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Academic Integrity

Preamble

Academic integrity is a fundamental university value. Through the honest completion of academic work, students sustain the integrity of the university while facilitating the university’s imperative for the transmission of knowledge and culture based upon the generation of new and innovative ideas.

When an instance of suspected or alleged academic dishonesty by a student arises, it shall be resolved according to the following procedures. These procedures assume that many questions of academic dishonesty will be resolved through consultation between the student and the instructor (a process known as consultative resolution, as explained below).

It is recommended that the instructor and student each consult with the Academic Integrity Office and/or the Office of Student Advocacy for guidance and assistance.

Examples of Academic Dishonesty

Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Aiding in academic dishonesty. Knowingly taking action that allows another student to engage in an act of academic dishonesty including, but not limited to completing an examination or assignment for another student or stealing an examination or completed assignment for another student.
  • Cheating. Includes, but is not limited to: (1) use of any assistance not authorized by the course instructor(s) in taking quizzes, tests, or examinations; (2) dependence upon the aid of sources beyond those authorized by the course instructor(s) in writing papers, preparing reports, solving problems, or carrying out other assignments; or
    (3) stealing tests or other academic material belonging to the course instructor(s).
  • Falsifying academic materials. Fabricating laboratory materials, notes, reports, or any forms of computer data; forging an instructor’s name or initials; resubmitting an examination or assignment for reevaluation which has been altered without the instructor’s authorization; or submitting a report, paper, materials, computer data, or examination (or any considerable part thereof) prepared by any person other than the student responsible for the assignment.
  • Misrepresenting documents. Forgery, alteration, or misuse of any University or official document, record, or instrument of identification.
  • Plagiarizing. Copying or receiving material from any source and submitting that material as one’s own, without acknowledging and citing the particular debts to the source (quotations, paraphrases, basic ideas), or in any other manner representing the work of another as one’s own.
  • Purchasing academic assignments. Purchasing an academic assignment intended for submission in fulfillment of any course or academic program requirement.
  • Selling academic assignments. Selling or offering for sale any academic assignment to any person enrolled at the University at Buffalo. No person shall offer any inappropriate assistance in the preparation, research, or writing of any assignment, which the seller knows, or has reason to believe, is intended for submission in fulfillment of any course or academic program requirement.
  • Submitting previously submitted work. Submitting academically required material that has been previously submitted, in whole or in substantial part, without prior and expressed consent of the instructor.

Consultative Resolution

Step 1

If an instructor has reason to believe that a student may have committed an act of academic dishonesty, the instructor shall notify the student suspected of academic dishonesty within 10 academic days* of discovery of the alleged incident by email to the student’s UB IT address.

If an individual other than the instructor, including other students, faculty, or staff members, has reason to believe that a student may have committed an act of academic dishonesty, the individual shall notify the instructor or the Academic Integrity Office within 10 academic days* of discovery of the alleged incident.

Once the alleged incident has occurred, the student may not resign from the course without permission of the instructor. If the instructor does not wish to allow the student to resign from the course, the instructor will assign an incomplete grade while the incident is under review.

The instructor will meet and consult with the student within 10 academic days* of the date of notification. During the consultation, the instructor will inform the student of the alleged incident, and give the student a copy of the Academic Integrity Policy and Procedures. Either party may request department note-takers (staff or faculty, but not teaching assistants) and/or an audio recording device may be used to record the consultation meeting. If the student fails to attend the consultative meeting, the instructor has the authority to reach a decision without consulting the student directly.

Step 2

If, after consultation with the student, the instructor believes the student did not commit an act of academic dishonesty, no sanctions will be imposed, and the student will be notified of that finding by official university email. Procedures end.

If, after consultation with the student, the instructor believes the student did commit an act of academic dishonesty, the instructor has the authority to execute one or more of the following sanctions (see list below). Such sanctions will be assigned as “pending” status until the Academic Integrity Office receives notice from the instructor of the sanction and confirms the case at hand is the student’s first Academic Integrity Infraction. If the student has a prior infraction(s), then the sanction may be revised by the Office of Academic Integrity.

