East Georgia State College
Maintaining Academic Excellence
Academic Honesty Policy

Adopted by Faculty Senate: August 5, 2016 
Information Item to Cabinet August 23, 2016 
Adopted by President: August 23, 2016 

Process to Address Alleged Academic Dishonesty

process to address alleged academic dishonesty

I. Statement of Values 

East Georgia State College (EGSC) prepares traditional and nontraditional students to meet the career demands of the twenty-first century. Through undergoing the rigorous learning process that EGSC provides, students gain the wisdom they need as leaders, parents, and community members. To sustain our students’ goals to thrive in a competitive workforce, EGSC promotes academic excellence through fostering critical thinking skills, nurturing cultural awareness, and upholding academic honesty. Maintaining academic honesty protects the value of EGSC’s degrees and ensures that our students and graduates are desirable candidates for university transfers and career advancement. Thus, all members of EGSC’s community (students, staff, and faculty) should have a personal interest in and dedication to fortifying EGSC’s reputation for academic integrity and excellence. 

II. Introduction 

EGSC emphasizes academic honesty to promote personal integrity and accountability among students and members of EGSC’s community. Students must comply with EGSC’s academic honesty policy. To protect the value of the institution’s degrees, honors, and awards, faculty should also comply with the college’s academic honesty policy by assuming the responsibility of reporting each violation or suspected violation and its resolution. All members of the EGSC’s community should unite in maintaining academic integrity by assuming the responsibility of knowing and practicing the academic honesty policy. Lack of knowledge does not constitute a proper defense to any charge of academic dishonesty. 

Academic honesty is defined as students undergoing the learning process through their own inquiry, research, innovation, and intellectual development. Students who practice academic honesty engage authentically in the learning process and complete their assignments or exams without cheating, plagiarizing, lying, or committing academic fraud. When alleged violations are reported, appropriate procedures are established by this policy to protect academic integrity while allowing due process. 

The adoption of the policy is in the best interest of fairness to the students who risk temporary failure only to succeed authentically through inquiry, critical thinking, innovation, trial-and-error experimentation, and intellectual development. The policy also protects the students who have allegedly disregarded academic honesty and who need due process in seeking a resolution. The procedures for upholding academic honesty are designed to protect the students’ interests and rights, defend the learning environment against academic fraud, and to aid faculty and staff in augmenting educational opportunities while providing consequences for academic dishonesty. 

The academic honesty system is a process built on the school’s educational mission; it is not a judicial process that concentrates on adjudications. Thus, EGSC has adopted the academic honesty policy to further its mission statement. The goals are threefold: 

        1. To cultivate a culture of academic honesty; 
        2. To maintain the institution’s integrity and reputation for academic excellence; 
        3. To track and process fairly and consistently all affairs related to academic dishonesty. 

III. Student Honor Code 

The EGSC community presupposes that students within the University System of Georgia have a personal interest in learning so that they are genuinely prepared to meet the demands of their careers. Students who obtain a degree that they did not earn through a rigorous learning process will not be productive in the workforce. Such students will also devalue the reputation of their college. Thus, students who attend EGSC will be placed under a student honor code upon applying. All students agree to abide by this code when they sign EGSC admission’s application that includes the clause 

“I will be academically honest in all of my academic work and will not tolerate academic dishonesty in others.” 

IV. Avoiding Academic Dishonesty 

Academic dishonesty is not a time-management tool nor a survival mechanism for college. It is a gross debasement of character that undermines personal and institutional integrity. To avoid the temptation to undercut their learning process by violating the Academic Honesty Policy, students should effectively manage their course loads. Examples of effective management include the following: 

        1. Practice the best habits for time management such as prioritizing, limiting time on social media or social activities, and scheduling study time. 
        2. Use EGSC’s student support services such as the Academic Center for Excellence where students can seek assistance in math, science, and English. 
        3. Visit faculty members during their office hours. Faculty members are required to schedule office hours so students can secure one-on-one instruction, ask for clarification, or verify assignment details. 
        4. Learn and use proper citation rules associated with academic writing. 

