Academic Honesty

Questions or concerns about academic honesty policies and procedures in the College of Arts and Sciences should be directed to Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education, Gary Barker.  

Report Academic Dishonesty

Saint Louis University is a community of learning in which integrity and mutual trust are vital. Since the mission of the University is "the pursuit of truth for the greater glory of God and for the service of humanity," acts of falsehood violate its very reason for existence. They also demean and compromise the activities of teaching, research, and community service that are the primary corporate purposes of the institution.

Academic dishonesty runs counter to the ethical principles of Christianity and of other cultural traditions and undercuts the spiritual and intellectual ideals of the Catholic Church and the Society of Jesus, upon which the University is founded.  The destructive effects of academic dishonesty are many. Not only does it undermine the grading process, robbing teachers of their ability to assess the accomplishments of their students and to give proper responses and rewards, but it also impairs the ability of the University to certify to the outside world the skills and attainments of its graduates. Such dishonesty allows students to take unfair advantage of their peers and undermines moral character as well as self-respect. It also damages the bonds of academic trust upon which the entire University rests.

Since the College of Arts and Sciences seeks to prepare students for lives of integrity and for occupations of trust, it regards all acts of academic dishonesty as matters of serious concern.  In establishing high standards of integrity, the College is not only affirming certain rules students are to observe at Saint Louis University, but giving students ethical principles and practices to take with them as they move into diverse professions and walks of life beyond the walls of the University. To this end, the College relies, not merely on the willing compliance and support of its students, but on the adherence to professional ethics displayed by its students and by its faculty, staff, and administrators as well.

Arts and Sciences Academic Integrity Policy and Scope

Pursuant of the academic integrity policy established by Saint Louis University, the College of Arts and Sciences has designed an Academic Integrity Policy to promote ethical conduct with the college community:

Responsibilities of Members of the Arts and Sciences Community

To foster an academic environment in which integrity is uppermost, the College also relies on the commitment of everyone in the College community, each of whom has specific obligations:  

1.1 Faculty

Faculty members have the responsibility:

  • to model high standards of academic integrity within their own research and professional conduct and help to foster an environment in which academic integrity is esteemed.    
  • to create graded components of the course that minimize the possibility of academic dishonesty. Some suggestions for testing environments include: spacing students apart, appropriate number of proctors for the class size and utilizing multiple versions of the exam. Some suggestions for paper assignments include: offering opportunities for drafting, reflection and feedback on essays; including in-class writing assignments and activities; and crafting assignments with a specific purpose, audience and context  particular to the course. Some suggestions for performative assignments (such as musical, theatrical, visual arts and videography) include: discussions of originality, and/or faculty observation of the student's creative process.
  • to remind students of their obligation to abide by the college's policy on academic integrity at the beginning of all courses. Relevant parts of the academic integrity policy should be established both verbally and through a statement of expectations in the syllabus. Academic integrity should be defined in terms of the faculty member's expectation of original authorship of written work within the course, appropriate use of outside sources and resulting source citation, permissible collaboration in preparing assignments and in studying for quizzes and examinations. See Appendix A for an example.
  • to identify and report in a timely manner of incidence of academic dishonesty.  The process of investigating, adjudicating and reporting an act of academic dishonesty is outlined in Section 4.

Academic Integrity and Academic Code of Honesty

It is the responsibility of all students and faculty to uphold the academic code of honesty established by the University and given below.

University Policy:  Students are expected to be honest in their academic work. The University reserves the right to penalize any student whose academic conduct is, in its judgment, detrimental to the University. Such conduct shall include cases of plagiarism, collusion, cheating, giving or receiving or offering or soliciting information in examinations, or the use of previously prepared material in examinations or quizzes. It is the responsibility of any student who observes such dishonest conduct to call it to the attention of a faculty member or administrator. Violations should be reported to your course instructor, who will investigate and adjudicate them according to the policy on academic honesty of the College of Arts and Sciences. If the charges are found to be true, the student may be liable for academic or disciplinary probation, suspension, or expulsion by the University.

