The Baruch College Faculty Handbook

Academic Integrity

Last updated on 3/18/2003

Baruch College's Faculty Guide to Student Academic Integrity was written by a faculty task force in 1998, discussed at the Faculty Senate, and approved at a meeting of the General Faculty. All departments have copies of the Guide; the above site includes a link to the Guide in PDF format.

The subject of academic integrity is much in the news. Prof. Don McCabe of Rutgers University, a widely-cited writer on the subject, led a faculty seminar on the subject in November. The Provost has convened a taskforce to examine possible improvements in current procedures and policies and to discuss them with individual departments. In February, some members of the taskforce enrolled in an online workshop on preventing plagiarism hosted by The Center for Intellectual Property in the Digital Environment at University of Maryland University College. A Best Practices in Preventing Academic Dishonesty document was produced by the workshop; it is the property of the Center. (An article on a related subject -- with some useful tips -- "Keeping Plagiarism at Bay in the Internet Age," appeared in the February 2002 issue of the APA Monitor.) Finally, in spring 2003 the college's seminar series Ethics Across and Beyond the Curriculum deals with issues that significantly overlap those alluded to under the Academic Integrity rubric.

Approaches to the issue that may be of interest to Baruch faculty include: a letter to students and a "best practices" document written by Prof. Bill Taylor of Oakton Community College of Des Plaines, Illinois (Prof. Taylor welcomes use of versions of these documents by others, as well as comments); the Multimedia Integrity Teaching Tool; those discussed at the website for the Center for Academic Integrity (CAI) at Duke University. (Baruch College is a member of CAI.); and a draft statement about academic honesty by Paul Arpaia, the Director of the Bernard L. Schwartz Communication Institute, and Alison Lovell, a consultant at the Institute.

Added 3/3/03: Here is a link to The Center for Academic Integrity's brochure, The Fundamental Values of Academic Integrity.

Added 4/24/03: Since Fall 2001, our colleagues at Queens College have experimented with requiring students implicated in acts of academic dishonesty to meet as a group to "encourage discussion of their unethical behavior." The groups have been led by Barbara J. Moore, Assistant Professor of student personnel and a counselor at the Counseling and Advisement Center at Queens College. Her report of last year's discussions was published in About Campus (September/October, 2002) as "Truth or Consequences." (The link is to a typescript; it is distributed with Prof. Moore's permission.)

Baruch College's statement to students on this subject is available from the homepage (see Academic Honesty under "Academics"). A version of that statement, slightly revised for faculty, appears below.

Academic Honesty and Dishonesty at Baruch College

NB: The student version of the following statement is available on the colleges home page at Academic Honesty.

Academic dishonesty is unacceptable and should not be tolerated by faculty or students. Cheating, forgery, plagiarism and collusion in dishonest acts undermine the Colleges educational mission and the students own personal and intellectual growth. Our students are expected to bear individual responsibility for their work and to uphold the ideal of academic integrity. Any student who attempts to compromise or devalue the academic process will be sanctioned.

Definitions of Academic Dishonesty

Cheating is the attempted or unauthorized use of materials, information, notes, study aids, devices or communication during an academic exercise. Examples include:

  • Copying from another student during an examination or allowing another student to copy ones work.
  • Unauthorized collaborating on a take-home assignment or examination.
  • Using unauthorized notes during a closed book examination.
  • Taking an examination for another student.
  • Asking or allowing another student to take an examination for ones self.
  • Changing a corrected exam and returning it for more credit.
  • Submitting substantial portions of the same paper to two classes without consulting the second instructor.
  • Preparing answers or writing notes in a blue book (exam booklet) or on a desk top before an examination.
  • Allowing others to research and write assigned papers, including the use of commercial term paper services.

Plagiarism is the act of presenting another persons ideas, research or writing as ones own:

  • Copying another persons actual words without the use of quotation marks and footnotes.
  • Presenting another persons ideas or theories in ones own words without acknowledging the other person.
  • Using information that is not considered common knowledge without acknowledging the source.
  • Failure to acknowledge collaborators on homework and laboratory assignments.

Obtaining an Unfair Advantage

  • Stealing, reproducing, circulating or otherwise gaining prior access to examination materials.
  • Depriving other students by stealing, destroying, defacing or concealing library materials.
  • Retaining, using or circulating examination materials that clearly indicate that they should be returned at the end of the exam.
  • Intentionally obstructing or interfering with another students work.
  • Engaging in activities that intentionally create an unfair advantage over another students academic work.
Falsification of Records and Official Documents
  • 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.

Collusion: lending assistance or failing to report witnessed acts of academic misconduct.

Due Process and Students Rights

Any charge, accusation or allegation to be presented against a student that, if proved, may subject the student to disciplinary action, must be promptly submitted in writing to the Office of the Dean of Students (646-312-4570; Box B2-255; VC, Room 2-255). Due process begins with student notification and an investigation of the charge. The process ends with either dismissal of the charge or sanctioning. For a detailed description of the steps involved in the adjudication process, please refer to Article 15, Section 15.3 Student Disciplinary Procedures, which appears under Students Rights and Responsibilities in every Baruch College Bulletin (this link is to a PDF file).

