Academic Honesty / Dishonesty*
Students are expected to be scrupulous in their observance of high standards of honesty in regard to tests, assignments, term papers, and all other procedures relating to class work. Academic dishonesty as used here includes, but is not limited to, plagiarism, cheating on examinations, theft of examinations or other materials from an instructor’s files or office or from a room in which these are being copied, copying of an instructor’s test material without the permission of the instructor, theft of computer files from another person, or attributing to one’s self the work of others, with or without the others’ permission. Falsification of an academic record with intent to improve one’s academic standing also shall be construed to be academic dishonesty.
The staff of Hutchins Library has prepared an informative online summary of plagiarism, which is the act of presenting someone else’s work as one’s own.
When Academic Dishonesty is suspected, the following process is followed:
- In the event a student is suspected of being guilty of academic dishonesty, the faculty member in whose course the offense allegedly occurred is responsible for pursuing the matter, making an initial determination, and deciding upon an appropriate course-related sanction up to and including failure of the course. When an instructor is convinced that academic dishonesty has occurred, the instructor will counsel with the student involved in an effort to determine an appropriate course of action. The minimal action is to reject the work in question. The instructor then must report the finding in writing to the Associate Vice President and Dean of Curriculum and Student Success, appending any documentary evidence of the dishonesty, and furnish the student with a copy of the written report. The Associate Vice President and Dean of Curriculum and Student Success then will record the report in a confidential file.** If multiple charges in the student’s confidential file are observed, the Associate Vice President and Dean will report this student to the Student Admissions and Academic Standing (SAAS) Committee for adjudication and possible further sanctions, including suspension. While deliberating to determine appropriate consequences, the SAAS Committee may ask for information from the student’s previous disciplinary or labor records. The student shall be informed of the names of those consulted by the Committee.
- An instructor has the option of referring any single case of alleged academic dishonesty to the SAAS Committee for adjudication and/or disciplinary action, even in the absence of multiple charges. Also, in any case involving alleged dishonesty, the student has the right to appeal an action taken by the instructor to that Committee. Upon receipt of the written report, the Associate Vice President and Dean of Curriculum and Student Success will inform the student that there is one week in which to initiate an appeal of any part of the instructor’s report. Such appeals are to be sent to the Associate Vice President and Dean of Curriculum and Student Success.
- While functioning as a judicial body to determine guilt or innocence, the SAAS Committee will observe the judicial procedures defined in the Community Judicial Code contained in the Berea College Student Handbook. Cases involving false testimony before the SAAS Committee while that committee is functioning as a judicial body will be heard by the Student Life Council. Students who appear in a hearing before the SAAS Committee shall determine whether student members of the Committee shall participate in the adjudication.
*The principles of this policy and procedure were approved by the College Faculty in 1973.
**The purpose of keeping the confidential file separate from the student’s regular permanent student record is to make it possible for one person, the Associate Vice President and Dean of Curriculum and Student Success, to be aware of multiple violations. Besides calling such occurrences to the attention of the SAAS Committee, the Associate Vice President and Dean of Curriculum and Student Success will furnish information from the file concerning the violations of a particular student upon request by the Campus Conduct Hearing Board, the Student Life Council, the individuals reviewing applications for readmissions, or the Labor Program Council. The purpose of furnishing such information to these bodies is to assist them in their effort to obtain perspective on the student as a whole while deliberating to determine appropriate consequences in a particular case. Except as noted above, no group or other individual will have access to the file.