Faculty shall promote academic integrity among students and hold students accountable for their behavior if students are suspected of violating the Academic Honesty Policy. Faculty shall communicate their expectations to their students. Examples of effective communication include, but are not limited to, the following acts: 

        1. Referencing or providing links to the Academic Honesty Policy on the course syllabus, the D2L course page, and/or the course’s website or social media sites. 
        2. Explaining the policy to students during the introductory period of the course and reminding them of the policy at appropriate times. 
        3. Clarifying expectations about permission to work in groups, use calculators, review old exams from previous terms, submit papers that have been previously graded in another course or that have been submitted for credit in another concurrent course. 
        4. Educating students about plagiarism and its consequences. 
        5. Emphasizing the importance and relevance of integrity, particularly in relationship to the discipline’s field of study and/or career pathways. 

Claiming that faculty did not communicate expectations is not a defense against any academic dishonesty accusation. Upholding personal and academic integrity is the students’ responsibility. 

V. Prohibited Conduct 

Academic dishonesty in any form will not be tolerated. Academic dishonesty is defined as the bypassing of the learning process through cheating or unauthorized assistance, plagiarizing, lying, tampering, forgery, academic theft, and academic fraud, including the misrepresentation of student identity or authorship of academic work. 

A. Cheating and Unauthorized Assistance: Cheating is defined as giving or receiving unauthorized assistance for assignments, projects, lab work, innovative processes, quizzes, examinations, and any activity that will be assessed for the purpose of course credit. Examples of cheating include, but are not limited to, the following when unauthorized: 

            1. Copying, or allowing another to copy, answers to assignments, quizzes, examinations or any other academic work that is used to obtain course credit. Students should assume that the assistance of books, notes, conversations with others are unauthorized unless the faculty member has specifically authorized such use for a particular assignment, quiz, or examination. 
            2. Selling, buying, using, transmitting or receiving (via oral, written, rhythmic, digital communications as well as hand or eye signals) any information that is on course assessments used for determining course credit. 
            3. Giving or receiving answers to assignments or examinations. 
            4. Completing for another, or allowing another to complete for you, all or part of an assignment (such as lab work, practice exercises, reviews, homework, presentations, online assignments, reports, essays or other writing projects). This may also result in the charge of academic fraud. 
            5. Submitting a group assignment, or allowing that assignment to be submitted, claiming that the project is the work of all of the members of that group when certain members (whether it is one or half or most) did not substantially contribute to the assignment’s preparation. 
            6. Using a programmable calculator or other electronic devices that enable intellectual dependency. Students should assume the use of calculators and other electronic devices are unauthorized unless the faculty member has specifically authorized such use for a particular assignment, quiz, or examination. 

B. Plagiarizing: Submitting of uncommon knowledge, including the words, ideas, opinions, theories, and research of another without appropriate attribution to the other person. Students should be diligent in citing words and ideas according to academic citation rules. Students have the responsibility to learn and use the appropriate citation rules; they cannot blame any faculty member for not teaching the rules. Examples of plagiarism include, but are not limited to, the following acts when performed without proper citation notes (including appropriate in-text attributions):

            1. Directly quoting all or part of another person’s written or spoken words without setting the words apart in quotation marks, according to the discipline’s standards for citation. 
            2. Paraphrasing all or part of any person’s written or spoken words without notes or documentation with the body of the work. 
            3. Rewording online sources such as Wikipedia, Sparknotes, and other sites that impede intellectual independence as a substitute for reading and processing the assigned text for one’s own intellectual development. 
            4. Dictating language and ideas from YouTube videos or other digital sources. 
            5. Stringing together several phrases from various sources to produce a written assignment submitted for assessment and course credit. 
            6. Presenting an idea, theory, or formula as one’s own when it originated from another person or source. 
            7. Repeating information, such as statistics and demographics, which is not common knowledge and which was originally taken from or compiled from another person’s research, data, and experiments. 
            8. Purchasing or securing an essay, term paper, or any assignment that is the work of another person’s and submitting that work as the student’s own. 