Recommendations of sanctions to be imposed will be made to the dean of the school or college in which the student is enrolled. Possible sanctions for a violation of academic integrity include, but are not limited to: assignment of a failing grade for the assignment and/or course, disciplinary probation, suspension and/or dismissal from the University. While grades are very important in the current educational system and the University is a highly competitive environment, it is not worth the risk of your overall grade, reputation and career.

1.2 Students

Students have the responsibility:

  • to model high standards of academic integrity within their own research and academic conduct and foster an environment in which academic integrity is esteemed.
  • to adhere to the specific rules governing the completion of required work in each of their courses. Whether or not their instructors set forth such rules, students are also responsible for recognizing and avoiding the kinds of misconduct set forth in Section 3 of this policy.
  • to report violations of the policy to instructors, department chairs, or administrators, as appropriate.  

1.3 Staff

Staff members have the responsibility

  • to model high standards of academic integrity within their own research, academic and professional conduct and foster an environment in which academic integrity is esteemed.
  • to notify their supervisors of possible violations.

1.4 Academic Administrators

Academic administrators such as deans, directors and chairs have the responsibility:

  • to model high standards of academic integrity within their own research and professional conduct and foster an environment in which academic integrity is esteemed.
  • to provide training within individual departments and establish clear expectations for faculty and staff regarding their respective responsibilities as outlined within this document.
  • to address and manage cases of academic dishonesty in accordance with the University policies and those of their academic units.  Note: alleged violations of academic integrity in scientific research will be addressed in accordance with the research integrity policy of the University.
  • to provide students charged with violations of academic integrity appropriate notice of the charges and the opportunity to respond in ways laid out in the college and University policies.
How to Classify the Academic Integrity Violation  

Two classifications of academic integrity violations are defined by the College of Arts and Sciences and are defined below:

2.1 Class A Violations

Students may be alleged to have committed a Class A violation under the following circumstances:

  • When a student acting alone cheats, falsifies, or plagiarizes an assignment or other graded component of minimal weight to the overall grade of the course.
  • When a student colludes on an assignment or other graded component of minimal weight to the overall grade of the course.

Such violations include, but are not limited to, the acts of dishonesty defined in Section 3 of this policy. They are to be handled according to the process described in Sections 4 and 5 of this policy.

2.2 Class B Violations

Students may be alleged to have committed a Class B violation under the following circumstances:

  • When they are charged with a violation of the honesty policy and already have in their record a previous violation.
  • When a student falsifies, or plagiarizes an assignment or requirement of the class of considerable weight to the overall grade of the course.  
  • When they are alleged to have engaged in collusion in the performance of any substantial assignment or requirement of the class.
  • When they are alleged to have engaged in any other academic misconduct of a particularly serious sort.
  • Such violations include, but are not limited to, acts of dishonesty defined in Section 3 of this policy. They are to be handled according to the process described in Sections 4 and 5 of this policy.
Violations of Academic Integrity

Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, the kinds of misconduct listed below. Such dishonesty may involve written or spoken communication or those conveyed in electronic form. The act shall be considered in conjunction with the definitions of Section 2 of this policy to decide the classification and adjudication.   

3.1 Cheating

Cheating involves the use of unauthorized or unethical assistance to gain an unfair advantage over other students. Instances and suggested classification of the violation include the following:

  • Using unauthorized assistance or technological aids such as social media, cell phones, calculators or translators in taking quizzes or examinations.  
  • Use of resources beyond those authorized by the instructor in solving problems or in carrying out other assignments such as papers, reports, oral presentations or creative projects.
  • Acquisition, dissemination, or use of tests or other academic materials belonging to an instructor or a member of the staff without prior approval whether orally, via hard copies of material, or through social media.
  • Influencing, or attempting to influence, any University employee in order to affect a grade or evaluation.
  • Hiring or otherwise engaging someone to impersonate a student in taking a quiz or examination or in fulfilling other academic requirements.

3.2 Falsification

Falsification involves misrepresentations of fact for academic gain. Instances include the following:

  • Lying to or deceiving an instructor.
  • Fabrication or misrepresentation of the documentation or the data involved in carrying out assignments.
  • Fabrication, misrepresentation, or unauthorized alteration of information in academic records belonging to an instructor or to any academic department or administrative unit within the college. 

