As an essential element of the Duquesne University mission to educate the mind, heart, and spirit, members of the University dedicate themselves to upholding the highest moral and ethical principles. Since the quest for truth and understanding must be conducted in an honest manner, upholding Academic Integrity is a responsibility and obligation of all members of the University community, including faculty, administration, staff, and students. Students are responsible for maintaining Academic Integrity with class assignments, examinations, and any other requirements related to their courses of study.
Individuals who seek or receive credit for intellectual work that is not their own violate Academic Integrity, as do individuals who falsify or ignore data to reach a predetermined conclusion or who destroy or contaminate another person’s data or intellectual property. Violations of Academic Integrity may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Cheating. Cheating on quizzes, tests, examinations, or projects may include giving, receiving, or using unauthorized assistance or material. (Unauthorized material may include, but is not limited to, notes or other written documents, unauthorized calculators and/or formulas, computer programs, software, data, or text.) In other contexts (e.g., group projects, labs), cheating may include forms of deception intended to affect grades or other outcomes. Cheating may include, but is not limited to, student use of sources beyond those authorized by the instructor in fulfilling assignments such as writing papers, preparing reports, developing course projects, or solving problems. Cheating may also include student acquisition, without permission, of tests or other academic material belonging to a member of the University faculty or staff.
- Plagiarism. Plagiarism in papers or other written, electronic, or oral work (including essays, research papers, theses, dissertations, presentations, class projects, or work for publication) may include, but is not limited to, student use— whether by summary, paraphrase, copying, direct quotation, or a combination—of the published or unpublished work or specific ideas of another person or source without full and clear acknowledgment (including the use of quotation marks to indicate the source’s specific language). Plagiarism may include the submission of material from sources accessed through the Internet or by other means, or from other individuals, without proper attribution. Also, plagiarism may include the submission of a paper prepared in whole or in part by another person or agency engaged in providing or selling term papers or other academic materials.
- 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.
- 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, mutilation, or destruction 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.
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 a class; suspension or dismissal from the School or the University; and/or revocation of a degree. Information regarding such violations will be maintained in student academic files and may be included in transcripts and other official University documents.
Statement of Responsibility for Communicating, Educating and Learning about Academic Integrity
To create and maintain a culture of Academic Integrity at Duquesne University, all members of the community must take an active role. Responsible leadership on the part of the University Standing Committee on Academic Integrity, the Office of the Provost, the Center for Teaching Excellence, the administration of each School, and all faculty and students is needed. Many problems can be prevented through careful and systematic education and communication. A climate of positive scholarship with integrity can be fostered through open dialogue and learning.
Although this listing of roles and responsibilities suggests courses of action that, if followed, will greatly reduce the likelihood of cheating and plagiarism, no one segment of the University community alone can ensure attainment of Academic Integrity. Not only must all work together, but all must maintain vigilance over time, provide continual reinforcement of key messages and expectations, and keep channels of communication open and free-flowing. The allocation of specific responsibility to one or more parties does not relieve others of their individual and collective duties; Academic Integrity is a common asset and needs to be nurtured by all.
The procedures that follow are practical suggestions for promoting a positive academic environment founded on scholarship, inquiry, the pursuit of excellence, and mutual trust. As such, they are neither comprehensive nor exhaustive, but are intended to guide prevention, education, communication, policy review, effective administration and individual action.
- learn what Academic Integrity means and why it is vital to the Mission of the Duquesne University community
- 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
- find out the specific policy and procedures on Academic Integrity for the School in which they are enrolled
- identify resources (Web sites, librarians, Resident Assistants) that may be consulted when faced with questions about when and how to cite works consulted
- 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
Faculty and Librarians (including Graduate Teaching Assistants)
- discuss the importance of Academic Integrity, especially early in each course
- include on course syllabi a statement about Academic Integrity, possible sanctions for plagiarism and cheating, and positive impact of Academic Integrity on the University community and the field of study or profession
- explain what constitutes plagiarism and how to avoid it and encourage open discussion and inquiry about University, School and faculty expectations for Academic Integrity
- model desired behaviors by citing sources in lectures and giving complete references for works cited in handouts and assignments
- provide clear guidelines about standards and expectations regarding collaboration, citation, use of notes during exams, etc.
- assign narrow and specific research topics, collect intermediate drafts, and/or require oral presentation of student work
- 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
- particularize the importance and relevance of integrity and ethics to the specific discipline
- inform students about resources available for dealing with academic difficulty
- support consistent handling of Academic Integrity cases by reporting suspected instances of cheating or plagiarism to the appropriate member of School administration
- develop and communicate School-specific policies and procedures for reporting violations of Academic Integrity
- communicate University and School policies on Academic Integrity to new students and faculty, incorporating use of the School Web site, orientation programs, bulletin boards, department and faculty meetings, etc.
