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Academic Offenses (Cheating, Plagiarism, and Academic Misconduct)

Instructors in undergraduate and graduate courses must copy and paste the academic offenses information on this page into the course syllabus, or link to this page from the syllabus. Below are descriptions of the official policies established in the University Senate Rules, available HERE in their entirety.

Instructors for professional courses and programs must describe applicable academic offense policies within their syllabi or include a URL/hyperlink to a web page with that information. (There is no Senate-maintained web page with academic offense-related policies for professional courses.)

Procedural information regarding cases of plagiarism, cheating, and falsification and misuse of academic records is available on the Academic Ombud's website.


Senate Rules 6.3          Academic Offenses

Students shall not plagiarize, cheat, or falsify or misuse academic records.


Senate Rules 6.3.1           Plagiarism

Per University policy, students shall not plagiarize, cheat, or falsify or misuse academic records. The minimum penalty for a first offense is a zero on the assignment on which the offense occurred. If the offense is considered severe or the student has other academic offenses on their record, more serious penalties, up to suspension from the University may be imposed. A plea of ignorance is not acceptable as a defense against the charge of academic dishonesty.

Senate Rule 6.3.1 states that all academic work, written or otherwise, submitted by students to their instructors or other academic supervisors, is expected to be the result of their own thought, research, or self-expression. In cases where students feel unsure about a question of plagiarism involving their work, they are obliged to consult their instructors on the matter before submission.

When students submit work purporting to be their own, but which in any way borrows ideas, organization, wording, or content from another source without appropriate acknowledgment of the fact, the students are guilty of plagiarism.

Plagiarism includes reproducing someone else's work (including, but not limited to a published article, a book, a website, computer code, or a paper from a friend) without clear attribution. Plagiarism also includes the practice of employing or allowing another person to alter or revise the work which a student submits as his/her own, whoever that other person may be, except under specific circumstances (e.g. Writing Center review, peer review) allowed by the Instructor of Record or that person’s designee. Plagiarism may also include double submission, self-plagiarism, or unauthorized resubmission of one’s own work, as defined by the instructor.

Students may discuss assignments among themselves or with an instructor or tutor, except where prohibited by the Instructor of Record (e.g. individual take-home exams). However, the actual work must be done by the student, and the student alone, unless collaboration is allowed by the Instructor of Record (e.g. group projects).

When a student's assignment involves research in outside sources or information, the student must carefully acknowledge exactly what, where and how he/she has employed them. If the words of someone else are used, the student must put quotation marks around the passage in question and add an appropriate indication of its origin. Making simple changes while leaving the organization, content and phraseology intact is plagiaristic. However, nothing in these Rules shall apply to those ideas which are so generally and freely circulated as to be a part of the public domain.

Please note: Any assignment you turn in may be submitted to an electronic database to check for plagiarism.


Senate Rules 6.3.2          Cheating

Cheating is defined by its general usage. It includes, but is not limited to, the wrongfully giving, taking, or presenting any information or material by a student with the intent of aiding himself/herself or another on any academic work which is considered in any way in the determination of the final grade. The fact that a student could not have benefited from an action is not by itself proof that the action does not constitute cheating. Any question of definition shall be referred to the University Appeals Board.


Senate Rules 6.3.3          Misuse of Academic Records

Maintaining the integrity, accuracy, and appropriate privacy of student academic records is an essential administrative function of the University and a basic protection of all students. Accordingly, the actual or attempted falsification, theft, misrepresentation or other alteration or misuse of any official academic record of the University, specifically including knowingly having unauthorized access to such records or the unauthorized disclosure of information contained in such records, is a serious academic offense. As used in this context, "academic record" includes all paper and electronic versions of the partial or complete permanent academic record, all official and unofficial academic transcripts, application documents and admission credentials, and all academic record transaction documents. The minimum sanction for falsification, including the omission of information, or attempted falsification or other misuse of academic records as described in this section is suspension for one semester.