Academic Integrity Policy in PDF format

Rutgers University Academic Integrity Policy1

Effective September 1, 2013

1 This policy applies to all Schools and Colleges of Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, including the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy and the Rutgers College of Nursing.  However, at this time, this policy will not apply to the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, School of Health Related Professions, Rutgers School of Dental Medicine, New Jersey Medical School, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, School of Public Health, and School of Nursing (former UMDNJ School of Nursing), whose students will adhere to the RBHS policy titled “Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Disciplinary Procedures” found at http://academicaffairs.rutgers.edu/student-rights.

I. Academic Integrity

As an academic community dedicated to the creation, dissemination, and application of knowledge, Rutgers University is committed to fostering an intellectual and ethical environment based on the principles of academic integrity. Academic integrity is essential to the success of the University’s educational and research missions, and violations of academic integrity constitute serious offenses against the entire academic community.

The principles of academic integrity require that a student:

  • properly acknowledge and cite all use of the ideas, results, or words of others.
  • properly acknowledge all contributors to a given piece of work.
  • make sure that all work submitted as his or her own in a course or other academic activity is produced without the aid of impermissible materials or impermissible collaboration.
  • obtain all data or results by ethical means and report them accurately without suppressing any results inconsistent with his or her interpretation or conclusions.
  • treat all other students in an ethical manner, respecting their integrity and right to pursue their educational goals without interference. This requires that a student neither facilitate academic dishonesty by others nor obstruct their academic progress.
  • uphold the canons of the ethical or professional code of the profession for which he or she is preparing.

Adherence to these principles is necessary in order to ensure that

  • everyone is given proper credit for his or her ideas, words, results, and other scholarly accomplishments.
  • all student work is fairly evaluated and no student has an inappropriate advantage over others.
  • the academic and ethical development of all students is fostered.
  • the reputation of the University for integrity in its teaching, research, and scholarship is maintained and enhanced.

Failure to uphold these principles of academic integrity threatens both the reputation of the University and the value of the degrees awarded to its students. Every member of the University community therefore bears a responsibility for ensuring that the highest standards of academic integrity are upheld.

The University administration is responsible for working with faculty and students to foster a strong institutional culture of academic integrity, for providing effective educational programs that create an understanding of and commitment to academic integrity, and for establishing equitable and effective procedures to deal with allegations of violations of academic integrity. The faculty shares with the administration the responsibility for educating students about the importance and principles of academic integrity. Faculty members2  are expected to inform students of the particular requirements regarding academic integrity within their specific courses, to make reasonable efforts to minimize academic dishonesty, and to respond appropriately to violations of academic integrity. Faculty members are strongly encouraged to provide a statement concerning academic integrity and a link to the Academic Integrity Policy on their course syllabi.


2 For purposes of the Academic Integrity Policy, the term faculty member includes not only tenured, tenure-track, and nontenure-track faculty members, but also part-time lecturers, coadjutants, TAs, staff members, and administrators who are serving as the instructor of record in a course; i.e., the instructor responsible for assigning final course grades

II. Violations of Academic Integrity and Recommended Sanctions

A.  Types of Violations

This section describes various ways in which the principles of academic integrity can be violated. Examples of each type of violation are given but neither the types of violations nor the lists of examples are exhaustive.

Plagiarism: Plagiarism is the use of another person’s words, ideas, or results without giving that person appropriate credit. To avoid plagiarism, every direct quotation must be identified by quotation marks or appropriate indentation and both direct quotation and paraphrasing must be cited properly according to the accepted format for the particular discipline or as required by the instructor in a course.  Some common examples of plagiarism are:

  • Copying word for word (i.e. quoting directly) from an oral, printed, or electronic source without proper attribution.
  • Paraphrasing without proper attribution, i.e., presenting in one’s own words another person’s written words or ideas as if they were one’s own.
  • Submitting a purchased or downloaded term paper or other materials to satisfy a course requirement.
  • Incorporating into one’s work graphs, drawings, photographs, diagrams, tables, spreadsheets, computer programs, or other nontextual material from other sources without proper attribution.

Cheating: Cheating is the use of inappropriate or prohibited materials, information, sources, or aids in any academic exercise. Cheating also includes submitting papers, research results and reports, analyses, etc. as one’s own work when they were, in fact, prepared by others. Some common examples are:

  • Receiving research, programming, data collection, or analytical assistance from others or working with another student on an assignment where such help is not permitted.
  • Copying another student’s work or answers on a quiz or examination.
  • Using or possessing books, notes, calculators, cell phones, or other prohibited devices or materials during a quiz or examination.
  • Submitting the same work or major portions thereof to satisfy the requirements of more than one course without permission from the instructors involved.
  • Preprogramming a calculator or other electronic device to contain answers, formulas, or other unauthorized information for use during a quiz or examination.
  • Acquiring a copy of an examination from an unauthorized source prior to the examination.
  • Having a substitute take an examination in one’s place.
  • Submitting as one’s own work a term paper or other assignment prepared by someone else.

Fabrication: Fabrication is the invention or falsification of sources, citations, data, or results, and recording or reporting them in any academic exercise.  Some examples are:

  • Citing a source that does not exist.
  • Making up or falsifying evidence or data or other source materials.
  • Falsifying research papers or reports by selectively omitting or altering data that do not support one’s conclusions or claimed experimental precision.

Facilitation of Dishonesty: Facilitation of dishonesty is knowingly or negligently allowing one’s work to be used by other students without prior approval of the instructor or otherwise aiding others in committing violations of academic integrity. A student who intentionally facilitates a violation of academic integrity can be considered to be as culpable as the student who receives the impermissible assistance, even if the facilitator does not benefit personally from the violation. Some examples are:

  • Collaborating before a quiz or examination to develop methods of exchanging information.
  • Knowingly allowing others to copy answers to work on a quiz or examination or assisting others to do so.
  • Distributing an examination from an unauthorized source prior to the examination.
  • Distributing or selling a term paper to other students.
  • Taking an examination for another student.

Academic Sabotage: Academic sabotage is deliberately impeding the academic progress of others. Some examples are:

  • Intentionally destroying or obstructing another student’s work.
  • Stealing or defacing books, journals, or other library or University materials.
  • Altering computer files that contain data, reports or assignments belonging to another student.
  • Removing posted or reserve material or otherwise preventing other students’ access to it.

Violation of Research or Professional Ethics: Violations in this category include both violations of the code of ethics specific to a particular profession and violations of more generally applicable ethical requirements for the acquisition, analysis, and reporting of research data and the preparation and submission of scholarly work for publication. Some examples are:

  • Violating a canon of the ethical or professional code of the profession for which a student is preparing.
  • Using unethical or improper means of acquiring, analyzing, or reporting data in a senior thesis project, a master’s or doctoral research project, grant-funded research, or research submitted for publication.
  • Misuse of grant or institutional funds.
  • Violating professional ethics in performing one’s duties as a Teaching Assistant or Graduate Assistant.

Violations Involving Potentially Criminal Activity: Violations in this category include theft, fraud, forgery, or distribution of ill-gotten materials committed as part of an act of academic dishonesty. Some examples are:

  • Stealing an examination from a faculty member’s or University office or from electronic files.
  • Selling or distributing a stolen examination.
  • Forging a change-of-grade form.
  • Falsifying a University transcript.

B.  Levels of Violations and Sanctions

Any violation of academic integrity is a serious offense and is therefore subject to an appropriate sanction or penalty. Academic integrity violations at Rutgers University are classified into two levels called nonseparable and separable. Nonseparable violations are less severe violations for which the possible sanctions do not include suspension or expulsion from the University; separable violations are more severe violations for which the possible sanctions include suspension or expulsion. Whether a given violation is classified as nonseparable or separable depends on a number of factors including: the nature and importance of the academic exercise; the degree of premeditation or planning; the extent of dishonest or malicious intent; the academic experience of the student; and whether the violation is a first-time or repeat offense.

1.  Nonseparable Violations

Nonseparable violations are less serious violations of academic integrity. They may occur because of inexperience or lack of understanding of the principles of academic integrity and are often characterized by a relatively low degree of premeditation or planning and the absence of malicious intent on the part of the student committing the violation. These violations are generally quite limited in extent, occur on a minor assignment or quiz or constitute a small portion of a major assignment and/or represent a small percentage of the total course work. Below are a few examples of violations that are most often considered nonseparable, at least when committed by an undergraduate student as a first-time offense. This list is not exhaustive and classification of a given violation as separable or nonseparable is always heavily dependent on the specific facts and circumstances of the violation.

