Upholding Integrity at Regis

 

Academic Affairs Policy

Name of Policy:  Academic Integrity Policy

Original Author(s):  Task Force (Sheila Carlon, Chair; Rona McCall, Meaghan Shaughnessy, Janet Lee, Megan Leeds, Deb Roybal, Judy Thomas, Vinnie Wincelowicz)

Approved By APPC (if required):   December 16, 2015

Approved By Provost: December 16, 2015

Revision Date (if applicable):  September 5, 2017

Revisions Proposed By:  Heidi Barker, Denise Duncan, Erika Hollis, Jody Huntington, Janna Oakes, Donna van Dusen, Vincent Wincelowicz

Rationale For Revisions:  Since implementation of this policy and associated workflows in ImageNow, simplifications and clarifications are needed.

Revisions Approved By RUAC:  November 1, 2017

Revisions Approved By Provost: November 1, 2017

Introduction

Consistent with the Regis University Mission and Jesuit principles, each College within Regis University expects its students and faculty to conduct themselves and maintain relationships in a manner that is characterized by honesty, integrity, authenticity, and dignity as well as mutual respect for the contributions of all the members of the Regis community. 

All Regis University students and faculty will abide by the University’s Academic Integrity Policy regardless of the program or College where the student is enrolled. All Colleges at the University will use and enforce this policy.

The term integrity is derived from the Latin integritas, meaning the quality of being whole, sound and unimpaired or unbroken.  Academic integrity is built upon the values and virtues of honesty, loyalty and trustworthiness.  A failure to observe these basic values undermines the very foundations and bonds of a learning community and impairs the most basic goals of education. 

At Regis University, academic integrity is viewed and treated as an academic matter rather than an issue of student conduct. 

In order to establish and foster an environment where incidents of misconduct are socially unacceptable, all students are expected to adhere to the Regis University Academic Integrity Policy.  This Academic Integrity Policy is intended to support the shared responsibility of faculty and students in maintaining an academic environment in which the values of truth and justice prevail in all activities related to learning, teaching, research, scholarship and practice. 

Academic Integrity and the Academic Integrity Policy

Definition:  Academic Integrity means that each student acknowledges that the work represented in all assignments and all examinations is his, her, or their own or is properly cited, and that he, she, or them has neither given nor received unauthorized information.  Furthermore, each student agrees not to divulge the contents of any assignment or examination to another student in any semester or to alter or impede the work or progress of another student.

Students of Regis University are committed to the highest standards of academic integrity and assume full responsibility for maintaining those standards.  All members of the Regis University community are expected to exhibit the qualities of honesty, loyalty and trustworthiness in all academic and clinical activities, holding themselves and each other accountable for the integrity of the learning community. 

It is the responsibility of each student to review and abide by all aspects of the course syllabus and agree to adhere to this Regis University Academic Integrity Policy. 

The Academic Integrity Policy (sometimes referred to as the Academic Honor Code) applies to any work performed by any current or former Regis University student, regardless of the student’s home college or program.

The Academic Integrity Policy prohibits cheating, plagiarism, fabrication, collusion and other forms of academic misconduct.  All suspected violations, including first-time violations, will be reported via established University processes, and will be referred to the lead academic integrity officer of the college in which the offense occurred. Reporting of all offenses, regardless of the violation level, allows the University to identify repeat offenders.  All faculty have access to plagiarism detection software, which can be used with or without a student’s knowledge in any Regis University course. 

Violations of Academic Integrity

It is a violation of academic integrity to cheat, plagiarize, fabricate, collude, or otherwise misrepresent someone else’s work as your own.  Regis University takes very seriously violations of academic integrity, including but not limited to the following:

OFFENSE TYPE AND DEFINITION

EXAMPLES

Cheating: 

A form of academic dishonesty in which the person misrepresents his or her mastery of the course content or clinical experience.  Cheating applies to examinations, labs, written assignment, clinical experiences, online discussions, and any other form of student assessment

Examples of cheating include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Using unauthorized materials such as a textbook, prepared notes, study aids or an electronic device during an examination
  • Unauthorized access to or use of someone else’s computer account or computer files to complete an assignment
  • Possessing or obtaining an examination without the instructor’s authority or prior knowledge
  • Submission of an assignment purchased from a commercial entity (e.g., term papers, software programs, etc.)
  • Unauthorized preprogramming of and/or access to electronic devices

Plagiarism:
A form of dishonesty by which the person misrepresents someone else’s words, ideas, phrases, sentences or data as his or her own or otherwise fails to properly acknowledge the source of such material through complete and accurate citations and reference lists.   Both the intentional and unintentional use of another’s work constitutes plagiarism. 

