Revised May 5, 2009
THE UNCW STUDENT ACADEMIC HONOR CODE
I. The UNCW Student Academic Honor Code
II. The UNCW Honor Pledge
III. Guidelines in Support of the Honor Code
A. Academic Dishonesty Offenses
B. Responsibility of the University Community
1. General Responsibility
2. Student Responsibility
3. Responsibility of Individual Instructors
4. Responsibility of Academic Affairs
5. Responsibility of the Office of the Dean of
C. Reporting and Adjudication Procedures
D. Withdrawals and Repeats
I. THE UNCW STUDENT ACADEMIC HONOR CODE
The University of North Carolina Wilmington is a community of high academic standards where academic integrity is valued. UNCW students are committed to honesty and truthfulness in academic inquiry and in the pursuit of knowledge. This commitment begins when new students matriculate at UNCW, continues as they create work of the highest quality while part of the university community, and endures as a core value throughout their lives.
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II. THE UNCW HONOR PLEDGE
All students enrolled at UNCW are subject to the UNCW Student Academic Honor Code (hereafter referred to as the Honor Code), which is intended to help every member of the UNCW community appreciate the high value placed on academic integrity and the means that will be employed to ensure its preservation. Students are expected to perpetuate a campus culture where each student does his or her own work while relying on appropriate resources for assistance. In such a climate students enjoy a special trust that they are members of a unique community where one’s thoughts and words are attributed correctly and with proper ownership, and where there is little need for systems to sanction those who cheat. As such, all UNCW students shall commit to the principles and spirit of the Honor Code by adhering to the following pledge:
“As a student at The University of North Carolina Wilmington, I am committed to honesty and truthfulness in academic inquiry and in the pursuit of knowledge. I pledge to uphold and promote the UNCW Student Academic Honor Code.”
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III. GUIDELINES IN SUPPORT OF THE HONOR CODE
Disciplinary action will ensue when students fail to align themselves with the ideals and expectations outlined in the Honor Code. The following guidelines are designed to educate students about the types of academic dishonesty, the roles that the university community has in upholding the Honor Code, the procedures used to report and adjudicate alleged offenses, and the limitations on withdrawals and repeating courses in the event of academic dishonesty. Because the university takes a holistic approach to addressing student misconduct, both of an academic and non-academic nature, incidents involving students with prior findings of responsibility for academic dishonesty or serious non-academic misconduct (typically denoted by the status of “disciplinary probation”) will be referred to the Academic Honor Board.
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A. ACADEMIC DISHONESTY OFFENSES
No form of academic dishonesty is tolerated in our community. Academic dishonesty is broadly defined as attaining academic goals by deception, and includes but is not limited to attempted or completed offenses as follows:
Cheating is deception implying that work in fulfillment of course or degree requirements represents a student’s own level of knowledge when it actually does not. Common examples of cheating include:
a. Any conduct during a program, course, quiz or examination which involves the unauthorized use of written or oral information, or information obtained by any other means of communication. Students are expected to consult with their instructors for clarification on whether assignments may be conducted jointly with other students, and whether they may submit a paper previously written and submitted as work in another class. In the absence of approval for joint work, the expectation is that students will conduct their own work and research both outside and within the classroom environment (not including authorized assistance and sanctioned university resources such as the University Learning Center).
b. The unauthorized acquisition, buying, selling, trading or theft of any examination, quiz, term paper or project.
c. The unauthorized use of any electronic or mechanical device during any program, course, quiz or examination, or in connection with laboratory reports or other materials related to academic performance.
d. The unauthorized use of laboratory reports, term reports, theses, or written materials in whole or in part.
e. The unauthorized assistance or collaboration on any test, assignment, or project.
f. The unauthorized use by a student of another person’s work, or the falsification of any other person’s work, or writing another person’s work for them to submit.
g. Bribery, including but not limited to the offering, giving, receiving or soliciting of any consideration in order to obtain a grade or other treatment not otherwise earned by the student through his/her own academic performance.
h. Any form of lying or furnishing false information to a professor, administrator or staff member acting in performance of their duties (including taking an exam for another student).
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Plagiarism is the copying of language, phrasing, structure, or specific ideas of another and presenting any of these as one’s own work, including information found on the Internet. Common examples of plagiarism include but are not limited to:
a. Reproducing someone else’s work without quotation marks or proper attribution and submitting it as your own.
b. Paraphrasing or summarizing another’s work without attribution or acknowledgement of the source and submitting it as your own.
c. Deliberate attribution to a source from which the referenced material was not in fact derived.
d. Failing to cite a source for ideas or information.