C. Lying / Tampering: Giving false information to staff and faculty members, and any other member of the college’s community for the purpose of gaining revenge or manipulating an outcome that compensates for the lack of effort and poor time management. Lying in connection with any academic honesty proceedings is also prohibited. Lying and Tampering include, but are not limited to, the following examples: 

            1. Giving false reasons or information (in advance or after the fact) for failure to complete any academic work by the due date. This includes, for example, falsifying medical records or deaths in the family and misrepresenting situations as emergencies for the purpose of manipulating outcomes or gaining sympathy from any faculty or staff member. 
            2. Falsifying the results of any laboratory or experimental work or fabricating any data for information. 
            3. Tampering with other students’ laptops, written assignments, lab results, or experimental work for the purpose of sabotaging the student. 
            4. Altering any academic work after it has been submitted for credit. 
            5. Altering any answers on any academic work that has already been submitted and graded for academic credit and requesting a higher grade as a result of the tampering. Faculty members may photocopy any work of students whom they suspect will alter or have altered returned work to demand a higher score. 
            6. Marking the answers on a test packet or in books that are repeatedly used in other courses or sections as formal assessments of student learning. 
            7. Altering grades, lab, or attendance records or forging faculty permission or signatures on college forms for registration or course withdrawal. 
            8. Submitting work that has been submitted to other courses or institutions. Students who wish to further their lab work, experiments, or who wish to revise essays or theories substantially will need to gain the authorization of their supervising faculty members. 
            9. Giving false testimony or bearing false witness in connection with any facilitated discussion or academic hearing. 

D. Academic Theft: Stealing or procuring information related to any academic work such as exams, grade records, forms, books, papers, equipment, materials, data qualifies as academic theft. The physical removal of materials from the office or workspace of any faculty member or the unauthorized inspection of a faculty member’s digital materials also constitutes as academic theft. When a student disseminates the stolen materials among other students, then a double charge of academic theft and cheating may apply. Academic theft also relates to the stealing or procuring the academic work of other students. 

E. Academic Fraud: Academic Fraud is closely related to lying, cheating, stealing, and plagiarizing; however, it pertains to fraudulent activities related to misrepresentation of academic ability. Examples of academic fraud include, but are not limited to, behaviors that misrepresent the student or faculty: 

            1. Misrepresenting credentials, providing misleading statements to obtain employment or college admission. 
            2. Substituting for another student in an exam or course, including online courses. 
            3. Procuring a substitute for an exam or course, including online courses. 
            4. Purchasing the labor of others to take online courses in the student’s name. 
            5. Purchasing papers or work and submitting it as one’s own work. 
            6. Bribing or accepting any bribes to obtain information that could guarantee high results on upcoming examinations or projects. 
            7. Unauthorized collaborating in preparations of assignments or lab work. 
            8. Forging letters of recommendation. 
            9. Forging the signature of any faculty or staff member on any official or unofficial document. 
            10. Bearing false witness against a faculty or staff member’s abilities or performance of duties for the purpose of filing grade appeals or in defense of academic dishonesty charges. Bearing false witness for a grade appeal or hearing defense may result in academic fraud charges being added to any pending charge of academic dishonesty. This particular offense may result in a forced withdrawal (“FW”) from the course or an “XW” or “XF” on the transcripts, which indicates withdrawal or failure due to academic dishonesty violations. 

Any behavior that constitutes academic dishonesty is prohibited and subjected to appropriate penalties even it if it is not specifically listed in the above lists of examples. However, no penalty is imposed under this policy for failure to report an act of academic dishonesty or failure to testify in an academic honesty proceeding. 

Any student who has been charged with academic dishonesty has the right to defend against the charge in a due process defined within the institution’s procedure guidelines. 

VI. Procedures for Reporting and Resolving Alleged Academic Dishonesty 

Because academic integrity must be a priority of an institution committed to academic excellence, Academic Deans, Department Heads, Campus Directors, the Director of Student Conduct (DSC) and the Office of the Vice President of Academic Affairs will work together to foster a climate that encourages students, staff, and faculty to report violations. 

A. Reporting Academic Dishonesty 

Any member of EGSC community (Student, Faculty, Staff, or Employee) who has personal knowledge of someone violating the academic honesty policy is obligated to report that violation. 

Members of the academic community may report the violation to the appropriate faculty member responsible for the academic work involved, the Campus Director (Augusta or Statesboro), an Academic Dean, a Department Head, the DSC, or the Office of the Vice President of Academic Affairs. Reports will be kept confidential when possible. Where a complainant or alleged victim requests his or her identity to be concealed, EGSC will discern if the request can be granted while providing a safe and non-discriminating campus environment. In initially addressing the accused, faculty or staff members will not divulge the source of their information. If a hearing is necessary, the reporting person may need to be prepared to give an official statement. 

B. Notifying the Student 

Notice to the student (see below) of an alleged honor code violation should clearly define what portion(s) of this code the student is charged with violating. 