  • Improper citation without dishonest intent.
  • Plagiarism on a minor assignment or a very limited portion of a major assignment.
  • Unpremeditated cheating on a quiz or minor examination.
  • Unauthorized collaboration with another student on a homework assignment.
  • Citing a source that does not exist or that one hasn’t read on a minor assignment.
  • Making up a small number of data points on a laboratory exercise.
  • Signing in for another student via attendance sheet or clicker in a course in which attendance counts toward the grade.

An alleged second nonseparable violation is treated as an alleged separable violation.  Moreover, some violations that would be considered nonseparable for an undergraduate student may be treated as separable for a graduate student3.

Sanctions for nonseparable violations include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following, and do not include suspension or expulsion:

  • Required participation in a noncredit workshop or seminar on ethics or academic integrity.
  • An assigned paper or research project related to ethics or academic integrity.
  • A make-up assignment that may be more difficult than the original assignment.
  • No credit for the original assignment.
  • A failing grade on the assignment.
  • A failing grade for the course.
  • Disciplinary warning or probation.

2.    Separable Violations

Separable violations are very serious violations of academic integrity that affect a more significant portion of the course work compared to nonseparable violations. Separable violations are often characterized by substantial premeditation or planning and clearly dishonest or malicious intent on the part of the student committing the violation. Below are some examples of violations that are most often considered separable. Again, the list is certainly not exhaustive and classification of a given violation as separable or nonseparable is always heavily dependent on the exact facts and circumstances of the violation.

  • A second nonseparable violation.
  • Substantial plagiarism on a major assignment.
  • Copying or using unauthorized materials, devices, or collaboration on a major exam.
  • Having a substitute take an examination.
  • Making up or falsifying evidence or data or other source materials for a major assignment, including falsification by selectively omitting or altering data that do not support one’s claims or conclusions.
  • Facilitating dishonesty by another student on a major exam or assignment.
  • Intentionally destroying or obstructing another student’s work.
  • Knowingly violating research or professional ethics.
  • Any violation involving potentially criminal activity.

Sanctions for separable violations include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following, and may, but need not, involve suspension or expulsion:

  • A grade of XF (disciplinary F) for the course.
  • Restrictive probation4.
  • Dismissal from a departmental or school honors program.
  • Denial of access to internships or research programs.
  • Loss of appointment to academically-based positions.
  • Loss of departmental/graduate program endorsements for internal and external fellowship support and employment opportunities.
  • Removal of fellowship or assistantship support.
  • Suspension for one or more semesters.
  • Dismissal from a graduate or professional program.
  • Permanent expulsion from the University with a permanent notation of disciplinary expulsion on the student’s transcript.

The recommendations for sanctions at each level are not binding, but are intended as guidelines for the University community. For both nonseparable and separable violations, the severity of the sanction imposed should be proportional to the severity of the violation committed.

Sanctions for a given violation may be imposed differently on those with more or with less experience as students. Thus violations of academic integrity by graduate students3 will normally be penalized more severely than the same violations by inexperienced undergraduate students. In particular, violations that would be considered nonseparable for an undergraduate student may be treated as separable for a graduate student.


3 In this policy, the term graduate student refers to post-baccalaureate students pursuing advanced degrees of any type or enrolled in a graduate course or courses. The term also includes students in the advanced stages of a professional program that leads to a masters or doctoral degree without conferral of a baccalaureate degree.

4 See part IX of the University Code of Student Conduct for a definition of this sanction.

 


Some professional schools or programs may have codes of professional conduct with customary sanctions for violations thereof that may be more severe than those recommended under this Policy. These schools or programs have the responsibility to educate their students about their profession’s code of professional conduct. Students are responsible for understanding the requirements of the code of professional conduct for the particular professional program in which they are enrolled and the penalties for violating that code.

III. Administration of the Academic Integrity Policy

A.    Role of CAOs and CAIDs

The four Chief Academic Officers (CAOs); i.e., the Chancellors in Camden, Newark, New Brunswick/Piscataway, and the Chancellor for Biomedical and Health Sciences, have the ultimate responsibility for implementing and overseeing the Academic Integrity Policy on their respective campuses5. This responsibility includes reviewing the cases of students found responsible for separable violations of academic integrity who appeal the finding/sanction and the cases of students whose sanction includes suspension or expulsion but who do not appeal. The CAO’s responsibilities also include providing high-level oversight of the selection, training, and performance of Academic Integrity Facilitators (see subsection B below) and of the campus Honor Council (see subsection G below). The CAO shall either exercise these responsibilities personally or delegate some or all of them to one or more academic administrators called Campus Academic Integrity Designees (CAIDs). The Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs has the responsibility to ensure that the Academic Integrity Policy is implemented consistently and fairly across all the University’s campuses, schools, and colleges.


5 For purposes of the Academic Integrity Policy, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences is considered to be a campus.

 


B.    Role of AIFs and Faculty Members

Academic Integrity Facilitators (AIFs) are ordinarily academic staff or faculty members appointed by the deans of their respective schools or colleges. AIFs help to educate students and faculty members concerning academic integrity, advise faculty members concerning academic integrity policies and procedures, and adjudicate allegations of first-time nonseparable violations of academic integrity that faculty members choose not to adjudicate themselves. AIFs may also carry out the Preliminary Review of cases of alleged separable violations of the Academic Integrity Policy, as described in Appendix C of this policy.

Faculty members may also play a role in the administration of the Academic Integrity Policy by adjudicating allegations of first-time nonseparable violations of Academic Integrity under the guidelines provided in Appendix B this Policy6.


6 Faculty members may not adjudicate allegations of separable violations of academic integrity, but must refer such allegations to the Office of Student Conduct, to the Campus CAID (Camden, Newark or Biomedical and Health Sciences), or to a designated AIF.

 


C.    Role of University Hearing Boards and Hearing Officers

University Hearing Boards consider cases of students accused of separable violations of academic integrity who do not accept responsibility for the alleged violation. Hearing Boards consist of students and faculty members (normally three students and two faculty members) chosen from a pool of trained students and faculty members. Hearings are conducted by a Hearing Officer, who must be a specially trained member of the University community, normally a staff or faculty member.

D.    Role of Student Conduct Officers

Student Conduct Officers are staff members or administrators authorized to carry out Preliminary Reviews and Disciplinary Conferences7  for students accused of separable violations of the University Code of Student Conduct and/or the Academic Integrity Policy.


7 As explained more fully in Appendix C, a Disciplinary Conference  is a more informal alternative to a University Hearing for adjudicating cases of alleged separable violations of academic integrity.

 


E.    Role of the Appeals Committees

Each Rutgers campus (Camden, Newark, New Brunswick/Piscataway, and Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences) has its own Appeals Committee, which is a committee of trained students, faculty members, and staff members. The Appeals Committees have three functions with regard to appeals of findings of responsibility and/or sanctions for violations of academic integrity:

1. considering student appeals regarding determination of responsibility and/or sanctions for nonseparable violations of academic integrity.

2. considering student appeals regarding determination of responsibility and/or sanctions for separable violations of academic integrity.

3. considering student appeals for removal of the X from an XF grade.
All three types of appeals are considered by panels consisting of three voting members: two students and one faculty member. In addition, panels considering appeals of findings of responsibility and/or sanctions for nonseparable violations have a non-voting staff member called the Staff Investigator. Appeals are decided on the basis of written submissions by the parties involved. Appeals panels do not conduct hearings nor take direct testimony.

F.    Role of Campus Advisers

Campus advisers are staff or faculty members trained to provide assistance to complaint initiators or accused students in University Hearings or Disciplinary Conferences.

G.    Role of the Honor Councils

The Honor Councils are organizations of undergraduate and graduate students on each of the four Rutgers campuses (Camden, Newark, New Brunswick/Piscataway, and Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences) dedicated to promoting academic integrity. Each Honor Council plays a key role in educating students and other members of the University community about academic integrity. Members of the Councils also play a number of roles in the administration of the Academic Integrity Policy. These roles may include:

1. serving as student members of University Hearing Boards and Appeals Committee panels.

2. serving as the complaint presenter at a University Hearing, i.e., presenting the case against the accused student. Such Honor Council members are called Community Advocates.

3. providing information, advice, and assistance to students accused of violating the Academic Integrity Policy, including accompanying students to meetings with faculty members or AIFs and assisting the accused student during a University Hearing or Disciplinary Conference. Such Honor Council members are called Student Advocates. They are permitted to address the Hearing Board at a University Hearing or the Conduct Officer at a Disciplinary Conference and to question witnesses in either case.

