Academic Honesty

Academic Honesty

Students are expected to contribute actively to the development of an atmosphere of academic integrity. Mercyhurst University assumes, therefore, that students will not resort to plagiarism or any other form of academic dishonesty.

Students who engage in willful academic dishonesty may be subject to a broad range of sanctions. At the discretion of their instructor, they may be required to redo the plagiarized assignment, or they may receive an automatic F for the exam/assignment and/or course. Students found to be in collaboration with other students involved in willful academic dishonesty are also subject to disciplinary action. 

With Reference to Class Assignments:
Academic integrity is an extremely important virtue in students, and it is to be maintained in class assignments. Students should follow the directions given by faculty members about assignments. Assignments should be read in full. 

Students are expected to:

  • Do their own work. 
  • Students are not permitted to submit work partially or totally done by another student.
  • Students are not permitted to submit documents downloaded from the internet.
  • Use of computer-assisted translation on assignments to be submitted in a language other than English is also prohibited.
  • Group work is permitted only when a collaborative effort is assigned and only those who actually worked on the assignment should have their names on the submission. 

With reference to citations in formal writing:
Individual instructors may alter the expectations somewhat, however, the students are expected to uphold generally recognized standards of citation in order to avoid plagiarism.

General citation principles include:

  • The necessity to provide citations for any direct quotation.
  • The need to provide citations for any paraphrased material.
  • The need to credit theories or concepts to their authors through citation.
  • The need to provide full and accurate citations.
  • Mercyhurst University considers acts of forgery on academic documents to constitute academic dishonesty. 

With reference to taking exams: 
It is expected that Mercyhurst University students will exhibit academic honesty when they take exams. Failure to do so is a form of deception that is unacceptable at Mercyhurst. Any action that misrepresents the extent to which a student has mastered material assessed on an exam constitutes academic dishonesty or cheating. 

Cheating includes, but is not limited to the following types of activities:

  • Copying from another student’s test or assignment.
  • Allowing another student to copy from your test or assignment.
  • Collaborating during a test with any person without faculty permission.
  • Stealing, buying or otherwise improperly obtaining all or part of a test before the exam.
  • Taking a test for someone else or allowing someone else to take a test for you.
  • Altering responses after an assignment or test was graded.
  • Marking two answers on a test so that the choice is unclear hoping that the teacher will assume a correct response was intended

When an instructor believes that a student has committed an act of academic dishonesty, the instructor will inform the student and may complete an Academic Dishonesty Report to be filed with the Office of Academic Affairs. On a first offense, the student will be subject to the consequence determined by the individual faculty member.

On a second offense, the student will be subject to the consequence determined by the individual faculty member, as well as any combination of the following as determined by the Office of the Provost:

  • Assignment of community service hours.
  • Requirement of additional academic courses.
  • Requirement to complete a tutorial program of remediation.
  • Exclusion from participating in student organizations and extracurricular activities, including athletics.
  • Expulsion from the Honors Program or other University-organized honor societies.
  • Revocation of scholarships granted for academic performance.
  • Suspension from the University.
  • Dismissal from the University.

Students have a right to appeal if they believe an academic dishonesty allegation is unfounded. A written appeal must be submitted to the Office of Academic Affairs within 30 days of receiving notice regarding the allegation. Appeals will be heard by the Vice President of Academic Affairs or his/her designee. The final determination in any academic dishonesty case lies with the Vice President of Academic Affairs. Questions regarding academic dishonesty or the appeal process should be directed to the Office of Academic Affairs. 

Security Violations and Misuse of Computer Resources
Mercyhurst University reserves the right to take serious action against any student who willfully releases restricted computer information; misuses the University’s computer resources and/or violates the code of conduct for use of information technology. Such action may include (but is not limited to) the cancellation of computer privileges, immediate dismissal from work positions if applicable, academic suspension or dismissal (to be determined by the Office of the Provost), and/or criminal prosecution.

With reference to library conduct:
Reading and audio-visual materials provided for the enrichment of the university community should be treated with respect by all students. Willful destruction of library materials, including but not limited to books, periodicals, manuscripts, CDs, videos and records constitutes academic misconduct. 

Institutional Review Board
Research involving human participants must be conducted in compliance with federal guidelines. Students engaged in such research must receive approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB). 

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