Code of Academic Integrity

Code of Academic Integrity

Updated on March 11, 2022 by the Vice President of Academic Affairs on recommendation by the Academic Program Board. 

Academic integrity is the foundation of intellectual inquiry and growth. Demonstrating respect for intellectual work, whether one’s own or others’, fosters an atmosphere of trust and facilitates the free exchange of ideas, which is essential for learning. All members of the Canisius College community agree to exercise complete honesty in their academic work and accept responsibility for maintaining academic integrity.   

By accepting admission to Canisius College students acknowledge the importance of academic integrity and agree to abide by this Code of Academic Integrity. They demonstrate academic integrity by practicing honesty in all their academic pursuits. They do their own work, respect and acknowledge the work of others, and take responsibility for understanding and observing both the general standards of the academic community and the specific requirements established in individual programs, courses, and other academic activities.

Academic dishonesty harms the individual by impeding intellectual growth and damages the larger academic community at the college by undermining mutual trust and respect. Acts of academic dishonesty are therefore prohibited. They include, but are not restricted to, the following practices1.

Plagiarism

Cheating

Misrepresentation

Collusion

Canisius College is committed to administering the Code of Academic Integrity in a manner consistent with the college’s mission: to teach responsibility, to foster learning, and to care for the intellectual and ethical development of the whole person.

Violations of the Code of Academic Integrity shall be dealt with in a manner that is just to all parties and contributes to the learning process. Sanctions will not simply be occasions for punishment, but opportunities for learning and for improving the ethical standards of the individual and the community.

 

[1] Expanded descriptions and examples are appended below

Appendix: Further description of violations

The examples below are included for purposes of illustration and instruction and are not exhaustive. Any dishonest act within the academic context violates the Code of Academic Integrity.

Plagiarism: intentionally or unintentionally presenting someone else’s work, ideas, or words as one’s own. 

  • Quoting directly from any material, whether published or unpublished, without properly using quotation marks to mark the quoted material or without identifying and crediting the source
  • Paraphrasing another person’s ideas, opinions, or theories from books, articles, websites, etc., without identifying and crediting the source
  • Reproducing facts, statistics, graphs, diagrams, photographs, or other illustrative or visual materials without identifying and crediting the source
  • Substantially reproducing another person’s language, making only superficial or trivial changes such as substituting synonyms, omitting words or phrases, or altering grammatical forms; such inadequate “paraphrasing” conceals authorship, even when a citation is included, and can unintentionally alter meaning
  • Submitting (in whole or in part) material written by another person or persons, with or without the author’s consent

Cheating: using unauthorized assistance to gain advantage or credit on any academic work 

  • Copying another person’s work, in whole or in part
  • Using sources, technologies, or devices not authorized by the instructor
  • Cooperating or consulting on work with others when such cooperating or consulting is prohibited by the instructor for a particular assignment; (this should not discourage working with others when permitted or required by the instructor)
  • Obtaining and/or sharing materials such as tests and answer keys, except as permitted by the instructor
  • Stealing, destroying, or otherwise abusing academic property, whether institutional or individual
  • Fabricating or intentionally misreporting data, information, or sources

Misrepresentation: submitting or presenting false information in an academic matter

  • Submitting the same work in multiple courses (whether taken at Canisius or elsewhere), except as explicitly permitted by the course instructor
  • Lying in an effort to obtain exemption from course policies or to obtain special considerations or privileges such as extended deadlines or extra assistance
  • Falsifying or forging documentation related to any academic matter

Collusion: aiding another student’s act of academic dishonesty 

Procedures for Academic Integrity Violation Reporting and Adjudication

This policy describes the procedures for reporting and adjudicating violations of the Code of Academic Integrity. The College expects faculty to report violations as part of their role in promoting genuine learning, nurturing students toward honesty and responsibility, and promoting academic integrity across the college community. Faculty should include on their syllabi the first paragraph of the Code of Academic Integrity, the web address for the policy, canisius.edu/integrity, and should also indicate on their syllabi the possible sanctions that could result from violations of the Code of Academic Integrity in their courses. Even if faculty fail to include this information on their syllabi, this policy still applies.

A.  Violations of the Code of Academic Integrity

When an instructor observes a purported violation of the Code of Academic Integrity (the Code), the instructor communicates with the student to discuss the incident. The instructor will explain the evidence of the purported violation and the student may ask questions, offer explanation, or rebuttal. As part of an academic integrity investigation, an instructor or Dean may consult with the information technology administrators at the College, to obtain evidence or other information from college-administered information technology systems. Given the totality of available evidence, the instructor determines whether the student has violated the Code based on whether it is more likely than not that a violation occurred. If the instructor concludes the student violated the Code, the instructor determines an appropriate sanction. Instructor’s sanctions include a warning, grade reduction on the assignment, assignment failure, re-submission of the assignment, compensatory assignment, or course failure. The instructor officially notifies the student of the violation and sanction normally within five business days  after the initial communication about the incident.

If a violation occurs, the instructor files a “Faculty Report of Academic Integrity Violation” form [include hyperlink to form] with the Associate Dean  normally within five business days of notifying the student. The form, the sanction, and supporting documentation become part of the student’s academic misconduct file. The academic misconduct file, shared across the Associate Deans at the College, is separate from the student’s permanent academic file and confidential. The College maintains the student’s academic misconduct file until five years after the student graduates or permanently separates from the College.

The Associate Dean then contacts the student normally within five business days of receiving the Faculty Report to set up a required meeting with the Associate Dean in order to review the incident and college policy on the Code, including the possibility of additional sanctions for a repeated violation. The Associate Dean does not reverse faculty-imposed sanctions (except on appeal, in accordance with section D below) and does not assign additional sanctions for a first violation. Failure to meet with the Associate Dean after making a reasonable attempt to schedule a meeting will result in a registration hold being placed on the student’s account.

