Academic Integrity Violation Policy

Academic integrity is expected in all student endeavors.  The College’s Academic Integrity Violation Policy defines academic integrity and academic dishonesty, including cheating, deliberate plagiarism, fabrication, and falsification. Resolution of student violations under the Academic Integrity Policy is addressed in this procedure.

Alleged and confirmed academic integrity violations are held in strict confidence.  Information regarding alleged or confirmed violations and identities of alleged violators will be shared with faculty, students, administrators, or staff on a need-to-know basis necessary to this procedure.  Trends in academic integrity violations will be reported to College Committees, omitting any potentially identifying information.

All students, faculty, staff, and administrators are expected to report suspected academic integrity violations.  Suspected violations should be reported directly to the involved Course Faculty; the Provost may also be contacted for assistance. Investigating and reporting alleged violations is the responsibility of the involved Course Faculty.

Academic Integrity Violation:

Course Faculty may learn of a potential academic integrity violation through direct observation, self-report by the violator, or report by a third party. Faculty are obligated to address the matter with the student. 

The following steps should be completed:

  1. Document the incident by notifying the Provost via the Google Early Referral Form to ascertain whether prior violations are on record for the student in the Academic Integrity Violation Database. The Provost will notify faculty whether the student has a prior violation on record or not.
  2. Notify the student electronically using the Academic Integrity Violation Student Notification form that he or she is suspected of violating the College’s Academic Integrity Policy, identifying the specific violation or violations, and requesting the student to provide any evidence relevant to the investigation.
  3. Faculty may take 10 (ten) working days to complete an investigation after notifying the student of a suspected academic integrity violation. These working days include when students are on scheduled breaks and holidays.
  4. Schedule a meeting with the student. The meeting shall occur within 5 (five) working days of the conclusion of the investigation. Failure on part of the student to meet with the faculty within the designated time will result in an Integrity Panel Review (IPR). The IPR is conducted by an Integrity Panel (IP).  IP is comprised of 6 voting members: 3 (three) students and 3 (three) faculty selected from the pool of AIC members by the AIC Chair and Provost or Administrative Designee. 
  • If evidence does not support an alleged violation, Course Faculty will meet with the student to discuss the potential violation, and review the academic integrity policy, college values, and course expectations.  The student may be referred to the Student Success Center for further development, as needed. 
  • If a violation occurred and the student has no prior violations on record, Course Faculty have 2 options in proceeding with the alleged violation:
    • Option One: Course Faculty will determine the sanction and remediation plan the violation warrants, pursuant to the sanctions and penalties for academic violations   and complete the Academic Integrity Violation Reporting form (AIVR).  Course Faculty may assign a sanction with a maximum severity of course failure. Course Faculty will meet with the student. The student will indicate on the AIVR whether he or she is (a) admitting responsibility and accepting the sanction, or (b) not admitting responsibility and/or not accepting the sanction.  The student is permitted to complete and sign the AIVR the next working day.  Failure to do so by the specified deadline results in an automatic referral of the case to the AIC for an Integrity Panel Review (IPR).
      • If the student admits responsibility and accepts the sanction, Course Faculty will complete the AIVR and forward all supporting documents to the Provost. Course Faculty will retain copies of all documents until course end, at which time documents are destroyed.  Faculty will implement the sanction and remediation plan.  The student will make an appointment with the Provost within 2 (two) working days to review the Academic Integrity Policy and Procedure.  The Provost will record the violation in the Academic Integrity Violation Database.  The Provost retains all original documents for a minimum of 5 years after graduation or dismissal.  The Provost in collaboration with the faculty will monitor the student’s progress throughout the completion of the remediation plan.  The Provost may appoint an appropriate liaison to monitor the student’s progress throughout the process.  Failure to complete the remediation plan may result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from the College.
      • If the student does not admit responsibility and/or does not accept the sanction the student indicates this on the AIVR and signs the form.  Faculty will complete the AIVR and forward all supporting documents to the Provost. The Provost, upon receiving completed form, will forward the AIVR and all supporting documents to the AIC chair within 2 (two) working days.  This action triggers an IPR.  The outcome of the IPR cannot result in a harsher sanction than was imposed by the Course Faculty.
    • Option Two: In the event Course Faculty determines the alleged violation warrants a sanction more severe than course failure, Course Faculty will complete an AIVR and meet with the student to inform the student of this possible sanction.  The student is permitted to complete and sign the AIVR the next working day.  Failure to do so by the specified deadline results in an automatic referral of the case to the AIC for an Integrity Panel Review (IPR). Faculty will complete the AIVR and forward all supporting documents to the Provost. The Provost, upon receiving completed form, will forward the AIVR signed by the student and all supporting documents to the AIC Chair within 2 (two) working days after meeting with the student.  Receipt of these documents will trigger an IPR.
      • If the student has a prior violation on record, the Provost will contact Course Faculty. Course Faculty will complete the AIVR with recommended sanctions and remediation plan.  Course Faculty will meet with the student to review the sanctions and plan. Course Faculty will inform the student that the previous violation requires an IPR of the current violation. The student is permitted to complete and sign the AIVR the next working day.  Failure to do so by the specified deadline results in an automatic referral of the case to the AIC for an Integrity Panel Review (IPR). Faculty will complete the AIVR and forward all supporting documents to the Provost. The Provost will forward the original AIVR and all supporting documents to the AIC chair within 2 (two) working days after meeting with the student.

