Academic Integrity at IUP

  • Presented by Lynnan Mocek, Office of the Provost, at a Reflective Practice Large Group Meeting.

    Academic Integrity/Academic Dishonesty is a hot topic. Any issue occurring within a classroom, class-related activity, or class-related function fall within the Academic Integrity Policy and are referred to the Provost Office. (Non-class related issues are referred to the Judicial Board.) The Academic Integrity Policy provides a meaningful process to address various levels of student conduct that impact the academic process and ensures the students receive due process for more serious cases of academic violations. IUP’s Academic Integrity Policy has been approved by the University Senate, the president, and the Council of Trustees.

    There are twelve types of violations outlined within the Academic Integrity policy:

    1. Providing or receiving unauthorized assistance in coursework, or with lab work, theses, dissertations, drug examinations (including qualifying and comprehensive exams), or quizzes
    2. Using unauthorized materials or devices, such as crib notes, during examinations or quizzes
    3. Plagiarizing papers, theses, dissertations, essays, reports, speeches and oral presentations, take-home examinations, computer projects, or other academic exercises by misrepresenting or passing off the ideas, words, formulas, or data of another as one’s own
    4. Using the same paper or work more than once without authorization of the faculty member(s) to whom the work is being submitted
    5. Possessing course examination materials before the administration of the exam, without the prior knowledge or consent of the instructor
    6. Intentionally evading IUP academic policies and procedures; for example, improperly processing course withdrawals, grade changes, or other academic procedures
    7. Falsifying information, including falsification/fabrication of research data and/or statistical analyses, forging signatures on various forms and documents, or altering or adding answers on academic exercises or exams after work has been graded
    8. Computer dishonesty as addressed by approved university computing policies
    9. Noncompliance by failure to comply with previously imposed sanctions for academic violations under this policy
    10. Class behavior which significantly disrupts the learning process or is a threat to others
    11. Buying, selling, stealing, or engaging in unauthorized exchange of, or improperly using, any assignments, papers, or projects
    12. Making fraudulent claims to gain academic credit or to influence testing or grading

    The most common issues reported to the Provost Office are plagiarism (many students do not understand what plagiarism is), cheating, and classroom disruption.

    Academic Integrity Guidelines

    Within seven days of observation or discovery of violation, the instructor has three options to choose from: (Note: you do not have to follow in order each option; depending upon the severity, a faculty member can chose to immediately go to option II or option III.)

    Option I: Informal

    • Faculty resolves the matter one-on-one with the student
    • Not necessary to complete a referral form, but it is recommended (this option is not officially documented with the Provost’s Office).
    • The referral form or a factual statement should be signed by both parties agreeing to the sanction. Student cannot appeal the decision of the instructor if sanction is agreed upon and signed.
    • If agreement is not reached, then Option II should be initiated. The instructor does not have to choose Option I, but may instead file an Option II or Option III referral based on the severity of the situation.

    Option II: Documented Agreement

    • Referral form must be completed at this step. Form must be filed within seven days of conference between student and instructor.
      • If agreement is reached, both parties sign the referral and instructor distributes copies. Student cannot appeal the decision of the instructor if sanction is agreed upon and signed.
      • If agreement is reached but the student fails to fulfill agreed-upon sanction, faculty member files another referral for non-compliance.

    Note – If there is another Level II violation previously filed regarding the student, the violation automatically is referred to an AIB for multiple violations.

    Option III: Formal Adjudication (two types)

    • This is officially filed with the Provost’s Office if the situation cannot be resolved at Option I or II (within seven days from the meeting to resolve the situation), or if a more severe sanction is being recommended by the instructor (such as expulsion, suspension, or a failing grade). The instructor should file Option III within seven days of conference. Once the referral form is filed with the Provost’s Office, prior violations will be investigated. If other academic integrity violations have been filed, the Provost’s Office will convene an Academic Integrity Board Hearing. If there were no other previous violations, Type I adjudication at the departmental level can be initiated.

    Type I adjudication (for less severe sanctions) Departmental Adjudication

    • Within seven days of being notified of allegation, the department chair forwards a copy of the referral to the student and contacts the student to schedule a hearing with the chair, instructor, and student.
      • The hearing is to take place within seven days of the student’s notification.
    • At the meeting, the chair, instructor, and student discuss the situation and attempt to come to a resolution.
    • The chair renders a decision within seven days based on the evidence presented at this meeting.
    • The student may appeal the chair’s decision in writing to the provost within seven days of receipt of outcome. The appeal may be based on the following: a) denial of a fair and reasonable hearing; b) new evidence; c) excessively harsh sanction (see policy for detailed information). The Provost’s Office has seven days to accept or deny the appeal. If appeal is accepted, the Provost’s Office will convene an AIB.

    Type II adjudication (for more severe sanctions recommended by the instructor OR for multiple violations investigated by the Provost’s Office) Academic Integrity Board

    • The Provost’s Office convenes an Academic Integrity Board Hearing. The AIB members are pulled from the list of judicial board members identified by the Office of Student Conduct. The panel must comprise four faculty members (one is the chair) and two students. The instructor and student will appear before a panel to present their case.
    • The board renders a decision within seven days of the hearing.
      • If no prior violation, the AIB may accept, reduce, or modify the recommended sanction of the instructor, but they cannot increase sanction.
      • If there is a prior violation, the AIB may increase the recommendation sanction of the instructor.
      • The student may appeal the decision of the Board in writing to the provost within seven days. The Provost’s Office must accept or deny the appeal within seven days.
      • If appeal is accepted, the Provost’s Office will convene an AIB appeal hearing. The decision of the appeal board is final.

    Important: If an academic integrity violation is not resolved prior to when grades are due, the student must receive an “I” grade.

    Copies of the forms used in processing violations at each level are available both via departmental offices and via the Provost’s Office.

    Possible Sanctions

    Level I or Level II

    • Single grade reduction/Failure of project or paper
    • Course grade reduction/Failure of course
    • Completion of Constructive or Educational task – e.g., additional paper, presentation to class

    Level III or AIB – Note that whatever sanction you recommend at AIB level is the maximum sanction to be recommended by board, as indicated in the policy.

    • Letter of Warning
    • Disciplinary Probation
    • Involuntary Withdrawal from some segment of IUP course/program – e.g., expulsion from Honors College
    • Suspension from IUP for specified period of time*
    • Expulsion – most serious and usually considered only when student has already been suspended or has multiple violations*

    *These can only be recommended at the AIB level and can be imposed only by the president, or the vice president for Student Affairs acting as the president’s designee

    If you have any questions or concerns regarding Academic Integrity, please feel free to contact Lynnan Mocek in the Provost’s Office: 724-357-3001 or