Academic Integrity Policy
Academic Dishonesty is prohibited in The City University of New York and is punishable by penalties, including failing grades, suspension, and expulsion, as provided herein.
Definitions and Examples of Academic Dishonesty
Cheating is the unauthorized use or attempted use of material, information, notes, study aids, devices or communication during an academic exercise. The following are some examples of cheating, but by no means is it an exhaustive list:
- Copying from another student during an examination or allowing another to copy your work.
- Unauthorized collaboration on a take home assignment or examination.
- Using notes during a closed book examination.
- Taking an examination for another student, or asking or allowing another student to take an examination for you.
- Changing a graded exam and returning it for more credit.
- Submitting substantial portions of the same paper to more than one course without consulting with each instructor.
- Preparing answers or writing notes in a blue book (exam booklet) before an examination. Allowing other to research and write assigned papers or do assigned projects, including use of commercial term paper services.
- Giving assistance to acts of academic misconduct dishonesty.
- Fabricating data (all or in part).
- Submitting someone else’s work as your own.
- Unauthorized use during an examination of any electronic devices such as cell phones, palm pilots, computers or other technologies to retrieve or send information.
Plagiarism is the act of presenting another person’s ideas, research or writings as your own. The following are some examples of plagiarism, but by no means is it an exhaustive list:
- Copying another person’s actual words without the use of quotation marks and footnotes attributing the words to their source.
- Presenting another person’s ideas or theories in your own words without acknowledging the source.
- Using information that is not common knowledge without acknowledging the source.
- Failing to acknowledge collaborators on homework and laboratory assignments.
Internet Plagiarism includes submitting downloaded term papers or parts of term papers, paraphrasing or copying information from the internet without citing the source, and “cutting & pasting” from various sources without proper attribution.
Obtaining Unfair Advantage is any activity that intentionally or unintentionally gives a student an unfair advantage in his/her academic work over another student. The following are some examples of obtaining an unfair advantage, but by no means is it an exhaustive list:
- Stealing, reproducing, circulating or otherwise gaining advance access to examination materials.
- Depriving other students of access to library materials by stealing, destroying, defacing, or concealing them.
- Retaining, using or circulating examination materials which clearly indicate that they should be returned at the end of the exam.
- Intentionally obstructing or interfering with another student’s work.
Falsification of Records and Official Documents
The following are some examples of falsification, but by no means is it an exhaustive list:
- Forging signatures of authorization.
- Falsifying information on an official academic record.
- Falsifying information on an official document such as a grade report, letter of permission, drop/add form, ID card or other college document.
Adapted with permission from Baruch College. A Faculty Guide to Student Academic Integrity. The Baruch College document includes excerpts from University of California’s web page entitled “The Academic Dishonesty Question: A guide to an Answer through Education, Prevention, Adjudication and Obligation” by Prof. Harry Nelson.
Methods For Promoting Academic Integrity
- Orientation sessions for all new faculty (full and part-time) and students should incorporate a
discussion of academic integrity. Packets containing information explaining the policy, the procedures that
are in place, and examples of infractions should be distributed. These packets should be readily available,
throughout the academic year, in the appropriate offices of the college and the locations of those offices
should be widely publicized. Colleges using additional resources to detect plagiarism should publicize these resources widely.
- All college catalogs, student handbooks, and college websites should include the CUNY and college
academic integrity policy and the consequences of not adhering to it. The policy on Academic Integrity, as
adopted by the Board, shall be distributed to all students. All syllabi and schedules of classes should
make reference to the CUNY and college’s academic integrity policy and where they are published in full.
- A “Faculty Report” form should be used throughout the University to report incidents of suspected
academic dishonesty. (Sample attached). It is strongly recommended that the faculty member should report
all such incidents by completing and submitting the form to the chief student affairs officer, the Academic
Integrity Committee if the college has established one (see recommendation below), or other appropriate
academic integrity official whom the college may designate (collectively referred to hereinafter as the
“Academic Integrity Official”). A follow-up form should be submitted to the student’s academic integrity file by
the adjudicating person or body once the suspected incident has been resolved pursuant to one of the
methods described below. Although forms need not be uniformed across the University, they need to be
uniform within each college. The form should provide at least minimal information such as the name of the
instructor and student, course name and number, date of incident, explanation of incident and the
instructor’s telephone/email contact information; it should be easy to use and process. Except as
otherwise provided in the CUNY Procedures, the Academic Integrity Official of each college should retain the
forms for the purposes of identifying repeat offenders, gathering data, and assessing and reviewing policies.