  1. Warning. Provide written notice to the student that he/she has violated a university academic integrity standard and that the repetition of the wrongful conduct may be cause for more severe sanctions.
  2. Revision of Work. Require the student to replace or revise the work in which dishonesty occurred. (The instructor may choose to assign a grade of “I” [Incomplete] pending replacement or revision of the work.)
  3. Reduction in Grade. Reduce the student’s grade with respect to the particular assignment/exam or final grade in the course.
  4. Failure in the Course. Fail the student in the course, to be indicated on the transcript by a grade of “F” without comment or further notation.
  5. Such other reasonable and appropriate sanction(s) as may be determined by the instructor with the exception of any Academic Integrity Office of University Sanction described below.
  6. Infractions committed by individuals not enrolled in the course will be reviewed by the Academic Integrity Officer and, if confirmed, will be assigned appropriate penalties or referred to judicial procedures.
  7. Recommendation of the following Academic Integrity Office Sanctions. The Academic Integrity Office must review and approve these recommendations.
    1. Failure in Course, Remediation Required, Temporary Notation of Academic Dishonesty. A grade of “F” for the course is recorded on the student’s transcript and a notation of an academic dishonesty is entered on the student’s transcript. The student is required to complete UB’s remediation assignment. Upon the student successfully passing the Academic Integrity Office assignment, the Academic Integrity Office will remove the notation from the student’s transcript. Failure to successfully complete the Academic Integrity Office assignment will result in the notation remaining permanently on the student’s transcript.
    2. Failure in the Course with Permanent Notation of Academic Dishonesty. A grade of “F” for the course is recorded on the student’s transcript with a permanent notation that the grade of “F” was assigned for reason of academic dishonesty.
  8. Recommendation of the following University Sanctions. The Academic Integrity Office must review and recommend these sanctions to the University President or his/her designee. Only the President or his/her designee may suspend or expel a student from the University.
    1. Suspension from the University. The student is suspended for a defined time period with stated conditions which may include a permanent notation on the transcript
    2. Expulsion from the University. The student is expelled, with permanent notation on the transcript.

Step 3

The instructor shall notify the student of a decision, any sanction(s) imposed, and the student’s right to appeal that decision, in writing. This Decision Letter shall be sent to the student via email to the student’s UB IT address, with a copy to the Academic Integrity Office. The student, the department chair, School/College dean’s office, and the Academic Integrity Office must be notified of the instructor’s decision within 10 academic days* of the date of the consultation meeting. It is the instructor’s responsibility to report the sanction, regardless of severity, to the Academic Integrity Office. A copy of the Instructor’s Decision Letter will be retained in a confidential file in the Academic Integrity Office. The student shall have access to their own confidential file.

Upon request and with the student’s permission Academic Integrity violations and sanctions may be reported by the Academic Integrity Office to an authorized body.

Remediation A record of all but the most severe infractions will be removed from an undergraduate student’s record in the Academic Integrity Office upon completion of UB’s Academic Integrity remediation assignment prior to graduation. Students who do not complete the assignment, will have the confidential record maintained in the Academic Integrity Office which shall be reported upon authorized requests for student disciplinary records.

If the course instructor believes that the infraction is serious enough to merit a waiver of the remediation process, the instructor will indicate that judgment when reporting the infraction to the Academic Integrity Office. Such a judgment will trigger automatic review by the Adjudication Committee.

Remediation is not available to students with repeat violations.

Academic Integrity Office Sanctions or University Sanctions

If the instructor recommends Academic Integrity Office or University Sanctions (see consultative resolution, Step 2, item 7), Academic Integrity Office procedures (outlined in this section) are required, before a final decision and sanctions can be enacted. Those procedures shall be initiated within 10 academic days* of receipt of the instructor’s Decision Letter.

Right to Appeal

The student may appeal the instructor’s findings. The student’s request for an appeal must be submitted in writing to the Academic Integrity Office within 10 academic days* after the instructor has notified the student of his or her decision. In the letter of appeal the student articulates if they are appealing the original judgement of academic dishonesty, the resulting sanction(s)/recommended sanction(s), or both.