- incorporate education about Academic Integrity and proper use of resources into the curriculum, such as in writingintensive courses
- create forums for discussion by faculty of problems encountered that may be discipline-specific, or create peer mentoring opportunities for improving faculty members’ teaching practice, to include fostering Academic Integrity
- support faculty who report bona fide cases of cheating and plagiarism by imposing appropriate sanctions on offenders
Office of the Provost
- monitor communication and education efforts as carried out by individual Schools, and bring to their attention inconsistencies that may cause confusion
- assess effectiveness of the Academic Integrity policy implementation as reported by Schools in annual reports
- serve as liaison to other University personnel whose cooperation and support in maintaining Academic Integrity is critical (e.g., Student Life, Office of Research, Division of Public Affairs)
- oversee the work of the University Standing Committee on Academic Integrity Policy
- approve policies and procedures of the College and the Schools University Standing Committee on Academic Integrity Policy
- monitor policies and procedures pertaining to Academic Integrity
- share best practices where applicable
- advise the Provost on Academic Integrity issues
Center for Teaching Excellence
- monitor the need for ongoing faculty and teaching assistant development on specific issues related to maintaining Academic Integrity
- periodically evaluate best practices in higher education and advise relevant University leaders about opportunities to enhance the Duquesne University commitment to Academic Integrity
- identify and make available resources (articles, books, videos, Web sites, etc.) that may prove helpful to faculty in preventing plagiarism and cheating
- partner with individual Schools to offer faculty development programs on a regular basis that are tailored to the unique needs of faculty
- organize a mentoring or consulting program for faculty seeking assistance with Academic Integrity issues
University Academic Integrity Appeals Committee
- hear appeals of School-level rulings and make recommendations to the Provost
- protect the reputation of all other community members who may at one time have been suspected or accused of violating Academic Integrity
- affirm, recognize and celebrate adherence to the highest standards of Academic Integrity whenever they are observed
Four University-wide documents address Academic Integrity: The Student Code, Academic Due Process for Students, Academic Integrity Student Procedures, and the University Academic Integrity Policy. These documents are at once complementary and overlapping.
The Academic Integrity Student Procedures document directs all Schools to develop guidelines and procedures for handling Academic Integrity issues. Schools are obligated to develop procedures consistent with University Academic Integrity Policy, due process, state and federal law. Each academic unit shall establish its own record-keeping procedures. Also, student violations and any sanction shall be communicated in writing to the Director of Judicial Affairs, who maintains a confidential database that includes academic and other violations of University policy.
I. Roles and Responsibilities within the College or the Schools
Course instructors are responsible for upholding the University standards of Academic Integrity in regard to work performed both in and outside of class. They have primary responsibility for evaluating evidence of violations and imposing appropriate sanctions. All cases which result in a sanction greater than failure on the paper or exam on which the violation allegedly occurred, must be discussed with the chairperson of the faculty member’s academic department. In cases where the student is not a member of the department offering the course in which the violation occurs, the department chair or Dean of the student’s major department (School) should be notified. If the faculty member and the chair determine that the sanction to be applied is greater than failure on the exam or paper, the student should be informed of the sanction in writing by the department chair or the Dean of the School in which the violation occurred, and should also be informed that it is his or her right to appeal the decision to the School (College) Student Standing Committee, or its equivalent, for adjudication. All written appeals to the Student Standing Committee must be filed within thirty days of pronouncement of the initial sanction. The Student Standing Committee of the School in which the alleged violation occurred shall be designated to decide the case and recommend the appropriate sanction.
Any sanction recommended by the Student Standing Committee will be communicated in writing to the Dean of the School (College) in which the violation occurred, and the Dean of the School (College) in which the student is enrolled. In cases where two academic units are involved, the decision making process shall be initiated by the Dean of the School (College) where the violation occurred. The Dean may impose the sanction as recommended or modify it by imposing a lesser sanction. The Dean shall be the final arbiter and the decision may not be appealed to the Student Judicial Board. The Dean will inform the student in writing of the decision and will inform the Dean of the School (College) in which the student is enrolled.
II. Role and Responsibility of the University Provost
In cases in which the alleged violation is so serious as to require a recommendation by the Dean of the School or the College to impose a sanction greater than failure of the course, a student may appeal to the University Provost. The University Provost will review the case and make a determination or elect to convene the University Academic Integrity Appeals Committee (not the Academic Due Process Committee) for adjudication. The University Provost will communicate any decision in writing to all parties concerned within a period of thirty days.
III. Role and Responsibilities of the University Academic Integrity Appeals Committee
The University Academic Integrity Appeals Committee shall consist of the following: two faculty members chosen by lot by the University Provost from a pool of eleven elected faculty representing all Schools in the University plus the Gumberg Library; two students chosen by lot from a pool of ten elected students representing all Schools in the University; and the Director of Judicial Affairs. Faculty and students chosen to serve on any Academic Integrity case may not be members of the department in which the alleged infraction occurred. Undergraduate students will sit on the University Committee in cases dealing with undergraduate students. Graduate students will sit on the University Committee in cases dealing with graduate students. The University Academic Integrity Appeals Committee will conduct a hearing following the same procedures established for the University Academic Due Process Committee and issue a final recommendation to the Provost. Again, in cases of alleged violation of Academic Integrity, the procedure described herein shall have precedence over the University Academic Due Process procedure.
The recommendation of the University Academic Integrity Appeals Committee will be presented in writing to the University Provost for procedural review and implementation. The University Provost may ratify, modify, or suspend the recommended sanction. The University Provost will communicate his or her findings in writing to all parties concerned within a period of thirty days.