Policy Title

Academic Misconduct ( Student)

Statement

To ensure proper procedures are followed in matters of alleged academic misconduct.

Scope

Winthrop University Students

Policy Number:3.1.3
Effective Date:07 - 24 - 2019
Date Reviewed: 07 - 24 - 2019
Last Review Date: 01 - 01 - 2016
Responsible Official: Vice President for Student Affairs
Responsible Office: Student Conduct
Contact Information:

Student Conduct

246 DiGiorgio Center

Rock Hill, SC 29733, USA

803/323-4503

803/323-4514 (Fax)

Definitions

1.0 Specific meanings of bold terms seen throughout this policy can be found within the University's policy definition glossary by following the link below.

1.1 http://www.winthrop.edu/policy-definitions-glossary

A fundamental tenet of all institutions of higher learning is academic honesty. Academic work must depend upon respect for and acknowledgement of the research and ideas of others. Misrepresentation of someone else’s work as one’s own is a most serious offense in any academic setting. Academic misconduct in any form cannot be condoned.


Academic misconduct includes but is not limited to providing or receiving assistance in a manner not authorized by the professor in the creation of work to be submitted for academic evaluation including papers, projects, and examinations; presenting, as one’s own, the ideas or words of another for academic evaluation without proper acknowledgement; doing unauthorized academic work for which another person will receive credit or be evaluated; and presenting the same or substantially the same papers or projects in two or more courses without the explicit permission of the professors involved.


In addition, academic misconduct involves attempting to influence one’s academic evaluation by means other than academic achievement or merit. More explicit definitions of academic misconduct specific to certain academic disciplines may be promulgated by academic departments and colleges. One who knowingly cooperates with another in an act of academic misconduct is an accessory to that academic misconduct. Thus a student who writes a paper or does an assignment for another student is an accomplice and will be held accountable just as severely as the other. Any student who knowingly permits another to copy from his or her own paper, examination or project shall be held as accountable as the student who submits the copied material. 

The following procedural guidelines are to be followed in matters of alleged academic misconduct:


A. During the course of an examination or other exercise, an instructor or proctor who observes suspicious behavior such as copying or collusion may warn the individuals involved of the appearance of their actions and request them to cease immediately. Continuation of such behavior can be considered evidence of academic misconduct. The professor is not obligated to warn students beforehand and the cessation of the suspicious behavior does not relieve the student of a later

judgment of academic dishonesty.


B. A remarkable similarity between works supposedly completed independently that are submitted for evaluation may be considered evidence indicating academic misconduct.


C. When a professor believes there is sufficient evidence to demonstrate a clear case of academic misconduct, the professor shall notify the student in writing. Notification should occur within 30 days of discovery of the academic misconduct. The notice shall indicate that unless the student requests a hearing, the professor shall impose the appropriate academic consequences warranted by the circumstances and that a disciplinary hearing may be initiated. The appropriate academic consequence for serious offenses is generally considered to be failure in the course. Students may not withdraw from a course to avoid an F grade as the academic consequence for a violation. For less serious offenses regarding small positions of the course work, failure for that portion is suggested with the requirement that the student repeat the work for no credit. The faculty member is responsible for saving the evidence of academic misconduct in its original form and need not return any of the papers or other materials to the student. Copies of the student’s work and information about other evidence will be provided to the student upon request.


D. The student is given seven days from this first written notice to respond. If the student acknowledges responsibility or if the student does not respond to the written notice, the academic consequences shall be imposed by the professor who will also submit a report to the Dean of the college and the Dean of Students.


E. If the professor requests or if the student has a prior disciplinary record or unusual circumstances exist, the Dean of Students can initiate a hearing utilizing the regular discipline process as stipulated in the Student Conduct Code which may alter the student’s status with the University.


F. If a student chooses to contest the charge of academic misconduct the student may request in writing to the professor with a copy to the Dean of Students, a disciplinary hearing to determine the facts of the alleged misconduct. The Dean of Students shall initiate the regular disciplinary process. The purpose of the hearing is to determine the student’s responsibility for the alleged academic misconduct. If the student is judged by the hearing authority as stipulated in the Student Conduct Code to be responsible for a violation, the professor shall determine the appropriate academic consequences within the course and the hearing authority will decide what regular disciplinary sanction, including suspension or expulsion, will be imposed. If the hearing authority determines the student was not responsible for a violation, no academic consequences within the course can be imposed by the professor.


