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100601

Academic Integrity Policy

Type: Integrity
Effective Date: 8/12/2019

Policy Statement

Academic integrity refers to honest and ethical conduct in all aspects of academic life. Integrity entails a firm adherence to a set of values, and the values most essential to an academic community are grounded in honesty with respect to all intellectual efforts of oneself and others. NAU expects every student to firmly adhere to a strong ethical code of academic integrity in all their scholarly pursuits. The primary attributes of academic integrity are honesty, trustworthiness, fairness, and responsibility.

Integrity is expected of every student within the NAU community in all academic undertakings, regardless of venue (including but not limited to: classroom (both in-person and virtual), laboratory, internships/externships, clinical practicum, clinics, paid positions, etc.) or medium (including but not limited to: assignments, written work, data gathering, oral presentations, etc.). Academic integrity is expected not only in formal coursework settings, but in all University relationships and interactions connected to the educational process, including the use of University resources.

All forms of academic deceit, such as plagiarism, cheating, collusion, falsification or fabrication of results or records; permitting work to be submitted by another; or inappropriately recycling work from one class to another constitutes academic misconduct that may result in serious disciplinary consequences. All students and faculty members are responsible for reporting suspected instances of academic misconduct.

Reason for this policy

The value of the intellectual contributions of faculty, staff, and students depend on the assurance that every member of the academic community adheres to the very highest standards of ethical behavior.

Entities affected by this policy

  • Office of the Provost.
  • All colleges and instructional units or programs.
  • Office of Student Life.
  • Office of the Registrar.

Who should know this policy

  • All students.
  • All faculty, instructors, and academic officials.

 

Definitions

Associate Dean: Throughout this policy, this term (when devoid of description) means the associate dean of the academic college where a course or alleged integrity violation resides. In any case where a unit does not have an associate dean, the dean or academic unit administrator (appointed by the VPAA) will serve this role.

Chair/Director: Throughout this policy, this term means a department chair/school director, or an appropriate designee (e.g. associate chair). For courses that reside in multiple programs or outside of academic colleges, it also designates other appropriate academic unit administrators.

Dean: Throughout this policy, this term (when devoid of description) means the dean of the academic college where a course or alleged integrity violation resides.

Meeting: as used throughout this document, includes in-person, telephone, or other meeting assistive technologies (e.g. Skype, FaceTime, etc.).

Preponderance of the Evidence: the standard of proof used to determine whether a violation of this policy has occurred. This means that based upon all available evidence, it is more likely than not that a violation has occurred. The Initiator shall have the burden of showing that it is more likely than not that the student engaged in academic dishonesty.

Proper Recording: Throughout this policy, this term refers to the process in which the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs (for undergraduate students) and the Graduate College (for graduate students) makes an official record of an academic integrity violation.

 

Additional Information

A student may not drop a course involved in the academic integrity process. Furthermore, a student may not drop any course in which a grade was issued through the sanctions of the academic integrity policy. If a student drops the course, the associate dean or department chair/director can work with the Registrar to have the student reinstated and a grade assigned, if applicable.

A faculty member may not drop a student from a course involved in the academic integrity process until a final determination has been made with regard to alleged violations and any related sanctions.

What if the academic integrity policy is violated in conjunction with another policy?

If a student violates both an academic integrity provision and any provisions of the Student Code of Conduct, both the college and the Office of Student Life will review the matter. Each unit makes determinations independently when considering violations and appropriate sanctions. For graduate and undergraduate students involved in research, there may be overlapping violations between the Academic Integrity and Misconduct in Research policies. Both the college and a designee from the Office of the Vice President of Research will review violations of both the Misconduct in Research Policy and Academic Integrity Policy. Each unit makes determinations independently when considering violations and appropriate sanctions.

 

Responsibilities & Communication

FOR FACULTY & ACADEMIC UNIT ADMINISTRATORS

Responsibilities and Information

  1. Faculty members have a responsibility to be clear in expectations related to academic assignments, exams and other academic endeavors, including references to academic dishonesty (either explicitly or within NAU’s Approved Policy Statements ) in course syllabi. Faculty may use an educational assignment, such as completion of an academic dishonesty tutorial or a learning module, as part of their instruction. These tutorials are available in Blackboard Learn.
  2. Faculty members have a responsibility to support academic integrity by reporting any act of academic dishonesty in a timely manner and in accordance with the procedures described in this policy.
  3. Faculty members make the initial determination of whether a specific action shall be treated as a violation of the Academic Integrity policy and may impose accompanying sanctions. Faculty members shall complete the Academic Integrity Form and recommend a sanction upon the student on a good faith basis that it is more likely than not that a student has violated the Academic Integrity policy.
  4. Sanctions for academic integrity violations shall align with the principles of this policy – in particular, sanctions should be commensurate with the violation committed by the student.
  5. The associate dean of the college where the course resides will review all reported academic integrity issues and check for prior integrity violations by the student once the Academic Integrity Form is submitted to them for a final decision. 
  6. While faculty have authority and discretion under this policy to handle academic integrity violations, the chair/director, associate dean, or Academic Integrity Hearing Board has the authority to modify or overturn a recommendation or sanction.