 


Receipt of an AIVR by the AIC Chair triggers an IPR conducted by the Integrity Panel (IP).  Information about the violation or alleged violator(s) to this point is strictly limited to the involved Course Faculty, Provost, and AIC Chair. The AIC Chair will schedule a meeting with the involved Course Faculty to review the policy.

The IP is comprised of 6 voting members: 3 (three) students and 3 (three) faculty selected from the pool of AIC members by the AIC Chair and Provost or Administrative Designee.  Members of the AIC are specified by the Faculty Senate Bylaws and any are eligible to serve on the IP for a specific case.  Prospective members of the IP will honorably decline participation if conflict of interest exists. Conflict of interest includes any factor that may interfere with the ability to judge facts presented in the hearing, such as personal relationships, prior knowledge, or direct involvement in the alleged violation. The AIC Chair serves as a nonvoting facilitator of the IPR.  The Provost serves as a nonvoting advisor for the IPR.

Prior to the IPR, the alleged violator may challenge the presence of any voting member on the Panel because of bias or conflict of interest.  Prior contact between participants is likely in an intimate college campus setting and does not per se indicate bias or conflict of interest.  The AIC Chair and Provost will determine sufficient proof of bias that may interfere with an IP member’s ability to judge the case fairly and solely on the evidence presented.  If all available AIC members have a conflict of interest, the AIC Chair and Provost will appoint non-conflicted students or faculty from the College at large to serve on the IP.

An IPR will occur within 10 (ten) working days from receipt of the AIVR by the AIC Chair. A minimum of 5 (five) working days before the scheduled IPR, the AIC Chair will send a written notice to the alleged violator(s), Course Faculty, and IP members of the scheduled meeting time and place.  If significant scheduling conflicts exist, this timeframe may be waived by mutual agreement of the alleged violator and Chair. The alleged violator will be allowed to continue to participate in all course activities until this procedure and the appeal process has been exhausted.  However, alleged academic integrity violations in the clinical setting that pose possible concerns for patient safety may result in prohibition of participation in clinical activities pending resolution of the alleged violation as described in this procedure.

The alleged violator will be advised of student rights pursuant to this policy as stated in the student handbook and will be advised of all IPR processes by the Provost.  The Provost will encourage the student to seek support and guidance from faculty advisor and the Professional Development Center. Course Faculty are encouraged to seek support and guidance from the AIC Chair regarding the Integrity Review process. 

