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Policy & Procedure
Policy Title :
Academic Misconduct Policy
Policy Number :
III. 3
Responsible Party :
Campus Life
Effective Date :
02/12/2013
Revised Date :
_______________________

Purpose

To expand upon the original PMU guidelines and enhance current practice providing definitions, procedures, and recommendations for promotion and violation of academic honesty and integrity.

Statement :

Statement of Principle:

  1. Academic Misconduct

    PMU is committed to a policy of honesty in all areas of academic affairs and expects students to pursue their academic endeavors with the values of honesty, integrity, and ethical responsibility.          
    Conduct that comprises a breach of this policy is termed academic misconduct and may result in academic action and/or disciplinary action. Academic action affects student assignments, examinations, or grades. Disciplinary action affects student enrollment status.
    Academic misconduct includes, but is not limited to cheating, plagiarism, assisting another in cheating or plagiarism, and unauthorized collaboration. The violations of student academic behavior standards on the undergraduate and graduate level will be governed by the sanctions listed in Section III of this policy, implemented by the academic department, and executed by the Office of Student Affairs.
  2. Definitions and Actions of Academic Misconduct

    Actions of academic misconduct include but are not limited to:
    1. Cheating:

      Using/copying/falsifying any material that is not your own deliberately and in a matter that is not authorized by the instructor of the course.  This form of academic misconduct includes but is not limited to:
      1. Copying /Using or attempting to copy from/use another’s paper, examination, report, file, or any other unauthorized material during an academic exercise without the expressed permission of the course instructor.
      2. Allowing another to copy/use material from you in an authorized manner during an examination or any other academic exercise.
      3. Possessing and/or accessing unauthorized materials before and/or during an examination or other academic exercise including but not limited to textbooks, computers, cell phones, calculators, etc.
      4. Selling notes, handouts, or any other university materials without authorization or using them for any commercial purpose without the express written permission of the University.
      5. Purchasing assignments, examinations, handouts, or any other university material.
      6. Changing a grade or answer on an assignment or examination that has already been graded and resubmit for a new grade or changing a grade to another on any academic document or form; falsifying an academic document
      7. Fabrication or falsifying a report/document. Creating or knowingly adding incorrect data or citation to an academic document.
    2. Plagiarism:

      Another’s work is deliberately used or appropriated without proper indication of the source, thereby attempting to convey the impression that such work is the student’s own. This form of academic misconduct includes but is not limited to:
      1. Combining text or visuals from various sources into one document without proper citation of the sources and submitting as original work; ‘cutting’ and ‘pasting’ or piece plagiarism
      2. Taking the work or concept of another author/creator without citing the original source.
      3. Changing a few words in a sentence from a source without changing the structure and not citing the source.
      4. Using pictures, statistics, charts, graphs, or other visuals from the Internet, book, journal, or other reference materials without citing the source.
      5. Using direct quotations without citing the source.
    3. Unauthorized collaboration:

        working with others in a way that is not allowed or authorized by the instructor or university.  This form of academic misconduct includes but is not limited to:
      1. Communicating to or with another through written, visual, electronic or oral means in an academic exercise not authorized by the instructor.
      2. Working collaboratively either with a fellow student or with a person/group outside of PMU on an academic project, examination, or assignment that has not been authorized by the instructor.
      3. Any student who knowingly helps another violate academic behavior standards is also in violation of the standards.
      1. Safe Assign

        As of Fall 2011, PMU has integrated a program via Blackboard called Safe assign.  Safeassign checks documents in many locations including the PMU institutional database, Blackboard Global Reference database from around the world, Proquest ABI/Inform database and many others.  The program generates a report and highlights the students’ work that matches any allegedly copied material from the database.  It is strongly recommended to use this program (for .doc/.docx, .txt, .rtf, .pdf, and .html documents) along with other traditional means to promote proper academic conduct.  All reports of plagiarism involving documents must be accompanied by the Safeassign report whether or not the report shows plagiarism.

