Academic Honesty Policy and Procedures

Sponsor: Office of Academic Affairs
Contact: Executive Director of University Student Services
Category: Academic
Number: 100.006
Effective Date: May 14, 2004
Implementation History: Approved by the college Senate on May 14, 2004. Effective July 1, 2004. This supersedes the Academic Integrity Policy approved on Feb. 19, 1999, which superseded the academic dishonesty policy approved in 1980, which superseded the probation and dismissal policy approved in 1977.
Keywords: Academic, dishonesty, integrity, plagiarism, cheating, forgery, fabrication, misrepresentation


The purpose of the Academic Honesty Policy and Procedure is to set the expectations for honest academic work and provide fair and equitable administrative procedures for addressing breaches of those expectations and include options for handling incidents. 


Academic Appeals and Honesty Committee (AAHC) – A faculty committee convened to hear cases of serious dishonesty that may warrant academic warning or dismissal. This committee shall consist of no fewer than three faculty members and no more than five. Each school/program establishes procedures for constituting the AAHC and for establishing a chair. If a member of the AAHC is a part of the matter at hand, a substitute is designated if necessary to bring the membership up to the minimum.

Academic Dishonesty – Includes cheating, plagiarism, forgery, fabrication or misrepresentation, such as the following:

  • Claiming the work or thoughts of others as your own.
  • Copying the writing of others into your written work without appropriate attribution.
  • Writing papers for other students or allowing them to submit your work as their own.
  • Buying papers and turning them in as your own.
  • Having someone else write or create all or part of the content of your assignments.
  • Submitting the same paper for more than one study or class without explicit permission from the faculty members.
  • Making up or changing data for a research project.
  • Fabricating and/or altering documents and/or information in support of the degree program.

Business Days – Monday through Friday excluding university holidays.

Dean – Refers to the dean of the student’s school/program or an academic administrator designated by the provost for the School of Undergraduate Studies. Collectively referred to as dean in this document.

Faculty – Mentors, instructors, evaluators and others who make academic decisions. Collectively referred to as faculty in the remainder of the document.


When facing a breach of academic honesty expectations, a faculty member exercises his or her academic judgment in light of the particular circumstances and the student’s academic history. Consultation with the dean, associate dean, chair and/or primary mentor/academic advisor throughout the process is encouraged.

When faced with a potential break of academic honesty, the faculty member:

1. Reviews this policy and procedures statement.

2. Documents the concern to the extent possible.

3. Consults with student academic services, or equivalent, to ascertain if there were previous incidents.

4. Raises the concern quickly and directly with the student in writing, outlining how the student has breached the academic honesty standards, and copying the student's primary mentor/advisor and student academic services, or equivalent.  This should typically occur within 20 business days.

5. Determines the appropriate response, which may include responding to the breach while continuing to work with the student in the course, assigning an F grade, or not providing a credit recommendation for a PLA component.

If the faculty member continues to work with the student in the course, s/he may also do one or more of the following:

  1. Provide developmental advice to the student on academic expectations.
  2. Require that the student consult specific research writing or other academic skills development resources.
  3. Require that the student rewrite the assignment(s), meeting standards for academic honesty.
  4. Require that the student complete additional assignment(s) that meet standards for academic honesty.
  5. Deduct points or fail the student on the assignment. 

Having provided guidance to the student, the faculty member remains alert to the possibility of further breaches.

If the faculty member determines that the appropriate response is to assign an F for the course, the student loses access to academic services related to the course including the online learning site for the course.  A student who is denied a credit recommendation for dishonesty for a PLA may not resubmit the same or similar component for evaluation.  A student who receives a grade of F for a course and does not receive PLA credit may appeal that decision through the university's Student Academic Appeals Policy and Procedures.

Serious Acts of Dishonesty

Serious acts of dishonesty include but are not limited to plagiarism, stealing, selling, or buying of an examination or paper; the presentation of the work of another as one's own, copying examination answers from another source or individual, having someone else do your work either on or off-line, and repeated acts of plagiarism, cheating, misrepresentation and misappropriation.

Possible Penalties

Serious or continued breaches of academic honesty may constitute grounds for academic warning or dismissal from the university.  The following penalties may apply:

Academic Warning: An academic warning for academic dishonesty is a formal written notice from the dean to the student providing conditions for continued enrollment in the university. It describes the nature of the breach of academic honesty standards, expectations for future behavior and any specific educational requirements. The academic warning for academic dishonesty is included in the student’s official university record. A breach of academic honesty expectations after an academic warning for academic dishonesty normally leads to dismissal.

