Academic Integrity Policy: Global Faculty

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3.3.1 Preamble

In its mission to provide a career-oriented education, New York Institute of Technology strives to create a community of students, faculty and staff intent on teaching, learning and researching. As members of this learning community, students and faculty must work together to ask difficult questions of what we know and to discover what we have yet to learn. The foundation of academic work is intellectual integrity, credibility and trust. A learning community can only be maintained if its members believe that their work is judged fairly and that they will not be put at a disadvantage because of another member's dishonesty. For these reasons it is essential that all members of the NYIT community understand our shared standards of academic honesty. More than just a series of regulations, the Academic Integrity Policy serves as a guide for students and faculty for understanding these standards and their importance in the mission of NYIT. (Also see Section 2.1.5 and 2.1.6, Faculty Handbook).

Definitions

Academic Integrity Academic integrity is the pursuit of scholarly work in an open, honest and responsible manner. Academic integrity is a basic guiding principle for all academic activity at New York Institute of Technology, and all members of the college community are expected to act in accordance with this principle. Academic integrity includes a commitment not to engage in or tolerate acts of falsification, misrepresentation or deception in the completion of academic work. Such acts of dishonesty violate the fundamental and ethical principles of the NYIT community and compromise the worth of work completed by others.

Academic Dishonesty All members of the NYIT community are expected to observe high standards of academic integrity and ethical behavior in completing assignments for evaluation, testing, research and publication. Any practice or conduct by a member of the NYIT community that seriously deviates from the ethical standards that are commonly accepted within the professional community and as outlined in this policy constitutes academic dishonesty. Academic integrity violations encompass any act that compromises the integrity of the educational process. These violations include, but are not limited to:

1. Plagiarism

Plagiarism refers to representing the words or ideas of another as one's own in any academic exercise without providing proper documentation of source. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Copying information word for word from a source without using quotation marks and giving proper acknowledgement by way of footnote, endnote or inter-textual note.
  • Paraphrasing or putting into one's own words information from a source without providing proper acknowledgement/citation.
  • Reproducing without proper citation any other form of work of another person, such as a musical phrase, a proof, experimental data, laboratory report, graphics design or computer code.

It is the responsibility of all students to understand the methods of proper attribution and to apply those principles in all written, oral and electronic submissions. This information is available from instructors, library staff, library Web site (nyit.edu/library) and the Writing Center.

2. Cheating

Cheating refers to intentionally using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information or study aids in any academic exercise. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Copying from another student's examination, research paper, case write-up, lab report, and homework assignment or computer program.
  • Possessing or using unauthorized notes, text or other aids during an examination, quiz or other assignment.
  • Looking at someone else's exam before or during an examination.
  • Handing in the same paper for more than one course without the explicit permission of the instructors.
  • Possessing an electronic device that contains unauthorized information for a test or assignment such as programming one's computer or calculator to gain an unfair advantage.
  • Soliciting, obtaining, possessing or providing to another person an examination or portions of an exam prior or subsequent to the administration of the exam.
  • Talking, whispering or using a cell phone during an examination for the purpose of obtaining answers to questions.
3. Unauthorized Collaboration

Unauthorized collaboration refers to working with other students without the instructor's permission in the preparation and presentation of reports, laboratory reports, homework assignments, take-home exams, term papers, research projects, case studies or otherwise failing to abide by the instructor's rules governing the academic exercise where the expectation is that the work to be completed is an individual and independent effort. Working in teams and collaborating with others in completing group projects and other assignments is an effective teaching pedagogy used by some instructors. However, collaborative learning must be sanctioned by the instructor. Students are encouraged to consult with the instructor if they are unsure about the assignment, course expectations or what constitutes unauthorized collaboration.