Examples of plagiarism include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Directly quoting another person’s words without the use of quotation marks and/or acknowledging the source
  • Paraphrasing, or restating, another person’s ideas, opinions or theories without acknowledging the source
  • Using facts, statistics, or other material taken from a source without acknowledging the source
  • Failing to properly cite an original source when using a secondary source

Fabrication:

A form of dishonesty by which the person deliberately invents or falsifies information or research findings with the intent to deceive.

Examples of fabrication include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Citing information not taken from the source indicated
  • Citing a source that does not exist
  • Intentionally distorting the meaning or applicability of data
  • Listing sources in a bibliography or reference list that were not used in the project
  • Inventing or falsifying data or source information in experiments, research projects, or other academic assignments
  • Listing hours worked or activities performed during a clinical or service learning experience that did not occur
  • Misrepresenting one’s contribution to scholarly research and/or publication
  • Misrepresenting or falsifying a resume or curriculum vitae

Collusion:

A form of dishonesty involving two or more persons acting in a manner intended to misrepresent individual effort, learning and/or contributions to course assignments. 

Examples of collusion include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Allowing another student to copy from your work
  • Completing an assignment for another student
  • Allowing another student to complete an assignment for you
  • Unauthorized sharing of examination questions and/or answers before or after an examination
  • Unauthorized collaboration with another person during an examination or other assignment

Other Examples of Academic Integrity Violations:

Other examples include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Posting another’s work on the internet without that person’s permission
  • Unauthorized or inappropriate access to use of another’s computer account, access codes, or electronic files
  • Misrepresentation to avoid academic work by fabricating an otherwise justifiable excuse such as illness, injury, accident, personal emergency, etc. in order to avoid or delay timely submission of academic work, or the taking of an examination, or to request an incomplete or administrative drop in the course
  • Submitting the same written work to fulfill the requirements of more than one course without the explicit permission of the other instructors
  • Coercing any other person to engage in academic dishonesty or misconduct
  • Aiding any other person engaged in academic dishonesty or misconduct
  • Changing, altering, falsifying, or being accessory to the changing, altering, or falsifying of a grade report or form, or entering any University office, building or accessing a computer for that purpose
  • Denying access to scholarly resources or otherwise deliberately impeding the progress of another student or scholar.  Violations in this category include but are not limited to giving other students false or misleading information; making library materials unavailable through stealing or defacement; deliberately misplacing or destroying reserve materials or altering and/or destroying someone else’s computer files. 

 

Levels and Sanctions

The level of an offense is initially assigned by the course instructor based upon the instructor’s assessment of the offense and surrounding circumstances. Instructors may consult with the lead academic integrity officer within the College to assess the level of any academic integrity violation.

The following serves as a guideline for the assignment of offense level. The circumstances of a given occurrence may escalate any offense to the next level as determined by the course instructor and/or the academic integrity board of the College in which the offense occurred.

A first time egregious Level III or subsequent violation of any level may result in both course and institutional penalties, including possible probation, suspension or expulsion from the University.

LEVELS OF OFFENSE

CORRECTIVE ACTIONS AND/OR
POTENTIAL SANCTIONS

Level I:

  • Unintentional oversight of proper citation guidelines
  • Offenses in which there are considered to be mitigating circumstances
  • Any subsequent Level I violation will be considered at least a Level II violation.
    • Course penalties including resubmission of work with penalty, OR failure of the assignment, OR failure of the course
    • Review of College and/or university academic integrity training modules
  • Course penalties including resubmission of work with penalty, OR failure of the assignment, OR failure of the course
Review of College and/or university academic integrity training modules