H.    Role of the Office of Student Conduct

The Office of Student Conduct (OSC), headed by the Director of Student Conduct, is the primary university office responsible for enforcing the University Code of Student Conduct and the Academic Integrity Policy. The OSC handles cases of alleged separable violations of academic integrity on the New Brunswick/Piscataway campus; provides support for University Hearings on other campuses; plays a key role in educating students, faculty, and staff about academic integrity; serves as the central university repository of student disciplinary records; and provides training for Academic Integrity Facilitators, Hearing Officers, Campus Advisers, and members of Honor Councils, Hearing Boards, and Appeals Committees, in cooperation with the Camden, Newark, and Biomedical and Health Sciences Chancellors’ Designees (see below).

I.    Role of Chancellor’s Designees

The Chancellor’s Designee is the person on the Camden, Newark, or Biomedical and Health Sciences campus assigned to oversee the process for handling allegations of student misconduct on that campus. The Designee works in conjunction with the Office of Student Conduct to schedule University Hearings and provide training and support to University Hearing Boards, Appeals Committees, Campus Advisers, and members of Honor Councils.

IV. Policies Regarding Adjudication of Alleged Violations of Academic Integrity

A.    Reporting and Adjudicating Alleged Violations

The policies governing reporting and adjudication8 of alleged violations of academic integrity are different for nonseparable and separable violations with regard to both the persons authorized to adjudicate the allegations and the procedures to be followed.


8 In the disciplinary process for alleged violations of academic integrity, the terms adjudication or adjudicating mean investigating the allegation, determining whether the accused student is responsible or not responsible for the alleged violation, and assigning an appropriate sanction if the student is found responsible.

 


A faculty member who observes or is apprised of a possible separable violation of academic integrity by an undergraduate student shall report the allegation to the Office of Student Conduct, to the campus CAID (Camden, Newark, or Biomedical and Health Sciences), or to a designated AIF for adjudication. The faculty member may recommend a sanction should the student be found responsible for the violation and that recommendation is given substantial weight.

A faculty member who observes or is apprised of a possible nonseparable violation of academic integrity by an undergraduate student shall do one of the following:

1. The faculty member may refer the matter to an AIF of the school or college offering the course (for an alleged violation occurring in a Rutgers course), or to an AIF of the school or college in which the student is enrolled (for an alleged violation occurring outside a Rutgers course9). The faculty member may recommend a sanction should the student be found responsible for the violation.

2. The faculty member may adjudicate the allegation according to the procedures specified in Appendix B provided that the accused student has not previously been found responsible for a violation of academic integrity and is not on disciplinary or restrictive probation. Before proceeding to adjudicate the allegation, therefore, the faculty member must check with the Director of the Office of Student Conduct or authorized Student Conduct Officer or AIF to make sure that the student does not have a previous academic integrity violation and is not on disciplinary or restrictive probation. The faculty member is also strongly advised to consult informally with an AIF or Student Conduct Officer to verify that the alleged violation is indeed nonseparable and to obtain information about typical sanctions for such a violation.

3. If the student has previously been found responsible for a violation of academic integrity or is on disciplinary or restrictive probation, the faculty member may not adjudicate the allegation but must refer it to the Office of Student Conduct, to the campus CAID (Camden, Newark, or Biomedical and Health Sciences), or to a designated AIF for adjudication as an alleged separable violation.


9 Examples include alleged violations of academic integrity committed in a research project, scholarly paper, or examination not tied to a particular Rutgers course.

 


Since all violations of academic integrity by a graduate student (as defined in this policy) are potentially separable under the Academic Integrity Policy, faculty members should not adjudicate allegations of academic integrity violations by graduate students, but should refer all such allegations to an appropriate AIF or Student Conduct Officer in the accused student’s school of matriculation.

Members of the University community other than faculty members (as defined in this policy) should normally report evidence of a violation of academic integrity in a Rutgers course to the instructor of record in the course or to the Chair of the department offering the course; evidence of a violation of academic integrity occurring outside a Rutgers course9 should normally be reported to the faculty member supervising the accused student or to the student’s Department Chair or Graduate Director. However, any member of the University community is permitted to initiate a formal complaint of a violation of academic integrity with the Office of Student Conduct, with the Camden, Newark, or Biomedical and Health Sciences CAID, or with a designated AIF.

Upon receipt of a report of an alleged nonseparable violation of academic integrity from a faculty member or other member of the University community, an AIF must check to see if the

student has previously been found responsible for a violation of academic integrity or is on disciplinary or restrictive probation. If the student has been found responsible for an academic integrity violation or is on disciplinary or restrictive probation, the AIF shall forward the allegation to the Office of Student Conduct or the Camden, Newark, or Biomedical and Health Sciences CAID for adjudication as an alleged separable violation. Otherwise, the AIF shall adjudicate the matter according to the procedures specified in Appendix B of this policy.

Allegations of nonseparable violations of academic integrity must be adjudicated according to the procedures specified in Appendix B of this policy. According to these procedures, the faculty member or AIF adjudicating an allegation of a first-time nonseparable violation of academic integrity meets with the accused student, reviews all available evidence, makes a determination regarding responsibility, and assigns an appropriate sanction if he or she decides the student is responsible for the alleged violation. The student can then accept responsibility for the violation and accept the assigned sanction or appeal the finding of responsibility and/or the sanction in writing to the appropriate Campus Appeals Committee.

For nonseparable violations of academic integrity, faculty members and AIFs may assign only educational sanctions, such as grade penalties for the assignment or the course, make-up assignments that may be of a more difficult nature, assignments pertaining to academic integrity, and required attendance at a noncredit workshop or seminar on academic integrity. Faculty members and AIFs may also request that the Office of Student Conduct or Camden, Newark, or Biomedical and Health Sciences Chancellor’s Designee add disciplinary warning or probation to the educational sanctions assigned by the faculty member or AIF. The Office of Student Conduct or Chancellor’s Designee will notify the student in writing if a disciplinary sanction is also imposed.

Allegations of separable violations of academic integrity must be adjudicated according to the procedures specified in Appendix C of this policy. These procedures begin with a Preliminary Review carried out by an AIF or Student Conduct Officer for the purpose of deciding whether to charge the student with a separable violation of academic integrity. If the student is charged with and accepts responsibility for a separable violation, the AIF or Student Conduct Officer assigns a sanction, which the student may appeal to the Appeals Committee of the campus in which he or she is enrolled. If the student is charged with but does not accept responsibility for a separable violation, he or she has the right to a University Hearing before a student and faculty Hearing Board or to a Disciplinary Conference with a Student Conduct Officer. Any determination of responsibility for a separable violation of academic integrity or any sanction assigned for such a violation may be appealed to the Appeals Committee of the campus in which the accused student is enrolled.

B.    Withdrawal and Assignment of Grades During the Disciplinary Process

Once a student has been notified of an alleged violation of academic integrity, he or she may not drop the course or withdraw from school until the disciplinary process is completed. The student may, however, file a petition with the Office of Student Conduct or Chancellor’s Designee and the dean of his or her school of matriculation, requesting permission to withdraw retroactively from the course if and only if he or she is found not responsible for the alleged violation.

If a faculty member must submit a final course grade before the disciplinary process for an alleged violation of academic integrity is completed, the accused student shall be given a temporary grade of Incomplete or TZ, which does not affect the student’s GPA, until the disciplinary process is completed.

C.    Removal of XF Grades

Requests for removal of the X from an XF grade must be submitted in writing to the appropriate Campus Appeals Committee and will be considered by a panel of two student members and one faculty member of the Appeals Committee. Such requests will not be considered until at least 18 months from the time of the violation that resulted in the XF. In order for the request to be granted, the student, at a minimum, must have an exemplary record with respect to academic integrity since the original violation, must have completed a Rutgers academic integrity workshop or seminar, and must satisfactorily answer a required series of essay questions on why the X should be removed. The Appeals Panel shall make the final decision concerning the request. If the request is denied, the student must wait another year to submit another request.

D.    Standard of Proof

The standard of proof used by faculty members, AIFs, Student Conduct Officers, and Hearing Boards in academic integrity cases is clear and convincing evidence, which means that the person or group deciding the case must be convinced that there is a high probability that the accused student is responsible for the alleged violation.

E.    Rights of Accused Students and Complaint Initiators

The University is committed to providing disciplinary proceedings that are fair to both accused  students and to members of the University Community who file complaints alleging student misconduct. Therefore, both accused students and complaint initiators have been granted a number of rights under both the University Code of Student Conduct and the Academic Integrity Policy. The rights granted to accused students and to complaint initiators are listed in parts V and VI, respectively, of the University Code of Student Conduct.

F.    Disciplinary Files

The policies regarding disciplinary files for violations of academic integrity are given in part XV of the University Code of Student Conduct

V. Amendments

Minor changes to this Academic Integrity Policy must be approved by the Academic Standards, Regulations, and Admissions Committee of the University Senate. Major changes must also be approved by the full University Senate and by the campus CAOs, in consultation with their deans.

