Academic Conduct Policy
Statement of Beliefs
Honesty in personal and academic matters is a cornerstone of life at Limestone University. Students are expected to achieve on their own merits and abilities, to exercise integrity in all affairs, and to refrain absolutely from lying, cheating, and stealing.
The responsibility for maintaining honesty in academic life is shared by students, faculty members, and University administrators.
1. Student Responsibilities:
- Students are responsible for conducting their own academic affairs in an honest manner.
- Students are responsible for the behavior of fellow students to the following extent:
- A student who is aware of dishonest behavior on the part of a fellow student(s) in an academic setting should feel an obligation to make a report of academic misconduct.
- A student who makes a report of academic misconduct is not obligated to be involved in the matter in any way after making the report. The identity of the student making a report of academic misconduct shall be protected.
- A report of academic misconduct may be made in conversation or in writing to the faculty member responsible for the class.
- The intent of the report of academic misconduct is to alert the faculty member that academic misconduct may have occurred.
- A faculty member shall investigate a student report of academic misconduct and, if he/she finds evidence of academic misconduct, charge the student(s) as appropriate, and report the case to the dean of the school for further review.
2. Faculty Responsibilities
Faculty members have a responsibility to communicate to students both their own beliefs, policies and procedures relating to academic misconduct and those of the University. This communication must be presented to students in writing and included in a course syllabus.
Faculty members have a responsibility to be aware of the potential for academic misconduct, to take reasonable precautions to discourage it, and to respond promptly and consistently to reports and accusations of academic misconduct when they occur.
A faculty member has a responsibility to report all cases of academic misconduct to the dean of the school for review.
3. Administration Responsibilities
University administrators have a responsibility to respond to reports, accusations, and appeals of academic misconduct consistently and promptly.
University administrators have a responsibility to uphold the policies and procedures of the University with regard to academic misconduct.
Defining Academic Misconduct
Academic misconduct may include but is not limited to the following acts:
- Plagiarism or the failure to properly credit the work of another person, thereby allowing others to assume that the work is original.
- Copying another student’s work.
- Collaborating by allowing another student to copy work which has been created by the collaborating student himself/herself.
- Purchasing a paper from services or from other students and submitting it as one’s own work.
- Submitting work as the student’s own which has been created, in part or wholly, by another individual.
- Doing work for someone else and submitting the work under a name other than your own.
- Copying from the paper of another student.
- Allowing other students to copy from work that is not their own or aiding them in doing so.
- Referring to any materials which the instructor has not specifically authorized for use during a test or assignment.
- Inappropriately obtaining the contents of an examination.
Procedures of Accusations of Academic Misconduct
An accusation of academic misconduct may be made by a faculty member based on his/her own observation and evidence or the report of a student, faculty or staff member. An accusation identifies a specific student(s) by name and accuses the student(s) of a specific act(s) of misconduct.
If the faculty member finds sufficient evidence of guilt, an accusation of misconduct must be made to the student within 7 calendar days of the alleged incident of misconduct and the case must be reported to the appropriate academic dean at the same time.
- If the incident is a first offense, the faculty member may impose his/her own penalty. Appropriate penalties might include but are not limited to:
- A failing grade on the test, activity, or assignment.
- A failing grade for the course.
- A requirement that the test, activity, or assignment be retaken or resubmitted.
- If a student is guilty of a second instance of academic misconduct, the Dean of school will impose the penalty of a non-replaceable “F” for the course in which the violation occurred.
- If a student is guilty of a third count of academic misconduct, the student will receive a non-replaceable “F” for the course in which the violation occurred and will be permanently suspended from the University without the possibility of readmission.
An accusation of academic misconduct must be addressed by the dean in consultation with the faculty member and the department chair within 20 working days of the receipt of the accusation.
If a faculty or staff member receives a report of academic misconduct, he/she shall inform the faculty member teaching the course of the report. If the teaching faculty member finds sufficient evidence of guilt, an accusation of misconduct must be made to the student within 7 calendar days of the alleged incident of misconduct and the case reported to the appropriate dean at the same time.
Both the accused student and the faculty member responsible for the class or activity have the right to appeal.