Penalties for Academic Dishonesty

Engaging in acts of academic dishonesty can end a students college career and jeopardize future career goals. Baruch College is committed to maintaining an atmosphere of academic integrity. Students should know that faculty and staff follow routine practices that readily detect acts of academic dishonesty: as experts in their field of study, faculty often are familiar with the source of plagiarized material; techniques for detecting cheating are used on blue books and examination papers, especially in large course sections. All alleged cases of academic dishonesty are subject to due process. When misconduct has been proven, the following sanctions are applied. A disciplinary file becomes a part of the students permanent record.

  • Admonition: An oral statement to the offender that he/she has violated University rules.
  • Warning: Notice to the offender, orally or in writing, that continuation or repetition of the wrongful conduct, within a period of time stated in the warning, may cause far more severe disciplinary action.
  • Censure: Written reprimand for violation of specified regulation including the possibility of more severe disciplinary sanction in the event of conviction for the violation of any University regulation within a period stated in the letter of reprimand.
  • Disciplinary Probation: Exclusion from participation in privileges or extracurricular University activities as set forth in the notice of disciplinary probation for a specified period of time.
  • Restitution: Reimbursement for damage to or misappropriation of property. Reimbursement may take the form of appropriate service to repair or otherwise compensate for damages.
  • Suspension: Exclusion from classes and other privileges or activities as set forth in the notice of suspension for a definite period of time.
  • Expulsion: Termination of student status for an indefinite period. The conditions of readmission, if any is permitted, shall be stated in the order of expulsion.
  • Complaint to Civil Authorities
  • Ejection

Academic Dishonesty Occurs

  • Because students are ignorant about the schools policy. Behavior that is considered collaborative in one environment or culture may be considered cheating elsewhere.
  • Because of societal pressure to succeed at any cost. Students focus on grades instead of the learning process.
  • Because of desperation. Poor time management and study skills often lead to lack of preparation for exams and inability to meet deadlines.

Helping Students to Avoid Academic Dishonesty

  • Suggest that students read and familiarize themselves with Article 15, Students Rights and Responsibilities, which appears at the back of every Baruch College Bulletin.
  • Communicate up front. Let your students know where you stand on academic dishonesty. Students should let their study partners know where they stand on academic dishonesty. If they lend term papers, they should be clear that they do not expect their work to be copied. Typists or editors must discuss any changes before making them on students papers.
  • Time Management and Study Skills. Students should allow adequate time for studying and writing papers. Acts of academic dishonesty often are desperate attempts to cover up lack of preparation.
  • Seek Help. If a student is overwhelmed by course content, he/she should visit the professor during office hours to discuss his/her concerns. The student also may attend on-campus workshops on time management and study skills. Information on workshops is available at the Office of Student Life (Newman Vertical Campus, Room 2-210). The SACC Center (Newman Vertical Campus, Room 2-116) offers tutoring in most subjects.
  • Course Withdrawal. If a student is doing poorly in a course or if a crisis has caused the student to fall too far behind, he or she should consider dropping the course within the deadline for receiving a W (see Calendar for precise dates).
  • Reexamine Goals. Students should be sure that the goals they set and follow are their own. They should not be pressured by family and friends into a career that does not make the best use of their abilities. The Counseling Center offers personal and career counseling.
  • Make Cheating More Difficult. Seating students apart from each other, creating several different exams for the same class so that students near each other have different exams, avoiding giving the same exam twicethese and other techniques can discourage academic dishonesty.
  • Reporting Acts of Academic Dishonesty. Students who are dishonest in obtaining their grades may not succeed on the job; employers will come to believe that Baruch students do not have the knowledge/skills to perform their work. If a student observes cheating during an exam, or knows of students who have any unfair advantage, it is his or her obligation to report these occurrences to the Dean of Students. The Deans Office will investigate allegations while maintaining confidentiality. Students should remember that they are the ones most being hurt if these injustices are allowed to continue.

For further information on matters relating to Student Academic Dishonesty and Student Affairs, contact Ron Aaron, Associate Dean of Students at (646) 312-4570, Newman Vertical Campus, Room 2-255.

Acknowledgments: The section on Definitions of Academic Dishonesty is an excerpt from University of Californias web page entitled The Academic Dishonesty Question: A Guide to an Answer through Education, Prevention, Adjudication and Obligation by Prof. Harry Nelson. The sections Academic Dishonesty Occurs and Helping Students to Avoid Academic Dishonesty are adapted from John N. Gardner and Jerome A. Jewler, Your College Experience: Strategies for Success (Wadsworth Publishing, 1995).

Some useful links:
www.plagiarism.org
www.turnitin.com