Acknowledgments

This Academic Integrity Policy was written by an ad-hoc committee of students, faculty, staff, and administrators from the Camden, Newark, and New Brunswick/Piscataway campuses, with extensive input from many other members of the Rutgers Community. The Academic Integrity Committee (AIC) gratefully acknowledges the help of all who shared their insights and suggestions with the committee.

The AIC particularly acknowledges the assistance received from the Office of Student Conduct and from members of the University Senate, especially the Senate Academic Standards, Regulations, and Admissions Committee. The committee also thanks members of two previous Academic Integrity Committees who made major contributions to the policies and procedures for adjudicating alleged nonseparable violations of academic integrity.

Major aspects of this Policy are modeled on the academic integrity policies of the University of Maryland and of the Pennsylvania State University. The AIC gratefully acknowledges the guidance obtained from those policies and from the staff and faculty members at those institutions who so generously shared their knowledge and experience with us.

Appendix A: Glossary of Terms

Academic Integrity Facilitators (AIFs) are academic staff or faculty members appointed by the deans of their respective schools or colleges to (1) adjudicate allegations of first-time nonseparable violations of academic integrity referred to them by faculty members or other members of the University community and (2) help educate and advise members of the academic community about academic integrity. AIFs may also carry out the Preliminary Review of cases of alleged separable violations of academic integrity.

An Accused Student is a student accused of committing a violation of academic integrity.

Campus Academic Integrity Designees (CAIDs) are academic administrators to whom the Chief Academic Officer on a campus delegates some or all of the responsibilities for administering the Academic Integrity Policy on that campus.

Campus Advisers are staff or faculty members trained to provide assistance to complaint initiators or accused students in University Hearings or Disciplinary Conferences.

Campus Appeals Committees are committees of students, faculty members, and staff members on each of the four Rutgers campuses (Camden, Newark, New Brunswick/Piscataway, and Biomedical and Health Sciences). Panels of Appeals Committee members consider student appeals of determinations of responsibility and/or sanctions for both nonseparable and separable violations of academic integrity. Members also consider student requests for the removal of the X from an XF (disciplinary F) grade.

The Chancellor’s Designee is the person on the Camden, Newark, or Biomedical and Health Sciences campus assigned to oversee the process for handling allegations of student misconduct on that campus.

Chief Academic Officers (CAOs) are the Chancellors on the Camden, Newark, New Brunswick/Piscataway, and Biomedical and Health Sciences campuses. The CAO has the ultimate responsibility for implementing and overseeing the Academic Integrity Policy on his or her campus.

Community Advocates are members of the Honor Council who may serve as the complaint presenter at a University Hearing; i.e., present the case against the accused student, when the faculty member or other member of the University community who initiated the complaint does not wish to do so.

A Complaint Initiator is a faculty member of other member of the University Community who initiates a complaint of a separable violation of academic integrity against a student.

A Complaint Presenter is a member of the University community who presents the case against an accused student at a University Hearing for an alleged separable violation of academic integrity. The complaint presenter may be the faculty member or other member of the University community who initiated the complaint against the student, a Community Advocate from the Honor Council, a Campus Adviser, or an AIF or member of the dean’s staff of the accused student’s school or college.

The Director of Student Conduct is the official with primary responsibility for enforcing the University Code of Student Conduct and the Academic Integrity Policy and for overseeing the process for handling allegations of student misconduct at the University.

A Disciplinary Conference is a more informal alternative to a University Hearing for adjudicating cases of alleged separable violations of academic integrity. Disciplinary Conferences are conducted by Student Conduct Officers assigned by the Director of Student Conduct or by the Camden, Newark, or Biomedical and Health Sciences campus CAID. The Student Conduct Officer decides whether the accused student is responsible or not for the alleged violation of academic integrity and assigns an appropriate sanction if he or she finds the accused student responsible.

Faculty Members are, for purposes of the Academic Integrity Policy, not only tenured, tenure-track, and non-tenure-track faculty members, but also part-time lecturers, coadjutants, TAs, staff members, and administrators who are serving as the instructor of record in a course, i.e., the instructor responsible for assigning final course grades.

Graduate Students are, for purposes of the Academic Integrity Policy, post-baccalaureate students pursuing an advanced degree of any type or enrolled in a graduate course or courses. The term also includes students in the advanced stages of a professional program that leads to a masters or doctoral degree without conferral of a baccalaureate degree.

The Honor Councils are organizations of undergraduate and graduate students on each Rutgers campus dedicated to promoting academic integrity. Members of the Honor Councils play a major role in educating students and other members of the University community about academic integrity and may play a number of roles in the administration of the Academic Integrity Policy.

The Office of Student Conduct (OSC) is the primary university office responsible for enforcing the University Code of Student Conduct and the Academic Integrity Policy. The OSC handles cases of alleged separable violations of academic integrity on the New Brunswick/Piscataway campus, plays a key role in educating students, faculty, and staff about academic integrity, and provides support to those in charge of handling allegations of student misconduct on the other Rutgers campuses.

A Nonseparable Violation of Academic Integrity is a violation for which the possible sanctions do not include suspension or expulsion, unless the accused student has a previous record of violations of academic integrity or is on disciplinary or restrictive probation.

A Referring Party is a faculty member or other member of the University community who refers an allegation of a nonseparable violation of academic integrity to an Academic Integrity Facilitator.

A Separable Violation of Academic Integrity is a violation for which the sanctions may, but need not, include suspension or expulsion.

A Staff Investigator is a nonvoting staff member who serves on an Appeals Panel considering an appeal of a finding of responsibility and/or sanction for a nonseparable violation of academic integrity. Prior to the meeting of the Panel to hear an appeal, the Staff Investigator gathers information pertaining to the allegation as necessary to permit the Panel to make an informed decision.

A Student is any person for whom the University maintains educational records, as defined by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 and related regulations, and who had not yet been awarded his or her degree from the University at the time of the alleged violation.  The term student may also include any person who is a non-matriculated student at the time of the alleged violation.

A Student Advocate is a member of the Honor Council who provides information, advice, and assistance to students accused of violating the Academic Integrity Policy, including accompanying the student to meetings with a faculty member or AIF and assisting the accused student during a University Hearing or Disciplinary Conference.

A Student Conduct Officer is a staff member or administrator authorized to carry out Preliminary Reviews and Disciplinary Conferences and advise students and faculty concerning the Academic Integrity Policy and the University Code of Student Conduct.

A University Hearing is a disciplinary proceeding to adjudicate an allegation of a separable violation of academic integrity for which the accused student does not accept responsibility. The Hearing is conducted by a Hearing Officer and the decision with regard to responsibility is made by a Hearing Board of students and faculty, who also assign a sanction in the event they find the accused student responsible for a violation of academic integrity.

University Hearing Boards are the panels of students and faculty (normally three students and two faculty members) who hear cases of alleged separable violations of academic integrity at University Hearings.

A University Hearing Officer is a member of the University community, normally a staff or faculty member, who conducts a University Hearing. The Hearing Officer makes all necessary decisions regarding evidence and is responsible for conducting an orderly and expeditious hearing that insures fairness to all concerned.

A Working Day is any weekday not listed as a University holiday on the University Calendar. Days on which classes are not in session but the University is open for business are working days.

An XF Grade is a disciplinary F, a grade that may be imposed as part of the sanction for a separable violation of academic integrity.

Appendix B: Procedures for Adjudicating Allegations of Nonseparable Violations of Academic Integrity

I.    Initial Reporting of an Alleged Violation

A.    As specified in section IV: A of the Academic Integrity Policy, a faculty member who observes or is apprised of a possible nonseparable violation of academic integrity by an undergraduate student may adjudicate the matter himself or herself, following the procedures specified below, provided that the accused student has not previously been found responsible for a violation of academic integrity and is not on disciplinary or restrictive probation. Alternatively, the faculty member may refer the matter to an appropriate AIF for adjudication.

1. If the faculty member wishes to adjudicate the matter, he or she shall complete the academic integrity initial reporting form1, indicating that he of she believes the alleged violation to be nonseparable and wishes to adjudicate the matter, and submit the form to the Office of Student Conduct or designated AIF. The OSC or AIF will confirm that the faculty member may adjudicate the allegation unless the accused student has previously been found responsible for a violation of academic integrity or is on disciplinary or restrictive probation (in which case the allegation will be adjudicated as an alleged separable violation).

2. If the faculty member does not wish to adjudicate the matter, he or she shall complete the academic integrity initial reporting form1, indicating that he of she believes the alleged violation to be nonseparable and wishes to refer the matter to an AIF for adjudication. The faculty member shall then send the form and all supporting material to the appropriate AIF (or Office of Student Conduct).


