Please refer to the Academic Integrity section of the College Catalog for information on The Academic Virtues and The Centrality of Integrity to Academe.
Practices and Responsibilities
Every member of our academic community is charged with the responsibility of maintaining an environment of integrity. Faculty bear special responsibilities in encouraging integrity. Their first responsibility is to function as models of academic integrity. As scholars, the faculty demonstrate academic integrity by the use of current methodological tools appropriate to their discipline.
They show strict adherence to the highest standards for research in their field. As teachers, the faculty guide students to the best available knowledge of an academic discipline. In presenting subject matter, the faculty member makes clear the values and presuppositions which determine the choice of materials for study. The faculty acknowledge alternative perspectives and properly attributes intellectual property to its rightful owner. In relationships with students, the faculty member respects their capacity to learn by providing demanding and challenging material while avoiding unrealistic expectations and a patronizing or indoctrinating approach. A faculty member gives an honest, fair, and just evaluation of each person, regardless of his/her respective physical, sociological, or cultural differences. The faculty also return evaluated work at regular intervals, so that students may periodically judge their performance in the course. The faculty member is reliable in meeting the obligations of classroom and office.
Faculty responsibilities also include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Faculty members will distribute a course policy statement at the beginning of every course. The document should address the college's academic integrity policy and describe any actions, unique to that course, required to maintain academic integrity. Faculty members are obliged to clarify expectations for academic work, especially in situations such as group assignments, laboratory work, independent studies, research practica, out of class assignments, and makeup work. Department chairs are responsible for ensuring that faculty members in their departments appropriately address academic integrity issues. (See information on course policies in Faculty Handbook.)
- Faculty are responsible for taking appropriate steps to ensure the security of evaluation materials. Faculty should exercise reasonable care to guard test materials prior to their administration and should ensure the fair and honest administration and completion of all quizzes, tests, and examinations. We encourage faculty members to require students to sign an integrity pledge on all work submitted for credit in a course. We suggest that the following statement be printed on every major examination, paper, or assignment:
- "I affirm that I have adhered to the college's expectations for integrity in the completion of this [examination, paper, or assignment]"
- "I affirm that I have adhered to the college's expectations for integrity in the completion of this [examination, paper, or assignment]"
- All faculty assume responsibility for reporting violations of academic integrity following the procedures outlined in the section on Penalties. Lastly, faculty members have special responsibilities, adopted by joint student/faculty resolution, concerning the scheduling and administration of assignments and examinations. These responsibilities are presented in the College catalog.
Students are equally responsible for maintaining and encouraging academic integrity at the college. We expect all students to act with integrity in the classroom and in completing and submitting assignments. Ultimately, students bear the responsibility of ensuring the integrity of their own work. Students are expected to meet at least the minimal requirements of each course with work of appropriate quality. Students are to prepare their coursework in such a way as to avoid unnecessary inconvenience to other students, staff, and faculty.
At no time is cheating on examinations, quizzes, or assignments acceptable at Concordia. Students are also expected to exercise appropriate caution to avoid plagiarism on written assignments. While we encourage students to consult any faculty member for assistance in completing coursework, students should not request unauthorized assistance. Because a student's work must reflect that student's scholarship and not the unattributed scholarship of others, all students are required to accurately represent their work and the work of others used in creating the student's academic product.
Students are expected to make every effort to consult with faculty members in advance when they are unable to complete projects, assignments, or take examinations when scheduled. When unusual circumstances make advance consultation impossible, students are still required to contact faculty about their absences.
Students are also expected to take appropriate measures to inform faculty or the appropriate administrative staff if they observe violations of academic integrity by any member of the academic community, including students, faculty, or staff.
Administration and Staff
Although the area of academic integrity is commonly considered to be the province of students and faculty, the responsibility for academic integrity reaches far beyond these groups. College administrative and support staff are essential in maintaining integrity at the college.
Generally, our integrity expectations for staff members mirror those for faculty. Because many staff members, such as librarians, computer center staff, student affairs personnel, etc. may interact with students as they complete their course assignments, these staff members should exercise special caution to avoid providing students with unfair assistance. At no time should support personnel provide students with assistance that replaces the scholarship of the student.
The administrators of Concordia carry special responsibility in ensuring that ours is a campus of integrity. We expect administrative personnel to follow the principles of integrity in their dealings with faculty, students, staff, and parents, both in their pronouncements to the college community and beyond and in their enforcement of sanctions against the dishonest.
The damage done to an academic community through dishonest acts is serious. Its seriousness requires a measured, yet forceful response. Because some may claim that they did not understand what constitutes academic dishonesty, we will specify some of the ways in which academic integrity may be violated. While the following specifications should not be considered exhaustive, we anticipate that violations of integrity generally may involve one or more of the following violations.
