Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Message Archive

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

 

Dear Colleagues,

 Please consider including on your syllabi an academic integrity statement such as one of those below. Our students have come to anticipate such statements and to expect members of the faculty to reinforce these values in discussion and in practice on assignments and during exams. Members of the faculty (and students) interested in joining Baruch College's Committee on Academic Integrity should let me know.

 Statements can be as simple or elaborate as you wish, but please include whatever academic sanctions you plan to impose for violations. Any of the three sample statements below may be cut and pasted, or revised, or can serve to inspire your own. Also included are working definitions of plagiarism. Providing such definitions (feel free to devise your own) helps to inform students and to protect faculty members. Directing students to the online plagiarism tutorial (cited in the Statement #3 below) also can be very beneficial. The items below conclude with some links to other resources and sample syllabi.

 Statement #1

 I fully support Baruch College's policy on Academic Honesty [or the Department of X fully supports...], which states, in part:

 "Academic dishonesty is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Cheating, forgery, plagiarism and collusion in dishonest acts undermine the college's educational mission and the students' personal and intellectual growth. Baruch students are expected to bear individual responsibility for their work, to learn the rules and definitions that underlie the practice of academic integrity, and to uphold its ideals. Ignorance of the rules is not an acceptable excuse for disobeying them. Any student who attempts to compromise or devalue the academic process will be sanctioned. "

 Academic sanctions in this class will range from an F on the assignment to an F in this course.  [Note to faculty members: academic sanctions are at your discretion. Please note that in light of CUNY policies that permit students to retake and expunge from their GPA several courses they have failed, some members of the faculty prefer to award a grade of D.]A report of suspected academic dishonesty will be sent to the Office of the Dean of Students. Additional information and definitions can be found at  http://www.baruch.cuny.edu/academic/academic_honesty.html

 Statement #2

 Cheating and plagiarism are serious offenses.  The following definitions are based on the College's Academic Honesty website:

 Cheating is the attempted or unauthorized use of materials, information, notes, study aids, devices or communication during an academic exercise. Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Copying from another student during an examination or allowing another to copy your work
  • Unauthorized collaborating on a take home assignment or examination
  • Using unauthorized notes during a closed book examination
  • Using unauthorized electronic devices during an examination
  • Taking an examination for another student
  • Asking or allowing another student to take an examination for you
  • 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) 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 person's ideas, research or writing as your own, such as:

  • Copying another person's actual words without the use of quotation marks and footnotes (a functional limit is four or more words taken from the work of another)
  • Presenting another person's ideas or theories in your own words without acknowledging them
  • Using information that is not considered common knowledge without acknowledging the source
  • Failure to acknowledge collaborators on homework and laboratory assignment

 My policy is to give a failing grade[or insert the academic sanction you prefer] to any assignment that has been plagiarized or an exam in which you have cheated. [Again: academic sanctions are at the discretion of the faculty member, up to an F for the course.]In addition, I am required by College policy to submit a report of suspected academic dishonesty to the Office of the Dean of Students. This report becomes part of your permanent file. 

 Statement #3

 Learning involves the pursuit of truth, which cannot be pursued by presenting someone else’s work as your own. By following the procedure outlined below, you will establish a basis of trust that will remain unless you provide reason to suspect it has been violated.

 1.     Visit the college’s homepage and look under Students à Resources and Information à Academic Honesty.

2.     Go to that web page:  http://www.baruch.cuny.edu/academic/academic_honesty.html

3.     Read the material it contains.

4.     Send me an email (or bring a signed statement to class) truthfully stating that you have read the web page, understood it, and that you agree to act according to the principles it expresses.

 For further discussion of plagiarism and clarification of its parameters, see the online plagiarism tutorial prepared by members of the Newman Library faculty at http://newman.baruch.cuny.edu/help/plagiarism/default.htm. If questions remain, ask me. Ignorance is not an acceptable excuse for unacceptable practices. For the record, if you violate the precepts of academic integrity you will receive a zero for the assignment [or insert the academic sanction you prefer] and your name will be forwarded to the Office of the Dean of Students, where a notation will become part of your file at Baruch.

