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VCU Honor System Virginia Commonwealth University.

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Presentation on theme: "VCU Honor System Virginia Commonwealth University."— Presentation transcript:

1 VCU Honor System Virginia Commonwealth University

2 from VCU Honor System: “Virginia Commonwealth University recognizes that honesty, truth, and integrity are values central to its mission as an institution of higher education.”

3 from VCU Accepted: “The VCU Honor System obliges each student to understand the types of conduct that are unacceptable, to refrain from acts of cheating and plagiarism and to report those who violate these standards.”

4 from VCU Accepted: “The system’s effectiveness depends upon each student’s acceptance of responsibility for it.”

5 A Student’s Responsibilities:  All VCU students are presumed upon enrollment to have acquainted themselves with and have an understanding of the Honor System.  It is a student’s responsibility to ask course instructors to clarify expectations for each assignment in order to be in compliance with the Honor System.

6 We remind the community …  ALWAYS bring questions to professors and faculty.  If you hear people talking about or you witness dishonorable activities contact the faculty member responsible for instruction or the Assistant/Associate Dean of the appropriate school/college.

7 Therefore …  Lack of knowledge of the policy is never an excuse for an infraction.  Lack of understanding of the stated directions for an assignment is never an excuse for an infraction.  “…enrollment in classes at VCU implies consent to observe and adhere to all university policies.”

8 Honor Pledge: “On my honor, I have neither given nor received aid on this assignment, and I pledge I am in compliance with the Honor System.” Did you know that instructors may give assignments to students in one of two ways: 1.As “pledged” work for which the students will sign a pledge statement indicating that the work was completed independently, or 2.As “unpledged” work, which may be completed in collaboration with others as directed by the instructor. Neither the presence nor the absence of a signed pledge statement, however, shall prevent a student from being charged with a possible violation or from being held to the standards of the Honor System. The Honor System

9 Honor System Violations:  Plagiarizing  Cheating  Facilitating Academic Dishonesty  Lying Related to Academic Matters  Stealing Academic Materials

10 Plagiarism: “Representing the words, ideas, facts, opinions, theories, illustrations, tables or any part of another’s work as one’s own on academic assignment without customary and proper acknowledgement of the source.”

11 (actual) Examples of Plagiarism:

12 Student’s Journalism Class Assignment: First three paragraphs:

13 From an article on

14 Paragraph from a student’s paper:

15 Paragraph from a journal article:

16 Assignment was for student to take pictures of specific faunae. Student used a picture from an internet source

17 Section of student’s paper From published source

18 Questions?

19 Cheating: “Receiving, giving and attempting to receive or give unauthorized assistance, such as materials, devices, information, notes, or sources, on academic matters.”

20 (actual) Examples of Cheating:

21 Phone found in the student’s lap. Found on the phone was cheat sheets…

22 Paragraph from Student #1’s paper:

23 Paragraph from Student #2’s paper:

24 Answers from Student #1’s final exam:

25 Answers from Student #2’s final exam:

26 Side by Side Comparison:

27 Answer from Student #1’s math homework:

28 Answer from Student #2’s math homework:

29 Side by Side Comparison:

30 Answer from Student A’s Exam

31 Answer from Student B’s Exam

32 Answer from Student A’s Exam. Incorrect for their version but identical to the alternative version of the exam Answer from Student B’s Exam. Correct for their version of the exam. Student B was sitting to the left of Student A.

33 Student’s answer from Spring 2011

34 The 2011 assignment question Question from 2009 Assignment

35 Part of Student C’s Code Part of Student D’s Code

36 Questions?

37 Facilitating Academic Dishonesty: “Helping or soliciting another person to commit an act of academic dishonesty.”

38 Example Facilitating Academic Dishonesty: Two programs/playbills from a tuba concert attended by two students. Student #1 attended the program – their signed program is on the top. The bottom program/signature belongs to student #2 who did NOT attend the program. Students #1 and #2 are roommates. A signature on the program is all that is needed to prove attendance and get a grade for the assignment.

39 Questions?

40 Lying: “ Transferring, transmitting or communicating any false statements concerning academic matters.”

41 A note submitted by a student:

42 The note the doctor actually gave to the student:

43 T.A.’s signature forged

44 Questions?

45 Stealing: “Taking or making Academic Materials inaccessible, thereby temporarily or permanently depriving others of its use or possession.”

