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Academic integrity in students is recognized as a fundamental objective of higher education. Traditionally, it has been a highly regarded ideal in colleges and universities. Academic dishonesty contradicts this fundamental value. Academic dishonesty among students can take many forms including copying from another test, stealing examinations or gaining unauthorized access to them, using crib notes, turning in inauthentic term papers, plagiarizing, sabotaging laboratory experiments, dry-labbing, padding bibliographies, falsifying transcripts and letters of recommendation, and facilitating another person's dishonest action. In order to foster academic integrity and encourage responsibility toward that end, academic dishonesty must be discouraged by the administration, by the faculty, and by the students themselves.

To insure that academic integrity is more than a theoretical principle at Valley City State University, certain processes and sanctions regarding academic dishonesty are set forth. However, simply imposing sanctions upon students falls short of fulfilling institutional responsibilities. The underlying objective is that students will ultimately internalize standards of academic integrity, so that they do not have to be moved toward that integrity by fear of sanction.

  • All instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
  • The Vice President for Academic Affairs will have first jurisdiction in allegations regarding violations that occur outside the classroom.

Any one or more of the following actions may be imposed on a student who has violated the ideal of academic integrity.
  • After confronting a student with the evidence, a faculty member may lower a student's grade,grant no credit, assign a grade of F for the particular test or assignment, or give a grade of F for the course in question.
  • The Vice President for Academic Affairs may impose academic warning, academic probation, academic suspension or expulsion, depending on the severity of the offense. Any such action may be reflected on the student's transcript.
  • Should a violation under this policy include violations of the Student Code of Conduct, further action may be taken according to the operating guidelines of that policy.

All appeals must be made within ten school days of student notification of the imposition of sanctions; any attempt to carry the appeal outside of the procedure set forth may negate the entire process for that case.

The procedure to be followed by a student seeking an avenue of appeal for cases in which the student feels sanctions were unjustly imposed or unduly harsh is as follows:
  • In most cases the student's first step of appeal is to the instructor of the class involved, or, in the case of an alleged violation occurring outside of the classroom, to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. If such discussions fail to resolve the complaint satisfactorily, the next step of appeal is to the Director of Student Academic Services, who will advise the student through the appeal process below.
  • For the appeal to progress, the student must then submit, in writing, the nature of the complaint to the Director of Student Academic Services. At that point, that Director will schedule a meeting between the student and either the appropriate department head, division chair, or superior. If the situation is not resolved to the satisfaction of the student at this point, he or she may appeal to the Vice President for Academic Affairs (or to the President in cases of sanctions imposed by the Vice President for Academic Affairs).
  • The Vice President for Academic Affairs (or the President), after consultation with all parties involved, will make a final decision on the matter.
  • Appeals of the Vice President for Academic Affairs' (or the President's) decision are directed to the University Hearings and Appeals Board (UHAB). A request for a hearing by that board may be made by the student and all operating guidelines set forth by the UHAB (V530.4; VCSU Student Handbook) will be followed.
Sponsored by: Faculty Association
Reviewed: Winter, 1996
Revised Number: February 2010
Revised: January 2012