4. Fabrication

Fabrication refers to the intentional and unauthorized falsification, misrepresentation or invention of any information, data or citation in any academic exercise. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Falsifying or altering the data collected in the conduct of research.
  • Making up a source as a citation in an assignment or citing a source one did not use.
  • Attempting to deceive the instructor by altering and resubmitting for additional credit assignments, tests, quizzes or exams that have been graded and returned.
  • Stating an opinion as a scientifically proven fact.
5. Facilitation

Facilitation refers to intentionally or knowingly assisting any person in the commission of an academic integrity violation. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Allowing another student to copy one's answers during an examination.
  • Giving another student one's assignment or paper to copy or answers to a test or assignment.
  • Taking an examination or writing a paper for another student.
  • Inaccurately listing someone as co-author of a paper, case write-up, lab report or project that did not contribute.
  • Signing an attendance sheet for a student who was not present in class.
6. Misrepresentation

Misrepresentation refers to intentionally engaging in deceptive practices and misusing one's relationship with the college to gain an unfair advantage in the admissions process, access to programs and facilities, employment opportunities and any academic exercise. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Arranging for another student to substitute for oneself during an examination session or in the completion of course work.
  • Taking credit for work not done, such as taking credit for a group assignment without participating or contributing to the extent expected.
  • Falsifying, misusing, omitting or tampering with official college information in any form including written, oral or electronic including test scores, transcripts, letters of recommendation or statements of purpose to gain initial or continued access to the college's programs or facilities.
  • Altering, changing, forging or misusing academic records or any official college form regarding oneself or others.
  • Causing any false information to be presented at an academic proceeding or intentionally destroying evidence important to an academic proceeding.
  • Reporting an academic integrity violation known to be false.
  • Misrepresenting or falsifying class attendance or that of another student.
7. Participation in Dishonest Acts

Some dishonest acts that undermine the fundamental values of an intellectual community fall outside of the more specific academic integrity violations described above. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Purchasing a pre-written paper through a mail-order service.
  • Selling, loaning, or otherwise distributing materials for the purpose of cheating, plagiarism or other academically dishonest acts.
  • Intentionally missing an examination or assignment deadline to gain an unfair advantage.
  • Stealing or attempting to steal an examination or answer key from an instructor, proctor or staff member.
  • Infringing upon the right of other students to fair and equal access to any library materials and comparable or related academic resources.
  • Attempting to prevent access by other users to the college's computer system and its resources, to degrade its system performance, or to copy or destroy files or programs without consent.
  • Offering bribes (e.g., monetary remuneration, gifts or favors) to any college official in exchange for special consideration, waiver of procedures or change of grade on an assignment or course.

3.3.2 Reporting Violations of Academic Integrity

Students, faculty and staff share in the responsibility for maintaining the academic standards of the college, for promoting integrity and for upholding the Academic Integrity Policy. To protect the rights and maintain the trust of honest students and support appropriate behavior, instructors should regularly communicate high standards of integrity and reinforce them by taking reasonable steps to anticipate and deter acts of dishonesty in all assignments and examinations. To promote a learning environment that is built upon the fundamental values of honesty, trust, fairness, respect and responsibility each NYIT community member is encouraged to confront instances of suspected wrongdoing and to report alleged violations of the Academic Integrity Policy to the appropriate instructor, department chair, Academic Dean, Director of Student Affairs/Dean of Students, or Executive Director/Campus Dean. A standard Academic Dishonesty Incident Report or a personal letter or meeting with the appropriate college official are all appropriate means by which referrals are made. Students are not obligated to report suspected violations, but they are encouraged to do so. Students may also approach those involved in alleged academic dishonesty to remind them of their obligation to uphold standards of academic integrity.

3.3.3 Academic Dishonesty Review Process

There are two (2) types of forums provided by this code to review alleged violations of the Academic Integrity Policy.

Academic Resolution (Informal)

The instructor has the primary responsibility for control over classroom behavior and maintenance of academic integrity. Students involved in academic dishonesty, either directly or indirectly as a participant are immediately responsible to the instructor of the course who is obligated to address the alleged violation. Academic resolutions are conducted by the instructor of the course in which an alleged violation of the Academic Integrity Policy has occurred. When an instructor suspects that a student may have violated the college's policy, the instructor shall meet with the student to discuss his or her concerns and present the student with any supporting evidence and documentation. The student shall be afforded the opportunity to respond to the allegations and to offer an explanation.