46 Academic Integrity Quiz? How will you do?

47 Academic Integrity Quiz Thank you USC, VCU, BC & Cornell University Jerome is taking an upper level engineering class. There is a solutions manual available online. It shows how to work out every example problem in his textbook. The exams for the class are made up of example questions from the book. Jerome uses the solutions manual to study and practice, but does not use it when taking the exam. Is this a violation? Yes/No/Maybe

48 Academic Integrity Quiz Thank you USC, VCU, BC & Cornell University Alan is taking Organic Chemistry Lab. Students are required to keep a notebook for their lab experiments. They are told that they can not use another student’s, because they will be allowed to use it during quizzes and exams. During the last quiz, Alan had the notebook of a previous semester’s student on top of his desk. Is this a violation? Yes/No/Maybe

49 Academic Integrity Quiz Thank you USC, VCU, BC & Cornell University Ingrid is assigned to write a paper. She cuts and pastes material from Wikipedia into her paper. Because she also copied the source citations included on Wikipedia, she does not cite Wikipedia in her bibliography as a source for her paper. Is this a violation? Yes/No/Maybe

50 Academic Integrity Quiz Tom is taking two classes and has papers to write in each. The assigned topics for the final papers are overlapping, so Tom writes a single paper and turns it in for both courses. Is this a violation? Yes/No/Maybe

51 Academic Integrity Quiz Louisa has a midterm exam the following afternoon. She feels that she did not study enough, and would really like an extension. She sends an email to her professor, saying that she can’t attend the exam because she is sick. Is this a violation? Yes/No/Maybe

52 Academic Integrity Quiz Bill, Sally, and Mike are in the same math class and throughout the semester have met at the Commons to do their homework together – coming to consensus on answers and writing them in on their individual papers. Is this a violation? Yes/No/Maybe

53 Academic Integrity Quiz A student realizes that another student is looking at his/her test paper. They don’t know the second student, but don’t make any effort to cover their paper. We know that the “looker” is cheating, but is the other student guilty of an Honor Violation? Yes/No

54 Due Process:

55 What happens if accused? 1. Violation filed in writing with the Honor System Administrator within 30 calendar days of discovery. 2. Accused & Accuser:  Written notification.  Advisor. 3. Investigation – 30 days  Issuance of determination, or  Referral to University Honor Council.

56 Meeting with AIO:  Student is presented with the material submitted by the accuser and gathered by the AIO.  Advisor may or may not be present at this meeting.  Parents may be present for this meeting.  Student is given the chance to present any information they feel is important for the AIO to know in order to complete their investigation.  Decision about responsibility likely will NOT be made during this meeting.

57 Investigation, in summary: A. Student is invited to meet with AIO, via notification letter B. Meeting is held with student (and advisor); or case is adjudicated if student does not respond. C. Information is gathered from both the accused and the accuser. D. Determination is made and parties are notified.

58 Appeals:  Accused/Accuser may appeal the determination of the Academic Integrity Officer to the Honor Council.  The Accused may appeal the determination of the Honor Council to the University Appeal Board:  University Appeal Board consists of a student, a faculty member, a classified/hourly employee, and an administrative officer.  The recommendation of the UAB will be presented to the University President for review and action.  The decision of the President is FINAL.

59 Appeals:  Accuser/Accused have five business days to appeal decision of AIO.  Accused has five days to appeal UHC decision.  All appeals must be submitted in writing.  UAB/President’s decision cannot be appealed.

60 POSSIBLE VIOLATION Reported to Office of Judicial Affairs and Academic Integrity INVESTIGATION Within 30 Days Notify/Consult with Appropriate School FINDING Accuser and Accused Accept (Not Guilty) Case information destroyed or (Guilty) case filed and action recorded FINDING Accuser or Accused Appeal Possible Suspension/Expulsion, Second Violations, Multiple Violations, Accused Chooses HONOR COUNCIL Three students, two faculty and a non-voting student Chair determine not guilty/guilty and sanction Withdraws from University Hearing can be held or a hold is placed on the student’s registration and the process resumes if the student returns to VCU GUILTY AND SANCTIONNOT GUILTY Case information destroyed. Accused Accepts Case filed and action recorded Accused Appeals UNIVERSITY APPEAL BOARD Appeal based on procedural error, the availability of new evidence, if they are concerned that the policy has not been properly interpreted, if they believe the decision is not supported by the evidence, and if they feel the sanction imposed is not proportionate to the gravity of the misconduct. PRESIDENT Issues final decision

