(This code was inspired by similar examples at other institutions of higher learning, including the University of Maryland, and Vanderbilt, Yeshiva, Wright State, Shippensburg, and George Washington Universities.)
We, the students and faculty of the University of Maine at Farmington, dedicate ourselves to upholding the highest standards of academic integrity. Academic integrity means that one's work is the product of one's own effort, and one neither receives nor gives unauthorized assistance in any assignment. Because advanced academic work depends on the sharing of information and ideas, academic integrity at the college level includes rigorous adherence to the conventions for acknowledging one's use of the words and ideas of other people, and instruction in this fundamental skill of college life is available to all UMF students. As members of the UMF community as well as the broader community of seekers of knowledge and truth, we affirm academic integrity as a central value because we recognize the following:
- The purpose of education is to attain knowledge and develop skills, and this purpose is achieved only through academically honest work. When students create academically dishonest assignments, they do not receive the full benefits of their courses; moreover, they prevent instructors from accurately gauging the capabilities of their students and, thus, prevent instruction from being offered at an effective level.
- Education flourishes in a climate of trust. Students, in devoting time and energy to their academic assignments, need to know that their peers are not seeking an unfair advantage over them, and instructors, in devoting careful attention to their students' work, need to know that the work is that of their students. Only academically honest actions establish and sustain trust among students and between students and faculty.
- Education flourishes in a climate of respect for intellectual and artistic labor, and the rigorous adherence to the standards of academic integrity, especially the conventions for acknowledging one's use of others' words and ideas, is essential to such a climate.
- The reputation of UMF and the value of a UMF diploma depend on the genuine accomplishments of UMF graduates and, thus, on the academic integrity of the entire UMF community.
- Clearly (as the above items make evident), an act of academic dishonesty jeopardizes all members of our community, not just the perpetrator. Thus, in no circumstance is academic dishonesty acceptable.
- Although dishonesty may seem prevalent in some educational and even professional settings, we, by steadfastly adhering to the highest standards of academic integrity, strive for excellence and fashion ourselves true leaders.
All members of the UMF community are responsible for learning the standards of academic integrity and ensuring that all of their work meets them. As part of this process, students generally are expected to sign a declaration that they have read and understand the Code of Academic Integrity. Students who, for whatever reason, do not sign will still be held to the standards of the Code of Academic Integrity. If students have questions about the academic integrity of their work, they should discuss these with their instructors before turning in the work. Ignorance and carelessness are not justifications for violation of the code. Violations of academic integrity include, but are not limited to, the actions listed below.
Plagiarism: the representation of others' words or ideas as one's own. For example,
- Submitting as one's own work an examination, paper, homework assignment, or other project (laboratory report, artistic work, computer program, etc.) that was created entirely or partially by someone else.
- Failure to use quotation marks to signal that one is using another person's precise words. Even brief phrases must be enclosed in quotation marks.
- Creating an academically dishonest paraphrase. When paraphrasing (presenting another person's ideas or information in one's own words), one must find truly one's own way of expressing the original meaning. Simply inserting synonyms into the source's sentence structures is plagiarism.
- Failure to identify the source of quotations and paraphrases. Of course one must cite the source of quotations; one must also cite the source of ideas and information that is not common knowledge even when paraphrased (presented in one's own words). Sources include unpublished as well as published items -- for example, books, articles, material on the Internet, television programs, instructors' lectures, and people, including other students, friends, and relatives.
- Failure to identify the source of the elements of a nonverbal work (for example, a painting, dance, musical composition, or mathematical proof) that are derived from the work of others.
Cheating: the use or attempted use of unauthorized assistance in an examination, paper, homework assignment, or other project. For example,
- Copying answers from another student's examination.
- Communicating in any way with another student or a third party during an examination without the permission of the instructor.
- Using unauthorized materials or devices (including notes, textbooks, and calculators) during an examination without the permission of the instructor.
