Millersville University, Faculty Senate

Attachment #4
Faculty Senate Minutes
February 17, 2004

Academic Integrity at Millersville University

The University is an academic community dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge in a supportive academic climate of mutual respect, integrity, and high ethical standards. To this end, Millersville University promotes an environment of ethical conduct, the foundation of which includes the pursuit of academic honesty and integrity. Through an atmosphere of mutual respect, both students and faculty enhance the value of the educational experience and strive for the highest standard of academic excellence. Members of the university community, including students, faculty, staff, administrators, and trustees, must not commit any misrepresentation or deception in academic or professional matters.

Forms of Academic Dishonesty

To prepare academically honest work, you should understand and avoid the various forms of academic dishonesty. These include plagiarism, fabrication, cheating, and academic misconduct.

Plagiarism is the presentation of someone else's words, ideas, or data as your own work. By placing your name on a scholarly product, you are certifying the originality of all work you have not otherwise identified with appropriate acknowledgments. When you submit work that includes the words, ideas, or data of others, you must acknowledge the source of that information through complete, accurate, and specific references.

Plagiarism includes representing as your own any academic exercise (e.g., written work, computer program, sculpture, etc.) prepared totally or in part by another. For example, if you include direct quotations from a source, whether pieces of sentences or entire passages, you must use quotation marks or other accepted citation practices. You must acknowledge your sources whenever you:

  1. quote another person's actual words;
  2. use another person's ideas, opinions, theories, sentence structures, or flow of ideas, even if they are completely paraphrased in your own words; or
  3. borrow facts, statistics, or other illustrative materials, unless the information is common knowledge.

These guidelines should be followed for all source types, including books, newspapers, pamphlets, journal articles, websites, and other online resources.

Fabrication is the falsification of research or other findings. Examples include:

  1. Citing information not actually taken from the source indicated;
  2. Listing in a bibliography sources not actually consulted; or
  3. Inventing data or other information for research or other academic projects.

Cheating is the act or attempted act of deception in which an individual misrepresents what he/she has mastered in subject matter in an academic project. Similarly, it includes the attempt to gain an academic advantage by the use of illegal or illegitimate means. Examples include:

  1. Copying from another student's test paper;
  2. Allowing another student to copy from your test paper.
  3. Using the course textbook, or other material such as a notebook, during a test when unauthorized for use.
  4. Collaborating during a test with another person by receiving or providing information without the permission of the instructor.
  5. Using or possessing specifically prepared, unauthorized materials (e.g., notes, formula lists, formulas programmed into calculators, notes written on the student's clothing or person) during a test.
  6. Giving or taking unauthorized aid in a take home exam or paper.
  7. Submitting work for a class that was already submitted for another class, when unauthorized, or allowing another student to submit or copy from your previously submitted class work.
  8. Acquiring another student's course paper and submitting it as your own work, whether altered or not.
Academic Misconduct
Academic misconduct is the violation or attempted violation of University policies by tampering with grades, tests, and/or testing procedures. Examples include:

  1. Taking a test for someone else, or permitting someone else to take a test or course in your place.
  2. Obtaining or sharing all or part of an unadministered exam.
  3. Changing or being an accessory to changing a grade in a grade book, on a test, on a "Change of Grade" form, or other official academic University record which relates to grades.
  4. Continuing to work on an examination or project after the specified allotted time has elapsed.

The above lists are for illustration only. They should not be construed as a restrictive or exhaustive list of the various forms of conduct that constitute academic dishonesty.

Tips For Preparing Academically Honest Work

How to create intellectually honest work and support academic integrity:

  1. Prepare and plan well for all your assignments, tests, and papers.

    By planning your schedule well, you will have adequate time to do your own work for assignments. Through consistent studying, you will be prepared for and feel confident during tests. By allocating the time to research and to take good notes, you will create the foundation for carefully argued and properly cited papers.

  2. Know the expectations for any work you produce.

    All professors at Millersville University expect intellectually honest work; however, rules for producing that work may vary between professors. Unless you are told otherwise, work done for your classes should be individual work produced by you alone. If your professor permits students to collaborate on assignments, be sure you understand when and how much collaboration is permitted.

    Standards for written assignments also vary. Consult your syllabus and assignment sheets to determine your instructor's expectations. If these documents do not provide enough information, talk to your instructor.

  3. Set the standard for integrity.
    Listen and ask questions when professors discuss academic integrity and plagiarism. Advocate the value of doing your own original work with others. Explain to students who are tempted to use unethical shortcuts that true learning only takes place when people think for themselves and do their own work. Promote honesty and integrity by not loaning assignments or passing on exams or papers to others.

  4. Know how to take tests fairly.

    Before the exam, ask your instructor to clarify what materials can be used and bring only those materials to the test. During the test, put at least one seat between you and your classmates and focus on your own paper. When finished, sign your test and return your exam papers and scrap paper to your instructor. If you notice other students violating the standards of academic honesty, try to let your instructor know.

  5. Prepare you papers thoughtfully.

    Plan your papers in advance and schedule enough time to conduct thorough research. Think about how you will use sources in your paper, especially how the information in these sources will complement your own original ideas. As you begin your research, create an organized, thorough bibliography of every source.

    As you take notes, summarize the main ideas of your sources in your own words and in your own sentence structures. Recognize that changing a few words of a sentence does not make it your own; similarly, you can't "borrow" chunks of sentences or the sentence's flow of ideas/structure. Often brief notes will make it easier to create your own original sentences when you write your paper; if you take notes in fragments, you are less likely to carry over sentence structures from your original sources.

    Before you begin to write, make an outline to insure not only that you know the relationship between all the ideas in your paper, but also that your original ideas retain their primacy. When writing your paper, work from your outline and your notes, not from the original sources. Specifically, don't try to type your paper on a computer while staring at an original source; that arrangement will make it difficult for you to compose original material.

    As you organize your argument, use direct quotes sparingly, when superior phrasing or a recognized authority in the field warrants it. If you cut-and-paste a direct quote into your paper, add the quotation marks and the citation materials for the quote immediately. If you are uncertain about whether or not to cite a source, cite it; acknowledging your research enhances your own argument. Be sure to use credible sources and to establish clearly ideas, sentence structures, or words that you have borrowed through attribution and citation. Work with your instructor and/or tutors on any issues where you need help.

  6. Be sure you understand the rules for correct attribution and citation.

    Write your paper in your own words using your own sentence structures. Cite direct quotations, including pieces of sentences authored by others. Unless the information is common knowledge, cite paraphrases and summaries as well. If you have questions about attribution or citation, check an approved handbook or talk with your professor.

Processes for Handling Violations of Academic Integrity Policies

If your professor believes you have violated the academic honesty policies, s/he should discuss the situation with you and hear your explanation of the events. Your professor should also discuss any sanctions that s/he will impose and inform you of your right to appeal these sanctions to the department chair or dean of the school.

Faculty members can impose a variety of sanctions, including verbal and written reprimands; resubmission of the assignment, test, or project; or lowering of a grade. If a faculty member chooses to impose a sanction more severe than lowering a grade, as in failing the course or recommending suspension from the university, the faculty member must file a formal charge with the Associate Provost for Academic Programs & Services.

Regardless of the level of sanction, the faculty member may file a report of the violation with the Associate Provost for Academic Programs & Services. If you accumulate more than one of these reports, the Associate Provost will meet with you to discuss these occurrences and possibly impose additional sanctions.


In accordance with the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, any information relating to an alleged violation of the University's Student Code of Conduct or to the outcome of a judicial hearing must be treated as strictly confidential by members of the faculty.

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