3.3.4 Student Accept Responsibility

At an academic resolution meeting if the instructor and the student agree that a violation has occurred and the student accepts responsibility for the violation, the instructor may at his or her discretion impose the following academic sanctions or grade penalties:

  • Issue the student a verbal warning together with advice about what is acceptable academic conduct.
  • Change the grade on the assignment, including lowering or assessing a failing grade.
  • Change the grade for the course, including lowering or assessing a failing grade.
  • Allow the student to resubmit the assignment or retake the exam.
  • Assign additional academic work or alternative assignments.

Imposing additional sanctions such as disciplinary probation, suspension, expulsion or removing a student from class are outside the purview of the instructor and may not be issued as part of the academic resolution process. These sanctions may only be rendered through the formal disciplinary process administered by the Office of the Director of Student Affair/Dean of Students.

3.3.5 Student Does Not Accept Responsibility

At the academic resolution meeting if the student does not accept responsibility and/or disputes the allegation or decision of the instructor, the instructor will assign an (I) Incomplete grade on the assignment or in the course pending the outcome of a hearing before the Discipline Review Board as outlined in this code. Students assessed an (I) Incomplete grade will be allowed to continue in the course without prejudice pending the outcome of the formal disciplinary process. If the course ends before the Discipline Review Board has acted, the instructor will submit the (I) incomplete grade to the Registrar's Office pending a hearing before the Discipline Review Board. At the conclusion of the disciplinary process the instructor will submit a Change of Grade form with the Registrar's Office reflecting the outcome of the disciplinary hearing and the instructor's evaluation of the student's work in the course.

3.3.6 Academic Dishonesty Resolution Report

At the conclusion of the academic resolution meeting with the student, the instructor will complete an Academic Dishonesty Resolution Report signed by both parties indicating whether or not the student has accepted responsibility for a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy and any academic sanctions or grade penalties imposed.

The Academic Dishonesty Resolution Report may also be used by the instructor to request a formal review of the matter by the Director of Student Affairs/Dean of Students' Office and the Discipline Review Board. A copy of the report and all supporting evidence and documentation should be forwarded to the Director of Student Affairs/Dean of Students' Office and to the Department Chair within five (5) business days at the conclusion of the academic resolution process. The Academic Dishonesty Resolution Report serves as the official record of the meeting and will become part of the student's disciplinary record maintained by the Director of Student Affairs/Dean of Students' Office.

3.3.7 Meeting with the Director of Student Affairs/Dean of Students

Upon receipt of the Academic Dishonesty Resolution Report, the Director of Student Affairs/Dean of Students will meet with the student who has accepted responsibility for a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy to review the policy and to stress its importance; outline the resources and services provided by the college to assist students in completing writing assignments and who may be experiencing academic difficulty; and issue a written warning indicating that a further violation of the Academic Integrity Policy will be attended by more serious disciplinary sanctions. In cases where a student is assessed and accepts a failing grade for the course by the instructor, the student will be informed that he/she is no longer allowed to attend the class. A summary letter of the meeting will be sent to the student and a copy forwarded to the instructor and Department Chair. In cases where the student does not accept responsibility for a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy, the Director of Student Affairs/Dean of Students will initiate the formal disciplinary process outlined in Section IV (B) of this code.

3.3.8 Academic Resolution Appeals

A student who accepts responsibility and agrees with the academic sanctions or grade penalties imposed by the instructor as part of the academic resolution process cannot appeal the decision to a higher authority, Discipline Review Board or the Grade Appeals Committee. The decision and sanctions imposed by the instructor are final. A student who does not accept responsibility and/or disputes the allegation or decision of the instructor has the right to have the matter reviewed by the Director of Student Affairs/ Dean of Students' Office with a possible referral to the Discipline Review Board.

3.3.9 Discipline Review Board (Formal)

Authority and Jurisdiction

Administrative authority and responsibility for disciplinary policies and procedures on all NYIT campuses including international and global sites and in on-line courses is delegated by the President to the Vice President for Student Affairs. Jurisdiction of disciplinary matters involving violations of the Student Code of Conduct is assumed by the Director of Student Affairs/Dean of Students. The formal process used by the college to resolve alleged violations of the Academic Integrity Policy is a review of the matter by the campus Discipline Review Board.