Level II

  • Deliberate violations of the academic integrity policy
  • Subsequent Level I violations will be considered at least a Level II
  • Course penalties including failure of the assignment, OR failure of the course
  • Other appropriate remedial action as directed by the course instructor
  • Course penalties including failure of the assignment, OR failure of the course
Other appropriate remedial action as directed by the course instructor

Level III:

  • Flagrant disregard for academic integrity policy, or egregious violations of the policy
  • Subsequent Level II violations may be considered a Level III violation.
  • In addition to course penalties identified above, sanctions for Level III violations may include institutional sanctions such as course failure; grade changes; program suspension; academic dismissal from a Program, School or College; expulsion from the University; or retraction/withholding of degrees or certificates awarded by the University.
In addition to course penalties identified above, sanctions for Level III violations may include institutional sanctions such as course failure; grade changes; program suspension; academic dismissal from a Program, School or College; expulsion from the University; or retraction/withholding of degrees or certificates awarded by the University.

Responsibility

Achieving an atmosphere of mutual trust in which all members believe their right to learn is unimpeded by dishonest behavior is a responsibility shared by faculty, students and the Regis University Community.

It is the responsibility of each individual student, faculty member and other Regis University employees to be able to recognize and refrain from any violation of academic integrity and to report observed violations.  All faculty are expected to use the Academic Integrity Violation reporting form on WebAdvisor to report incidents of fabrication, collusion, cheating, and plagiarism.

Student Awareness

It is the responsibility of all students to familiarize themselves with the University’s Academic Integrity Policy.  Additionally, students should complete the online tutorial on Academic Integrity during their first term at the University.

Individual Colleges may choose how they convey this information. For example, this may occur during a New Student Orientation, First-Year Seminar, or Registration/Welcome Information Packet.

Academic Integrity Boards (AIB) for Each College

Individual Colleges will determine the composition and size of their own AIB, and will appoint a lead academic integrity officer.

Each College’s AIB will perform the following functions:

  • Collects and disperses as appropriate records of reported academic integrity violations
  • Review all subsequent violations; may opt to recommend additional sanctions
  • Consider appeals of reported academic integrity violations to determine whether a violation occurred and whether the sanctions are appropriate
  • Recommend sanctions for Level III violations
  • Recommend revisions to this and related policies and procedures as needed
  • Collaborate on the creation and maintenance of educational resources for students and faculty related to academic integrity

Oversight and Reporting Procedures 

In order to maintain a climate of learning and academic integrity, Regis University requires that all Colleges, faculty, students, administration and staff follow these Reporting Procedures.

A breach of the Academic Integrity Policy may be reported from a number of sources including faculty, students, deans, librarians, administrators or faculty not teaching the course. In each incidence, the alleged violation of the Academic Integrity Policy must be brought to the attention of the faculty member overseeing the student’s academic work in the class or research project (all references to faculty in procedures can be the the appropriate department chair or director if the violation occurred in a class that has ended by the time the violation is discovered –). If the incident is reported to a Department Chair, the Chair will bring the matter to the attention of the appropriate faculty. All academic integrity allegations must be reported using the Academic Integrity Violation reporting system/form, located in WebAdvisor.  Whenever possible, this form should be submitted by the faculty member overseeing the student’s academic work in the class or research project.

Each College will individually handle violations of the Academic Integrity Policy that occur within their respective college and impose the resulting sanctions. The reporting faculty (or party) initiates the process with or without consultation with the College’s AIB depending on the seriousness, the level of the violation and the processes required by the college in which the violation occurred.

Procedures

All Colleges will follow the steps below in addressing alleged violations of Academic Integrity:

For Level I & II First Offenses, follow the steps below:

  1. The faculty informs student of the suspected violation and allows the student to provide a response to the allegation.
  2. The faculty submits the Academic Integrity Violation reporting form (in WebAdvisor on the Faculty menu).  This action notifies the university academic integrity officer of the incident who will check the AI Database for any previous violations by this student and forward documentation to the lead academic integrity officer of the College in which the violation occurred.
  3. The faculty makes a finding based on the preponderance of evidence whether there was a violation of the academic integrity policy, imposes the sanction and notifies the student in writing. This communication should include the student appeal process.
  4. The lead academic integrity officer of the College in which the violation occurred will either support the instructor’s sanction or forward the incident for further review by the Academic Integrity Board. 
  5. Once the sanction is finalized, the lead academic integrity officer for the College in which the violation occurred forwards that information to the university academic integrity officer, who will add case details to the AI Database.
  6. The student may appeal to the AIB for the College where the incident occurred.  In the event that an appeal results in removal of sanctions, this will be noted in the AI database.