Communication

All faculty and academic unit administrators will communicate procedures and decisions to students in accordance with best commuication practices and this policy via NAU email to ensure clear intent and proper documentation of the process. Templates are available on the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs (VPAA) website.

 

FOR STUDENTS

Responsibilities

  1. Students shall in no way misrepresent their work.
  2. Students shall in no way attempt to achieve a grade through fraudulent or unfair means.
  3. Students shall not violate the principle of academic integrity, as defined in this policy, a syllabus, or university syllabus policy statements.
  4. Students should report any perceived, observed, or known violations of the Academic Integrity policy to appropriate academic personnel (faculty member, chair, etc.) in a timely manner.

Examples of Violations

The following actions are examples of activities that violate the Academic Integrity Policy. This is not meant to be a comprehensive or exhaustive list.

Cheating: intentionally using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, technology, or study aids in any academic exercise such as an examination, paper, or other assignment. Cheating includes, but is not limited to the following acts:

  1. Copying another student’s work.
  2. Sharing answers for either a take-home or in-class examination unless specifically and explicitly allowed.
  3. Using notes, books, or web materials in an exam when such aids are forbidden.
  4. Taking an examination in another student’s name, or having another person take one for a student.
  5. Changing the answers in an examination after it has been graded in order to gain more credit than deserved.
  6. Possession of a “cheat-sheet” or other prohibited assistance (calculator, cell phone, text messaging, etc.) during an examination.
  7. Working on an examination outside the specified time limits, such as beginning before the faculty member directs students to begin, or continuing to work after the faculty member has declared an end to the examination period.
  8. Using a commercial service or engaging another person (whether paid or unpaid) to prepare assigned work. Unless prohibited by the faculty member for educational reasons, editing and/or proofreading by another person is not considered cheating.

Fabrication/Fraud: The intentional and unauthorized creation or invention of information, data, or citation in an academic exercise.  

Fabrication/Fraud and Falsification includes, but is not limited to:

  1. The presentation of information or data not collected in accordance with standard applicable ethical guidelines.
  2. The intentional failure to include an accurate account of the method by which data was gathered or collected.
  3. Any attempt to deceive a faculty member or administrative officer of the university regarding academic work or attendance.

Facilitation: Assisting, supporting, conspiring, or colluding with others to engage in any form of Academic dishonesty. Where this occurs, all involved students are in violation of the academic integrity policy, and may be subject to sanctions as individuals. Facilitation includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Two or more students that work together to produce individually submitted work without the permission of the appropriate faculty member.
  2. A student knowingly allows another student to copy their work and both submit that work for assessment.
  3. A student disseminates course assessment materials (for example, online exams, homework assignments, pictures of exams).
  4. A student assists another student to commit an act of academic dishonesty.

Falsification: manipulating materials, equipment, or processes, or changing or omitting information or data such that the results of an academic exercise are not accurately represented or reported.

Obtaining an unfair advantage: Engaging in activities that directly or indirectly compromise the fair assessment of a student’s work or that unfairly constrain or impede another student’s ability to complete an assignment on equal terms. Obtaining an unfair advantage includes but is not limited to the following acts:

  1. Stealing, reproducing, or otherwise gaining access to assessment materials before the authorized time.
  2. Stealing, destroying, defacing, or concealing library or other reference materials and so causing others to be deprived of their use or hindering or preventing a faculty member from assessing a student’s work.
  3. Possessing or using previously administered examinations, unless authorized by the appropriate faculty member.

Plagiarism: Using or representing another’s original words, ideas, materials, or other creative output as one’s own and not giving proper credit to the author or source. Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Copying.
  2. Improper paraphrasing or making a small change to a passage or paper without appropriate citation.
  3. Insufficient citation.

Self-Plagiarism: Using one’s own words, ideas, expressions, productions, or other creative output from prior work without proper citation to the previous work and appropriate permission from the instructor. Self-plagiarism includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Using an assignment completed for one class to fulfill a requirement for another assignment (either in the same class or a different class) without getting specific approval from the instructor.