Composition of Board

Formal hearings are conducted by the campus Discipline Review Board which consists of the Director of Student Affairs/Dean of Students who serves as chair, four (4) faculty members from different schools appointed by the Executive Director/Campus Dean, four (4) students appointed by the Student Life Organization, and two (2) administrators from different departments appointed by the Director of Student Affairs/Dean of Students. The chair selects two (2) faculty members, two (2) students and one (1) administrator to hear each case and members serve on a rotating basis. Board members are appointed for two year terms.

Initiating Charges

The Director of Student Affairs/Dean of Students' Office or comparable office on each campus is responsible for investigating complaints of alleged violations of the Academic Integrity Policy and the Discipline Review Board will be called upon to hear cases under the following circumstances:

  • If after a thorough review of a complaint it is determined that there is sufficient evidence to formally charge a student with a violation of the policy.
  • If at the conclusion of the Academic Resolution (Informal) process the student disputes the allegation and does not accept responsibility for violating the Academic Integrity Policy or disagrees with the sanction(s) imposed by an instructor.
  • A review of a student's disciplinary record indicates a second reported violation of the Academic Integrity Policy.
  • The instructor or the Director of Student Affairs/Dean of Students feels that the seriousness of the first offense warrants a review by the Discipline Review Board.

If the Director of Student Affairs/Dean of Students determines that there is insufficient evidence to charge a student with a violation of the policy the formal disciplinary process will not be initiated and all parties will be notified in writing. If there is insufficient evidence to formally charge a student with a violation of the policy and the instructor chooses to issue an academic sanction or grade penalty, the student has the right to request a review of the matter by the Grade Appeals Committee.

Notice of Charges

Upon receipt of an Academic Dishonesty Resolution Report, Academic Dishonesty Incident Report or letter of complaint, the Director of Student Affairs/Dean of Students will provide the student with a written notice of the charge including specific code violations and a brief description of alleged offense(s) within five (5) business days via certified mail. The charged student will be provided an opportunity to attend an information session with the Director of Student Affairs/Dean of Students or designee, during which the student may review all materials to be used in his/her case including his/her disciplinary file, receive information regarding due process rights and procedures used in a disciplinary hearing, discuss the allegations upon which the charge is based, and obtain a copy of the Student Handbook and a list of additional resources.

If a student fails to respond to a request to schedule an information session and/or attend a scheduled information session within three (3) business days of receipt of notification, the student waives his/her right to an information session and a Discipline Review Board hearing will be scheduled.

Hearing Notification

Charged students shall receive notice of a Discipline Review Board hearing within five (5) business days prior to the hearing. Written notice shall include the date, time and location of the hearing. If the charged student fails to appear at the scheduled hearing or fails to provide adequate written notice requesting a postponement due to extenuating circumstances, the hearing will be held in the student's absence. The Director of Student Affairs/Dean of Students will determine whether the extenuating circumstances warrant a rescheduling of the hearing. No student may be found responsible for a violation of the Student Conduct of Code solely because the student failed to appear before the Discipline Review Board. The decision of the Board will be determined based on all the documentation and testimony presented at the time of the hearing.

3.3.10 Discipline Review Board Procedures

All formal hearings will be conducted using the following procedures:

  1. Presentation of formal charges by the Director of Student Affairs/Dean of Students (Chair of the Discipline Review Board).
  2. Brief review and affirmation of student rights and responsibilities by the Director of Student Affairs/ Dean of Students.
  3. Administration of an oath of honesty and truthful testimony to the charged student prior to testimony before the Board.
  4. Opening statement by the charged student.
  5. Questioning of the charged student by the Board.
  6. Administration of an oath of honesty and truthful testimony to each witness prior to testimony before the Board.
  7. Presentation of evidence and/or testimony by the instructor or designee followed by questions from the Board and student. The student will present questions for the instructor to the Board Chair. The Director of Student Affairs/ Dean of Students reserves the right to determine the method for delivery of questions and to determine the relevance of the question(s).
  8. Presentation of witnesses on behalf of the instructor or designee followed by questions from the Discipline Review Board and the student. Witnesses are excluded from the hearing except during their own testimony. Written statements may not be admitted into evidence unless signed by the witness. A copy of all written statements will be provided to the Discipline Review Board and the charged student prior to the hearing.
  9. Presentation of evidence and witnesses by the charged student followed by questions from the Discipline Review Board and the instructor or designee. The Director of Student Affairs/Dean of Students reserves the right to determine the relevance of the questions. Witnesses are excluded from the hearing except during their own testimony. Written statements may not be admitted into evidence unless signed by the witness. A copy of all written statements will be provided to the Discipline Review Board and the instructor prior to the hearing.
  10. Follow-up questions to the charged student and instructor or designee.
  11. Closing statement by the instructor or designee.
  12. Closing statement by the charged student.
  13. Adjournment.

