Grievances Related to Academic Integrity

I. Introduction

As a student at Maryville University, you will find yourself on a campus where students, faculty and staff respect each other and have committed themselves to creating a community of learners who trust one another and act responsibly in the pursuit of knowledge. All members of the Maryville community, including students, are expected to be honest, to do their own work, to respect the work of others, and to acknowledge information received from other sources.

As part of our commitment to honesty and responsible action, all members of the University community (students, faculty and staff) share the responsibility to challenge and report acts of apparent academic dishonesty. Faculty and staff have the responsibility to deal equitably but firmly with reports of dishonesty supported by evidence.

Because Maryville values academic integrity both in the character of our students and in the reputation of the University, all instances of academic dishonesty are addressed with consequences. The consequences may range from a failing grade on a test or an assignment to suspension or expulsion from the University.

Freedom to teach and freedom to learn are inseparable facets of academia. All members of the University community share the responsibility to uphold the integrity of the academic community. Faculty members should encourage free discussion, inquiry and expression, and students are responsible for maintaining the standards of academic performance established for each course in which they are enrolled. Allegations of academic dishonesty will be resolved through the grievance procedures set out in this section.

II. Acts Constituting Academic Dishonesty

Although the following is not an exhaustive list, it describes some types of dishonest work:

  • Plagiarism; presenting the words or ideas of someone else (including text from any web pages) as one’s own in papers or assignments
  • Submitting a paper or assignment that contains ideas or research of others without appropriately identifying the sources of those ideas
  • Submitting someone else’s work as your own work; submitting a paper or assignment as one’s own work when a part or all of the paper or assignment is the work of another
  • Obtaining a paper from the Internet and submitting it as one’s own work
  • Turning in a paper that has been purchased from a commercial research firm
  • Submitting work previously presented in another course
  • Giving or receiving answers by use of signals, notes, or technological devices during an exam
  • Copying with or without the other person’s knowledge during an exam
  • Obtaining a copy of a test in advance of its scheduled administration
  • Using notes during an exam
  • Collaborating with other students on assignments when collaboration is not allowed (including on-line exams or assignments)
  • Altering answers on a graded test and submitting it to be re-graded
  • Destroying or stealing the work of other students
  • Falsification or invention of any information or citation in a paper, lab, or assignment
  • Intentionally or knowingly helping or attempting to help another person cheat or plagiarize
  • Doing assignments for someone else
  • Accessing and altering records in a grade book
  • Misrepresentation of circumstances surrounding academic work, assignments, or attendance.

III. Academic Integrity Process

A. Initial Steps
An initial complaint of a student or faculty member regarding academic integrity should be addressed at a fact-finding meeting between the two parties at which the perceived problem should be presented by the student or faculty member to the alleged offender. If this conversation results in a case of academic dishonesty being documented, faculty members will forward a “Confidential Report of Academic Dishonesty” to the student’s academic advisor, the student’s Academic Dean and/or Program Director, the Registrar, the Academic Dean for the course, and the Dean of Student Life. This report will be kept in the student’s advising file, permanent academic file, and permanent student life file.

Consequences imposed by the faculty member may include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following:

  • A failing grade on the particular assignment, paper or test
  • A lower grade in the course
  • A failing grade in the course
  • Removal of the student from the course in progress
  • Disciplinary probation requiring the development of a behavioral contract monitored by the Center for Academic Success and First Year Experience.

Further disciplinary action may be taken by the Academic Unit or by the University, including but not limited to:

  • Dismissal from an academic program
  • Suspension or expulsion from the University.

For repeated instances of academic dishonesty, the student’s advisor, in consultation with the student’s Academic Dean will determine the appropriate consequences.

After the student’s Dean receives the “Confidential Report of Academic Dishonesty,” the Academic Dean for the course will send a letter to the student, notifying the student of the consequences of this particular case of academic dishonesty and reminding the student that any future cases of academic dishonesty may result in more serious consequences. The Dean will also remind the student about the Informal Grievance Process should the student wish to pursue the matter further.

IV. Informal Grievance Process

If the allegation of academic dishonesty is not resolved in the initial meetings with the faculty member and/or academic administrator as defined by the school/college, the student against whom the allegation of dishonesty has been made or the faculty member concerned should request, in writing, a meeting with the Academic Dean of the course to review the decision. With this request, the student or faculty member should provide documentation to support the request. The Academic Dean will schedule a meeting within ten (10) business days with the student and/or the faculty member, as appropriate. The Academic Dean will then summarize the outcome of this meeting in a letter to the student and faculty member as soon as is practical noting the Formal Grievance Process as the next step, if necessary.

V. Formal Grievance Process

If the grievance of a student or faculty member has not been resolved by the informal process, the affected party within ten (10) days of the meeting with the Academic Dean (noted above) should submit a written request for action, containing all pertinent documents and other information regarding the complaint, to the Vice President of Academic Affairs for referral to the Student/Faculty Hearing Board. A hearing, to be held within ten (10) business days of receipt of the written request and receipt of all pertinent documentation, shall review the grievance together with any witnesses and documents the student, faculty member or Student/Faculty Hearing Board requests to be reviewed. All documents presented at the hearing will be filed in the office of the Vice President of Academic Affairs. The decision of the Student/Faculty Hearing Board shall be final.