121.5 Academic Integrity

Created by: Stephanie Ferguson on 11/03/2005
Category: 1 - Academic Affairs; 20 - Responsibility
Originator: Academic Policies Committee
Current File: 121.5
Adoption Date: 04/22/2013
Reviewed for Currency: 04/22/2013
Replaces File: 121.5
Date of Origin: 10/09/1978
Classification: Faculty
In Archive? 0

121.5 Academic Integrity


A. Background

Furman affirms that integrity is the foundation of the academic enterprise and is essential both to the validity of the educational process and to the healthy functioning of the learning community.  Honesty, trust, respect, fairness, responsibility, even in the face of adversity, serve as the cornerstones of intellectual life, in and out of the classroom ["The Fundamental Values of Academic Integrity," The Center for Academic Integrity, Duke University, October 1999]. Furman aspires to promote these values and to prevent misconduct by communicating an expectation of integrity through appropriate education of students and faculty. The University also aims to ensure fundamental fairness for all parties when allegations of academic misconduct are made.



B. Policy

Students, faculty, and administrators are expected to promote a culture of academic integrity. Students have the ultimate responsibility for knowing Furman's policy and expectations regarding academic integrity, and for behaving honorably in their academic work. Ignorance of what constitutes academic misconduct is not an acceptable defense for violating the community standard. All faculty at Furman are responsible for identifying instances of possible academic misconduct, for initiating the procedures specified in this policy, and for imposing a penalty they consider appropriate. The university administration is responsible for encouraging and supporting an environment in the university community that both values academic integrity and discourages indifference towards infractions against it.


 Responsibility for the adjudication of reported infractions and the assessment of sanctions outside the penalty in the course rests with the Academic Discipline Committee (ADC), a body comprising faculty and students (File 190.6). In some instances, such as the falsifying of official documents, the University Discipline Committee will have this responsibility (see The Helmsman, "Disciplinary Processes").



C. Guidelines

1. All members of the community of scholars are responsible for fostering the principles of academic integrity. However, the failure of one party to uphold its responsibility does not exempt the others from upholding theirs.

2. The university administration aims to educate all members of the campus community about the importance of academic integrity and Furman's policies and procedures for handling allegations of misconduct in the academic realm.

3. The Academic Discipline Committee (ADC) is a standing committee of the faculty responsible for adjudicating alleged violations of the academic integrity policy. See File 190.6.

4. All members of the faculty have the responsibility to promote academic integrity in and out of the classroom by their encouragement and example, to make every reasonable effort to prevent academic misconduct from occurring, to conform to the University-established procedures for addressing suspected violations of the academic integrity policy, to serve on the ADC.

5. The ultimate responsibility for integrity rests with the student. In addition, students play a vital role in creating a campus environment that exemplifies the fundamental principles of academic integrity.

These responsibilities extend beyond avoiding personal academic misconduct. A student who has reason to believe that another student has violated the principles of academic integrity shall communicate this to the instructor of the course or other appropriate individual or other appropriate official.

6. All forms of academic misconduct including cheating, plagiarism, misrepresentation, and unacceptable collaboration are violations of Furman's academic integrity standard. Examples and explanations may be found elsewhere in official University documents (e.g., The Helmsman and the academic integrity portion of the Furman University web site).

7. When a faculty member suspects that academic misconduct has occurred, he or she is to consider evidence related to the incident and may choose to consult with the department chair, or an appropriate faculty colleague and/or the Associate Academic Dean. Faculty are required to begin investigating an incident of possible academic misconduct as soon as it is suspected, even if suspicions come to light after the conclusion of the course or after the student's completion of a degree.

If the faculty member has reason to believe that it is "more likely than not" that academic misconduct has occurred, he or she should follow the procedures outlined in File 190.6 to resolve the matter. In normal circumstances, the faculty will forward information about the case to the ADC. The Associate Academic Dean will refer disputes involving academic misconduct to the ADC.

8. The ADC will convene as soon as is reasonably possible to consider the case according to its guidelines. A majority decision will be rendered based upon the standard of the greater weight of the evidence ("more likely than not"). Additionally, the Committee may recommend a grade penalty to the faculty member, or may assess sanctions or penalties other than grade penalties assigned by the instructor. This would be appropriate for cases involving broader considerations such as repeat offenses.

9. In all cases, a student charged with academic misconduct may appeal to the ADC the faculty member's decision that academic misconduct has occurred.  See File 190.6.

10. A student charged with academic misconduct may not alter his or her registration status in the course (e.g., drop or withdraw from the course, or elect to take the course Pass/No Pass) while the charge is pending, nor may a student found responsible for academic misconduct alter his/her registration status in the course. The ADC, however, may revoke Pass/No Pass status as an additional penalty for academic misconduct. In this case, the revoked Pass/No Pass hours would still contribute to the 12 semester-hour maximum allotted to the student.