- Obtaining and/or reading a copy of an examination before its administration without the permission of the instructor.
- Collaborating with other students or third parties on a take-home examination, paper, homework assignment, or other project without the permission of the instructor.
- Fabrication of data: Inventing or falsifying the data of a laboratory experiment, field project, or other project.
- Fabrication of a citation: Inventing a phony citation for a research paper or other project.
- Alteration of an assignment: Altering a graded examination, paper, homework assignment, or other project and resubmitting it to the instructor in order to claim an error in grading.
Duplicate Work: Submitting a paper or other project in more than one course without the permission of the instructors. Students are expected to produce original work for each course. A student should not submit identical or substantially similar papers or projects in two different courses (in the same or different semesters) unless both instructors have given their permission.
Facilitating Academic Dishonesty: assisting another student's academic dishonesty. For example,
- Writing a paper or other project for another student.
- Allowing another student to copy from one's examination, paper, homework assignment, or other project.
- Assisting another student on a take-home examination, paper, homework assignment, or other project if one knows or suspects such assistance is not authorized by the instructor.
Other Forms of Dishonest Conduct: any actions by which one seeks an unfair advantage over others. For example, destroying or altering the academic work of another student.
Adhering to the standards of academic integrity, one has the right to enjoy the benefits of an academically honest community, but that right comes with an additional responsibility. In addition to ensuring their own work is academically honest, all members of the UMF community share the responsibility for encouraging the academic integrity of others. An important way to encourage academic integrity is not to tolerate academic dishonesty. Failing to respond to a violation of the code is the equivalent of condoning that violation and encouraging future violations. Only when all of us respond reliably to acts of academic dishonesty is the academic integrity of our community protected.
- Faculty members are expected to report all suspected violations of the code of academic integrity through the procedures that are detailed below. These procedures are designed to create a fair and consistent system for dealing with alleged violations of the code. Of course, faculty members should also take reasonable measures to discourage academic dishonesty -- for example, including in the syllabus a statement about academic integrity that clarifies any specific guidelines for the course, instructing students in any procedures of academic integrity within the discipline that are especially challenging, and proctoring examinations.
- Students are strongly encouraged to respond to violations of academic integrity that they witness. It is especially recommended that a student promptly report the violation to the instructor of the course in which it occurred. It is also appropriate for a student to speak to the perpetrator of the violation, explaining his or her disapproval. Students who are not certain how they wish to respond to a violation should feel free to consult with faculty members or advisors; in asking for guidance, students are not committing themselves to making a formal allegation.
A violation of the code of academic integrity is a distinctly grievous act that jeopardizes the entire community, not merely the education of the individual perpetrator. Because this code ensures that all students are familiar with the standards of academic integrity, a violation of the code is an implicit statement made by the perpetrator that he or she is unwilling or unable to uphold the central value of our community. In imposing a sanction when the code is violated, the community implicitly communicates its own statement in response. To reaffirm the centrality of academic integrity, the sanction imposed for any violation is severe, typically exceeding the consequences of other forms of academic failure. While a student who invests little effort in studying or procrastinates until the night before the due date of a major assignment likely will earn a low grade, a student who chooses to violate the code should expect a sanction that emphatically signals that academic dishonesty is a failure that surpasses any other shortcoming in academic behavior. It is crucial that instructors and the Student Conduct Committee have the latitude to select a sanction that is appropriate for the specific circumstances of each case, but it is also vital that a sanction reflect the principles of a community that has explicitly pledged itself to uphold the highest standards of academic integrity. Mild sanctions trivialize academic integrity, and sanctions that vary radically from one course to another suggest that academic integrity is a value that is prized unevenly within the community. This section of the code attempts to articulate a clear but flexible framework to assist instructors and the committee in the important task of assigning sanctions.