- CUNY will develop a website on Academic Integrity. This site will include suggestions for faculty,
students and administrators to reduce cheating or plagiarism, resources on academic integrity and links to
relevant sites. Future plans also include the development of an online training program to raise awareness
about academic integrity.
- The Committee recommends that this CUNY Policy on Academic Integrity, dated Spring 2004, be adopted
by the Board of Trustees.
- Colleges should adopt the “PEN” (Pending) grade to facilitate the implementation of the Procedures for
Imposition of Sanctions. This grade already exists in the University’s Glossary of Grades.
- Colleges may wish to consider issuing a Student Guide to Academic Integrity. An excellent example is a
document that students at Baruch College developed called “Student Guide to Academic Integrity at Baruch
College”. The Guide is in its final stages of approval.
- Each college should consider joining the Center for Academic Integrity.
- Colleges should consider subscribing to an electronic plagiarism detection service. Any college that does
subscribe must notify every student each semester of the fact that such a service is available for use by the
- Colleges should consider establishing an Academic Integrity Committee, to serve in lieu of grade appeals committees in cases of academic dishonesty, which would hear and decide contested grade reductions that faculty members award because of student’s violations of the Academic Integrity Policy and collect and maintain separate files of Faculty Report forms of suspected and adjudicated violations of the Academic Integrity Policy.
- Establish a mechanism for preventing students from dropping a class in order to avoid an investigation
and/or imposition of a sanction for a violation of academic integrity.
Procedures For Imposition Of Sanctions For Violations Of CUNY Policy On Academic Integrity
As a legal matter, in disciplining students for violations of policies of academic integrity, CUNY, as a public institution, must conform to the principles of due process mandated by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution – generally speaking, to provide notice of the charges and some opportunity to be heard. In the context of court-litigated violations, questions as to how much and what kind of process was “due” turn on the court’s judgment whether the decision on culpability was “disciplinary” (a question of fact) or “academic” (a question of the instructor’s expert judgment). This distinction has proved difficult to apply on campus. Accordingly, these procedures provide for alternative approaches depending on the severity of the sanction(s) being sought. If the instructor desires solely an “academic” sanction, that is, a grade reduction, less process is due than if a “disciplinary” sanction, such as suspension or expulsion, is sought.
A faculty member who suspects that a student has committed a violation of the CUNY or the college
Academic Integrity Policy, shall review with the student the facts and circumstances of the suspected
violation whenever possible. The decision whether to seek an academic sanction only, rather than a
disciplinary sanction or both types of sanctions, will rest with the faculty member in the first instance, but the college retains the right to bring disciplinary charges against the student. Among the factors the college
should consider in determining whether to seek a disciplinary sanction are whether the student has
committed one or more prior violations of the Academic Integrity Policy and mitigating circumstances if any.
It is strongly recommended that every instance of suspected violation should be reported to the Academic
Integrity Official on a form provided by the college as described in the third Recommendation for Promoting Academic Integrity, above. Among other things, this reporting will allow the college to determine whether it wishes to seek a disciplinary sanction even where the instructor may not wish to do so.
- Procedures In Cases Where The Instructor Seeks An Academic Sanction Only
- Student Accepts Guilt And Does Not Contest The Academic Sanction
If the faculty member wishes to seek only an academic sanction (i.e., a reduced grade* only), and the
student does not contest either his/her guilt or the particular reduced grade the faculty member has
chosen, then the student shall be given the reduced grade, unless the college decides to seek a
disciplinary sanction, see Section I above and IV below. The reduced grade may apply to the particular
assignment as to which the violation occurred or to the course grade, at the faculty member’s discretion.
*A reduced grade can be an “F,” a “D-,” or another grade that is lower than the grade that would havebeen given but for the violation.
- Student Denies Guilt And/Or Contests The Academic Sanction
If the student denies guilt or contests the particular grade awarded by the faculty member, then the
matter shall be handled using the college’s grade appeals process, including departmental grading
committees where applicable, or the Academic Integrity Committee. In either case, the process must, at
a minimum, provide the student with an opportunity to be heard and to present evidence.
[ Return to top ]
Back to Previous Page