New Jersey City University

Academic Integrity Policy

 

Introduction

An academic community of integrity advances the quest for truth and knowledge by requiring intellectual and personal honesty in learning, teaching, research and service.

New Jersey City University (NJCU) is committed to nurturing the growth of intellectual reasoning, academic and professional values, individual ethics and social responsibility in its students. Academic integrity is central to this growth and is defined as a commitment, even in the face of adversity, to five fundamental values: honesty, trust, fairness, respect and responsibility. From these values flow principles of behavior that enable academic communities to translate ideals into action.

Academic integrity is the obligation of all members of the NJCU community: students, faculty and administration. Maintaining a high level of integrity is not a passive act. Academic dishonesty must be actively deterred; apathy or acquiescence in its presence is not a neutral act.

All members of the university academic community at NJCU have an obligation to be informed about:

The University maintains that all students are expected to embrace the highest standards of academic integrity in their course work. Any violation of such may be subject to a penalty based on the infraction that may include a reprimand, reduction in grade, failing grade, suspension or dismissal from the University.

Faculty, students and administrators must report all violations of academic integrity, other than Level I; such violations represent serious infractions and undermine the University's mission.

Definitions of Violations of Academic Integrity

Cheating: Cheating is an act of deception by which a student misrepresents his or her mastery of material on a test or other academic exercise.

Examples of cheating include, but are not limited to the following:

Plagiarism: Plagiarism occurs when a person represents someone else's words, ideas, phrases, sentences or data as one's own work. When a student submits work that includes such material, the source of that information must be acknowledged through complete and accurate references. All verbatim statements must be acknowledged by means of quotation marks.

Examples of plagiarism include, but are not limited to the following:

Fabrication: Fabrication refers to the deliberate use of invented information or the falsification of research or other findings with the intent to deceive.

Examples of fabrication include, but are not limited to the following:

Other Examples of Academic Misconduct include, but are not limited to the following:

NJSA 18A: 2-3 (c) prohibits the preparation for sale of any term paper, thesis, dissertation, essay, report or other written, recorded, pictorial, artistic or other assignment knowing that it is intended to fulfill requirements for a degree, diploma, certificate or course at any educational institution. The law specifies up to a $1,000 fine for violations of its provisions.

Penalties of Violations for Academic Integrity

Penalties are classified into three categories based on the level of seriousness of the behaviors. Brief descriptions are provided below:

Level I

Level I penalties apply in circumstances involving ignorance or inexperience on the part of the person (s) committing the violation and ordinarily include a minor portion of the course work. The imposition of these penalties is considered an academic issue and not disciplinary.

Example: Improper documentation of sources or unauthorized collaboration on an academic exercise.

Possible Penalties: Make-up assignment, assignment of no-credit for the work in question, or a required assignment on preparation of term papers.

These penalties are subject to the discretion of the faculty member. Faculty will meet with the student offender to discuss the allegation and possible penalties. No record of this event will be reported to a dean, department chair or other officer of the university.

Level II

Level II penalties involve incidents of a more serious nature and affect a significant aspect or portion of the course.

Example: Copying from or giving assistance to others on a mid-term, final or other examination; plagiarizing major portions of an assignment; using unauthorized material on an examination; or altering a graded examination for the purposes of re-grading.

Possible penalties: A failing grade on the assignment and / or in the course.

A failing grade on the assignment and/or in the course, which ever is applicable, may be given subject to the discretion of the faculty member. Violations at this level will be reported to the department chair and the Academic Dean (for major courses, the report will be made to the corresponding Academic Dean, for general studies courses, the report will be made to the Dean of Arts and Sciences, in the case of an under graduate student). A notation of plagiarism shall be placed in the student's record following this offense, and the student will not be allowed to expunge the grade of F from his/her GPA should he or she re-take the course (grade re-computation will be disallowed.) Confidential copies of the report will also be sent to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Dean of Students or the Dean of Graduate and Continuing Education, which ever is appropriate, for informational purposes and for centralized coordination between the different colleges. Should the Vice President for Academic Affairs upon receipt of a report of plagiarism, find that a student has a prior record of plagiarism, the offense will be upgraded to Level III, and the Vice President for Academic Affairs will notify the instructor, the chair and the academic dean so that appropriate action can be taken.

Any violation that involves repeat offenses at Level I is considered a Level III violation.

Level III

Level III penalties apply to offenses that are even more serious in nature and involve pervasive dishonesty on a significant portion of course work, such as a major paper, mid-term, final exam or other examination.

Example: Using a purchased term paper presenting the work of another as one's own; having a substitute take an examination; or possessing or obtaining an examination without the professor's authority or prior knowledge.

