McNeese State University seeks to strengthen the value of student academic achievement by fostering a learning environment which is based on honesty, respect, fairness, responsibility, and excellence. Consequently, the University expects that all members of its academic community will demonstrate honesty and integrity in all academic relationships. The purpose of the Academic Integrity policy is to provide students, faculty, and staff with guidelines about what behaviors violate academic integrity expectations, and the process for addressing academic integrity issues.
Definitions Related to the Academic Integrity Policy
Cheating: Cheating is defined as the act of giving unauthorized assistance to or receiving unauthorized assistance from another individual or other source for the purpose of completing academic requirements. This includes, but is not limited to, completion of homework, tests, projects, research assignments, or other course requirements. Examples include, but are not limited to:
- during an examination, receiving or giving information not allowed by the instructor-to include allowing another student to copy work.;
- plagiarizing or representing another person's work (published or unpublished) as one's own;
- copying all or part of another's work and claiming it as one's own;
- copying all or parts of information (either word for word or with interchanging words) without citing the source;
- obtaining, distributing, or referring to a copy of an examination which the instructor and/or department has not authorized to be made available for such purpose;
- submitting work that has been previously or is being concurrently used in a different class by oneself or by another student. (Special permission from the instructor who assigns work must be obtained to develop work for a class which was prepared for another class.);
- misrepresentation of data for any purpose;
- other examples of academic misconduct. A cheating violation may result in a penalty imposed by the instructor and/or may be referred to the Dean of Student Services for presentation to the Academic Integrity Council (AIC).
Falsification: Falsification is defined as altering official University documents, forging signatures of University officials or any other individual, or any other attempt to misrepresent official and/or institutional documents or records. This violation is referred to the Dean of Student Services who will determine if the case should be presented to the University Discipline Committee.
Unauthorized Access: This includes acquiring unauthorized access to property, information, or materials which belong to another person. Materials may belong to another student, a faculty or staff member, or the University, and can be acquired in any form. This violation is referred to the Dean of Student Services who will determine if the case should be presented to the University Discipline Committee.
Violations of Academic Integrity
- Academic misconduct by a student at the University is determined by the faculty member under whom such misconduct occurs. Instructors have the option of presenting possible academic integrity violations directly to the Dean of Student Services who will determine if the Academic Integrity Panel should hear the case. A student wishing to report a violation of academic integrity should inform the appropriate instructor or the Dean of Student Services.
- The penalty for cheating, which is determined by the faculty member, may range from an "F" on the specific assessment (quiz, test, project, etc.), to an "F" in the course.
- The student may opt to accept the penalty or may appeal to the Dean of Student Services for a hearing by the Academic Integrity Panel which is established by the Academic Integrity Council. Panel decisions are binding on all parties.
- The Academic Integrity Panel may confirm an instructor's penalty and/or move to impose other penalties including suspension or dismissal from the University. Penalties imposed and/or confirmed by the Academic Integrity Panel may be appealed for procedural review only. In cases of suspension of one year or more, and in cases of dismissal, students may appeal to the University President and then through processes specified by the Board of Supervisors.
- Withdrawal from a course may not supersede any disciplinary measures imposed by the Academic Integrity Panel.
- If the Academic Integrity Panel finds that no academic integrity violation has occurred, the instructor should work with the Panel to adjust the student's grade as appropriate.
- Cases of academic misconduct and the penalty imposed should be reported in writing to the department head and the Office of the Dean of Student Services.
Cases involving falsification or unauthorized access must be submitted to the dean of student services who will determine if a hearing by University Discipline Committee is appropriate. The penalty for falsification or unauthorized access may be determined by the Dean of Student Services or the University Discipline Committee.
The Academic Integrity Council
The Vice President of Academic Affairs appoints the Academic Integrity Council which is comprised of faculty, student, and staff representatives.
Five faculty members as follows:
- Two faculty who hold graduate faculty membership selected from recommendations by deans.
- One regular faculty member selected from recommendations by the deans.
- One faculty representative recommended by the Faculty Senate.
- One faculty representative recommended by the President.
- One staff member recommended by the Vice President of Administration and Student Affairs.
Five full-time students.
- Three full-time undergraduate students with a minimum 3.3 cumulative GPA and recommended by the Director of the Honors College.
- Two graduate students recommended by the Graduate Council.
The Academic Integrity Council shall be responsible for developing and obtaining approval for hearing processes, and for recommending to the Vice President of Academic Affairs other academic integrity related policy and procedures.
The dean of student services or his/her designee may bring academic integrity cases to the Academic Integrity Council Chairperson as appropriate.
The Chair of the Academic Integrity Council Cases will convene and chair an Academic Integrity Panel drawn from the AIC and if necessary, from the Graduate Council. Panel membership should avoid conflicts of interest. Panel membership should be comprised of at least three faculty members and two students, and should avoid conflicts of interest whenever possible.
An Academic Integrity Panel hearing cases involving undergraduate students may consist of regular faculty and undergraduate student members. The Panel Chair serves as a non-voting member.
An Academic Integrity Panel hearing cases involving graduate students must consist of graduate faculty and graduate student members. The Panel Chair serves as a non-voting member and may or may not hold graduate faculty membership.
Academic Integrity Panel decisions involving expulsion as a disciplinary measure may be appealed to the President, then to the Board of Supervisors as per University of Louisiana System Board Rules. Decisions involving less than expulsion are not appealable.