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B. RESPONSIBILITY OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMUNITY
1. GENERAL RESPONSIBILITY
It is the responsibility of every faculty member, student, administrator and staff member of the university community to uphold and maintain the highest academic standards and integrity of the university. Any member of the university community who has reasonable grounds to believe that an infraction of the Honor Code has occurred has an obligation to report the alleged violation to the faculty member teaching the class who, in turn, must report the allegation to the Office of the Dean of Students. This obligation is a core value of the Honor Code, and must be fulfilled by each and every member of the university.
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2. STUDENT RESPONSIBILITY
UNCW students affirm their adherence to the Honor Code by signing an Honor Pledge after enrolling at the university; thereafter, each student must conform to the Honor Code at all times. The absence of signing the pledge does not excuse students from their obligation to read, practice and be held accountable to the rules and spirit of the Honor Code. Students who observe or suspect an Honor Code violation are to notify the instructor in whose course the alleged infraction occurred.
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3. RESPONSIBILITY OF INDIVIDUAL INSTRUCTORS
Instructors should remind their students of the Honor Code during the first week of classes and include Section I of the Honor Code and the Honor Pledge in their syllabi. In addition to discussing the Honor Code with students, instructors should clarify whether and to what degree students are permitted to collaborate on assignments; use laptops, cell phones, and other electronic media in class; and submit papers that they have submitted or intend to submit for another course. While all students are bound by the Honor Code through either a signed pledge or by virtue of enrollment at UNCW, instructors have the option of including the Honor Pledge on examinations and requiring students to include a signed pledge with submitted work. Each instructor is obligated to report allegations of academic dishonesty, upon discovery, to the Office of the Dean of Students.
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4. RESPONSIBILITY OF ACADEMIC AFFAIRS
The Division of Academic Affairs is responsible for advising all new university faculty and academic administrative staff regarding the Honor Code. The Provost or designee shall have the right to hear an expedited student case as requested by the Office of the Dean of Students, and to hear appeals for students suspended as a result of Honor Code infractions (consistent with procedures outlined in the sections of the Code of Student Life labeled “Appeal of Administrative Action” or “Appeal of a Campus Conduct Board Decision”).
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5. RESPONSIBILITY OF THE OFFICE OF THE DEAN OF STUDENTS
The Office of the Dean of Students is responsible for overall education of the university community on the Honor Code; for advising all current university faculty, administrative staff, personnel and students of the Honor Code; and for collecting signed Honor Pledges. In consultation with the Faculty Senate, the Office of the Dean of Students will see that the Honor Code and any amendments or changes approved by the Faculty Senate and the UNCW administration are published and promulgated annually. The Office of the Dean of Students shall also receive and maintain comprehensive records of all matters relating to violations of the Honor Code; therefore, faculty must consult with the Office of the Dean of Students upon making or receiving a complaint of any Honor Code infraction.
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C. REPORTING AND ADJUDICATION PROCEDURES
1. A suspected infraction of the Honor Code shall be reported, preferably in writing, to the instructor of the course in which it occurred. Such a report shall be made within five business days from the time of discovery, unless extenuating circumstances prevent reporting.
2. A suspected infraction of the Honor Code may be reported by:
a. the student committing the infraction; or
b. any member of the university community observing the alleged infraction; or
c. any individual who has credible and reliable information that an infraction may have occurred.
3. Upon receiving a report of an alleged Honor Code infraction, the instructor shall consult with the Office of the Dean of Students to discuss appropriate procedures and protection of student rights, and to determine whether the case shall be heard by the faculty member, the Office of the Dean of Students or the Academic Honor Board. Any student with a prior finding of responsibility for an Honor Code offense or students with a history of serious non-academic misconduct (typically consistent with the status of “disciplinary probation”) will be referred to the Academic Honor Board for resolution.
4. If the student has no prior Honor Code offenses and no history of serious non-academic misconduct, the faculty member will meet with the student to inform the student of the allegation of academic dishonesty and explain to the student their options, as follows:
a. If the student admits the infraction, the faculty member must either propose a settlement by private resolution OR refer the case to the Office of the Dean of Students (without assigning a grade until after being informed of the final outcome of the case). The dean/designee will proceed as outlined in Section III.C.6.
b. If the faculty member decides on proposing a settlement by private resolution, proposed penalties should accord with the severity of the offense. Penalties can range from a failing grade on the work in question to a failing grade for the course.1 The chairperson of the department in which the faculty member teaches may be consulted for assistance in reaching a settlement. If the penalty proposed by the instructor is acceptable by the student, the case can be resolved by providing notification to the department chair and to the dean of the college/school in which the faculty member teaches, and must be copied to the Office of the Dean of Students for inclusion in the student’s disciplinary record.
