Policy R-58

Title: Undergraduate Academic Integrity Policy
Number: R-58
Date of Inception: June 1, 2003

 

A 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 informs the student either in person or by e-mail. In the event the instructor cannot reach the student, such as when the student has gone home at the end of a semester, the instructor may choose to assign a grade of "I" (Incomplete) until the matter of academic dishonesty can be 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 to assign a grade of zero on that 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 will be completed on the Academic Violation Form by the Registrar's office upon receiving the 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 the placement in the student's academic records. The Registrar will forward copies of the Academic Violation Form to the student, the faculty member, department chair, academic dean, dean of students, provost or 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 provost or VPAA.

D. If upon receipt of the Academic Violation Form the Registrar determines this is the second offense committed by the student, then a grade of FD (Failure Due to Academic Dishonesty) will be assigned by the Registrar for the course regardless of the penalty 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. The student is then permanently disbarred from membership in any honorary society and is permanently ineligible for any CSU honor list. The student may petition the Academic Integrity Appeals Committee to have the dishonesty notation removed from the transcript after one year or upon graduating from the University if no additional dishonesty offenses occur and the student satisfactorily completes the Academic Integrity Program as approved by the Faculty Senate. The grade of F remains on the transcript. Upon receipt by the Registrar of a third offense, the Registrar will assign the grade of FD and then notify all parties. After all appeals are exhausted, if the third 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, appropriate academic dean, dean of students, provost or VPAA, and president. A copy of the final report with the three offenses will become a part of the student's permanent record. The university reserves the right to expel the student after a first or second offense, depending on the circumstances and at the sole discretion of the provost or VPAA.

Appeals

A. The student who wishes to appeal an academic violation charge should submit his/her appeal in writing by post or by e-mail to the Registrar's office by the appeal due date indicated on the Academic Violation Form, which is normally within ten regularly scheduled class days after the received date of the Academic Violation Form by the Registrar.  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 will notify in writing he instructor, the student, and the Registrar of the chair's decision. If the department chair 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 or dean, the student fails to show reasonable cause for further investigation, the chair or dean may deny the appeal. When, in the opinion of the department chair or dean, a student's appeal raises reasonable doubt as to whether a mistake or malfeasance has occurred, the chair or dean 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 or dean will request that the Registrar remove the Academic Violation Form from the student's record. The chair or dean will notify both the student and the instructor of this action. If the student appeal is received during Maymester, Summer I, Summer II or during final exam week of the Fall or Spring semesters and if the instructor, department chair, or dean 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 (Fall or Spring semesters). In extreme or unusual circumstances regarding the timeliness of the appeals process, the provost or VPAA will make the final determination.

C. 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. The appeal should be turned into the Registrar's office. 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. If the appeal to the Academic Integrity Appeals committee is submitted during Maymester, Summer I, Summer II or during final exam week of the Fall or Spring semesters, and if members of the Committee are unavailable, the due date for a decision shall be within fifteen days from the beginning of the next major semester (Fall or Spring). 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.

D. All results from the proceedings of the Academic Integrity Appeals Committee should be reported to the appropriate academic dean, dean of students, provost or VPAA, and president as information.

E. 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 elected by the general faculty: one from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, one from the College of Science and Mathematics and one from the Professional Schools. Faculty members are elected for three-year terms. Service dates are staggered, so only one position is up for election each year. The two student members are appointed by the Student Government Association officers for one-year terms. Students who have been found guilty of an academic misconduct violation may not serve on the Academic Integrity Appeals Committee. 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 that member will be replaced. If the member being replaced is a faculty member, then the provost or VPAA will select the replacement. Similarly, if the member being replaced is a student, then the Student Government Association officers or dean of students will select the replacement. The Academic Integrity Appeals Committee is distinct from the Faculty Appeals Committee that hears appeals of final grades as defined in policy R-45 of the CSU Policy and Procedure Manual. Note: During the appeals process, the student may continue to attend the class in which the violation occurred.

By action of the Faculty Senate and approval of the Board of Trustees on March 25, 2003. Updated by the Registrar, Chairperson of the Academic Integrity Committee and Assistant to the VPAA, July 2013 and approved by the Faculty Senate October 2013.