3.3 Plagiarism

Plagiarism involves the representation of someone else's thoughts or words as if they were one's own. Instances include the following:

  • Quoting directly from someone else's work without using quotation marks and without giving proper credit to the author.
  • Paraphrasing someone else's ideas, concepts, arguments, observations, or statements without giving proper credit.
  • Submitting as one's own work a paper or other assignment that has been prepared, either wholly or in large part, by another person, group or commercial firm.

3.4 Sabotage

Sabotage involves interference or seeking to prevent the academic pursuits of others.  It includes:

  • Interfering with the academic work of another member of the University community.
  • Modification, theft, or destruction of intellectual property such as computer files, library materials, or personal books or papers.

3.5 Collusion

Collusion involves collaboration with another person or persons for the purpose of engaging in, aiding, or abetting acts of academic dishonesty as defined above.

Adjudicating Violations Within a Department in the College of Arts and Sciences

Consistent and fair adjudication of academic violations shall be paramount within the College of Arts and Sciences, faculty, staff and students. This section will address the adjudication process and then more specifically the responsibility of the course instructor and the department chair in this process.  

4.1 Expectations of the Adjudication Process

  • Rules of procedure and evidence applied in civil or criminal court actions shall not apply in the investigation, review or complaints of academic dishonesty.   
  • The instructor will carefully review Sections 2 and 3 in this policy to decide if the violation warrants the classification of Class A or Class B.  
  • Unless and until a formal finding of a violation has been reached, all instructors and members of the college faculty, staff, and administration involved with a complaint shall take appropriate precautions to maintain confidentiality concerning the name of the accused, the nature of the complaint, and its supporting evidence except insofar as such information must be divulged in order to investigate the allegations or to conduct a hearing.  

    •If no violation is found, all record of the complaint shall be destroyed. The nature of the evidence and the proceedings shall remain confidential.


    •If a violation is found, adjudication retention of the record and disclosure shall be limited to that initiated by the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Affairs as specified in Section 6 of this policy.

  • Faculty and Instructors involved in academic honesty cases are indemnified by the University according to policies set forth in the Faculty Manual of Saint Louis University, particularly the section pertaining to legal representation and indemnification. 

Students accused of academic dishonesty, instructors and/or department chairs bringing accusations have the following rights:

  • To participate in a meeting within the department or academic unit in which the alleged act of dishonesty occurred and/or a formal hearing before the College Academic Honesty Committee.
  • To receive, at least one week in advance of any hearing, written notice of the following:

    •The charge, including the date and circumstances of the purported act of dishonesty.

    •The date, time and location of the meeting.
  • To present evidence at any hearing.
  • To call witnesses to support their case.

    •Instructors and department chairs may question witnesses.
  • Students and instructors may bring a personal advisor to any hearing upon notification to the Adjudicator. Such an advisor may not act as legal representation and may only speak at the discretion of the person conducting the proceedings.

4.2 Adjudication of Class A Violations

All Class A violations start as Class A violation without an informal department hearing. The adjudication process for a Class A violation is classified as: 1) without an informal department hearing, or 2) with an informal department hearing.

The course instructor is charged with the responsibility to conduct a meeting as outlined in Section 4.2.1 of this policy.  If at the conclusion of this meeting the student chooses to appeal the Class A violation, this case will become a Class A violation with an informal Department hearing.  

In addition to the hearing outlined in Section 4.2.1 of this policy the department chair/facilitator will conduct an informal department hearing as outlined in Section 4.2.2 of this policy.    

4.2.1. Procedural outline for Class A violation without a Departmental hearing

If a purported act of dishonesty is classified as a Class A violation, the instructor in charge of the course shall proceed with the investigation, adjudication and reporting as outlined below.

4.2.1.1 Investigation 

The instructor shall investigate the allegations thoroughly.

  • If the preponderance of evidence does not support a finding of a violation all collected evidence shall be destroyed and the case is closed. Confidentiality shall be maintained to protect the student.
  • If the preponderance of evidence supports a finding of a violation, the instructor shall notify the chair of the department that an act of academic dishonesty is purported and the process of adjudication has been initiated.  
4.2.1.2 Sanctions May Include:

A lowered or failing grade on the examination or assignment in question or a lowered course grade.  If the course grade is lowered to an F, the student shall have the right to continue in the course without prejudice or other penalty pending the results of an appeal.