- For a first violation, the minimum sanction will be the reduction of one full letter grade in the course (e.g. B+ to C+); the maximum sanction will be a grade of F for the course accompanied by a transcript notation of X, which means Failure due to academic dishonesty. In the special case of a first violation that occurs in a course that is graded pass/fail, the sanction conforms to the spirit of this schedule, but, given the limited range of grades, the sanction need not necessarily result in failure of the course. In any course, additional action, including but not limited to the following, may apply: repeating the assignment, extra assignments, and attendance at ethics seminars. Moreover, all first violators are ineligible for the next Dean's List.
- For a second violation, the minimum sanction will be a course grade of F accompanied by a transcript notation of X. The maximum sanction for current students will be expulsion from the university and, for students whose violation is determined after graduation, revocation of the degree. Moreover, all second violators are ineligible for all future academic honors and awards, including all future Dean's Lists, departmental and university awards, and graduation honors.
- For a third violation, the sanction will be expulsion from the university or revocation of the degree.
- While their case is pending or after they have been found In Violation of the Code of Academic Integrity, students may not withdraw from the course in which the alleged or proven violation occurred.
- Although treated like an F in the computation of grade point average and determination of academic standing, the X transcript notation is designed to emphasize the uniquely grievous nature of academic dishonesty. A strong deterrent (especially to students whose weak performance in a course might make the threat of a mere grade penalty, even an F, negligible), the X notation is also designed to foster genuine rehabilitation because a student who receives an XF is invited to petition to have the X removed from the F after a year.
1. Alleged violations of the Code of Academic Integrity are to be reported as soon as they have been detected. There is a one year statute of limitations on all charges of academic dishonesty, beginning at the conclusion of the semester in which the violation is alleged to have occurred.
2. Faculty who suspect that a student has violated the Code of Academic Integrity are expected to fill out an Academic Integrity Violation Form in order to document the alleged violation. When completing the Academic Integrity Violation Form, the instructor has the option of recommending sanctions. These sanctions can include the recommendation that the case be referred immediately to the Student Conduct Committee for a formal hearing.
3. Once an Academic Integrity Violation Form has been completed, the faculty member must meet with the student to discuss the alleged violation. If, during the course of this meeting, the faculty member becomes convinced that he or she was mistaken, the Academic Integrity Violation Form will be destroyed and the matter will be considered resolved. If, however, the faculty member continues to suspect that a violation of the Code of Academic Integrity has taken place, then the faculty member retains the original, gives the student a carbon copy, and forwards copies to the student's advisor and the Student Conduct Officer (normally the VP for Student and Community Services).
4. Upon receipt of the Academic Integrity Violation Form, the Student Conduct Officer will arrange to meet with the student to discuss the student's options for responding to the allegation:
a) Students may plead no contest to the charge by signing the appropriate line on the form. If they choose this option, the academic sanctions recommended by the instructor automatically apply. These sanctions can include, but are not limited to, the following: reduction of one full letter grade in the course (the minimum sanction for a first offense), receipt of a grade of F for the course, redoing the assignment, additional assignments, attendance at ethics seminars, and immediate referral to the Student Conduct Committee. If the instructor's recommended sanction is an X transcript notation, this sanction will be imposed after review by the Student Conduct Officer. For a first offense, this sanction can be imposed only if recommended by the faculty member.
b) Students may contest the severity of the faculty member's recommended non-grade related sanctions by signing the appropriate line of the Academic Integrity Violation Form. If they choose this option, they admit that the alleged violation of the Code of Academic Integrity occurred and request a hearing. The Student Conduct Officer will refer the matter to the Student Conduct Committee. Imposed sanctions may reduce, uphold, increase or supercede the faculty member's non-grade related recommendation. Student Conduct Committee hearings will be scheduled by the Student Conduct Officer. Students contesting recommended faculty sanctions may submit written statements to the Student Conduct Officer clarifying their position at any time prior to their scheduled hearing. Students wishing to contest grade related sanctions must pursue a separate appeal as outlined in the UMF catalog.