B. Repeated Violations

In cases of repeated violations of the Code by the same student, the Associate Dean may assign a Dean’s sanction, which include failure for the course (in consultation with the instructor), an educational assignment intended to help the student understand the significance of the violation and avoid further violations, and/or a notation on the student’s official transcript. In determining the appropriate sanction, the Associate Dean will consider the student’s entire academic misconduct file, the student’s response to the incidents, and any mitigating circumstances. The Associate Dean notifies the student of the Dean’s sanction normally within five business days after the meeting between the student and the Associate Dean. The Dean’s sanction becomes part of the student’s academic misconduct file.

In cases where the repeated violation is severe, the Associate Dean refers the case to an Academic Integrity Hearing Panel. Severe cases include egregious academic misconduct with the intent to deceive, a repeated violation that is identical in kind to a prior violation, or a third violation. The Associate Dean notifies the student of referral to an Academic Integrity Hearing Panel within five business days after the meeting between the student and the Associate Dean.

C.  Academic Integrity Hearings

Academic Integrity hearings review repeated, severe violations. The Academic Integrity Hearing Panel will consist of five faculty members: one from the Wehle School of Business, one from the School of Education and Human Services, and three from the College of Arts and Sciences; faculty are appointed to the Hearing Panel by their Deans for three year terms to be available for hearings as needed. The Hearing Panel will also consist of two students, with at least one from the school in which the alleged violation took place. The Associate Dean will seek recommendations from Department Chairs for students to serve when a hearing is necessary. A faculty member from the Hearing Panel will serve as chair of the hearing. Prior to the hearing, the Hearing Panel will undergo a pre-recorded, general training (prepared by the Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences) and will review the student’s entire academic misconduct file, which they must keep confidential.

The chair of the Hearing Panel convenes a hearing normally within ten business days of receiving the case from the Associate Dean. The hearing will be private and all persons present at the hearing will keep the information presented confidential. The student may bring witnesses directly relevant to the case to attend the hearing; (if the relevance of witnesses is disputed, the chair of the Hearing Panel makes the final determination). The student may choose a member of the college community to attend the hearing as an advisor. Any witnesses or advisor must be reported to the chair of the Hearing Panel prior to the hearing date. If a student fails to cooperate with the scheduling of a hearing or fails to attend the hearing, then the Hearing Panel may issue a sanction based upon available information. 

The hearing consists of the Hearing Panel, the student, and any advisor or witnesses reviewing the facts of the repeated violation. The conduct of the hearing is informal and matters of procedure will be decided by the chair of the Hearing Panel. The student presents any defense, mitigating circumstances, acceptance of responsibility, explanation, or rebuttal. The focus of the hearing is on the (most recent) repeated violation, but the Hearing Panel may also ask about the circumstances of a previous violation.

After the hearing, the Hearing Panel meets privately to determine whether an institutional sanction should be assigned. Institutional sanctions include failure for the course, an educational assignment intended to help the student understand the significance of the violation and avoid further violations, a notation on the student’s official transcript, suspension, dismissal, and/or degree revocation. Before deciding about an institutional sanction, the Hearing Panel may follow up with the instructor who reported the repeated violation regarding questions about the case or with the Associate Dean regarding questions about the student’s academic misconduct file. In determining a sanction, the Hearing Panel will consider the student’s entire academic misconduct file, the student’s response to the incident, any mitigating circumstances, and the credibility of any witnesses. The Hearing Panel will make its decision in an effort to protect the honor and academic reputation of the College while at the same time helping to nurture the student toward honesty and responsibility. The Hearing Panel will aim to reach consensus, but the final decision will be determined by a majority vote. The Hearing Panel will notify the Associate Dean and the student of its decision normally within ten business days of the hearing. The Hearing Panel should include with the notification a brief written justification for its decision, which becomes part of the student’s academic misconduct file. The Associate Dean implements any institutional sanction.

D. Appeals

When students believe they are innocent of an alleged violation of the Code or they believe that the sanction is unfair, they have the right to appeal. If students wish to appeal, they must write an appeal statement (no more than two pages) that explains the circumstances of the incident and the grounds for their appeal. A lack of intention to violate the Code by itself does not warrant grounds for an appeal, nor does mere disagreement or dissatisfaction with the decision and sanction.

  1. Student appeals of an instructor’s sanction are made to the Associate Dean. The student must send the appeal statement to the Associate Dean within five business days of being first contacted by the Associated Dean about the required meeting and must be sent at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting. The Associate Dean will further discuss the incident and the appeal with the student at the required meeting.
  2. Student appeals of a Dean’s sanction are made to the Dean of the school to which the course belongs. The student must send the appeal statement to the Dean within five business days of receiving the sanction from the Associate Dean.
  3. Student appeals of an institutional sanction are made to the Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA). The student must send the appeal statement to the VPAA within ten business days of receiving the institutional sanction from the Hearing Panel.

Verdicts on appeals are made on the basis of the totality of the evidence available in the student’s academic misconduct file and the student’s claims in the appeal statement. If persons hearing an appeal think a change to the sanction is merited, their reasoning is documented and discussed with the instructor (for instructor’s sanctions) or Associate Dean (for Dean’s sanction). In such cases, the two parties make the ultimate decision about whether the sanction is changed and the violation overturned. If the two parties cannot come to an agreement, the appeal goes to the next level (the Dean or the VPAA). The VPAA has final authority whether to change an institutional sanction. Within ten business days of the student sending the appeal statement, persons hearing the appeal will notify the student of their decision, including a brief written explanation for the decision, which then becomes part of the student’s academic misconduct file.

No appeals are permitted beyond the procedures outlined above.