Catalog 2016-2017

Academic Integrity

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.

Hendrix College cultivates an active interest in the liberal arts and intellectual inquiry where students take responsibility for their own actions. In keeping with this mission, the faculty and students of Hendrix College have adopted a set of standards and procedures designed to

  • help create a supportive and fair learning environment;
  • guarantee the integrity and value of each student’s work;
  • demonstrate the student body’s commitment to serious academic pursuits;
  • foster a capacity for ethical decision-making;
  • involve students and faculty mutually in the academic judicial process;
  • specify the procedures to be followed for incidents of academic dishonesty;
  • help create a supportive and fair learning environment; and
  • cultivate an on-going dialogue about academic values within the Hendrix Community.

In pursuit of these goals, Hendrix students have agreed to adhere to the following principles:

  • All students have an equal right to their opinions and to receive constructive criticism.
  • Students should positively engage the course material and encourage their classmates to do the same.
  • No students should gain an unfair advantage or violate their peers’ commitment to honest work and genuine effort. It follows that any work that a student submits for class will be that student’s own work. The amount of cooperation undertaken with other students, the consistency and accuracy of work, and the test-taking procedure should adhere to those guidelines that the instructor 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 and that the full disclosure of sources is the most effective way to ensure accountability to both ourselves and our colleagues.

Violations of these standards of academic integrity may take one of the following forms:

  • 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 another person;
  • Cheating on examinations, laboratory reports, exercises, or projects that are to be done by individual students; giving or receiving answers and/or materials pertinent to any academic work without permission of the instructor;
  • Stealing, manipulating, or interfering with any academic work of another student;
  • Collusion with other students on work that is to be completed by an individual student;
  • Lying to or deceiving faculty; or
  • Violating particular standards as determined and explicitly outlined by individual faculty members on a course by course basis. These particular standards should be clearly indicated on the syllabus for each course.

Instances of academic dishonesty are handled in a two-track system that distinguishes between minor and major violations. The distinction between minor and major violations is made by the instructor of record except in the case of repeat offenders. Repeat offences are treated as major violations. Otherwise, the distinction between minor and major violation is subjective and is intended to differentiate between cases of ignorance, such as poor citation, and cases of deliberate dishonesty. Sanctions for minor violations are determined by the faculty member in agreement with the student being charged and in consideration of established guidelines. Records of minor violations are submitted to the Committee on Academic Integrity for inclusion in a database to track repeat offenders. In addition, these records may be divulged to Hendrix faculty and staff requesting information relevant to awards and honors. Records of single or minor violations shall not be divulged to outside parties such as employers and graduate schools. The Committee on Academic Integrity shall handle all major violations and repeat violations.

Composition of the Committee: The committee consists of six members of the Student Association and five faculty members. The Student Senate nominates and selects student members in the same manner as the College Judicial Council. The College’s Committee on Committees nominates the faculty members. The Committee on Committees also identifies one of the faculty members to serve as committee chair.

A minimum of five members of the Committee on Academic Integrity including at least two faculty and two student members is required to hold a formal hearing. Hearing groups are formed by the chair from the available committee members.

The Chair is responsible for the following: convening the Committee whenever a report has been filed; serving as the official, corresponding liaison between the Committee and the concerned parties; being the contact person for all questions concerning the process and procedure of the Committee; and transmitting all Committee decisions to the concerned parties through an Official Letter of Decision.

Committee Process: All alleged violations of academic standards must be reported to the Committee on Academic Integrity. Report of a violation can be filed in one of three ways:

  • If the violation is determined to be minor, a student and a faculty member may agree to sanctions and are only required to report the violation to the Chair of the Committee on Academic Integrity. The Chair could then accept the report and file it without committee involvement, unless further action was warranted by inconsistencies of sanctions or by previous violations.
  • If the violation is determined to be major, a faculty or staff member may file a report with the Chair of the Committee that results in a formal hearing.
  • A student may either inform the instructor of record, who files a report with the Chair of the Committee, or file a report directly with the Chair of the Committee. In either case the Chair shall establish appropriate deliberations and sanctions with respect to the severity of the violation in consultation with the instructor of record and the Committee.

All reports must be made in writing and if a major violation is determined, the Committee shall convene within two weeks of that report, provided this conforms to the academic calendar. If the academic calendar does not allow such convention, the case will be revisited during the first two weeks of the next academic session. Whoever files the alleged violation report to the Committee must attend the hearing. At this meeting, all statements and evidence will be presented. All parties have the right to introduce evidence or witnesses. A student facing academic integrity allegations must continue through the hearing process even if the student has withdrawn from the class in which the alleged violations took place.

A simple majority 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 Committee must reconvene within a week, provided this conforms to the academic calendar.

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, every member of the Committee must sign a Confidentiality Statement to protect the privacy of deliberations.

The Committee is to use the sentiments expressed within this document to render a decision on each particular case. The Committee has two options in rendering a decision:

  • In violation
  • Not in violation

A student is in violation of the standards of academic integrity only when a majority of the hearing committee concur that a violation has occurred. If the Committee finds a student to be in violation of the standards of academic integrity, it also hands down a particular sanction in direct consultation with the instructor of record. The Committee must strongly consider the recommended sanction from the instructor of record. A majority of the hearing committee must agree upon specific sanctions. If a student is not found to be in violation of the standards of academic integrity, no further action will be taken.

The Committee shall retain all records of major and repeat violations for a period of six years, after which the records are purged. During the six year period that records of major and repeat violations are retained 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 major or repeat violation exists (although the details of the violation will not be released).

Appropriate sanctions may include one or more of the following:

  • Allowing the student to resubmit the assignment with the understanding that a predetermined number of penalty points will be deducted from the student’s total score.
  • Giving the student a zero (0) on the assignment in question.
  • Giving the student an F for the course.
  • A major or repeat violation may result in placing the student on academic integrity probation. This means that if a student is later found guilty of another academic integrity violation, the sanction will automatically consist of suspension or expulsion (with such a recommendation, the Provost of the College is the consulting officer).
  • In severe cases, placing the student on suspension and/or expulsion (with such a recommendation, the Provost of the College is the consulting officer).

Students are still subject to these sanctions if they have withdrawn from a class in which an academic integrity violation took place. When a decision has been reached, it is transmitted to the involved parties through an Official Letter of Decision from the Chair of the Committee. Included in this Letter is the decision of the Committee and the prescribed sanction, if the student is found to be in violation of the standards of academic integrity. Copies of this letter are also sent to the faculty advisor, the instructor of record, the Registrar’s Office, the Provost of the College, the Vice President for Student Affairs, and the Executive Director of Advising and Academic Success. Also, if the student is listed with the Registrar’s Office as being financially dependent, the Committee will send a copy of the letter to those whom the student is dependent upon.

Appeals: All academic integrity-related decisions are subject to appeal. Intent to appeal must be filed in writing with the Office of Academic Affairs no later than one week after the Committee’s decision. The Provost will decide if there are sufficient grounds for appeal, and, if such grounds are found, the Provost will forward the case to the Committee on Academic Appeals, whose decision is final. The Appeals process should be completed within four weeks of filing, exclusive of breaks in the academic year.

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