Policy Statement on Academic and Professional Integrity
The University is a community of learning whose effectiveness requires an environment of mutual trust and integrity. As members of this community, students share with faculty and administrators the responsibility to maintain this environment of academic integrity. Academic integrity is violated by any dishonesty in submitting for academic evaluation the assignments and tests required to validate the student's learning; professional integrity is violated by any dishonesty in meeting the responsibilities inherent in nursing practice. Where there is clear indication of academic or professional dishonesty, the faculty and/or administrators have the responsibility to apply sanctions in order to protect the environment of integrity necessary for learning and safe patient care.
While not all forms of academic dishonesty (deception for the purpose of academic gain) can be listed here, the following instances should be seen as actions that not only violate the mutual trust necessary between faculty and students, but also undermine the validity of the university's grading of students, and take unfair advantage of fellow students. It is academically dishonest to solicit, receive, or provide any unauthorized assistance in the completion of assignments and tests submitted for credit as part of a course.
Breaches of academic and professional dishonesty include, but are not limited to:
- Copying from another student's test paper, lab report, or clinical nursing assignment, or allowing another student to copy from oneself or one's work;
- Copying from a textbook or class notes during a closed book exam;
- Submitting material authored by another person but represented as the student's own work;
- Falsifying information written in a medical record or reported orally to an instructor or staff person in a nursing practice setting;
- Copying a passage or text directly from a book or journal, or using extensive paraphrasing without indicating the source or without using a recognized style for citing sources;
- Taking a test or writing a paper for another student;
- Taking a course for another student or securing another student to take a course for oneself;
- Securing or supplying in advance a copy of an exam without the knowledge and consent of the instructor;
- Submitting an assignment as new work when this same assignment had been completed for a prior course.
Any alleged or suspected violation of academic or professional integrity will be reported by the instructor to the course coordinator/coordinator of the major (hereinafter coordinator) and the program chairs. Steps of procedure are as follows:
- A complaint of an alleged violation by a student will be submitted in writing to the coordinator by the instructor. This should occur as close in time to the incident as reasonably possible.
- An informal preliminary investigation (discussion) will occur between student, instructor and coordinator. A copy of the written complaint and of this policy statement will be given to the student. On the basis of the preliminary investigation, the coordinator will decide whether there is reasonable cause to believe that a violation of academic or professional integrity has occurred. If there is reasonable cause to believe a violation has occurred, then a formal hearing shall be scheduled. If there is not reasonable cause to believe a violation has occurred, then the complaint will be dismissed.
- Notice of the alleged violation and date of the hearing will be given in writing by the coordinator to the student. The student's academic level will determine which committee will hold the hearing.
- The Hearing shall be held before the Admissions, Progression and Graduation Committee (APG) of the undergraduate program, master's program or doctoral program.
- The complainant, the accused, and the (APG) Committee have the right to present witnesses and to ask questions of witnesses at the hearing.
- Pertinent records, exhibits, and written statements may be accepted as evidence for consideration by the committee at the discretion of the chairperson.
- A record of the hearing should be made by tape recording or court reporter if the student is subject to expulsion or suspension.
- After the hearing, the committee shall determine by majority vote whether it believes the student has violated the policy. The committee's determination shall be made on the basis of whether it is more likely than not that the accused student committed the violation.
- A letter shall be sent by the chairperson of the APG Committee to the student, complainant and the program chair, of findings of fact and making a recommendation to the chair as to whether a violation has been committed and, if so, the appropriate sanction.
- The Program Chair's decision shall be sent in writing to the student and complainant with a copy to the committee.
- Sanctions shall include:
- Repeating the assignment
- Repeating the course
- Dismissal from the school
- In accordance with the University wide Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities, the disciplinary sanction of dismissal is required to be recorded on the student's permanent academic record.
- The student may appeal the decision of the Program Chair to the Director of School of Nursing by written letter filed within two weeks after the chair's decision. The Director's decision shall be put in writing to the student, complainant, chair and committee within two weeks.