Academic Honesty

The University expects that students will conduct themselves with honesty and integrity.

Academic Offenses


Cheating is defined as the fraudulent or deceptive taking, giving, or presenting of any information or material with the intent of aiding oneself or another on any academic work which is considered in any way in  the  determination  of  a  course grade.


Plagiarism is the intentional or unintentional act of submitting the work of another as one’s own. It includes the submission of the complete or partial work, or of the words, ideas, or format of another, published or unpublished, without appropriate reference and source credit. It includes employing or permitting another person to produce, alter, or revise material which the student submits as his or her own. If the student has any uncertainty regarding plagiarism in the submission of any material to his or her instructor, he or she should discuss the matter with the instructor prior to submission of the material.


Forgery is falsely recording the   signature  of  an  advisor,  instructor,  or  any  university  official on any official University academic document.

Sanctions for Academic Offenses

One or more of the following sanctions may be applied to a student guilty of commission of an academic offense:

  1. Assignment of an “F” (failing grade) or zero (no credit) on a paper examination, or other material related to the offense.
  2. Assignment of an “F” for the course in which the offense occurred.
  3. Forced withdrawal from the class in which the offense occurred.
  4. Dismissal from the University.

Disposition of Cases of Academic Offenses

Responsibility of the Instructor 

An instructor who has evidence that a student has committed an academic offense shall attempt to arrange a personal conference with the student to  present  the  evidence  of  the offense, to give the student an opportunity to state his/her case, and to make known to the student the charges and possible sanctions which may be imposed and/or recommended.    If the student is not available for or fails to attend such a conference, the instructor shall proceed to inform the student of the nature of the evidence, the charges, and the possible sanctions by certified mail, with copies to the Chairperson and  Dean of the college.      The instructor may then proceed to assign an  ?F? (failing grade) or  zero  (no credit) on a paper or examination related to the offense, assign an ?F? for the course in which the offense occurred, or recommend to his or her Chairperson a more severe sanction of  forced  withdrawal or  dismissal from the university.

Responsibility of the Chairperson

After reviewing the report from the instructor  and  making  any appropriate investigation, which may include  consultation  with the graduate  program  faculty,  the Chairperson  will forward the materials, along with his or her own recommendation, to the Dean of the college in which the offense occurred.

Responsibility of the Dean

After  reviewing  the  material furnished and conducting any appropriate  investigation,  the  Dean of the College in which the offense occurred must make a decision and then notify the Director of Graduate Studies.   If the sanction is forced withdrawal from the course or dismissal from the University, the Dean of the college will take action to implement  the  withdrawal  or dismissal and will notify the student by  certified  mail.     Copies  of  the notice will be sent to the instructor, the Chair of the Dept. in which the offense occurred, the Director of Graduate Studies, and the University Registrar.

Steps for Appeals

The  Director  of  Graduate  Studies will, upon appeal by the student, convene the Graduate Appeals Review Committee to hear the student’s appeal.   The Panel will conduct necessary investigation and review the case.  The decision of the panel  is  then  submitted  to  the Director of Graduate Studies who informs  the  student  and  the instructor,  Chairperson,  and  Dean. He or she then reports the decision to the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Responsibility of the Director of Graduate Studies

The  Director  of  Graduate  Studies may  review  the  decision,  but  must provide detailed explanation for any reversal of the decision and the sanctions  to  the  student,  the instructor, the Chair, and the Dean. The  Director  of Graduate  Studies may also elect not to review the decision, but he or she must inform the student of the action.

Right of the Student to Appeal

  1. The student shall have the right to appeal  the  allegation  of  his  or  her guilt to each higher level of authority up to and including the Graduate Appeals Review Committee.
  2. The  assignment  of  a  grade  by  the instructor on a paper or examination involved in the offense shall not be subject  to  appeal  (only  the  offence can be appealed).
  3. Sanctions  of  forced  withdrawal  or dismissal can be appealed to the next higher level of authority up to and including the Graduate Appeals Review  Committee.     Such  appeal must  be  filed  in  writing  within  15 days of notification of the sanction.
  4. The student shall have the right to attend and participate in a class until a decision is made on his/her appeal.