61 Sanctions: A student found guilty of a violation shall be subject to one or more of the following sanctions:  Honor Probation  Other Relevant Sanctions  Assignment of Grade “0” on a test/paper/assignment  Assignment of an “F” for the course grade (Transcript notation)  Suspension (Transcript notation)  Expulsion (Transcript notation)  Revocation (Transcript notation)

62 Remember: Sanctions assigned by the Honor System are intended to address specific violations. In some cases, however, the assignment of a sanction may result in the lowering of the accused’s cumulative grade point average, the accused’s loss of a graduate assistantship, or the accused’s dismissal from further enrollment in a program.

63 One for all... There is one Honor System for the ENTIRE university community. Assignment of a sanction may result in the lowering of the accused’s cumulative grade point average, The accused’s loss of a graduate assistantship, The accused’s dismissal from further enrollment in a program; These are points that the student should consider BEFORE violating Honor System, and not points the Academic Integrity Officer, the Honor Council, nor the University Appeal Board must consider once a violation has occurred.

64 Something to think about … From VCU Accepted: “A student who cheats* creates at least THREE problems for self and others: loss of knowledge that may be beneficial in the future, an unfair advantage over classmates who have not cheated and the possibility of forming a pattern of accepting lower standards of behavior that could lead to unethical conduct in other areas.” * Cheat is being used generally to address all Honor System violations.

65 Recommended Sanctions:  The recommended sanction for a student’s first violation is an ‘F’ for an assigned course grade. Although the Honor System can consider and assign other sanctions.  The recommended sanction for a subsequent determination of an honors violation is suspension for at least three semesters. NOTE: Honor probation is automatically on a student’s record until they receive their degree.

66 Honor Probation:  Remains in effect for duration of degree program.  NOT noted on the student’s transcript.  NOT reported to outside agencies.

67 Grade of “0” on Assignment:  Professor applies grade and recalculates grade for course as necessary.  Not noted on transcript as an Honor System issued sanction.

68 Other Relevant Sanctions:  Can be anything, but should be related to the violation;  Writing with Integrity Course at VCU Library  Ethics Class  Reflective Paper  Be very specific when assigning this sanction.  What, when due, to whom, etc.  Should NOT be used as a way to avoid giving the student an “F” or other sanction (i.e. Issuing a “C” for the course).

69 “ F” in Course:  Recommended sanction for any violation of the Honor System.  It is NEVER an inappropriate sanction.  Cannot be replaced by retaking class.  Transcript Notation.  Reported to outside agencies.

70 Suspension:  Appropriate for multiple violations of the Honor System or student who violates the policy a second time.  For a specified period of time; cannot exceed 2 years.  UHC must specify length of suspension (may be impacted by appeal).  If intended” F” in the course must also be stated as a sanction.  Suspension should NOT become effective after the expected date of graduation.  Noted on transcript while the student is suspended.  Reported to outside agencies.

71 Expulsion:  Appropriate sanction for multiple violations, repeat offenders, student previously suspended.  After 5 years the student may petition for readmission to the university.  Transcript notation.  Reported to outside agencies.

72 Revocation:  When a violation invalidates a major piece of work required for a degree then the sanction may include a recommendation to the university president for rejection of a thesis or dissertation or revocation of a degree or certificate.  Transcript notation.  Reported to outside agencies.

73 Honor Council Hearings: Honor Council:  Three Students.  Two Faculty.  One non-voting Chair (from the Executive Board). Determination:  Clear and convincing evidence.  Significantly more likely than not.  Four or more voting to find guilty.  Three of more voting to assign a sanction.

74 Honor Council Hearings:  Hearing is either result of an appeal by the accused or the accuser (of the AIO decision), a referral by the AIO, or a remand by the UAB.  The parties cannot be compelled to appear; the hearing will continue despite the absence of the accused or the accuser.  The accused student’s class schedule and the availability of the accuser are considered when scheduling the hearing.

75 Questions?

76 Read it:

77 Visit it:

78 Thank You Karen Belanger Director, Office of Judicial Affairs & Academic Integrity (804) Kevin Heise Coordinator, Academic Integrity (804)

79 Have a good one!

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