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POL 02.05.05 - Academic Honor Code Policy

Authority: Chancellor

History:

  • First Issued: Prior to July 2004
  • Revised: July 2004
  • Last revised: November 10, 2015

Related Policies:

Additional References:

Contact Information: Office of Student Conduct, 910-521-6851

1. STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES

1.1 Academic honor and integrity are essential to the existence of a university community. If high standards of honesty are not maintained by everyone, the entire community and society itself suffer. Maintaining standards of academic honesty and integrity is ultimately the formal responsibility of the instructional faculty. Therefore, when any academic dishonesty is suspected, a faculty member has the responsibility to, and must, follow the policies and procedures of the UNCP Academic Honor Code.

1.2 Students are important members of the academic community. As responsible citizens of the UNCP community, students are obligated to uphold basic standards of honesty and to actively encourage others to respect and maintain those standards. Allowing academic dishonesty is just as dishonest as committing a dishonest act oneself.

1.3 The Academic Honor Code applies to both undergraduate and graduate students who attend the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

2. ACTS THAT VIOLATE THE ACADEMIC HONOR CODE

2.1 While specific violations may take many forms, the general categories of acts that violate the Academic Honor Code are as follows:

2.1.a. Cheating. Cheating means the use of or attempted use of unauthorized materials and methods (notes, books, electronic information, submission of work composed by another entity, telephonic or other forms of communication, or other sources or methods) in any academic exercise, whether graded or otherwise. This definition includes both giving unauthorized information (in either oral or written form) and receiving such information during any academic exercise, whether graded or otherwise.

2.1.b. Plagiarism. Plagiarism is defined as the representation of another’s words, thoughts, creative works, images or ideas as one’s own without proper attribution in connection with submission of academic work, whether graded or otherwise.

2.1.c. Fabrication and falsification. Fabrication and falsification is defined as the alteration, invention or citation of any information or material in any academic exercise, whether graded or otherwise. Falsification is a matter of altering information or material, while fabrication is a matter of inventing or counterfeiting information or material for use in any academic exercise, whether graded or otherwise.

2.1.d. Abuse of Academic Materials. Abuse of Academic Materials is defined as the destruction, defacement, stealing, altering, or making inaccessible library or other academic material.

2.1.e. Complicity in Academic Dishonesty.  Complicity means knowingly helping or attempting to help another person to commit any act of academic dishonesty. For example, complicity would include allowing another student to look at test answers or to copy a paper. Simply stated, don't help someone else be dishonest. 

3. PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS OF THE ACADEMIC HONOR CODE

3.1 The UNCP community takes the Academic Honor Code very seriously. Consequently, violations may lead to severe penalties. All acts of academic dishonesty violate standards essential to the existence of an academic community. Some first offenses are properly handled and penalties determined by the faculty member teaching the specific course in which they occur. The faculty member must use the settlement procedure described below to handle such an offense.

3.2 Penalties which individual faculty members may impose are limited to the following:

3.2.a. a formal written warning or reprimand;

3.2.b. a reduced grade (including F) for the assignment;

3.2.c. a reduced grade (including F) for the entire course; and

3.2.d. supplemental educational assignment(s) in conjunction with the penalties above.

3.2.1 In all cases, whatever the penalty, a signed Settlement of a Violation of the Academic Honor Code form will be kept for ten years in the Office of Student Conduct. When submitting the form to the Office of Student Conduct, all information on the form must be completed in its entirety as well as signed by both the faculty member and the student.  The purpose of this record-keeping is to deter students from repeating offenses and to maintain continuity of recordkeeping regarding academic misconduct. A second purpose is to be sure students who violate the Academic Honor Code a second time are appropriately adjudicated.

3.3 The Conduct Hearing Board (CHB) handles all second offenses, some more serious first offenses, and any charges that the student feels are unfounded. In addition to any of the penalties available to an individual faculty member, the CHB may implement educational sanctions (i.e. educational courses on academic integrity, referral to academic support services, referral to counseling, etc.) suspend the student from the university for a designated period of time, (one semester, one year, etc.) or dismiss the student from the university.

3.4 Several factors are considered in determining what penalty to impose for a violation of the Academic Honor Code. Those factors include:

3.4.a. the nature and seriousness of the offense;

3.4.b. the injury or damage resulting from the violation;

3.4.c. the student's prior disciplinary record; and

3.4.d. the student's attitude and behavior after the violation was committed.

4. PROCEDURES FOR HANDLING CHARGES OF VIOLATIONS

4.1 If the faculty member responsible for a course obtains evidence, either directly or through information supplied by others, that a student may have violated the Academic Honor Code, the faculty member has a duty to investigate and document the incident by collecting whatever relevant information is available.

4.2 If the faculty member decides that the information is sufficient to support a charge against the student, the faculty member is to contact the director of student conduct, who will determine from the records of past violations whether the student in question has previously admitted to, or been found responsible in a previous case of, an Academic Honor Code violation.

4.3 If the suspected violation would be a second offense, the faculty member must take the case to the CHB. If the charge would be a first offense and the faculty member believes that a penalty no greater than F in the course would be appropriate, the charge may be settled between the faculty member and the student (as described below), with the settlement form signed and filed with the Office of Student Conduct . If the suspected violation would be a first offense, but one for which the faculty member considers the appropriate penalty to be more severe than F in the course, the case must be brought to the Office of Student Conduct for referral to the CHB.

4.4 Once a student has received notice that he or she is alleged to have violated the Academic Honor Code and has been notified of the allegation, he or she may not withdraw from the course or the university in order to avoid the penalty.