For subsequent offenses, follow the steps below:

  1. The faculty informs student of the suspected violation (and that this is a repeat violation, if known) and allows the student to provide a response.
  2. The faculty submits the Academic Integrity Violation reporting form (in WebAdvisor on the Faculty menu).  This action notifies the university academic integrity officer of the incident who will check the AI Database for any previous violations by the student and forward documentation to the lead academic integrity officer of the College in which the violation occurred.
  3. The academic integrity administrator notifies the lead academic integrity officer of the College in which the incident occurred and the student’s home college (if different) of a repeat violation.
  4. The AIB for the College in which the violation occurred will convene with a representative from the student’s home college (if applicable).
  5. The lead academic integrity officer notifies the student of the charge, provides or summarizes the evidence that substantiates the charge and informs the student that he/she may provide any additional documentation prior to the AIB’s review (the student is given a timeframe by which a decision of the panel will be finalized).
  6. The AIB or appropriate parties review the evidence. If the preponderance of evidence supports the fact that a violation occurred, the AIB may recommend appropriate sanctions. The lead academic integrity officer communicates with all relevant parties (student, student’s advisor, dean, etc. if necessary):
    1. The finding of the AIB on the charge
    2. If there is a finding of a violation, the recommended sanction and opportunity to appeal. If course failure or academic suspension or dismissal is recommended, the communication will be generated from the student’s home college by the appropriate person
    3. If expulsion from the University is recommended, communication will be forwarded to the University Provost

For Level III offenses, the steps below should be followed:

  1. The faculty informs student of the suspected violation and allows the student to provide a response to the allegation.
  2. The faculty submits the Academic Integrity Violation reporting form (in WebAdvisor on the Faculty menu).  This action notifies the university academic integrity officer of the incident who will check the AI Database for any previous violations by this student and forward documentation to the lead academic integrity officer of the College in which the violation occurred.
  3. The lead academic integrity officer of the College notifies the AIB (and the student’s home college, if applicable) of the possible Level III violation. 
  4. After consultation with appropriate parties/bodies, the lead academic integrity officer notifies the student of the charge, provides or summarizes the evidence that substantiates the charge, and informs the student that they may provide any additional or supplemental documentation prior to the final review (A deadline for submission of documentation is provided to student along with a timeframe for the panel’s decision).
  5. The AIB or appropriate parties review the evidence. If the preponderance of evidence supports the fact that a violation occurred, the AIB may recommend appropriate Level III sanctions.
  6. The AIB and/or lead academic integrity officer communicates with all relevant parties (student, student’s advisor, Dean, etc. if necessary):
    1. The ruling of the AIB on the charge
    2. If there is a finding of a violation, the recommended sanction. If course failure or academic suspension or dismissal is recommended, the communication will be generated from the student’s home college by the appropriate person
    3. If expulsion from the University is recommended, the communication will be forwarded to the University Provost
    4. The panel’s decision is subsequently recorded in the University’s Academic Integrity Database.
    5. If expulsion from the University is recommended, the letter must indicate to the student that Academic Expulsion from the University is being recommended to the Provost.
    6. If expulsion decision is upheld by the Provost, a decision letter is sent to the student with a copy to the University Registrar, College Dean, university academic integrity officer, student file, advisor and any other appropriate parties.

10.  If expulsion is not upheld by the Provost, alternative sanctions may be imposed.

11.  If program suspension is recommended, all communication is handled at the College level (student’s home college) with appropriate notification to the student, advisor, program chair, university academic integrity officer, etc. The letter to the student may be generated by the College’s lead academic integrity officer and/or the College Dean.

If a violation in any of the above sections is deemed not to have occurred by the faculty or the respective College’s AIB, no documentation will be filed in the student’s record. All supporting documentation will be forwarded to the Provost’s Office for archival.