      2. Procedures for Academic Misconduct

        If academic misconduct is suspected and proven, the first determination will be the seriousness of the action:  minor or major.  For each the procedures will be as follows:

        1. Minor - Offenses that are minor in nature or that of a first-time offense.  Offenses of this type include but are not limited to:
          1. Plagiarism (part or whole)—1st time offense
          2. Copying work from another student or source (electronic or other)—1st time offense
          3. Aiding another student to copy, cheat or plagiarize—1st time offense.
          4. Any other action deemed ‘minor’ by the course instructor and department.
Procedure :
  1. The faculty member will discuss the suspected action with the student within 5 working days of the alleged offense. The instructor shall give the student the opportunity to respond.
  2. If the faculty member is satisfied with the student’s defense then no further investigation is warranted, the case ends at this point.
  3. If the faculty member continues to believe a violation of academic behavior has occurred, s/he will notify the Chair or Associate Chair within 3 working days of meeting the student in writing via the ‘academic misconduct report.’ All documents/evidence of proof will be submitted at this time.
  4. Once notified, the student will be asked to meet with the faculty member and Chair or Associate Chair if necessary for further explanation or can submit a written report of the incident within 3 working days.
  5. If determined there was an action of academic misconduct, the instructor and Chair or Associate Chair can decide upon the proper penalty depending upon the offense in collaboration.  The ‘academic misconduct report’ (see attachment) will be sent to the Office of Student Affairs to be put in the student’s file as a record of first offense.

Recommended penalties for first time or minor offense (faculty member can exercise discretion on the below recommendations):

  1. Plagiarism—no resubmission as per determined by the faculty or resubmission for a reduced grade.
  2. Copying work from another student—no resubmission as per determined by the faculty member or resubmission for a reduced grade.
  3. Aiding another student to copy, cheat, or plagiarize—no resubmission or resubmission of that or another equivalent work for a reduced grade.

All reports of minor offenses will be kept in the student’s file until the final semester. Reports will be removed from the graduate’s file.

  1. Major - offenses that are major in nature including 2nd time offenses of academic misconduct and offenses of a serious nature.  Offenses of this type include but are not limited to:
    1. Plagiarism (part or whole)—2nd offense and further
    2. Copying work from another student or source (electronic or other)—2nd  offense and further
    3. Aiding another student to copy, cheat, or plagiarize—2nd offense and further
    4. Buying or selling unauthorized academic materials from a third party
    5. Cheating during an exam
    6. Any other offense deemed ‘major’ by the course instructor and department.

Procedures II:

  1. The faculty member will discuss the suspected action with the student within 5 working days of the alleged offense. The instructor shall give the student the opportunity to respond.
  2. If the faculty member is satisfied with the student’s defense then no further investigation is warranted, the case ends at this point.
  3. If the faculty member continues to believe a violation of academic behavior has occurred, s/he will notify the Chair or Associate Chair within 3 working days of meeting the student in writing via the ‘academic misconduct report.’ All documents/evidence of proof will be submitted at this time.
  4. The Dean of the College/program in which the action occurred will be notified by the Chair or Associate Chair within 3 working days of receiving the report and the Dean will receive a copy of the report and all supporting documents.
  5. The course instructor, the Chair or Associate Chair, and the Dean will meet within 5 working days of notification of all parties with the student present for her/his explanation.
  6. If found that a major offense occurred, the Dean in collaboration with the Chair or Associate Chair will recommend a penalty.
  7. In serious cases deemed necessary by the Dean, the Vice Rector for Academic Affairs will confirm the penalty.
  8. The ‘academic misconduct report’ will be filed in the Office of Student Affairs in the student’s file along with all supporting documents.

Recommended penalties for major offenses:

  1. Plagiarism (part or whole)—2nd time offense—a 0 assigned with no possibility for resubmission. Subsequent offenses will receive a stricter penalty.
  2. Cheating during an exam—first time offense—a 0 assigned for the exam.  Subsequent offenses could receive a failing grade for the course or expulsion from the university.
  3. If determined serious enough, academic probation, several-day expulsion or permanent expulsion from the university may occur.

All reports of major offenses will remain in the student’s file until graduation.