Academic Integrity Policy

Bryan College of Health Sciences is committed to being an academic community of integrity. Academic integrity, as defined by this statement, is expected in all endeavors of its administration, faculty, staff, and student body. Academic integrity encompasses honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, and courage (International Center for Academic Integrity, 2014) as they relate to all aspects of academic life, including administration, teaching, learning, and research. The resulting culture of integrity promotes academic excellence at all levels.

Honesty
Honesty is the foundation upon which academic integrity is built. All members of the College community are expected to embrace the concept of honesty in all its facets. Truth-telling, a most basic component of honesty, is expected in all written and verbal communications and scholarly activities. This encompasses accurately representing individual knowledge, effort, and participation in assigned activities and responsibilities, service activities, and scholarly work. All members of the College community will accurately represent all prior and current education, accomplishments, and professional experiences. Honesty also includes accurately representing the work of others through proper acknowledgment and citation. Honesty allows constituents to achieve their goals and permits failure, which promotes honest achievement. Honesty also involves respect for the property of individuals and the learning community. Honesty promotes trust.

Trust
The College is trusted by its constituents to provide quality education and quality graduates. Trust is earned when individuals and institutions do what they say they are going to do and accurately portray themselves to others. This includes being physically, emotionally, and mentally prepared to carry out required duties without impairment. Trust requires a balance of supervision and autonomy; honest and caring interactions among members of the College community help to engender trust. Clear, realistic expectations foster trust, as does an open forum for appropriate discourse.

Fairness
Fairness in the academic setting allows all parties an equal opportunity to learn and grow. This requires objectivity in evaluation and equitable treatment. This does not imply that equitable treatment always means the same treatment, as each individual’s unique needs may require unique solutions to provide opportunity for comparable outcomes.

Responsibility
All members of the College community bear responsibility for maintaining a culture of academic integrity. At the core of academic integrity lies the responsibility of all members of the College community to strive for academic excellence. This involves actively demonstrating the precepts of this policy and the Bryan College of Health Sciences values, both while inside and outside the College. When the actions of individuals are incongruent with those values, all members of the College community are responsible for initiating an appropriate response.

Respect
Honesty, trust, fairness, and responsibility are vehicles by which respect is earned. Respect is integral to the maintenance of relationships within the College community, and by necessity includes appropriate valuing of individual and cultural differences, and respecting privacy.

Courage
Promoting and maintaining a culture of academic integrity requires all members of the College to be prepared to act with courage. The College has a responsibility to act with courage and to hold individuals accountable for their actions. Voicing a concern regarding academic integrity may feel difficult or even uncomfortable, however, demonstrating academic integrity requires those with concerns to have the courage to step forward.

International Center for Academic Integrity (2014). The fundamental values of academic integrity. Retrieved from http://www.academicintegrity.org/icai/resources-2.php

Unconscious Bias: At BCHS we acknowledge that everyone has bias. We minimize bias through ongoing training and self- reflection.

Administrators are expected to live the values of the Bryan College of Health Sciences and meet the high standards of honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, and courage delineated in the preceding parts of this policy. Examples of academic integrity issues specific to the administrative role include, but are not limited to:

  • Minimizing bias in admitting, progressing, or dismissing students
  • Minimizing bias in hiring, promoting, disciplining or dismissing faculty or staff
  • Representing the College accurately to internal and external constituents
  • Providing adequate resources and support to ensure the culture of integrity is maintained
  • Supporting the professional growth of all members of the College community
  • Promoting a culture of open communication

Faculty members are expected to live the values of the Bryan College of Health Sciences and meet the high standards of honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, and courage delineated in the preceding parts of this policy. Examples of academic integrity issues specific to the role of faculty members include, but are not limited to:

  • Maintaining a teaching/learning environment free of bias
  • Addressing each person’s unique learning needs appropriately
  • Minimizing bias in admitting, progressing or dismissing students
  • Creating a teaching/learning environment that fosters integrity and deters dishonesty
  • Achieving and maintaining competency in classroom and clinical skills
  • Promoting a collegial environment
  • Respecting intellectual property rights of others

Students are expected to live the values of the Bryan College of Health Sciences and meet the high standards of honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, and courage delineated in the preceding parts of this policy. Examples of academic integrity issues specific to the student role include, but are not limited to:

