Institute Policy on Academic Dishonesty

Introduction
Sec. 1: Definition
Sec. 2: Initial Procedure
Sec. 3: Sanctions
Sec. 4: Hearing Procedures
Sec. 5: Appeals
Sec. 6: Time Limits

Introduction

The School of Engineering encourages academic excellence in an environment that promotes honesty, integrity, and fairness, and students at the School of Engineering are expected to exhibit those qualities in their academic work. It is through the process of submitting their own work, and receiving honest feedback on that work, that a student may progress academically. Any act of academic dishonesty is seen as an attack upon the Institute, and will not be tolerated. Furthermore, those who breach the school’s rules on academic integrity will be sanctioned under this Policy. Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the Institute Policy on Academic Dishonesty.

1. Definition

Academic dishonesty may include misrepresentation, deception, dishonesty or any act of falsification done by a student to influence a grade or other academic evaluation. Academic dishonesty also includes intentionally damaging the academic work of others, or assisting other students in acts of dishonesty. Common examples of academically dishonest behavior include, but are not limited to, the following:

1.1 Cheating - intentionally using or attempting to use unauthorized notes, books, electronic media, or electronic communications in an exam; talking with fellow students or looking at another person’s work during an exam; submitting work prepared in advance for an in-class examination; having someone take an exam for you, or taking an exam for someone else; violating other rules governing the administration of examinations.

1.2 Altering or forging any academic document, including, but not limited to, academic records, admissions materials, or medical excuses.

1.3 Fabrication, including but not limited to, experimental data and/or citations.

1.4 Plagiarism – intentionally or knowingly representing the words or ideas of another as one’s own in any academic exercise; failure to attribute direct quotation, paraphrase, or borrowed facts or information.

1.5 Unauthorized Collaboration - working together on work that was meant to be done individually.

1.6 The same work may not be presented for assessment in more than one project or class, unless express and prior permission has been received from the instructor(s) involved.

2. Initial Procedure

When a student is suspected of academic dishonesty, action must be taken as follows:

2.1 The instructor of record shall have a private meeting, as soon as is possible, with the student. At such a meeting the faculty member should explain their reasons for believing that a breach of academic honesty has occurred, and the student should be given an opportunity to respond. An examination proctor who is not the course instructor, must collect any evidence of dishonesty they become aware of, and bring the incident to the attention of the course instructor at the conclusion of the exam. Any person other than an instructor or proctor, who suspects a student of academic dishonesty must inform the Department Head of the Department concerned of their suspicions, and of the evidentiary basis for those suspicions. The Department Head will then need to review the relevant facts and evidence in order to determine whether charges of academic misconduct should be brought against a particular student. He may then submit facts to the instructor involved, or may refer the issue to SAC for a hearing.

2.2 If the instructor becomes convinced that the student is innocent, then the accusation shall be dropped. If the student admits dishonesty, the faculty member may impose a sanction pursuant to Sections 3.1 through 3.3 of this policy and inform the Dean of Student Affairs of the imposition of sanctions 3.2 or 3.3. If the student denies the dishonesty, however, the faculty member shall send a memo about the alleged dishonesty to the Academic Department Head, who shall meet with the student, and attempt to find a resolution. Should the Department Head not be able to reach a mutually agreeable solution, or if the student does not admit to academic dishonesty, then the Department Head will inform the Dean of Student Affairs, as well as the Student Affairs committee, in writing, of the basis for the sanction imposed. The Dean of Student Affairs will review the relevant facts and evidence, and will prepare a case for the consideration of an SAC hearing. The SAC will, after a Hearing, confirm the Professor’s findings as justified by the evidence or not. At the hearing the SAC may choose to impose sanctions broader than the original course. If the behavior in question rises to the level of offence to the community as a whole, such as plagiarism of a PhD dissertation, the SAC may impose sanctions 3.4 - 3.7 as deemed appropriate. A faculty member may also recommend that SAC reviews a case, and considers the evidence within that case, as a prelude to considering a more serious sanction than the imposition of an F in a class, based on egregious elements present within the case. If a professor wishes to give a student a grade of F, and that student withdraws within the withdrawal deadline, but the professor wants a record of F, not W, on that student’s transcript, the case would need to be referred to the SAC, to ensure that both professor and student had an opportunity to present their case.

3. Sanctions

3.1 A rejection of the assignment or project, along with a requirement that the student complete a substitute assignment or exam. This may be particularly appropriate where there is an honest misunderstanding about the degree of collaboration permitted by a professor, or where a professor is not sure a student has intentionally acted dishonestly.

3.2 Zero for the assignment, examination, or project. A record of the sanction shall be retained in the Office of Student Affairs, which is a centralized location for misconduct records, and may be kept in academic departments files at their discretion.

3.3 Grade of F for the course or other academic requirement. A record of the sanction will be retained.

3.4 Community service hours to the Institute, including, but not limited to, educational programs and/or presentations designed to compensate the Institute community for violations of this code. A record of the sanction will be retained.

3.5 Dismissal from an undergraduate or a graduate program.

3.6 Suspension from the Institute for a period not to exceed one year with notation on the transcript during the suspension period. A record of the sanction will be retained.

3.7 Expulsion from the Institute with appropriate notation on the student’s transcript. A record of the sanction will be retained.

3.8 In cases of a single incident of academic dishonesty, which the student has confessed to, the conduct file may be destroyed at graduation, upon the written application of the student.

4. Hearing Procedures

Refer to Section 14 of the Institute Code of Conduct for details.

5. Appeals

While a student may appeal a grade of F, based on a finding of cheating, to the SAC, decisions reached by that body, in regards to a grade or sanction, are final, and not open to appeal. If SAC decides there is not an evidentiary basis for a grade or a sanction, the professor should award the grade the student would have earned, absent the claim of dishonesty.

6. Time Limits

Acts of academic dishonesty must be reported as soon as possible after the act is discovered and, in instances where the dishonesty is not immediately noticed, every effort will be made to expedite proceedings pursuant to allegations of academic dishonesty within a reasonable period, as defined by the SAC.