Act Committed in Presence of Faculty Member 

1. If the alleged act of academic dishonesty is committed in the presence of the faculty member, the faculty member should notify the student by immediately confronting the student about the act witnessed. (see VI.B.4 below for option of faculty member to consult DSC.) Faculty may ask other faculty or administrators to witness the face-to-face confrontation with the student. The matter may then be resolved through an informal resolution process (see below). 

Act Discovered by Faculty Member Outside Student Presence 

2. Faculty who have encountered or suspicioned academic dishonesty away from the presence of the student should notify the student in writing within three days of discovering the possible violation. Faculty and student may then meet to discuss the accusation. The matter may then be resolved through an informal resolution process (see below). 

3. Another member of the college community may report academic dishonesty to the faculty member responsible for the academic work involved, a Campus Director, the DSC, a Department Head, an Academic Dean, or the Office of Vice President of Academic Affairs. The report should be made within three days of discovering the alleged dishonesty. 

a. When another member of the college community has reported academic dishonesty directly to a faculty member, the faculty member should then notify the student in writing within three days of the report, and, if possible, in a general manner that does not disclose the identity of the informant. If necessary, steps should be taken to provide a safe campus environment for the informant. 

b. When another member of the academic community has reported academic dishonesty to a Campus Director, Department Head, Academic Dean, or the Office of Vice President of Academic Affairs, then the appropriate faculty member is to be notified by the person receiving the report, as well as the DSC, within three days of the report. The faculty member should then notify the student in writing within three days and, if possible, in a general manner that does not disclose the identity of the informant. The faculty member may consult with the DSC before acting on the allegation. 

c. In either 3a or 3b, the matter may then be resolved by the faculty member through the informal resolution process (see below). 

4. Faculty members also have the option to contact the DSC before confronting the student (within three days of discovering the possible violation). The DSC may either consult with the faculty member about appropriate actions or notify the student (within three days of receiving the notice from the faculty member) of the report and proceed to schedule an informal discussion (see above). The DSC will report back to the faculty about the resolutions, and the faculty will ensure that the agreed upon consequences will be met, if the consequences have not yet been delivered. If the faculty member elects for the DSC to intervene and the student denies the charge or contests the penalty, or if a student denies the charge to the faculty member, there will be a facilitated discussion scheduled where a facilitator will ensure a fair discussion about what may have occurred and the appropriate consequences for the occurrence. The faculty member who reported the matter, the student(s) who allegedly violated the academic honesty policy and the facilitator are the only participants in a facilitated discussion. 

If the student denies the allegations or objects to the penalty, the student should be advised of the due process provided by this policy, but the faculty member has the right to confiscate any unfinished academic work that is under suspicion of academic dishonesty. The faculty should report the incident to their department head or academic dean and the DSC within three days. If the act is captured on video surveillance, the DSC may request the video footage. 

C. Informal Resolution 

1. Informal resolution discussions conducted as provided in VI.B. above, at minimum, should include the following:

                1. Identification and explanation of the charges of violation(s); 
                2. A viewing of a copy of the evidence; 
                3. Issue of a reasonable consequence; 
                4. Explanation that the DSC will document the violation and its resolution; 
                5. Explanation of due process as provided by this policy. 

2. As long as the student does not deny the alleged act of academic dishonesty, faculty members have full autonomy (within the scope of institutional policies) in resolving violations of the Academic Honesty Policy. Appropriate measures for resolving academic violation include, but are not limited to, the following examples: 

                1. Student may automatically fail the course with the grade of “F” on the premise that the student has not legitimately met the course objectives. 
                2. The student may automatically receive the grade of “D” in the course on the premise that the student has not legitimately fulfilled all learning objectives. 
                3. The faculty member may fail the assignment without giving the student an option for redoing the work. 
                4. The faculty member may provide an opportunity for the student to redo the assignment. 

3. Within ten business days of the informal resolution discussion, faculty members should provide the student written notification that a report of the violation and its resolution has been or will be filed with the DSC for documentation purposes. The written notification should reflect key points of the resolution discussion and inform the student of his or her due process should the student want to contest the charge or resolution. 

4. Within ten business days of the informal resolution discussion with the student, faculty members should notify the DSC that a violation and a resolution have occurred. Faculty members have up to ten days to file the formal report or request an extension to file (if the student is not contesting). 