  • Demonstrating personal integrity and fostering integrity in others
  • Coming prepared to learn and actively participating in class and clinical.
  • Seeking assistance from appropriate sources as needed
  • Students must obtain advance permission from individual course faculty to capture electronic file (including but not limited to pictures, video, or audio recording). Approved electronic files can be used solely for the student’s own private use. Capturing electronic files without permission or distributing electronic files is a violation of the BCHS Integrity Policy and may be considered a violation of educational privacy laws.
  • Managing time and resources to allow appropriate commitment to learning
  • Taking responsibility for understanding the meaning and implications of academic integrity and dishonesty as described in this policy

Research and Data Collection Integrity
The Bryan College of Health Sciences believes in the value of scholarly activities including the performance of research.  Administrators, faculty and staff members are leaders in their professions and role models for students.  As such they have a responsibility to add to the knowledge base of their profession and appropriately incorporate existing knowledge into their practice and their teaching.

Students may also perform research studies that add to their knowledge base and assist with their understanding of various research and quality management processes.

The IRB of the Bryan College of Health Sciences is a federally registered board composed of faculty, administrators and community representatives, which is charged with the review and approval of all research protocols involving humans as participants and created by anyone affiliated with Bryan College of Health Sciences.  All research protocols (involving both human and nonhuman participants) by faculty and/or students of Bryan College of Health Sciences must be approved by an appropriate IRB prior to initiation of data collection including additional approval by the Institution in which the research will be conducted.

Research investigators are expected to live the values of the Bryan College of Health Sciences and meet the high standards of honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, and courage delineated in the preceding parts of this policy.  Research misconduct is a violation of academic integrity.  Research misconduct includes behaviors such as fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism while proposing, performing, reviewing or reporting research results.

  • Fabrication: Making up data or results and recording or reporting them.
  • Falsification: Manipulating research materials, equipment, or processes during the research process.  Falsification also includes changing or omitting data or results leading to research that is not accurate.
  • Plagiarism: Using another person’s ideas, processes, results, or words without giving them proper credit

Research misconduct does not include honest error or differences of opinion.

Reference
Public health Service Policies on Research Misconduct – Part 93:103 Research Misconduct.

http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title42/42cfr93_main_02.tpl

Research investigators must maintain academic integrity in the research process including, but not limited to:

  • Seeking IRB approval prior to beginning human subjects research
  • Following the approved IRB study protocol
  • Obtaining IRB approval for any change in protocol
  • Acknowledging any monetary or other interest in the outcome of the study that may represent a conflict of interest with the study’s purpose
  • Using appropriate, recognized methods when planning and conducting the study
  • Minimizing bias in the selection and treatment of research subjects
  • Providing a thorough, honest informed consent process
  • Demonstrating scrupulous honesty when recording and analyzing study data
  • Protecting the privacy of subjects and subjects’ data during the study and within any written or verbal report, presentation or publication about the study

There are many instances in which data collection may occur within the College. Information is often collected by students in fulfillment of course objectives and data about students and faculty are often compiled by College departments for improvement purposes. All administrators, faculty, staff and students are expected to know and follow the information privacy laws related to the data they are collecting. Faculty members are responsible for educating students about all privacy issues that may relate to assignments made in their courses.

Academic Integrity Violations
Alleged and confirmed student violations of this academic integrity policy will be addressed utilizing the Academic Integrity Violation Policy.  Enrolled students confirmed to be in violation of this academic integrity policy will participate in an individualized remediation plan in order to learn and grow.  In addition, a sanction may be imposed upon the student.  Definitions of types of academic integrity violations, along with typical sanctions imposed for such violations, can be found in the Academic Integrity Violation Policy. Examples provided are intended for clarification only, and are not all-inclusive. The Academic Integrity Violation Policy also includes a flowchart that visually identifies the process.

** Factors given consideration when determining appropriate sanctions may include but are not limited to:

  • Self-reporting
  • Level of intent to deceive
  • Scale of violation
  • Stakes of assignment / exam
  • Prior learning opportunities
  • Outcomes resulting from the violation, including patient outcomes in clinical situations
  • Student’s response to opportunities to take corrective action
  • Student’s view of the violation in terms of remorse, understanding impact (on learning or patient safety, for example)
  • Student’s level of honesty in discussions or other investigation pertaining to the violation
  • Prior engagement in academic integrity violations, according to record maintained by Provost