Policy on Academic Integrity

I  Academic Integrity-Importance

Academic integrity is an essential part of all good teaching,learning,research,and knowledge building. Academic integrity, including ethical behavior, intellectual honesty, respect for the work of others, credit when that work forms a base for our own work, and taking responsibility for our own work, are all a critical part of the academic community.

Academic integrity must begin from the first day at the university and build into a habit that lasts for life.Without academic integrity, it is not possible to have a true university that teaches how to think or which builds new knowledge for the benefit of mankind.

II Academic integrity Committee (AIC)

Composition:             

The following AIC members serve in their ex officio capacities:

  • Vice Rector
  •  Registrar
  •  Director of the Centre for Learning and Teaching
  • All Deans

The Rector may appoint other members as he believes are required.

The Vice Rector chairs the committee. In the absence of the Vice Rector, a member designated by the Vice- Rector will chair the committee meeting. If no one is so designated, the members of the committee present will select a chairperson.

Secretariat of the AIC in the office of the Vice Rector

  • The Vice Rector will arrange to record each session of the AIC and will also appoint someone to take notes for each session.
  • The Office of the Vice Rector will keep all files related to the AIC and all cases that come before it.
  • The office of the Vice Rector will also keep a computerized record of all infractions reported to it, separately by each student.
  • The faculty record in the  related faculty’s file will be maintained in the registrar’s office while the student files will be maintained by the Office of Students.
  • Records will be kept of any breaches of academic integrity on a university wide basis.

Faculty will request Vice Rector for information about a student’s previous breaches of academic integrity in order to determine how to proceed.

The AIC may appoint subcommittees for any purpose it deems necessary.

III Academic Integrity – Expectations

All members of the academic community are expected to:

  • Conduct themselves with honesty and integrity at all times.
  • Credit the work of others, as appropriate.
  • Conduct research in an ethical and accurate manner, with the work of others cited appropriately.
  • Follow the ethical expectations of their discipline.
  • Honor the confidentiality of personal information of others in the academic community or of research subjects.
  • Respect the intellectual property rights of others.

Students are expected to:

  • Come to class regularly and on time.
  • Clarify any assignments or expectations they do not understand.
  • Complete all assignments on time, without assistance from others, unless this is permitted by the professor.
  • Avoid the use of any aids or extraneous information on quizzes, midterms, or exams, unless explicitly allowed by the professor.
  • Recognize that excused absences are a privilege, and students are expected to provide accurate information when obtaining these.

Faculty is expected to:

  • Clarify their expectations of students at the beginning of each course in writing.
  • Instruct students at the beginning of the semester about what method to use to cite the work of others with specific regard to the issue of plagiarism.
  • Be aware of the various tools to detect plagiarism, specifically use of Turnitin.
  • Clarify when students may work together and when they may not.
  • Model the ethical behavior they expect of students.
  • Credit the work of others in their own research, using a citation method appropriate to their discipline, including the work of students, in instances in which the the students has conceptualized the work and carried out most of the research.
  • Be fair in their dealings with all students,other faculty, and other staff, and to assign grades or evaluations based on merit.
  • Be responsible for students on field trips outside the classroom. This includes having a female faculty member present if there are female students in the group.
  • Coordinate with each other if they are teaching multiple sections of the same course.

IV Breaches of Academic Integrity

Coursework

Students may not:

  • Use any method to cheat on exams.
  • Plagiarize or copy the work product or ideas of others, in any way, without adequate citation. This includes assignments done by other students themselves for a different and/or earlier course.
  • Attempt to bribe or intimidate any other student, professor, or staff person in relation to academic work or for personal gain.
  • Impersonate another student in class or for exams or any assignment.
  • Sabotage the work of other students or faculty.
  • Conceal or remove information or materials so that it is not available for others.
  • Violate confidential information.

Faculty may not:

  • Give preferential treatment to any student on the basis of ethnicity, religion, gender, personal relationship, or any other non-merit basis.
  • Use inconsistent methods to assign grades to students.
  • Sabotage the work of students or other faculty.
  • Coerce a student for personal favors or gains.