5. SETTLEMENT PROCEDURE TO BE USED BY INDIVIDUAL FACULTY MEMBERS

5.1 The faculty member should meet via phone, email, video conferencing, or in person with the student suspected of violating the Academic Honor Code, present the evidence of the violation, and request an explanation from the student. After hearing the explanation, if the faculty member decides that a violation has occurred, he or she fills out and signs the Settlement of a Violation of the Academic Honor Code form, which is available to all faculty members online or in hard copy through the Office of Student Conduct. The faculty member indicates the nature of the violation and the penalty to be applied, and then gives a copy of the form to the student. After receiving the form, the student has three (3) calendar days to consider and seek advice on whether to admit responsibility and accept the penalty by signing the form.

5.2 If the student agrees to sign, admitting responsibility and accepts the penalty proposed, he or she does so in the presence of the faculty member or email communication with the faculty member. The faculty member then imposes the penalty. The faculty member will then make two (2) copies of the signed form. The faculty member will provide one copy to the student and keep one copy for their files. The faculty member will send the original signed settlement form to the director of student conduct, who keeps a record of first offenses for ten years, and thus the matter is ended. If the student decides not to admit responsibility or not to accept the penalty, the faculty member must take the case to the Office of Student Conduct for the incident to be referred to the CHB, if any penalty is to be imposed.

6. CONDUCT HEARING BOARD

6.1 Composition of the CHB is as follows:

6.1.a. a minimum of five (5) students recommended by the president of the student body, and/or interested students may be recommended by university departments, or interested students may apply to the Office of Student Conduct for selection for consideration by the chancellor. Students that are recommended and/or selected will be appointed by the chancellor;

6.1.b. a minimum of five (5) faculty members recommended by the faculty senate chairperson and appointed by the chancellor;

6.1.c. a minimum of five (5) administrative members recommended by the vice chancellor for student affairs and appointed by the chancellor.

6.2. Hearings follow procedures outlined in the UNCP Student Handbook, Chapter IV., Rights and Responsibilities. The CHB will judge the student as responsible or not responsible of the charges contained in the form submitted by the faculty member. The faculty member who has submitted the violation will provide information to the CHB to support his/her position. The student who has been charged with a violation may provide information to the CHB to support his/her position. Members of the CHB may question either the student or the faculty member or both and may ask for additional materials as they see fit to do so. In a closed session, the CHB will come to a conclusion about the validity of the charges.

6.3 If the student charged with a violation of the Academic Honor Code is found not responsible, the CHB prepares a written report of the case and sends it to the director of student conduct, who will maintain a confidential file of materials related to the case. No part of the file becomes part of the student's disciplinary record. The case is closed and no penalty may be imposed.

6.4 If a student is found responsible of violating the Academic Honor Code, the CHB  will determine an appropriate penalty. Both the student and faculty member who submitted the violation may give evidence and make statements concerning the appropriate penalties to be imposed. The director of student conduct will supply the student's previous academic honor code disciplinary record (if any) to the CHB.

6.5 After hearing the evidence on the appropriate penalty, the CHB  will determine the penalty, and prepare a written report to the student and the director of student conduct. The director of student conduct notifies the faculty member and the provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs of the contents of that report. If the CHB  decides that a penalty of a grade of F in the course (or one less severe) is appropriate, the faculty member imposes that penalty and no other penalty. If a more severe penalty is deemed appropriate, the director of student conduct implements the penalty indicated in the report. The student will be notified by the director of student conduct within five (5) days of the CHB’s determination of penalty.

7. CONDUCT APPEAL BOARD

7.1 If the CHB has found a student responsible of violating the Academic Honor Code, the student has the right to appeal that decision. If the student does not file a notice of appeal, the decision of the CHB will be final.

7.2 In order for a student to appeal a determination of the CHB in an Academic Honor Code violation, the student must contact the Office of Student Conduct to complete the “Request for Appellate Consideration” form. A student must submit the “Request for Appellate Consideration” form within five (5) calendar days to the director of student conduct. The director of student conduct will deliver the request as well as all related materials to the Conduct Appeal Board.

7.3 The composition of the Conduct Appeal Board and its powers are in Chapter IV., Rights and Responsibilities. For Academic Honor Code violations and their appeals, the provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs (or his or her designee) will represent the vice chancellor for student affairs.

7.3.1 All charges for alleged Academic Honor Code violations occurring one week prior to exams and going through exam week and during summer sessions will be heard by the administrative hearing officer. Appeals will be directed solely to the provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs or his or her designee.

8. WHAT TO EXPECT FROM FACULTY

8.1 Faculty members have been instructed that they should outline their expectations pertaining to the Academic Honor Code at the beginning of each course. Students should be aware that some faculty members authorize or prohibit specific forms of student conduct which are unique to their courses or disciplines. All faculty members should refer students to the Academic Honor Code which is published in the UNCP Student Handbook. Further, faculty members have been advised to include the following statement in all course syllabi:

8.1.a Student Academic Honor Code. Students have the responsibility to know and observe the UNCP Academic Honor Code. This code forbids cheating, plagiarism, abuse of academic materials, fabrication or falsification of information, and complicity in academic dishonesty. Any special requirements or permission regarding academic honesty in this course will be provided to students in writing at the beginning of the course, and are binding on the students. Academic evaluations in this course include a judgment that the student's work is free from academic dishonesty of any type; and grades in this course therefore should be and will be adversely affected by academic dishonesty. Students who violate the code can be dismissed from the university. The normal penalty for a first offense is an F in the course. Standards of academic honor will be enforced in this course. Students are expected to report cases of academic dishonesty to the instructor.

8.2 In general, faculty members should, and will, take preventive measures to avoid cases of academic dishonesty (for example, examinations should be carefully proctored). However, a faculty member's failure to take such measures is no excuse for academic dishonesty. Academic honesty and integrity, in the final analysis, are matters of personal honesty and individual integrity on the part of every student.