Policies

Academic Integrity and Academic Conduct

Student Academic Integrity:

All Henderson students are expected to demonstrate academic integrity in all of their classes and other academic contexts. The larger academy is built on academic honesty beyond reproach, and this is one of Henderson’s Core Values: We cultivate a climate of academic, personal, and professional integrity by holding ourselves and each other to the highest ethical standards in all we say and do. As such, academic dishonesty in any form is unacceptable. Academic dishonesty as defined below includes—but is not limited to—cheating and plagiarism, which are defined as follows:

“Cheating” is the use or attempted use or dissemination of materials, information, or study aids that are not permitted by the instructor (and/or the larger university) in tests or other academic work, both in and out of class. Examples of cheating may include—but are not limited to—the following:

1. Obtaining, providing, or using unauthorized materials or other resources for a test or assignment, whether verbally, visually, electronically/digitally, or by notes, books, or other means.

2. Taking a test or submitting course-related or other academic work for another person or arranging for someone else to take a test or submit academic work in one's place.

3. Fabricating information for any report or other academic work without the express and specific permission of the instructor, as related to specific course expectations for learning.

Depending on how the instructor has structured the course expectations, the use of work done and turned in for previous courses may also constitute cheating; students should consult with their instructor prior to directly using work submitted for other classes.

“Plagiarism” Henderson State University defines plagiarism as representing another person's words, ideas, data, or work as one's own. Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to, the exact duplication of another's work and the incorporation of a substantial or essential portion thereof. Other examples of plagiarism are the acts of appropriating the artistic or musical composition of another, or portions thereof, and presenting them as one's own. Students in university-level courses constantly engage with ideas generated by others, reading these ideas in texts (both printed and digital), hearing them in lectures, discussing them in classes, and incorporating them into their writing. Since these ideas represent intellectual property--the very heart of the academy--it is vital that students give credit for these ideas where credit is due. When students do not clearly acknowledge and correctly cite these sources, they commit plagiarism. To avoid plagiarism, the guiding principle for students is that all work submitted must properly credit the original sources of information. In all academic work, direct quotations, statements which are paraphrased, summaries of the work of another, and other information which is not considered common knowledge must be cited or acknowledged according to accepted academic citation guidelines. Quotation marks or a proper form of identification shall be used to indicate direct quotations. Instructors of individual courses may require specific styles of documentation, and papers may be penalized for not accurately following the appropriate documentation style. Ignorance does not excuse plagiarism. Intentional plagiarism consists of knowingly copying or using another's work without giving proper credit. Unintentional plagiarism, on the other hand, may result from lack of familiarity with citation standards, poor research methods, or careless "cutting and pasting" of Internet and other digital sources. In either case, both intentional and unintentional plagiarism constitute violations of Henderson’s expectations for academic integrity.

Penalties for Academic Dishonesty:

Depending on the severity of the offense, sanctions may be imposed for academic dishonesty from the course-level, through the program/major level, up to the university-level. Faculty members teaching a given course may impose the following sanctions:

1. Warning: The instructor indicates—via either written communication or orally—to the student that any further academic dishonesty will result in other sanctions being imposed.
2. Resubmission of work: The instructor may require that the work in question be redone to meet appropriate academic standards or may require that a new project be submitted. At the instructor’s discretion, she or he may specify additional requirements for the work being resubmitted.

3. Grade reduction: The instructor may lower a student's grade or assign "F" for the work in question.
4. Failing: The instructor may assign an "F" for the course.

Sanctions that may be imposed at the university level include the following:

1. Suspension from the university: The offending student may be administratively withdrawn by the university. The student is suspended for a length of time determined by the university, depending upon the specific circumstances of the academic dishonesty.

2. Expulsion from the university: Expulsion is the most severe sanction for academic dishonesty and may be imposed by the university for extreme or multiple acts of academic dishonesty. Once expelled, the student is not eligible for readmission to the university.

Both the instructor and the university may impose combinations of sanctions. Withdrawal from a course does not exempt a student from sanctions for academic dishonesty imposed at any level.

