Academic Integrity

RPTM Policy (Updated 04/14/09)

RPTM Policy According to Penn State Faculty Senate policy 49-20 on Academic Integrity “Academic integrity is the pursuit of scholarly activity in an open, honest and responsible manner. Academic integrity is a basic guiding principle for all academic activity at The Pennsylvania State University, and all members of the University community are expected to act in accordance with this principle. Academic integrity includes a commitment by all members of the University community not to engage in or tolerate acts of falsification, misrepresentation or deception. Such acts of dishonesty violate the fundamental ethical principles of the University community and compromise the worth of work completed by others.” http://www.psu.edu/ufs/policies/separate_policy/49-20.htm

Consistent with this expectation, the University's Code of Conduct states that “all students should act with personal integrity, respect other students' dignity, rights and property, and help create and maintain an environment in which all can succeed through the fruits of their efforts.” http://www.psu.edu/ufs/policies/separate_policy/49-20.htm

Academic Integrity Orientation

All students in RPTM will be oriented to PSU Faculty Senate Policies G-9 and 49-20 and the RPTM Policy on Academic Integrity via the following:

Academic Advisor and Undergraduate Coordinator Responsibilities: Document student attendance at an orientation to RPTM session offered each semester for new students to the major. This session will be offered no fewer than 2 times per semester.

Instructor of RPTM 120 Responsibilities: Review definition and procedures for Academic Integrity (see below)with students

All RPTM Instructors: Review the specific elements of Academic Integrity as they apply to each course in RPTM by the course instructor (e.g. Instructor of RPTM 210 will review the elements of Academic Integrity as they apply to assignments in RPTM 210) in both course orientation and as a written component of the course syllabus.

Suspicion of Academic Dishonesty

Adapted from Faculty Senate Policy G-9

Instructors Responsibilities

  • Inform student of allegation while taking into account the confidential nature of the information and goal of maintaining an environment that supports teaching and learning.
  • When evidence suggests that academic misconduct has occurred, enter the charge and the academic sanction on the HHD Academic Integrity Form, sign the form, and convey charge and sanction to student for signature. All attempts should be made for this interaction to be made in person.
  • After reviewing allegation of academic misconduct with student, the course instructor may provide student with additional period of time before student must decide and sign the Academic Integrity Form as to whether to accept the academic sanction. A student’s failure to sign and return the Academic Integrity Form by the specified deadline will be construed as not contesting the charge or sanction.

Note: Every effort should be made to settle issues between instructors and students by relying on the assignment of grades and course or program-related sanctions to support the learning process, rather than requesting additional University-level disciplinary sanctions. However, where integrity violations are considered to be extreme, faculty may opt to pursue a disciplinary action in conjunction with campus or college Academic Integrity Committee and Office of Student Conduct. A more detailed and comprehensive listing of the types of sanctions faculty may assign to students on the Academic Integrity Form can be found in the document Sanctioning Guidelines for Academic Integrity Violations. http://www.psu.edu/dept/oue/aappm/G-9.html

Throughout the academic integrity process, the authority to administer academic sanctions remains the responsibility of the instructor (or Academic Integrity Committee) when the case is managed and closed at the campus or college level. In situations where the allegation is referred to the Office of Student Conduct, the application of academic sanctions will be carried out by the Office of Student Conduct, but only in consultation with the campus or college Academic Integrity Committee.

Student Responsibilities

Once informed that academic dishonesty is suspected, the student may not drop the course during the adjudication process. Any drop or withdrawal from the course during this time will be reversed. A student who has received an academic sanction as a result of a violation of academic integrity may not drop or withdraw from the course at any time. These drop actions include regular drop, late drop, withdrawal, retroactive late drop and retroactive withdrawal. Any such drop action of the course will be reversed. This drop policy may be superseded in exceptional circumstances with the approval of the Office of Student Conduct (i.e., trauma drop).

  • If, after notification of a violation of academic integrity, a student fails to sign the Academic Integrity Form by the specified deadline, the adjudication process will go forward as defined the College of HHD procedures.

If Student Accepts Responsibility for Violation and Proposed Sanction

Instructor Responsibilities

  • Ask student to sign the CHHD Academic Integrity Form, then forward the form to the CHHD Academic Integrity Committee Chair or Coordinator
  • Request support from either the Undergraduate Coordinator or the Department Chair when meeting with the student to review the violation (optional)
  • After student accepts responsibility for violation, route white and yellow copy of CHHD Academic Integrity Form to Undergraduate Coordinator for review.

Undergraduate Coordinator Responsibilities

  • Provide notification to the Department Chair of the violation and forward yellow and white copies to CHHD Dean’s office and Office of Student Conduct respectively.

Note: In all cases, before submitting the CHHD Academic Integrity Form to the Office of Student Conduct for recording, it is the responsibility of the campus or college to determine through consultation with the Office of Student Conduct if the student has prior academic integrity violation(s).

If a prior recorded violation is discovered after the student has admitted responsibility and accepted the academic sanction(s), a new academic sanction will be considered by the CHHD Academic Integrity Committee while affording the student his or her institutional rights (including the right to contest the violation and/or new academic sanctions). Information concerning prior academic misconduct may not be used as a basis for judging a student's guilt, but it may be used as a basis for imposing additional academic sanctions or deciding whether disciplinary action is also warranted.

When a prior record of academic misconduct is discovered, the campus or college Academic Integrity Committee, in consultation with the Office of Student Conduct, may consider also recommending University-level disciplinary sanction(s). If University-level sanction(s) do apply, the Academic Integrity Form, along with other relevant documents, will be sent to the Office of Student Conduct for review and case management.

