Academic Integrity Policy: U.S. Campuses
Section 1 – Preamble
In its mission to provide a career-oriented education, NYIT 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.
Section 2 – Definitions
a. 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 NYIT, 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.
b. 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:
- 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. 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 website and at the Writing Center. 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 intertextual 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.
- 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, 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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, who did not contribute.
- Signing an attendance sheet for a student who was not present in class.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
Section 3 – 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, or dean of students (or designee). A standard Academic Dishonesty Incident Report, 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.
Section 4 – Academic Dishonesty Review Process
There are two types of forums provided by this code to review alleged violations of the Academic Integrity Policy:
a. 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 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.
- Student Accepts 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 discretion impose the following academic sanctions or grade penalties:
- Issue the student an oral 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 student conduct process administered by the dean of students (or designee).
- Student Does Not Accept Responsibility: If the student does not accept responsibility and/or disputes the allegation or decision of the instructor at the academic resolution meeting, the instructor will assign an incomplete (I) grade on the assignment or in the course, pending the outcome of a hearing before the student conduct board as outlined in Section 4 (b) of the Academic Integrity Policy. Students assessed an incomplete grade will be allowed to continue in the course without prejudice, pending the outcome of the formal student conduct process. If the course ends before the student conduct board has acted, the instructor will submit the incomplete grade to the Office of the Registrar pending a hearing before the student conduct board. At the conclusion of the student conduct process, the instructor will submit a change-of-grade form to the registrar reflecting the outcome of the student conduct hearing and the instructor's evaluation of the student's work in the course.
- 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 dean of students (or designee) and the student conduct board. If the student refuses, to or is unavailable, to sign the Academic Dishonesty Resolution Report, the instructor may forward the report to the dean of students (or designee), absent the student's signature.
- A copy of the report and all supporting evidence and documentation should be forwarded to the dean of students (or designee) and to the department chair within five 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 student conduct record maintained by the dean of students (or designee). If the dean of students (or designee) receives a second Academic Dishonesty Resolution Report on a student (either from the same or a different faculty member), the dean of students (or designee) may proceed with an Informal Hearing as outlined in Section 4 (a.5) below.
Meeting With the dean of students (or Designee): Upon receipt of the Academic Dishonesty Resolution Report, the dean of students (or designee) may 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 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 student conduct 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 is no longer allowed to attend the class. Students found responsible for a first violation may also be required to attend an ethics seminar coordinated through the dean of students (or designee). 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 dean of students (or designee) will initiate the formal student conduct process outlined in Section 4 (b) of the Academic Integrity Policy.
Informal Hearing with the dean of students (or Designee): In cases where the dean of students (or designee) receives a second Academic Dishonesty Resolution Report on a student, an informal hearing, in the form of a meeting with the dean of students (or designee), may commence. In this hearing, the dean of students (or designee) will determine an appropriate sanction for the student or refer the matter to a formal hearing with the student conduct board.
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, student conduct 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 dean of students (or designee) with a referral to the student conduct board when determined by the dean of students (or designee).
b. Student Conduct Board (Formal)
- Initiating Charges: The dean of students (or designee) or comparable office on each campus is responsible for investigating complaints of alleged violations of the Academic Integrity Policy, and the student conduct 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 dean of students (or designee) feels that the seriousness of the first offense warrants a review by the student conduct board.
If the dean of students (or designee) 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.
- Procedures: If the dean of students (or designee) determines that there is sufficient evidence to charge a student with a violation of the policy, the formal student conduct process will be conducted in accordance with the procedures set forth in the Student Code of Conduct (Section 10).
- Academic Sanctions and Grade Penalties: The student conduct 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 student conduct appeals process, 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 dean of students (or designee) will refer the matter to the college's grade appeals committee.