Determination of Academic Dishonesty and Subsequent Sanctions:

The course instructor shall initiate investigation of each suspected incident of academic dishonesty. When the instructor witnesses such an incident, has evidence of one, or is informed of one by a witness, the instructor shall proceed as follows:

1. The instructor shall gather evidence to determine whether further action is necessary.

2. If the instructor feels that a sanction of grade reduction (including the assignment of an “F”), or failing the course, he or she shall discuss the incident with his or her department chair. If, after this discussion, the instructor decides not to impose sanctions, then no further action is necessary.

3. If, after the discussion, the instructor decides to proceed, she or he shall inform the student or students involved (orally and in writing) of the evidence of academic dishonesty. The instructor shall meet with the student, consider the student's written and oral response, and collect any available evidence and testimony from witnesses. In cases of suspected plagiarism, the instructor may ask the student to supply the references used, and the student must comply with such a request. Failure to comply with such a request constitutes de facto admission of academic dishonesty.

4. On the basis of all of the above information, the instructor may decide to impose a sanction. If the sanction is only a warning or a demand that work be resubmitted, then no further action is necessary.

5. If, after steps 1-4, the instructor determines that academic dishonesty has occurred and warrants a sanction of grade reduction (including the assignment of an “F”), or of failing the course, he or she shall prepare a written incident report. The report shall include the student's name, the date of the incident, a brief description of the incident and the available evidence, and the instructor's decision regarding sanctions. The report shall state the specific sanctions imposed, i.e. grade reduction (including the assignment of an “F”), or failing the course. The instructor shall keep a copy of the report for her or his files and send a copy to the student, copying as well his or her department chair and academic dean, and the student’s major department chair. The instructor shall also inform the student of the procedures for appeal outlined in the Academic Grievance/Grade Appeal Process section below.

The Office of Academic Affairs, in concert with the deans’ offices, shall maintain a central information bank for all such reports related to this policy. Such reports indicating academic dishonesty shall be kept in the information bank if the student does not appeal the penalty within the first full semester following the semester in which the alleged incident occurred, or if the penalty is upheld in the appeals process. Any student who fails two courses due to academic dishonesty is subject to university suspension or expulsion for multiple academic dishonesty violations, as noted above. When a student fails a second course for academic dishonesty, the vice provost shall convene the Academic Grievance Committee to review the details of the cases. The Academic Grievance Committee will then determine whether the student should be suspended or expelled from the university or neither, following the review procedures outlined below under The Academic Grievance/Grade Appeal Process.

Students may appeal sanctions for academic dishonesty to the academic dean (or designee) of the college in which the course was offered. The academic dean (or dean’s designee) is the final level of appeal for academic dishonesty sanctions including grade reduction (including assignment of an “F”) or failing a course. The appeal must be filed by the student, in writing, no later than the published deadline in that term for grade changes from the previous term (see the academic calendar published by the Office of the Registrar).

Within one calendar week of receipt of the student’s appeal, the academic dean (or designee) shall set a date for a formal hearing to discuss the allegations of academic dishonesty and sanctions imposed by the instructor. The academic dean (or designee) shall moderate the hearing and shall arrange for a written record of it. The hearing shall include the instructor, the student, the department chair in which the instructor holds appointment, and the department chair in which the student is a major.

If the student is exonerated of all charges of academic dishonesty in the formal hearing, the academic dean (or dean’s designee) of the college in which the course was offered shall prepare a letter stating that the student has been exonerated and directing that all records about the alleged act of dishonesty be destroyed, other than the dean's own record of the hearing. The academic dean (or dean’s designee) shall send copies of the letter to the following individuals:

  1. the instructor,

  2. the student,

  3. the chairperson of the department in which the instructor holds an appointment,

  4. the chairperson of the department in which the student is a major,

  5. the academic Dean of the college in which the student is a major, and

  6. the Office of Academic Affairs.

Upon receipt of this letter, the Office of Academic Affairs shall remove all records about the alleged dishonest conduct from the central information bank. If, on the other hand, the student is not exonerated of all academic dishonesty charges, then the academic dean (or dean’s designee) of the college in which the course was offered shall send copies of the written record of the formal hearing to the parties listed in 1-6 above. If the penalty originally assigned as a result of academic dishonesty is reduced or rescinded as a result of the hearing, the academic dean (or dean’s designee) of the college in which the course was offered shall direct the Office of Academic Affairs to make the appropriate changes in the student's grade. Students shall note that sanctions for academic dishonesty may not be challenged through the Academic Grievance Process, described below.

