Academic integrity is fundamental to an educational community and students have a responsibility to uphold that integrity. Academic dishonesty, a corrosive force in the academic life of any university, jeopardizes the quality of education and depreciates the genuine achievements of others.
The UMS Conduct Code, revised in May 2012, defines cheating as “the act or attempted act of deception by which a student seeks to misrepresent that he/she has mastered information on an academic exercise that he/she has not mastered.” Examples include but are not limited to:
- Using of books, notes, calculators, conversations with others, etc. to complete a test or other assignment when such use is prohibited.
- Having other people conduct research or work for the student without advance authorization from the instructor. This includes the services of term paper companies (e.g. downloading a paper in whole or in part from the Internet).
- Reusing previously submitted work in whole or in part for credit or honors without authorization from the instructor.
- Copying from another student’s test paper.
- Allowing another student to copy from a test paper.
- Using or possessing specifically prepared materials during a test (e.g. notes, formula lists, notes written on the student’s clothing, etc.) when such materials have not been authorized.
The UMS Conduct Code, revised in May 2012, defines fabrication as “the use of invented information or the falsification of research or other findings in an academic exercise.” Examples include but are not limited to:
- Altering and resubmitting returned academic work without notice to the instructor.
- Citing information not taken from the source indicated. This may include the intentional incorrect documentation of secondary source materials.
- Listing sources in a bibliography not used in the academic exercise.
- Submitting in a paper, thesis, lab report or other academic exercise falsified, invented or fictitious data or evidence, or deliberate and knowing concealment or distortion of the true nature, origin or function of such data or evidence.
- Submitting as your own any academic exercises (e.g. written work, printing, sculpture, etc.) prepared totally or in part by another.
Intentionally or knowingly helping or attempting to help another commit an act of academic dishonesty.
The UMS Conduct Code, revised in May 2012, defines plagiarism as “the submission of another’s work as one’s own, without adequate attribution.” When a student submits work for credit that includes the words, ideas or data of others, the source of the information must be acknowledged through complete, accurate and specific references, and, if verbatim statements are included, through quotation marks or indentation as appropriate. By placing his/her name on work submitted for credit, the student certifies the originality of all work not otherwise identified by appropriate acknowledgements. Plagiarism covers unpublished as well as published sources. Examples of plagiarism include, but are not limited to:
- Quoting another person’s actual words, complete sentences or paragraphs, or entire pieces of written work without acknowledgement of the original source.
- Using another person’s idea, opinion or theory even if it is completely paraphrased in one’s own words without acknowledgement of the source.
- Borrowing facts, statistics or other illustrative materials that are not clearly common knowledge without acknowledgement of the source.
- Copying another student’s essay test answers as one’s own.
- Copying, or allowing another student to copy, a computer file that contains another student’s assignment, and submitting it¸ in part or in its entirety, as one’s own.
- When working with others on an assignment, submitting individual copies of the assignment as one’s own individual work.
Material borrowed from any source, including the Internet, must be acknowledged. Students are urged to consult with individual faculty members¸ divisions or recognized published guidelines in their field for appropriate formatting of the following:
Direct Quotation — Every direct quotation must be identified by quotation marks or appropriate indentation and must be promptly cited using appropriate referencing protocols as specified by the instructor or the discipline of the course.
Paraphrase — Prompt acknowledgment is required when material from another source is paraphrased or summarized, in whole or in part.
“Borrowed” Facts or Information — Information obtained in one’s reading or research that is not common knowledge among students in the course must be acknowledged as specified by the instructor or the discipline of the course.
Academic misconduct includes other academically dishonest acts such as tampering with grades or taking part in obtaining or distributing any part of an unadministered test. Examples include but are not limited to:
- Stealing, buying or otherwise obtaining all or part of an unadministered test.
- Selling or giving away all or part of an unadministered test including answers to an unadministered test.
- Bribing any other person to obtain an unadministered test or any information about the test.
- Entering a building or office for the purpose of obtaining an unadministered test.
- Continuing to work on an examination or project after the specified time has elapsed.
