Academic Integrity Policy
Academic Integrity is engaging honestly and responsibly in academic work. Students enrolled at Mississippi University for Women agree to abide by the MUW Honor Code, which is “to uphold the highest standards of honesty in all phases of university life,” and, therefore, they agree to refrain from any dishonest academic behavior. Violations of Academic Integrity can lead to severe penalties, from a zero grade for a test or assignment to expulsion from the University. Violations of Academic Integrity include cheating, plagiarism, fabrication, falsification, or other actions that violate commonly accepted intellectual and ethical standards within academic and scientific communities. Academic Integrity applies to work in progress as well as completed work.
Cheating is taking credit for work which has been completed by another person, or assisting others in the misrepresentation of their academic work. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:
- giving or using prohibited written and/or oral information during tests, quizzes, or examinations;
- stealing, buying, selling or in any way distributing an examination before it has been administered;
- copying ideas or facts from another’s paper during an examination or quiz;
- submitting the same paper multiple times in different classes, even if the paper is the student’s original work;
- obtaining or providing previously undisclosed test questions or information pertinent to an exam that has not yet been administered;
- willfully altering any assignments or any of the instructor’s markings in order to obtain a higher grade;
- copying from or writing computer programs for another student;
- substituting for another person during an examination or allowing such substitution for oneself;
- engaging in an unauthorized collaboration with another student on tests or assignments;
- misappropriating privileged information or making use of information in breach of confidentiality;
- interfering in any way with the research or academic performance of another student;
- violating any federal, state, university, or program policy or regulation governing research and academic procedures, integrity, and conduct;
- obstructing the investigation into academic dishonesty.
Plagiarism is defined as the appropriation of ideas, facts, phrases, or additional materials (such as maps, charts, artwork, or computer programs) from any source without giving proper credit or offering appropriate documentation. Any material in a paper, report, artwork, or computer program which is not acknowledged is understood to be the original work of the author, unless such material is considered general knowledge. The rules against plagiarism extend to work completed in online courses in addition to those offered in a traditional format. Students who are unsure whether they have used and documented source material correctly should consult with their instructor before submitting the assignment.
Fabrication and falsification include the following:
- fabricating and/or falsifying laboratory and clinical experiences, internship records, attendance records, research data, survey results, research methods, research results, research conclusions, or any other information and/or process used in the collection and presentation of academic, scientific, or professional materials.
- misrepresenting, falsifying, or withholding information concerning admission requirements, university enrollment or status, financial aid applications, health records, or other materials required by the University.
Consequences for Violation of Academic Integrity Standards:
- A student who violates university, college, program, and/or course policies regarding academic integrity will receive one or more penalties selected by the course instructor from the following list.
- an oral reprimand
- a written reprimand
- an assignment to repeat the work, to be graded on its merits, for full or partial credit
- a lower or 0 grade on the test, project, or assignment
- a lower grade in the course
- a failing grade in the course
- referral to academic and/or behavioral counseling
- the successful completion of an online course on academic integrity
- other options as called for by a special circumstances (e.g. lab, internship, travel, etc.) with the department chair’s approval.
Faculty members will publish on their course syllabi a statement of the consequences for academic dishonesty, as well as the link to the full Academic Integrity Policy.
- When a faculty member determines that academic dishonesty has occurred, the faculty member will request a meeting with the student to discuss the incident and proposed penalty and to give the student the right to defend or explain the student’s actions. The faculty member will contact the student using the university’s email system. the university’s official means of communication. The meeting may take place in person, by phone, or over video conference. If the student does not respond to the faculty member’s request for a meeting within three working days, then the faculty member will note the student’s failure to respond to the meeting request in the Academic Integrity Incident Report. The student maintains the right to appeal to the chair and/or dean whether or not a meeting with the instructor takes place.
- For sanctions beyond an oral or written reprimand, the faculty member will file an Academic Integrity Incident Report online describing the event and the sanctions to be imposed, and uploading any supporting documentation necessary. This report will be sent to the student, department chair, dean, and Office of the Chief Academic Officer (CAO) for their records. This notification will remain confidential in compliance with policies protecting student privacy.
- For instances of Academic Dishonesty that are especially egregious, such as purchasing essays that are submitted as the student’s own work, cheating with other students on an exam, or falsifying or misrepresenting student records, the faculty member, department chair, and/or dean may ask the CAO to review the case to refer it to the Academic Standards Board to consider additional sanctions, such as 1) placement on disciplinary probation; 2) removal of the student from the course; 3) suspension from the university; 4) expulsion from the university. A student dismissed for this reason will not be eligible for readmission to the University.
- The student has the right to appeal the allegations of academic dishonesty and/or the suggested penalties before they are imposed. The student may only appeal for the following reasons: 1) failure to follow proper procedure; 2) the assigned penalties are unreasonably harsh; or 3) new evidence comes to light. The student may appeal a faculty member’s decision to the department chair, in writing, within five working days of the date of the faculty member’s Academic Integrity Incident Report. The student’s rights are as follows:
- During the course of the appeal process, the student shall maintain full academic and student standing in the course.
- If a student is given the sanction of an “F” grade or “no credit” for the paper/assignment, the student has the option to withdraw from the course if it is done by the published withdrawal deadline. The faculty member may choose to assign the grade of WF, if applicable.
- If a student is given the sanction of a failing grade for the course, the student may not withdraw from the course in order to avoid the sanction.
- If the student is not satisfied with the decision of the department chair, the student may appeal to the dean within 5 working days of the decision of the department chair. If the student is not satisfied with the decision of the dean, the student may appeal to the CAO for a hearing before the Academic Grievances Committee. Policy #3523 governs the appeals process to the Academic Grievances Committee.
- The Office of the Chief Academic Officer will maintain records of Academic Integrity Incident Reports and the sanctions imposed. If a student receives a third incident report, the CAO will review the cases and may refer the student to the Academic Standards Board to consider additional penalties, such as 1) placement on disciplinary probation; 2) suspension from the university; 3) expulsion from the university.
- For any case that the CAO sends to the Academic Standards Board for review, the CAO will notify the student that the case has been submitted to the Board and will notify the student of the results of the review. The student may appeal the decision of the Academic Standards Board to the Academic Grievances Committee. Policy #3523 governs the appeals process to the Academic Grievances Committee.