The alleged violator, Course Faculty, and members of the IP will attend the IPR.  The Provost will record the IPR hearing.  Course Faculty may be accompanied by a non-testifying support person.  The alleged violator may be accompanied by one non-testifying BCHS student or employee as an advocate. 

Course Faculty and the alleged violator have the right to be present for the entire hearing.  No evidence of prior academic integrity violations committed by the student shall be permitted to be introduced as evidence by any party or otherwise be made available to the panel until after the case has been heard and a determination has been made of whether a violation occurred with the present case.  The academic hearing is not open to the public.  No legal representation will be present.  The hearing will be recorded.  Recordings will be the property of and secured by Bryan College of Health Sciences. The IP will render a decision, based solely on the evidence presented in the IPR.  The IP will deliberate in private, and such deliberation will not be recorded; the IP will render its decision, upon due deliberation, on the record.  The IP may request the presence of the AIC Chair during deliberation for questions of procedure, and/or the Provost for questions of due process.  The IP will review the case for evidence showing that it is more likely than not that an academic integrity violation occurred, affirmed by simple majority vote of the six (6) voting members. A simple majority requires that over half the valid votes cast by the IP to determine “it is more likely than not” that an integrity violation occurred.  In the event of a tie vote, a finding of “it is more likely than not” that an academic integrity violation occurred will not be determined.

  1. If the IP determines it is more likely than not an academic integrity violation occurred, the student’s records, if any, pertaining to prior academic dishonesty will be made available to the IP.  If the student has prior academic integrity violations on record, the student will be allowed to address the IP regarding the evidence of prior violations at this time, prior to the IP determining the sanction and remediation plan.  The Provost will record the violation in the Academic Integrity Violation Database. 
    • The IP will affirm or amend the sanction and remediation plan recommended by Course Faculty, by majority vote pursuant to the sanctions prescribed in the Academic Integrity Policy. 
    •  For cases in which the student requested the violation be forwarded for an IPR, the IP cannot impose a harsher sanction than was originally imposed by the Course Faculty.
  1. If the IP determines it is more likely than not that an academic integrity violation did not occur, no sanction will be assigned.  The Integrity Panel may refer the student to the Student Success Center as needed.  The alleged violation is not recorded in the Academic Integrity Violation Database.

The AIC Chair will notify the student, Course Faculty, and Dean of the Academic Program of the IP decision in writing within 3 working days of rendering its decision on the record.  In cases of a finding that an academic integrity violation occurred, the penalty shall be contained within the decision of the IP and shall be effective immediately. 

The decision of the IP is final unless (1a) the sanction includes suspension or expulsion, or (1b) course failure results in dismissal from the academic program, and (2) the student appeals.  In these events, the Provost will inform the student of the option to appeal using the process described below.  IP findings and sanctions may not be contested using the College’s Grievance Procedure.

Appeal of Academic Integrity Panel Decision 
The student may only appeal the IP findings if the recommended sanction for the academic violation is suspension or expulsion, or course failure resulting in dismissal from the academic program.

The student must submit a written appeal of the IP findings to the Provost within 5 (five) working days of receipt of notification of the IPR decision.  Failure to appeal within this timeline will result in refusal to hear the appeal.  Upon receipt of an appeal request, the student will be forwarded, if he/she so requests, a transcript of the hearing.  The student shall have 5 (five) working days to submit in writing the reasons why the record supports overturning the findings of the IP, either because (a) the evidence doesn’t prove the student’s culpability, (b) there was a violation of due process that substantially  prejudiced the student’s rights, and/or (c) the sanction is grossly disproportionate to the violation.

The Provost will convene an Integrity Appeal Panel (IAP) comprised of 3 (three) students and 3 (three) faculty from the pool of AIC members, and the Dean of the Academic Program, none of whom served on the original IPR.  The Dean of the Academic Program shall serve as a voting member and the Provost will serve as facilitator of the IAP.  The Dean of the Academic Program may defer serving on the IAP to the Dean of another academic program, if a conflict of interest exists.  If any potential IAP member has a conflict of interest, the Provost will appoint non-conflicted students and/or faculty from the College at large to serve on the appeal panel.