Academic Grievance Process:

Henderson faculty are deeply committed to the success of our students and support the clear and open communications between students and faculty that are so crucial to student success at all levels. These types of dialogue minimize the misunderstandings and miscommunications that might occur in university-level courses focused on intellectual and professional engagement and growth. However, the institution recognizes that such day-to-day communications do not always prevent the rise of student concerns in their academic experiences at Henderson. Academic grievances as experienced by students at Henderson may include a range of concerns over classroom practices and behaviors, as well as concerns about grades on specific assignments for a given course or the student’s final grade in a given course. Students who have an academic grievance concern are encouraged to engage in clear and open discussion with their instructors to communicate the nature of the concerns and how best to address the concerns within the bounds of a given course, as structured by that instructor. Henderson’s academic grievance process is built upon these open and informal discussions between students and their instructors. Though the academic grievance process begins with the informal step of discussing concerns with the course instructor, if the student’s concern is not resolved informally, the student may file a formal, written grievance, as described below.

All academic grievances not resolved informally MUST follow the procedure outlined below. Decisions of the Academic Grievance Committee are final within Henderson State University.

In order to ensure that concerns over academic grievances are addressed in a timely manner and do not hinder students’ progress through their academic programs, formal academic grievances must be filed no later than the census date (11th day) of the semester following the term in question. Grievances stemming from the Fall semester shall generally be reviewed no later than the following Spring Semester. Grievances from the Spring and Summer Semesters will be reviewed no later than the following Fall Semester. Except for extraordinary circumstances, determined by the provost and/or vice provost, the Academic Grievance Committee meets only during the normal duty period of regular (nine- month) faculty members.

Step 1:
The student should attempt to resolve the problem with the faculty member(s) involved.

Step 2:
If the problem is not resolved through informal consultations as described in Step 1, the student, in an attempt to resolve the issue, may consult with the department chairperson (or graduate program coordinator, if appropriate).

Step 3:
If the problem is not resolved through informal consultations as described in Step 2, the student may file a complaint in writing specifying:

a) a statement of facts as perceived by the student, specifying specific violations;

b) the remedy sought by the student; and

c) the respondent’s (faculty member’s) response or actions during/after informal consultations on the matter.

The written complaint is delivered to the department chairperson (or immediate supervisor) with a copy for the faculty respondent and must be filed within 10 working days, excluding days in which the university is closed, of the date in which the outcome reached through informal consultations is known to the student. If the department chairperson (or immediate supervisor) is the respondent named in the complaint, the dean of the college/school or next level supervisor will assume the duties of the department chairperson for the purposes of that complaint.

The department chairperson (or immediate supervisor, if the chairperson is named in the complaint) shall meet separately with the student and the respondent, or if both parties agree, jointly, to discuss the complaint. Within 10 working days of receipt of the written complaint, excluding days in which the university is closed, the department chairperson (or immediate supervisor) shall complete any consultations and shall notify in writing the student and respondent of the department chairperson’s (or immediate supervisor’s) determination and decision, and will send a copy of the findings to the dean of the school or college or to the graduate dean, as appropriate.

Step 4:
The student may file an appeal of the Step 3 decision in writing with the chairperson of the Academic Grievance Committee (AGC) via the Office of Academic Affairs. Such appeals must be filed within 10 working days, excluding days in which the university is closed, after the student has been notified of the decision reached and any action(s) taken at Step 3. The student shall provide as part of the appeal complete copies of all materials associated with Steps 1-3 and shall notify the chairperson of the Academic Grievance Committee of the names of other custodians of relevant material which the student may not possess.

The Academic Grievance Committee shall have seven members to include: five faculty members, including the committee chairperson—at least two of the four faculty members, excluding the chairperson, must hold graduate faculty status; a professional staff member from the Office of Judicial Affairs in student affairs, and a professional staff member from student affairs, acting as a student advocate. Grievances brought by undergraduates will be heard by a hearing committee of five (the three faculty members, including the chairperson, and the student affairs professional staff). Grievances brought by graduate students will be heard by a hearing committee of five (two graduate faculty members and the chairperson, and the student affairs professional staff).