Step 1

In cases where the student seeks to appeal an instructor decision, the student and instructor shall each provide a written statement of evidence supporting his or her position, any relevant documentation, and the names of potential witnesses to the Academic Integrity Office (hereafter referred to as the Office). The Office will review all case materials.

If the Office finds no cause to further consider the circumstances of the case, the Office will notify the student, via email to the student’s UBIT address, and the instructor within 10 academic days* of receipt of case materials, that the sanction(s) articulated in the instructor Decision Letter will be enacted. Student appeal procedures end.

If the Office finds cause to further consider the circumstances of the case, the Office will assemble an Adjudication Committee (hereafter referred to as the Committee) within 10 academic days* of the date the Office received case materials.

Step 2 (Committee Review)

The Academic Integrity Office will convene the Committee to a hearing and provide all materials to the Committee, the student, and the instructor at the time the notice of that hearing is delivered. Hearings shall take place on academic days, and the student and the instructor will be given at least 72 hours notice of the hearing.

At the hearing(s), the Committee will provide sufficient opportunity for both principals to present their positions and shall allow each principal the right to question those presentation(s) to the committee. The hearing(s) shall be conducted in a fair and expeditious manner, but shall not be subject to the rules governing a legal proceeding. Each principal shall have the right to be present and to have one advisor present at all hearings. In no such case shall the advisor be an attorney, unless he or she is a member of the UB faculty who is not acting in a legal capacity on behalf of a principal. An advisor may not speak on behalf of a principal or otherwise address members of the hearing committee. Either principal may ask the Committee chair if they may participate in hearings remotely. In exceptional circumstances, such as where either party is considered to pose a physical threat to the other or to the Committee, the chair of the Committee may require that either principal participate remotely.

The technical and formal rules of evidence applicable in a court of law are not applicable at Academic Integrity Hearings, and the Committee may review all relevant and reliable information that will contribute to an informed final decision. The Committee shall only consider information relevant to the current alleged misconduct.
Information regarding a student’s formerly alleged or documented academic misconduct cannot aid in determining whether or not the student is responsible for violating academic integrity in the current case. However, such history may be introduced during the sanctioning phase of the case under review. At the conclusion of the hearings, the Committee will meet privately to deliberate the case. All Hearings and Committee meetings shall be confidential.

The Committee will provide the student, instructor, the department chair, Academic Integrity Office and the school/college dean, with a written statement of findings and any sanctions assigned within 10 academic days* of the final meeting of the committee.

The decision made by the Committee may take one of three forms.

  • Findings Overturned, No Sanctions. A finding that no academic dishonesty took place and that no sanctions will be imposed. The student is thus exonerated, and any documentation related to the case within the Academic Integrity Office will be expunged.
  • Findings Sustained, Sanctions Sustained. A finding that academic dishonesty occurred as described in the original instructor Decision Letter, and that the sanction(s) stand as previously enacted or recommended.
  • Findings Sustained, Sanctions Revised. A finding that academic dishonesty occurred but that a different sanction from the one originally enacted by the instructor is more appropriate. This finding may involve an alternative sanction that is either more or less severe from the one originally enacted.
  • Right to Appeal. The student or instructor can appeal the decision of the Adjudication Committee to the Director of the Office of Academic Integrity within 10 academic days of being notified of the Committee’s decision. Appeals are only permitted on procedural grounds, if there is substantial new evidence, or if either party feel the penalty is not commensurate with the violation. Appeals shall be determined by the Director of the Office of Academic Integrity who may elect to uphold the original decision or appoint a second Adjudication Committee following the procedure outlined above. In cases where the academic integrity penalty affects graduation, transfer status or eligibility, the student may request an expedited review of his/her appeal. No additional appeal is permitted. This decision is final and may not be further appealed.

No Right to Further Appeal

The decision of the subsequent Committee or review is final, and no further appeal is available.

*Academic days are defined as weekdays, when classes are in session, not including the summer or winter sessions as defined by the University Academic Calendar. With the agreement of all principals and the Academic Integrity Office, proceedings may continue during non-academic days.

 
Published: Mar 25, 2019 15:10:12