An accused student may appeal:
- Suspension for a third violation of academic integrity.
- The findings of an Appeals Committee.
A faculty member may appeal the findings of an Appeals Committee.
All appeals must include a rationale.
Appeals of suspension for academic misconduct shall be made in writing to the Provost within 10 working days of the date of the suspension letter from the Provost.
The Provost, upon receiving any appeal, shall act as Chair and assemble an Appeals Committee. The Appeals Committee shall meet within 10 days of the receipt of an appeal.
No faculty member nor academic administrator shall serve on an Appeals Committee if any have been involved in reviewing the case previously.
An Appeals Committee shall be chaired by the Provost and shall be comprised of two (2) faculty members and two (2) students. The four (4) members shall have voting rights and the chair may elect to vote in the event of a tie. In the event of a tie, which is not broken by the vote of the Provost, the appeal shall be denied.
An Appeals Committee shall consider evidence which will be presented with the accused student in attendance. Evidence includes but is not limited to:
- Testimony from student or faculty accusers or other individuals directly involved with the incident.
- Physical evidence, such as notes or samples of student work.
An accused student may present evidence on his/her own behalf have a representative from the campus who may participate in the proceedings, and question his/her accusers. If the accused agrees to a meeting time and date with the Appeals Committee and then fails to attend the meeting or be present by conference call, the Appeal Committee will rule in the absence of the student.
The chair of the Appeals Committee shall rule on the relevance and admissibility of evidence.
After hearing the evidence, the Appeals Committee shall vote on the guilt or innocence of the accused student.
The decision of the Appeals Committee shall be communicated to the accused student and to the faculty member, the Department Chair, the Dean, and the President by the Chair of the Appeals Committee.
If either the accused student or the faculty member responsible for the class is unsatisfied with the findings of the Appeals Committee, he/she may make a final appeal in writing to the President of the University within 10 days of the Appeals Committee decision.
The President of the University, upon receiving an appeal of an Appeals Committee decision, shall have the authority to act individually, to review written records, to interview involved parties and to arrive at any resolution he/she deems appropriate. He/she will respond in writing within 10 days of the receipt of an appeal.
All information and proceedings related to an accusation of academic misconduct, including written material, physical evidence, and conversation shall be confidential and all participants, including administrators, faculty members and students, should refrain from any discussion of that information. A written record of the Appeals Committee proceeding, including proceedings, evidence, and all other relevant materials shall be preserved as required by law.
Selection of Members of the Appeals Committee
- The faculty shall elect two regular members and one alternate member for the Appeals Committee for each academic year.
- Student members of an Appeals Committee for a specific case shall be appointed by the chair of the Committee from a pool of five students recommended for each academic year by the Office of Student Services.
- A faculty member or a student my decline to serve on an Appeals Committee or may be disqualified by the chair if he/she is involved in the case.
- In the event that a regular faculty member declines to serve, is disqualified, or is unable to serve for any other reason, the alternate faculty member will serve for that case.
- Terms of office for faculty members on the Appeals Committee shall be one academic year. A faculty member shall not serve two consecutive terms, except that an alternate member may be elected as a regular member in the succeeding year.
- In the event that an Appeals Committee cannot be constituted due to deferrals and/or disqualifications, the Provost shall have the authority to select special members, 2 faculty members and 2 students, and the Committee thus selected shall be empowered to hear the case.
- In the event that a full committee of four cannot be impaneled, a group of fewer than four may constitute an Appeals Committee. If no students are willing or able to serve, a committee comprised of faculty members only may be empowered by the Provost to hear the case.
Honors College Academic Integrity Policy
- Honors College students are bound to the same academic integrity policy as other Limestone students. However, Honors students found guilty of academic misconduct are subject to additional penalties.
- If an Honors student is found guilty of a first instance of academic misconduct, the Honors College Dean will be informed, and the student will be placed on Honors College probation for one year.
- In situations where the misconduct is especially egregious the Honors College Dean may recommend the student be immediately expelled from the Honors College (HC) pending a majority vote of the Honors Committee.
- Any second instance of academic misconduct by an Honors student will result in immediate dismissal from the Honors College.