2.17 / Student Academic Honesty

  1. Purpose

    To set forth the expectations for the responsible acquisition, discovery, and application of knowledge by students at Wichita State University, including the ethical use of information resources, and to ensure the integrity of academic credit and degrees conferred by the University.

  2. Philosophy

    Wichita State University is committed to the ethical pursuit of knowledge. In order to ensure the integrity of faculty evaluation of students, all members of the University community share responsibility for ensuring that students have demonstrated successful mastery of the learning objectives for each academic activity. By conferring a degree, Wichita State University is assuring the general public that the student has successfully met all requirements for graduation, including meeting the learning objectives for each academic activity. Indifference to academic misconduct is not a neutral act—failure to confront and or deter such behaviors will reinforce, perpetuate, and increase the prevalence of academic misconduct in the University community.

    Students are expected to complete independent, original work for each academic activity unless otherwise specified by the faculty member. Students should seek clarification when in doubt. Faculty members are required to communicate their expectations regarding academic integrity; including, but not limited to, collaboration, information sharing, and conducting ethical research. All syllabi must contain a section that includes information on the Student Academic Misconduct policy. Additionally, faculty members are expected to adhere to the policy pertaining to the reporting and resolution of alleged violations of the Student Academic Misconduct policy.

    Discretion is expected by those involved in the academic integrity process, especially as related to investigations of academic misconduct allegations. Details should only be shared with those that are on a need to know basis.

  3. Prohibited Conduct

    As members of the University community, all students, student groups, and student organizations are expected to display respect for the rights of themselves and others and to be accountable for their behavior. Lack of familiarity with University policy is not a defense to a violation of this policy. Unless specifically noted in the policy definition, intent is not a required element to establish a policy violation.

    Academic misconduct includes a broad range of infractions. The following list, while not comprehensive, provides examples of actions that violate the expectations for the responsible acquisition, discovery, and application of knowledge by students at Wichita State University:

    1. Plagiarism – Representing the words, ideas, graphics, or any portion of another's work, whether published or unpublished, as one's own and/or without appropriate and/or accurate citation/attribution

    2. Unauthorized Use or Possession of Materials or Resources – Using or possessing any materials or resources during an academic activity without the express permission of, or in a manner that is inconsistent with the express permission of, the faculty member. Unauthorized use of materials or resources includes, but is not limited to, any electronic device; course textbooks, articles, cheat sheets, other print sources; and/or looking at another individual's current or previous academic work. This includes submission of materials that were purchased or otherwise obtained by an outside or commercial source (e.g. ghostwriting or pay-for-paper services).

    3. Unauthorized Collaboration or Consultation – Collaborating or consulting with another individual or group during an academic activity without the express permission of the faculty member.

    4. Fabrication, Falsification, or Misrepresentation of Information – Providing fabricated or falsified information or misrepresenting information in an academic activity or related to academic attendance or other academic requirements.

    5. Academic Interference – Engaging in any behavior or taking any material(s) for the purpose of interfering with an academic activity. Academic Interference includes, but is not limited to:

      1. removing, concealing, damaging, destroying, or stealing materials or resources that are necessary to complete or perform an academic activity;
      2. tampering with another person or group's work; and/or
      3. interfering with another student's academic performance.
    6. Unauthorized Resubmission – Submitting an academic activity which has been previously submitted for credit, publication, or presentation without authorization from the faculty member to which the submission is made. This provision also applies when repeating a course, regardless of whether or not a grade was awarded for the previous enrollment period.

    7. Facilitation of Academic Misconduct – Engaging in behavior that facilitates another person or group's ability to engage in or causes another person or group to engage in academic misconduct, including but not limited to providing another student with a copy of the student's work and/or access to unauthorized materials or resources, or forcing or coercing another student to complete academic work on behalf of another.

    8. Bribery – Offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting any funds, goods, services, or anything else of value in exchange for an academic advantage for any student.

    9. Unauthorized Sale, Distribution, or Receipt of Academic Materials – Buying, selling, receiving, or distributing academic materials without the express permission of the faculty member including, but not limited to previous assessments, study guides, solutions manuals, lecture slides, or any other form of intellectual property. This includes, but is not limited to, providing academic materials to crowdsourced digital databases and web platforms.

