Policy 150.25 - Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism

This Replaces
File: 150.25 150.25
Date: 09/05/06 04/30/04

ORIGINATOR: Provost and Chief Academic Officer

SUBJECT: Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism

  1. Introduction
    This Policy describes academic integrity and the procedures for handling academic dishonesty and plagiarism at UMUC.
  2. Academic Integrity
    1. In accordance with the Board of Regents Policy III-1.00 Policy on Faculty, Student and Institutional Rights and Responsibility for Academic Integrity, approved on November 30, 1989, UMUC endeavors to foster academic integrity throughout the academic community.
    2. UMUC identifies academic integrity as the commitment to certain core values: truth, honesty, fairness, respect, and responsibility.
      1. Honesty and truthfulness: Express the truth, without deception, duplicity, cheating, and fraud. Be forthright in our interactions with each other, and making all reasonable efforts to fulfill our commitments.
      2. Fairness: Treat students, faculty and staff according to UMUC standards and policies, administered in an impartial manner.
      3. Respect: Foster an environment that enables honest and open communication, free from harassment and intimidation, where alternative points of view are treated with consideration, and the diversity of our academic community is appreciated, and where the work of others is acknowledged through the proper identification of sources.
      4. Responsibility: All members of the university community are held accountable for their work and actions. Academically dishonest behavior is not tolerated and is viewed as a breach of community ethical standards.
    3. Online resources to educate faculty, students and staff regarding academic integrity standards are located at Information and Library Services and the Effective Writing Center.
  3. Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism
    1. Academic dishonesty is the failure to maintain academic integrity. UMUC defines acts of academic dishonesty (see section IV); ensures procedures for due process for students accused or suspected of acts of academic dishonesty on work performed within a course (see section V); and imposes appropriate sanctions on students found to be guilty of acts of academic dishonesty (see section VII) in this Policy.
    2. All charges of academic dishonesty will be brought in accordance with this Policy.UMUC expects all members of the university community—students, faculty, and staff—to share the responsibility and authority to report known acts of academic dishonesty. In every case of alleged academic dishonesty, the burden of proof rests with the UMUC faculty member or administrator to clearly demonstrate that the student committed an act of academic dishonesty.
    3. Students can avoid unintentional plagiarism by carefully following accepted scholarly practices. Notes taken for papers and research projects should accurately record sources of material to be cited, appropriately quoted, paraphrased or summarized, and papers and research projects should acknowledge these sources in the appropriate places in the text of the paper as well as in a reference list at the end of the paper, in accordance with accepted citation practices.
    4. Faculty may determine if the resubmission of coursework from previous classes (whether or not taken at UMUC), partially or in its entirety, is acceptable or unacceptable when assigning a grade on that piece of coursework. Faculty must provide this information in their written syllabi including a sanction if the resubmission of coursework is deemed to be unacceptable. If the resubmission of coursework is deemed to be unacceptable, a charge may not be brought under this Policy and will be handled as indicated in the written syllabi.
    5. Allegations of misconduct in scholarly work performed by faculty and staff, and students (for work performed outside of coursework), shall be processed under Policy 150.50 – Misconduct in Scholarly Work.
    6. The unit director or designee(s) is the point of contact for questions concerning this Policy. See also section IV.E.
  4. Definitions
    1. See Section II for Academic Integrity.
    2. Academic dishonesty includes but is not limited to:
      1. Plagiarism - the intentional or unintentional presentation of another person's idea or product as one's own. Plagiarism includes but is not limited to the following: copying verbatim all or part of another's written work; using phrases, charts, figures, illustrations, or mathematical or scientific solutions without citing the source; paraphrasing ideas, conclusions or research without citing the source in the text and in reference lists; or using all or part of a literary plot, poem, film, musical score or other artistic product without attributing the work to its creator.
      2. Cheating – the use or attempt to use unauthorized materials, information, or study aids in any academic exercise.
      3. Fabrication - the falsification or invention of any information or citation in an academic exercise.
      4. Offering bribery for grades, transcripts, or diplomas;
      5. Obtaining or giving aid on an examination;
      6. Presenting another's work as one's own or doing work for another student;
      7. Having unauthorized prior knowledge of an examination; and
      8. Using a proxy during an examination.
    3. A conference is a communication between two or more individuals by telephone, in writing (including but not limited to e-mail, fax, or posted letter), through videoconferencing, net-meeting, or in person.
    4. "Administrators" for undergraduate courses originating at UMUC Stateside are the Director of Prior Learning, and the Assistant Dean and/or the Academic Director for the faculty member's academic area. Administrators for graduate courses originating at UMUC Stateside are the Chair and/or Program Director for the faculty member's academic area. The administrator for courses originating in UMUC Europe or UMUC Asia is the Area Director for the faculty member's location.
    5. The "unit director" for undergraduate courses originating at UMUC Stateside is the Dean and Vice Provost or Associate Dean, School of Undergraduate Studies. The unit director for graduate courses originating at UMUC Stateside is the Dean and Vice Provost or Associate Dean, Graduate School of Management and Technology. The unit director for courses originating in UMUC Europe or UMUC Asia is the respective Director or Associate Dean.
  5. Procedures for Handling Charges of Alleged Academic Dishonesty
    1. Reports of Suspected Academic Dishonesty
      If a student or UMUC employee (administrative employee, faculty or staff) suspects a student has committed academic dishonesty, the alleged violation should immediately be reported to the faculty member teaching the course or to an administrator.
    2. Informing the Student of the Charge
      1. Within 7 calendar days after a faculty member or administrator suspects or is informed that a student in the faculty member's course allegedly committed academic dishonesty, the faculty member or administrator shall notify the student of the charge.
      2. Once notified of the charge, the student shall not withdraw from the course or change the status of the course to audit. A grade of G is assigned administratively until the Procedures for Handling Academic Dishonesty are completed.
      3. In the notification, the faculty member or administrator shall provide the student with an opportunity to respond to the charge within 7 calendar days of the notification.
