Policy

I. Preamble:


As a community of scholars, we uphold academic integrity and our Honor Statement as foundational to appropriate conduct within the university setting. The fundamental trust that work presented as one’s own truly represents one’s own intellect and effort underlies our mission as an educational, research and service institution; moreover, this trust is central to our peers’ recognition of the value of a University of Arkansas degree. Thus, this document represents a deeply-and commonly-held set of values. Because this trust is so essential to the enterprise of the University of Arkansas, this policy has been established to set forth the University’s commitment to academic integrity and to create procedures to address allegations of academic misconduct in a fair and unified manner.

Responsibility for understanding and adhering to the values of academic integrity, including being familiar with and complying with this policy, lies with individual students as members of the University community. The University shall assist students in meeting this responsibility through educational efforts such as training held during both undergraduate and graduate new student orientation, and on-line training modules, and may also include training during program-level orientation and in individual classrooms. The University shall also provide a statement on academic integrity that faculty will be encouraged to include in all course syllabi. Again, however, as developing scholars, students must take the initiative to familiarize themselves with and clarify expectations regarding academic integrity.

II. Definitions:


Academic Dishonesty
Academic Honesty Syllabus Statement
Academic Initiatives and Integrity
Academic Integrity Monitor
All-University Academic Integrity Board
Complete Written Record
Faculty Compliance
Jurisdiction
Preponderance of Evidence
Reporting
Sanction Rubric
Student
Work for a Course
Work Outside of a Course
Working Days

Academic Dishonesty:
Academic dishonesty involves acts that may subvert or compromise the integrity of the educational or research process at the University of Arkansas, when such acts have been performed by a UA student. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, any act by which a student gains or attempts to gain an academic advantage for him/herself or another by misrepresenting his/her or another’s work or by interfering with the independent completion, submission, or evaluation of academic work. Academic dishonesty may include those acts defined as research or scholarly misconduct; such academic integrity issues are subject to review under this policy as well as under the University’s Research and Scholarly Misconduct Policy. Which policy applies to particular allegations is addressed in more detail below; if necessary, the Research Integrity Officer, in consultation with the student’s dean, shall determine which policy is most appropriate for a given case.

Academic Honesty Syllabus Statement: Faculty are encouraged to include this statement on their syllabus:

As a core part of its mission, the University of Arkansas provides students with the opportunity to further their educational goals through programs of study and research in an environment that promotes freedom of inquiry and academic responsibility. Accomplishing this mission is only possible when intellectual honesty and individual integrity prevail.

Each University of Arkansas student is required to be familiar with and abide by the University’s ‘Academic Integrity Policy’ which may be found at http://provost.uark.edu/. Students with questions about how these policies apply to a particular course or assignment should immediately contact their instructor.


Academic Initiatives and Integrity (AII):
Housed in the Office of the Provost/Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, this is the University-level Office tasked with processing academic misconduct cases that are sent forward from the colleges. This Office is responsible for reporting back to the academic colleges, the Provost, and the Faculty Senate, consistent with the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), an annual total of cases heard and their outcomes, as well as the general basis for the decisions made. This Office is the repository of all records pertaining to academic integrity cases across campus.

Academic Integrity Monitor: In each college/school, one or more Associate Deans will be designated by the Dean, subject to approval by the Provost, as the Academic Integrity Monitor(s). The Academic Integrity Monitor shall be responsible to conduct an initial review of allegations of academic dishonesty at the college/school level to determine whether there is sufficient evidence of a violation for the matter to be considered by the All-University Academic Integrity Board (Board or AUAIB), as defined below. The Academic Integrity Monitor is the person responsible for determining whether charges will be filed against a student; the Monitor may make such a determination even if the faculty member does not wish to pursue a case. When a student admits responsibility for an infraction, the Academic Integrity Monitor recommends a sanction to the Board, based on the Sanction Rubric. The Academic Integrity Monitor is the School or College’s liaison to the Board, and will have primary responsibility for presenting a case to the Board when necessary.  If the Academic Integrity Monitor determines the evidence is not sufficient for consideration by the Board, the case will be dismissed unless the instructor (with the support of the Chair) appeals the Monitor’s determination to the Board.