G. The Dean of Students is responsible for assisting students, professors and hearing authorities in matters of process and procedure associated with Winthrop’s academic misconduct policy. The Dean of Students will inform the Dean of the College in which the student is enrolled that the case has been reported and of any final action taken by the professor and/or the hearing authority.


 H. Supplementary Procedures for Academic Misconduct for Graduate Students – Winthrop holds its graduate students to the highest standard of academic and professional responsibilities. Because of these high standards, and due to specific academic accreditation requirements for many of our graduate programs, students found responsible for academic misconduct may be dismissed from the graduate program in which they are enrolled, even if the original regular hearing authority did not determine expulsion or suspension from the university.


Students dismissed from a graduate program because of academic misconduct may apply for admission to a different graduate program after a period of two years if not expelled from the university by the original regular hearing authority. All documentation related to any prior academic misconduct will become part of the subsequent application. Procedures for Cases of Graduate Academic Misconduct The following outlines the disciplinary process for cases of academic misconduct at the graduate level:


1) In terms of assigning appropriate academic consequences for academic misconduct within a specific course, a faculty member will follow the same procedures for graduate students as undergraduate students as outlined in item V. C. of the Student Conduct Code. He or she will notify the student and copy the Academic Dean, the Dean of Students, and the Dean of the Graduate School.


2) Consistent with institutional policy in the Student Conduct Code, the graduate student has Five business days (excluding weekends and holidays) to contest the charge of academic misconduct and request in writing to the professor with a copy to the Dean of Students a disciplinary hearing to determine the facts of the alleged misconduct. If the graduate student disputes the findings of fact, the case is referred by the Dean of Students directly to the Judicial Council or administrative hearing authority, and a hearing is conducted according to the procedures spelled out in the Student Conduct Code. If the Judicial Council or hearing authority determines the student was not responsible for a violation, no academic consequences within the course can be imposed by the faculty member.


3) If the graduate student has accepted his or her responsibility for academic misconduct or been found responsible, the faculty member who originally discovered the misconduct, the graduate program director/coordinator, or department chair may recommend in writing to the student’s Academic College Dean that the student be dismissed from the student’s graduate program for not meeting the professional standards, competencies and expectations for the student’s graduate academic program.


4) This recommendation must be made in writing and copied to the student. This recommendation will be distinct from the original notice of disciplinary sanctions sent directly to the student and will be supported with all necessary information, including the findings of Judicial Council or hearing authority (if applicable).


5) When a recommendation for dismissal is brought forward to the Academic College Dean, he or she will review all of the available evidence and information, and consult with the faculty member, department chair, program coordinator, graduate director and other parties as appropriate. The Academic College Dean will decide to either 1) limit the academic consequences to those which were assigned in the class; or 2) affirm the academic consequences assigned in the class and recommend to the Dean of Students and Dean of the Graduate School that the student be dismissed from his or her graduate program. If the Academic College Dean chooses to recommend dismissal, he or she will make available all relevant information, including references to specific professional standards, that supports the recommendation for dismissal. The Academic College Dean will render his or her decision within five business days (excluding weekends and holidays) of receiving the formal recommendation. Regardless of the decision, the Academic College Dean notifies the student in writing of his or her recommendation and copies the Dean of Students, the Dean of the Graduate School, and the International Center (if applicable).


6) If the Academic College Dean formally recommends dismissal, the graduate student has 7 days from the written notice to respond to the Academic College Dean in writing copied to the Dean of Students and the Dean of the Graduate School. In his or her appeal, the graduate student will include any new or mitigating information to be considered. If the graduate student does not respond to the notice of pending dismissal from the Academic College Dean, he or she is accepting his or her dismissal from the graduate program and the case goes no further and the dismissal is final. The Dean of the Graduate School, in this case, will notify the student in writing with copies to all appropriate parties.


7) If the graduate student formally appeals in writing the Academic College Dean’s recommendation for dismissal, he or she may continue to register and/or attend classes until the time at which the final decision is rendered by the Graduate School Judicial Review Committee, which is comprised of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Dean of Students, and the Dean of the Graduate School. After receiving the formal appeal, the Dean of Students will convene the Graduate School Judicial Review Committee, which will review all of the information, including the findings of the original Judicial Council or hearing authority (if applicable), and consult with any and all parties as appropriate.


8) The Graduate School Judicial Review Committee will 1) accept the recommendation and dismiss the student from the graduate program; or 2) reject the recommendation and allow the student to continue in his or her graduate program of study. Regardless of the decision, the Vice President for Academic Affairs notifies the student in writing and copies all appropriate parties. All records are maintained in accord with appropriate university protocols.


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