4.2.1.3 Adjudication

The instructor shall:

  • Complete the College of Arts and Sciences Academic Dishonesty Report (Section I and II only).  Include any supporting evidence either original or photocopied as deemed needed for documentation for adjudication.
  • Promptly call a meeting with the student.  Herein the instructor will discuss the alleged violation and the collected evidence as it relates to this course, the imposed sanctions, and classification of the violation.
  • Indicate, by placing a check mark on the line in Section III.5.a or III.5.b on the College of Arts and Sciences Academic Dishonesty Report, that the student was notified in person or in writing.  The student must sign and date the form indicating that they have been notified of the sanctions imposed.

    •It is important to note to students that their signature here is not an indication that they agree with the sanction just that they have been notified of the sanctions.
  • Inform the student that they have the right to appeal the sanctions at an informal Departmental hearing, procedure outlined in Section 4.2.2 of this policy.  
  • Their decision to waive their right to appeal or appeal the decision is made on Section III.6 of the College of Arts and Sciences Academic Dishonesty Report.

    •A student deciding to waive their right to appeal should place a check mark beside Section III.6.a of the College of Arts and Sciences Academic Dishonesty Report.

    ••The instructor will forward the Academic Dishonesty Report and all supporting documents to the associate dean of undergraduate education office.

    •A student deciding to appeal the sanctions should place a check mark beside Section III.6.b of the College of Arts and Sciences Academic Dishonesty Report..

    ••The instructor will forward the Academic Dishonesty Report and all supporting documents to their department chair and the case proceeds as a Class A violation with an informal department hearing, outlined in Section 4.2.2 of this policy.

    •Students shall be made aware that they can choose to forgo the decision, as to whether to appeal or not, by leaving these sections blank. The student may take up to one week from the notification of sanctions to make a decision and notify their instructor in written format.

It is important to stress that all evidence shall be retained by the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Affairs. Once the adjudication process has been completed the instructor and/or department chair shall not retain copies of any of the collected evidence or forms.    

4.2.2.  Procedural outline Class A violation with Departmental hearing

It is the understanding that the instructor of the course will follow the procedural outline as presented in Section 4.2.1. of this policy and upon the request of the student for a informal hearing of the case, all collected evidence will be turned over to the department chair.

The department chair shall act as a facilitator during the hearing or appoint another member of the department to act in that capacity. In the instance that the department chair is also the instructor, the department chair must appoint an impartial member of the department to facilitate the meeting.

4.2.2.1  Investigation 

The department chair/facilitator shall carry out a prompt and thorough investigation. 

  • This investigation shall include an informal hearing, announced at least a week in advance to the student, instructor and such witness as either party may choose to call. All parties shall have a full and fair opportunity to present evidence.

    •Witnesses from within the University community are obliged to attend and may be sanctioned by the dean's office if they fail to appear.

    •Witnesses against the student shall not have to appear at the same informal hearing as the accused student.
                  
  •  After the conclusion of the informal hearing, the department chair/facilitator must decide if the preponderance of evidence supports a finding of guilt or not. This should occur within a week of this hearing.

    •If no violation has been found, records of the case shall be destroyed and confidentiality maintained.
                
4.2.2.2 Sanctions

The department chair/facilitator may reaffirm the sanctions imposed by the instructor or impose other sanctions listed in Section 4.2.1.2 of this policy.

4.2.2.3 Adjudication

If the evidence supports a finding of guilt, the department chair/facilitator will:

  • Provide the student with written email notice of the outcome within a week after the hearing.  
  • Notify the student that they have the right to appeal to the Academic Honesty Committee according to the procedure outlined in Section 5 of this policy. Such appeal must be initiated in writing by the student, contacting the department chair/facilitator within one week of the date on which the student was notified of the outcome.
  • Fill out Section IV of the College of Arts and Sciences Academic Dishonesty Report as appropriate for the case and complete the signature section of the Report found below Section V.
  • Write a brief letter addressed to the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Affairs. This letter shall summarize the violation, the nature of the evidence, and the outcome of the hearing along with all physical evidence.
     

