Academic Honesty

Academic honesty is expected of all members of the SUA community. Failure to adhere to standards of honesty will result in sanctions.

The following definitions will help you understand the boundaries of academic honesty and dishonesty. The sanctions section, which follows, will help you understand the seriousness of various types of academic dishonesty. These definitions do not represent a complete list of possible infractions; they are intended to reveal the range of conduct which violates academic honesty. The presentation of this list is prompted by the belief that education concerning improper conduct will help students avoid such practices, including those which, although innocently performed, may technically be classified as academically dishonest.

  1. Plagiarism. Presenting the words or ideas of another person or artificial intelligence resource requires proper acknowledgment; failure to do so is plagiarism. This applies to direct quotations, paraphrases or summarized ideas.
  2. Submission of the same work in two courses without explicit permission to do so. Presenting all or part of the work done for one course in another course requires permission from the instructors of the involved courses. A related point is that paired courses, by design, often require submission of the same work in the two associated courses.
  3. Unauthorized collaboration. In many course activities, other than examinations, collaboration is permitted and encouraged. Course syllabi and in-class instructions will usually identify situations where collaboration is prohibited, but the student shares responsibility for ascertaining whether collaboration is permitted. In cases where a student receives tutoring on a course topic, the student should consult the professor of the course to understand the permissible limits of the tutoring help.
  4. Cheating. This is a very broad category encompassing a variety of forms of misrepresentation and fraud. Examples include sharing exam answers, presenting work done by another person or artificial intelligence resource as one’s own, changing in any way work that may be reviewed in response to a grade reconsideration request, having a falsely identified person take an exam, or using notes, books and the like in closed-book examinations.
  5. Misrepresentation of experience or ability. Providing false information concerning academic achievement or background in an area of study; for example, false reporting the substance of an internship.
  6. Falsification of records. Any attempt to change grades or written records pertaining to assessment of a student’s academic achievement.
  7. Sabotage. Destruction of or deliberate inhibition of progress of another person’s work related to a course; this includes the destruction of shared resources such as library materials and computer software or hardware.
  8. Complicity concerning any of the above. Any act which facilitates academic dishonesty is itself an act of academic dishonesty.

The Process

Faculty members should provide the student with a written account of the offense and the sanction. Faculty members should also report cases of academic dishonesty to the Office of the Dean of Students (undergraduate)/Dean of the Graduate

School (graduate), including an indication of the sanction levied (this could be a copy of the letter sent to the student).

The Dean of Students (undergraduate)/Dean of the Graduate School (graduate) will monitor academic dishonesty infractions in the context of a student’s entire record of misconduct at the university. When appropriate, the Dean of Students (undergraduate)/Dean of the Graduate School (graduate) will activate a hearing process wherein the sanctions of suspension or expulsion from the University may be levied. These cases are heard by the Deans Committee consisting of the Dean of Students and the Dean of Faculty (undergraduate)/Dean of the Graduate School and the Director of the MA Program (graduate).

Whether undergraduate or graduate, the Deans Committee does not reconsider the grade sanction which may have been levied at an earlier stage. It only considers whether additional sanctions are in order, and does not confine consideration to the case of academic dishonesty. Rather, it considers the entire record of misconduct of the student at the college which is compiled in the Dean of Students Office (undergraduate)/Dean of the Graduate School (graduate).


Various sanctions may be applied in response to an act of academic dishonesty. The severity of sanctions will correlate to the severity of the offense. Judging the severity of an academic dishonesty offense is the faculty member's responsibility. The faculty member is encouraged to seek counsel of faculty colleagues, the Registrar, Dean of Faculty (undergraduate)/ Dean of the Graduate School (graduate) or the Dean of Students to gain perspective concerning the offense's severity.

All grade-related sanctions shall be levied by the faculty member teaching the course within which the offense occurred.

The following list articulates the sanctions which may be levied in response to acts of academic dishonesty.

  1. A warning indicating to the student, faculty, and administration knowledge of the incident; this will ordinarily be accompanied by a requirement that the student redo the work if the infraction is related to a course assignment. Included will be notification that another act of academic dishonesty will result in a more severe sanction.
  2. A letter grade reduction on the assignment. This also will ordinarily be accompanied by a requirement to redo the work.
  3. A failing grade for the assignment. This applies in cases where the faculty member chooses not to allow redoing the work.
  4. A failing grade for the course. This would be a suitable sanction for a serious case or for repeated cases of less extreme infractions.
  5. Suspension from the university for a specified minimum period. This sanction will ordinarily be applied when, in the estimation of the Dean of Students and the Dean of Faculty (undergraduate)/Dean of the Graduate School and Director of the MA Program (graduate), a pattern of misconduct is so chronic or severe that separation from the campus community is warranted. If serious enough, a single case of academic dishonesty can result in suspension. This could occur in the case of indisputable willful intent by the student to commit an academically dishonest act, such as altering a professor’s grade record or maliciously damaging academic work of another individual. Suspension may take effect immediately. Continuing attendance at the university may be permitted during an appeal. The minimum suspension period will be the balance of the current block or semester. Ordinarily, the suspension period will continue through the entire following block or semester.
  6. Expulsion from the university. This sanction is used in the event of extraordinarily grave cases of academic dishonesty or when less severe cases of dishonesty persist after returning from a period of suspension for academic dishonesty.


There are two avenues of appeal, one applicable to appealing grade sanctions, the other applicable to appealing suspension or expulsion decisions. The Academic Standards Committee of the undergraduate faculty/graduate faculty will consider appeals of grade sanctions. The President of the University will hear appeals of suspension and expulsion sanctions. No further opportunities for appeal are available.