Policy on Academic Integrity and the Establishment of the Academic Integrity Council; Revised

Executive Memorandum 04-036

June 24, 2004

From: Paul J. Zingg, President

Subject: Policy on Academic Integrity and the Establishment of the Academic Integrity Council

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY AND ESTABLISHMENT OF THE ACADEMIC INTEGRITY COUNCIL (REVISED 05/06/11)

On the recommendation of the Academic Senate and the concurrence of the Provost, I approve EM 04-036 for immediate implementation.

Précis

The students, faculty, and staff of California State University, Chico (CSU, Chico) are committed to a campus culture that fosters excellence in learning. Excellence in learning can only take place in an environment based on academic integrity and honesty. Academic dishonesty is a serious offense that can diminish the quality of scholarship, the academic environment, the academic reputation, and the long-term value of a degree from CSU, Chico. An environment of academic honesty and integrity depends on all members of the campus community participating actively in the creation and maintenance of a campus culture that cherishes such values.

Because technology has made plagiarism and academic cheating much easier for the average student than ever before, there is a growing consensus in academia that the challenge to academic honesty and integrity posed by these new technologies must be met with a proactive, unified, and concerted effort. This document addresses this challenge at CSU, Chico by focusing student, staff, faculty, and departmental discourse on the issues of academic honesty and integrity.

http://catalog.csuchico.edu/viewer/STRATEGICPLAN.html

Objectives

The policies and procedures focus on academic honesty and integrity in order to emphasize its role in a high-quality learning environment. As such, these policies and procedures support the University’s number one Strategic Priority: “Believing in the primacy of student learning, we will continue to develop high quality learning environments both in and outside the classroom. ” This priority focuses on education as a way of life and in so doing, encourages “opportunities for intellectual, social, emotional, spiritual, and physical growth. ” Academic ethics are a fundamental prerequisite of education.

The intent of this Policy is to

  • Establish university-wide definitions of cheating, misuse of sources, and plagiarism
  • Implement an academic integrity statement
  • Define the responsibilities of the stake holders
  • Describe guidelines for reporting misconduct
  • Affirm due process
  • Maintain our commitment to the AAUP Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure

This policy conforms to 08-040, Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities and Faculty Personnel Policies and Procedures (FPPP).

I. Definitions

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is defined as "a commitment, even in the face of adversity, to five fundamental values: honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility. From these values flow principles of behavior that enable academic communities to translate ideals to action."

Center for Academic Integrity. “Fundamental Values Project. ” 23 March 2004 http://www.academicintegrity.org/fundamental_values_project/index.php

Cheating

Cheating is intentional fraud or deception for the purpose of improving a grade or obtaining course credit and includes all behavior intended to gain unearned academic advantage. Cheating includes either helping or attempting to help another person cheat.

Adapted from the Office of Student Judicial Affairs at California State University, Chico. “Cheating, an Ounce of Prevention.”

Unauthorized Collaboration

Unauthorized Collaboration is working with others on assignments without the permission of the instructor. This rule includes but is not limited to in-class, take home, or online tests; writing assignments; lab work; or any homework assignment or class project. Students may not collaborate without authorization from the instructor.

Adapted from the Office of Student Judicial Affairs at California State University, Chico "Unauthorized Collaboration: What Students Need to Know."

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's work, including words, ideas, projects and/or any other material without citing the source.

Adapted from Council of Writing Program Administrators. "defining and Avoiding Plagiarism: the WPA Statement on Best Practices." WPA Position Statements and Resolutions Jan. 2003. 12 Feb. 2004.  http://wpacouncil.org/positions/WPAplagiarism.pdf

Self-Plagiarism

Re-use of a student's original work, in part or in its entirety, without the express permission of the course instructor maybe considered a form of plagiarism. This can occur when a student:

  • hands in the same or similar work for separate, unrelated classes in previous or current semesters without the knowledge or express permission of instructors;
  • Retakes a class and hands in work completed during a previous semester for the same or a different instructor, without the current instructor's express permission.

Developed in accordance with "Academic Self plagiarism (Double-dipping)" guidelines from Avoiding Plagiarism, and other Questionable Writing Pracitices: A guide to Ethical Writing." Office of Research Integrity, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 6 Dec. 2009. 

http://ori.dhhs.gov/education/products/plagiarism/

Misuse of Sources

Misuse of sources is defined as “carelessly or inadequately citing ideas and words borrowed from another source. [ . . . ] Ethical writers make every effort to acknowledge sources fully and appropriately in accordance with the contexts and genres of their writing. A student who attempts (even if clumsily) to identify and credit his or her source, but who misuses a specific citation format or incorrectly uses quotation marks or other forms of identifying material taken from other sources has not plagiarized. Instead, such a student [has] failed to cite and document sources appropriately.”

Council of Writing Program Administrators. "Defining and Avoiding Plagiarism: The WPA Statement on Best Practices." WPA Position Statements and Resolutions Jan. 2003. 12 Feb. 2004 http://www.wpacouncil.org/positions/WPAplagiarism.pdf .