    10. Research misconduct as identified in Policy 9.13/Misconduct in Research. Alleged violations of research misconduct will be resolved through policy 9.13. Academic sanctions can be made when said research misconduct overlaps academics.

  4. Reporting, Procedures and Appeals

    1. Any individual with a good faith basis for believing a student has violated this policy is encouraged to report the alleged violation to the faculty member responsible for the course and the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards. When a faculty member has reasonable, good faith belief that a student has committed academic misconduct, that faculty member has the discretion to assign a sanction, including academic sanctions (e.g., failing grade on the assignment or failing grade for the course) or educational sanctions (e.g., plagiarism training or reflection activities). Any faculty member imposing a sanction against a student for a violation of this policy must report the violation to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards to ensure due process. In order to identify habitual offenders, faculty members are encouraged to report all alleged Academic Integrity violations to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards, even when the faculty member chooses not to t sanction a student for violations of this policy, or if the violation was resolved without an academic sanction.

    2. View the Student Academic Integrity Process Flowchart

    3. Students who disagree with the sanction imposed by the faculty member may request a hearing by the Academic Integrity Committee. The Academic Integrity Committee will hold a hearing to review the evidence to determine if a violation occurred, and if so, if the sanction is appropriate.

    4. The Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards will maintain a record of all reported incidents of Academic Misconduct. In some cases (e.g., repeat offenders or egregious offenses), the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards may determine that additional sanctions, including disciplinary sanctions, are appropriate. In these instances, the Academic Integrity Committee will hold an additional hearing to review the evidence and determine if additional sanctions are appropriate. The Academic Integrity Committee may consider previously documented violations, regardless of outcome, along with the current incident and the possibility of additional sanctions. The Academic Integrity Committee will be the same as the prior case unless extenuating circumstances occur as determined by the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs.

    5. Following notification of the outcome of their case, a Respondent may submit one appeal request within the University's process as outlined in Section V. of the Student Academic Integrity Process Procedures. The presumption is that the investigation and decision processes were appropriately conducted and the burden is on the individual requesting the appeal to prove that the appeal has merit. Appellate reviews will be limited in scope and must focus on procedural issues or presenting new information not previously available at the time of the Academic Integrity Committee hearing.

  5. Sanctions

    Potential sanctions include educational, academic, and disciplinary. Educational sanctions could include required training related to the misconduct. Academic sanctions could include additional academic requirements and/or assignment/course grade reduction. In cases where egregious and/or repeat offenses are found to have occurred, disciplinary actions such as probation, suspension, or expulsion are possible. See Section VII. of the Student Academic Integrity Process Procedures for more details.

  6. Jurisdiction

    1. This policy applies to behavior that is committed by:

      1. a University student, student group, or student organization;

      2. an applicant who becomes a student, for alleged violation(s) committed as part of the application process; or

      3. an individual who has transferred, graduated, been academically disqualified, or expelled from the University for alleged violation(s) committed prior to separation from the University.

    2. This policy may be applied to any academic activity conducted on campus or elsewhere. Scholarly research is considered an academic activity, which may or may not be related to a specific course. This additionally includes behavior conducted online, via e-mail or through other electronic media. Wichita State University may take action if an alleged violation of this policy is brought to the attention of University officials.

  7. Definitions

    For purposes of this policy, the following terms have the definitions provided below. Please note that some of these terms may have different meanings in other contexts.

    • Academic Activity

      Any draft, assignment, assessment, examination, project, applied learning (e.g. internships, co-ops, practicums, field experiences or trips, clinical experiences, or student teaching), research, publication, presentation, or other activity that is completed, submitted, and/or required to fulfill course or degree requirements or obtain a specific distinction, or is conducted in conjunction with an academic program or course.

    • Academic Integrity Committee

      A panel of five (5) individuals comprised of three (3) faculty appointed by the Faculty Senate and two (2) students from the Student Conduct Board. The Committee is responsible for determining whether or not the Respondent(s) violated this policy and appropriate sanction(s) (if applicable). One (1) panelist will serve as the Committee Chairperson, selected by the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs (or designee).

