Policy GR-206

Title: Graduate Academic Integrity Policy
Number: GR-206
Date of Inception: August 22, 2003

Community of Honor

As a liberal arts university committed to the Christian faith, Charleston Southern University seeks to develop ethical men and women of disciplined, creative minds and lives that focus on leadership, service, and learning. The Honor System of Charleston Southern University is designed to provide an academic community of trust in which students can enjoy the opportunity to grow both intellectually and personally. For these purposes, the following rules and guidelines will be applied.

Academic Dishonesty “Academic Dishonesty” is the transfer, receipt, or use of academic information, or the attempted transfer, receipt, or use of academic information in a manner not authorized by the instructor or by university rules. It includes, but is not limited to, cheating and plagiarism as well as aiding or encouraging another to commit academic dishonesty.

“Cheating” is defined as wrongfully giving, taking, or presenting any information or material borrowed from another source – including the Internet--by a student with the intent of aiding himself or another on academic work. This includes, but is not limited to a test, examination, presentation, experiment or any written assignment, which is considered in any way in the determination of the final grade.

“Plagiarism” is the taking or attempted taking of an idea, a writing, a graphic, music composition, art or datum of another without giving proper credit and presenting or attempting to present it as one’s own. It is also taking written materials of one’s own that have been used for a previous course assignment and using it without reference to it in its original form.

Students are encouraged to ask their instructor(s) for clarification regarding their academic dishonesty standards. Instructors are encouraged to include academic dishonesty/integrity standards on their course syllabi.

Procedure:

A. It is the responsibility of an instructor to certify that academic assignments are independently mastered sufficiently to merit course credit. The responsibility of the student is to independently master academic assignments, refrain from acts of academic dishonesty, and refuse to aid or tolerate the academic dishonesty of others.

B. If an instructor determines that the student is guilty of academic dishonesty, the instructor must discuss the matter with the student. In the event the instructor cannot reach the student in a timely manner, such as when the student has gone home at the end of a semester, the instructor may assign a grade of “I” (Incomplete) until the student can be contacted and the matter of academic dishonesty discussed. The instructor then completes the “Academic Violation Form,” which should include evidence and other necessary documentation. The instructor will determine the appropriate penalty: either a grade of zero on the assignment in question or a grade of “F” in the course. The student will designate whether he/she accepts the penalty for the violation of the dishonesty policy or wishes to appeal the instructor’s decision. If a student elects to appeal, the “appeal due date” line must be completed on the Academic Violation Form. (See the Appeals section below for more information regarding the appeals process).

C. Upon completion, the instructor forwards the Academic Violation Form to the Registrar’s Office for placement in the student’s permanent record. The student is then permanently disbarred from membership in any honorary society, is permanently ineligible for any CSU honor list, graduate assistantship, or any University funded financial aid. The Registrar will forward copies of the Academic Violation Form to the student, the faculty member, department chair and/or graduate program director, academic dean(s), VPAA, and president. Not appealing when the form is first completed or by the appeal due date will be taken as an admission of guilt, except under compelling circumstances to be determined at the sole discretion of the VPAA.

D. If upon receipt of the Academic Violation Form the Registrar determines that the student is guilty of a second offense, then a grade of FD (Failure Due to Academic Dishonesty) will be assigned by the Registrar for the course regardless of the remedy specified on the Academic Violation Form. Assigning the FD is to be done by the Registrar when the second Academic Violation Form is placed in the student’s record, and the Registrar will notify all parties in writing. After all appeals are exhausted, if the second offense still stands, then the student will be permanently expelled from the University. The notice of expulsion will be forwarded to the student, department chair and/or graduate program director, appropriate academic dean(s), VPAA, and president. A copy of the final report with the two offenses will become a part of the student’s permanent record. The university reserves the right to expel the student after a first offense, depending on the circumstances and at the sole discretion of the VPAA.

* Please consult the CSU Student Handbook, available online at www.csuniv.edu, for other disciplinary sanctions applicable to academic dishonesty.

Appeals:

A. The student who wishes to appeal an academic violation charge should submit his/her appeal in writing to the, department chair and/or graduate program director, by the appeal due date indicated on the Academic Violation Form, which is normally within ten regularly scheduled class days after the completion date of the Academic Violation Form. This statement should contain the reasons for which the student is appealing the instructor’s decision. The burden of proof lies with the student in such a case to show that an error or malfeasance has occurred. Within ten regularly scheduled class days of receiving the written appeal, the department chair and/or graduate program director will notify in writing both the instructor and the student of the decision. If the department chair and/or graduate program director is also the instructor who files the Academic Violation Form, then the student must appeal to the appropriate academic dean.

B. When, in the opinion of the department chair and/or graduate program director, the student fails to show reasonable cause for further investigation, the chair and/or graduate program director may deny the appeal without taking further action. When, in the opinion of the department chair and/or graduate program director, a student’s appeal raises reasonable doubt as to whether a mistake or malfeasance has occurred, the chair and/or graduate program director will meet with the faculty member and with the student and render a decision within ten regularly scheduled class days of the receipt of the appeal. If the decision favors granting the student’s appeal, the department chair and/or graduate program director may request that the Registrar remove the Academic Violation Form from the student’s record. The chair and/or graduate program director will notify both the student and the instructor of this action.

C. If the student files the initial appeal or elects to appeal the chair’s and/or graduate program director’s decision during Extended Maymester, Maymester, Summer I, Summer II or during final exam week of the Fall or Spring semesters and if the instructor or department chair and/or graduate program director is not available during that time, all of the foregoing time requirements begin to run with the first day of class in the next major term. In extreme or unusual circumstances regarding the timeliness of the appeals process, the VPAA will make the final determination.

D. Any student who has exhausted the remedies open under the procedures outlined above may appeal the entire matter to the Academic Integrity Appeals Committee in writing within ten regularly scheduled class days of receiving the response from the department chair and/or graduate program director. Upon receipt of the appeal, the Academic Integrity Appeals Committee will review the matter and issue a decision within fifteen (15) regularly scheduled class days. The Academic Integrity Appeals Committee has the authority to deny the appeal, reduce the penalties in the event of extenuating circumstances, or direct the registrar to remove the record of the Academic Violation Form from the student’s permanent record. The results of the Academic Integrity Appeals Committee are final.

E. All results from the proceedings of the Academic Dishonesty Appeals Committee should be reported to the appropriate academic dean(s), and/or graduate program director, VPAA, and president as information.

F. The Academic Integrity Appeals Committee will be composed of five members: three faculty and two students. Faculty members must be full-time faculty and are selected by the four graduate program directors: one from Business, one from Criminal Justice, one from Education and one from Nursing. The two students are selected from the other graduate programs and are not in the appeal student’s graduate program.

G. Faculty members and students are selected as needed. If a member of the Academic Integrity Appeals Committee is unavailable, is involved in the matter being appealed, or feels that he/she must excuse himself/herself, then the appropriate graduate director will replace that member.

Note: During the appeals process, the student may continue to attend the class in which the violation occurred.

By action of the Graduate Council, August 22, 2003. Revised on April 15, 2011 and May 2015.