- Entering a building or office for the purpose of changing a grade in a grade book, on a test, or on other work for which a grade is given.
- Changing, altering, or being an accessory to the changing and/or altering of a grade in a grade book, on a test, a “change of grade” form, or other official academic records of the University that relate to grades.
- Submitting any academic accomplishment in whole or in part for credit more than once whether in the same course or in different courses without prior consent of the instructors.
- The faculty member will inform the student in private of the specific charge and the aspect of academic integrity that is alleged to have been violated. The student may explain the circumstances and attempt to justify the action if the the student so chooses. The charge may be dropped if an explanation by the student is accepted as being adequate.
- If the faculty member chooses to continue the complaint, the faculty member will impose a penalty up to and including a grade of F in the course. The faculty member will notify the student in writing of the charge and the penalty to be imposed. All violations of this Academic Integrity Code are deemed to be violations of the Student Conduct Code and will be treated as such.
- The faculty member will send copies of the charge letter to the Vice President of Academic Affairs and the Student Conduct Officer for placement in the student’s files.
- If the Vice President of Academic Affairs finds there is evidence of multiple or grievous violation(s) of academic integrity by the student, the complaint will be referred to the Student Conduct Committee for appropriate action.
a. The Conduct Officer will investigate the alleged violation and the Student Conduct Committee will adjudicate the case. The student will be notified in writing of the alleged charges and asked to meet with the Student Conduct Committee to present his or her side of the case.
b. The student will be notified in writing of the outcome of the hearing.
c. If the student accepts the charge and the penalty imposed by the Student Conduct Committee, the case is closed. The student may elect to appeal the charge and/or the penalty imposed by the Student Conduct Committee. Students have seven (7) calendar days to submit a letter of appeal to the President of the University or to the President’s designee.
d. The decision of the President of the University or the President’s designee shall be final.
The following is a list of possible sanctions that may be imposed upon students. This list shall not be taken to be exhaustive and may be modified or enlarged to meet particular circumstances in any given situation. A combination of two or more of these sanctions may be imposed when justified by the type of violation.
- Dismissal from the University. Severance of the student’s relationship with the University of Maine at Machias for a minimum of five years with readmission possible only in accordance with the appeal process of the Student Judicial Procedures of the University of Maine at Machias.
- Probationary status with threat of dismissal from the University. The period of probation to be specified for the particular situation; normally for no more than one academic year.
- Suspension from the University for a stated period of time up to one academic year, during which time the student will not be allowed to take any courses as a degree candidate at the University of Maine at Machias.
- Probationary status with threat of suspension from the University. Notification that further violations of academic integrity may result in suspension from the university. The period of probation to be specified for the particular situation; normally for no more than one academic year.
- Loss of some or all the benefits of programs, scholarships and other opportunities normally afforded students as support and recognition for superior academic achievement. This would not include any need-based federal financial aid programs.
- Academic conduct probation for a stated period of time, normally for no more than one academic year, during which time any further violation of academic integrity will constitute grounds for more severe sanctions.
- Probation may include loss of one or more privileges such as representing the University in an intercollegiate event or contest, participation in extracurricular activities or appointment to any University committee.
- Restitution for damages done to any library materials, computer files or labs. (Damaging material may also subject the student to civil or criminal penalties.)
- Completion of an assignment to work a specified number of hours at a designated community service activity.
Any sanction for violation of the University of Maine System Conduct Code will be noted in the student’s file in the Office of Student Life.
The Office of Student Life serves as the repository for all records of violations of the Student Conduct Code. Such records are normally destroyed three years after a student’s separation from the institution, except records pertaining to cases resulting in suspension or dismissal, which are held in perpetuity.
All violations of the Academic Integrity Code are deemed to be violations of the Student Conduct Code and will be treated as such.
Sources: This policy was adapted from the “Academic Honesty & Dishonesty” brochure prepared by the University of Maine, the “USM Guide to Academic Integrity” brochure prepared by the University of Southern Maine, the University of Georgia website on Academic Dishonesty and the University of Maryland at College Park’s “Code of Academic Integrity.”