1 Online reporting form found on line at http://tinyurl.com/AIReportingForm.

 


B.    A member of the university community other than a faculty member, as defined in this policy, who wishes to report an alleged violation of academic integrity should contact the Office of Student Conduct or the Camden, Newark, or Biomedical and Health Sciences campus CAID for instructions on how to report the alleged violation.

II.    Notification of the Accused Student

A.    A faculty member who chooses to adjudicate an alleged nonseparable violation of academic integrity by a student who has not previously been found responsible for a violation of academic integrity, and is not on disciplinary or restrictive probation, shall notify the accused student of the allegation in writing or by electronic communication within ten working days2 of the time the faculty member identifies or is apprised of the alleged nonseparable violation.  The notification shall ask the student to respond within ten working days of its receipt by making an appointment to meet with the faculty member and shall also inform the student about the availability of a Student Advocate from the Honor Council who can provide information, advice, and assistance, including accompanying the student to the meeting with the faculty member.


2 A working day is any weekday not listed as a University holiday on the University Calendar. Days on which classes are not in session but the University is open for business are working days.

 


B.    A faculty member who chooses to refer an allegation to an AIF for adjudication shall do so within ten working days of the time the faculty member identifies or is apprised of the alleged nonseparable violation. The faculty member shall at the same time notify the accused student in writing or by electronic communication that he or she is alleged to have committed a violation of academic integrity, that the matter has been referred to the AIF, and that the student should expect to be contacted shortly by the AIF.  Following the referral the AIF assumes responsibility for all further communication with the student concerning the allegation.

C.    An AIF who receives a report of an alleged nonseparable violation of academic integrity and confirms that the student has not previously been found responsible for a violation of academic integrity and is not on disciplinary or restrictive probation shall notify the accused student of the substance of the allegation in writing or by electronic communication within five working days of receipt of the report. The notification shall ask the student to respond within ten working days of its receipt by making an appointment to meet with the AIF and shall also inform the student about the availability of a Student Advocate from the Honor Council who can provide information, advice, and assistance, including accompanying the student to the meeting with the AIF.

D.    If the accused student has previously been found responsible for an academic integrity violation or is on disciplinary or restrictive probation, the AIF shall forward the allegation to the Office of Student Conduct or the Camden, Newark, or Biomedical and Health Sciences CAID for adjudication as an alleged separable violation3 under the procedures specified in Appendix C of this policy.


3 Following the referral the Office of Student Conduct or the Camden, Newark, or Biomedical and Health Sciences  CAID’s office shall assume responsibility for all further communication with the student concerning the allegation.

 


E.    Once a student has been notified of an alleged violation of academic integrity, he or she may not drop the course or withdraw from school until the disciplinary process is completed. The student may, however, file a petition with the Office of Student Conduct or designated AIF and the dean of his or her school of matriculation, requesting permission to withdraw retroactively from the course if and only if he or she is found not responsible for the alleged violation.

III.  Investigation and Finding

A.    A faculty member or AIF adjudicating an allegation of a first-time nonseparable violation of academic integrity shall meet with the accused student unless the student elects not to meet with the faculty member or AIF. At the meeting, the faculty member or AIF shall specify the alleged violation, discuss the typical range of sanctions for such violations, and then ask the student to respond to the allegation.

B.    In addition to meeting with the accused student and carefully considering his or her response to the allegation, the faculty member or AIF shall investigate the matter and reach a decision by considering all available physical evidence and interviewing available material witnesses. If the student does not respond within the prescribed time limit or chooses not to meet with the faculty member or AIF, the faculty member or AIF shall reach a decision regarding responsibility and recommend a sanction, based on the available evidence, including any written response from the student. At the end of this process, the faculty member or AIF shall take one of the following actions:

1. If the faculty member or AIF finds that the student has not violated the Academic Integrity Policy, the faculty member or AIF shall so notify the student in writing or by electronic communication within ten working days after meeting with the student4.  The matter shall then be closed and the faculty member or AIF shall complete the academic integrity final reporting form5 and submit it to the Office of Student Conduct or the Camden, Newark, or Biomedical and Health Sciences CAID.

2. If the student accepts responsibility for the alleged violation of academic integrity and the student and faculty member or AIF are able to reach tentative agreement on an appropriate sanction, the faculty member or AIF shall prepare a disciplinary agreement6 stating that the student accepts responsibility for the violation, accepts the proposed sanction, and waives his or her right to appeal the sanction. The faculty member or AIF signs and dates the form and asks the student to do likewise. The student either signs the form or requests a period of two working days to decide whether or not to do so. If the student does not accept responsibility and the sanction by the end of the two-day period, the faculty member or AIF shall proceed as in paragraph 4 below.

3. If the student accepts responsibility for the violation but the student and faculty member or AIF cannot agree on a sanction, the faculty member or AIF shall, within ten working days following the meeting with the student, notify the student in writing or by electronic communication of the violation for which the student has accepted responsibility and of the assigned sanction. The notification form shall also inform the student of the opportunity to file a written appeal of the sanction to the Campus Appeals Committee (see section IV) within ten working days from the date of the notice to the student.

4. If the student does not accept responsibility for the alleged violation and the faculty member or AIF finds, after carefully considering all the evidence, that the student has committed a nonseparable violation of academic integrity, the faculty member or AIF shall notify the student in writing or by electronic communication of the finding of responsibility and of the recommended sanction. The notification shall also inform the student of the opportunity to file a written appeal of the finding of responsibility and/or sanction to the Campus Appeals Committee (see section IV) within ten working days from the date of the notice to the student.  This notification shall be provided to the student by the faculty member or AIF in writing or by electronic communication within ten working days following the meeting with the student7.


4 An AIF shall also inform the referring party of the outcome of the matter.

5 Found on line at http://academicintegrity.rutgers.edu/document-library http://academicintegrity.rutgers.edu.

6 Sample found on line at http://academicintegrity.rutgers.edu/document-library http://academicintegrity.rutgers.edu.

7 If the accused student does not accept responsibility and chooses not to meet with the faculty member or AIF, the notification shall be provided to the student within 15 working days of the date on which the student was notified of the allegation.

 


C.    When an allegation of a nonseparable violation of academic integrity is referred to an AIF for adjudication by a member of the University community who is not a faculty member as defined in Appendix A, the procedures to be followed by the AIF are the same as those followed when the referring party is a faculty member with one exception: if the alleged violation of academic integrity occurred in a Rutgers course, the AIF shall interview the instructor of record of the course at the outset of the investigation and shall notify the instructor of the outcome of the adjudication.

D.    The standard of proof used by faculty members and AIFs is clear and convincing evidence, which means that the faculty member or AIF must be persuaded that there is a high probability that the allegations against the student are true.
IV.    Sanctioning and Reporting

A.    For nonseparable violations of academic integrity, faculty members and AIFs may impose only educational sanction(s) such as one or more of the following: grade penalties for assignments or the course, make-up assignments that may be of a more difficult nature, assignments pertaining to academic integrity, and required attendance at a noncredit workshop or seminar on academic integrity.  Faculty members and AIFs may also request that the Office of Student Conduct or the Camden, Newark, or Biomedical and Health Sciences Chancellor’s Designee add disciplinary warning or disciplinary probation to the educational sanction(s) selected by the faculty member or AIF. The Office of Student Conduct or Chancellor’s Designee will notify the student in writing if a disciplinary sanction is imposed, along with information regarding how to file an appeal.

B.    If the accused student accepts responsibility for the alleged violation and agrees to the recommended sanction, the faculty member or AIF shall impose the selected educational sanction(s) and report the disposition of the case to the Office of Student Conduct or the Camden, Newark, or Biomedical and Health Sciences CAID, together with any request for the addition of disciplinary warning or disciplinary probation, using the Academic Integrity Final Reporting Form.5

C.    If the accused student does not accept responsibility for the alleged violation and also agree to the recommended sanction(s), the faculty member or AIF shall complete the Academic Integrity Final Reporting Form5, indicating that the student has not accepted responsibility and agreed to the recommended sanction, and send the form to the Office of Student Conduct or the Camden, Newark, or Biomedical and Health Sciences CAID.

D.    If the accused student appeals the finding of responsibility and/or the sanction to the Campus Appeals Committee within the ten-day time limit, the faculty member or AIF is so notified and asked to submit copies of all material relevant to the allegation, including any notes taken by the faculty member or AIF. The faculty member or AIF shall be notified of the result of the appeal and shall then impose any educational sanction(s) approved by the Appeals Committee.4

V.    Review by the Campus Appeals Committee

A.    Student appeals of findings of responsibility and/or sanctions for nonseparable violations of academic integrity should initially be sent to the Office of Student Conduct or the Camden, Newark, or Biomedical and Health Sciences Chancellor’s Designee, who collects all information related to the case and forwards this information to the appropriate Campus Appeals Committee.