Cheating: One cheats when one uses a resource other than one's own scholarship to answer questions. Cheating can include situations in which individuals:
a. Glance at the examination paper of another student during the examination period;
b. Write information on paper, clothing, furniture, or person for use during an examination;
c. Consult reference materials during an authorized break period during an examination;
d. Program calculators and personal computers with information for retrieval during an exam;
e. Obtain unauthorized copies of examinations previously used in a course.
Plagiarism: When one misrepresents another's ideas as one's own on an assignment, one commits plagiarism. Because of the seriousness of plagiarism in an academic environment it is examined in detail in Appendix A.
Falsification: Those who falsify reality do not pursue truth. Rather, they pervert it. Examples of falsification include:
a. Listing a false or un-consulted reference in a research paper;
b. Creation of false data for a class presentation, laboratory exercise or class assignment;
c. Submission of any part of another person's work as one's own;
d. Completion of an examination or assignment for another individual;
e. Willful misrepresentation of one's academic efforts (e.g., overstating one's contributions to a group project).
Facilitating Others' Violations: When we permit or facilitate the dishonesty of others, we too are guilty of an equally serious violation. Examples of facilitating include:
a. Providing another with work to be submitted for credit;
b. Laying out a Blue Book to give another ready access to responses;
c. Giving assistance to an individual when such assistance is prohibited;
d. Disclosing examination questions to students who have yet to take the same exam;
e. Failing to report known violations of academic integrity.
Impeding: We must freely pursue truth without restraint. Barriers placed in the way of others' pursuit of truth will not be tolerated. Impeding can include theft and destruction of the products of the scholarship of others. Examples of impeding include:
a. The destruction or intentional misplacement of library materials;
b. The contamination of laboratory samples, reagents, and unknowns;
c. The willful de-calibration of measuring devices used by others;
d. The willful introduction of a computer virus into a program or computer system;
e. The disabling or destruction of computers, networks and other instructional and scholarly works and tools;
f. Providing misleading information to, or refusing to cooperate with, college officials investigating other integrity violations.
Again, every member of the Concordia College academic community is expected to adhere to the highest standards of academic integrity and honesty. While we expect violations of academic integrity to be infrequent, we recognize that violations will occur. These violations must be met consistently and with appropriate consequences.
Faculty bear the principal responsibility in prescribing penalties. Faculty must specify appropriate penalties for violations of academic integrity as part of the course policy statement. Faculty will be guided by a principle of justice; their response will be measured and appropriate, weighing the seriousness of the offense and the conditions that encouraged it. If a student violates academic integrity in an assignment for credit, the instructor has the option of assigning any grade for that assignment, including a failing grade (‘F') or ‘0' (no credit). Note that a violation of academic integrity might automatically result in failure in a course either because this consequence was specified in the course statement or because the ‘F' or ‘0' reduced a student's class average below that required for a passing final grade or completion of the assignment is a condition of successfully completing the course. The faculty member may refuse to allow a student to drop a course in which a penalty has been assigned to him or her. Note that the instructor may consider course failure an appropriate consequence after reviewing the nature of the offense, even if such consequences are not part of the course policy statement. In all cases, a student should be referred to the Academic Dean for consideration of additional disciplinary action as described in this document.
Some violations of academic integrity may involve the mutilation and destruction of college or personal property. In such cases, restitution or remuneration is required of the responsible party in addition to other penalties the college may elect to assess.
An individual may facilitate an integrity violation in a course and yet not be a student in that course. Additionally, a student may detect an integrity violation by a member of the college community, including a violation occurring in a course in which both are enrolled. Those aware of this sort of violation should advise the supervising faculty member and/or consult the academic dean.
The dean, following an appropriate determination, may institute penalties such as restitution, probation, suspension, expulsion, or, in the case of employees of the college, termination of employment.
Note, however, that each violation of academic integrity whether involving a student or a faculty member and the consequences levied must be reported to the Academic Dean's Office. That office is charged with oversight of academic integrity at Concordia, including tracking and adjudicating repeat offenders. Integrity violation report forms are available from the Academic Dean's Office.
Individuals found to have violated academic integrity in any form will be placed on probation. More serious violations may warrant a year's suspension or expulsion from the college. If an individual commits a second violation, the minimum penalty will include a semester's suspension from enrollment at Concordia. Academic integrity violations may combine with other substantive violations of other college policy (e.g., theft, assault, vandalism, etc.) to warrant suspension or expulsion from the college.