Initial Discovery, Notification, and Sanctions

  1. If a faculty member has a good faith basis that it is more likely than not that a student has violated the Academic Integrity policy, the faculty member shall notify the student, via NAU email, of the alleged violation and the recommended sanction to be imposed within five (5) business days of their discovery of evidence. The faculty member may take these actions based on information they have gained through their involvement in the course or based on reasonably reliable information received from a third-party.
  2. Sanctions associated with violations of this policy shall be proportionate to the nature of the violation. Factors to consider may include: academic level of the student; repeat and/or continuous violations within the class (indicating an awareness of the policy); evidence of training in academic integrity issues; consistency of the sanction with similar incidents within the college. Those who violate the Academic Integrity policy will be subject to sanctions under this policy and may also be subject to sanctions under the Student Code of Conduct, state and federal laws.
  3. Faculty member-imposed sanctions include, but are not limited to:
    1. Written warning to the student about the incident;
    2. Reducing the grade on the assignment or examination;
    3. Awarding a grade of zero or “F” on the assignment or examination;
    4. Reducing the grade in the course by one letter grade;
    5. Awarding a failing grade in the course;
    6. Termination of employment (if applicable)

Outcomes

  1. If the student accepts the violation and sanction without dispute, no further review or appeal action is needed as outlined in this policy. The faculty member notes the student’s acceptance on the Academic Integrity Form, which is sent to their chair/director for approval and proper recording.
    1. The chair/director reviews the violation and sanction, then makes a recommendation to the associate dean. The chair/director will submit the Academic Integrity Form to their associate dean for a final decision and proper recording.
    2. The associate dean will render a final decision and ensure proper recording.
  2. If the student wishes to dispute the violation and/or sanction, they must reply to the faculty member within three (3) business days of the faculty member’s integrity violation notification to request an initial meeting. This meeting must occur no later than ten (10) business days after the date of the faculty member’s notification.
    1. Any party may bring in a silent observer to witness the discussion. This silent witness will not be permitted to participate directly or speak for the party, but may be present during meetings and hearings.

Initial Meeting

  1. The faculty member will explain the alleged violation and present the evidence that they believe indicates that it is more likely than not that the student violated the University’s Academic Integrity Policy standards.
  2. The student will have a reasonable opportunity to effectively respond to the allegation during this meeting.

Outcomes of Initial Meeting: Faculty & Student

  1. If the faculty member concludes, based on the evidence available and the student’s response, that it is more likely than not that a violation did not occur, then the incident shall be closed with no report.
  2. If the student admits or acknowledges their integrity violation(s), the faculty member may recommend any of the faculty-imposed sanctions in accordance with this policy. The faculty member notes the student’s acceptance on the Academic Integrity Form, which is sent to their chair/director for review.
    1. The chair/director reviews the violation and sanction, then makes a recommendation to the associate dean. The chair/director will submit the Academic Integrity Form to their associate dean for a final decision and proper recording.
    2. The associate dean will render a final decision and ensure proper recording.
      1. If egregious or past violations are found, the associate dean may refer the case to the University Academic Integrity Hearing Board through the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs (VPAA).
  3. If the student disputes the final recommendation of the faculty member, the student may request a review and/or meeting from the chair/director in the academic unit where the course resides. This request must occur within three (3) business days of the date in which the final recommendation is communicated to the student.

Outcomes of Meeting: Faculty, Student, & Chair/Director

  1. If the student provides evidence in the meeting between themselves, the faculty member, and the chair/director that it is more likely than not that a violation did not occur, then the incident shall be closed with no report.
  2. If the student admits or acknowledges their integrity violation(s), the chair/director may uphold the previous faculty-imposed sanctions or recommend further faculty-imposed sanctions in accordance with this policy.
    1. The chair/director makes a recommendation to the associate dean. The chair/director will submit the Academic Integrity Form to their associate dean for a final decision and proper recording.
    2. The associate dean will render a final decision and ensure proper recording.
    3. If egregious or past violations are found, the associate dean may refer the case to the University Academic Integrity Hearing Board through the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs (VPAA).
  3. If the student disputes the recommendation of the chair/director, they may request a review and/or meeting from the associate dean in the academic unit where the course resides. This request must occur within three (3) business days of the date in which the final recommendation is communicated to the student.

Decision: Associate Dean

  1. The associate dean reviews all academic integrity violation cases. This review includes materials submitted in previous points in the academic integrity process and any recommendations made in the process. They make final decisions on the validity of the alleged academic violation and the recommended faculty-imposed sanctions. They are also responsible for ensuring proper recording.
  2. If past violations are found, or if the nature of the violation necessitates sanctions beyond those available to the faculty member in this policy, the associate dean may refer the case to the University Academic Integrity Board through the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs (VPAA).
Appeal eligible: Yes

Appeal Process

Students may appeal the decisions and/or sanctions issued by the associate dean to the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs (“VPAA”). The VPAA will gather all documentation submitted in previous points of the academic integrity process and refer the case to the University Academic Hearing Board. Please see “Academic Integrity Hearing Process” for detailed information.

