Catalog 2023-2024

D.6.c. Academic Integrity

What is academic integrity and why do we have a policy for it?

Hendrix College is committed to high standards of honesty and fairness in academic pursuits. Such standards are central to the process of intellectual inquiry, the development of character, and the preservation of the integrity of the community.

This commitment can be understood in the following ways:

  • A student should not gain an unfair advantage or violate other students’ commitment to honest work and genuine effort.  The amount of cooperation undertaken with other students, the consistency and accuracy of work, and the test-taking procedure should adhere to the guidelines that the classroom teacher provides.
  • Members of the Hendrix community value and uphold academic integrity because we recognize that scholarly pursuits are aimed at increasing the shared body of knowledge.  The full disclosure of sources is the most effective way to ensure accountability to both ourselves and our colleagues.

What actions by a student are considered violations of these standards?

  • Plagiarism, which involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another’s idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper or project (or any portion of such) prepared by anyone else besides other students in group assignments;
  • Cheating or colluding on examinations, laboratory reports, exercises, or projects that are to be done by individual students or teacher assigned groups of students; giving or receiving answers and/or materials pertinent to any academic work without permission of the classroom teacher;
  • Stealing, manipulating, or interfering with any academic work of another student;
  • Lying to or deceiving faculty about issues that violate course expectations; or
  • Violating particular standards as determined and explicitly outlined by individual classroom teachers on a course-by-course basis. These particular standards should be clearly indicated on the syllabus for each course.

What does the Committee on Academic Integrity do and who are its members?

The committee consist of five members of the student body and five faculty members. The Student Senate nominates and selects student members. The faculty’s Committee on Committees selects the faculty members and a designated committee chair.

Faculty members report all cases of academic integrity to the committee chair.  The committee keeps records of all academic integrity violations while the students remain enrolled at Hendrix. Through conference groups, or sub-committees, the committee considers all reports of multiple violations and all cases where the student and classroom teacher cannot agree on sanctions for the violations.  The committee monitors all sanctions for equity and consistency across campus.  The committee reports all decisions to all involved parties.

In order to protect the confidentiality of students, all committee deliberations are held in confidence, as are all decisions and potential sanctions. Furthermore, at the beginning of each academic year, and at each conference, every member of the committee signs a confidentiality statement to protect the privacy of deliberations.

What are possible outcomes of an academic integrity violation?

In most cases, cheating or plagiarism on assignments results in no credit for that assignment and/or a reduction of one letter grade in the course. In most cases, cheating or plagiarizing on a cumulative assignment, for example a final exam, paper or presentation, results in an F for the course.

If a student is responsible for repeated academic integrity violations, the committee may consider the recommendation of a more serious sanction such as suspension or expulsion.  The committee would refer such a recommendation directly to the Provost to make a final decision.

What happens if a classroom teacher or another student thinks I committed an academic integrity violation?

The classroom teacher will discuss an alleged violation with you and suggest possible sanctions for the alleged violation. The classroom teacher then completes a violation report with a description of the alleged violation and proposed sanctions and gives a copy to you.  You then have two business days to decide whether or not to accept the violation report.

  • If you agree that the violation occurred and you agree to the stated sanctions, you sign the violation report and return it to the faculty member within the two-day time limit.  The faculty member sends the signed violation report to the chair of the Committee on Academic Integrity.  The chair may then accept the violation and file it without committee involvement unless further action is warranted because of previous violations by the student or because of inconsistencies in the sanctions as compared to sanctions for other students.

  • If you do not agree that the violation occurred, or you do not agree to the stated sanctions, you return the unsigned violation report to your faculty member within the two-day time limit.  The faculty member sends the unsigned violation report to the chair of the Committee on Academic Integrity after the two-day limit ends --even if you did not bring back the unsigned report.  The chair then schedules a conference group to make a final decision. You and your teacher will be part of this conference. 

A student may report another student's alleged violation by either informing the classroom teacher, who files a report with the Chair, or by filing a report directly with the Chair. 

What is an academic integrity conference and what happens in one?

If it is determined a conference is necessary, the conference group appointed by the committee chair shall convene within two weeks of the date on the violation report. A minimum of five members of the Committee on Academic Integrity, including at least two faculty members and two student members, is required to hold a conference. The chair assembles conference group members from available committee members. If the academic calendar does not allow a conference within two weeks, the case will be revisited during the first two weeks of the next academic semester.

The classroom teacher and any named students must attend the conference. At this meeting, all statements and evidence will be presented.  All parties have the right to introduce evidence or witnesses. Witnesses must have firsthand knowledge of the academic integrity violation and/or evidence related to the accusation.  Note that a student facing an accusation of violating standards of academic integrity must continue through the conference process even if the student has withdrawn from the class in which the alleged violations took place.

A majority of the conference group may postpone a decision if certain evidence deemed crucial to the case has not been presented. A decision may be postponed only twice, and on each occasion the conference group must reconvene within a week, provided this conforms to the academic calendar.

The conference group has two options in rendering a decision:  In Violation or Not in Violation.

In situations where a conference is required, a student is in violation of the standards of academic integrity once a majority of the conference group concur that a violation has occurred. If the conference group finds a student to be in violation of the standards of academic integrity, it also hands down a particular sanction after consultation with the classroom teacher.  A simple majority of the conference group must agree upon specific sanctions.

When a decision has been reached that a student is in violation, the involved parties will receive an official letter of decision from the chair. This letter includes the decision of the conference group and the prescribed sanction.

This decision letter is sent to the student and to the classroom teacher. The violation does not appear on the student’s transcript. In addition, these records may be divulged to Hendrix faculty and staff requesting information relevant to awards and honors.  Records of single violations shall not be divulged to outside parties such as employers and graduate schools.  In the case of multiple violations, inquiring parties (e.g., employers or graduate schools) who directly ask whether, or not, a student has violations of academic integrity will be informed that a violation exists (although the details of the violation will not be released).  

If a student is found not in violation, the student and the classroom teacher will be notified by the Chair.

The Committee shall retain all records of academic integrity violations for as long as the student is enrolled at Hendrix, or for a total of five years, whichever occurs first.  At the time limit, the records are purged.

Can I appeal an ‘in violation’ decision from the Committee on Academic Integrity?

Students are entitled to appeal an academic integrity decision based on one of the following reasons:

  • new information exists, unavailable during the original conference, that could affect the outcome
  • a material deviation from written procedures could have impacted the fairness of the conference
  • the sanction(s) may be grossly disproportionate to the severity of the offense.

Unless there is a recommendation of suspension or dismissal, students who choose to make an appeal should submit a letter explaining the reasons to the chair of the Academic Appeals Committee within seven business days of the receipt of the in violation decision letter. The chair of the committee will determine whether the appeal has merit based on the three reasons given above. If the chair determines that the appeal does not have merit, the student is notified that the appeal is denied. However, if the chair determines it does have merit, the appeal is sent to the committee. The committee then determines whether to uphold the in violation decision or to change the decision to not in violation.  This committee is allowed to question all parties who participated in the conference.  This committee may also consult the Committee on Faculty if this committee believes faculty personnel issues are raised.  Decisions by the Committee on Academic Appeals are final. The appeals process should be completed within four weeks of filing, exclusive of breaks in the academic year.

If there is a recommendation of suspension or dismissal, students who choose to make an appeal should submit a letter explaining your reasons for the appeal to the Provost within seven business days of the receipt of the in violation decision letter.  Decisions by the Provost are final.  The appeals process should be completed within four weeks of filing, exclusive of breaks in the academic year.

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