All-University Academic Integrity Board (Board or AUAIB): The Board is responsible for reviewing contested allegations of academic dishonesty and contested sanctions referred by the Academic Integrity Monitor. The Board is responsible for making sure that any finding of responsibility for academic misconduct is supported by a preponderance of the evidence and for imposing sanctions consistent with the Sanction Rubric when a student is found responsible for a violation. The Board is responsible for ensuring that academic integrity sanctions are applied in a consistent manner. Ordinarily, in making its determinations, the Board will not take student intent into account, but instead will focus primarily on the actions of those involved. The Board reviews and makes a determination on all cases in which 1) students are contesting their responsibility (or instructors, with the support of the Department chair, are contesting findings that students are not responsible) for alleged infractions or 2) students are contesting sanctions. In addition, in cases where the student accepts responsibility and does not contest sanctions, the Board reviews sanctions recommended by the Academic Integrity Monitor and imposes sanctions consistent with the Sanctions Rubric. When reviewing cases, the Board may request further information and require participation in a hearing by the instructor and/or students (if deemed appropriate by the Board).

The Board is composed of seven faculty or instructional staff (one from each undergraduate academic college), one faculty representative of the library, one representative of the Graduate School, and two students (one graduate and one undergraduate). In order to facilitate timely review of cases, there will be two such committees constituted each year and each of these committees will meet one time per month. The committees will elect their own chair. The Director of AII will be an ex officio member of the AUAIB. (Note: The School of Law has its own academic integrity process.) There will also be a pool of trained alternates who can serve on the Board in the event that a member is unable to attend a hearing due to a schedule conflict, illness, conflict of interest, or the like. A third committee, which may be comprised of members of the other two committees, will meet during the summer. Ordinarily, board hearings should consist of at least seven (7) faculty (at least one of which has graduate faculty status) and two (2) students.

Complete Written Record: The complete written record for each case refers to all relevant documents submitted by the student as well as a University representative as evidence related to the allegations of academic dishonesty. The complete written record is initially compiled by the Academic Integrity Monitor but subsequently is forwarded to and maintained by, and may be added to, by Academic Initiatives and Integrity.

Faculty Compliance:
As the Academic Integrity Policy and Sanction Rubric are faculty-approved University policies, it is expected that all University faculty will comply. If faculty impose sanctions for academic dishonesty without following this policy, the student’s grade will be overturned upon appeal and returned to the grade the student would have received without the sanction.

Jurisdiction: The Academic Integrity Monitor is responsible for the initial review of all undergraduate cases involving work in courses taken in his/her college. The Academic Integrity Monitor is also responsible for initial review of all cases involving allegations of academic dishonesty in other academic work (with the exception of those cases reviewed under the Research Misconduct Policy), when the faculty member who has oversight responsibility for that student (e.g. major professor, faculty collaborator, honors advisor, advisor) resides within the college. When a student is majoring in a program outside the college in which an academic integrity matter arises, the Academic Integrity Monitor of the other college should be kept informed about the case and its resolution. The Academic Integrity Monitor in the Graduate School is responsible for all cases of alleged academic dishonesty involving graduate students (including, without limitation, all allegations relating to course work or work outside a class), with the exception of those cases that fall under the jurisdiction of the Research Misconduct Policy.

Preponderance of Evidence: The standard of proof in a case arising under the Academic Integrity Policy shall be the “preponderance of the evidence.” A “preponderance of the evidence” shall mean evidence which is of greater weight or more convincing than evidence to the contrary; evidence which shows that something more likely than not is true.

Reporting: Following initial compilation by the Academic Integrity Monitor, all records will be kept in AII. A final report summary for each case will be forwarded to the college Academic Integrity Monitor, to the department chair/head, and to the instructor. Annual summary reports (with no details with respect to specific faculty or students) will be reported to the Colleges and to the Faculty Senate.

Sanction Rubric: The Sanction Rubric sets forth the educational consequences associated with various levels of academic misconduct. The Sanction Rubric is approved by the Faculty Senate and applicable to all student academic work at the University of Arkansas. All sanctions will be imposed by the AUAIB.

Student: An undergraduate student is one who is enrolled at the University of Arkansas during the semester of the alleged infraction in a baccalaureate degree program or in an undergraduate non-degree-seeking status. A graduate student is one who has been admitted to the Graduate School and need not be enrolled to be considered a student under this policy. “Student” includes both undergraduate and graduate students who withdraw or graduate after allegedly violating this policy or who are not enrolled for a particular term but have an apparent continuing relationship with the University at the time of the alleged infraction.

Work for a Course: “Work for a course” consists of any work undertaken or submitted towards the fulfillment of the requirements of a course (whether graded or not), including, but not limited to, exams, quizzes, papers, essays, homework assignments, artwork, designs, programs, and other projects or assignments.