The preceding examples assume that a student violated academic integrity and a member of the faculty or staff detected that violation. We recognize that faculty, staff, and administrators may also violate integrity. Moreover, students may detect violations of academic integrity. Usually, these violations will involve failing to provide a course policy statement or changing assignments in a way which is arbitrary and capricious, such as adding a significant assignment that was not previously described in the course policy statement. In these instances, the individual detecting a violation should contact the department chair, or in cases involving department chairpersons, the academic dean. All employees of the college are further bound by the contractual responsibilities and consequences specified in the Faculty, Administrative or Staff Handbooks.
In all cases, the affected person has the right to appeal a determination that she or he violated academic integrity. In addition, the severity of the penalty imposed may also be appealed. For faculty, the appeal procedures are specified in the Faculty Handbook. Appeal procedures for students are specified below.
We expect that the great majority of cases can be resolved in conference between the concerned parties. Regardless of the steps individuals follow to address a violation, a written notice describing the facts of the case, the nature of the violation and the penalty assessed must be sent to the Academic Dean's Office.
A form, Notice of Charges for Violation of Academic Integrity, is used to provide such information to the Academic Dean. The Academic Dean will record the response of the faculty member to his or her allegation against a student and will inform the student of his or her right to appeal the faculty member's determination of an academic integrity violation. The Academic Dean will maintain a record of the violation and its disposition.
Usually the first step in resolving an academic integrity violation complaint occurs in conference between students and faculty and/or staff. We expect all parties to maintain the highest standards of responsibility during these conferences.
On rare occasions, a mutual resolution between concerned parties is not possible. In these cases, he or she may consult with the chair of the appropriate academic department. If a satisfactory resolution is not obtained there, a complaint may be registered with the Student Conduct Board. In all cases, parties will respect confidentiality and the rights of the accused to offer an appropriate defense and challenge statements of accusers.
Appendix A: Statement on Plagiarism
Plagiarism involves the misattribution of an idea or image. As scholars, all members of the college are required to recognize and acknowledge the intellectual contributions of others and avoid representing these contributions as their own. We must also faithfully represent the original author's intended meaning. Plagiarism may be willful or innocent, but either represents a serious violation of academic integrity. With the wealth of informational resources available to scholars today, one might conclude that it is increasingly difficult to avoid plagiarism. We firmly reject this argument.
Proper scholarship requires that we give credit where credit is due. This means that only ideas which are original to the author or of common knowledge may be stated without formal attribution. All sources used in the preparation and presentation of an academic work must be carefully and thoroughly documented. This means that more than a bibliography or "List of Works Cited" must be included with all written assignments that use the ideas of others. In practice, this requirement specifies that individual ideas, quotations, and passages be properly attributed following the format accepted by the discipline guiding the preparation of the paper. For example, citations in an English literature paper will generally follow the format and style of the Modern Language Association (MLA). Papers prepared for a psychology course would use the citation style and criteria specified by the American Psychological Association (APA).
The problem of plagiarism creates special expectations for faculty members giving written research assignments. Faculty need to specify the attribution conventions in force for a particular assignment. The written statement of course policy should contain instructions to students regarding which style to use in preparing a research paper. Faculty should provide students with style sheets when necessary or appropriate, samples of which can be obtained from the Academic Enhancement and Writing Center or Reserve Desk at Ylvisaker Library.
Students also must guard against plagiarism. The most effective technique is the proper and complete attribution of an idea to its original source. Note that plagiarism cannot be avoided following some artificial scheme such as changing every third word. It is infinitely preferable to quote at length (with proper attribution, of course) than commit plagiarism in a vain attempt to save a few words.
As students join an academic discourse community, they are expected to develop an increasing sophistication in representing, responding to, and drawing on the words of others. We become skilled at using sources by reading and writing thoughtfully and seeking out meaningful research and writing tasks. Although no set of rules is sufficient in defining such skills, we offer the following guidelines as minimal standards. Here we quote at length, and with permission, from Pages 17 and 18 of Academic Integrity at Roanoke College:
1. Quotations marks should always be used to set off words that are borrowed directly, even though only one or two words are involved.
2. The source of words or ideas should always be acknowledged in the text of the presentation, in an appropriate footnote or endnote, or in both.
3. As a rule, anything students learn while they are preparing an assignment should be considered as material that must be documented, even if this material is paraphrased. It is important to remember that adequate documentation must include exact page numbers.
4. Matters of common or general knowledge usually do not require documentation. In A Writer's Reference (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1989), Diana Hacker defines common knowledge as "information that readers could find in any number of general sources because it is commonly known" (170). If in doubt about whether or not information is common knowledge, provide documentation.
