Academic Conduct Policy Details
An academic community requires the highest standards of honor and integrity in all of its participants if it is to fulfill its mission. In such a community, faculty, students and staff are expected to maintain high standards of academic conduct. The purpose of this policy is to make all aware of these expectations. Additionally, the policy outlines some, but not all, of the situations that can arise that violate these standards. Further, the policy sets forth a set of procedures, characterized by a "sense of fair play," which is used when these standards are violated. In this spirit, definitions of academic misconduct are listed below. These are not meant to be exhaustive.
I. Academic Misconduct
Any act that violates the spirit of the academic conduct policy is considered academic misconduct. Specific examples include, but are not limited to:
- Cheating. Includes, but is not limited to:
- Copying from another student's test paper, laboratory report, other report, or computer files and listings.
- Using in any academic exercise or academic setting, material and/or devices not authorized by the person in charge of the test.
- Collaborating with or seeking aid from another student during an academic exercise without the permission of the person in charge of the exercise.
- Knowingly using, buying, selling, stealing, transporting or soliciting in its entirety or in part, the contents of a test or other assignment unauthorized for release.
- Substituting for another student, or permitting another student to substitute for oneself, in a manner that leads to misrepresentation of either or both students' work.
- Plagiarism. The appropriation, theft, purchase or obtaining by any means another's work, and the unacknowledged submission or incorporation of that work as one's own offered for credit. Appropriation includes the quoting or paraphrasing of another's work without giving credit therefore.
- Collusion. The unauthorized collaboration with another in preparing work offered for credit.
- Abuse of resource materials. Mutilating, destroying, concealing or stealing such materials.
- Computer misuse. Unauthorized or illegal use of computer software or hardware through the TCU Computer Center or through any programs; terminals; or freestanding computers owned, leased or operated by TCU or any of its academic units for the purpose of affecting the academic standing of a student.
- Fabrication and falsification. Unauthorized alteration or invention of any information or citation in an academic exercise. Falsification involves altering information for use in any academic exercise. Fabrication involves inventing or counterfeiting information for use in any academic exercise.
- Multiple submission. The submission by the same individual of substantial portions of the same academic work (including oral reports) for credit more than once in the same or another class without authorization.
- Complicity in academic misconduct. Helping another to commit an act of academic misconduct.
- Bearing false witness. Knowingly and falsely accusing another student of academic misconduct.
II. Procedures for Dealing with Academic Misconduct
- Day refers to a school day on which classes are meeting.
- Academic dean refers to the dean of the college or school offering the course in which the academic misconduct is alleged to have taken place.
- Department chair refers to the academic administrator responsible for the unit providing the instruction in which the alleged academic misconduct occurred.
- Faculty refers to the instructor of the course in which the suspected academic misconduct occurred.
- Adviser refers to any person selected by the student who accompanies the student during formal hearings. The adviser may speak with the student but may not actively participate in the hearings.
- The Academic Appeals Committee is a standing University committee. The charge and membership of the committee may be found in the current Handbook for Faculty and University Staff.
- Investigation and Initiation
- Students who know of an act of academic misconduct should report the incident to the faculty member teaching the course. The faculty member will obtain the basic facts of the allegation and ask the student reporting the misconduct to write and sign a statement of facts. The name(s) of the student(s) reporting suspected academic misconduct will remain confidential during the informal faculty/student meeting, but must be revealed to the accused student if the resolution proceeds beyond the faculty member and the accused student.
- Faculty who suspect academic misconduct or who have academic misconduct reported to them must initiate an investigation and meet with the accused student within five days of becoming aware of the incident. A faculty member who is made aware by another person of an act of academic misconduct has the responsibility to investigate the allegation, and, if warranted, pursue the issue as outlined below (C.1).
- In instances where the suspected academic misconduct is discovered during an academic exercise, the faculty member has the right to suspend immediately the student involved in the alleged activity from further work on the academic exercise.
- A student, once accused of academic misconduct, will proceed in the course without restriction until resolution of the issue or until the academic dean has taken an action (as specified in III.B) that removes the student from the course.
- An "I" grade should be given by the instructor if the alleged misconduct occurs near the end of a semester (e.g., during finals), and a sanction outlined in Section III has not been applied by the instructor or the dean.
- If more than one student is accused of the same act of misconduct (e.g., giving and receiving aid), each individual student is guaranteed the right to have the cases heard separately. With each student's permission, the cases can be combined. The faculty/student conference (C.1) is expected from this requirement.