All Discipline Review Board hearings are private and closed to the public. Formal hearings are taped via audio recording and the audiotape will serve as the official record of the hearing.

Role of the Director of Student Affairs/Dean of Students

The role of the Director of Student Affairs/Dean of Students when presiding over a Discipline Review Board hearing is to advise the student of his/her rights under the Student Code of Conduct; maintain an orderly hearing ensuring that all parties are treated with respect and free from intimidation or harassment; make all administrative decisions on matters relating to the admission of relevant evidence, testimony and questions; and administer the oath of truthful testimony to all participants.

Deliberations and Burden of Proof

At the conclusion of a Discipline Review Board hearing all parties except members of the Board are excused and the Board deliberates. The standard burden of proof used in all disciplinary cases is .preponderance of evidence. The term – preponderance of evidence means that evidence, considered as a whole, indicates the fact sought to be proved is more probable, or that it is more likely than not the alleged behavior did violate the Academic Integrity Policy. The burden rests with the college and the student is presumed not responsible. Responsibility is determined by a simple majority vote of the Board members, except in cases involving expulsion, which must be unanimous. A student's academic and previous disciplinary record may not be used to determine responsibility but may be taken into account in determining appropriate educational and disciplinary sanctions. Deliberations are not audio taped but the vote count, decision rendered and sanctions imposed are taped and become a part of the official record of the hearing.

3.3.11 Sanctions

If the Board determines that a student has violated the Academic Integrity Policy it has full discretion to impose the following sanctions:

Warning – A written reprimand to the student that further violation of the Academic Integrity Policy will result in more serious disciplinary action.

Educational Assignment – Required participation in a development task for the purpose of making a positive contribution to the student's well-being such as attendance at an educational workshop, research project, essay, meetings/interviews with college officials, planning and implementing educational programs, or other activities.

Disciplinary Probation – A specified period of time during which a student has the opportunity to demonstrate his/her ability to be a responsible member of the NYIT community. A student on probation is prohibited from holding an office or being elected to any honorary society. He/she may be restricted from participation in other activities as determined by the board.

Suspension – Suspension from academic enrollment and revocation of other privileges or activities, and the privilege to enter all NYIT campuses for a period of time not to exceed two (2) years. Conditions that will permit the student's readmission, if appropriate, will be specifically outlined in writing. Any communications with the college and student during the period of suspension will be directed to the Director of Student Affairs/Dean of Students.

Expulsion – Complete termination of student status and academic enrollment for an indefinite period of time. The sanction may be recommended, but can only be imposed by the president of NYIT. Conditions that will permit the student's readmission, if appropriate, will be specifically outlined in writing. Any communications with the college and student during the period of expulsion will be directed to the Executive Director/Campus Dean.

3.3.12 Academic Sanctions and Grade Penalties

The Discipline Review Board does not have the authority to issue academic sanctions or grade penalties in cases where a student is found responsible for violating the Academic Integrity Policy. The evaluation of a student's academic work and issuing a course grade is the responsibility of the instructor. However, the Board may make a recommendation to the instructor for consideration. In cases where a student is found responsible for an academic integrity violation by the Board and the student has exhausted the disciplinary appeals process allowed by this code, the student cannot appeal the academic sanctions or grade penalties imposed by the instructor to the college's Grade Appeals Committee. The Board sanctions and any academic sanctions or grade penalties imposed by the instructor are final. In cases where a student is found not responsible for an academic integrity violation by the Board and the instructor chooses to impose an academic sanction or grade penalty to reflect the outcome of the formal hearing, the Director of Student Affairs/Dean of Students will refer the matter to the college's Grade Appeals Committee.

