WPU Academic Integrity Policy

I. Standards of Academic Conduct

As an academic institution committed to the discovery and dissemination of truth, William Paterson University expects all members of the University community to conduct themselves honestly and with professional demeanor in all academic activities. William Paterson  University has established standards of academic conduct because of its belief that academic honesty is a matter of individual and University responsibility and that, when standards of honesty are violated, each member of the community is harmed.

All members of the University community are expected to adhere to the Academic Integrity Policy.

II. Violations of Academic Integrity

Violations of the Academic Integrity Policy include, but may not be limited to, the following examples:

A. Plagiarism is the copying from a book, article, notebook, video, or other source material, whether published or unpublished, without proper credit through the use of quotation marks, footnotes, and other customary means of identifying sources, or passing off as one’s own the ideas, words, writings, programs, and experiments of another, whether such actions are intentional or unintentional. Plagiarism also includes submitting, without the consent of the professor, an assignment already tendered for academic credit in another course.

B. Cheating during examinations includes any attempt to: (1) look at another student’s examination with the intention of using another’s answers for personal benefit; (2) communicate, in any manner, information concerning the content of the examination during the testing period or after the examination to someone who has not yet taken the examination; (3) use any materials, such as notebooks, notes, textbooks, or other sources, not specifically designated by the professor of the course for student use during the examination period; or (4) engage in any other activity for the purpose of seeking aid not authorized by the professor.

C. Collusion is working together with another person or persons in preparing separate course assignments in ways not authorized by the instructor. Academic work produced through a cooperative (collaborative) effort of two or more students is permissible only upon the explicit consent of the professor. The collaboration must also be acknowledged in stating the authorshipof the report.

D. Lying is knowingly furnishing false information, distorting or omitting data, failing to provide all necessary, required information to the University advisor, registrar, admissions counselor, or professor, for any academically related purpose.

E. Other concerns that relate to the Academic Integrity Policy include such issues as breech of personal security, stolen tests, falsified records, and vandalism of library or other materials. No list could possibly include all the possible violations of academic integrity. These examples should, however, give a clearer idea of the intent and extent of application of this policy.

III. Faculty Responsibilities for Upholding the Academic Integrity Policy

A. All faculty are expected to be familiar with the Academic Integrity Policy. Each faculty member will inform students of the applicable procedures and conditions early in each semester before the first examination or assignment is due.

B. Ordinarily, in-class tests and final exams should be proctored. Proctoring is defined as having a faculty member or a representative of the faculty present in the room during an exam. Proctoring is the responsibility of the faculty member teaching the course although, where necessary, that responsibility may be shared with, or delegated to, faculty colleagues or graduate assistants assigned to the course.

 IV. Resolution of Academic Integrity Policy Violations

A. If a faculty member has sufficient reason to believe that a violation may have occurred on any work submitted for a grade, he/she must attempt to speak with the student within ten school days of the incident to discuss appropriate resolution.

B. After discussing this matter with the student, and if the student accepts the proposed resolution, the student waives his/ her right to a hearing. Depending on circumstances, as assessed by the faculty member who has discussed the matter with the student, any of the following penalties may be imposed:

1. Resubmission of the assignment in question.

2. Failure of the assignment.

3. Failure of the course.

4. Withdrawal from the course with no credit received.

5. The imposition of other appropriate penalties with the consent of the student.

6. Recommendation to the President of suspension or expulsion from the University.

With any of the above, the faculty member may have a written record of the sequence of events placed in the student’s permanent record with a copy to the student.

 C. If the student does not admit to a violation or disagrees with the proposed resolution, he/she must:

1. Speak directly to the faculty member within ten school days of being informed of a violation or of the proposed penalty. If, after repeated attempts, the student is unable to reach the faculty member within ten (10) school days, the student must notify the department chairperson in writing within that ten-day period.

2. If, after discussion with the faculty member, the student is not satisfied with the outcome, the student may contact the department chairperson presenting a dated, written, and signed statement describing the specific basis for the complaint. At this time, the student must provide the faculty member with a copy of these written materials.

3. The department chairperson should try to resolve the issue by reaching an agreement by both the student and the faculty member. If the issue is not resolved at the chairperson’s level, the student may request that the chairperson convene the department executive council (or other appropriate department committee)—excluding the faculty members involved—to hear the appeal. The faculty member submits a written, dated, and signed statement of the alleged violation to the council/committee. The student must submit a written, dated, and signed statement describing the basis of the complaint. The accuser assumes the burden of proof. When the faculty member involved is the  chairperson, the student may request that the dean of the college convene the department executive council (or other appropriate department committee). The department executive council/committee submits its recommendation to the chairperson (or college dean, if the faculty member involved is the chairperson).

4. If not satisfied with the department executive council’s (or other appropriate department committee’s) decision, the student may ask the dean of that college to bring the matter to the college council. The faculty member submits a written, dated, and signed statement of the alleged violation. The student submits a written, dated, and signed statement describing the basis for the complaint. The accuser assumes the burden of proof. The chairperson of the department concerned does not take part in the final vote (although the written decision from the department chairperson is part of the college record). The college council’s decision constitutes the University’s final decision regarding the substantive nature of the case. Future appeals based on violations of due process are permitted to the limit of the law.

5. Each step in the procedure must be initiated within ten (10) school days of the faculty, chairperson, department, or college response. Dated, written, and signed statements are required at each step. Likewise, at each level, the faculty member(s), chairperson, Department Executive Council (or other appropriate department committee), or College Council must complete a review of all pertinent written materials prior to rendering a decision, in writing, within ten (10) school days of receipt of complaint materials. In case the faculty member has been verifiably unable to be contacted, or in other instances of extenuating circumstances affecting students or faculty, it is understood that the student’s right to appeal is not jeopardized and the time constraints will be extended. Due process must be followed at every step of this procedure. No penalty will be changed by anyone other than the faculty member who assigned it unless there is convincing evidence that the penalty was inconsistent with professional standards of the discipline.

6. Each student who registers a complaint with a department chairperson must be given a copy of this policy. A copy must be attached to the appeal and signed by the student to indicate that he/she has received a copy of the procedure and has read and understands it, before the appeal can proceed. In the event the college council cannot resolve it, the matter is referred to the dean of graduate admissions.