Department of History Policy on Academic Misconduct

The purpose of a university education is to learn. Cheating, plagiarizing, and other acts of dishonesty do not contribute to learning. They are, rather, attempts to avoid learning that defeat the very purpose of education. They are rightly regarded as both unethical and illegal under the academic standards of The University of Memphis.

You owe it to yourself and your reputation as a student to be well informed as to what constitutes plagiarism and to avoid even the suspicion that you are guilty of it. In addition to the policy statements given below, you should become thoroughly familiar with the document “Using sources properly to avoid plagiarism.”

Definitions, procedures, appeals, and sanctions

The Department of History at The University of Memphis bases its policy about academic misconduct on the following statements from the Office of Student Conduct (http://www.memphis.edu/studentconduct/): The Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities (http://www.memphis.edu/studentconduct/pdfs/csrr.pdf (pdf), popularly known as the Student Handbook, and its document on Academic Misconduct (http://www.memphis.edu/studentconduct/academic-misconduct/).

Definitions

[These definitions are from The Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities]

  1. Plagiarism. The adoption or reproduction of ideas, words, statements, images, or works of another person as one’s own without proper attribution, or the reuse of one’s own academic work previously submitted for academic credit at any academic institution (including the University of Memphis),
  2. Cheating. Using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or aids in any academic exercise or test/examination. The term academic exercise includes all forms of work submitted for credit or hours,
  3. Fabrication. Unauthorized falsification or invention of any information or citation in an academic exercise
  4. Any attempt to interfere or tamper with the academic work of another student,
  5. Unauthorized sale and/or distribution of course notes or other course materials. Any sale, delivery or distribution of course materials without the consent of the author and/or the course instructor.

Procedures

[These procedures are from the Office of Student Conduct document on academic misconduct process and procedures]

Plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic dishonesty are prohibited. Students guilty of academic misconduct, either directly or indirectly, through participation or assistance, are immediately responsible to the instructor of the class in addition to other possible disciplinary sanctions which may be imposed through the regular institutional disciplinary procedures.

An instructor who believes a student has committed an act of academic misconduct shall notify the student in writing of the basis for the belief and allow the student five (5) business days to respond to the allegation. The student shall respond to the allegation by scheduling a meeting with the instructor to discuss the matter. After meeting with the student to review the alleged misconduct, the instructor has two options: (a) they may make a decision regarding appropriate action, or (b) they may refer the matter to the Academic Integrity Committee.

Summary Discipline- If, after the student has had the opportunity to respond to the alleged violation, the instructor finds sufficient evidence exists to conclude that a violation did occur, the instructor may make a decision regarding the appropriate penalty. The instructor may issue a failing or diminished grade for the course or issue a failing or diminished grade on the assignment or examination in question. The instructor will communicate their decision to the Chair of the Department within five (5) business days of their meeting with the student. After receiving notice of the action taken, the Chair will then notify the student of the instructor’s decision within five (5) business days.

Academic Integrity Committee- Rather than making a decision, the instructor may instead choose to defer disciplinary action to the Academic Integrity Committee. At this meeting, both the student and the instructor will be present to provide information to support their case. The Academic Integrity Committee may issue a failing or diminished grade for the course or issue a failing or diminished grade on the assignment or examination in question.

At the conclusion of the disciplinary process, all decisions regarding acts of academic misconduct will be communicated to the Office of Student Confuct.

Once a student has been accused of an act of academic misconduct, the student may not drop or withdraw from the class until such time as the matter has been resolved.

In cases where more than one student is suspected of academic misconduct, each student’s case will be adjudicated separately.

Students found responsible for multiple acts of academic misconduct may be subject to further disciplinary action including suspension from the University. In the event the sanction is suspension or expulsion from the University, the student will have the choice to appeal the decision pursuant to the Tennessee Uniform Administrative Procedures Act (TUAPA).

Appeals of Academic Integrity Violations

[These procedures are from the Office of Student Conduct document on Appeals]

A student found responsible by their instructor for act(s) of academic misconduct may seek a review by the Chair of the Department. A request for such a review must be submitted (in writing) within five (5) business days of receipt of notice of the instructor’s decision. During this review, the student and instructor will present information to support their case. After reviewing the material presented by the instructor and the student, the Chair may:

Uphold the action taken by the instructor, or

Modify the action taken by the instructor.

Following this review, the student may request an appeal of the decision of the Department Chair by submitting a letter of appeal (in writing) to the Academic Integrity Committee within five (5) business days of the Department Chair’s review meeting. The Office of Student Conduct will then schedule an appeal hearing before the Academic Integrity Committee.

In cases where the faculty member has deferred disciplinary action to the Academic Integrity Committee, a student may appeal the original jurisdiction decision of the Academic Integrity Committee by submitting a letter of appeal (in writing) to the University Committee on Student Conduct within five (5) business days of being notified of the Academic Integrity Committee’s decision. The Office of Student Conduct will then schedule an appeal hearing before the University Committee on Student Conduct.