II. Academic Integrity Statement

California State University, Chico is committed to a campus culture that takes pride in fostering an environment of academic integrity, academic freedom, and high-quality learning environments. These efforts will be guided by the following statement:

The students, faculty, administrators, and staff of CSU, Chico are committed to a culture of honesty in which members of the community accept responsibility to uphold academic integrity in all they say, write, and create.

This statement may be placed on university publications and websites. Faculty are encouraged to use this statement on their syllabi and other course material.

III. Academic Integrity Responsibilities

The long-term value of the CSU, Chico degree is dependent upon all members of the campus community taking part in creating a culture of academic integrity. This responsibility is borne jointly by students, faculty, academic departments, and administrators and staff members.

A. Responsibilities of Students

Students share with faculty and administrators and staff members the responsibility for academic integrity. The following recommendations are made for students to achieve a campus culture of academic integrity at CSU, Chico.

  1. Know and understand the university’s policies on cheating and plagiarism.
  2. Understand the definitions of cheating, plagiarism, and misuse of sources.
  3. Acknowledge University Catalog statements regarding academic honesty at the time of registration and follow the guidelines of your academic departments and instructors.
  4. Bear full responsibility for the content and integrity of all academic work submitted.
  5. Understand individual instructors’ expectations regarding group work, collaboration, and use of materials prepared for more than one class. Students who are unclear about a specific situation should ask their instructors.
  6. Uphold the academic standards of the University. Ignorance of a rule does not constitute a basis for waiving the rule or for avoiding the consequences of breaking that rule.
  7. Report suspected instances of cheating to the instructor or department office.

B. Responsibilities of Faculty Members

Faculty members share with students and administrators and staff members the responsibility for academic integrity. According to Executive Order 1006 (5/18/07).

"Academic dishonesty cases that occur in the classroom shall be handled by faculty members. However, after action has been taken by the faculty member, the faculty member shall complete a form that identifies the student who was found responsible, the general nature of the offense, the action taken, and a recommendation as to whether or not additional action should be considered by the campus judicial affairs office."
"This process provides an opportunity to hold students accountable for multiple academic dishonesty situations that may occur with several departments but never be know because there is no central location to gather the information. By having a central location for all academic dishonesty cases, there is a better understanding of the trends in academic dishonesty and the opportunity for academic affairs and student affairs to address any problem trends in a formal way."

The following recommendations are made for faculty members to achieve a campus culture of academic integrity at CSU, Chico.

  1. Set high expectations for academic integrity in the classroom by modeling good behavior of academic integrity through syllabi and lectures.
  2. Encourage academic honesty by emphasizing university policy and any additional, course-specific policies on academic integrity in their syllabi. Faculty members are encouraged to refer to the Student Judicial Affairs Website, department policies, and other campus resources, such as this EM, for guidance in crafting syllabus language on academic integrity.
  3. Communicate clear expectations regarding group work, collaboration, and use of materials prepared for more than one class.
  4. Teach discipline-specific writing and documentation style, or inform students where they can go for such instruction. Use instances of misuse of sources as teaching opportunities to educate and inform students about plagiarism and proper citation practice.
  5. Encourage academic honesty by appropriate means such as adopting a variety of examination and assignment formats and/or content and by monitoring exams.
  6. If Prudent and possible, arrange a meeting with a student suspected of committing academic dishonesty in a timely manner in order to advise him or her of the allegations, supporting evidence, and probable consequences.
  7. Impose appropriate academic sanctions for violations, proportional to the offense against academic honesty that has occurred. Before sanctions may be assigned, the faculty member must have support for the charge of academic dishonesty in the form of personal observation, documentation, the testimony of a reliable witness, or any combination of the above. Some possible penalties imposed by faculty members may include, but are not limited to:
    • Oral reprimand of the student
    • reduction of an assignment grade
    • reduction in the course grade
  8. Report or request additional action upon every instance of dishonesty to the Office of Student Judicial Affairs (see IV below).
    • A report to the Office of Student Judicial Affairs (SJA) means that no further action or investigation is requested by the faculty member (see IV below). If additional reports of academic dishonesty have been received by SJA regarding a particular student, further administrative investigation and action may be taken. A faculty member may report a student to SJA in lieu of or in addition to any academic sanction the faculty member has imposed.
    • An action request is a formal referral for administrative investigation by SJA and imposition of appropriate sanctions, if warranted (see IV below). A faculty member may refer a student for disciplinary action in lieu of or in addition to any academic sanction the faculty member has imposed. 

C. Responsibilities of Academic Departments

Fair, even enforcement of university policies regarding academic integrity are a function of the practices and policies of individual departments, not just faculty members. The following recommendations are made for academic departments to achieve a campus culture of academic integrity at CSU, Chico.

  1. In accordance with this Executive Memorandum and university policy, draft an academic integrity policy that relates specifically to the expectations of faculty within the department and best professional practices within the context of the discipline.
  2. Provide ongoing support and education of faculty members on university policies regarding the importance of reporting or referring incidences of academic dishonesty to the Office of Student Judicial Affairs.
  3. Integrate high standards of academic integrity across the department's curriculum.