c) Students may contest the allegation of academic dishonesty by signing the appropriate line on the Academic Integrity Violation Form. If they choose this option, a hearing before the Student Conduct Committee will be scheduled by the Student Conduct Officer. Students contesting allegations may submit written statements to the Student Conduct Officer clarifying their position at any time prior to their scheduled hearing. While the allegation of academic dishonesty is being contested, students will retain all of the rights and privileges as an enrolled student, including within the course where the violation is alleged to have occurred. Furthermore, no sanctions will be applied pending the outcome of the Student Conduct Committee's deliberations. If the Student Conduct Committee subsequently finds that the student is In Violation of the Code of Academic Integrity, then the matter will be returned to the faculty member for the application of grade related sanctions. For cases involving second or third violations of academic dishonesty, the Student Conduct Committee will impose an X transcript notation The Committee may also impose additional non-grade related sanctions, including suspension or expulsion from the university. Since the Student Conduct Committee has no authority over grades, students found In Violation of the Code of Academic Integrity may pursue a separate appeal of any grade related sanctions under the grade grievance process outlined in the UMF catalog.
5. After the initial meeting with the student, the Student Conduct Officer will create a confidential Academic Integrity Violation File for the student. Any written statements submitted by the complaining faculty member or student as clarification of their positions regarding the alleged violation will be placed in this file for possible review by the Student Conduct Committee and as a means of tracking repeat offenders. The contents of Academic Integrity Violation Files will be retained for one year after the student graduates or for four years after the student withdraws from UMF.
6. All cases involving repeat violators, as determined by the Student Conduct Officer based on the contents of a student's Academic Integrity Violation File, and any cases in which the faculty member recommends a hearing will automatically trigger a hearing before the Student Conduct Committee. The Student Conduct Officer is responsible for scheduling this hearing and will notify all interested parties of the time and location of the scheduled hearing and the composition of the Student Conduct Committee which will hear the case. Pending resolution of the case, the student will receive a grade of NG for the course if the semester concludes before the hearing is held.
7. Hearings will be conducted according to established University of Maine system guidelines. These guidelines can be found at http://www.maine.edu/policyscc501.html.
8. If the student is exonerated, a notice of acquittal will be placed in the student's Academic Integrity Violation File until the expiration of the one year statute of limitations for that particular charge in order to prevent double jeopardy. All other records of that case will be destroyed. Notations of acquittal will have no bearing on any future cases and may not be entered as evidence in future hearings.
9. Students found In Violation of the Code of Academic Integrity who wish to contest the Student Conduct Committee's ruling and/or the sanctions imposed by the Committee may appeal directly to the Provost who will be the President's designee on such matters. Appeals, in writing and marked confidential, must be sent to the Provost within seven calendar days of the Student Conduct Committee's ruling. The Provost's decision will then be communicated in writing to the student, instructor, Student Conduct Officer, the student's faculty advisor, and the members of the Student Conduct Committee.
10. Students who have received a notation of X along with an F on their transcript as a sanction for violating the Code of Academic Integrity will receive instructions from the Student Conduct Officer for petition to remove the X. After a period of 12 months beginning at the end of the semester in which the violation occurred, students may appeal in writing to the Student Conduct Committee for removal of the notation. The Committee's decision will then be communicated in writing to the student, instructor, and the student's advisor. If the Committee's decision is to remove the X notation, the Registrar's office will also be informed.
This code was inspired by similar examples at other institutions of higher learning, including Vanderbilt, the University of Maryland, Yeshiva, Wright State, Shippensburg and George Washington Universities.
Although treated like an F in the computation of grade point average and determination of academic standing, the X transcript notation is designed to emphasize the uniquely grievous nature of academic dishonesty. A strong deterrent (especially to students whose weak performance in a course might make the threat of a mere grade penalty, even an F, negligible), the X notation is also designed to foster genuine rehabilitation because a student who receives an XF is invited to petition to have the X removed from the F after a year.