Saint Louis University

Policy on Academic Honesty


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

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 & 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 in their time as students 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, but also by its faculty, staff, and administrators as well. Each year, the Committee on Academic Honesty will pursue a variety of opportunities to heighten awareness of college policy and the ethical principles on which it is founded.

In freshman writing classes, students will receive instruction on plagiarism, including a full discussion of the circumstances in which sources must be cited and a detailed introduction to standard methods for incorporating and documenting material derived from others.

To foster an academic environment in which integrity is uppermost, the College also relies on the commitment of its teachers. New members of the faculty will receive information about the Policy on Academic Honesty during their college orientation. All instructors are asked to promote honesty in their classes, both by establishing clear rules for the preparation of academic work and by minimizing the opportunities and incentives for cheating. To support the efforts of the faculty in this area, the Committee on Academic Honesty will gather and disseminate suggestions on the most prudent ways to design tests and written assignments.

Despite the best efforts of students and faculty, however, there will always be cases of dishonesty. To ensure that members of the college community understand their rights and responsibilities and to establish clear definitions of misconduct, common procedures of adjudication, and a uniform system of sanctions, the Committee on Academic Honesty has prepared the following statement of policy. It is based on three principles:

December 10, 2007

 

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