Student Academic Misconduct Policy

Integrity is a principle that permeates all the activities of the University and guides the behavior of faculty, students and staff. The spirit of academic integrity denotes adherence to the precept that “one’s work is one’s own.” The process by which integrity is upheld assumes clear communication of University expectations, standards and policies and clear communication of students’ and faculty’s rights and responsibilities. This policy applies to both undergraduate and graduate students.

  1. POLICY
    Integrity is a principle that permeates all the activities of Salisbury University (the “University”)
    and guides the behavior of faculty, students, and staff. This policy applies to both undergraduate
    and graduate students.
  2. PURPOSE
    This policy is intended to foster student academic integrity and address cases of student
    academic misconduct, which includes, but is not limited to, lying/fabrication, cheating,
    plagiarism, and misappropriation of intellectual property.
  3. DEFINITIONS
    1. Lying/Fabrication: the falsification or invention of any information or citation in any academic course or exercise.
    2. Cheating: fraud, deceit or dishonesty in any academic course or exercise or using unauthorized materials, information, studies, including the ideas or work of another. Examples of Cheating include, but are not limited to:
      1. giving unauthorized aid to another student or receiving unauthorized aid from another person on tests, quizzes, assignments or projects;
      2. using or consulting unauthorized materials or using unauthorized equipment or devices on tests, quizzes, assignments or projects;
      3. submitting as one’s own work material written by someone else;
      4. falsifying any information on tests, quizzes, assignments or projects;
      5. working on any project, test, quiz or assignment outside of the time constraints imposed;
      6. submitting an assignment or using any material portion of a paper or project to fulfill the requirements of more than one course without the permission of the current instructor(s)
      7. failing to adhere to an instructor’s specific directions with respect to the terms of academic integrity or academic honesty;
      8. using fraudulent methods in laboratory, studio, performance, field, computer work or professional placement.
    3. Plagiarism: intentionally or unintentionally presenting thoughts or ideas from another source as one’s own or without appropriate attribution; intentionally or unintentionally disregarding proper scholarly procedures; and other acts generally recognized as plagiaristic.
    4. Misappropriation of Course-Based Intellectual Property: the term “Course-Based Intellectual Property” shall include lectures delivered by instructors, as well as course materials instructors create and distribute. Course-Based Intellectual Property is protected by federal copyright law. Misappropriation of intellectual property is the act of intentionally taking the intellectual property of an instructor or the sale or distribution of class notes, tests, assignments or class projects for commercial purposes, either directly or through a third party, without the express consent or permission of the instructor.
    5. Facilitating Academic Misconduct: intentionally or knowingly helping or attempting to help another to violate any provision of this policy.
    6. Working days: refers to Monday through Friday, excluding days on which the University is closed.
  4. RULES & PROCEDURES
    These procedures are designed to assure fundamental fairness and due process and to protect
    students from arbitrary or capricious disciplinary action.
    1. Who May File a Report
      Any University employee in an instructional relationship with a student may file an Academic Misconduct Incident Report. This includes, but is not limited to, course instructors, field directors, field supervisors, program directors, program chairs, school directors, department chairs, and deans. Although students may not file Academic Misconduct Incident Reports, students are obligated to report academic misconduct that they become aware of to a faculty member
    2. Reporting Cases of Academic Misconduct
      Reporting Person suspects student of academic misconduct.
      Reporting Person advises student of charge and determines whether student engaged in academic misconduct.
      If Reporting Person finds misconduct, he or she submits Academic Misconduct Incident Report to Office of Academic Affairs.
      Office of Academic Affairs notifies Student of charge & appeal options. If second offense, case is automatically referred to Academic Policy Committee.