Work Outside of a Course: “Work outside a course” consists of student work, other than work for a course, undertaken or submitted towards the fulfillment of the requirements of a degree or program, including, but not limited to, candidacy or comprehensive exams, dissertations, honors theses, master’s theses, work done for funded research projects, reports submitted to a funding agency or material submitted for publication in a scholarly journal.

Working Days: Working days shall refer to Monday through Friday, excluding official University holidays or days that the University is closed due to exigent circumstances such as weather. For periods of five days or less, University breaks shall also be excluded.

III. Procedures:


A. Infractions Involving Work for a Course at the Undergraduate or Graduate Level

1. Reports of Suspected Academic Dishonesty. When an instructor/department initially suspects that a student has violated the Academic Integrity Policy, the instructor or another appropriate University official may discuss the matter with the student and/or with the Academic Integrity Monitor for the college or school. Should the instructor/department determine that the student may be responsible for academic dishonesty, the instructor or another appropriate University official will, within five working days after determining that there is a potential violation of the Academic Integrity Policy (or as soon as practicable thereafter), report the case to the Academic Integrity Monitor for the college. In reporting the case, the instructor/official will submit a completed “Allegation Evidence Form,” available on the AII website, to help ensure that all information necessary to the consideration of the case is available for review.

2. The Academic Integrity Monitor. The Academic Integrity Monitor will review the case and meet with the instructor to gather any relevant information relating to any alleged violations of the Academic Integrity Policy. The Academic Integrity Monitor shall meet separately with the student to notify the student of the alleged violations of the Academic Integrity Policy, disclose to the student any evidence to be used against him or her, and gather information from the student about the matter. The Monitor will have access to any previous academic integrity-related records for the student from the AII and may review pertinent records or speak with other individuals with knowledge about the matter. Information compiled by the Academic Integrity Monitor may be added to the written record. After conducting this review, the Academic Integrity Monitor may proceed as follows:

a. The Academic Integrity Monitor may determine that the evidence of an alleged violation is insufficient to warrant forwarding the case to the Board. In this case, the Academic Integrity Monitor will notify the instructor/Department and student of his/her determination. The complete written record of the Academic Integrity Monitor’s determination will be forwarded to the AII, and a summary of the matter shall be provided to the AUAIB for its information.

i. If the Instructor, with the support of the Department/program chair/head/director, disagrees with the determination of the Academic Integrity Monitor, the instructor’s position shall be reported to the AUAIB for consideration by the Board.

b. Alternatively, the Academic Integrity Monitor may determine there is sufficient evidence of a violation to forward the matter to the Board for its consideration, in which case the following may occur:

i. The student accepts responsibility for the infraction: In this case, the Academic Integrity Monitor shall inform the student of the potential consequences of the alleged violation(s). The Academic Integrity Monitor completes the file and recommends the appropriate sanction for consideration by the AUAIB consistent with the Sanction Rubric, makes a record of the case that is forwarded to the AII and AUAIB, and reports back to the Department/program and instructor.

ii. The student contests responsibility for the infraction: In this case, the Academic Integrity Monitor will forward the case together with the evidence to AII and AUAIB. Within five working days from receipt of the Allegation Evidence Form (or as soon thereafter as practicable), a representative from AII will contact the student and arrange a meeting during which the process and possible outcomes are explained to the student. As part of the complete written record, the student will be provided with an opportunity to submit a written statement responding to the allegations and explaining why he/she did not commit the alleged infraction. Ordinarily, the student will not provide a statement pertaining to intent, unless it materially affects the question of whether the student committed a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy.

iii. The student contests the sanctions: If the student 1) accepts responsibility but disagrees with the Academic Integrity Monitor’s sanction recommendation, or 2) contests responsibility and sanctions, the student will be provided an opportunity to submit a written statement explaining the student’s position on sanctions and proposing alternatives. If the proposed sanction is based on the sanction rubric, the statement must address how the rubric has been applied incorrectly in the student’s case.

3. Standard of Evidence. The standard used in reviewing whether a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy has occurred under this policy shall be the preponderance of the evidence.

4. Continued Participation. To the extent practical, during the consideration of a case, the student’s participation in the affected class should continue in order to minimize the impact on the student if he or she is determined to be not responsible for an alleged infraction. A student is allowed to drop the affected class only in the case of a Level 1 violation, the student does not have any previous academic integrity violations[, and the drop occurs before the applicable class drop/withdrawal deadline for the semester].