A student may appeal a grade assignment for course work not associated with a finding of academic misconduct (as distinct from a student disciplinary sanction) through the appropriate University grade appeal procedures.

Sanctions

[These sanctions are from the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities. Only the portions that deal with academic misconduct are listed here.]

(1) The following disciplinary sanctions are applicable to both individual students as well as student organizations. Upon determination that a student or organization has violated any of the policies set forth in this document and/or the general policies of the University, disciplinary sanctions may be imposed by the appropriate hearing body.

(2) Definition of Sanctions:

(a) Warning. A warning constitutes official written notice that a student or organization has violated University rules governing conduct and that repetition of inappropriate conduct would be cause for more serious disciplinary action. A warning will remain in the student’s active disciplinary file for a period of one year from the issuance of the sanction (unless applicable State/Federal law dictates otherwise) and would be used as a basis for future sanctioning should further violation(s) of Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities occur;

(b) Censure. A censure may be issued to any student or organization whose conduct violates University rules. Censure provides notice that any further violation(s) will result in more serious disciplinary action. A censure will remain in the student’s active disciplinary file until graduation from the issuance of the sanction and would be used as a basis for future sanctioning should further violation(s) of Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities occur;

(c) Probation. Any student or organization placed on probation will be notified in writing of the terms and length of the probation. Probation may include restrictions upon extracurricular activities, or any other appropriate special condition(s). Continued enrollment of a student or recognition of a student organization on probation may be conditioned upon adherence to these policies. Any conduct that constitutes further violation of these policies while on probation status or the failure to comply with the terms of the probation may result in the imposition of further disciplinary action including suspension;

(d) Suspension. Suspension involves the separation of a student or student organization from the University for a specified period of time. Suspension may be accompanied by special conditions for readmission. All students suspended from the University of Memphis will be issued a No Trespass Directive barring them from University owned or controlled property and all University sanctioned events or functions. A student suspended from the University of Memphis must submit a written request to the Director of the Office of Student Conduct (or designee) 3 business days in advance to request permission to be present on University property. This request must specifically identify the nature of the official University business which the suspended student wishes to conduct as well as the location(s) that the student wishes to visit. A student suspended from the University must petition for permission to re-enroll;

(e) Interim Suspension. As a general rule, the status of a student or student organization accused of violation(s) of the prohibited conduct identified in the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities shall not be affected until a final determination of responsibility has been made in regard to the charges. However, interim suspension, pending the completion of disciplinary procedures, may be imposed upon a finding by the Dean of Students (or designee) that the continued presence of the accused on campus would constitute an immediate threat to the physical safety and well-being of the accused, any other member of the University, its guests, property, or would create a substantial disruption of classroom or other University activities. The authority for interim suspension exists independently of the jurisdiction of the Office for Office of Student Conduct and/or all University hearing bodies. The Dean of Students (or designee) also has the authority to revoke interim suspension if information becomes available which indicates such action is no longer necessary to ensure the safety of the campus community. All students/organizations placed on interim suspension status will be barred from University owned or controlled property and all University sanctioned events or functions. A student or organization placed on interim suspension status must obtain advance permission to be present on University property. Such permission may be granted by the Dean of Students (or designee). In such instances, permission will be granted only in cases where a legitimate cause for presence on campus has been identified. In instances where approval is granted, the suspended student will arrive to campus at the University Police Services office located on Zach Curlin Boulevard to be escorted to their destination [for further information, see Disciplinary Procedures Interim Suspension in section V of this document];

(f) Revocation of Admission, Degree, or Credential;

(g) Service to the University or Community. A student, or organization, may be required to donate a specified number of service hours to the University performing reasonable tasks for an appropriate institution office, official(s), or the local community. The service required shall be commensurate to the offense;

(h) Restriction. A restriction upon a student’s or organization’s privileges for a period of time may be imposed. This restriction may include, for example, denial of the ability to represent the institution at any event, ability to participate in University of Memphis sponsored travel, use of facilities, parking privileges, participation in extracurricular activities or restriction of organizational privileges;

Information and Forms

Models for the letter from the instructor to the student and from the chair to the student may be found at http://www.memphis.edu/studentconduct/academic-misconduct/letters.php.

Submission of work submitted in other classes

Papers, reviews, projects, and other written work submitted for credit in another class either at The University of Memphis or elsewhere may not be submitted for credit in any class within the Department of History. The Department regards the submission of such work as academic misconduct, an attempt to earn credit for work that was not actually done for the class, and it will result in the same sanctions as prescribed for other academic misconduct.

TurnItIn.com

The University of Memphis has secured a site license to use TurnItIn to maintain a high level of academic integrity in written work by students. Your instructor may require that you submit written work to TurnItIn.com, which will evaluate that work for originality (or unoriginality), using an extensive database of online documents and previously submitted papers.

Office of Student Conduct Resources

The Office of Student Conduct has prepared resources on the subject of academic misconduct: