Academic Integrity (The Academic Code of Conduct)

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

Academic integrity is the foundation of academic community. Each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, and students are responsible for reading and understanding all sections Student Code of Conduct relating to standards of conduct and academic life. Students who violate University Regulations and Procedures concerning academic dishonesty are subject to disciplinary penalties, including the possibility of failure or removal from a course, disciplinary probation, revocation or withholding of a degree, or dismissal from the University.

DEFINITIONS

Academic Dishonesty: Includes, but is not limited to, cheating, plagiarism, collusion, fabrication, falsification, falsifying academic records, or other acts intentionally designed to provide an unfair advantage to the student. Academic Dishonesty is also the attempt to commit such acts.

Academic Integrity: Includes honesty in completing assignments; affirming work submitted is the student’s work without unauthorized assistance.

Cheating: Includes, but is not limited to, intentionally giving or receiving unauthorized aid or notes on examinations, papers, or class assignments intended to be individually completed. Cheating also includes the unauthorized copying of tests or any other deceit or fraud related to the student’s academic conduct or violating the guidelines set out by a faculty member for assignments or exams. Dual submission of a paper or project, or resubmission of a paper or project without express permission from the instructor(s), also constitutes cheating.

Collusion: Occurs when a student collaborates with another person without authorization when preparing any assignment including examinations, classroom assignments, homework, and papers. It is a violation of Academic Integrity to receive unauthorized help or give unauthorized help.

Complainant: The individual who reports the incident.

Fabrication: Occurs when a student makes up data or results and records or reports them.

Faculty Member: For the purpose of this regulation and the procedures associated with this regulation, a faculty member is the Instructor of Record for course in which violation(s) of Academic Integrity occurs.

Falsification: Occurs when a student manipulates research materials, equipment or processes or changes or omits results such that the research is not accurately reflected in the research record.

Falsifying Academic Records: Includes, but is not limited to, altering grades or other academic records. Altering or assisting in the altering of any official record of the University or submitting false information or omitting requested information that is required for or related to any academic record of the University. Academic records include, but are not limited to, applications for admission, the awarding of a degree, grade reports, test papers, registration materials, grade change forms, and reporting forms used by the Office of the Registrar.

Forgery Allegations: Acts such as forging a signature on add/drop forms, may be separate from academic dishonesty. Forgery charges are adjudicated following the Texas Woman’s University Student Code of Conduct Regulation and Procedures.

Multiple Submissions: When a student submits all or portions of the same work for credit for more than one assignment without the instructors’ explicit permission. Cumulative work, such as research projects, should clearly state in writing that the work is cumulative, and it is the student’s responsibility to get permission from the instructor(s) in advance of reusing her or his work.

Plagiarism: Occurs when a student obtains portions or elements of someone else’s work, including materials prepared by another person or agency, and presents those ideas or words as her or his own academic work. Plagiarism may be intentional or unintentional. TWU students are expected to submit their own work and to properly acknowledge the sources from which their information came.

Research Misconduct: Fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results.

  • Fabrication is making up data or results and recording or reporting them.
  • Falsification is manipulating research materials, equipment, or processes, or changing or omitting data or results such that the research is not accurately represented in the research record.
  • Plagiarism is the appropriation of another person's ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit.
  • Research misconduct does not include honest errors or differences of opinion.

All TWU members, including students, shall report observed, suspected, or apparent research misconduct to the Assistant Provost for Promotion of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP). The University Regulation regarding Research Misconduct can be found on the TWU website and on the ORSP webpage.

TWU is responsible for the prevention, detection, and investigation of research misconduct and shall take action to ensure the integrity of research, the protection of the rights of research subjects and the public, the protection of the health and safety of the public, and the observance of legal requirements related to research. All students engaged in research at TWU are responsible for fostering an environment of intellectual honesty and integrity in research.

The Provost shall submit final investigation reports involving students to the Vice President for Student Life or her or his designee, who will oversee academic dishonesty disciplinary proceedings according to Student Academic Conduct and Integrity University Regulation and Procedures.

