academic Integrity Policy
(from Student Code of Conduct and Community Expectations)
At St. Catherine University, we expect academic integrity of all members of our community. Academic integrity assumes honesty about the nature of one’s work in all situations. Such honesty is at the heart of the educational enterprise and is a precondition for intellectual growth. Academic dishonesty is the willful attempt to misrepresent one’s work, cheat, plagiarize, or impede other students’ academic progress.
Academic dishonesty interferes with the mission of the University and will be treated with the utmost seriousness as a violation of community standards. The process for investigating and resolving suspected cases of academic dishonesty differs from the procedures for non-academic violations of the Student Code of Conduct.
Forms of academic dishonesty include:
1. Dependence upon the assistance of others beyond that which is expressly approved by the instructor in writing papers, preparing laboratory reports, solving problems or carrying out other assignments.
2. Plagiarism. Plagiarism is the use, whether by paraphrase or direct quotation, of published or otherwise recorded materials or the unpublished work of another person without full and clear acknowledgment.
a. Because electronic information is volatile and easily reproduced, respect for the work and personal expression of others is especially critical in computer environments. Violations of authorial integrity, including plagiarism, invasion of privacy, unauthorized access and trade secret and copyright violations are grounds for sanctions against members of the academic community. This includes, but is not limited to, purchasing or acquisition of term papers, speeches, and printed materials from “term paper mills.”
b. It also includes appropriating portions of another‘s work to use without attribution
3. Cheating on quizzes, tests, any kind of assessment or examinations by:
a. Referring during the examination to books, papers, notes, and electronic devices not specifically authorized by the instructor.
b. Receiving during the examination information from another person or communicating information to another person or attempting to receive or communicate information.
c. Using a substitute to take a quiz, test or examination or acting as such a substitute.
d. Buying, selling or stealing a copy of an examination in advance of its administration or referring to such an examination after it has been obtained by another.
e. Obtaining through any means the tests of a professor that he or she normally does not let circulate.
f. Participating in or attempting to practice any other form of deceit on a quiz, test, paper, speech or assignment of any kind.
4. Permitting another student to use one‘s work as his or her own
5. Mutilating, stealing, hiding or illegally removing or keeping St. Catherine University library materials or materials made available for student use by a faculty member or a college
6. Using generative AI tools (e.g., ChatGPT) on assignments without permission, in improper ways, or without citation or affirmation is considered a violation of the St. Catherine University academic integrity policy.
Instructors have responsibility for determining whether academic dishonesty has occurred. Instructors shall proceed with sanctions accordingly. Any act of academic dishonesty that results in one of the sanctions below must be reported formally to the University. The report will be sent to the Assistant Dean & Director of Academic Advising for filing with the Office of Academic Success.
Cases of unintentional plagiarism may be dealt with through educational procedures such as further assignments requiring the student to practice documentation and citation methods, or other means determined by the instructor.
Acts of academic dishonesty will be subject to one or more of the following sanctions:
- reduced grade on the assignment, i.e. exam, paper, lab report, etc.
- failure of the assignment, i.e. exam, paper, lab report, etc.
- failure of the class
- suspension or expulsion
An instructor may impose the first three of these penalties. Suspension or expulsion may only be carried out by the Office of the Provost. Repeated acts of academic dishonesty will result in suspension or expulsion. When academic dishonesty has been determined to have occurred a second time, the Office of the Provost shall decide on the student’s status at the University.
The process for investigating and resolving suspected cases of academic dishonesty differs from the procedures for non-academic violations of the Student Code of Conduct.
When an instance of academic dishonesty is suspected, the instructor will meet with the student to discuss the incident and will decide which, if any, of the above sanctions is appropriate. In this meeting, the instructor will share concerns and review any documentation related to the suspected violation.
If no violation is established, the faculty member should have a discussion with the student about the reasons for the suspicion, and discuss general issues of integrity.
