Academic Honesty

  • Academic honesty is an essential part of the Saint Francis University experience. Dishonesty in any aspect of the life of the University is viewed as being incompatible with its moral tradition. Accordingly, Saint Francis University has prepared a policy on academic honesty which will guide students in dealing with such issues in the process of learning.  

    Academic Dishonesty. All Saint Francis University students will be expected to understand the examples of academic dishonesty and the associated implications. It will be the responsibility of the Vice President for Academic Affairs to ensure that all Saint Francis University students become familiar with the potential violations of academic integrity.

    There are various practices that are seen as violations of academic honesty. Some examples of these are listed below:   

    1. Submitting another student's paper or project as one's own.
    2. Submitting the same assignment to fulfill requirements in two courses without the expressed permission of both instructors.
    3. Cheating during an examination, either by copying from another student or by letting another student copy from one's own work, or by using any other illegitimate source of information.
    4. Coaching another student in the preparation of an assignment, including editing papers, projects, computer programs, etc., where expressly prohibited by the instructor.
    5. Impairing library resources so as to deprive others of their use, such as removing them from the library without checking them out, tearing out pages, hiding books, etc., with the intent of thereby gaining an academic advantage.
    6. Inserting into a paper phrasings or paragraphs from journals or books without structuring them to demonstrate one's own synthesis of ideas, and without fully crediting the original source.
    7. Obtaining general background for an assignment from a book, article or other source that is not acknowledged.
    8. Using a specific idea, detail or illustration drawn from a particular source without attribution.
    9. Paraphrasing without attribution.
    10. Taking an exam in one section of a course and then discussing the nature and content of that exam with students who have yet to take an exam with another section of the course.
    11. Submitting contrived or altered data, quotations or documents with an intent to mislead or deliberately misattributing material to a source other than that from which the student obtained it.
    12. Falsifying, tampering with, or misrepresenting one's own transcript or other academic record, or that of another student, or any materials relevant to a student's academic performance.
    13. Knowingly making false statements or presenting false evidence at any time throughout the academic honesty process. In cases where the student has been accused of other unacceptable practices, knowingly making false statements or presenting false evidence will be treated as an additional offense for purposes of determining the proper penalty category.

    Honesty Status. When a student is accused of dishonesty, it will be the responsibility of the Vice President for Academic Affairs to determine whether the student is a multiple offender. If this is the case, the student will move through a different appeal process than will first-time offenders. (See "Appeals: Multiple Offenses" below.)

    The Role of the Faculty. The faculty of Saint Francis University are obliged to play a major role in the implementation of an effective academic honesty policy. Accordingly, when a member of the faculty becomes aware of an incident of academic dishonesty, that faculty member must confront the alleged offender and impose a penalty if the situation warrants.

    Members of the faculty have several initial penalty options for academic misconduct. These include:

    • Assignment of a failure for the course
    • Suspension from the class for one class period
    • Lowering of a letter grade by one or more letters
    • A failure on the specific assignment.

    The accusing professor must then write an incident report outlining the offense and the nature of the penalty levied. This report will be sent to the Office of the Registrar, where it will be filed for a period of five years from the date of the incident and then destroyed.

    Appeals: First Offense. Saint Francis University believes in fairness for all students and faculty. It provides due process for any of its students who have been accused of a breach of academic honesty. Thus, a student who does not agree with the penalty imposed by the faculty member may appeal directly to the Academic Court.

    If a student rejects the decision of the Academic Court, he/she may elect to appeal to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. This officer of the institution will be the court of last resort at Saint Francis University.

    A record of each student's appeal process will be documented by the Vice President for Academic Affairs and placed on file in the Registrar's Office.

    Appeals: Multiple Offenses. In all cases where a student has been accused of violation of academic trust, the Vice President for Academic Affairs will certify the honesty status of the student. This means that the Vice President for Academic Affairs will examine the files held by the Registrar and indicate whether the student has previously broken the academic honesty policy.

    A multiple offender, before actual dismissal, must appear before the Academic Court. Unless the student in question can present a compelling case, he/she will be dismissed from Saint Francis University immediately. The student may apply for readmission after one year.

    If the student rejects the action taken by the Academic Court, he/she will have the right of appeal to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. This officer may reduce the student's sentence or uphold the penalty imposed by the Academic Court. The Vice President for Academic Affairs may not add to the sentence.

    Records. All records pertaining to each case of academic dishonesty will be filed in the Office of the Registrar. These records will include:

    • The written record of the professor regarding the initial penalty.
    • The written record of the student's appeal to the Academic Court and the decision reached by that Court.
    • A review of the case by the Vice President for Academic Affairs
    • The records of each academic dishonesty case will be destroyed five years after the occurrence of the incident.

    NOTE: This is an abbreviated version of the Saint Francis University Academic Honesty Policy. A copy of the full policy including sections pertaining to the Academic Court and the Bylaws of the Academic Court may be obtained from the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Scotus Hall, Room 317, x3004.


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