      When a University employee (hereafter “Reporting Person”) suspects that a student has committed an act of academic misconduct, the Reporting Person shall adhere to the following procedures:
      1. Reporting Person Advises the Student of the Charge
        The Reporting Person will advise the student in person or via email of the accusation within ten (10) working days of discovering the misconduct and shall allow the student an opportunity, within ten (10) working days, to respond to the charge, in writing, before a sanction is determined. The accusation should be documented in an email to the student, even if the student is informed in person.
      2. Reporting Person Submits Academic Misconduct Incident Report
        If the Reporting Person finds that a student has committed academic misconduct in violation of this policy, the Reporting Person will complete an Academic Misconduct Incident Report Form, and send the form (electronically or in hard copy), along with all materials or documents pertinent to the violation (e.g. copies of correspondence, assignment, test, syllabus, etc.) to the Office of Academic Affairs within 10 (ten) working days of the student’s response. The Reporting Person will also provide a copy of this documentation to the student.
        1. Determination of Course-Level Sanction
          If the Reporting Person is the faculty member of the course where the misconduct
          took place, the Reporting Person may issue one or more of the following
          sanctions at the course level:
          1. a written warning;
          2. a reduction in the grade recorded for a test, assignment, quiz, etc.;
          3. issuance of a grade of “F” on the test, assignment, quiz, etc.;
          4. issuance of a grade of “F” in the course and removal from the course;
            or
          5. other sanction at the discretion of the faculty member.
        2. Other Recommended Sanctions
          In addition to the course-based sanctions listed above, the Reporting Person may recommend to the student’s program director or chair that the student should be suspended or dismissed from an accredited program (see Section F. below).
      3. Office of Academic Affairs Notifies Student of Charge & Appeal Options
        The Office of Academic Affairs will, within five (5) working days of receiving the Academic Misconduct Incident Report Form, send a letter by email to the student to inform the student of the charge, the sanction, and the student’s right to appeal.

        Copies of the letter will be sent by e-mail to the Reporting Person, the Reporting Person’s department chair, the student’s major department chair, the Registrar’s Office, and the Dean of Students.