Each and every violation, no matter how insignificant or resolved the event may seem at the time, should be documented by notifying the DSC and department chair or academic dean. Reporting ensures that students are held accountable from one class to the next, one campus to the next. Documentation also supports the faculty member should there be a grade appeal. 

                1. Formal reports of violations and resolutions should include the following: 
                2. Course name and section identification; 
                3. Copy of course policies or course syllabus; 
                4. Student’s name and identification number; 
                5. Charge(s) being brought against the student; 
                6. The day, time, and location of the violation; 
                7. Day, time, and location of the resolution discussion; 
                8. The resolution or consequence(s); 
                9. Copy of the proof; 
                10. List of witnesses, if any; 
                11. Any forms of acknowledgment the student may have signed; 
                12. Copies of relevant written communication with the student. 

5. Whatever the faculty member chooses, so long as the resolution falls within the scope of institutional policies, faculty cannot be penalized or reprimanded for working within the student’s best interest for intellectual growth, for protecting the institution’s academic integrity by failing the student for the assignment or the course, or for reporting any suspicions with substantial or circumstantial proof. 

6. Faculty members cannot file a formal report after forty-five business days after the final exam date for the semester the student was enrolled for the course unless an extension has been requested. When the faculty member notifies the DSC that an incident has occurred and been resolved, they may request an extension to file proper documentation. Reasons for extensions may include the following: 

                1. Personal leave time; 
                2. General illness; 
                3. Illnesses or absences that fall under the family medical leave act; 
                4. Bereavement; 
                5. Academic conferences or meetings; 
                6. Winter and summer breaks; 
                7. Academic related activities such as conference preparations or publication due dates that coincide or closely coincide with the ten-day reporting deadline; 
                8. Any extenuating circumstances that prevent a timely report. 

If more than one charge of false excuse is reported, the DSC may automatically start the process of an academic dishonesty hearing. 

D. Facilitated Discussion 

1. If the student (either at the time notified of an alleged violation or following an informal discussion) denies that a violation of the academic honesty policy has occurred or contests the penalty, the faculty member should advise the student of the due process rights provided by this policy. The student may be told that he or she can contact the DSC to schedule a facilitated discussion. The faculty member is to report the alleged violation, enclosing the proof along with a summarization of the meeting and communicate that the student denies the violation or contests the penalty. The DSC should then schedule a facilitated discussion by written notice to the student. The facilitated discussion should be scheduled within ten days of that notice.

2. These discussions may not be recorded, but should be summarized and documented. The goal is to facilitate an agreement between the faculty member and the student in discerning the validity of the charges and the appropriateness of the consequence(s). 

3. If the faculty member encounters academic dishonesty at the end of the semester when a meeting is not possible, the faculty member must promptly notify the student that the assignment has violated EGSC’s academic honesty policy. The faculty member should inform the student if the assignment failed and how that affected the student’s final grade. Faculty should notify the student of his or her right to due process if the student wants to contest the allegation and consequence(s). At minimum, notification that a violation has occurred must be submitted to the DSC within ten business days after the final grades are submitted and finalized. Faculty members may file a report within ten days or request an extension to file ten days from the first day of the following academic semester. 

E. Hearing 

1. If no resolution is agreed upon at a facilitated discussion, an Academic Honesty Panel will be called upon to evaluate the evidence and determine the outcome of the allegation. A student cannot enter a plea of no-contest (a plea that does not constitute guilt but signifies a willingness to accept reasonable consequences). The student must be informed that the assembling of an Academic Honesty Panel is a formal hearing that will determine guilt or innocence. 

2. Once it is determined that an Academic Honesty Panel will be called upon to settle the disputed allegations, the DSC shall notify any discussion facilitators who were involved, the faculty member, and the student, stating that a hearing has been scheduled. The notification to the student shall be delivered by certified U.S. mail and shall be considered delivered when mailed, even if the student fails or refuses to sign the return receipt for that notice. 

3. If the violation of the academic honesty policy leads to an academic honesty hearing, faculty shall permit the student to complete all required academic work and shall fairly evaluate and grade all work not involved in the accusation of dishonesty. If the student violates the academic honesty on any subsequent work prior to or during the course of the hearing, that work may be evaluated in the same hearing. If the student has threatened the safety of any faculty member or student, or if the faculty member or any student feels reasonably threatened, then the DSC may consult with the Director of Public Safety to determine the best course of action for the student’s academic progress and the safety of the learning environment. 