Respondent: The individual who is accused of the violation.

Revocation of Degree: A degree awarded from TWU may be revoked for fraud, misrepresentation, or other violations of TWU standards in obtaining the degree, or for other serious violations committed by a student prior to graduation, or after the conferring of a degree.

Support Person(s): Someone whom the student trusts to provide advice and support during the process. A support person can be any person the student feels comfortable confiding in, and need not be affiliated with the University (i.e. a friend, a family member, a person from a support or advocacy agency). A support person may accompany the student to any part of the adjudication process, including any meetings with the Executive Director of the Office of Civility and Community Standards, appropriate University official and Investigator. The support person does not participate in the process and, as such, cannot be a witness to the allegations in the complaint. Attorneys may serve as support persons. Anyone who is actively involved in a Sexual Misconduct complaint may not serve as a support person. A support person must agree to maintain the confidentiality of the process and agree to sign a Confidentiality/Non-Retaliation Acknowledgment form.

Withholding Degree: TWU may withhold awarding a degree otherwise earned until the completion of the process set forth in the Student Code of Conduct, including the completion of all sanctions imposed, if any.

Witness(es): An individual who has first-hand knowledge of the alleged incident in question. The individual may attest to the facts or events in person, via electronic means, or in writing. Witnesses may be invited to attend a hearing by a complainant or respondent, or summoned to the hearing by the Executive Director of the Office of Civility and Community Standards or his or her designee. 

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY STATEMENT

Texas Woman’s University is committed to fostering a community of learning. In joining the TWU academic community, students pledge to uphold values including civility and respect for the view of others as well as personal integrity and academic honesty. Academic Integrity in completing assignments is essential to the mission of the University and to the development of the personal integrity of students. In submitting graded assignments, students affirm that they neither gave nor received unauthorized assistance and that they abided by all other provisions of the Student Code of Conduct.

In an effort to ensure the integrity of the academic process, Texas Woman’s University vigorously affirms the importance of academic honesty. Therefore, in an effort to detect and prevent plagiarism, faculty members at TWU may use an electronic tool to compare a student’s work with multiple sources. The tool then reports a percentage of similarity and provides links to those specific sources. The tool itself does not determine whether or not a paper has been plagiarized. Instead, that judgment must be made by the individual faculty member.

ACADEMIC DISHONESTY PROCEDURES

Texas Woman’s University makes every effort to preserve the faculty/student relationship. The following procedure has been developed with this relationship in mind. Faculty members should clearly identify course specific standards which interpret university, college, or departmental policies related to academic integrity. These standards should appear in the course syllabus and may vary by discipline.

  • All violations should be reported within thirty (30) days of discovery by the faculty member.

In the event of alleged academic dishonesty, the faculty member who discovers evidence or receives reports of academic dishonesty should:

  1. Report the violations to the Office of Civility and Community Standards through their website: https://www.twu.edu/civility/report-an-incident/  
    The summary must include relevant evidence.
  2. Arrange to meet with the student(s) accused of the alleged infraction in a timely manner.
  3. If the student(s) acknowledges the act of academic dishonesty and the faculty member is satisfied that the incident can be effectively resolved with a grade sanction, the faculty member will assign one of the following sanctions:
    1. Verbal reprimand
    2. Written warning
    3. Performance of additional work
    4. Changing/reduction of grade
    5. Withdrawal from the course

Some disciplines have more rigorous practice standards. In these cases, additional possible sanctions are included in the departmental handbook for the discipline and may be imposed.

  1. If the student denies the allegation of academic dishonesty, the following disciplinary proceedings will be followed:
    1. Disciplinary proceedings begin with a pre-hearing conference between the Director for Civility Standards & Community Standards on the Denton Campus, the Assistant Director for Student Life at the Dallas or Houston Center, or their designee and the accused student(s). During the pre-hearing conference, the accused student(s) will have the opportunity to discuss and review all evidence, as well as ask questions about the charges and the options available for resolution. In addition, during the prehearing conference, the student will be presented with the following options:
      1. To plead responsible for the charge of academic dishonesty, which indicates that the student does not contest the charge of academic dishonesty, waives all rights to a formal hearing, and accepts imposed sanctions from the Office of Civility & Community Standards; or
      2. To plead not responsible and request a formal hearing with the Code of Conduct Review Committee.

