Academic Honesty

Colby-Sawyer College is committed to high standards of academic honesty. Such standards are central to the process of intellectual inquiry, the development of individual character and the maintenance of the college community. The integrity of academic life depends on cooperation among students, faculty and staff.

Forms of Academic Dishonesty

Plagiarism

  • Plagiarism is the submission of material as one’s own work that is not the result of one’s own effort. It is the use or imitation of the work of another author or artist and the representation of the work as one’s own. Examples include:
    • Quoting paragraphs, sentences or parts of sentences from other sources without the use of quotation marks and without the use of citations. Sources include but are not limited to the following:
      • Printed sources such as books, essays or articles;
      • Video and audio sources, such as taped interviews or television programs;
      • Papers, videotapes and audiotapes by other students;
      • Electronic sources such as internet, World Wide Web and CD-ROM.
    • Paraphrasing pages, paragraphs or sentences without acknowledging the source.
    • Using other people’s ideas without giving them credit.
    • Writing a paper based on outside sources without using citations and a complete bibliography.
    • Acquiring papers or academic work and submitting it as one’s own.
  • Cheating
    • Giving, as well as receiving, aid on papers, laboratory experiments, quizzes and exams when not authorized by the faculty member.
    • Handing in papers that are the product of another person’s work.
    • Using notes during a quiz or exam without authorization to do so.
    • Copying from another student’s paper for an assignment or during a quiz or exam.
    • Using one paper for two different classes without prior arrangement with the faculty member(s) involved.
    • Accessing online sources, sites, information during a test, quiz or other assignment when not authorized by the faculty member.
    • Giving papers or academic work to another student for submission without prior arrangement with the faculty member(s) involved

General Violations

The above lists are examples and not meant to be comprehensive. Misrepresenting information to faculty members as well as forging information and/or signatures is considered dishonest behavior and subject to penalty.

Responsibility of Students

  • Students are responsible for knowing what constitutes plagiarism and cheating.
  • Students are expected to cultivate a working understanding of creative integrity and to act accordingly as an ethical practitioner. Students are expected to consult with their faculty about permissible appropriation in the arts or about the nuances of inspiration versus influence versus imitation.
  • Students are not permitted to submit the same paper or project for credit in more than one course without prior written consent of all faculty members and proper citation of the work itself. Students using elements of one of their prior papers/projects in a subsequent paper or project should properly cite the original. Occasionally, a student may wish to use the same research in the fulfillment of assignments for more than one course. In such cases, the student must obtain the permission of each of the faculty members involved.
  • No student shall procure, without the written authority of the faculty member, the questions or answers of any exam to be given at a subsequent time or employ unauthorized aids while taking an exam.
  • No student shall aid another in violating the academic honesty policy (sell or give a paper, take another’s test, etc.).
  • Students and all members of the college community are expected to maintain high standards of academic integrity.

Responsibility of Faculty and Staff

Faculty and staff shall take reasonable steps to reduce the possibility of cheating and shall exercise caution in the preparation, duplication and security of examinations. Faculty members who have evidence that a student has violated the academic honesty policy and have penalized the student for such action must report the violation to the academic affairs coordinator.

Procedures

If a faculty member believes the policy on academic honesty has been violated, the following procedures shall be followed:

  • The faculty member may choose to discuss the incident and/or the process to be followed with the appropriate school dean.
  • The faculty member discusses the incident with the student.
  • Responsive options:
    • After discussing the incident with the student, if the faculty member determines that it is more likely than not that an honesty policy has been violated, the faculty member may decide the penalty, which should be consistent with the course syllabus specifications. Penalties may include, but are not limited to: failure of the examination, assignment or course.
    • The faculty member will submit the student’s name, a written description of the violation and the penalty to the academic affairs coordinatorand to the student. In addition, the evidence to support the finding of academic dishonesty will be sent to the academic affairs coordinatorand student.
    • If the student is not enrolled in the class in which the alleged violation occurred (e.g., the student provided a paper from a previous term or took a test for another student), the academic affairs coordinator, upon receiving the report from the faculty member, will meet with the student to discuss the incident and decide on the penalty.

