Academic Honesty

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This policy applies to all Burlington College students regardless of program or academic unit.

Objective
In an academic community, genuine intellectual inquiry and dialogue presuppose the honesty of participants. Those who are dishonest impair their own intellectual and personal growth and development and undermine the integrity of the community that nurtures them.

Several forms of dishonesty constitute threats to the interests of Burlington College and violations of its Academic Honesty Policy.

Violations
Violations of academic honesty are prohibited. Violations of academic honesty are acts that seek to secure an academic advantage for a member of the BC community by illegitimate or unethical means. Such violations include, but are not limited to, committing, knowingly assisting, or acquiescing in one or more of the following:

  • Plagiarism. Representing the words, ideas, arguments, or findings of another person or persons as one’s own. For example, plagiarism occurs when one copies portions of another person’s writing with only minor changes in wording or fails to give adequate and appropriate credit for others’ concepts, theories, or conclusions. When making use of someone else’s work, one must credit that person by using quotation marks, references, or footnotes, in accordance with one of the conventional documenting systems (e.g., that of the Modern Language Association [MLA] or the American Psychological Association [APA]). Submitting, as one’s own, a homework assignment, a term paper, a laboratory report, or other comparable document prepared wholly or in part by others or downloaded from the Internet is also an example of plagiarism.
  • Falsifying research data. Presenting falsified data in papers or essays.
  • “Double dipping.” Using the same or substantially the same written work, research paper, or essay to satisfy the requirements of more than one course, without the permission of the instructors involved.
  • Examinations. Although examinations are not the most common means of assessing a student’s progress at BC, examinations when specific to the course or workshop will be covered by the following academic policies:
  • Communicating in any way with, or copying from, other students during in-class examinations or collaborating on take-home examinations, without the instructor’s express permission.
  • Using crib sheets, notes, or comparable aides during a formal examination, except as specifically permitted by the instructor.
  • Seeking, obtaining, possessing, or giving to another person an examination or portions of an examination (not yet given), without permission of the instructor
  • Failing to follow an instructor’s directions governing examinations
  • Forging academic records. Altering academic records, including attendance records, entering the signature of an academic staff member on any College form, presenting false information at an academic proceeding, or intentionally destroying evidence relevant to such a proceeding.

 

Reporting and Review Process
Any student accused of academic dishonesty will be presumed innocent until determined to be guilty by a preponderance of the evidence.

Minor offenses:
These include infractions that are purely technical or those which the instructor has determined are minor and without intent to achieve illegitimate or unfair academic advantage (inadequate citation of sources, unauthorized collaboration with others on out-of-class assignments, etc.)

The instructor will attempt to address and resolve a minor offense with the student. S/he will talk directly with the student about the alleged offense and about an appropriate sanction. The incident and the sanction may be documented in a report sent to the student’s academic advisor for inclusion in the advising file. If the student and the instructor are unable to agree on the resolution of a minor offense, the matter will be referred to the Dean, who will make a final decision.

Major offenses:
These include violations through which, in the determination of the instructor, the student intended to achieve academic advantage or which constituted misrepresentation of a significant portion of written work. Major offenses also include cheating and other significant instances of dishonesty.

The instructor will file, normally within ten business days of discovery, a report detailing the specifics of an alleged major offense. This report will be filed with the Dean, who will inform the student that he or she may submit a written response. The instructor, in his or her report, may suggest recommended sanctions for the offense from the possibilities below.

The Academic Programs Committee will be provided with the instructor’s report and the student’s written response, if any, and will then conduct a hearing according to such procedures as it may determine, including but not limited to requiring the submission of additional written and/or oral statements from the student, the instructor, or others. The student and the faculty member may be present; however, attorneys are not permitted and legal rules of evidence do not apply. The student’s academic advisor may assist the student in preparing his/her case and may attend the hearing with the student, but shall not speak on behalf of the student. A student who has a pending academic dishonesty charge will not be allowed to drop the course to avoid the consequences of such a charge, receive transcripts or semester reports, be permitted to register for an ensuing semester, or be allowed to graduate.

A finding that a student is in violation of this academic honesty policy requires a two thirds vote of the members of APC who were present at the hearing. If a violation is not found, the student may continue in the course in which the charges arose or may decide to withdraw from the course, without academic or financial penalty.

Sanctions:
The sanctions for cases of academic dishonesty range from a written warning to dismissal from the College. These sanctions may include one or more of the following or some other sanction determined by the Dean or APC. For minor offenses, sanctions are limited to options 1 or 2 below. Any violation for which the instructor has recommended a sanction other than 1 or 2 below must be referred to APC for resolution.

  1. A written warning.
  2. No credit on the assignment in question.
  3. Disciplinary probation for one or more semesters.
  4. No credit for the course.
  5. Suspension for one or more semesters.
  6. Dismissal from the College.

If a student is found to have committed a second major offense, the student will be dismissed from the College and documentation of both offenses will be kept permanently in the student’s official academic file. If no second major offense occurs, any record of the first offense will be removed from the student’s official file when s/he graduates.

APC will notify the student in writing of its decision in a case, in such form as it may determine. The student may appeal the decision of APC to the President of the College in writing within 10 days of the receipt of the decision of APC. The only permitted grounds for appeal are failure to adhere to the college’s procedures or severity of sanction. The appeal will be decided in such manner as the President shall determine (which shall not require a hearing) by the President or his/her designee, whose decision shall be final.