B. Infractions Involving Work Outside a Course at the Undergraduate or Graduate Level

Cases of alleged academic misconduct occurring outside a course, as defined previously, may be subject to review under this policy as well as under the University’s Research and Scholarly Misconduct Policy. Which policy applies to particular allegations is determined by the Research Integrity Officer and the student’s dean. Except when a matter is determined to be properly considered under the Research and Scholarly Misconduct Policy, rather than this policy, when a supervising faculty member or other appropriate University official determines that a student may be responsible for academic dishonesty in a situation involving work outside a course, the procedures outlined in this policy shall be followed.

C. The All-University Academic Integrity Board

1. Based on the record filed, including the Allegation Evidence Form, the AUAIB shall determine responsibility (if necessary) and impose the appropriate sanction. In addition, with notice to the student, the Board may request additional evidence, require students, the instructor, or other appropriate University officials to be present at a hearing and/or refer the matter back to the Academic Integrity Monitor for further consideration. Ordinarily, a student will meet with the Board only if the Board so requests it, having already met with the Academic Integrity Monitor and provided his/her written statement for the Board. However, if the student is facing a possible sanction of suspension or expulsion, or loss of a scholarship because the conditions of the scholarship specify certain ethical conduct , he/she shall be permitted to meet with the Board and present witnesses and evidence, if the student desires. If a student is not facing possible suspension, expulsion or loss of a scholarship, and the student requests a meeting, the Board shall designate one of its members to meet with the student prior to the Board’s consideration of the case. If a member meets with the student, the member shall participate in the Board’s consideration of the alleged infractions. Similarly, a faculty member who disagrees with the recommendation of the Academic Integrity Monitor may request a meeting with a member of the board. Again, that Board member shall participate in the Board’s consideration of the alleged infractions.

2. In the case where a student and the instructor or other University official reporting the alleged infraction are requested to appear at a Board hearing, each must have at least ten working days’ notice of the hearing, unless both agree to waive this requirement. If any material is added to the Complete Written Record, the student shall have at least three business days prior to the Board hearing to review the information. The student, the instructor or other appropriate University official, and the Academic Integrity Monitor for the case, who will have primary responsibility to present the infractions, will attend the Board meeting. Generally these individuals will be the only persons in attendance, other than the Board and AII staff. The Board may question any of these individuals. The instructor will not ordinarily be asked to make a statement, but may be asked questions by the Board. The Board shall review the complete record of the case to determine whether a preponderance of the evidence exists to find a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy and if so, impose a sanction consistent with the Rubric. Because the focus of the hearing is generally not on intent, other witnesses will typically not be called unless the Board determines that the witnesses can address whether the student committed the alleged infraction.

3. When sanctions are imposed, the letter outlining the sanctions will be signed by the Chair on behalf of the Board and by the Director of AII and sent to the student and the instructor, with a copy to the Academic Integrity Monitor. The Board shall also require that the student undergo educational remediation.

D. Appeals

Students (or the instructor, with the support of the Department Chair) may appeal a determination by the AUAIB to the Provost and Chancellor, but only when the appeals are based on the following grounds: (1) a procedural error occurred; (2) an objective assessment of the evidence under the preponderance of evidence standard does not support a finding of responsibility, (3) new and significant evidence has been identified after the Board hearing and the evidence was unavailable or could not have been obtained prior to the Board hearing; (4) the sanctions are inconsistent with the Sanction Rubric; or (5) that additional sanctions imposed are excessive. To effect an appeal, the student (or instructor/department), within five working days of transmittal of the decision of the AUAIB to the student (or instructor/department), shall request that the Provost and Chancellor review the case, using the appeal form provided by Academic Initiatives and Integrity. The transmittal of the decision by the AUAIB shall expressly state that the student (or instructor/department) shall have five days to appeal the decision. The Provost and Chancellor shall attempt to review and resolve all appeals within thirty days or as soon as possible thereafter after receiving the appeal. If the Provost and Chancellor determine that a procedural error occurred, that an objective assessment of the evidence does not support a finding of responsibility, that new evidence warrants a rehearing, that an inconsistency in the application of a sanction has occurred, or that additional sanctions are excessive in nature, the Provost and Chancellor may decide the matter or may refer the case back to the same or to another AUAIB for further action. If a new hearing is held, the case may be appealed to the Provost and Chancellor using the procedure outlined above, in which case their determination on the matter shall be final.

E. Procedural Changes

Particular circumstances in an individual case may dictate variation from the procedures set out in this policy in order to ensure fair and efficient consideration of the matter. Any change in the procedures must ensure fair treatment of the student. Any major deviations from the procedures described in this policy shall be made only with the written approval of the Provost.