Academic Integrity

Honesty and trust among students and between students and faculty are essential for a strong, functioning academic community. Consequently, students are expected to do their own work on all academic assignments, tests, projects and research/term papers. Academic dishonesty, whether cheating, plagiarism or some other form of dishonest conduct related to academic coursework and listed in the Student Policy Book under “ Discipline: Rules of Conduct” will automatically result in failure for the work involved. But academic dishonesty could also result in failure for the course and, in the event of a second incident of academic dishonesty, suspension from the university. Here are the common ways to violate the academic integrity code:

  • Cheating - Intentionally using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or study aids in any academic exercise. The term academic exercise includes all forms of work submitted for credit.
  • Fabrication - Intentional and unauthorized falsification or invention of any information or citation in an academic exercise.
  • Facilitating Academic Dishonesty - Intentionally or knowingly helping or attempting to help another to violate a provision of the institutional code of academic integrity.
  • Plagiarism - The deliberate adoption or reproduction of ideas or words or statements of another person as one's own without acknowledgment. You commit plagiarism whenever you use a source in any way without indicating that you have used it. If you quote anything at all, even a phrase, you must put quotation marks around it, or set it off from your text; if you summarize or paraphrase an author's words, you must clearly indicate where the summary or paraphrase begins and ends; if you use an author's idea, you must say that you are doing so. In every instance, you also must formally acknowledge the written source from which you took the material. (This includes material taken from the World Wide Web and other Internet sources.)

Reprinted from "Writing: A College Handbook" by James A.W. Heffernan and John E. Lincoln. By Permission W.W. Norton & Co. Inc., Copyright 1982 by W.W. Norton & Co. Inc.

Students are encouraged to report incidents of academic dishonesty to course instructors. When academic dishonesty occurs, the following procedures will be followed:

  • The instructor will impose a minimum sanction of failure for the work involved. The instructor also will notify the student and the appropriate academic dean (or designee) in writing of the nature of the offense and that the minimum sanction has been imposed. The instructor may recommend to the dean that further penalties should be imposed. 
    If further penalties are imposed, the dean will notify the student immediately and the student will have five working days to respond to the intention to impose additional penalties. The student has the right to respond to the charge of academic dishonesty and may request in writing that the dean review the charge of academic dishonesty as fully as possible. 
  • If the dean determines that no further sanctions will be applied, the instructor's sanction will stand, and the instructor's letter to the dean and student will be placed in the student's file. If no further charges of academic dishonesty involving the student occur during the student's tenure at St. Thomas , the materials will be removed from the file upon graduation
  • If the student has been involved in a previous incident of academic dishonesty, that evidence will be considered in determining sanctions. If the previous incident(s) occurred in another school or college, the dean (or designee) will consult with the other dean(s) about the nature of the incident and previous sanctions imposed.
  • If the dean determines that further sanctions are warranted, the student will be informed in writing. Among the sanctions considered by the dean will be the following: failure for the course in which the incident occurred; suspension from the university for the following semester; expulsion from the university; community service; a written assignment in which the student explores the principles of honesty and trust; other appropriate action or sanctions listed under "Sanctions" in the Student Policy Book. The materials relating to the incident, including the instructor's original letter to the student and dean and the dean's decision following the hearing, will become part of the student's file.
  • A student may appeal the dean's decision. To appeal, the student must send written notice to the Executive Vice President and Provost (“Provost”) within seven days of the date of the dean's letter notifying the student of the penalty. If the Provost receives no written request within the time specified, the penalty shall be imposed and the action shall be considered final. If a written request of appeal is received within the time specified, the Provost shall refer the grievance to the Grievance and Discipline Committee. The Grievance andDiscipline Committee shall have the authority to investigate and conduct a hearing on the facts of the particular case that has been appealed. The Committee shall make a recommendation to the Provost related to the appeal and shall document their recommendation and reasoning in a written report. The Committee may recommend that the Provost:

1. Affirm the original decision and sanction.
2. Affirm the original decision and reduce or increase the original sanction.
3. Reverse the original decision.
4. Disallow the original decision and order reconsideration by the dean (or designee).