Academic Integrity Standards

Academic freedom

Millikin University requires that academic freedom be exercised in harmony with the specific character and objectives of the University, which are those of an institution of higher learning. In consequence, it expects the members of the faculty to be supportive of the Mission and Vision Statement of the University.

Institutions of higher education are conducted for the common good. The common good depends upon the free search for truth and its free exposition. Academic freedom is essential to these purposes and applies to both teaching and scholarly/artistic activities. Academic freedom in scholarly/artistic activities is fundamental to the advancement of truth. Academic freedom in its teaching aspect is fundamental to protecting the rights of the faculty member in teaching and the student in learning.

The intellectual and moral integrity of an academic community depends upon an uncompromising commitment to honesty which guides the actions of all its members. Any disregard for this threatens the unrestricted and honest exchange of knowledge. It is the responsibility of every person in the academic community (students, faculty, staff, and administrators) to see that dishonesty is not tolerated. This responsibility may also include reporting known or suspected violations to the appropriate authority.

Academic evaluation

Students are responsible for maintaining all standards of academic performance established by their professors, but they will have the right to be heard through orderly procedures against prejudiced or capricious academic evaluation. Students who believe that they have received an unfair grade or final evaluation should first confer with the instructor to resolve the disagreement. If a justifiable question remains in the student's mind, he/she may next confer with the chair/director of the faculty member's department who may investigate the matter, mediate between the student and instructor, or take any other reasonable action the chair/director believes may solve the disagreement. If there is still no resolution after meeting with the chair/director, the student may present the case to the dean of the school in which the course was offered. The dean may consult with the departmental chair/director and the faculty member. The dean will decide whether or not to begin a University investigation of the faculty member's grading practices. The faculty member reserves final judgment on all matters pertaining to student grades. There shall be no further appeals beyond the dean. If a faculty member has left the University and is unavailable or unwilling to respond to requests for grade changes, the chair/director or dean, if necessary, shall have the power to change a grade.

Student rights and responsibilities

Academic institutions exist for the pursuit of truth and for development of students. As members of the academic community, students will be encouraged to develop a capacity for critical judgment and to engage in a sustained and independent search for truth. Free inquiry, free expression and responsible use thereof are essential to any community of scholars.

Each member of the academic community has both rights and responsibilities that derive from the agreed standards of the community. By virtue of the student's basic purpose in joining the academic community, the primary right and responsibility of the student is to cherish and exercise the freedom to learn. The freedom to learn depends upon appropriate opportunities and conditions in the classroom, on the campus and in the larger community. The responsibility to secure and respect general conditions conducive to freedom to learn is shared by all members of the academic community.

The Faculty has the right and the responsibility to hold students to high ethical standards in conduct and in works performed, as befits a scholar at the university. Violations of academic integrity are defined as follows:

  1. Cheating on quizzes or examinations occurs when any student or group is found using or attempting to use any book, paper, article, assistance from fellow students, unapproved technology, or any other unfair or unlawful means, such use being intended to deceive the person in charge of the quiz or examination with reference to his or her work. No student may substitute for another student in any quiz or examination. No books, notes, papers, unapproved devices, or related articles shall be brought into or used at any quiz or examination unless specifically authorized by the person in charge. All such books, papers, or other authorized articles are subject to inspection, and no other use shall be made of books or papers than that authorized. The possession at any quiz or examination of any articles, the use of which is prohibited, will be regarded as evidence of violation of this standard. Conversation or other communication between students in examinations and quizzes is forbidden.
  2. Collusion occurs when students willfully give or receive unauthorized or unacknowledged assistance. Both parties to the collusion are considered responsible.
  3. Electronic dishonesty is the unacknowledged or unauthorized appropriation of another's program, or the results of that program, in whole or in part, for a computer or electronic-related exercise or assignment. Electronic dishonesty may also include utilization of technology in a way which is offensive or inappropriate during the course of academic work.
  4. Grade falsification is any attempt to falsify an assigned grade in an examination, quiz, report, program, grade book, or any other record, database, computer program, or document.
  5. Plagiarism is the unacknowledged appropriation of another's work or programs. Specifically: (1) students who use the exact words of another must enclose those words in quotation marks or show, through indentation or typestyle, that the material is quoted and indicate the source, either within the text of their work or in a footnote; (2) students who take ideas from another person or written work, but who either paraphrase those ideas in their own words or else make a few mechanical alterations (rearrange sentences, find synonyms, alter prepositions, punctuation, conjunctions, and the like) must also indicate the source, either within the text of their work or in a series of footnotes clearly indicating the extent of the material paraphrased; and (3) students may not turn in as their own work any materials written for them by another person or any commercially prepared materials, such as computer programs and term papers, purchased on or off campus.
  6. Misrepresentation of academic credentials including but not limited to, (1) any attempt to knowingly falsify or misrepresent academic credentials, including degree being earned, academic discipline (major/minor/concentration/track/emphasis), date of graduation, grade point average, membership in academic honor societies, or academic scholarships earned, (2) any attempt at falsification of information to be used at any event sponsored by the Center for Academic and Professional Performance including, but not limited to, career fairs, on or off-campus interviews, posting to job boards or portfolios, and/or submission of credential packets to employers, governmental agencies, or educational entities; and (3) any attempt to utilize another individual’s credentials as your own.
  7. Other forms of academic dishonesty including (1) data falsification, fabrication of data or deceitful alteration of collected data as part of any academic assignment submitted as one's work for academic consideration; and (2) unauthorized copying of or collaborating on homework assignments and turning in as one's own work any part of another person's written exercise or computer program. Students who receive help from others on a project should acknowledge that help and specify the extent of it in the written report of that project.

Faculty members have the responsibility to investigate all suspected breaches of academic integrity that arise in their courses. They will make the determination as to whether the student violated the Academic Integrity Policy. Should the faculty member determine that the violation was intentional and egregious, he or she will decide the consequences, taking into account the severity and circumstances surrounding the violation, and will inform the student in writing, forwarding a copy of the letter to the Registrar and to the Vice President of Student Affairs.

This letter will be destroyed when the student graduates from the University unless a second breach of integrity occurs, or unless the first instance is of sufficient magnitude to result in failure of the course, with an XF grade recorded in the transcript. If an XF is assigned for the course, the faculty letter of explanation becomes a permanent part of the student's record. If a second violation occurs subsequent to the first breach of integrity, the Vice President of Student Affairs will begin an investigation into the alleged conduct and determine if the conduct warrants dismissal. This decision will be made in consultation with the faculty involved and in accordance with the Student Conduct Process as outlined in the Student Handbook.

If a student receives an XF for a course due to academic dishonesty, this remains as a permanent grade and cannot be removed from the transcript. However, students may repeat the course for credit toward graduation. Some programs and majors have more explicit ethical standards, which supersede this Policy, and violation of which may result in dismissal from some programs or majors within the University.