4. If the college determines there is a possibility of criminal prosecution or a civil lawsuit that may arise out of the same facts that have been submitted for the panel’s review, the institution should not prevent or delay the Academic Honesty Hearing. The hearing should follow a timeline that is reasonable and prompt.

5. The Office of the Vice President of Academic Affairs will assign a facilitator to moderate the meeting, according to the instructions for general procedures for meetings involving academic honesty panels. The facilitator may be the Director of Student Conduct. 

6. The Academic Hearing Panel should consist of three to five impartial members, including the DSC, and one to two tenured faculty, with one faculty member coming from outside the department of the faculty member making the allegations against the student. Preferably, if possible, the faculty members on the panel should not have had any personal or professional associations with the student. The faculty member’s academic dean or department head does not qualify as an impartial panelist. 

7. The student and the faculty member who reported the matter have the right and responsibility to attend the hearing and to speak truthfully about the allegations. If the student or faculty member is not present during the hearing, the panel may proceed under the direction of the DSC to determine if a violation occurred and what consequences the violation warrants. 

8. The student and faculty member may each have one advisor present; however, advisors may not address the panel or speak for the student and faculty member unless assistance is needed due to a disability or language barrier. 

9. Only the DSC has the right to introduce documentation of past reports where the student accepted guilt of or consequences for violating academic honesty policy. Such information testifies to the student’s character. When other faculty members learn of a student’s alleged violation in another faculty member’s course, they cannot report past occurrences if the deadline for reporting has passed. 

Requests for extensions, however, may be denied or overridden if the student has contested the charges and is scheduled for an academic hearing. 

10. If the faculty member has not filed the evidence that supports the allegations of an academic violation, then the hearing may find in favor of the student and close the matter. 

If the student being charged is suspected of falsifying records or bearing false witness against students or any EGSC employee, then staff and faculty reserve the right to report any incident, even if the reporting deadline has passed. Such allows for a better profile of the student to emerge. In such events, the following should occur: 

                1. The DSC should be notified in writing that the same student has violated the academic honesty policy or behavior code in the past; 
                2. The written communication must also include any substantial proof so that the burden of proof reverts to the student being questioned; 
                3. Faculty or staff members who come forward in such events will not be penalized or reprimanded for not filing a report sooner. 

11. The faculty member who makes any accusation that a violation of the academic honesty policy has occurred must demonstrate to the Academic Honesty Panel that it is more likely than not that the student purposefully and willingly violated the Academic Honesty Policy. The evidence may include, but is not limited to, the following examples: 

                1. Footage obtained from the surveillance cameras on campus. 
                2. Eye-witness accounts of behavior. 
                3. The academic work under suspicion. 
                4. Cheat sheets or any other unauthorized assistance that was confiscated. 
                5. Comparison of writing samples or other academic work gathered in the same semester. 
                6. Reports from plagiarizing programs. 
                7. Passages from other sources that perfectly or closely match the work under suspicion. 
                8. Work from other students that perfectly or closely match the work under suspicion. 
                9. Written communication where student admits to wrongdoing. 

The hearing with the Academic Honesty Panel may be audiotaped or videotaped for documentation or viewing purposes. Any recording shall remain the property of the college. 

12. After the hearing, the panelists will meet in private to deliberate. They must determine the likelihood that a violation of the academic honesty policy has occurred. A record of the meeting should be kept, and it must substantiate the adequacy of the evidence, note the number of votes, and state a defensible justification for the outcome. 

13. Once The Academic Honesty Panel reaches a decision, the student will be notified by a U.S. Mail certified letter. From the date of the letter’s delivery, the student will have ten days to file an appeal to the President (as provided in VII below). If the Academic Honesty decision’s date of delivery coincides with winter and summer breaks, then the student has ten business days after the new semester begins to file the Appeal to the President. 

14. In addition to Academic Honesty Panels requested by the student, Academic Honesty Panels may assemble at the request of the DSC if the student has been found to be in violation of this academic honesty policy more than one time in the past or if the violation is severe. If the DSC assembles an Academic Honesty Panel, the matter shall not be resolved by informal resolution or facilitated discussion. Multiple violations occurring simultaneously must be proven individually. If the student has had prior violations that have been resolved through admittance of guilt or acceptance of consequences, then those prior violations may be used against the student in a formal hearing to determine if the student should be suspended or expelled with the notation printed on the transcript that the student was found guilty of multiple violations of the academic honesty policy. Subsequent hearings may need to be scheduled to resolve the case. If the student wants to contest prior accusations at this time, the student may file an Appeal to the President.