- Meeting Between Faculty Member and Student. This is the first step to be taken in resolving an incident of suspected academic misconduct.
- Within five days of suspecting misconduct, the faculty member will hold a meeting with the student. At this meeting, the faculty member will inform the student of all allegations against him or her and present any information supporting the allegations.
- The student will be given the opportunity to respond to the allegations. The student has the right not to respond.
- The faculty member will decide whether or not academic misconduct has occurred, and, if warranted, apply any combination of sanctions in III.A below, or refer the matter to the dean for more severe sanctions (probation, suspension or expulsion). Findings of academic misconduct are based on the preponderance of the evidence.
- The faculty member will notify the student in writing of his or her decision and may send copies to the academic dean, the dean of the college in which the student is enrolled, the department chair and the dean of campus life. Any such copies of the findings will be kept on file in the college and department offices and in the student discipline files maintained by the dean of campus life.
- Meeting with Department Chair. This meeting takes place when the student wishes to appeal either the findings of the faculty member of the severity of the sanction(s).
- Within five days of being notified by the faculty member of the disposition of the incident of academic misconduct, the student may request a meeting with the department chair.
- The department chair will become acquainted with the facts and meet with the parties involved in the case. The student has the right to meet with the department chair without the faculty member being present.
- The department chair may either support or reverse the findings of the faculty member, and may lessen the sanctions) imposed by the faculty member even while supporting its findings. The chair may not increase the severity of the sanction(s).
- The department chair will notify the student and faculty member of his or her decision in writing and may send copies to the faculty member, the academic dean and the dean of campus life. Any such copies of the findings will be kept on file in the college and department offices and in the student discipline files maintained by the dean of campus life.
- Meeting with Academic Dean. This meeting takes place if the student wishes to appeal either the findings of the department chair or the severity of the sanction(s), if the faculty member recommends sanctions in addition to those listed in III.A.3 and 4, or if the student has been found guilty of academic misconduct previously.
- Within five days of being notified by the chair of the disposition of the incident of academic misconduct, the student may request a meeting with the academic dean.
- The academic dean will hear the facts of the case and make a decision about the alleged act of academic misconduct or the appropriateness of the sanctions administered by the faculty member. The academic dean can issue any combination of sanctions listed in Section III.
- The academic dean will notify the student of his or her decision in writing with copies to the department chair and the faculty member. Copies of the findings will be kept on file in the college office and may be sent to the dean of campus life.
- Academic Appeals Committee. Should the student wish to appeal the decision of the academic dean, he or she has the right to request a hearing before the Academic Appeals Committee.
- The student must request this hearing by submitting an appeal letter to the chair of the University Academic Appeals Committee no later than five days from the date of receiving written notification of the dean's findings.
- Upon receipt of the appeal letter, the chair of the Academic Appeals Committee may request materials from the student, the faculty member, the department chair and/or the dean.
- The appealing student has the right to appear before the Academic Appeals Committee. The student may bring one person with him or her as an adviser. The adviser may not speak for the student or to the committee. The advisor may only speak with the student. The student must inform the University five class days in advance if his or her adviser is an attorney in order for the University to also have an attorney present. Each party shall bear the expense of his/her legal counsel. Legal counsel is to provide counsel only and may not participate directly in the meeting. The meeting is an administrative hearing, not a court proceeding, and is not subject to the procedures or practices of a court of law.
- By the Faculty Member
- Grant no credit for the examination or assignment in question (treat as a missed assignment).
- Assign a grade of "F" (or a zero) for the examination or assignment in question.
- Recommend to the academic dean that the student be dropped immediately from the course with a grade of "F."
- Recommend to the academic dean that the student be places on probation, suspended or expelled from the University.
- By the Academic Dean or Academic Appeals Committee
(Previous academic misconduct will be taken into account when either the academic dean or the Academic Appeals Committee considers sanctions for academic misconduct.)
- Apply sanctions in III.A.
- Drop student from the course with a grade of "F". This grade cannot be changed by student-initiated withdrawal and the grade will be included in the computation of GPA even if the course is repeated.
- Place the student on suspension from the University for a specified period of time.
- Expel the student from the University.
- In a case where the academic dean as defined above is not the dean of the college in which the student is enrolled, he or she shall recommend to the vice chancellor for academic affairs that the student be placed on probation, suspended or expelled.
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