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Academic Integrity Policy for the Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Adapted from the Duquesne University Policy (updated April 2004)

[Note: This document follows the Mission Statement in the University Catalog]

Students in the Bayer school, or students taking classes in BSNES, are responsible for maintaining academic integrity with regard to class assignments, examinations, and any other requirements related to their courses of study.

Section 1: Violation of Academic Integrity

Violations of Academic Integrity may include, but are not limited to, the following:

Cheating. 1) Cheating on quizzes, tests, or examinations may include: giving or receiving assistance, or using unauthorized material as a test aid. (Unauthorized material may include, but is not limited to, notes or other written documents, unauthorized calculators and/or formulas, palm pilots, cellular phones, computer programs, software, data, or text). Attempting to alter a score or grade, recorded on an exam or quiz by the instructor. 2) Cheating on assignments may include, but is not limited to, student use of sources beyond those authorized by the instructor in fulfilling assignments (e.g., writing papers, preparing reports, solving problems). 3) Cheating also includes student acquisition, without permission, of tests or other academic material either belonging to a member of the University faculty or staff, or from other sources.

Plagiarism. 1) Submitting any document, e.g. lab report, essay or assignment that contains sentences or paragraphs that have been directly copied from another source, such as a textbook, the Internet, a published article or research paper. 2) Submitting any document, e.g. lab report, essay or assignment that contains sentences or paragraphs that do not represent an individual effort but were copied from another student, or written by several students as a group effort (unless explicitly permitted by instructor).

Deceit in academic matters. Deceit may include, but is not limited to, furnishing false information regarding academic matters to any University instructor, official, or office with intent to deceive, or attempting to adjust their score on a graded paper or test

Misuse of documents. Misuse may include, but is not limited to, forgery, alteration, or improper use of any University document, record, or instrument of identification (written or computerized). It may also include misappropriation or mutilation of tangible assets such as books, journals, electronic data, and related resources available in libraries and offices.

Assistance in the violation of Academic Integrity. Assistance may include, but is not limited to, any knowing facilitation of intellectual dishonesty by another person or persons, e.g., assisting in acts of cheating or allowing another student to copy your work.

Faculty and students have the obligation to know, understand, and practice the policies outlined herein.

Students

  • Learn what Academic Integrity means and why it is vital to the mission of the Duquesne University community, and to the BSNES
  • Ask the course instructor whenever unsure of what may constitute plagiarism or cheating, or if uncertain of what resources or tools may be used in completing an assignment or exam
  • Carefully document all research and work done in the completion of each assignment for which other resources are consulted
  • Alert course faculty or School administrators upon learning that another student may have cheated or plagiarized
  • Do not allow other students to copy your work

Faculty (including Graduate Teaching Assistants)

  • Discuss the importance of Academic Integrity, especially early in each course; include an explicit statement of the BSNES policy in your course syllabi
  • Explain what constitutes plagiarism and how to avoid it, and encourage open discussion and inquiry about University, School and faculty expectations for Academic Integrity
  • Provide clear guidelines about standards and expectations regarding collaboration, citation, use of notes during exams, etc.
  • Refer students to http://www.duq.edu/library/faqs/citation-guides.cfm, which has information about writing, grammar style, and proper citation.
  • Change exams and problem sets annually
  • Reduce the temptation to cheat by, for example, having students sit at a distance from each other or producing alternate versions of an exam
  • Support consistent handling of Academic Integrity cases by reporting suspected instances of cheating or plagiarism to the department chair

Section 2: BSNES Procedures for Adjudicating Alleged Violations Of Academic Integrity

Violations of Academic Integrity, whether or not they are the result of a deliberate intent to deceive, are subject to academic sanctions, including (but not limited to) oral and/or written reprimand; lowered grade or failure on an assignment; lowered course grade; failure of a course; suspension or dismissal from the class; and/or suspension or dismissal from the School or the University. Information regarding such violations will be maintained on file in the dean's office. Following a ten-day appeal period (see section 3) this file may be forwarded to the University Director of Judicial Affairs, who maintains a confidential database that includes academic as well as other violations of University policy.

In cases where plagiarism (as outlined in section 1) is found in any document submitted by a student as part of course work, lab report or assignment, the piece of work may receive a score of zero. Opportunity of a rewrite may be given at the discretion of the instructor.

In cases of repeated plagiarism in documents produced by a student as part of course work, lab reports or assignments, the student may be given an F for the course. In such a case the allegations should be discussed with the department chair, and if he/she is in agreement with the instructor, the student should be informed, in writing, in advance of receiving their grade.

In cases of cheating, as outlined in section 1, the appropriate sanction will be at the discretion of the faculty member. Sanctions may range from a verbal warning to failure of the entire course or suspension from the school, depending upon the severity of the offense. The allegations should be discussed with the student, in the presence of the department chair. If the department chair is in agreement with the instructor, the student will be informed, in writing, in advance of receiving their grade.

In cases of plagiarism found in research papers intended for publication, or dissertations, the student may fail their degree, and their work will not be submitted for publication without being re-written.

Cases of deceit or fraud, as outlined in section 1, should be communicated in writing to the dean of the BSNES, and the dean of the school to which the student is affiliated, and may result in failure of a course or suspension from the school.

Section 3: The Student's Right to Appeal

The BSNES academic integrity committee

In cases when a sanction is imposed, the student may appeal to the BSNES academic integrity committee (BAIC), which consists of three members of the faculty, appointed by the dean, as well as one graduate student, and one senior undergraduate student, who will act as non-voting members.

It is the instructor's responsibility to keep a record of the violation and the sanction, copies of which should be kept in the Dean's office, and made available for the BAIC upon request.

In cases where the sanction results in a reduced grade, or failure of the course, the student has the right to appeal to the BAIC within 30 days of their receipt of their grade. The BAIC will issue a final recommendation to the Dean of the BSNES, and the Dean of the school to which the student is affiliated. Both Deans will be involved in making the final decision, and the student will be informed, in writing, of their final decision.

The student has a period of 10 days in which s/he may appeal to the University Academic Integrity Committee. The procedure for the handling of such an appeal by the University Academic Integrity Committee is outlined in the University catalog.