Administrative staff may not:

  • Change a grade without appropriate authorization.
  • Violate confidentiality without documenting the reasons for it.

No one may:

  • Record, sell, purchase,or use academic lectures, computers software, or other instructional materials without appropriate authorization.
  • Violate intellectual property rights.

Research

Member of the academic community may not:

  • Plagarize or use the work of others whether written work, lab results, or ideas, without appropriate credit.
  • Falsify results,data,findings,observations,or any other information through active falsification or omission.
  • Intentionally mislead others about the importance of academic information.
  • Coerce a faculty member into suppressing the results of his research.
  • Violate the confidentiality of respondents or participants in any research activity.

Documents

No member of the academic community may:

  • Present degrees or other documentation of achievement that is not valid.
  • Present false or misleading information to obtain extensions,absence, or to retake exams or take them later.
  • Expropriate or abuse a position of trust to utilize ideas, data, or other information gained in a peer review process or in reviewing proposals for funding.
  • Attempts to influence grades or evaluations inappropriately

No member of the academic community may use coercion of any kind, including threats of poorer grades or poorer evaluations, for personal gain,benefit,or satisfaction.

University property

No member of the university community may:

  •  Steal or deface university property.
  •  Use university property or facilities without proper authorization.

V Reporting breaches of Academic Integrity

For students:

  • When a faculty member believes that a student has violated academic integrity, he or she will confront the student. The faculty member will check with the office of the Vice Rector to see if this is a first or subsequent breach of academic integrity.
  • If this is a first offence, and the student does not contest the charge, the student will fail the assignment, and the faculty member will report the incident to the Office of the Vice Rector along with whatever documentation is relevant. The information will be put into the student’s file. In this instance there is no AIC hearing. The faculty member must notify the following: the Vice Rector’s office, the head of the relevant department, the dean of the relevant faculty, the student’s advisor,the Dean of Students, and the student concerned.
  • If the student contests the charge or the penalty, or if it is a second or subsequent offense,or a very serious offense,the faculty member will refer the case directly to the AIC, using the appropriate form, with copies notifying the student,the advisor,the Dean of Students,the relevant dean, and the head of the department. The faculty should attach whatever documentation exists of about the breach. The Offence should be reported as soon as possible, but no longer than five working days after the discovery of the breach.
  • A student may report a breach of another student’s academic integrity to the professor or to the AIC in writing, signing the accusation.
  • A staff member may report a breach of student academic integrity to the AIC with appropriate documentation.
  • The breach must be reported within 10 working days of discovering the breach.

Faculty or administrative staff:

  • Any accusation of a breach of academic integrity by a faculty member or member or member of the administrative staff must be reported directly to the AIC through Vice Rector’s office in writing, with the necessary relevant documentation and signed.

VI Process for adjudication

Students:

  • For cases involving students, a sub committee will be formed to serve as a finder of fact. It will consist of three regular members of the AIC, a student member,the Dean of Students,and anyone else the AIC deems appropriate (e.g a subject specialist). All members of the subcommittee will have a right to vote on the sub-committee’s decision.
  • The student member will be selected randomly from among the students on the Honor Roll who have previously agreed to be willing to serve.
  • Notice will be sent to the student facing charges, and other people involved, at least five working days before the hearing.
  • Students have the right to bring another student of their choice as a supporter; or, the student may bring a parent or guardian to the hearing, if the student so desires.
  • If a faculty member has raised the charge, he or she must attend the hearing. The subcommittee will hear and review all the evidence from both the student and other person or persons involved.If the faculty member is incapacitated or out of the country, the hearing may be postponed until his or her return.
  • The subcommittee will report its finding of fact and its recommendations for sanctions or otherwise to the Vice Rector.
  • At the discretion of the Vice Rector, the results of the Subcommittee might be brought to the AIC for review…
  • The Vice Rector will inform about the sanctions, imposed by the sub-committee or AIC whatever the case may be, to the concerned Head of the department, the relevant Dean, the office of the Academic Affairs and the parties involved in the case, within five working days of the hearing.
  • If either party contests the decision, he or she may appeal to the full AIC within five working days of the decision. The AIC may either uphold the decision of the subcommittee or undertake to review the case. If the AIC decides to review the case, it will notify the parties at least five working days in advance of the review. The AIC must report its decision within five working days of completing its review.
  • If a party is still not satisfied with the decision of the AIC, he or she may appeal to the Rector, who is the final authority in these matters.