If a pending outcome of an investigation is not resolved by the end of a semester or summer session, then a grade of NG (no grade) will be assigned to the student. The faculty member must notify the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Studies in the case of undergraduate students or the Dean of the Graduate School for graduate students of the need to assign an NG to the student(s). The Associate Provost for Undergraduate Studies or the Dean of the Graduate School, after consultation with the Office of Civility and Community Standards will work with the Registrar’s Office to assign the NG.

The formal hearing process for violations of academic integrity follows the Code of Conduct Review Process.

Formal Hearing with Code of Conduct Review Committee
The Code of Conduct Review Committee is comprised of faculty and students who hear cases for conduct issues and academic dishonesty. All students on the Committee must be in good standing in order to be eligible to serve on the Code of Conduct Review Committee. In all cases, the Committee hears a case and renders a recommendation.

Each Code of Conduct Review Committee will utilize two students and three faculty selected from a pool to hear the case. All cases will be heard on a common day set by the Committee (docket) at the start of each semester. In the event there are not enough members available, the Vice President for Student Life or Provost may appoint additional members to the Committee.

  • The Campus Code of Conduct Review Committee is comprised of students appointed by the Student Government President and by the Vice President for Student Life. Faculty members will be recognized to hear a case by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. The Director of Civility and Community Standards shall have the authority to call an ad hoc review committee for the purpose of conducting hearings in the event of scheduling and/or course conflicts. The ad hoc review committee may be comprised of three faculty.
  • If the complainants or accused feel they must postpone the hearing, they must notify the Director for Civility and Community Standards no less than 48 hours prior to the hearing.
  • The University has the right to hold the scheduled hearing without the student present.

Complainants and respondents are allowed to have a support person present for consultation purposes during their hearing. The support person is not allowed to address the Conduct Review Committee or any witnesses present. Complainants do not have the right to be informed of the outcome of the hearing or any sanctions imposed on the respondent(s) in the case of charges of academic dishonesty.

Burden of Proof
Academic dishonesty is determined by the preponderance of the information given. Information may be in the form of observation, admission, verbal or written statement, or documentation which either circumstantially or directly indicates a violation of academic integrity occurred.

No less than three (3) days prior to the hearing, the complainant and the respondent may each present to the Office of Civility and Community Standards copies of all documents to be introduced at the hearing as well as a list of those witnesses whose testimony will be presented in person or by summation, including a brief summary of the anticipated testimony. 

No less than two (2) days prior to the hearing, the complainant and the respondent shall receive from the Office of Civility and Community Standards any documents to be introduced at the hearing and a list of those witnesses whose testimony will be presented in person or by summation, including a brief summary of the anticipated testimony.

Academic Dishonesty Sanctions
The following sanctions may be imposed for academic dishonesty by the Conduct Review Committee:

  • Written reprimand
  • Assignment of a 0 on an assignment
  • Assignment of a lower grade on the test/paper/project in question
  • Removal from the course with the assignment of a failing grade (WF)
  • Disciplinary probation
  • Withholding of a degree
  • Revocation of a degree
  • Suspension from the University
  • Expulsion from the University
  • Other appropriate sanctions as determined by the Conduct Review Committee.

Appeals
The results of a hearing can be appealed once to the Associate Vice President for Student Engagement or her or his designee in writing. Accused students or complainants must petition within three (3) business days of receiving the written decision for a review of the decision or the sanctions imposed. The Associate Vice President for Student Engagement will review to determine if the appeal meets the limited grounds and is timely. The original finding and sanction will stand if the appeal is not timely or substantively eligible, and the decision is final. If the appeal has standing, the documentation is forwarded for consideration. The party requesting appeal must show error as the original finding and sanction are presumed to have been decided reasonably and appropriately.
If it is determined a material, procedural, or substantive error occurred, then the complaint will be sent to the original hearing body with instructions to reconvene to cure the error. In rare cases, where the procedural or substantive error cannot be cured by the original hearing officers (as in cases of bias), the Associate Vice President for Student Engagement may order a new hearing on the complaint with a new body of hearing officers. The results of a reconvened hearing cannot be appealed. This decision is final.