D. Responsibilities of Administrators and Staff Members

Administrators and staff members share with students and faculty the responsibility for academic integrity. The following recommendations are made for administrators and staff members to achieve a campus culture of academic integrity at CSU, Chico.

  1. Set high standards of professional ethics.
  2. Support instructor efforts to set high standards for academic integrity in the classroom.
  3. Support the Office of Student Judicial Affairs in their campuswide academic integrity efforts.
  4. Promote and publicize academic integrity policy and procedures.
  5. Support faculty in the reporting process.
  6. Provide a clear and consistent voice to the campus community that promotes high standards.
  7. Orient new faculty, staff, and students about the university’s academic integrity policies and procedures.
  8. Report suspected instances of cheating to the instructor or department office.

IV. Reporting or Making an Action Request Referral for Academic Misconduct

In accordance with Executive Order 1006, faculty should report or refer incidences of academic dishonesty to the Office of Student Judicial Affairs. It is the faculty member's discretion whether to report (SJA office file only) or refer (student is to go through administrative conduct process).

Consistent reporting, referrals, and central record keeping are necessary for fair and impartial administration of student conduct procedures and are essential to ensure that repeat offenders are identified.

Reporting

A report of academic dishonestly is kept on file and no other administrative action is taken unless the student in question has had multiple reports or referrals.

Action Request Referral

When the office receives a referral, a conduct process is initiated and the student is requested to meet with SJA.

In addition to academic consequences that faculty may impose, the University may impose administrative sanctions. Pursuant to Title 5, California Code of Regulations, Section 41301, academic dishonesty may warrant

  • Oral reprimand, possibly including educational and remedial sanctions
  • disciplinary probation
  • suspension from California State University, Chico
  • Expulsion from the entire California State University system
  • Withdrawal of an academic degree

V. Due Process

In dealing with academic integrity issues, it is incumbent upon the academic community that all of its members are assured of fair and equitable treatment. Additional information may be provided by or found in

  • Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities (EM 08-040)
  • Office of Student Judicial Affairs
  • Faculty Personnel Policies and Procedures (FPPP)
  • CSU System Policies and Regulations (EO 1043)
  • Student Activities and Student Organizations (EO 1006)
  • Standards for Student Conduct, Title V, California Code of Regulations, in particular, section 41301: Student Disciplinary Procedures for the California State University.
  • Student Grievance Procedures (EM 05-010)

Academic Integrity Council

The Academic Integrity Council (AIC) exists for the purpose of assisting in the promotion of academic integrity. AIC will not participate in direct policy making or the adjudication of academic dishonesty cases. It will report to the Academic Senate through the Educational Programs and Policies Committee (EPPC) and to the Associated Students.

I. Duties and Goals

Duties and goals of the AIC are as follows:

  • Assist in the development of promotional programs and presentations to both students and faculty about the university’s academic integrity policies and principles.
  • Provide written and verbal reports to both the EPPC and the Associated Students Government Affairs Committee at the end of each academic year.
  • Act as a recommending body to forward issues and concerns to the appropriate bodies.

II. Membership and Terms of Office

Student Members
Students shall serve for one-year terms. There shall be 12 student members as follows:

  1. Associated Students Director of University Affairs (ex officio)
  2. Associated Students President or designee
  3. Associated Students Commissioner of Multicultural Affairs or designee
  4. Nine students appointed through consultation with the Associated Students and the following groups:
    1. Two appointees from First-Year Experience
    2. Two appointees from the Council of Graduate Students
    3. Two appointees from the Interfraternity, Panhellenic, Multicultural Councils and any other recognized student organizations.
    4. Two appointees from the Chico State Honors Program
    5. One appointee from the student body at large

Faculty and Staff Members
Faculty and staff shall serve for two-year staggered terms. There shall be 7 faculty members and 2 staff members as listed below:

  1. Four appointed by the Chair of the Academic Senate with EPPC and FASP making recommendations
  2. Two appointed from the Graduate Program by the Dean of Graduate Programs
  3. Director or coordinator of Student Judicial Affairs (ex officio)
  4. Representative of the Provost or designee
  5. Representative from Staff Council

III. Chair & Co-Chair

The chair of the Academic Integrity Council shall be a faculty member appointed to a one-year term from the Committee’s Membership by the Academic Senate Chair (or his/her designee).

The co-chair of the Council shall be the Associated Students Director of University Affairs (or his/her designee).

The duties of the Chair shall be

  • To convene the Council
  • To set agenda, in consultation with the co-chair
  • To preside over committee meetings
  • To invite other members of the university community to Council meetings for presentations or discussions
  • To report to the Academic Senate and the Associated Students at the end of each academic year

The duties of the Co-chair shall be

  • To set agenda, in consultation with the Chair
  • To fulfill the duties of Chair when requested
  • To report to the Associated Students at the end of each academic year