4.3 Adjudication of Class B Violation  

If the evidence supports a finding of guilt, the instructor will:

  • Conduct a meeting with the student(s), as outlined in Section 4.2.1 of this policy.

    •The instructor may decline to impose sanctions, leaving the decision to the chair or the College Academic Honesty Committee.
  • Indicate this is a Class B violation by the placement of a check mark beside Section III.6.c of the College of Arts and Sciences Academic Dishonesty Report.  
  • Notify the student during the meeting that a Class B violation automatically initiates an informal Departmental hearing as well as a formal hearing with the Academic Honesty Committee.  
  • Send the Academic Dishonesty Report and all evidence to the department chair within one week of the instructor/student meeting.  

The department chair/facilitator will:

  • Conduct an informal hearing as outlined in Section 4.2.2 of this policy.   
  • Decide if the preponderance of evidence supports a finding of guilt or not after the conclusion of the hearing.

    •If no violation has been found, records of the case shall be destroyed and confidentiality maintained.

    •If the evidence supports a finding of guilt, the department chair /facilitator shall impose or reaffirm sanctions listed in Section 4.2.1.2 of this policy.

The instructor and/or department chair/facilitator may decline to impose sanctions, leaving the decision to the College Academic Honesty Committee. 

  • The student shall be provided with written email notice of the outcome within one week of the informal departmental hearing. The student shall be notified that a Class B violation is automatically referred to be heard by the Academic Honesty Committee as outlined in Section 5 of this policy. 

    •The department chair/facilitator shall fill out Section IV and V of the College of Arts and Sciences Academic Dishonesty Report and complete the signature section of the Report found below Section V.

    •The department chair/facilitator shall write a brief letter addressed to the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Affairs. This letter shall summarize the violation, the nature of the evidence, and the outcome of the informal departmental hearing along with all physical evidence. All documents are to be submitted within one week of the informal hearing.

All evidence shall be retained by the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Affairs. Once the adjudication process has been completed the instructor and/or department chair shall not retain copies of any of the collected evidence or forms.  

Delineating the responsibility of the College Committee on Academic Honesty and the Office of the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Affairs.

Delineating the responsibility of the College Committee on Academic Honesty and the Office of the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education

5.1  Review for Previous Documented Violations

Upon receipt of a violation, the undergraduate dean's office will review the student's file to determine if there are any previous violations noted. If the student is pursuing a degree outside the College of Arts and Sciences, the undergraduate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences may contact the dean of the respective college, at his/her discretion.

5.1.1  Class A Violation
  • If no previous violation is noted then the current Class A violation will be filed confidentially with the student record.  No further action is required.
  • If a previous violation is noted:
  1. the department chair and course instructor will be notified of the change in the class of violation.
  2. the charge will be elevated from a Class A to a Class B violation and the case will be referred to the academic honesty committee.
  3. the academic honesty committee will hear the case and decide if further sanctions shall be imposed based on the repeat nature of the offense as outlined in Section 5.2 of this policy.
 5.1.2  Class B Violation
  • The case, along with any previous adjudicated cases, will be forwarded to the Academic Honesty Committee and a hearing will be conducted as outlined in Section 5.2 of this policy.

5.2  The College Committee on Academic Honesty

The College Academic Honesty Committee shall be composed of six members (two from each of the divisions in the college) elected by the faculty of the College for staggered two-year terms. The Committee is charged with:

  • Reviewing College policies and overseeing their promulgation, all six members shall be involved.
  • Adjudicating Class A violations in which the student appeals the decision of the department chair/facilitator and all Class B violations.  This process is outlined in Section 5.2.2 of this policy.
5.2.2  Adjudication of academic dishonesty violations by the College Academic Honesty Committee

The Academic Honesty Committee shall form a subcommittee, the hearing committee, to hear Class A violations in which the student appeals the decision of the department chair/facilitator and all Class B violations.