The only grounds for appeal are as follows:

  1. A material, procedural, or substantive error occurred that significantly impacted the outcome of the hearing (e.g., substantiated bias, material deviation from established procedures, etc.)
  2. To consider new evidence, unavailable during the original hearing or investigation, that could substantially impact the original finding or sanction. A summary of this new evidence and its potential impact must be included.

If the appeals officer or committee determines that new evidence should be considered, it will return the complaint to the original hearing body to reconsider in light of the new evidence, only. The reconsideration of the hearing body cannot be appealed.

If it is determined a material, procedural, or substantive error occurred, then the complaint will be sent to the original hearing body with instructions to reconvene to cure the error. In rare cases, where the procedural or substantive error cannot be cured by the original hearing officers (as in cases of bias), a new hearing may be ordered on the complaint with a new body of hearing officers. The results of a reconvened hearing cannot be appealed. This decision is final.

Student raising hand with other students around her in a classroom.

The procedures governing the hearing of appeals include the following:

  • All parties should be timely informed of the status of requests for appeal, the status of the appeal consideration, and the results of the appeal decision;
  • Every opportunity to return the appeal to the original hearing body for reconsideration (remand) should be pursued;
  • Appeals are not intended to be full re-hearings of the complaint (de novo). In most cases, appeals are confined to a review of the written documentation or record of the original hearing, and pertinent documentation regarding the grounds for appeal;
  • This is not an opportunity for appeals officers to substitute their judgment for that of the original hearing body merely because they disagree with its finding and/ or sanctions. Appeals decisions are to be deferential to the original hearing body, making changes to the finding only where there is clear error and to the sanction only if there is a compelling justification to do so;
  • Sanctions imposed are implemented immediately unless the Associate Vice President for Student Engagement or his or her designee stays their implementation in extraordinary circumstances, pending the outcome of the appeal. 
  • The appeals committee or officer will render a written decision to the Associate Vice President for Student Engagement or his or her designee on the appeal to all parties within seven (7) business days from hearing of the appeal. The committee’s decision to deny appeal requests is final.

Sanctions are imposed by the Director for Civility and Community Standards, or other Student Life designee and will be in effect during the appeal. In cases where the appeal results in reinstatement to the institution or of privileges, all reasonable attempts will be made to restore the student to their prior status, recognizing that some opportunities lost may be irretrievable in the short term.

Student Records
Records of scholastic dishonesty are retained in the Office of Student Life and are kept separate from the student’s academic record or transcript. Disciplinary records, including academic dishonesty, may be released to persons outside of the University only with consent of the student, or by exceptions described in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), including:

  1. Other school officials who have been determined to have a legitimate educational interest;
  2. Federal, state, or local officials to whom such information is specifically allowed; or
  3. A court order or a subpoena.

Enforcement of Regulations
The University reserves the right to establish or modify any existing regulations when unusual circumstances dictate. A student who is under suspension from another institution may not be permitted to enter Texas Woman’s University until the student’s eligibility to re-enter the institution which imposed the suspension can be established. A student under expulsion, suspension, or administrative withdrawal from Texas Woman’s University may not be permitted to visit on any TWU campus during the suspension or withdrawal period except for a brief period in the office of a university administrator to transact essential official business. Any visits to campus must be approved by the Office of Student Life.

SPECIAL NOTES
Behavior and other non-academic student conduct issues are separate from Academic Integrity issues and will be handled through the Student Code of Conduct process.

 

Details

Article ID: 24426
Created
Tue 2/7/17 3:02 PM
Modified
Fri 8/3/18 4:20 PM