B.    Appeals of findings of responsibility and/or sanctions for nonseparable violations of academic integrity are conducted by a four-person panel of Appeals Committee members: one faculty member, two student members, and a nonvoting staff member called the Staff Investigator. The Panel reviews all appeals on the basis of the written information presented through the Staff Investigator and does not take direct testimony.

C.    Prior to the meeting of an Appeals Panel to consider an appeal, the Staff Investigator shall gather information pertaining to the allegation as necessary to permit the Panel to make an informed decision.  This investigation ordinarily includes speaking with the faculty member or AIF who adjudicated the case and with the accused student, as well as a review of all relevant information and evidence. When the Staff Investigator has concluded the fact-finding process, he or she shall prepare a written report, which shall be shared with the faculty member or AIF and the accused student.  The fact-finding ordinarily shall be completed and the report provided within 15 working days of the receipt of the student’s appeal.

D.    The faculty member or AIF and the accused student may submit written responses to the Staff Investigator’s written report within five working days of its receipt. The Staff Investigator shall then submit his or her report, together with any written responses from the student or faculty member or AIF, to the voting members of the panel.

E.    The Appeals Panel shall meet to consider an appeal within ten working days of receipt of the written report of the Staff Investigator.  If the Panel needs more information in order to reach a decision, the Staff Investigator will continue fact-finding and a decision deferred for up to ten working days.  The decision on the appeal shall be made by simple majority vote and voting members of the Panel may not abstain.

F.    The decision of the Appeals Panel with regard to both the finding of responsibility and sanction is final.  The Panel shall change the finding of responsibility only if it finds that the decision of the faculty member or AIF is inconsistent with the evidence or if new significant and material evidence is presented to the panel.  The Panel shall change the sanction assigned by the faculty member or AIF only if the assigned sanction falls well outside the range of sanctions ordinarily imposed for similar violations.

G.    If the Appeals Panel overturns the finding of responsibility, it shall so notify the faculty member or AIF , the accused student, and the OSC or appropriate campus CAID within ten working days. The case will then be concluded.

H.    If the Appeals Panel upholds the finding of responsibility or if the appeal is only of the assigned sanction, the Panel shall make a decision concerning sanction and notify the accused student, the faculty member or AIF8, and the OSC or appropriate campus CAID of its decision with respect to the finding of responsibility and/or sanction within ten working days. The panel will then ask that the sanction be imposed.


8 The AIF shall then notify the referring party of the outcome of the matter.

 


VI.    Time Limits

A.    The time limits or deadlines specified on actions by faculty members, AIFs, Campus Appeals Committees, and accused students in cases of alleged nonseparable violations of academic integrity are designed to ensure that the adjudication process proceeds in a timely and efficient manner for the benefit of all concerned.  Any of the deadlines may be extended by mutual consent of the parties involved.

B.    The consequences of failure by a student to meet the relevant deadlines are made clear in the preceding sections of this Appendix. When a faculty member, an AIF, or a Campus Appeals Committee fails to meet a deadline, the accused student may file a complaint with the campus CAO or appropriate CAID. The CAO or CAID shall consider the complaint and act, if necessary, to bring the adjudication process to completion as rapidly as possible.

Appendix C: Procedures for Adjudicating Allegations of Separable Violations of Academic Integrity

I.    Initial Reporting of an Alleged Violation

A.    As specified in section IVA of the Academic Integrity Policy, a faculty member who observes or is apprised of a possible separable violation of academic integrity by an undergraduate student shall report the allegation to the Office of Student Conduct, to the Camden, Newark, or Biomedical and Health Sciences CAID, or to a designated AIF for adjudication. To report the alleged violation and initiate a complaint against the accused student, the faculty member should complete the Academic Integrity Initial Reporting Form1 and send it, together with all supporting material, to the Office of Student Conduct or appropriate CAID or AIF.


1 Online reporting form found at http://tinyurl.com/AIReportingForm.

 


B.    A member of the university community other than a faculty member, as defined in this policy, who wishes to file a complaint of a violation of academic integrity against a student should contact the Office of Student Conduct or Camden, Newark, or Biomedical and Health Sciences CAID for instructions on how to do so.
II.    Preliminary Review

A.    The next step in the process of adjudicating an allegation of a separable violation of academic integrity is the Preliminary Review, which is carried out by an AIF or Student Conduct Officer assigned by the Director of Student Conduct or the Camden, Newark, or Biomedical and Health Sciences CAID for the purpose of determining if there is sufficient evidence to charge the accused student with a separable violation of academic integrity. During the Preliminary Review, the AIF or Student Conduct Officer shall inform the accused student of his or her rights, provide information about the disciplinary process, review all available evidence with the student, meet with the complaint initiator (if necessary), and gather information from witnesses to determine whether or not there is enough evidence to charge the student with a violation of academic integrity.

B.    At the completion of the review, a Preliminary Review report shall be generated and the AIF or Student Conduct Officer shall take one of the following actions:

1. If the AIF or Student Conduct Officer determines that there is not enough evidence to support charging the student with a violation of academic integrity, he or she shall decline to issue a charge and so inform the accused student, the complaint initiator, and the Office of Student Conduct or Camden, Newark, or Biomedical and Health Sciences CAID in writing. The student shall also be informed that the complaint can be reconsidered if additional information about the incident is discovered and reported.

2. If the AIF or Student Conduct Officer determines that there is enough evidence to charge the student with a violation of academic integrity but that the alleged violation is nonseparable, the AIF or Student Conduct Officer shall charge the student with a nonseparable violation of academic integrity and see that the matter is adjudicated according to the procedures specified in Appendix B of this policy.

3. If the AIF or Student Conduct Officer determines that there is enough evidence to charge the student with a separable violation of academic integrity, he or she shall so charge the student and inform him or her of the charges in writing.

4. If the accused student fails to meet with the AIF or Student Conduct Officer for a Preliminary Review, the AIF or Student Conduct Officer shall determine whether there is enough evidence in the complaint to warrant charging the student with a violation of academic integrity.  If there is enough evidence, the AIF or Student Conduct Officer shall so charge the student in writing and proceed as if the student claimed he or she was not responsible for the violation.

C.    If the accused student is charged with a separable violation of academic integrity and accepts responsibility for the violation, the AIF or Student Conduct Officer shall assign an appropriate sanction.

1.     If the student also accepts the assigned sanction and the sanction does not include suspension or expulsion, a disciplinary agreement is prepared and signed by the student and by the AIF or Student Conduct Officer.  The disciplinary agreement shall constitute an acceptance of the finding and sanction, as well as a waiver of the student’s right to a hearing or Disciplinary Conference and to an appeal. If the assigned sanction includes suspension or expulsion, the case is sent to the appropriate CAID for review to make sure that the sanction is not clearly disproportionate to the violation. The CAID then makes the final decision concerning the sanction.

2.     If the accused student does not accept the assigned sanction, the AIF or Student Conduct Officer shall notify the student of the sanction in writing. The letter of notification shall also inform the student of the opportunity to appeal the sanction to the Campus Appeals Committee within ten working days2 and of the procedures for filing an appeal.


2 A working day is any weekday not listed as a University holiday on the University Calendar. Days on which classes are not in session but the University is open for business are working days.

 


3.    If the accused student does not appeal the assigned sanction within the specified time period and the sanction includes suspension or expulsion, the case is sent to the appropriate CAID for review to make sure that the sanction is not clearly disproportionate to the violation. The CAID then makes the final decision concerning the sanction. If the assigned sanction does not include suspension or expulsion and the student does not appeal within the specified time period, the assigned sanction is final and the process is concluded.

D.    If the accused student does not accept responsibility for the violation(s), the case shall ordinarily be decided at a University Hearing unless the student requests that it be decided at a Disciplinary Conference instead. If the student fails to meet with the AIF or Student Conduct Officer and does not respond to the letter charging him or her with a separable violation, the AIF or Student Conduct Officer can request that the case be decided at a Disciplinary Conference rather than a University Hearing.  Any request for a Disciplinary Conference is granted only if the complaint initiator agrees.

III. University Hearings

A.    University Hearing Boards

1.    University Hearing Boards are the formal bodies at the University charged with hearing cases of alleged separable violations of the University Code of Student Conduct and/or the Academic Integrity Policy. In academic integrity cases, the Hearing Board determines the relevant facts related to the case and makes an informed decision regarding whether or not the accused student violated the Academic Integrity Policy. If the Board finds a student responsible for a violation of academic integrity, the Board assigns a sanction.  Board members have the authority to question witnesses, the accused student (if he or she chooses to speak) and the complaint initiator in an effort to determine the facts of the case.