        If the student has a prior academic misconduct violation, both the present case and past cases will automatically be referred to the Academic Policies Committee (APC) for possible additional sanctions. The Office of Academic Affairs will inform the chair of the APC at the time that the student letter is sent. (See Section G. Subsequent Academic Misconduct Violations, below.)
    3. Student Appeal Process
      Student files written appeal to Office of Academic Affairs.
      Office of Academic Affairs forwards appeal to Reporting Person for response.
      Office of Academic Affairs forwards all materials to Academic Policies Committee.
      Academic Policies Committee meets to review the case and will issue a decision, launch an investigation, or hold a hearing.
      If a student does not appeal a finding of academic misconduct, the sanction will stand and the documentation on the case will be held for five (5) years.
      Students who wish to appeal a finding of academic misconduct may do so for any of the following reasons:
      1. a. evidence that the misconduct charge is false;
      2. evidence of procedural irregularities; or
      3. new information arises that could not reasonably have been provided at the time
        of the Reporting Person’s decision, which may have affected the decision or the
        sanction imposed.
      The student appeal process is as follows:
      1. Once the student receives the emailed notification of the academic misconduct finding from the Office of Academic Affairs, the student will have five (5) working days to file a written appeal of the finding to the Office of Academic Affairs.
      2. If the misconduct finding is for a course in which the student is currently enrolled, the student should maintain full participation in the course during the appeal process. The department chair, the program director, or the academic dean will have the discretion to remove the student from a course during the appeal process only if the student’s presence compromises the safety or integrity of the classroom or instructional environment. In such cases, the student will be given a reasonable opportunity to attend an alternate section or be provided with makeup work to complete the course.
      3. The Office of Academic Affairs will forward the student’s appeal to the Reporting Person. The Reporting Person will have an opportunity to respond in writing to the student’s appeal, within five (5) working days of receiving it.
      4. The Office of Academic Affairs will, through a secure link via the Learning Management System or other secure platform, send all documents relating to the case to the chairperson of the APC. The chairperson will then notify the members of the APC of the case materials and will schedule a committee review of the materials within fifteen (15) working days.
        1. If no APC meeting is scheduled, the APC chairperson will convene a quorum of committee members to review the case.
        2. If an APC meeting is necessary outside of the normal academic year (e.g., summer session), the APC chairperson or Office of Academic Affairs may convene an ad hoc committee of faculty and students to review the case.
    4. A student who has questions about the appeal process should contact the School Advising Coordinator.
    5. Academic Policies Committee Procedures
      The APC will review the written evidence submitted and take one or more of the following actions:
      1. Issue a written decision. The APC will issue a written decision on the student appeal within five (5) working days of the APC’s decision, based on the written documents submitted by the Reporting Person and the student. The written decision will be sent to the student, Reporting Person, student’s chair, student’s dean, Reporting Person’s chair, and Reporting Person’s dean (as applicable), Dean of Students, Registrar, and the Office of Academic Affairs.
      2. Conduct an investigation. The APC chairperson will notify the student via email that the APC is opening an investigation into the case. The APC chairperson or designee(s) will collect additional information, and may collect additional written materials or conduct interviews. The APC will make every effort to conclude the investigation within ten (10) working days of opening it. Once the investigation is complete, the APC will reconvene to consider the student appeal and issue a written decision as described above.
      3. Conduct a hearing. When written evidence and a follow up investigation do not provide adequate information, the APC will have the option to conduct a hearing with the involved parties. The Chair of the APC will send the parties, by e-mail and U.S. mail, written notice of the date, time, and location of the hearing at least ten (10) working days prior to the hearing.
        1. The hearing shall be held at a reasonable time when all parties (to the extent possible) are available in person or remotely. Involved parties may attend the meeting virtually (using Skype, Zoom, conference call, etc.).
        2. The parties shall be entitled to make opening and closing statements, and the chair of the APC may set reasonable limits on the length and nature of such statements.
        3. The parties shall be entitled to present evidence through witnesses and documents, and shall be entitled to question witnesses. At the discretion of the chair of the APC, direct questioning by a party of a witness, including an opposing party, may not be permitted; rather, the parties may be required to convey their questions to the chair of the APC, who will then ask the witnesses.
        4. Students are permitted to seek the support of an advisor for assistance in the preparation of a case before the APC. Although an advisor may be present during the hearing, he or she may not give opening or closing statements, present documents, question witnesses, or otherwise participate in the proceedings. Students shall notify the chair of APC of the identity of the advisor at least one (1) day prior to the hearing.
        5. Attendance at the hearing is limited to individuals directly connected with the case as determined by the chair of the APC.
        6. The APC will consider such evidence as a reasonable person would consider reliable in making important decisions. If a question arises about the authenticity of a piece of evidence or its reasonableness, relevance, or redundancy, the chair of the APC shall be the final decision maker on the admissibility of the evidence.
        7. The parties may request, in writing, that the APC contact specified persons to appear at the hearing to testify on their behalf. Such requests should be made at least five (5) working days before the scheduled hearing.
        8. The chair of the APC shall be responsible for conducting the hearing in an efficient and decorous manner and shall rule on all disputes related to the procedures used throughout the proceedings. At any time, the chair of the APC may seek the advice of legal counsel.
        9. Within five working days of the hearing, the chair of the APC shall issue a written decision based on a preponderance of the evidence. The APC shall provide a copy of its written decision to the student, Reporting Person, student’s chair, student’s dean, Reporting Person’s chair, and Reporting Person’s dean (as applicable), Dean of Students, Registrar, and Office of Academic Affairs.
        10. All parties must abide by the APC’s written decision unless it is modified by the Provost as part of the limited appeal process in the circumstances outlined below in Section H, Appeals from the APC’s Decision.
    6. Issuance of Academic Misconduct Grade of F
      If the student is found to have committed academic misconduct and is issued a grade of “F” in the course, the following rules shall apply:
      1. The student may not withdraw from a course in which an academic integrity “F” has been issued.
      2. Should the student repeat the course, both the misconduct “F” and the new grade will be computed within the student’s GPA.
      3. There will be no designation on the transcript that the “F” is due to academic misconduct, unless the violation is so egregious that the APC believes the violation should be documented.
      4. A student with an “F” grade due to academic misconduct may not graduate with University honors nor serve as commencement speaker.
    7. Dismissal from Accredited Programs
      If the Reporting Person recommends a student’s dismissal from an accredited program, the director of that program will be responsible for carrying out that program’s policy regarding program dismissal. If a student is dismissed from a professional program, the student may appeal that decision by writing a letter of appeal to the Academic Affairs Office. The APC will review the student’s appeal in accordance with the Policy on Student Appeals of Faculty or Professional Program Sanctions.
    8. Subsequent Academic Misconduct Violations
      If a student has a prior academic misconduct violation on record, both the current case and the prior case(s) will automatically be referred to the APC for consideration of further sanctions beyond the course-based sanction. The APC may elect to impose additional sanctions up to and including suspension or expulsion from the University.
    9. Appeals of APC’s Decision
      For student appeals of faculty-imposed sanctions, the decision of the APC regarding the appeal is final.

      Any party may appeal the additional sanctions imposed by the APC for repeat offenders, including suspension or expulsion from the University or the APC’s decision to uphold a program’s dismissal of a student from a program. Written appeals to the Provost must be filed within ten (10) working days of when the parties receive notice of the APC’s decision and should set forth all of the reasons that support a repeal of the APC’s decision. The Provost will review the written appeal and the documentation associated with the case and has discretion to take any action necessary to thoroughly complete a review. The Provost’s decision is final and binding on all parties. The Provost’s decision will be conveyed in writing to the student, the faculty member, department chair, dean of the school/college, Registrar, the Office of Academic Affairs, Dean of Students, and the APC.