F. Penalties For Academic Dishonesty 

1. If all or the majority of an Academic Honesty Panel has found the student in violation of the Academic Honesty Policy, then the assignment(s) in violation will receive a “0” under the grading system for that course. In addition, one or more of the following consequences must be assigned: 

                1. A written adequate apology addressed to the faculty member and/or another student if a student has been a victim. 
                2. A letter grade reduction in final course grade(s). 
                3. Two letter grade reduction in final course grade(s). 
                4.  Final course grade of “F.” 
                5. Final course grade of “XW” or “XF.” 
                6. A temporary ineligibility for financial aid placed for the upcoming semester. 
                7. Placement of a dishonesty notation on transcripts stating the Office of Vice President for Academic Affairs determined the student violated the Academic Honesty Policy. 
                8. Suspension; 
                9. Expulsion. 

The Academic Honesty Panel may impose additional consequences, including the involvement of state or local authorities, in addition to the minimums stated above. 

2. If the Academic Honesty Panel finds the circumstances warrant a lesser consequence of the ones stated above, the panel shall state in writing the reasons why lesser consequences were assigned. If the student fails to comply with any requirements or consequences for a policy violation, the DSC may call on an Academic Honesty Panel to assemble and determine if a student willfully failed or refused to comply. The panel may impose additional consequences they deem appropriate for the violation. 

3. If the student is found guilty of violating the academic honesty policy, and the violation of that policy has led to failure of the course, the panel can make or uphold a decision of issuing an “XF” as a final grade on the transcript. The “XF” signifies failure for academic dishonesty. 

4. If all or the majority of an Academic Honesty Panel determines the student’s defense is valid, or the proof is inadequate, the student shall receive no penalty. Documentation will state that the student was cleared of all charges. However, the record will reflect any explanation the student received in relationship to the charge in the event similar charges arise. The documentation will prove that the student has been instructed properly on the particular circumstances that led to the prior charge that is allegedly being repeated. 

5. If a student has had more than one Academic Honesty Panel hearing or has been found in violation of the Academic Honesty Policy more than once, the Academic Panel should ensure that the consequences meet the violations. In most circumstances, the panel should not give a lesser penalty than assigning an “XF” for the final course grade. Suspension or expulsion are appropriate too. 

6. If the student is found in violation of the academic honesty policy and is given the penalty of suspension before the mid-point, the Academic Honesty Panel may request that an “XW” is issued for the course in which the violation occurred and a “FW” for other courses from which the student is forced to withdraw. The “XW” signifies that the student was forced to withdraw for academic honesty violations where the “FW” will reflect the student was simply forced to withdraw. In other words, the suspension is effective immediately. If the violation occurs after the midpoint, the Academic Honesty Panel can place a hold on registration until the hearing results are finalized. If the student is suspended at this point, the student will be allowed to complete the current term under the conditions set forth by the Academic Honesty Panel. The suspension will go into effect the following academic semester. 

7. If the student is found in violation of the academic honesty policy and is expelled, the Academic Honesty Panel may work with the DSC and Director of Public Safety to determine if the student presents a threat to the safety of the members of the campus community. If it is determined that it is reasonable to fear a threat, expulsion may be immediate regardless of when the penalty is issued, and the student’s presence on the campus, thereafter, may be treated as trespassing. If the student is found to pose no threat, the same procedures that are in place for suspension will be followed for expulsion, including the privilege of completing the semester if it is passed its midpoint; the expulsion will take effect the following semester. 

VII. Appeals 

Faculty members may not appeal any decision of an Academic Honesty Panel, unless the student has born false witness against the faculty member and the faculty member can prove it but did not have the opportunity in the hearing to defend himself or herself against the false claims. 

After a hearing, a student who has received any penalty, including the permanent transcript notations, financial aid holds, suspension, or expulsion, may challenge the penalty or penalties by filing an Appeal to the President, as is a matter of right provided in the Board of Regents Policy. 

        1. A student who is found to have violated the Academic Honesty Policy may only appeal if there is substantial ground as follows: 
        2. A reasonable and objective Academic Honesty Panel could not unanimously determine if the faculty member met the responsibility to prove that a violation did occur; 
        3. If the consequences imposed were unreasonably harsh, particularly for first-time offenders assuming accountability and expressing compunction; 
        4. The student was denied a right and that denial affected the decision; or 
        5. New or additional (untampered) evidence has been secured. (Falsified evidence may result in expulsion.) 