2.    When a hearing is called, a Hearing Board of three students and two faculty members is selected from a pool of community members recruited, selected, and trained by the Office of Student Conduct or the Camden, Newark, or Biomedical and Health Sciences Chancellor’s Designee.  Should a selected board member be unable to serve at the hearing, the Director of Student Conduct or Chancellor’s Designee selects a replacement from the Hearing Board pool.  While it is possible to conduct a hearing with a Hearing Board of two students and one faculty member, no hearing may proceed with less than three students and two faculty members without the written consent of the accused student(s) and the complaint initiator.

3.    An accused student or the complaint initiator may request that a specific member of a University Hearing Board be excluded from the hearing for cause.  This request must be made in writing to the Director of Student Conduct or Chancellor’s Designee at least three working days before the hearing.  The final decision on that request is made by the Director of Student Conduct or Chancellor’s Designee, who determines whether the information presented is sufficient grounds to excuse the board member from the hearing.  If a member is excused, the Director of Student Conduct or Chancellor’s Designee selects a replacement from the Hearing Board pool.

B.    Hearing Officers

1.    A trained University community member shall serve as the Hearing Officer.  The role of the Hearing Officer is to exercise control over the hearing so as to insure a fair process for all concerned.  The Hearing Officer therefore shall:

a.    Conduct the hearing.

b.    Exclude anyone who is disruptive.

c.    Summon witnesses upon the request of any party at the hearing.

d.    Make rulings on evidence provided at the hearing.  Hearing Officers shall respect the rules of confidentiality and privilege, but shall admit any other evidence into the record that reasonable persons would accept as valuable.

e.    Ensure proper procedures are being followed.  This includes making sure the rights of the accused student and the complaint initiator are protected.

2.    An accused student or complaint initiator may request that a specific Hearing Officer be excluded from the hearing for cause.  This request must be made in writing to the Director of Student Conduct or appropriate Chancellor’s Designee at least three working days before the hearing.  The final decision on the request is made by the Director of Student Conduct or Chancellor’s Designee, who determines whether the information presented is sufficient grounds to excuse a Hearing Officer from the hearing.  If a Hearing Officer is excused, the Director of Student Conduct or Chancellor’s Designee selects a replacement from the group of trained Hearing Officers.

C.    Hearing Procedures

1.    Hearings shall be closed to the public, unless one party requests an open hearing and there are no objections from the other parties.  Parties who may object to an open hearing include an accused student, the complaint initiator, and the Director of Student Conduct or Chancellor’s Designee.

2.    A recording of the hearing is ordinarily made, but deliberations are not recorded.  The recording shall be preserved by the Office of Student Conduct for a period of three years and then be destroyed.  If a recording is not made for some reason, the decision of the Hearing Board shall include a summary of the evidence presented that is sufficiently detailed to permit possible review by the Campus Appeals Committee and CAID.

3.    For incidents involving more than one accused student, the Director of Student Conduct or Chancellor’s Designee shall determine whether there will be one hearing or separate hearings for the students involved.  Any accused student may petition the Director of Student Conduct or Chancellor’s Designee for a separate hearing. The petition must provide convincing evidence to show that a combined hearing would be prejudicial to the student.

4.    The accused student(s) and complaint initiator shall be notified at least ten working days prior to the hearing.  This notification shall include the charges, the names of the Hearing Officer and Hearing Board members for the case in question, the time, date, and location of the hearing, the names of people attending the hearing as witnesses, and a list of the names and addresses of available Campus Advisers and Student Advocates.  Each party shall also be instructed to supply the Director of Student Conduct or Chancellor’s Designee with additional information on witnesses and any supporting documents he or she is submitting at least five working days before the hearing.   Parties shall also be given information regarding access to the case file, which contains the filed complaint, the Preliminary Review report, and any additional information provided by either party before or during the Preliminary Review.

5.    An accused student or complaint initiator may request postponement of the hearing for good cause to the Hearing Officer at least five working days in advance of the hearing.  Except in emergency situations, no request for a postponement will be considered when received less than five working days before the scheduled hearing date.

6.    A faculty member or other complaint initiator has two choices as to his or her role in the hearing: he or she may choose to present the case against the accused student, with the help of a Campus Adviser if desired, or request to have the case presented by a trained complaint presenter, ordinarily a Community Advocate from the Honor Council or a Campus Adviser. In the latter instance, the complaint initiator is expected to help the complaint presenter prepare the case and serve as a witness at the Hearing.

7.    If the complaint initiator does not wish or is not able to serve as the complaint presenter and no Community Advocate or Campus Adviser is available, an AIF or member of the dean’s staff of the accused student’s school or college may serve as the complaint presenter.

8.    An accused student may, if desired, be assisted at the Hearing by an adviser, normally a Student Advocate from the Honor Council or a Campus Adviser3. In addition, an accused student is permitted to have one support person present. The adviser is permitted to make statements to the Hearing Board and question witnesses. The role of the support person is strictly consultative; he or she is not permitted to speak at the hearing or to disrupt the proceedings in any way.


3 If no Student Advocate or Campus Adviser is available, another member of the University Community may serve as the accused student’s adviser, with the approval of the Director of Student Conduct or Chancellor’s Designee.

 


9.    The hearing shall begin with the Student Conduct Officer or AIF who conducted the Preliminary Review reading the Preliminary Review report and answering questions about it. Each accused student shall then be asked to respond to each alleged violation of the Academic Integrity Policy by stating one of the following:  (a) responsible for the violation or (b) not responsible for the violation. If an accused student fails to appear for the hearing, the Hearing Officer shall enter a plea of not responsible on behalf of the student.

10.    The Hearing Officer shall then ask the complaint presenter to give a narrative account of what happened, followed by witnesses in support of the complaint.  The accused student or his or her adviser shall then be given the opportunity to provide a narrative statement to the Hearing Board and to provide witnesses to support the student’s interpretation of the matter.

11.    Both the complaint presenter and the accused student or his or her adviser shall have the right to question witnesses, once the Hearing Board members and Hearing Officer have had an opportunity to do so.  Witnesses are excluded from the hearing during testimony of other witnesses with one exception: if the complaint initiator chooses to participate as a witness rather than present the complaint, he or she shall be questioned first and then may remain in the room for the rest of the hearing.  All witnesses shall be asked to affirm that all information they are providing is truthful.

12.    If a witness cannot attend the hearing for some reason, he or she may provide information to the Hearing Board in the form of a signed statement.  Such statements must be witnessed by an Academic Integrity Facilitator, Student Conduct Officer, Dean of Students, or notary, and  may only be used for the purpose of supplementing or explaining other information presented at the hearing.  Written statements by witnesses not present at the hearing shall not, standing alone, be sufficient to support a finding.

13.    If a hearing needs to be adjourned and continued on another day, the Hearing Officer shall determine when the hearing will be reconvened.  The hearing may be reconvened without 10 days notice.

14.    At the end of the hearing, the Hearing Board shall retire to closed deliberations, from which the Hearing Officer is excluded. If requested to do so by the Hearing Board, the Hearing Officer shall reconvene all parties to have questions from the Board answered on the record. An accused student is initially presumed to be not responsible for the alleged violation(s). Responsibility must be established using the standard of clear and convincing evidence, which requires that the Hearing Board be persuaded that there is a high probability that the allegation(s) against the student are true.

15.    The Hearing Board’s decision shall be made by majority vote and no board member may abstain. Once the Hearing Board has reached a decision, the Hearing Officer shall meet with the Board in closed session to receive its decision and the rationale on which it is based.

16.    The Hearing Board’s decision shall be read to the accused student by the Hearing Officer in a reconvened hearing and a copy shall be provided to the accused student and the complaint initiator. The Hearing Board’s decision shall be supported with a brief written summary of the findings of fact that led to the Board’s conclusion.  The written summary becomes a part of the case file.

17.    Any determination of responsibility shall immediately be followed by a proceeding to determine educational and disciplinary sanctions.  The accused student and the complaint initiator shall be given an opportunity to make statements regarding sanction.  The accused student may also present character witnesses or statements of support. The Student Conduct Officer or AIF who conducted the Preliminary Review shall offer his or her recommendation regarding sanction and the past disciplinary record of the accused student, if any, shall be supplied to the Board.

18.    The Hearing Board shall then retire to closed session to assign a sanction.  The assigned sanction shall be determined by majority vote and no board member may abstain. The Hearing Officer shall present the Board’s assigned sanction and the accused student(s) and the complaint initiator shall be informed in writing of the finding of responsibility and the assigned sanction. The letter of notification shall also inform the student of the opportunity to appeal the finding and/or sanction to the Campus Appeals Committee within ten working days and of the procedures for filing an appeal.