    • Advisor

      An individual selected by a Respondent to assist the Respondent throughout the student academic integrity process including, but not limited to, a parent, friend, faculty member, advocate, or legal counsel. An advisor may advise and assist the Respondent in preparation for any meetings, interviews, or hearings that may occur; accompany the Respondent through all process meetings, interviews, or hearings; or assist the Respondent in preparing an appeal. An advisor may not participate in the student academic integrity process in any other capacity in reference to the same incident, including, but not limited to, serving as a Witness or Co-Respondent. Advisors may not directly participate, speak, comment, or make any type of representation or argument on behalf of a Respondent in any aspect of the student academic integrity process including, but not limited to: meetings, interviews, or hearings. The availability of an Advisor to attend a student academic integrity process meeting, interview, or hearing shall not unreasonably interfere with or delay the proceedings.

    • Appeals Committee (graduate)

      The Associate Vice President for Student Affairs (or designee) and the Dean of the Graduate School (or designee)

    • Appeals Committee (undergraduate)

      The Associate Vice President for Student Affairs (or designee) and either the dean of the academic college in which the violation occurred or the dean of the academic college for the student's academic major depending upon the nature of the appeal

    • Faculty Member

      Any member of the University community who has responsibility for classroom or other teaching activities, mentoring, or academic evaluation of a student. This includes, but is not limited to, instructors, researchers, applied learning supervisors, teaching assistants, research assistants, graduate assistants, lab assistants, and course directors.

    • Respondent

      Any student, student group, or student organization who has been accused of or reported for allegedly violating University policy. There may be more than one respondent for an incident. In incidents involving student groups or organizations, the president, director, team captain, or other member of student leadership will participate in the student academic integrity process on behalf of the group or organization. Student groups and organizations may not be represented by non-students, alumni, inactive members, or coaches in the student academic integrity process; however, such individuals may be selected by a student group or organization to serve in the role of Advisor in the student academic integrity process.

    • Student

      Any individual who has been notified of admission to the University; is enrolled in, auditing, or participating in any University course or program; is assigned a space in a University owned or managed housing facility; or has a continuing relationship with the University. This includes, but is not limited to, Orientation, Intensive English, National Student Exchange, and Study Abroad. An individual is considered a student until they notify the University they are no longer a student, or the University informs them that they are no longer a student for reasons including, but not limited to, withdrawal, transfer, graduation, academic disqualification, or expulsion. An individual who has been suspended is still considered a student during the suspension period. Students who leave the University before an academic integrity complaint is resolved may be prohibited from future enrollment and/or accessing University records until the matter is resolved.

    • Student Group

      Any number of persons who are associated with the University and each other, but who have not registered, or are not required to register, as a student organization that conducts business or participates in University-related activities. Student groups include, but are not limited to, Student Government Association, Student Activities Council, musical or theatrical ensembles, sport clubs, or intercollegiate or independent varsity athletic teams.

    • Student Organization

      Any student-led organization that has been approved and is recognized by the Student Government Association.

    • University

      Wichita State University (WSU) and its affiliates.

    • University Business Day

      Refers to any day the University is open for official business (usually Monday through Friday, not including University breaks or holidays)

    • University Official

      Any individual employed by the University, acting within the scope of their employment including, but not limited to, faculty, staff, Resident Assistants, Intramural Officials, law enforcement officers, or facility managers

    • University Policy

      Any written guidelines of the University or the Kansas Board of Regents as found in, but not limited to, the Housing and Residence Life Handbook, Graduate/Undergraduate Catalogs, Student Organization & Advisor Handbook, WSU Policies and Procedures Manual, Library Facilities Policy, Board of Regents Board Policy Manual, Traffic Regulations, and/or Intramural Sports Handbook

    • University Premises

      Any land, building, facilities, vehicles, and other property in the possession of, owned, used, leased, or otherwise controlled by the University and/or its affiliates

    • Witness

      Individual who is requested to participate in an investigation or a hearing because that individual may have information about the alleged misconduct. Witness names may be provided by the Respondent or others with knowledge of the matter

  8. Interpretation and Revision

    1. Any question of implementation/application of this policy should be referred to the Provost or their designee for final determination.

    2. This policy shall be reviewed a minimum of every three (3) years under the direction of the Provost.

    3. The Provost is responsible for notifying the University community of substantial changes to this policy.

  9. Acknowledgements

    Similar policies and/or procedure documents from the following universities informed the content of this document: Florida State University, Texas A&M University, University of Florida, University of Illinois-Springfield, and University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Wichita State University wishes to acknowledge them for their example, inspiration, and assistance in developing this policy.