121.5 Student 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: 03/02/2015
Reviewed for Currency: 03/02/2015
Replaces File: 121.5
Date of Origin: 10/09/1978
Classification: Faculty
In Archive? 0

121.5 Student 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. Furman aspires to engage the entire campus in the promotion of the values of integrity.  The Student Handbook and Furman’s Academic Integrity Website provide additional information for students and faculty concerning these values and the prevention of academic integrity violations. Furman aims to ensure fundamental fairness for all parties in the adjudication process 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 grade penalty they consider appropriate when the student accepts responsibility for academic misconduct or when the Academic Discipline Committee finds the student responsible for academic misconduct. See (File 190.6). 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.

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 Student Handbook and the academic integrity portion of the Furman University web site). 



C. Guidelines

1. Responsibilities of the university community

a. 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.

b. 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.

c. The Academic Discipline Committee (ADC) is a standing committee of the faculty comprising faculty and students responsible for adjudicating alleged violations of the academic integrity policy and assessing sanctions outside the grade penalty. See (File 190.6).  

d. The Associate Academic Dean is responsible for ensuring that appropriate procedures are followed according to policies 121.5 and 190.6, overseeing sanctions imposed by the ADC, maintaining academic discipline records, and collecting summary data for academic discipline cases.

e. The Student Conduct Board is responsible for adjudicating instances of integrity violations that occur outside of the classroom, such as falsifying of official documents and CLP infractions (see The Student Handbook, “Student Conduct Procedures”).

f. 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 established procedures for addressing suspected violations of the academic integrity policy, and to serve on the ADC.

g. 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 the Associate Academic Dean.

2. Faculty Procedures for Filing a Case

a. 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, an appropriate faculty colleague 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.

b.  If the faculty member has reason to believe that it is “more likely than not” that academic misconduct has occurred, he or she shall schedule a meeting with the student as soon as possible to present the relevant evidence and to specify the grade penalty which he or she (or the department) considers appropriate. Both the student and the faculty member may invite the department chair, another faculty member, or an academic administrator to be present. Alternatively, the faculty member may forward information about the matter directly to the Associate Academic Dean, who will meet with the student to address the incident and provide a written summary of the meeting to the faculty member.

If the student fails to respond to the instructor’s request for a meeting within seven (7) calendar days, the faculty member will forward the designated form and relevant evidence to the Associate Academic Dean, who will request a meeting with the student. After meeting with the student, the Associate Academic Dean will provide a written statement to the faculty member.

c. If, after meeting with the student or receiving the written statement by the Associate Academic Dean, the faculty member concludes that no academic misconduct took place, the faculty member will dismiss the case and the issue will be considered resolved. The faculty member shall also inform the department chair and/or the Associate Academic Dean, if one or both were notified officially of the alleged misconduct.

d. If the student accepts responsibility for the incident, the faculty member shall submit the evidence and the designated form to the Associate Academic Dean. The Associate Academic Dean will forward the case, with identities hidden, to the ADC to consider other sanctions in addition to the grade penalties assessed by the instructor. Final authority for assigning the grade penalty in the course shall rest with the faculty member. A student who has accepted responsibility for the incident has the right to request a hearing to appeal sanctions imposed by the ADC. See (File 190.6). 

e. If the student denies responsibility, the faculty member shall submit the designated form and the evidence to the Associate Academic Dean. The Associate Academic Dean will request a meeting with the student. After discussing the matter with the student, the Associate Academic Dean shall forward the case to the ADC for a hearing. See (File 190.6). 

f. If the student fails to sign the designated form indicating acceptance or denial of responsibility within five (5) calendar days of receiving the form, the Associate Academic Dean will forward the case to the ADC for a hearing. See (File 190.6). 

g. If a faculty member wants to make any changes to the charge, grade penalty or evidence relating to a case, he or she must submit an amended form to the Associate Academic Dean. The student will then have the right to amend their decision on the designated form.

h. If the student has multiple academic misconduct cases on file, the Associate Academic Dean will forward the case to the ADC for a hearing.  See (File 190.6). 

i. A faculty member may impose a grade penalty for academic misconduct only when he or she reports a student’s possible misconduct and the student either admits responsibility or is found responsible for the misconduct by the ADC. See (File 190.6). 

j. If at the end of a term an academic misconduct case is still under investigation or appeal, the instructor should submit a grade of “Q” to the Registrar’s Office pending resolution of the matter.

k. The faculty member and any faculty consulted as outlined in Guideline 2b shall maintain the strictest confidentiality regarding all matters related to the case.

3. 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.

4. A student has the right to appeal the grade in the course under limited conditions specified in the grade appeal process. See (File 183.2). 

5. ADC case files for students are maintained for five years or until the student graduates (whichever comes first) unless the ADC imposes a penalty that requires the record to remain after graduation. Once this time period has passed the records will be expunged and removed from all discipline files.

6. Furman may allow a petition for early expungement of academic discipline records when a student submits an Academic Discipline Expungement Request to the Associate Academic Dean no earlier than three (3) semesters after the end of the term the offense was committed. The student must demonstrate with documentation that there are academic reasons that justify an early expungement of the student’s record. These reasons may include, but are not limited to, applications for internships or professional or graduate schools. If an early expungement is requested and granted prior to completion of degree requirements, the records of ADC cases will not be disclosed to external third parties or internal review committees, but will be maintained internally in the Associate Academic Dean’s Office for disciplinary purposes. Should the student have another academic integrity violation prior to graduation, the early expungement may be voided. Expungement does not eliminate or modify in any way any sanction(s) in the matter. Early expungement requests are due by the end of the Course Adjustment Processing period each term and will be reviewed by the ADC.