The Faculty Senate, at their first meeting of the year, shall appoint faculty members of the Academic Grievance Committee: five faculty members, nominated by Faculty Senate, at least two of whom are tenured, and at least two of whom hold regular graduate faculty status. The vice president of student affairs, at the request of the provost, shall designate the professional staff members from the Office of Judicial Affairs and Student Affairs. The Academic Grievance Committee will elect its chair from among the tenured faculty members of the committee. The Faculty Senate shall nominate three additional faculty representatives who shall be appointed as alternates.

Responsibilities and Procedures of the Academic Grievance Committee:

When an appeal is received, it shall be the responsibility of the committee chairperson to:

(1) review and transmit the appeal to the committee for consideration.
(2) notify, in writing, the student , the respondent and the respondent’s department chairperson (or immediate supervisor) of the committees action on the appeal
(3) in the event of a decision that a reasonable case exists, schedule a hearing within 15 days, excluding days in which the university is closed.

It should be noted that the submission of an appeal is a request for a hearing. Should the Academic Grievance Committee decide on the basis of the written appeal that a reasonable case does not exist, then no hearing shall be held. If a decision is made to hold a hearing, the Academic Grievance Committee chairperson or the provost may waive any specified time deadlines if there is evidence a good faith effort has been made to meet those deadlines. It is the responsibility of the Academic Grievance Committee chairperson to determine if any member of the hearing committee has a conflict of interest in a particular case and to exclude that person as a member of the hearing panel. If a hearing is held, the committee shall reach a final decision and shall notify in writing within 10 working days, excluding days in which the university is closed, the student and respondent of the Academic Grievance Committee’s determination and decision, and will send a copy of the findings to the academic dean of the school or college or to the vice provost and graduate dean, as appropriate.

Process for Resolving Academic Grievances

As indicated above, decisions of the Academic Grievance Committee are final within Henderson State University.

Student Academic Conduct:

While Henderson’s Office of Judicial Affairs in Student Affairs holds general responsibility for addressing student conduct, student behaviors which violate behavioral norms for classroom decorum and effective learning environments fall under the jurisdiction of the faculty member responsible for a given course. These policies describe HSU expectations related to student conduct and academic integrity in the classroom. These policies and related procedures are under the direction of the Office of Academic Affairs and generally initiated and administered by faculty, academic departments, academic deans, and the provost. These policies apply to classroom contexts regardless of the modality through which the course is offered, including traditional and online courses, as well as instructional and research laboratories, faculty office spaces, and hallways outside instructional spaces. However, a student disciplined by a faculty member for violation of classroom policies as stated in course syllabi or violations involving academic integrity as framed in this document may also be subject to sanctions under our student judicial code.

The classroom—regardless of instructional modality--is the focal point for the student learning and engagement of the content knowledge and expertise for which the faculty member holds academic responsibility and institutional accountability. Sound teaching and learning practice encourages free discussion, inquiry, and expression among students in their educational experiences and should reflect high scholarly standards as practiced across academic and professional disciplines.

Faculty members are responsible for fostering academic honesty and integrity and for evaluating their students fairly and accurately. Accordingly, faculty members are responsible for both the scope and treatment of the subject matter of a class as well as the control of order and direction of a class. Rules of classroom decorum in a given class, as established by individual instructors, reflect the obligation of each student to respect the rights of others in maintaining classroom order and in the observance of courtesy and civility common across the academy.

Those behaviors which disrupt the classroom are forbidden, and faculty members have an obligation to ALL of the students in a given class to deal with disruptive classroom behaviors, ensuring the most effective learning environment for the students in the class. As such, the faculty member has both the right and the responsibility to impose sanctions in cases of disruptive classroom behavior. Disruptive classroom behaviors may include the following, among a wider range of inappropriate behaviors:

  1. disrespectful comments aimed at either the instructor or other class members,

  2. disruption of classroom discussions, group-work, or other classroom activities,

  3. sleeping,

  4. failure to bring required texts or course materials to class, and

  5. cellphone use during lectures or other classroom activities, as proscribed by the instructor.