Grounds for Appeal

Typically*, appeals involve the following circumstances:

  1. The faculty, department, school, or other academic unit deviated substantially from accepted and specified standards as established by the policies established for the University, academic unit, or syllabus;
  2. The standards of this policy were not fairly or equitably applied to a student;
  3. There was a substantial deviation from the procedures required by this policy.

* For good cause shown, appeals may involve other matters at the discretion of the VPAA.

Time Limit on Appeal

Written communication by the student to the associate dean indicating a desire for a hearing board review is considered initiation of the appeal process. All occasions shall be communicated via NAU email to ensure proper documentation of the process. The student must initiate the appeal process in the following timeframe**:

  1. Appeal of an academic integrity violation and/or sanction received in a fall or winter session must be initiated between the associate dean’s determination and the 15th business day of the following spring term (for 16-week courses) or session (for courses that run less than 16 weeks);
  2. Appeal of an academic integrity violation and/or sanction received in a spring or summer session must be initiated between the associate dean’s final determination and the 15th business day of the following fall term (for 16-week courses) or session (for courses that run less than 16 weeks).

**Please Note:

Due to typical academic calendars and faculty workload expectations, the appeal process will normally be conducted only during the fall and spring academic terms. 

If the student fails to submit requested materials or notify the designated administrator within the timeline specified in this policy, such failure will constitute a waiver of the student’s right to an appeal, and the original decision, action, or result from the immediate previous decision will remain final.

The decision of the VPAA is a final and binding decision. The only grounds for appeal to the Provost’s Office are substantial deviations violations of the procedures outlined in this policy. Should this be the case, the matter may be appealed in writing, via NAU email, to ensure proper documentation of the process, to the Office of the Provost within ten (10) business days from the date of the VPAA notification to the student and proper academic and administrative units.

 

University Academic Integrity Hearing Board (“Hearing Board”)

Composition.

A model University Academic Integrity Hearing Board consists of the following constituent groups (please note that not all individuals within the following list will serve on all hearings):

  1. A chairperson who is a member of the faculty and, preferably, an experienced Board member, appointed by the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs (VPAA) for a two-year term. The VPAA may have two or more faculty members trained as chairpersons.
  2. Two (2) faculty members from each academic college, elected for two-year terms by the faculty within their academic college or appointed by the Dean.
  3. Two (2-3) students from each academic college, appointed by the VPAA in consultation with the Dean of Students for two-year terms. At least one student should be a graduate student. When possible, student terms should be staggered.
  4. One (1) identified record keeper, responsible for recording and keeping clear and complete records of the proceedings. This is the official record of the meeting, and the record keeper is only present to capture an official record; they are not participants in the hearing.

Training

All members of the Hearing Board, including chairpersons, shall receive academic integrity training, prior to serving on the board, provided by the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs.

Jurisdiction

The University Academic Integrity Hearing Board hears appeals of Academic Integrity violation decisions, and can uphold, revise, or reverse the decisions made by the academic unit. The Hearing Board also may impose further sanctions, as well as recommend university-level sanctions.

Hearing Boards shall have jurisdiction to hear cases when:

  1. a student appeals the final determination by the associate dean, based on the “Grounds for Appeal/Burden of Proof” outlined in this policy;
  2. a student has a history of prior and/or repeated academic integrity violations;
  3. an associate dean requests that the VPAA refer the case to the Hearing Board.

Sanctions that may be imposed by the University Integrity Hearing Board for violations of the Academic Integrity Policy include all faculty member-imposed sanctions listed via this policy. Additional sanctions include, but are not limited to:

  1. Recommendation to the Provost (or designee) that the student be removed from their major, degree program, or college temporarily;
  2. Recommendation to the Provost (or designee) that the student be removed from their major, degree program, or college permanently;
  3. Recommendation to the Provost (or designee) that the student be suspended from the institution;
  4. Recommendation to the Provost (or designee) that the student be expelled from the institution.

Records of Action

All actions shall be recorded via the Academic Integrity Violation Reporting Form and filed with the Office of the Provost via email submission to AcademicIntegrity@nau.eduIf the student is found not in violation by the Hearing Board and the Board overturns a finding of a violation, a note will be made to the file that the student was found not in violation with a short description of the process and results.

Extension of Time

If an extension of time is needed during any phase of the process once the appeal process has been initiated, the party requesting the extension shall petition the VPAA and present reasons why the deadline cannot be met. The VPAA will notify all involved parties regarding the granting or denial of the request for an extension with the goal of ensuring fairness and a timely resolution of the problem. If an extension of time is needed by the Hearing Board, that notification will come to all parties involved, identifying the number of additional days granted with the goal of ensuring fairness and a timely resolution of the problem.

Disability-related Accommodations

If anyone requires disability-related accommodations to participate in a meeting or any stage of the academic integrity process, please ensure that your records are current with Disability Resources, and notify the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs of your approved accommodations as soon as possible.

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