Appeals Process

Students have the right to appeal findings of academic dishonesty, or the institutional penalty for any infractions at any level.  Findings may also be affirmed or modified by the appropriate academic dean.  All Colleges will follow the same appeals process. Note that the AIB appeal process is limited to consideration of matters that deal exclusively with academic integrity. Other aspects of student academic performance or related violations of the Student Code of Conduct must be handled according to the processes outlined in the University Catalog and Student Handbook.

The following process will be followed:

  1. The student submits a written request for appeal to the AIB of the College in which the alleged violation occurred within five working days of receiving notification that there was a finding that they committed a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy.
  2. The AIB of the College in which the violation occurred provides the following information to the student:
    1. a summary of the policy violation
    2. an opportunity to submit any additional information relevant to the case to the Chair of the AIB by a certain date
    3. a date by which the Appeals Panel’s decision will be made
    4. The College AIB solicits at least one faculty representative from another College’s AIB and student representation if desired. (Representative(s) should not have been involved in the process at any point prior to serving on the Appeals Board).
    5. The Appeals Board is convened for review of the case within ten working days of receiving the student appeal (The Chair of the Appeals Board will be from the College where the violation occurred).
    6. The AIB renders a decision within five working days of convening:
      1. Student appeal is denied; the charge, the violation and/or the sanction is upheld (Note however that if academic expulsion is the recommended sanction, the Provost must also support the decision)
      2. Student appeal is successful; the charge, violation and/or sanction is modified or reversed
      3. If a violation is deemed not to have occurred, no information is recorded in the database or student’s record/file (documentation will be routed to the Provost’s Office for archival)
      4. The Department and Appeals Board complete any further notification to the student, advisor, Dean, Registrar, university academic integrity officer, etc.  
      5. If the first violation was serious/egregious enough to warrant expulsion from the University, all communication and documentation will be routed to the Provost to initiate the letter to the student with copies to the applicable College Dean, Advisor, Program Chair, university academic integrity officer, Registrar and other parties (athletics, ITS).
      6. Documentation for the database is recorded and forwarded to the university academic integrity officer.

 

The decision of the Appeals Panel is final. A student may appeal the finding to the University Provost within thirty days of the Appeals Panel’s decision only if the appeals process was not followed or new evidence is available which would nullify the finding of the Appeals Panel.

Academic Integrity Database

In order to track violations of the University Academic Integrity Policy, accurate reporting must be actively encouraged by each College’s Academic Integrity Body. Each College will keep its own records of policy violations and submit all violations to the University AI Database Administrator. The Academic Integrity Database will be housed in the Office of the Provost.

The purpose of the database is to:

  • Provide a central location for all student violations
  • Document a pattern of repeat violations for individuals
  • Provide aggregate data by college and university as a whole for annual reports that identifies trends and assesses the level of compliance with the policy

Notifications of Academic Integrity Policy violations should be submitted to the Provost’s Office within 14 days of resolution of the incident.  All violations are entered into the database. The Administrator of the Academic Integrity Database is the only party with access to the database; however, a designee may be appointed.

At a minimum, the following data elements are required:

  1. Student Name and ID#
  2. Student’s Home College
  3. Nature of incident (plagiarism, collusion)
  4. Reporting faculty/party
  5. Term, date and class where incident occurred
  6. Sanction and level of sanction

7.     Appeal (yes or no)

 

 University Academic Integrity Policy Review

The University Academic Integrity Officer serves at the pleasure of the Provost, and is responsible for:

  • Convening academic integrity officers from the five colleges as needed to review process and policy issues. 
  • Collecting and dispersing as appropriate records of reported academic integrity violations
  • Recommending revisions to this policy as needed, in collaboration with University Counsel and college academic integrity officers.
  • Collaborating on the creation and maintenance of educational resources for students and faculty related to academic integrity

Confidentiality

Application of the Academic Integrity Policy is confidential.  It is the responsibility of each AIB and the administrator of the University Academic Integrity Database to ensure the confidentiality of student records in academic integrity policy violations.  Except in cases of suspension or expulsion, such information does not become part of the permanent academic record.  

All communications and rationale for Board Decisions are confidential and only available to the reporting faculty, AIB, the student’s advisor and Program Chair unless the violation and sanction impacts the student’s progression in a program.