  • The chair of the Academic Honesty Committee will designate three members of the full Academic Honesty Committee to serve as the hearing committee for this particular case.  
  • The hearing committee will consist of a hearing chair and two other members of the College Academic Honesty Committee.
  • The chair of the College Academic Honesty Committee may act as hearing chair or appoint another member of the committee to act in that capacity.
5.2.2.1  Investigation   
  • The informal hearing chair shall secure physical evidence from the department and, in the case of repeated offenses, the dean's office, and conduct separate interviews with the student(s) and with the instructor involved in the case. After reviewing the physical evidence and reporting the results of the interviews to the other members of the hearing committee, the hearing chair may initiate such further inquiry as deemed appropriate.
5.2.2.2  Hearing
  • The hearing chair shall schedule the hearing and provide, at least one week in advance, notification in writing to the student(s), the faculty, the other members of the hearing committee, and such witnesses as the student(s) or the faculty member may call.
  • Witnesses from within the University community are obligated to attend and may be sanctioned by the college committee on academic honesty if they fail to appear. If the student(s) accused of dishonesty fail to appear at the hearing, the hearing committee may hear the case and impose sanctions in the absence of the student(s).
  • During the proceedings, the hearing chair shall ensure that both parties have a full and fair opportunity to provide such oral or written statements as they may wish to submit and to present evidence. Students and instructors may bring a personal advisor to such hearings. Such an advisor may not act as legal representation and may only address the hearing at the discretion of the hearing chair conducting the proceedings.
  • If the hearing committee determines that the preponderance of evidence supports a finding of a violation, sanctions shall be determined by majority vote of the full Academic Honesty Committee.
5.2.2.3  Sanctions 
  • If the Academic Honesty Committee, by majority vote, determines that the preponderance of evidence supports a finding of a violation, sanctions shall be determined by the Academic Honesty Committee.
  • In appeals of Class A violations, the Academic Honesty Committee may reverse the original finding of a violation, reaffirm that finding and the original sanction imposed by the instructor, or impose another appropriate sanction outlined in this document.
  • In cases involving Class B violations, sanctions may include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following:
  1. Suspension from the College and/or denial of permission to register for further courses within its jurisdiction for a specified period.
  2. A letter of reprimand, will be placed in the student's electronic file;
  3. A requirement for the student to attend pertinent educational workshop(s) provided on campus such as those offered in conjunction with the Student Success Center or Writing Center, as possible examples;
  4. Probationary status for a specified period of time, including loss of privileges and/or requirements that the student satisfy conditions before enrolling in further courses in the college;
  5. Permanent separation from the College of Arts and Sciences and/or denial of permission to register for further courses within its jurisdiction.
  • The finding and sanctions proposed by the hearing committee shall be discussed, ratified or amended by the full Academic Honesty Committee.
  • Within a week after the Committee has concluded discussions, the Chair of the Academic Honesty Committee shall communicate, in writing, its decision to the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Affairs, who shall provide the student(s) with written email notice of the outcome.
  • If the Committee finds that the student(s) committed no violation, all other records of the case shall be destroyed and confidentiality maintained as described in Section III.A. of the College of Arts and Sciences Academic Honesty Report.
  • A student found to have committed a violation by the hearing committee shall have a right to appeal to the Dean of the college. Such appeal must be lodged with the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Affairs office in writing within one week of the date on which the student(s) were notified of the results of the hearing. If the decision of the hearing committee is appealed, the student(s) shall have the right to continue in the course affected by the sanctions without prejudice or other penalty pending the results of the appeal. Findings and sanctions imposed by the Dean shall be final. 
Establishing Standards, Procedures for Maintaining Records and Reporting of Final Decision

6.1 Student Records

If a student has been found to have committed a violation, a copy of the notice and a summary of the case shall also be forwarded to the dean of the college and be kept in the file of the student indefinitely. Summary information about the case and its outcome may, at the discretion of the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Affairs, be disclosed to deter others from committing dishonesty.

6.2 Notification

Within a month, the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Affairs will send written notification to the Academic Honesty Committee, the department chair/facilitator, and the instructor summarizing how the case was concluded. If the student is not a member of the College of Arts and Sciences, notification shall be sent to the dean's office of the student's college/school.

6.3 Destruction of Remaining Evidence 

This notification will serve as acknowledgment that the student has been contacted
regarding the outcome of the case and that the supporting evidence has been placed in the
student's file. In this report the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Affairs will issue a
reminder to destroy any outstanding evidence concerning the case and to maintain
confidentiality of the case to protect the integrity of the student.

 Updated 10/2017