5. Prior knowledge does not usually require formal documentation (yet is always a good idea for the student to consult the professor if there are doubts or questions about what constitutes prior knowledge). Most often a textual reference to the source will suffice for such prior knowledge. If for example, a student wants to refer to a date as being "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing," the student can merely mention MacBeth [sic]1 as the source, presuming the student knew these lines and their source prior to the preparation of the work being submitted. Note that quotation marks would be used (as they are for all direct quotations).
6. Words, ideas, data, or material acquired in other courses should be acknowledged as to their specific source. The professor should be contacted regarding the most appropriate method for documenting such material.
7. As a general rule, if the student has doubt about whether or not to acknowledge a particular source, it is wise to document that source. Again, consult the instructor of the course if such a question arises.
8. Consult a composition handbook or a publication manual for appropriate forms of documentation, as these differ from discipline to discipline. If the professor does not specify that a particular notation format be used, the student should ask the professor what format is most appropriate.
9. A bibliography by itself is not sufficient documentation because it does not inform the reader of the specific sources of the works in it. Some textual or notational systems (such as footnotes, endnotes, or the author-date method) must be employed to cite when and how specific portions of sources are used. Most systems of documentation require page numbers of all citations. All systems of documentation require page numbers for direct quotations.
10. An assignment prepared for one professor cannot be simultaneously, or subsequently, submitted to another professor unless both professors agree to such a submission. Likewise, an assignment done in secondary school or at another college cannot be submitted without the professor's knowledge and permission.
1 [sic] is Latin meaning "so" or "thus" and is used " . . . to show that a quoted passage, often containing some error, is precisely reproduced." (Webster's New World Dictionary, p. 1353). You know that Shakespeare wrote a play titled Macbeth. We used "[sic]" here because to either ignore the capitalization error or correct it would not faithfully represent the Roanoke material.
Appendix B: Joint Statement on Academic Integrity
For more than 20 years, Concordia College's expectations for student and faculty integrity were defined by The Joint Statement on Academic Responsibility. This document described the importance of trust, borne of integrity, to a community of scholars and specified how integrity would be assured on the campus.
Much of what precedes this section is an amplification of the standards of the Joint Statement, and supersedes that document. However, some of the expectations of the Joint Statement deal with procedural matters. These expectations have become part of the campus culture and yet are not easily integrated into Academic Integrity at Concordia, a document whose principal concern is integrity. These statements and standards are reproduced below.
B. It is expected of faculty that they: ...
6. Announce, well in advance, the due dates for major papers, projects and examinations:
a. Due dates for major papers or projects should be announced within the first two weeks of class.
b. Dates for major examinations should be announced at least one week prior to the administration of such examinations.
c. "Drop quizzes" may be used if the procedure is announced in advance of implementation.
7. Establish the due dates of major papers, projects and examinations with due regard for the scheduling of all assignments.
a. Where there is an end-of-term examination or a major examination, there should not be a unit examination or a major assignment during the five class days preceding the beginning of the examination period.
b. When there is a comprehensive examination or a unit examination at the end of the term, it should be administered during the final examination period, not during the preceding week of classes.
(1) Guidelines for a "Unit Test": a test that covers more than two weeks of coursework. It may be comprehensive in nature. It may require more than 30 minutes to complete or count more than 10 percent toward the final grade. (Such a test may not be given during the last five class days.)
(2) Guidelines for a test that may be administered during the last five class days: a test or quiz that covers no more than two weeks of coursework. It, so far as practical, shall not be comprehensive in nature. It requires less than 30 minutes to complete and counts no more than 10 percent toward the final grade.
c. Music juries for students taking private instruction and biology lab practicals are permitted during the last five class days along with oral presentations in which work is completed prior to those days.
d. In the event that the above requirements detract from the academic value of the class, the department may apply to the Student Responsibility Board for a class exemption from these requirements. If a majority of the SRB agrees with the need for exemption, then it shall become effective when it has been brought to the attention of the students, in some written form, at the beginning of the course. Any such exemptions shall be incorporated into the "c" sub-clause of clause "7". Departments with special testing requirements are expected to follow the spirit of these guidelines.
e. The spirit of these guidelines is to ensure that class testing procedures do not interfere with the preparation for comprehensive final examinations or their equivalent the last five class days of the semester. . . ."
C. It is expected of students that they: ...
2. Make every effort to consult with faculty members in advance when unable to complete projects or take examinations on schedule. (Where unusual circumstances make advance consultation impossible, responsibility still lies with the student to contact the faculty member about the matter.) ..."
4. Make application with the Registrar's Office when registering to repeat a course. A course may be repeated only once, and only when the grade was C or below, or U. All courses attempted remain a part of the permanent record, but only the last grade is computed into the GPA. Any exceptions to these procedures must be approved by the Committee on Student Performance and Procedures... ."