Responsibilities of the Academic Affairs Coordinator

  • Once the academic affairs coordinator receives the report from the faculty member, he/she will schedule a meeting with the student to explain the policy, discuss the evidence and review the process.
    • If the student chooses to appeal the faculty member’s finding, the academic honesty appeals process will be implemented.
    • If a student withdraws from a course prior to or following an act of academic dishonesty, the faculty and/or administrative decision concerning the penalty for the act of academic honesty supersedes the withdrawal; thus, the student may be deemed to have failed the course for academic dishonesty and therefore assigned a grade of “F.”
  • Single/Multiple offenses
    • If the academic dishonesty violation is the first for a particular student, the academic affairs coordinator will maintain a record of the violation and may require an educational component.
    • An academic honesty violation may impact a student’s eligibility for certain college awards, honors or scholarships.
    • If the academic dishonesty violation is a repeat offense for a particular student, the academic affairs coordinator may levy an additional penalty beyond the penalty issued by the faculty member. In addition, the academic affairs coordinator will maintain a record of the violation.
      • Normally, a second offense will result in a suspension for a semester which may be the current or following semester.
      • Normally, a third offense will result in a dismissal.
  • If an alleged violation took place in a class taught by the academic affairs coordinator, then the academic vice president and dean of faculty will appoint a school dean to assume the academic affairs coordinator’s role.

Records

All records will be maintained in the academic affairs coordinator’s files. For one violation, the record will be destroyed at the point of graduation or the student’s withdrawal from the college. For multiple academic honesty violations, a permanent record will be placed in the student’s file and a notation will appear on the transcript. A dismissal also results in a permanent record.

Academic Honesty Appeals Process

Appealing a Faculty Member’s Finding
Students may appeal a finding of academic honesty violation or associated penalty and request a hearing for the following reasons:

  • Evidence of procedural error in the initial sanctioning process;
  • Imposition of an inappropriate or excessive penalty; or
  • Evidence to refute a faculty member’s finding. Simple disagreement with a faculty member is not a sufficient basis for an appeal.

After meeting with the academic affairs coordinator, a student may petition in writing to the academic affairs coordinator to appeal the finding of academic honesty violation or associated penalty. This appeal must be received by the academic affairs coordinator within a period of five business days from the date of the academic affairs coordinator’s meeting with the student. The petition for appeal must be based upon one of the claims listed above.

Upon receiving an appeal request the academic affairs coordinator will assemble an Academic Honesty Appeals Board consisting of two faculty members and one staff member from the Academic Review Board. Whenever possible, at least one of the members of the board will be a tenured faculty member. The academic affairs coordinator will serve as the chair and non-voting member. In the event that a faculty member or staff member feels that he or she should not participate in the hearing of a particular case, the academic affairs coordinator will complete the board with another member of the Academic Review Board or find another member of the faculty or staff if another Academic Review Board member is not available. A voting member of the board is not permitted to abstain from voting once the facts and issues of the case have been presented.

Once assembled, the Academic Honesty Appeals Board will meet to discuss the process, including information that is needed, dates for submission of this information to the Appeals Board and timeline for the hearing. All information requested by the Appeals Board will also be sent to the student and faculty member involved in the hearing. The hearing will take place as promptly as circumstances allow. Every effort will be made to have this occur prior to the start of the next academic semester. During an Academic Honesty Appeals Board hearing, all parties will have the opportunity to present evidence and arguments relevant to the disputed decision. An Academic Honesty Appeals Board hearing may result in one of the following actions:

  • Confirmation of the original faculty decision;
  • Confirmation of the original faculty decision and alteration of the original penalty; or
  • Reversal of the original faculty decision and cancellation of the original penalty.

The determination of the Academic Honesty Appeals Board is final.

Appealing Penalties Levied by the Academic Affairs Coordinator
If a student is appealing the academic affairs coordinator’s additional penalty for a multiple offense or if the academic affairs coordinator is the instructor for the course where academic dishonesty is alleged, the student should send the appeal to the academic vice president and dean of faculty within a period of five business days of the meeting with the academic affairs coordinator. The academic vice president and dean of faculty will appoint a school dean to assume the academic affairs coordinator’s role for the appeal process.

Burden of Proof/Evidentiary Standards
Formal rules of process, procedure and/or technical rules of evidence, such as those applied in criminal or civil court proceedings, are not used in academic honesty appeal hearings. The standard that the appeals board will use is the standard preponderance of evidence (or commonly referred to as the more likely than not standard). The Academic Honesty Appeals Board shall not consider written statements against a student or faculty member unless the student or faculty member has been advised of their content and the identity of those who made them and has been given the opportunity to rebut unfavorable inferences which might be drawn from them. A simple majority is required for a valid finding and for sanctioning.

Hearing Advisor
A student or faculty member involved with an Academic Honesty Appeals Board hearing, either as a party or as a witness, may be accompanied during the hearing by an advisor from within the Colby-Sawyer College community, exclusive of legal counsel or members of the Academic Honesty Appeals Board. Such advisors may confer with the student or faculty member during the hearing but may not participate in the hearing or speak in place of the involved party.

Notice
A member of the Academic Honesty Appeals Board will verbally notify the accused and the accuser of their decision on the day of the hearing. The academic affairs coordinator will send written notification of the appeal decision to all parties within a period of five business days of the hearing. A copy of this written notification will be stored in the academic affairs coordinator’s files.