If academic dishonesty is confirmed, the instructor will complete the Academic Integrity Referral Form and send it to the Assistant Dean & Director of Academic Advising along with copies of all correspondence, papers, exams, or other documentation that supports the determination of academic dishonesty and corresponding sanction. The student will be provided with a copy of all submitted materials.
The faculty member will review the referral form with the student. The student should complete Section D on the form. The faculty member should provide the student with a copy of the signed form (sections A-D completed); the faculty member will keep one copy and forward the original with documentation to the Assistant Dean and Director of Academic Advising.
The student will have three business days from the date the faculty member signs the form to accept or contest the allegation(s) and/or sanction(s) and to complete Section E on the form. The student is required to return the completed Academic Referral form to the Assistant Dean and Director of Academic Advising. Students may meet with the Director to discuss their options. If the student does not return the signed referral form, sanctions imposed by the instructor will stand.
If the student accepts the allegations and sanctions, the Office of the Provost will send a letter to the student within ten business days of receipt of the faculty member’s report. The letter will reiterate the incident, describe the sanctions, and inform the student of their right to a hearing. The report and letter from the Office of the Provost will remain on file in the Academic Advising Office until seven years after the incident. Additionally, the Office of Student Affairs will be notified of the substantiated incident of academic dishonesty. Information in the file will be confidential, to be shared only at the discretion of the Provost and Dean of the Faculty for a legitimate educational or legal purpose.
In situations where there are prior violations, egregious violations, and/or where the student contests the allegation(s) and/or sanction(s), the Provost’s Office will assume responsibility and oversight of the case and a hearing will be conducted to resolve the matter. See below for Hearing Procedures.
A hearing may be warranted in cases where the student has a prior confirmed academic honesty violation, is alleged to have committed an egregious act of academic misconduct, or contests the allegation and/or sanction. At that point, a designee of the Provost’s Office will review available documentation in the case and speak with all parties involved. Students may consult with the Director of Academic Advising throughout the process. Upon conclusion of this hearing process, the Office of the Provost will render a decision and send a letter to the student within ten business days of receipt of the faculty member’s report. The letter will reiterate the incident, describe the outcome and inform the student of their right to limited appeal. The report and letter from the Office of the Provost will remain on file in the Academic Advising Office until seven years after the incident. Information in the file will be confidential, to be shared only at the discretion of the Provost and Dean of the Faculty for a legitimate educational or legal purpose.
A student may appeal a decision in an academic dishonesty case only when (1) there is new evidence available or (2) when the procedures described above were not followed properly. An appeal must be submitted within five business days of receiving the Provost’s letter of notice by emailing an academic grievance form to the Office of the Provost requesting an appeals hearing.
The Provost’s Office will convene an Academic Integrity Appeals Board to hear the appeal within ten business days of receipt of the request for appeal. The appeal process will include (1) review of all materials in the academic integrity report and (2) consideration of new details presented at the appeal meeting itself. The Academic Integrity Appeals Board review will be conducted by the Assistant Provost for Accreditation & Academic Accountability and can be held virtually or in person. The voting members of the appeals board include three Associate Deans or their designees. The student may choose to have a faculty or staff member present as an observer. The student and the instructor will each present their version of events.
A majority vote of the Appeals Board is necessary to uphold or overturn findings and/or sanctions. If a finding is upheld but a sanction is overturned, the Appeals Board may impose a lesser sanction. The Appeals Board will submit a written finding which will be sent to the student and the faculty member(s) involved in the case and which will become part of the student’s file. Upon conclusion of this hearing process, the decision rendered is final and the Office of the Provost will send a letter to the student within ten business days of receipt of the report from the Appeals Board Chair. The letter will reiterate the incident, describe the outcome and inform the student of their right to limited appeal. The report and letter from the Office of the Provost will remain on file in the Academic Advising Office until seven years after the incident. Information in the file will be confidential, to be shared only at the discretion of the Provost and Dean of the Faculty for a legitimate educational or legal purpose. If the appeal’s outcome is to overturn the dishonesty charge, the report in the Academic Affairs Integrity file will be removed.