Home Campus Directory | A-Z Index

Penn State Berks Academic Integrity Policy

G-9: Academic Integrity

Policy: Senate Policy 49-20, Academic Integrity

Introduction:

Recognizing the importance of academic integrity to the Penn State community, the University Faculty Senate adopted a new Academic Integrity policy, Spring 2000. The shared conviction, represented in the procedures that follow, is that academic integrity is best taught and reinforced by faculty as an element of the teaching and learning process. Only in the limited instances in which faculty believe that disciplinary, as well as academic, sanctions are called for should the process move to the Office of Judicial Affairs at Penn State Berks.

Penn State Berks shall interpret and apply Academic Integrity Procedures consistent with University policy.

The Penn State Berks Academic Integrity Committee shall maintain guidelines on ranges of appropriate sanctions for given types of infractions. Academic sanctions range from a warning to removal from the academic program.

Procedures:

A. When Academic Dishonesty is Suspected:

1. The faculty member informs the student of the allegation while taking into account the confidential nature of the information and the goal of maintaining an environment that supports teaching and learning.

2. When evidence suggests that an academic misconduct has occurred, the faculty member will enter the charge and the academic sanction on the Penn State Berks Academic Integrity Form, will sign the form, and then convey the charge and sanction to the student for her or his signature (in person or through other methods if necessary).

3. After reviewing the allegation of academic misconduct with the student, the faculty member may provide the student with an additional period of time (determined by Penn State Berks procedures) before the student has to make a decision and sign the Academic Integrity Form as to whether or not to accept the academic sanction. A student’s failure to sign and return the Academic Integrity Form, by the specified deadline, consistent with Penn State Berks procedures, will be construed as not contesting the charge or sanction.

4. Normally, it is preferable to settle issues between faculty and students, relying on the assignment of grades and course or program-related sanctions to support the learning process, rather than requesting additional University-level disciplinary sanctions. However, where integrity violations are considered to be extreme, the faculty member may also opt to pursue a disciplinary action in conjunction with both the Penn State Berks Academic Integrity Committee and the Penn State Berks Office of Judicial Affairs. A more detailed and comprehensive listing of the types of sanctions faculty may assign to students on the Academic Integrity Form can be found in the document Sanctioning Guidelines for Academic Integrity Violations.

5. Throughout the academic integrity process, the authority to administer academic sanctions remains the responsibility of the instructor (or AI Committee) when the case is managed and closed at the Penn State Berks level. In situations where the allegation is referred to the Office of Judicial Affairs at Penn State Berks, the application of academic sanctions will be carried out by Judicial Affairs, but only in consultation with the Penn State Berks Academic Integrity Committee.

6. Once a student has been informed that academic dishonesty is suspected, the student may not drop the course during the adjudication process. Any drop or withdrawal from the course during this time will be reversed. A student who has received an academic sanction as a result of a violation of academic integrity may not drop or withdraw from the course at any time. These drop actions include regular drop, late drop, withdrawal, retroactive late drop and retroactive withdrawal. Any such drop action of the course will be reversed. This drop policy may be superseded in exceptional circumstances with the approval of Penn State Berks Office of Judicial Affairs (i.e., trauma drop).

NOTE: The following statement shall appear on all campus and college Academic Integrity Forms:

“You may not drop or withdraw from this course to avoid a sanction for a violation of academic integrity. Any such drop action of the course will be reversed. If, after notification of a violation of academic integrity, you fail to sign this form, the academic integrity adjudication process will go forward as defined by Penn State Berks procedures.”

7. If, after notification of a violation of academic integrity, a student fails to sign the Academic Integrity Form by the specified deadline, the adjudication process will go forward as defined by Penn State Berks procedures.

B. If the Student Accepts Responsibility for the Violation and the Proposed Academic Sanction:

1. The faculty member asks the student to sign the Penn State Berks Academic Integrity Form, then forwards the form to the Penn State Berks Associate Dean.

2. In all cases, before submitting the Academic Integrity Form to the Penn State Berks Office of Judicial Affairs for recording, it is the responsibility of the Penn State Berks to determine through consultation with Judicial Affairs whether the student has prior academic integrity violation(s).

3. If a prior recorded violation is discovered after the student has admitted responsibility and accepted the academic sanction(s), a new academic sanction will be considered by the Penn State Berks Academic Integrity Committee while affording the student her or his institutional rights (including the right to contest the violation and/or new academic sanctions). Information concerning prior academic misconduct may not be used as a basis for judging a student’s guilt, but it may be used as a basis for imposing additional academic sanctions or deciding whether disciplinary action is also warranted.

4. When a prior record of academic misconduct is discovered, the Penn State Berks Academic Integrity Committee, in consultation with the Penn State Berks Office of Judicial Affairs, may consider also recommending University-level disciplinary sanction(s). If University-level sanction(s) do apply, the Academic Integrity Form, along with other relevant documents, will be sent to the Penn State Berks Office of Judicial Affairs for review and case management.

5. If the faculty member recommends University-level disciplinary sanctions, and the Penn State Berks Academic Integrity Committee is in agreement, then he/she will inform the student that the case will be referred to the Penn State Berks Office of Judicial Affairs. If the case is referred to Judicial Affairs, jurisdiction for assigning all sanctions, academic and disciplinary, is the responsibility of Judicial Affairs, after consideration of the recommended academic sanction of the faculty member and of the Penn State Berks Academic Integrity Committee.

6. Upon final disposition of the case, the Penn State Berks Office of Judicial Affairs will communicate the outcome to the Penn State Berks Academic Integrity Chair and the Penn State Berks Associate Dean.