If the instructor recommends University-level disciplinary sanctions, and the campus or college Academic Integrity Committee is in agreement, then he/she will inform the student that the case will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct. If the case is referred to the Office of Student Conduct, jurisdiction for assigning all sanctions, academic and disciplinary, is the responsibility of that office, after consideration of the recommended academic sanction of the faculty member and of the campus or college Academic Integrity Committee.

Upon final disposition of the case, the Office of Student Conduct will communicate the outcome to the CHHD Academic Integrity Chair and/or CHHD Associate Dean.

If Student Does Not Admit Responsibility for Academic Integrity Violation

Instructor Responsibilities

  • Ask student to sign CHHD Academic Integrity Form indicating that the charge or sanction(s) is being contested and then forward form to CHHD Academic Integrity Committee Chair.
  • May request support from either the Undergraduate Coordinator or the Department Chair when meeting with the student to review the violation.
  • Route white copy of the CHHD Academic Integrity Form to Undergraduate Coordinator for review.

Undergraduate Coordinator Responsibilities

  • Provide notification to the Department Chair of the violation and forward yellow and white copies to CHHD Dean’s office and the Office of Student Conduct respectively.

CHHD Academic Integrity Committee Responsibilities:

  • Determine through consultation with the Office of Student Conduct if student has prior academic integrity violation(s).
  • When disciplinary sanctions have not been recommended by the instructor and the student does not have a record of previous academic integrity violations, the committee may conduct a review in accordance with their respective procedures.

Note: During the review, if the CHHD Academic Integrity Committee finds that the student violated standards of academic integrity the Committee may elect to: uphold the original charge(s) and sanction(s); uphold charges, but modify sanction(s); apply no sanction(s).

When the instructor and CHHD Academic Integrity Committee are in agreement that a disciplinary sanction(s) may be warranted, or the campus or college Academic Integrity Committee finds that a prior recorded violation of academic misconduct is present, then the case is forwarded to the Office of Student Conduct.

Office of Student Conduct Responsibilities

When a case is referred to the Office of Student Conduct, the Academic Integrity Committee will not manage the case, but will simply conduct a preliminary review before referring the case to the Office of Student Conduct. All formal fact-finding and hearing procedures will be conducted by the Office of Student Conduct in accordance with normal University operating procedures.

At the conclusion of the case, if the student is found responsible for violating the Academic Integrity Policy, the Office of Student Conduct may assign University-level disciplinary sanctions and contact the Academic Integrity Committee at the campus or college for assignment of any recommended academic sanctions.

Disciplinary Sanctions

Faculty may assign a wide range of sanctions to a student found responsible for violating academic integrity. Most faculty may choose to utilize academic sanctions (the modification of grades due to misconduct), but when referring cases to the Office of Student Conduct, faculty have the option to also recommend a full range of disciplinary sanctions available to the Office of Student Conduct such as: Disciplinary Warning; Disciplinary Probation; Temporary, Indefinite or Permanent Expulsion; or the "XF" transcript notation (see: Sanctioning Guidelines for Academic Integrity Violations and Explanations for Disciplinary Sanctions). http://www.psu.edu/dept/oue/aappm/G-9.html

"XF" sanctions are assigned only after consultation with the instructor, the CHHD Academic Integrity Committee, and the Office of Student Conduct. Assigning an "XF" notation to a student’s transcript should be a rare occurrence and is reserved for the most serious breaches of academic integrity, which may include repeat misconduct.

In any instance in which the instructor believes an "XF" sanction is warranted, whether or not the student has admitted responsibility, the case is forwarded to the campus or college Academic Integrity Committee which will determine in consultation with the involved faculty member, whether the case should be referred to the Office of Student Conduct for appropriate fact finding and judgment.

The campus or college Academic Integrity Committee must include, with any recommendation to the Office of Student Conduct for an XF grade, those conditions (if any) under which it would approve the removal of the "XF" sanction from the transcript. The Office of Student Conduct will consider this recommendation when deciding upon the length of time that the “XF” notation will remain on the student’s transcript. When the conditions are met for removal of the “XF,” an academic “F” will remain on the transcript. Such conditions must reflect both the circumstances of the individual case and consultation among the instructor, the campus or college Academic Integrity Committee, and the Office of Student Conduct.

Schreyer Honors College Students

For honors courses, as with all other courses, the campus or college delivering the course maintains responsibility for reviewing and issuing academic sanctions and/or referring cases to the Office of Student Conduct.
When a college finds that a Schreyer Honors College student has committed an academic misconduct, the Schreyer Honors College will be notified.

Students Involved in Other University Related Academic Activities/Programs
Students involved in other University related academic activities or programs (e.g., World Campus, Cooperative Education, internships, study abroad programs, etc.) are subject to the University Academic Integrity Policy as implemented by the appropriate campus or college responsible for delivering the program or course/activity.

Associate Dean and the Office of Student Conduct Responsibilities

The appropriate Associate Dean or designee is responsible for forming Academic Integrity Committees and seeing that students and faculty have ready access to such bodies. They are also responsible for seeing that all cases are reported to the Office of Student Conduct. The specific information reported to the Office of Student Conduct should include: (a) a copy of the signed Academic Integrity Form, and (b) other supporting documents that were established or reviewed while managing the case.

The Office of Student Conduct alone is responsible for the central record keeping and disclosing of student discipline records at the University, including academic dishonesty cases. The Office of Student Conduct will disclose student disciplinary records of academic dishonesty to third parties when those records include University-level disciplinary sanctions assigned by the Office of Student Conduct. The Office of Student Conduct will disclose student discipline record information to third parties in accordance with federal law (FERPA) and University policy on managing Student Discipline Records.