19.    If the accused student does not appeal the assigned sanction within the specified time period and the sanction includes suspension or expulsion, the case is sent to the appropriate CAID for review to make sure that the sanction is not clearly disproportionate to the violation. The CAID then makes the final decision concerning the sanction. If the assigned sanction does not include suspension or expulsion and the student does not appeal within the specified time period, the sanction assigned by the Hearing Board is final and the process is concluded.

IV.     Disciplinary Conferences

A.    A Disciplinary Conference is a more informal process than a University Hearing. It is conducted by a Student Conduct Officer assigned by the Director of Student Conduct or by the Camden, Newark, or Biomedical and Health Sciences CAID. The complaint initiator is expected to be present unless advised by the Student Conduct Officer that his or her participation is not requested. The accused student maintains his or her rights as established in part V of the University Code of Student Conduct and the complaint initiator maintains his or her rights as established in part VI of the University Code of Student Conduct.

B.    The accused student and complaint initiator shall receive written notice of the charges and the date, time, and location of the Disciplinary Conference at least five working days before the conference.  The letter of notification shall also inform the parties of how they can access the case file before the conference.

C.    A recording of the Disciplinary Conference is ordinarily made and preserved in the custody of the Office of Student Conduct.  If a recording is not made for some reason, the decision of the Student Conduct Officer must include a summary of the testimony that will be sufficient for possible review by the Campus Appeals Committee and CAID.

D.    Both the accused student and the complaint initiator (if he or she participates in the conference) may request that witnesses be called. In addition, the accused student may be assisted by an adviser, normally a Student Advocate from the Honor Council or a Campus Adviser, and may have one support person present. The student’s adviser is permitted to speak to the Student Conduct Officer and to question witnesses. Support persons are not permitted to speak at the conference or to disrupt the proceedings in any way.

E.    At the beginning of the Disciplinary Conference, the Student Conduct Officer shall read an opening statement outlining the Disciplinary Conference procedures. The accused student(s) shall then be asked to respond to each alleged violation of the Academic Integrity Policy by stating one of the following: (a) responsible for the violation or (b) not responsible for the violation. If an accused student fails to appear for the Disciplinary Conference, the Student Conduct Officer shall enter a plea of not responsible on behalf of the student.

F.    During the conference, the accused student and the complaint initiator (if present) shall be given the opportunity to present relevant information to the Student Conduct Officer, who shall question both parties and any witnesses called.  The accused student and the complaint initiator (if present) plus the student’s adviser shall also have the opportunity to ask questions of the other party and of any witnesses called.

G.    Once the Student Conduct Officer decides that sufficient information has been presented and questions satisfactorily addressed, he or she shall retire to make a decision on responsibility using the standard of clear and convincing evidence, which requires that he or she be persuaded that there is a high probability that the allegations against the student are true.  If an accused student failed to appear at the Disciplinary Conference, the Student Conduct Officer shall make a decision based on information provided by the complaint initiator and information in the case file.

1.    If the Student Conduct Officer finds that the accused student has not committed a violation of academic integrity, the matter is closed and the accused student, the complaint initiator, and the Director of Student Conduct or appropriate Chancellor’s Designee are so informed in writing.

2.    If the Student Conduct Officer finds the accused student responsible for a violation of academic integrity, he or she shall assign a sanction and notify the student in writing of the finding of responsibility and the assigned sanction. The letter of notification shall also inform the student of the opportunity to appeal the sanction to the Campus Appeals Committee within ten working days and of the procedures for filing an appeal.

3.    If the accused student does not appeal the assigned sanction within the specified time period and the sanction includes suspension or expulsion, the case is sent to the appropriate CAID  for review to make sure that the sanction is not clearly disproportionate to the violation. The CAID then makes the final decision concerning the sanction. If the assigned sanction does not include suspension or expulsion and the student does not appeal within the specified time period, the sanction is final and the process is concluded.

V.     Appeal Procedures

A.    Any determination of responsibility for a separable violation of academic integrity by a University Hearing Board or by a Student Conduct Officer at a Disciplinary Conference or any sanction assigned for such a violation by a Hearing Board, Student Conduct Officer or AIF may be appealed one time only to the Appeals Committee of the campus in which the accused student is enrolled. Appeals must be submitted in writing to the Director of Student Conduct or Camden, Newark, or Biomedical and Health Sciences Chancellor’s Designee, who transmits the appeal to the appropriate Campus Appeals Committee.

B.    Appeals must be received within ten working days from the date of the notification to the accused student of the finding and/or sanction. Failure to submit an appeal by the appropriate deadline will render the finding/sanction final and conclude the process provided the sanction does not include suspension or expulsion. A sanction including suspension or expulsion must be sent for review to the appropriate CAID for review to make sure that the sanction is not clearly disproportionate to the violation. The CAID then makes the final decision concerning the sanction.

C.    Accused students may appeal on the following grounds:

1.    Unsupported Conclusion: The decision made by the Student Conduct Officer or University Hearing Board is not supported by the facts of the case.

2.    Procedural Error: The hearing or Disciplinary Conference was conducted unfairly and not in conformity with prescribed procedures.  The error committed must be determined to have seriously impacted the fairness of the disciplinary process.

3.    Disproportionate Sanction: The sanction imposed on the student was not appropriate.

4.    New Information:  There is new information that wasn’t available at the time of the University Hearing or Disciplinary Conference that may be sufficient to alter the original decision.

D.    In preparing an appeal, the accused student and the complaint initiator shall have access to the recording of the disciplinary proceeding.

E.    Appeals of findings of responsibility and/or sanctions for separable violations of academic integrity are considered by a three-member panel consisting of one faculty member and two students from the Campus Appeals Committee. If the accused student is a graduate student, at least one of the student members of the Panel must be a graduate student.

F.    The Appeals Panel may solicit written clarification of any issue raised on appeal from the University Hearing Board, Hearing Officer, or Student Conduct Officer involved in the case, the individual who conducted the Preliminary Review, the complaint initiator, and the accused student.

G.    Appeals are decided on the record of the original proceeding and any written information submitted by any of the parties.  The Appeals Panel shall not substitute its judgment for the decision of the original Hearing Board or Conduct Officer and shall not attempt to rehear the case.

1.    Sanctions should only be recommended for reduction if found to be clearly disproportionate to the gravity of the violation, precedent for similar violations, and/or the accused student’s prior disciplinary record.

2.    Cases should be recommended for remand for a new University Hearing or Disciplinary Conference only if

a.    Specified procedural errors were so substantial that they effectively denied the accused student a fair hearing.

b.    The finding of responsibility by the University Hearing Board or Student Conduct Officer is clearly not supported by the facts of the case.

c.    New information presented is so substantial that it may lead a new Hearing Board or Student Conduct Officer to alter the original decision.

H.    The Appeals Panel shall review all available information and make a recommendation regarding the appeal.

1.    If the finding of responsibility is being appealed, the Appeals Panel shall do one of the following:

a.    Affirm the finding and sanction originally determined.

b.    Affirm the finding but recommend modification of the sanction.

c.    Send the case back for a new University Hearing or Disciplinary Conference.

2.    If only the sanction is being appealed, the Appeals Panel shall either affirm the sanction or recommend its modification.

I.    Appeals Panel recommendations are forwarded for review to the appropriate campus CAID. If the Appeals Panel has recommended denying the student’s appeal in whole or in part, the CAID shall transmit the panel’s recommendations and rationale to the student and give him or her five working days to respond.  The CAID shall then review the student’s written appeal, the Appeals Panel’s rationale for its recommendations, and the student’s response, if any, to the Appeals Panel’s recommendations and rationale and make the final decision on the student’s appeal based on the criteria specified in Section V.G above. The CAID shall not attempt to rehear the case.

J.    A letter presenting the CAID’s decision shall be sent to the student from the CAID no more than ten working days after the Appeals Panel’s decision.  If the hearing or disciplinary decision is upheld, the case is concluded.  If the sanction is reduced, the student is given new instructions regarding sanction and the case is concluded.  If the case is sent back for a new hearing or Disciplinary Conference, the student is given instructions on the next steps in the process.

VI.     Imposition of the Sanction

A.    The imposition of sanctions shall normally be deferred during any appeals process and the status of the accused student shall not change until all avenues of appeal have been exhausted, except that a hold may be put on a student’s transcript and no degree will be awarded to the student pending completion of the appeals process.

B.    Once all appeals have been exhausted, it shall be the responsibility of the Director of Student Conduct or the Camden, Newark, or Biomedical and Health Sciences Chancellor’s Designee to oversee the implementation of the imposed sanction.