        1. If the student responds within 7 calendar days and the faculty member or administrator determines that an act of academic dishonesty was not committed, a decision will immediately be rendered in favor of the student.
        2. If the student does not respond within 7 calendar days or the faculty member or administrator continues to believe that an act of academic dishonesty was committed, the faculty member or administrator will notify the applicable unit director or designee of the charge within 14 calendar days and provide supporting documentation.
    3. Handling of the Charge by the Unit Director or Designee
      1. Once the faculty member or administrator informs the unit director or designee of the charge, the unit director or designee will consult UMUC's central records maintained in the Office of the Provost and Chief Academic Officer (or "Provost") to determine whether there is a previous record of academic dishonesty.
      2. Within 10 calendar days of the notification, the unit director or designee will inform the student, in writing, of the charge and the unit director's proposed sanction. Potential sanctions are listed in Section VII of this Policy.
      3. In the unit director's letter, the student shall be given the opportunity to contact the unit director or designee to request a conference within 20 calendar days of the date of the letter. The purpose of the conference is for the student to present relevant evidence that he/she did not violate the Policy.
        1. If the student requests a conference within this 20 calendar day time period, the unit director or designee and the student will have a conference within 14 calendar days of the student's request.
          1. During the conference, the student will have the opportunity to present any relevant evidence and answer questions posed by the unit director or designee. Upon request, the student may see the information submitted against him or her relating to the allegation. However, the student will not have the right to see any information that violates the privacy rights of other students. The student may be accompanied by a representative, at his or her own expense, who shall not personally participate.
          2. Within 20 calendar days after the conference, the unit director will render a decision and issue a sanction, if appropriate. The unit director or designee will send the written decision to the student and faculty member and administrator within 5 calendar days after the decision is rendered. Copies of this written decision will be kept in the central records file in the Office of the Provost.
        2. If the student does not contact the unit director or designee within 20 calendar days, the proposed sanction indicated in Section V.C.2 will be imposed. Copies of the letter sent in Section V.C.2 will be kept in the central records file in the Office of the Provost.
  6. Appeal Process
    1. If the student believes that the process and procedures outlined in this Policy were not followed, the student may appeal the unit director's determination and/or sanction to the Provost within 30 calendar days of the date of the unit director's written decision. The faculty member, administrator, and the unit director will be notified of the filing of the appeal.
    2. Upon receipt of the appeal, the Provost or designee(s) may review documentation and communicate with the student, faculty member, administrator, and unit director to determine whether the process and procedures were followed. The Provost may render one of the following decisions:
      1. If the Provost finds evidence of violation of the process and procedures of this Policy, the Provost will direct the unit director to review the case anew from the point at which the violation occurred.
      2. If the Provost finds no evidence of violation of the process and procedures this Policy, the Provost will uphold the decision and/or sanction of the unit director.
    3. The student, faculty member, administrator, and the unit director will be informed in writing of the Provost's ruling within 40 calendar days of receipt of the student's appeal. If the Provost upholds the decision and sanction of the unit director, a copy of the letter will be filed in the central records in the Office of the Provost. This constitutes the final UMUC decision and is not itself appealable.
  7. Disciplinary Action in Cases of Academic Dishonesty
    1. Throughout the process and procedures outlined in this Policy, the following is a list of the sanctions that may be imposed:
      1. A requirement to complete appropriate remedial work, selected by the unit director, including but not limited to additional undergraduate or graduate writing courses, online tutorials, and other options, before continuing on in a degree or certificate program.
      2. A reduction in the grade on the work in question.
      3. A zero or a grade of F on the work in question.
      4. A grade of F in the course and/or denial of portfolio credit.
      5. Suspension for Academic Dishonesty with a letter in the student's file (on the recommendation of the unit director and with the approval of the Provost).
      6. Expulsion for Academic Dishonesty(on the recommendation of the unit director and with the approval of the Provost).
    2. Students who receive a sanction that prohibits them from registering at UMUC (Suspension, or Expulsion) may not subsequently transfer to UMUC credits earned elsewhere during the time in which they were prohibited from registering.
    3. Students expelled or suspended for reasons of academic dishonesty by any institution in the University System of Maryland shall not be admissible to any other System institution if expelled, or during any period of suspension.
  8. Disciplinary Files and Records
    1. An imposition of the sanctions above will result in the development of a student's disciplinary file, which shall be nullified if the student is found innocent of the charges. The records of students found guilty of any of the charges against them will be retained as permanent disciplinary records.
    2. Disciplinary records may be expunged from the student's disciplinary file by the Provost or designee for good cause, upon written petition of the student accused, three years from the date of the final written decision or three years following degree completion. Disciplinary records shall not be expunged without unusual and compelling justification. Factors to be considered in review of such petitions shall include:
      1. The present demeanor of the person accused.
      2. The conduct of the person accused subsequent to the violation.
      3. The nature of the violation and the severity of any damage, injury, or harm resulting from it.
    3. The Provost will respond, in writing, within 28 calendar days of the receipt of the petition. If the Provost denies the petition, copies of this letter will be kept in the central records file in the Office of the Provost and Chief Academic Officer. Denials of petitions to expunge disciplinary records shall be appealable to the President or designee.
    4. The President or designee shall review the original petition and the factors outlined in Section VIII.B.1.-VIII.B.3. The President will respond, in writing, within 28 calendar days of the receipt of the appeal to the petition. If the President denies the appeal, copies of this letter will be kept in the central records file in the Office of the Provost and Chief Academic Officer.
    5. The decision of the President is final and is not appealable.