Academic honesty is an essential part of the Saint Francis University experience. Dishonesty in any aspect of the life of the University is viewed as being incompatible with the school's moral tradition. Accordingly, Saint Francis University has prepared a policy on academic honesty that will guide students in dealing with such issues in the process of learning regardless of the course delivery method.
The Judicial Process for Violations of Academic Honesty
The Role of the Faculty
The faculty of Saint Francis University is obliged to play a major role in the implementation of an effective academic honesty policy. Accordingly, when a member of the faculty becomes aware of a possible incident of academic dishonesty, that faculty member must question the alleged offender and impose a penalty if the situation warrants.
Members of the faculty have several initial penalty options for academic misconduct:
The accusing instructor must then write an incident report outlining the offense and the nature of the penalty levied. The report will be handled in the following manner:
Saint Francis University believes in fairness for all of its students and faculty. It provides due process for any of its students who have been accused of a breach of academic honesty. Thus, a student who does not agree with the penalty imposed by the faculty member may appeal directly to the Academic Court.
If a student rejects the decision of the Academic Court, he or she may elect to appeal to the Provost. This officer of the institution will be the court of last resort at Saint Francis University.
A record of each student's appeal process will be documented by the Provost and placed on file in the Registrar's Office.
In all cases where a student has been accused of a violation of academic trust, the Provost will certify the honesty status of that student. This means that the Provost will examine the files held by the Registrar and indicate whether the student has previously broken the academic honesty policy.
A multiple offender, before actual dismissal, must appear before the Academic Court. Unless the student in question can present a compelling case, he or she will be dismissed from Saint Francis University immediately. The student may apply for readmission after a period of one year.
If the student rejects the action taken by the Academic Court, he/she will have the right to appeal to the Provost. This officer may reduce the student's sentence or uphold the penalty imposed by the Academic Court. The Provost may not add to the sentence.
The Academic Court
The Academic Court at Saint Francis University is an important element in the academic appeals process. The body will consist of five members plus two alternates. Two of the members will be students appointed by the President of the Student Government Association. Three other members of the court will be full-time faculty appointed by the President of Saint Francis University. The Chair of the Academic Court will be elected by colleagues on the court. He or she must be a member of the teaching faculty. The Bylaws of the Academic Court follow the section on Records.
All records pertaining to each case of academic dishonesty will be kept on file in the Office of the Registrar. These records will include the following:
Bylaws of the Academic Court
Membership on the court equals five, plus two alternates. One alternate will be a student appointed by the President of the Student Government Association. The second alternate will be a faculty member appointed by the President of Saint Francis University.
The Franciscan tradition of Saint Francis University holds that students maintain honesty in all intellectual and academic pursuits, which means they will present as their own only work they have created. In addition, all material must be properly attributed to the original author or source. This includes always conducting oneself with integrity and honesty in all University business. Examples of violations of this policy are outlined under Violations of Academic Honesty.
All Saint Francis University students will be expected to understand what academic dishonesty is and the associated implications by reviewing the policy and examples provided. It is the responsibility of the provost and faculty to provide the appropriate information to facilitate familiarity with potential violations of academic integrity among all Saint Francis University students. To ensure that students are familiar with this policy, the policy will be reviewed during student orientation sessions.
Violations of Academic Honesty
There are various practices that are seen as violations of academic honesty. Examples of these, listed below, were developed by the University of Rochester (2011) and are used with permission. Additional examples of violations of academic honesty are based upon a list of unacceptable practices that was provided by Dr. John Watson of St. Bonaventure University. These examples are not intended to be exhaustive.
Including, but not limited to undertaking any activity intended to obtain an unfair advantage over the students; using unauthorized notes or other study aids during an examination; using unauthorized technology during an examination, including laptop computers, cell phones, e-readers or others; improper storage of prohibited notes, course materials, and study aids during an exam such that they are accessible or possible to view; looking at other students' work during an exam or in an assignment where collaboration is not allowed by the instructor; attempting to communicate (verbally, nonverbally, or via technology) with other students or persons in order to get help during an exam or in an assignment where collaboration is not allowed by the instructor; improper obtaining (including photographing) or distributing of an examination; altering graded work and submitting it for regrading; submitting another student's paper or project as one's own; submitting work done in one class for credit in another without the instructor's permission; coaching another student in the preparation of an assignment, in part or in-whole, including editing papers, projects, computer programs, etc., unless specifically assigned by the instructor; discussing exam content from one section of a course with students from a different section who have not yet taken the exam; someone other than the students completing the assignment or exam.
Using whether deliberate or unintentional, an idea, phrase, or other materials from a source without proper acknowledgment of that source (electronic or other) in work for which the student claims authorship, including direct copy/paste from online or print sources without using quotation marks; inadequately or incorrectly documenting source materials; misrepresenting sources used in a work for which the student claims authorship; improperly using course materials in a work for which the student claims authorship; using papers purchased or obtained online or through other means and turned in as one's own work; submitting written work, such as laboratory reports, computer programs, or papers, that has been copied from the work of other students, with or without their knowledge and consent.
The risk of plagiarism can be avoided in written work by clearly indicating, either in footnotes, in-text citations, or other accepted methods, the source of any major or unique idea or wording that you did not arrive at on your own. In addition, the majority of any written work should consist of the original ideas of the student. When material is directly copied from a source, the material must appear in quotes to show that the wording is not the student's own. Sources must be correctly cited regardless of whether the material is quoted directly, summarized, or paraphrased.
Falsifying or inventing any information, citation, or data; using improper methods of collecting or generating data and presenting them as legitimate; submitting contrived or altered data, quotations, or documents with an intent to mislead; or deliberately misattributing material to a source other than that from which the student obtained it; misrepresenting oneself or one's status in the University; perpetrating hoaxes unbecoming to students in good standing or potentially damaging to the University's reputation or that of the members of its academic community of students and scholars.
Facilitating Academic Dishonesty
Aiding another person in an act that violates the standards of academic honesty; allowing other students to look at one's own work during an exam or in an assignment where collaboration is not specifically allowed by the instructor; providing information, material, or assistance to another person verbally or by electronic means knowing that it may be used in violation of course, departmental, or University academic honesty policies; providing false information in connection with any academic honesty inquiry.
Denying Others Access to Information or Material
Any act that maliciously hinders the use of or access to library or course materials; such as the removal of pages from books or journals or reserve materials, the removal of books from libraries without formally checking out the items, the intentional hiding of library materials, and the refusal to return reserve readings to the library. All of these acts are dishonest and harmful to the University community.
Falsifying Records and Official Documents
Forging signatures or falsifying information on official academic documents (paper or electronic), such as drop/add forms, incomplete forms, petitions, letters of permission, or any other official University document, is considered a violation of policy. Knowingly making false statements or presenting false evidence at any time throughout the academic honesty process is as well. In cases where the student has been accused of other unacceptable practices, knowingly making false statements or presenting false evidence will be treated as an additional offense for purposes of determining the proper penalty category.