When a student engages in disruptive classroom behavior, faculty members may ask the student to leave the classroom, if the student does not cease the disruption when requested. In the event that the student refuses to leave the classroom, the faculty member may contact the HSU Police Department for assistance. In cases of repeated classroom disruption to which the student is not responding as required by the faculty member, the faculty member may report the student to the Behavioral Intervention Team and/or take steps to remove that student from the class, according to our administrative drop/withdrawal policies in our registrar’s office. In the event that a student exhibits behavior that is threatening or violent, faculty members are directed to call 911 and not attempt to continue to conduct class.

Prior to withdrawing students for disruptive classroom behavior, the faculty member shall follow the following procedural steps:

  1. Inform the student that the specific behavior(s) in question is inappropriate and disrupts the class, and

    direct that the student discontinue the behavior. If a student demonstrates what the instructor considers aggressive disruptive behavior, the instructor should ask the student to leave the classroom immediately or contact the HSU Police Department to have the student removed. Following an incident of aggressive disruptive behavior, the instructor should promptly notify the Behavioral Intervention Team, her or his department chair and dean's office, who in turn may contact the Office of Academic Affairs, the Office of Student Affairs, and HSU Police Department in order to determine the appropriate action to be taken. Depending upon the nature and severity of the inappropriate behavior, such action may include, but not be limited to, any sanction listed in section 2 below.

    As noted above, if a student exhibits behavior that is threatening or violent, faculty members are directed to call 911 and not attempt to continue to conduct class.

  2. If the student continues the disruptive behavior (whether in the same or a subsequent class period), the instructor may impose any of the following sanctions or combination of sanctions, at her or his discretion:

    a. asking the student to leave the classroom, which may be followed up with a call to the HSU Police Department, if necessary, to have an official escort the student from the room (notify the department chair and dean’s office that this was done);

    b. withdrawing the student from the course and/or;

    c. sending a second letter to the instructor’s chair and the chair of the student's major department, which may lead to further sanctions, including dismissal from the program or the university.

    The instructor may also ask to meet with the student outside of class during office hours, to reinforce to the student specifically why and how the behavior is disruptive. At this point, the instructor should direct the student to review the section of this policy above describing disruptive behavior. If the student fails to meet with instructor as requested and attempts to return to class, then the instructor should, at his or her discretion, inform the student that he or she may not return to class until the meeting has taken place. In all cases, the instructor should briefly document the interactions with the student, describing the specific behavior that is disruptive, reference the warnings given to the student, and stating what sanctions may take place if the behavior continues. This memo will serve as documentation to support further sanctions if the disruptive behavior continues. A copy of the memo should be forwarded to the faculty member’s academic dean and cc’d to his or her department chair, as well as to the chair of the student’s major department.

    If the instructor imposes any combination of the options a-c, implementation of the decision should be made in conjunction with her or his department chair, and the academic dean (or dean's designee) should be notified, including the vice provost/dean of the graduate school in the case of sanctions imposed on graduate students. Sanctions imposed by a faculty member under this policy may not be avoided by withdrawing from or dropping the class. When sanctions require action by the registrar, the registrar shall be notified in writing by the appropriate academic dean involved in the case, who will also copy the Office of Academic Affairs.

Students wishing to appeal sanctions imposed by their instructor due to disruptive classroom behavior shall submit a written appeal to the academic dean (or dean's designee) of the college in which the course was offered. During regular fall and spring terms, the dean shall review the written appeal and respond to the student’s appeal in writing within 10 calendar days, excluding days in which the university is closed. During summer terms, the dean shall review and respond to the written appeal within 5 calendar days. In the case of a graduate student, appeals of sanctions shall be submitted in writing to the vice provost/dean of the graduate school, who will work with the appropriate academic dean to review and respond to the appeal within 10 calendar days, excluding days in which the university is closed. During summer terms this review and response shall be accomplished within 5 calendar days. In the case of all appeals, the decision of the dean(s) is final for that particular case. In no case is the sanction appealable through the academic appeals process described below. Students and faculty members should recognize that if such matters rise to the level of the department chair or academic dean (or dean's designee), he or she will gather and review all relevant information and will recognize the institution’s obligation of fairness to the instructor, the student, and the larger class.

Office of Academic Affairs Student Academic Integrity and Academic Conduct Policies & Processes, Henderson State University; Final version approved September 9, 2016 — Shared Governance Committee