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ARTICLE 30. ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT

Education at the university level requires intellectual integrity and trust between faculty and students. Professors are obliged to master their subject and present as fair an account of it as possible. For their part, students are obliged to make an honest effort to fulfill both the letter and the spirit of course requirements. Academic dishonesty violates both integrity and trust. It jeopardizes the effectiveness of the educational process and the reliability of publicly reported records of achievement.

Academic dishonesty by a student is defined as unethical activity associated with course work or grades.

It includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Giving or receiving unauthorized aid on examinations,
  2. Giving or receiving unauthorized aid in the preparation of notebooks, themes, reports, papers or any other assignments,
  3. Submitting the same work for more than one course without the instructor's permission, and,

Plagiarism. Plagiarism is defined as using ideas or writings of another and claiming them as one's own. Copying any material directly (be it the work of other students, professors, or colleagues) or copying information from print or electronic sources (including the internet) without explicitly acknowledging the true source of the material is plagiarism. Plagiarism also includes paraphrasing another individuals' ideas or concepts without acknowledging their work, or contribution. To avoid charges of plagiarism, students should follow the citation directions provided by the instructor and/or department in which the class is offered

Unless otherwise stated by the instructor, exams, quizzes, and out-of-class assignments are meant to be individual, rather than group, work. Hence, copying from other students’ quizzes or exams, as well as presenting as one's own work an assignment prepared wholly or in part by another is in violation of academic honesty.

The above guidelines do not preclude group study for exams, sharing of sources for research projects, or students discussing their ideas with other members of the class unless explicitly prohibited by the instructor. Since the violation of academic honesty strikes at the heart of the educational process, it is subject to the severest sanctions, up to and including receiving an "F" or "XF" (an "XF" indicates the "F" was the result of academic dishonesty) for the entire class and dismissal from the university.

When an instructor has a reasonable good faith belief that a student(s) has committed academic misconduct, that instructor has the sole discretion to give the student an F on the assignment/test to which the student committed academic misconduct or an F for the entire course. If such an F negatively affects the student’s final grade in the course, that student(s) may appeal the final grade pursuant to the current Pittsburg State University Catalog’s Grade Appeal process.

When the instructor wishes to impose an "XF", and/or more severe sanctions, he or she must first notify their department chair, dean, and the University’s Academic Honesty Committee Chairperson in writing. In addition, the same procedure applies if similar sanctions seem warranted for a student(s) or former student(s) who have assisted in a serious act of academic dishonesty.

University Academic Honesty Committee

The Academic Honesty Committee is convened under the auspices of the Provost. It is composed of nine members. The Faculty Senate Executive Committee is responsible for appointing six of these members. All must be full-time members of the teaching faculty. Members chosen by the Executive Committee serve staggered two-year terms. The Faculty Senate Executive Committee shall make its appointments at the beginning of the academic year. In addition to its six faculty members, the Academic Honesty Committee shall include three student members. Two (2) students of senior status shall be appointed by the Student Government Association. An additional (1) student shall be appointed by the Graduate Student Association. The students from both organizations will be appointed annually and at the beginning of the Fall semester.

The Vice President of the Faculty Senate will serve as the Academic Honesty Committee Chairperson. If the Vice President of the Faculty Senate is excluded because of possible bias, the President of the Faculty Senate will appoint a temporary chair. The Academic Honesty Committee Chairperson is responsible for advising the Provost on cases involving alleged student academic dishonesty.

The committee may impose one or more of the following sanction(s):

  • The imposition of a grade of "XF"
  • The addition of a permanent note on the student's transcript indicating his/her participation in a serious act of academic dishonesty (such as taking an exam for another student)
  • Disciplinary probation
  • Suspension
  • Expulsion from the university

The decision made by the Academic Honesty Committee may be appealed to the Provost.The following procedures shall be adhered to:

  • Step 1: The instructor charging a student with academic dishonesty shall submit a written request for hearing to the Chairperson of the Academic Honesty Committee, giving full detail of the alleged act(s) of academic dishonesty and send copies of the request to their department chair and dean. The Chairperson of the Academic Honesty Committee will then convene the committee and inform its members of the details of the incident. The aforementioned request shall be forwarded by the Chairperson of the Academic Honesty Committee to the student(s) charged with academic dishonesty. The committee shall then schedule a hearing to be held within fifteen (15) class days from the time of the instructor’s request.
  • Step 2: The instructor, and student(s) charged with academic dishonesty, will be notified of the time and date of the said hearing at least five (5) class days before the hearing is to be held. The instructor, and student(s) charged with academic dishonesty may seek advice concerning the hearing from any person such as a faculty member or department chairperson. The instructor and each student(s) may also be accompanied to the hearings by an advisor. The student(s), at their own cost, has the right to provide a transcriptionist at their hearing. Note: The university attorney has the right to be present at any Academic Honesty Committee hearing.
    The two parties, the instructor and student(s) charged with academic dishonesty, may each request removal of any one member of the committee. This request shall be presented to the chairperson of the committee in writing at least two (2) class days prior to the time of the hearing. After the request for removal has been made the chairperson will notify the individual and the respective individual will be removed from the hearing.
  • Step 3: The Academic Honesty Committee will conduct an appropriate hearing and may gather additional evidence pertaining to the issue.
    During the hearing, the instructor, student(s) charged with academic dishonesty, and witnesses with direct first hand knowledge of the incident shall have the opportunity to testify (within the guidelines and time frames established by the committee). Hearings are evaluations by members of the university community and are not legal proceedings. Cross-examination is the prerogative of the instructor, the student(s) charged with academic dishonesty, and the committee. For future reference, the hearing shall be audio tape recorded (Committee deliberations on sanctions shall not be recorded). During the entire process the proceedings of the committee shall be closed and confidential, unless the matter becomes the subject of litigation.
  • Step 4: Within five (5) class days of the conclusion of the hearing, the committee will render a written opinion concerning its findings, as well as a written verdict which the Provost will impose.
  • Step 5: Upon notification of the imposed sanction, the student(s) will have five (5) class days to appeal to the Provost. This appeal must be in a written format and must provide detail for the reason of the appeal.
  • Step 6: Once the Provost receives the appeal, he/she will have 8 class days to review the hearing and, in consultation with the President, render a decision. The Provost may uphold, or overturn the Academic Honesty Committee’s sanction(s) or propose an alternate penalty which the student may accept.

Removal of Sanctions

After two (2) years have elapsed, the student may present a written request for removal of the imposed sanctions to the Provost. If the request is not granted, the student may present up to 4 more requests for removal but in no case can the student present more than 1 request per year academic year.

If the request is granted, the student will be returned to good standing with the university and /or have the notification of the disciplinary action removed from their transcript, provided that no other sanction for academic dishonesty has been imposed in the interim. It shall be at the Provost's discretion to determine what fairness requires.