An academic warning for academic dishonesty remains active on the student’s academic record until graduation. While the university retains information internally about the academic warning after graduation, the university clears the official record. If the student pursues additional study with the university, the information is available to university personnel who may consider it if the student breaches academic honesty expectations again.

Academic Dismissal: An academic dismissal for academic dishonesty is an indefinite separation from the university. The formal written notice describes the nature of the breach of academic honesty expectations. The academic dismissal for academic dishonesty is included in the student’s official college record.

Review of Serious Cases of Dishonesty

If a breach of academic honesty is reported, and if the faculty member, the primary mentor/advisor, or the dean or designee believes that it is serious enough to warrant an academic warning or dismissal, he or she refers the case to the dean or designee of the student’s home school or program. He or she may:

  1. Refer the case to the academic appeals and honesty committee (AAHC) for a recommendation on academic warning or academic dismissal.
  2. Recommend, in consultation with the student’s primary mentor/advisor, additional educational activities and/or provide developmental advice.

Academic Appeals and Honesty Committee Procedures

AAHC procedures are as follows:

  1. When the dean or designee refers the case to the AAHC, he or she notifies the student in writing within 10 business days of receiving the copy of the notice to the student from the faculty member. The dean’s notice provides the student the opportunity to respond in writing to the AAHC.
  2. The student has 10 business days to submit any written response to the AAHC.
  3. The AAHC considers the student's response in its review. The AAHC may obtain additional relevant information before or after the committee meets to review the case.
  4. The AAHC should schedule a meeting to consider relevant information within 20 business days of receiving an academic dishonesty case. A meeting may take the form of a face-to-face meeting, conference call or video conference, at the discretion of the AAHC.
  5. The chair of the AAHC ensures a fair and timely consideration of the information and provides an accurate record of the meeting to the dean.
  6. The student may participate in the meeting and present his or her case directly to the AAHC. Likewise, the individual(s) referring the case also may participate in the meeting and present relevant information. The student and the individual referring the case meet separately with the committee.
  7. A student may have an advisor at the meeting; however, the advisor may not participate in the meeting.
  8. Following the meeting, the AAHC deliberates in closed session. Decisions are made by majority vote. The AAHC may:
    • Decide that a penalty is unwarranted.
    • Recommend that the dean or designee issue a reprimand or academic warning, or
    • Recommend that the dean or designee dismiss the student from the university.
  9. Within five days of the hearing, the AAHC transmits its recommendation and brief rationale in writing to the dean or designee.
  10. After reviewing the AAHC's recommendation, the dean or designee may decide to issue an academic warning or dismissal as appropriate to the situation, or may issue another decision.
  11. The dean or designee provides to the student a written notice of his or her decision in the case within 5 business days of receiving the AAHC recommendation, copying the primary mentor/academic advisor.  The written notice specifies the effective date of the action and a copy is retained.

Reinstatement After Dismissal for Academic Dishonesty

For the dean or designee to consider reinstatement, a student must present convincing written evidence that he or she has come to value the standards for academic honesty and a written affirmation that he or she agrees to follow the college’s Academic Honesty Policy.

The dean or designee of the student’s school or program is responsible for acting on requests for reinstatement after academic dismissal. Students are not eligible for reinstatement for at least 16 weeks or one term, whichever is longer, after an academic dismissal.

Students who are academically dismissed a second time for academic dishonesty are not eligible for reinstatement.

  • If the dean or designee reinstates a student, he or she places the student in warning status. The dean or designee also may establish terms and conditions for re-enrollment. 

Written Notice. The dean or designee sends a copy of any written notice of reinstatement to the student’s primary mentor/advisor and retains a copy.

Student Appeals

Students may appeal any decision made about academic honesty as outlined in the Academic Appeals Policy and Procedures.

Applicable Legislation and Regulations

Federal Regulations: 4 CFR 602.16(a)(1)(ix) and 34 CFR 668.43(b)

Middle States Commission on Higher Education - Verification of Compliance with Accreditation-Relevant Federal Regulations

State Complaint Procedures

Related References, Policies, Procedures, Forms and Appendices