3.3.13 Findings

The decision of the Discipline Review Board will be communicated in writing to the student within five (5) business days at the conclusion of the hearing. The decision letter will include a summary of the evidence or finding of fact used to support its determination, any sanction(s) imposed, and the procedure for appeal. The instructor and Department Chair will be sent a copy of the outcome letter.

3.3.14 Discipline Review Board Appeals

Any student found responsible for a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy may request a review of the determination of responsibility and/or of the sanction(s) imposed by the Discipline Review Board. The burden of proof at the appellate level rests with the student to clearly show that an error has occurred during the disciplinary process. The appeal process is not a re-hearing of the disciplinary case, rather a review of the specified error as outlined in Grounds for Appeal. Decisions of the Discipline Review Board may be appealed to the Appeals Review Board c/o of the Vice President for Student Affairs. A written appeal must be submitted within three (3) business days of the receipt of the written decision of the Discipline Review Board. If the Board's decision is not appealed within this time frame, the original decision and all academic sanctions and grade penalties imposed by the instructor become final.

3.3.15 Grounds For Appeal

Failure to describe the nature of the evidence in full detail in the appeal letter will result in the denial of an appeal. Appeal considerations are limited to:

  • A violation of a student's rights which substantially affected the outcome of the hearing. Appeals based on this consideration will be limited solely to a review of the record and tape recording of the disciplinary hearing.
  • The evidence presented during the hearing was not substantial enough to justify a decision by the Discipline Review Board. Appeals based on this consideration will be limited solely to a review of the record and tape recording of the judicial hearing.
  • New evidence is available which was not available at the time of the original hearing and could have substantially affected the outcome. The nature of the evidence must be described in full detail in the appeal letter.
  • The severity of the sanction is disproportionate to the nature of the offense.

3.3.16 Rights and Procedural Safeguards

A. Instructor

An instructor has the right to:

  • Consult with the Department Chair, other faculty, School Dean or Director of Student Affairs/ Dean of Students to determine a course of action. If the evidence does not substantiate a violation, the matter will be dropped.
  • Determine the student is not responsible for or involved in academic dishonesty after a meeting with the student.
  • Meet with a student as part of the informal academic resolution process and impose any or all academic sanctions and grade penalties outlined in this policy.
  • Request a formal review of the incident by the Director of Student Affairs/Dean of Students' Office at the conclusion of the academic resolution process.
  • Participate fully in a Discipline Review Board hearing including providing testimony and any supporting documentation, call and cross-examine all witnesses, provide recommendations to the Board related to possible sanctions if the student is found responsible for a violation, and to be notified of the hearing outcome.

B. Student

A student has the right to:

  • Meet with the instructor as part of the informal academic resolution process to respond to the allegations and offer an explanation. The student may accept responsibility for the violation and the academic sanctions or grade penalties imposed by the instructor.
  • Clear and complete notice of the charge(s) and a brief description of the allegations upon which the charge is based.
  • A designated opportunity to review all information in his/her judicial file prior to a hearing.
  • A fair and impartial hearing.
  • An opportunity to present relevant evidence and information on his/her behalf, including presenting witnesses and/or signed written statements, unless waived for informal academic resolutions or where a student accepts responsibility for the charge.
  • Cross-examine witnesses as circumstances permit. Appropriate witnesses may be called by the college to all formal hearings. Those witnesses who appear may be cross-examined by the charged student in an appropriate format determined by the Board chair. If called witnesses do not appear, their written or taped statements will be considered by the hearing body.
  • Accompanied by an advisor selected by the student at all stages of the formal judicial process (Discipline Review Board). The advisor may not serve as a witness or represent the student before the hearing body. The student must speak for him/herself.
  • Not provide self-incriminating testimony. Choosing not to do so does not constitute an admission of responsibility. However, absent such testimony, the hearing body may lend more weight to written documents and testimony of witnesses.
  • Notification of the decision of the hearing in writing within five (5) business days after the conclusion of the hearing.
  • Appeal the decision of the Discipline Review Board in writing within three (3) business days of the receipt of the hearing decision.