The student must write and sign the Appeal to the President, citing the grounds and argument for the appeal, within ten business days following the date of the delivery of the Academic Honesty Panel’s original decision. The appeal must be mailed to or delivered to the President’s office. It cannot be emailed unless the student is in the military and deployed or if the student has other extenuating circumstances that impede the mailing or delivery of the appeal. 

If the President approves the student’s appeal, the approval and the reasons for approval must be sent to the faculty member, the Office of Vice President of Academic Affairs, the Director of Student Behavior, and the members of the Academic Honesty Panel. The Office of Vice President of Academic Affairs is to follow through with the Registrar to ensure that the student’s transcripts have been cleared of all notations signifying the student has been found in violation of the academic honesty policy. Any grade reduction, “F,” or “XF” will be removed, and the faculty member will grade the assignment(s) that was suspected of violating the honesty policy. Upon grading the assignment(s), the faculty member will then recalculate the grade and report it to the Registrar’s office within ten business days from the delivery date of the President’s notice. In the event the delivery date of the notice falls within winter or summer breaks, the faculty member will be given ten business days after the start of the new semester to report the student’s revised grade. If the student was forcefully withdrawn or did not complete the course, the grade will revert to a simple “W,” and the student will have to retake the course, at their own expense, if the course is required for transfer or graduation credit. 

VIII. Mandatory Annual Report 

The Office of the Vice President of Academic Affairs works with the DSC in the supervising and management of all policies and procedures related to academic dishonesty at EGSC. The DSC is responsible for tracking the number of reported incidents that faculty resolved on their own terms, the number of academic hearings held, the number of students found in violation and the number of students cleared of accusations. The Office of Vice President of Academic Affairs should report on the trends the DSC compiles. Each fall term, the Office of Vice President of Academic Affairs shall provide the information to Faculty Senate and/or make the information available to the faculty body. The report should cover the period from the previous fall semester through the summer semesters of the current year. The number of suspensions, expulsions, appeals, and successful overturns of any decision rendered by an Academic Honesty Panel and the reasons for those decisions may also be reported. 

During the time of the report, the Faculty Senate and the Vice President of Academic Affairs may discuss concerns that have arisen in relationship to the execution of the policy, and they may review the policy for areas that need revising. The Faculty Senate may determine if the academic honesty policy is being enforced to the college’s standards, or if it needs revision to meet the growing demands of the institution. 

IX. Grade of “XW” and “XF” 

The grade of “XW” signifies that a student has been forced to withdraw due to academic dishonesty. “XF” is a grade issued by other institutions that demarks the student’s proven academic dishonesty. Notation on the student’s transcripts will explain that the “XW” or “XF” signifies a proven violation of the Academic Honesty Policy. Only the Office of the Vice President of Academic Affairs has the authority to issue the grade of “XW” and “XF,” which will only be issued under the advisement of the DSC and any Academic Hearing Panel that has found the student guilty of multiple or severe violations of the Academic Honesty Policy. While faculty members have the right to fail a student for the course due to academic dishonesty, the grade of “XF” can only be issued if the student has had due process. The student may follow the Appeal to the President procedures to appeal the “XW” and “XF” notations. 

“XW” will be treated as a “W” when determining eligibility for financial aid or meeting the minimum credit hours. “XF” calculates into the GPA the same as an “F” and is to be treated the same as an “F” when determining eligibility for registration and financial aid. However, the “XW” and “XF” remain on the transcript. 

Students who have earned an “XW” or “XF” may not represent the school in student government, or as student ambassadors, club presidents, team captains, or Miss EGSC for one academic school year. The student’s membership to any honor society should be suspended or revoked. If the student is an athlete, the coach of that athletic department should be notified of the student’s “XW” or “XF,” so that the athlete is disciplined by the team’s policies, including suspension from playing in any game through one academic year. 

X. Access to Records 

The records pertaining to any accusation and disciplinary action under EGSC’s academic honesty policy are not open to the public. Those records, or any part thereof, can only be made available to people other than the student when the student has submitted a written and signed request to release the transcripts or records. The records fall under the protection of EGSC’s FERPA policy. 


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