Policy 1-02: Academic Integrity Policy

Commonwealth University of Pennsylvania

  • Endorsed by the University Senate on 4/11/24
  • Issued by President Bashar W. Hanna as Policy 1-02 on 5/31/24
  • Responsible Office: Academic Affairs

1. Purpose

The University's academic integrity policy is part of an effort to nurture a community where trust, honesty, and personal integrity guide all of our dealings with one another. Academic integrity is vital to the pursuit of educating and becoming educated and requires adherence to agreed-upon moral and ethical principles when engaging in academic and scholarly pursuits. Faculty will encourage high standards of academic integrity and provide guidance for students to avoid academic dishonesty. Students are expected to be familiar with what constitutes academic dishonesty and to abide by the University’s policies and procedures.

2. Scope

Commonwealth University of Pennsylvania students, faculty and staff.

3. Definitions, Roles and Responsibilities

3.1. Definitions

3.1.1. Academic Dishonesty: Any act of fraud, deception or misrepresentation as part of an attempt to obtain academic credit or influence the grading process that gives or receives assistance not authorized in course work or inconsistent with university policy, intentionally fails to adhere to or assists others in failing to adhere to university policy on academic honesty. The following types of behaviors are examples of academic dishonesty. This list is not, and cannot be, exhaustive. Students who are unsure if an act is academically dishonest have a duty to consult their professor before engaging in the act. Cheating: (a) Using notes, study aids, or information on an examination or assignment which are not approved by faculty; (b) Altering graded work after it has been returned and submitting the work for regrading; (c) Allowing another person to do one's work and submitting that work under one's own name; or (d) Submitting identical or similar papers for credit in more than one course without prior permission from the course instructors. Plagiarism: (a) Inclusion of a particular idea or term which one has obtained from another source, and which is presented as one’s own opinion or idea; (b) Submitting material that in part or whole is not one's own work without attributing those same portions to their correct source; (c) weaving into the text random writings of others without proper identification of the sources; (d) paraphrased and abbreviated restatement of the analysis and conclusions of another, without the due acknowledgment of the author’s text as the basis for recapitulation; or (e) reusing your own work without citation. Fabrication: (a) Falsifying or inventing any information, data, or citation; or (b) Presenting data that were not gathered in accordance with standard guidelines that defined the appropriate methods for collecting or generating data and failing to include an accurate account of the method by which the data were gathered or collected. Misrepresenting Circumstances: (a) Lying; or (b) Presenting a professor (verbally or in writing) with false or incomplete information. Impersonation: (a) Representing oneself as another student in an examination; (b) Signing another's name on an attendance roster; (c) In general doing the work required of another student and/or allowing another to do your work; or (d) Unless expressly permitted by a faculty member, use of artificial intelligence (AI) or other online services for the creation of content for any exam or assignment. Obtaining an unfair advantage: (a) Stealing, reproducing, circulating or otherwise gaining access to examination material prior to the time authorized by the instructor; (b) Stealing, destroying, defacing or concealing library materials with the purpose of depriving others of their use; (c) Unauthorized collaborating on an academic assignment; (d) Retaining, processing, using or circulating previously given examination materials, where those materials are to be returned to the instructor at the conclusion of the examination; (e) Intentionally obstructing or interfering with another student's academic work; or (f) Otherwise undertaking activity with the purpose of creating or obtaining an unfair academic advantage over other students' academic work. Aiding and Abetting Academic Dishonesty: (a) Providing material, information, or other assistance to another person with knowledge that such aid could be used in any of the violations stated above; or (b) Providing false information in connection with any inquiry regarding academic integrity. Falsification of Records and Official Documents: (a) Altering documents affecting academic records; or (b) Forging signatures of authorization or falsifying information on DRAFT an official academic document, grade report, letter of permission, petition, drop/add form, ID card, or any other official University document. Unauthorized Access to Computerized Academic or Administrative Records or Systems: (a) Altering computer records; (b) Modifying computer programs or systems; (c) Releasing or dispensing information gained via unauthorized access; or (d) Interfering with the use or availability of computer systems of information.

3.1.2. Proctors: Disabilities Services or other staff that monitor students taking exams when faculty are not present.

3.1.3. Academic Grievance Board: A hearing board convened to hear Level III Academic Integrity cases and make a recommendation as to responsibility for the charges and may suggest sanctions to the Provost (or designee).

4. Policy

4.1. Commonwealth University prohibits academic dishonesty in all forms.

4.2. Proctors who suspect academic dishonesty must inform the instructor of record of as soon as possible.

4.3. Faculty who suspect academic dishonesty will inform the student(s) that academic dishonesty is suspected as soon as possible and conduct an investigation of the suspected academic dishonesty that occurred within their class(es) in accordance with applicable due process requirements and if appropriate, charge students with violations of the Academic Integrity Policy at either Level I, II, III, or IV.

4.3.1. If academic dishonesty is suspected at or after the end of the semester, the faculty will not enter a grade for that student and an "X" grade will be entered on the transcript. The faculty member will either contact the student directly to set up the initial meeting or contact the Office of Academic Affairs who will notify the student of the need for such a meeting.

4.4. The Provost (or their designee) will issue a final written determination on whether a Level III policy violation has occurred and if the student(s) is found to be responsible, the Provost will issue sanctions for violations.

4.5. Resolution of charges of academic dishonesty may occur at one of four levels:

4.5.1. Level I: Informal confidential resolution between the faculty member and student with no report made that may include a written agreement the student has failed the course.

4.5.2. Level II: Informal resolution with a filed report between the faculty member and student that may include a written agreement the student has failed the course. The DRAFT faculty member will file this information on a designated form with the Office of the Provost.

4.5.3. Level III: The matter will be heard by an Academic Grievance Board and will make a recommendation as to responsibility for the charges and may suggest sanctions to the Provost.

4.5.4. Level III resolution is required when: The student does not accept the charges presented by the faculty member as part of Level I or II; or The faculty member believes that a penalty greater than failing the course is appropriate.

4.5.5. Level IV: The Provost (or their designee) will make the final determination on all charges or penalties not resolved informally as follow: If the student has a previous violation of the Academic Integrity Policy on file, the case moves directly to the Provost for resolution of the charges and penalty. If the student accepts the charges but does not accept the penalty proposed as part of a Level I or II resolution, the penalty will be determined by the Provost (or their designee) in consultation with the Office of Student Conduct. The Provost will review any determination by an Academic Grievance Board as to responsibility and recommended sanctions

5. Compliance and Enforcement

5.1. This policy will be reviewed every five years by the Division of Academic Affairs.

6. Additional Information

6.1 History

6.1.1 Endorsed by the University Senate on 4/11/24; Issued as Commonwealth University Policy 1-02 on 5/31/24 by the Office of the President, which replaced Interim Academic Policy 02, which replaced Bloomsburg University PRP 3512 – Academic Integrity Policy dated 5/28/98; Revised by BUCC 2/22/06; Reported to Forum 3/1/06; Effective Fall 2006

6.1.2 Effective Date – 5/31/24

6.2 Contacts for Additional Information and Reporting
Office of the Provost
Commonwealth University
Attn: Melissa Buck