Academic Integrity Policy

Academic Integrity Policy

Academic Honesty

Paul Smith’s College (PSC) values intellectual integrity and the highest standards of academic conduct, as set forth in the Ten Principles of Academic Integrity. To be prepared to meet societal needs as leaders and role models, students must be educated in an ethical learning environment that promotes high standards of honor and integrity in scholastic work. Academic dishonesty undermines institutional integrity, threatens the academic fabric of the College, and is not an acceptable avenue to success. It diminishes the quality and value of a Paul Smith’s College education. Fostering an appreciation for academic standards and values is a shared responsibility among students, faculty and staff. Therefore, the entire academic community must establish and enforce rules governing violations of academic honesty.

Academic Dishonesty

Academic dishonesty is any treatment or representation of work as if one were fully responsible for it, when it is, in fact, the work of another person or work in which one has received unacknowledged assistance from others. It includes, but is not limited to:

  1.  Submitting any fraudulent or plagiarized academic work. This includes, verbatim use of a quotation without quotation marks; use of another person’s idea or information without acknowledging your source; and submission of work prepared by another person as one’s own
  2.  Giving or receiving answers and/or any materials pertinent to any academic work without the permission of the instructor
  3. Stealing, manipulating, or interfering with any academic work of another student
  4. Multiple uses of the same work, by presenting the same or substantially the same written work (or portion thereof) as part of the course requirements for more than one project or course, without the express prior written permission of the instructor(s) involved

Academic dishonesty is a serious violation that is counter to the purpose and aims of Paul Smith’s College. A substantiated case of academic dishonesty may result in:

  • Permanent dismissal from the College 
  • Suspension for a designated period of time 
  • Lesser sanctions as deemed appropriate, as discussed below in Sanctions

Procedures in Case of Alleged Incidents of Academic Dishonesty

Within seven (7) days of when academic dishonesty is suspected by or brought to the attention of the faculty member, the faculty member will make every effort to meet with the accused student(s) and attempt to ascertain the facts. After the interview, if the faculty member believes that academic dishonesty has occurred, an Academic Integrity Report Form regarding the incident shall be completed with one copy sent to each of the following: the student, the Department Chair of the student’s academic program, the Department Chair of the course’s Department, the Registrar, and the Provost.

The report form shall indicate whether the student admits or denies guilt in the incident, including all relevant documents (crib notes, copy of plagiarized materials, exams, etc.), summarize the circumstance surrounding the incident, and indicate what penalties will be applied and the student’s right of appeal.

If the student disagrees with the faculty member’s determination of academic dishonesty and/or the penalty to be applied, an appeal may be made within seven calendar days to the Department Chair (course Department), who shall:

  1. Review the faculty member’s report
  2. Consult with the parties involved
  3. Agree or disagree with the faculty member’s determination of academic dishonesty and the penalty to be applied
  4. Within seven calendar days’ review and submit a decision in writing to the student, the faculty member, the Registrar, and the Provost. This response shall include a statement informing the student of the right to appeal to the chair of the Academic Standards Committee who will appoint a hearing board as defined below

If a student disagrees with the Department Chair’s determination of academic dishonesty and/or the penalty to be applied and desires to appeal, the appeal must be made according to the following procedures. The appeal shall be in writing, present reasons for the request, and be received in the Office of the Provost within seven calendar days of receipt of the Department Chair’s decision.

  1. Of the purpose and function of the Hearing Board,
  2. Of the student’s rights in the hearing
  3. That the student will receive written notification of the time and place of the hearing

The Hearing Board is composed of the Chairperson of the Academic Standards Committee, who will select the remaining participants of the Hearing Board: two other faculty members, and two students selected from the membership of student government, one of whom must be an officer. The Chairperson will preside at the hearing. The Hearing Board will follow established procedures to ensure fair consideration of the matter.

In the event of an appeal or in the case of a second offense of academic dishonesty (which automatically mandates a hearing) the Hearing Board shall:

  1. Convene within seven calendar days to conduct a hearing
  2.  As necessary, request all parties involved to appear as witnesses
  3. Within three days following the hearing inform in writing the following persons of its decision: the student, the faculty member, the Department Chair and the Provost
  4. Return complete file of case to the Office of the Provost

In the event there is new evidence not previously considered by the Hearing Board of the Academic Standards Committee, the student should present the evidence to the Provost and request a second hearing.

If a student disagrees with the decision of the Hearing Board, an appeal may be made to the President. The appeal shall be in writing and must be submitted within seven days of the receipt of written notification of the Board’s decision.

An appeal to the President will be limited to:

  1. A review of the disciplinary process to ensure that the student’s right to a fair and impartial hearing was not abused
  2. A review of the sanction imposed if there is sufficient reason to believe that the sanction is not consistent with the seriousness of the action.

The decision of the President is final.

When appealed, a decision in a case of academic dishonesty is held in abeyance.


Should the term end before a case of academic dishonesty has been resolved, an NG (no grade) is temporarily assigned for the course.

Students with an appeal pending will be allowed to register for and attend the next course in the series or a course that requires the disputed course as a prerequisite or co-requisite. For a course that is required for the program or a required pre-requisite or co-requisite to another course in the program, if the charge of academic dishonesty is upheld and the course is failed, the student must repeat the course in order to graduate. If the course was not required for the student’s program or as a prerequisite or co-requisite for a required course, the student may opt not to repeat the course; however, the “F” would remain on the student’s transcript.

If the course is required for graduation, the student will be allowed to participate in commencement, but will not receive his or her diploma or receive official transcripts including grades for the disputed semester until the appeal is settled in favor of the student.

Since it is important to good relationships that the process proceeds as quickly as possible, all parties will endeavor to expedite its resolution. The time limits specified for either party may be extended at the request of either party, with the concurrence of the Provost.

The Provost may appoint alternate hearing officers at any stage of the process to facilitate a resolution of the matter.


When academic dishonesty has been substantiated, a faculty member may assign a grade of F for the course or a zero to the piece of work, assignment, or examination in question.

For a student’s first offense, the Department Chair and the Hearing Board, when acting as appeal agents, shall not impose against the student a sanction which is more serious than the one assigned by the faculty member.

The Hearing Board in cases of second offense may impose a sanction against a student that is more serious than the one assigned by the faculty member. In case of a third offense, the Hearing Board may dismiss the student from the College or suspend the student for a designated period of time. Students who are dismissed from the College or suspended will have a notation on his/her transcript stating that the action was due to academic dishonesty.

When academic dishonesty has been identified by the instructor, a student’s right to drop or withdraw in good standing from that course is revoked until the allegations are resolved. If the student is found guilty of academic dishonesty, they will not be allowed to drop the course.


All records of the student’s involvement in a case of academic dishonesty, including copies of any sanction letters from the Hearing Board, remain part of the student’s personal file maintained in the Office of the Registrar.

Confidentiality will be maintained in accordance with the College’s policy of student records and release of information.

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