Faculty and administration:

  • Accusations of breaches of faculty integrity will only be entertained if the accusations are in writing and signed.
  • When a faculty breach of integrity is reported to the Vice Rector’s Office, that office will call a meeting of the whole AIC within five working days to hear the charges. Notice of the charge will also be sent to the faculty member involved, his head and the Dean of the relevant faculty.
  • For charges against faculty members, the whole AIC will determine facts and findings. The AIC may also invite other persons to help them who have special knowledge of a subject or a procedure that is involved in the accusation, or anyone else deemed useful to a fair and honest inquiry.
  • The faculty member so charged may request an extension of time, up to 10 working days, to prepare his defense.
  • After hearing all the relevant evidence, the AIC will make its decision known and its recommendations of sanctions, if any, to the concerned parties and to the Rector, within five working days of the hearing.
  • If the faculty member contests the AIC decision, he or she may appeal the decsion to the Rector.
  • The Rector may uphold the AIC decision or chose to review the decision within five working days.
  • The Rector is the final decision maker on faculty issues.

VII  Sanctions

Students:

  • For the first offences, the student will receive an F on the assignment or in the course, if the latter is a policy previously announced by the faculty member. A record is sent to student’s file in the Office of the Dean of the Students, to the head of the Department, the relevant dean, and the Vice Rector.
  • If the student request a hearing and is found to have committed the breach, the minimum sanction is to fail the assignment, although the sub-committee may decide on a harsher penalty if the circumstances, in their judgement, call for it. There may also be a fine imposed.
  • If a student is found to have committed a second offense, the minimum punishment is failure of the course, with the subcommittee having the option of recommending a harsher penalty/and/or a fine.
  • For Masters Students, the same rules apply for course work, but if the document in question is the student’s thesis and an academic breach is proven, the grade of the thesis will be an F and the student will not be given a degree from the university.
  • For the capstone courses if breach is proven the students will be given an F in the course, but will be allowed one opportunity to repeat the semester.
  • While the above sanctions are to be viewed as guidelines, the actual sanction will be determined by the AIC or its sub-committee.
  • The AIC will consider all the evidence and circumstances and recommend what it considers an appropriate punishment.
  • In most cases involving plagiarism or falsification of data, the recommendation will be termination of employment ( as stated in the employment contract)
  • In instances of coercion or promises of receiving a better grade in return for favors, the usual recommendation will be termination of employment.
  • The AIC may also recommend demotion, less salary, or a fine, but is not limited to these options.
  • The Rector makes the final decision on sanctions.

VIII  HEC’s Plagiarism Policy

HEC’s Plagiarism policy was adopted by the Academic Council in November of     2010. It is considered to be an integral part of FCCU’s academic integrity policy and is attached as an appendix.

IX  Revision of policy

  • This policy governs the expectations relating to academic integrity at FCCU from May 18,2011, when it was adopted by the Academic Council.
  • This policy will be reviewed to determine its effectiveness and the possible need for change or clarification beginning in April, 2012, so that any proposed changes may be presented at the May, 2012 Academic Council meeting. It may be modified before that time if the Academic Integrity Committee considers necessary.
  • After that, the Academic Integrity Committee will review the policy bi-annually and revise it as necessary with the understanding that the committee may revise the policy at any time as considered necessary.
  • For adjudication purposes, the policy used to adjudicate a case will be that policy in effect on the date that the infraction occurred.