The appeal will be determined solely based upon the record made before the IP by the student and the Course Faculty, including all testimony and exhibits. The IAP will review the IPR record and decision and the student’s appeal letter and written rationale requesting the IP decision be overturned within 5 (five) working days.  All decisions of the IAP will be made by simple majority vote.

  1. If there is no evidence in the appeal that supports reconsideration to overturn the findings of the IP or its sanction, the IAP upholds the IP decision. The appeal process is complete and sanction is applied.
  1. If there is no evidence in the appeal that supports reconsideration to overturn the findings of the IP, but there is evidence that supports reconsideration of the IP sanction, the IAP upholds the IP decision, but reduces the sanction and remediation plan.  
  1. If there is evidence in the appeal that supports reconsideration to overturn the findings of the IP, the IAP will overturn the IP decision and the academic integrity violation will be absolved from the student’s record. 

The Provost will notify the student, the Dean of the Academic Program, AIC Chair, and Course Faculty of the IAP decision.  The student will be notified within 3 (three) working days of the decision.  The IAP decision is final and not appealable.

Types of Academic Dishonesty

Type of Academic Dishonesty

Typical Range of Sanctions for violator with no prior record of Academic Integrity Violations**

Cheating: Using or providing unauthorized assistance to gain or promote an unfair advantage.  Examples include (a) collaborating with others to complete a course assignment when assistance is inappropriate, and (b) bringing and/or accessing illicit information during a testing situation.

Reduced grade on assignment / exam / quiz
Zero on assignment / exam / quiz
Final course grade reduced by one letter grade
Course failure—theory component

Deliberate Plagiarism: intentionally claiming the words or ideas of another as one’s own without attempting to give credit to the originator of the words or ideas, thereby implying the words or ideas are one’s own.  An example of deliberate plagiarism is cutting and pasting content from an internet website without attempting to identify the words were written by someone else.

Revise / repeat the assignment
Reduced grade on assignment / exam / quiz
Zero on assignment / exam / quiz
Final course grade reduced by one letter grade
Course failure—theory component 

Negligent Plagiarism:  A pattern of failure to properly credit sources in a written or oral assignment, due to inexperience with writing academic papers or making professional presentations.  Citing a source without using quotation marks for a direct quote is an example of negligent plagiarism.

A first-time occurrence of negligent plagiarism is not considered an academic integrity violation; rather, it is an opportunity for learning and remediation which will involve mandatory completion of an individualized plan of success for the student. Courses with a primary focus of teaching basic academic writing and formatting skills are exempt.

Individualized plans for success must be completed within the time frame determined by faculty. A copy of the plan will be provided to the Provost. Failure to complete the plan for success may result in disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from the College.

Any subsequent occurrence of plagiarism by the student with a prior record of negligent plagiarism, will be considered deliberate plagiarism, and will be addressed as an academic integrity violation.

Fabrication / Falsification (classroom or clinical):

reporting or recording false information, or omitting required information.  Examples include (a) documenting medications or treatments were administered or performed when they were not, (b) recording observations of clients that were not made, (c) failing to report an incident/occurrence, such as a medication error, and (d) falsely reporting participation in clinical or other activities. 

Zero on assignment / exam / quiz
Unsatisfactory in weekly clinical evaluation
Final course grade reduced by one letter grade
Course failure—theory component
Course failure—clinical component
Suspension Expulsion / Dismissal

Repeat occurrences of academic integrity violation by an individual student as indicated in the Academic Integrity Violation Database maintained by the Provost, regardless of the type of violation, will result in escalating sanctions, which may include dismissal from the College.

 

Academic Integrity Violation Policy Flow Chart

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