 

NOTES

If you prefer to refer students to an information source about plagiarism that is not online, the college's writing handbook should be useful -- all undergraduates who entered as freshmen should own one of the three handbooks we have used since 2002:

  • Fowler and Aaron, The Essential Little, Brown Handbook, pp. 150-56
  • Fowler and Aaron, The Little, Brown Handbook, pp. 629-38
  • Raimes, Keys for Writers, 3rd edition, pp. 104-112; 4th edition, pp. 116-128

 

Students are entitled to due process but cases very rarely move as far as a hearing. The process usually unfolds quickly once you have reported the incident to Ron Aaron (646-312-4577). Two important functions of reporting are: 1) to educate the student; and 2) to track whether incidents involving the student have been reported before. The reporting form is available online at...

http://www.baruch.cuny.edu/facultyhandbook/documents/FacultyReportForm.doc

 

A Definition of Plagiarism

 Plagiarism means passing off the work of others as your own. The "work of others" means other people's words and/or ideas. "Passing off...as your own" means including that work in your assignment without adequate citation. Therefore, a slightly longer definition would be "Plagiarism means including in your assignment other people's words and/or ideas without citing them correctly." Here are some hints about citation: When you include the actual words of others, be they from a printed source, from the web, or from a live presentation, they must appear within quotation marks and you must indicate from where and from whom the words came. Otherwise you are plagiarizing. When you include another person's ideas, you must indicate where you found those ideas, even when you are paraphrasing them. Following someone else's sequence of ideas, even if you paraphrase them, also is plagiarism. (An example would be paraphrasing a paragraph from someone else's work, sentence by sentence, even if you include a citation of that author.) If you have any questions about these definitions, please discuss them with me. You can also refer to Baruch's online plagiarism tutorial http://newman.baruch.cuny.edu/help/plagiarism/default.htm or to Ann Raimes, Keys for Writers (4th ed., pp. 116-128; 3rd ed., pp. 104-112), or Fowler and Aaron, The Little, Brown Handbook(pp. 629-38) or The Essential Little, Brown Handbook (pp. 150-56), where you can also read about correct styles of citation.

 

Other Statements, Sources, Resources

- Several other statements/approaches may be found at...

http://www.baruch.cuny.edu/facultyhandbook/Academic_Integrity_Related/Academic_Integrity_Syllabus.doc

 

- Students may also be directed to the Student Guide to Academic Integrity at Baruch, available at...

http://www.baruch.cuny.edu/facultyhandbook/documents/StudentGuidePDF.pdf

 

- Please feel free to peruse our academic integrity summary for faculty...

http://www.baruch.cuny.edu/facultyhandbook/documents/Ac_Integr_Summary_Fall_07.htm

 

- Baruch College's Academic Integrity website...

http://www.baruch.cuny.edu/facultyhandbook/AcademicIntegrity.htm

 

- The college subscribes to the online plagiarism-detecting resource, Turnitin.com. To learn about its use and to get a password, please contact Prof. Gerard Dalgish (English) at Gerard.dalgish@baruch.cuny.edu

 

Finally, as suggested above, while a syllabus item can be very helpful, the importance of actually talking about the meaning and significance of integrity within the academic environment can't be overstated. That importance, of course, extends beyond student practice to include faculty and administrative practices as well. Devising exams that are at the appropriate level of difficulty, grading them and other assignments fairly and promptly, and turning in final grades on time are issues of academic integrity.

 Your suggestions and comments are welcome.

 

Dennis Slavin

Associate Provost and Assistant Vice President

Baruch College, CUNY

646-660-6504 (phone); 646-660-6531 (fax)

Dennis.Slavin@baruch.cuny.edu

http://www.baruch.cuny.edu/provost/teaching_learning.htm