1 The assigned grade of “F” to a graduate student will result in ineligibility to continue in the Graduate School.
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5. If the student does not admit the infraction, the faculty member must either:
a. refer the case to the Office of the Dean of Students (without assigning a grade). The dean/or designee will proceed as outlined in Section III.C.6;
b. decide not to pursue the accusation(s) due to lack of evidence, whereupon he/she shall inform the reporting party of this decision within five days and also inform the Office of the Dean of Students.
6. All cases referred to the Office of the Dean of Students will result in an honor hearing. If the student has no prior Honor Code offenses, the student shall choose a hearing either before the Dean of Students (or designee) or before the Academic Honor Board. Based on the nature and scope of the alleged infraction, the Dean of Students (or designee) may elect not to hear a case and to forward it directly to the Academic Honor Board. If the student has one or more prior Honor Code infractions or a history of serious non-academic misconduct, the case shall be heard by the Academic Honor Board. During a pre-hearing interview, the Office of the Dean of Students will provide each student respondent the opportunity to accept responsibility for the alleged offense and to accept a penalty appropriate for the offense without proceeding to the Academic Honor Board. If the student accepts the sanction, authority to determine the course grade resides with the instructor; however, an assigned grade of “F” for the course is generally appropriate for an Honor Code offense. If the student disagrees with the sanction, the case shall be heard by the Academic Honor Board.
7. When hearing a case involving an undergraduate student, the UNCW Academic Honor Board shall be comprised of four undergraduates, one faculty member from the Campus Conduct Board, and one additional faculty member from a different UNCW college or school than that in which the infraction occurred, as referred by the academic dean and appointed by the Office of the Dean of Students (consistent with appointment procedures outlined in the Code of Student Life section entitled “Selection”). A fully comprised council constitutes a quorum.
8. When hearing a case involving a graduate student, the UNCW Academic Honor Board shall be comprised of four graduate students from the current Graduate Student Association or assigned by the Graduate School, one faculty member from the Campus Conduct Board, and one additional faculty member appointed by the Dean of the Graduate School. A fully comprised council constitutes a quorum.
9. The outcome of an Academic Honor Board hearing is either a “responsible” or “not responsible” decision. If the student is found “responsible” for the charge, penalties shall be imposed according to the severity of the offense and made in consideration of whether it is the student’s first offense. The sanction of disciplinary probation is typical for a first Honor Code offense, although any sanction outlined in Section II-4 of the Code of Student Life, up to and including suspension, may be assigned. The appropriate sanction for any student proven to be a repeat offender is suspension from UNCW. Authority to determine the course grade resides with the instructor; however, an assigned grade of “F” for the course is generally appropriate for an Honor Code offense (see footnote one regarding the impact of an “F” for graduate students).
10. If the student is found “not responsible” for the charge, the faculty member shall assign a grade consistent with the student’s academic performance in the class, and in consideration of the student having been exonerated of the charge. This also applies in cases where instructors decide not to pursue the accusation(s) due to lack of evidence.
11. A student found responsible for an Honor Code offense may appeal the decision in accordance with appeals procedures outlined in the Code of Student Life (Section II-2-H for decisions made by the Dean of Students or designee, or II-3-D for decisions made by the Academic Honor Board). For Honor Code appeals, the Provost or designee is designated to serve in place of the Chancellor for the purpose of deciding appeals.
12. The Provost or designee, at his/her sole discretion, shall have the right to order an expedited review of the student’s case. In such circumstances, the Provost or designee shall sit as a hearing officer in lieu of the Academic Honor Board or the Dean of Students. This expedited hearing procedure shall be used only in emergency circumstances as identified by the Provost or designee at his/her sole discretion. The decision of the Provost/designee in such expedited proceedings shall constitute a final decision of the student’s responsibility or non-responsibility, except in cases where suspension is the sanction, in which case the student may appeal to the Board of Trustees.
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D. WITHDRAWALS AND REPEATS
1. Once a student is alleged to have violated the Academic Honor Code, the student will be prohibited from withdrawing from the course. Should a student withdraw from the class, the grade of “W” will be considered temporary pending the final resolution of the case, which may lead to the designation of a grade in place of the “W.”
2. A failing grade posted as a penalty for an admitted or adjudicated Honor Code offense shall not be replaced if the course is repeated. Both the penalty grade and the new grade shall appear on the student’s transcript and count in the student’s grade point average (see footnote one regarding the impact of an “F” for graduate students).
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