Possible Penalties: A failing grade on the assignment and/or in the course, which ever is applicable, may be given subject to the discretion of the instructor. Violations at this level will be reported to the department chair and the academic dean (for major courses, the report will be made to the corresponding Academic Dean, for general studies courses, the report will be made to the Dean of Arts and Sciences). In the case of an undergraduate student, a notation of plagiarism shall be placed in the student's record following this offense, and the student will not be allowed to expunge the grade of F from his/her GPA should he or she re-take the course (grade re-computation will be disallowed.) Confidential copies of the report will also be sent to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Dean of Students or the Dean of Graduate and Continuing Education, which ever is appropriate, for informational purposes and for centralized coordination between the different colleges. Should the Vice President for Academic Affairs or the Dean of Graduate and Continuing Education discover, upon receipt of a report of plagiarism, that a student has a prior record of plagiarism, the Vice President for Academic Affairs or the Dean of Graduate and Continuing Education will notify the faculty member, the chair and the academic dean so that appropriate action can be taken.

In the event the faculty member determines that the violation is severe, she/he may recommend to the department chair/academic dean that the student be placed on probation, suspension, or expulsion for one or more semesters with a notation of "disciplinary suspension" indicated on the student's record, or that the student be permanently dismissed (expulsion) from the University in case of repeat offenses. The Academic Dean, in consultation with the faculty member, will be responsible for deciding the additional penalty.

Academic Grievance/Appeal Procedures

The following procedure is available to resolve grievances regarding grading, course requirements, attendance, academic integrity, and other academically related complaints:

Step 1. Meeting and discussion with the faculty member involved to resolve the situation in question must take place within forty-five (45) days of the last day of the semester on which the grievance is based. At the conclusion of the meeting the faculty member will inform the student of a decision.

Step 2. The student may initiate a written appeal with the faculty member within ten (10) calendar days of notification of the decision of the faculty member; the faculty member will respond in writing within ten (10) calendar days of the date of receipt of the written appeal. Should the faculty member fail to respond within ten (10) calendar days, the student may present his/her written appeal to the next level of review, the department chairperson, within ten (10) calendar days.

Step 3. Written appeal to the appropriate department chairperson within ten (10) calendar days of notification of a decision pursuant to the previous step or upon failure of the faculty member to respond with in the prescribed ten (10) calendar days.

Step 4. Written appeal to the appropriate Academic Dean within ten (10) calendar days of notification of a decision pursuant to the previous step. The appropriate dean shall provide the student with a written decision within ten (10) calendar days of receipt of the appeal from Step 3.

Step 5. Written appeal to the University Senate Student Affairs Committee within ten (10) calendar days of notification of a decision pursuant to the previous step.

Grievances that are not resolved at the dean's level may be referred to the Student Affairs Committee of the University Senate for review and decision, which will be forwarded to the Vice President for Academic Affairs for final decision.

The Student Affairs Committee of the University Senate shall deal with grievances involving grading, course requirements, attendance, academic integrity, and other academically related complaints after Steps 1-4 above have been exhausted. The committee shall include at least one faculty or professional staff member from each of the Colleges and one student. The Vice President of Student Affairs or Associate Vice President of Student Affairs will serve as a non-voting, ex-officio member of this Committee. The Student Affairs Committee shall deal with grievances initiated by students. The Committee may choose to invite parties involved to meet with the committee to present their positions or to proceed on the written record generated from the appeal process detailed above.

Within (20) twenty days of receipt of a written appeal from a student, the committee shall (a) determine that the appeal has basis in fact; (b) inform the complainant of the legal and administrative limitations of the committee in resolving grievances; and (c) determine that all normal avenues of appeal resolution, between the parties involved, and the applicable department chair and dean, have been exhausted. It shall provide notice of its decision, made on a review and advise basis, to the Vice President for Academic Affairs, who renders a final decision within thirty (30) calendar days of receiving the Student Affairs Committee's recommendation. The Vice President of Student Affairs or Associate Vice President of Student Affairs will serve as a non-voting, ex-officio member of this committee.


FINAL APPEAL

Only cases that result in expulsion may be appealed to the President. In these cases, the decision of the President is final and there is no further recourse at the University. The charged student will have ten (10) calendar-days from the date of the decision by the Vice President for Academic Affairs to file an appeal with the President of the University. All appeals must be in writing. In cases resulting in expulsion, the President of the University shall render a final decision within twenty (20) calendar-days of receiving the appeal.

Acknowledgements

New Jersey City University gratefully acknowledges excerpted materials from other universities that were utilized when formulating our policy:

Approved by the University Senate: December 8, 2003

Approved by SACC: February 17, 2004

All previous copies are DRAFT COPIES