C. If the Student Does Not Admit Responsibility for an Academic Integrity Violation:

1. The faculty member asks the student to sign the Penn State Berks Academic Integrity Form indicating that the charge or sanction(s) is being contested and then forwards the form to the Penn State Berks Academic Integrity Committee Chair and the Penn State Berks Associate Dean.

2. It is the responsibility of Penn State Berks to determine through consultation with the Penn State Berks Office of Judicial Affairs whether the student has prior academic integrity violation(s).

3. When disciplinary sanctions have not been recommended, and the student does not have a record of previous academic integrity violations, the Penn State Berks Academic Integrity Committee will conduct a review in accordance with their respective procedures.

During the review, if the Penn State Berks Academic Integrity Committee finds that the student violated standards of academic integrity the Committee may elect to: uphold the original charge(s) and sanction(s); uphold charges, but modify sanction(s); apply no sanction(s).

4. When the instructor and the Penn State Berks Academic Integrity Committee are in agreement that a disciplinary sanction(s) may be warranted, or the Academic Integrity Committee finds that a prior recorded violation of academic misconduct is present, then the case is forwarded to the Penn State Berks Office of Judicial Affairs.

When this occurs, the Penn State Berks Academic Integrity Committee will not manage the case, but will simply conduct a preliminary review before referring the case to the Penn State Berks Office of Judicial Affairs. All formal fact-finding and hearing procedures will be conducted by the Judicial Affairs in accordance with normal University operating procedures.

At the conclusion of the case, in which the student is found responsible for violating the Academic Integrity Policy, the Penn State Berks Office of Judicial Affairs may assign University-level disciplinary sanctions and contact the Penn State Berks Academic Integrity Committee for the assignment of any recommended academic sanctions.

D. Disciplinary Sanctions:

1. Faculty may assign a wide range of sanctions to a student found responsible for violating academic integrity. Most faculty may choose to utilize academic sanctions (the modification of grades due to misconduct), but when referring cases to the Penn State Berks Office of Judicial Affairs, faculty have the option to also recommend a full range of disciplinary sanctions available to Judicial Affairs such as: Disciplinary Warning; Disciplinary Probation; Temporary, Indefinite or Permanent Expulsion; or the "XF" transcript notation (see Sanctioning Guidelines for Academic Integrity Violations and Explanations for Disciplinary Sanctions).

2. "XF" sanctions are assigned only after consultation with the instructor, the Penn State Berks Academic Integrity Committee, and Penn State Berks Office of Judicial Affairs. Assigning an "XF" notation to a student’s transcript should be a rare occurrence and is reserved for the most serious breaches of academic integrity which may include repeat misconduct.

3. In any instance in which the instructor believes an "XF" sanction is warranted, whether or not the student has admitted responsibility, the case is forwarded to the Penn State Berks Academic Integrity Committee which will determine in consultation with the involved faculty member, whether the case should be referred to the Penn State Berks Office of Judicial Affairs for appropriate fact finding and judgment.

4. The Penn State Berks Academic Integrity Committee must include, with any recommendation to Penn State Berks Office of Judicial Affairs for an XF grade, those conditions (if any) under which it would approve the removal of the "XF" sanction from the transcript. Judicial Affairs will consider this recommendation when deciding upon the length of time that the “XF” notation will remain on the student’s transcript. When the conditions are met for removal of the “XF”, an academic “F” will remain on the transcript. Such conditions must reflect both the circumstances of the individual case and consultation among the instructor, the Penn State Berks Academic Integrity Committee, and the Penn State Berks Office of Judicial Affairs. 

E. Schreyer Honors College Students:

1. For honors courses, as with all other courses, Penn State Berks maintains responsibility for reviewing and issuing academic sanctions and/or referring cases to the Penn State Berks Office of Judicial Affairs.

2. When Penn State Berks finds that a Schreyer Honors College student has committed an academic misconduct, the Schreyer Honors College will be notified.

3. The Schreyer Honors College maintains authority over alleged breaches of academic integrity for its students in all cases in which the violation concerns Schreyer Honors College work, such as thesis research, but in which the student is not enrolled in a course.

F. Students Involved in Other University Related Academic Activities or Programs:

Students involved in other University related academic activities, courses, or programs (e.g. World Campus, Cooperative Education, internships, study abroad programs, etc.) that are delivered by Penn State Berks are subject to the University Academic Integrity Policy as implemented by Penn State Berks.

G. Record Keeping:

1. The Penn State Berks Associate Dean is responsible for forming the Penn State Berks Academic Integrity Committees and seeing that students and faculty have ready access to such bodies. He or she is also responsible for seeing that all cases are reported to the Penn State Berks Office of Judicial Affairs. The specific information reported to Judicial Affairs should include: a) a copy of the signed Academic Integrity Form, and b) other supporting documents that were established or reviewed while managing the case.

2. The Penn State Berks Office of Judicial Affairs alone is responsible for the central record keeping and disclosing of student discipline records at the University, including academic dishonesty cases. Judicial Affairs will disclose student disciplinary records of academic dishonesty to third parties when those records include University-level disciplinary sanctions assigned by the Penn State Berks Office of Judicial Affairs. Judicial Affairs will disclose student discipline record information to third parties in accordance with federal law (FERPA) and the University policy on managing Student Discipline Records (http://www.sa.psu.edu/ja/pdf/stu_dis_records.pdf).

 

Approved: ACUI (1-5-78)
Revised: ACUI (
5-19-83)
Revised: ACUI (
3-29-84)
Revised: ACUE (
7-26-96)
Revised: ACUE (
11-2-00)
Revised: ACUE (
7-5-01)
Revised: ACUE (
1-8-04)
Revised: ACUE (
9-1-05)
Revised: ACUE (
11-3-05)

Policy: click to access Senate Policy 49-20, Academic Integrity