Academic Integrity & Misconduct Policy

  1. Definitions of Academic Integrity and Misconduct
  2. Student and Faculty Responsibilities
  3. Reporting Alleged Acts of Academic Misconduct
  4. Penalty Classifications for Academic Misconduct
  5. Course-Level Penalties for Academic Misconduct
  6. University-Level Penalties for Academic Misconduct
  7. Student Notification
  8. Student Admissions of Guilt
  9. Membership of the Academic Integrity Council (AIC)
  10. Convening an AIC Hearing
  11. AIC Hearing Panel Jurisdiction
  12. AIC Hearing Panel Attendants
  13. AIC Hearing Panel Proceedings
  14. AIC Hearing Panel Deliberations
  15. AIC Hearing Panel Records & Findings
  16. Actions Taken Upon an AIC Hearing Panel Decision
  17. Appealing AIC Hearing Panel Decisions

I. Definitions

Members of the Jacksonville University community are expected to foster and uphold the highest standards of honesty and integrity, which are foundations for the intellectual endeavors we engage in. To underscore the importance of truth, honesty, and accountability, students and instructors should adhere to the following standard:

I do not lie, cheat, or steal, nor do I condone the actions of those who do.

Academic misconduct occurs when a student engages in an action that is deceitful, fraudulent, or dishonest regarding any type of academic assignment that is intended to or results in an unfair academic advantage. In this context, the term “assignment” refers to any type of graded or ungraded work that is submitted for evaluation for any course. Academic misconduct includes but is not limited to cheating, collusion, falsification, misrepresentation, unauthorized collaboration on assignments, copying another student’s work, using or providing unauthorized notes or materials, turning in work not produced by the individual, and plagiarism. Furthermore, providing deceitful, fraudulent, or dishonest information during discussions of an academic manner with faculty are also examples of academic misconduct.

Specific examples of academic misconduct include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Using unauthorized notes or other unauthorized resources for an exam or assignment.
  • Sharing information about a test or quiz with others if you take the test or quiz earlier than other students.
  • Copying answers from someone else, such as on a test, quiz, lab report, assignment, etc.
  • Presenting any false material as genuine, such as falsified data, false resources, false citations, etc.
  • Turning in the same or significantly similar assignment to more than one class without first obtaining explicit permission from the instructors.
  • Falsifying class records or other materials submitted to comply with course requirements or to obtain course credit, including providing false information regarding class attendance, attendance at a required event or an event for which credit will be given, or attendance at an internship or other required service.
  • Misrepresenting the truth or lying in an effort to receive an extension of a due date, reschedule a test date, or any obtain any other unfair academic advantage.
  • Lying to a faculty member when approached about an incidence of academic misconduct. In this instance, lying about an instance of academic misconduct only compounds the dishonesty and is further disrespect to the faculty member and the academic system.
  • Facilitating any misconduct by another student. This includes helping another student engage in academic misconduct as well as pressuring or coercing another student into assisting in academic misconduct.
  • Substituting one person for another to take a course, test, or any other academic assessment.
  • Purposefully impeding others from academic progress.
  • Plagiarism centers on representing another’s work as your own.
    • Copying someone else’s work and/or words without using quotes and proper citation.
    • Paraphrasing someone else’s work and/or original ideas without proper citation.
    • Using someone else’s train of thought, ideas, conclusions, logic, etc., without proper citation.

Ways to avoid academic misconduct:

  • Always do your own work.
  • Never “copy and paste” information into a document that you will end up turning in.
  • If you “copy and paste” information into a document, always put it in quotation marks and then put a citation.
  • Never lend your work to others, and do not borrow work from others.
  • If you are conducting a group project and a member of the group is not participating, contact the instructor and/or do not put that student’s name on the end product.
  • Ensure that any collaborative work adheres to the guidelines set by the instructor. If you are engaged in a collaboration that seems like it might be unauthorized, seek clarification from your instructor.
  • Review this section of the catalog (Academic Honesty) frequently.
  • Recognize the importance of communication and clarification. Understanding what does and does not constitute academic misconduct is the responsibility of each individual and thus each individual should seek clarification on matters of academic integrity and misconduct.
    • Clarify with your instructor what is authorized and what is not authorized regarding use of materials, collaboration, etc.
    • If you have any questions regarding whether something is considered academic misconduct, consult your instructor if it is class or assignment specific, or your academic advisor.
    • Certain types of plagiarism are not as obvious as other types. However, unintentional plagiarism is still plagiarism, so actively work to understand what does and does not constitute plagiarism.

II. Responsibilities

It is the responsibility of each student at Jacksonville University to know and abide by the standards and guidelines for academic integrity, as outlined above.

Instructors are expected to provide clear information regarding class assignments; however, it is ultimately a student’s responsibility to understand the amount of collaboration allowed in a specific assignment, to understand how to cite sources, and to never assume that working with others or using the student’s previous work or the work of others is acceptable without instructor permission.

It is the responsibility of instructors to report all acts of misconduct, even if they believe those acts to be unintentional, so that students can benefit from special educational instruction and assistance to help ensure that they avoid committing such acts again in the future. If the instructor is unsure whether a violation has occurred, the instructor is to consult with the Chair of the Academic Integrity Council.

By reporting acts of academic misconduct through the Academic Misconduct Notification Form (available to instructors via WebAdvisor) at the time that they occur, instructors initiate a process that allows students to either admit guilt, accept all penalties without explicitly admitting guilt, or exercise the right to challenge the instructor’s determination of guilt in a timely manner with the Academic Integrity Council. This process is entirely separate from the Grade Appeals Process. If an instructor should impose a penalty for an act of academic misconduct in a course, but fail to report the incident through the Academic Misconduct Notification Form, the instructor’s action will be considered a violation of university policy. Therefore, if the student should initiate a grade appeal after receiving his/her final grade in the course, the instructor’s dean would automatically reverse the course-level penalty.

III. Reporting Alleged Acts of Academic Misconduct

If an instructor believes a student has committed an act of academic misconduct, the instructor is to meet with the student, if possible, to discuss the matter. When it is not possible to meet with the student, the instructor is to contact the student by email. This meeting or email contact should be initiated as soon as possible after the instructor’s discovery of the act. The instructor is then to fill out the Academic Misconduct Notification Form (available to instructors via WebAdvisor). This form will generate a report that will be automatically transmitted via email to the student, the instructor, and either the instructor’s dean or a designee who is authorized to act on behalf of that dean. On this form, the instructor will:

  1. Indicate that a “warning” be issued to the student. This option is to be used to provide the student with a teaching moment and may or may not include a course penalty, according to the instructor’s discretion (see Section IV, “Penalty Classifications for Academic Misconduct,” below]. Under this option, the student will be required to undergo special educational instruction and assistance to help ensure that he or she avoids committing such acts again. This “warning only” option may be chosen in any of the following circumstances:

    • The affected assignment amounted to 5% or less of the total grade in the course.
    • An act of plagiarism occurred due to a technicality and was likely unintentional.
    • Mitigating circumstances suggest that the act of misconduct was not an overt attempt to gain an unfair advantage.

    If a student receives two warnings during his or her course of study at Jacksonville University, the student will be placed on a probationary watch list. Records of being on the probationary watch list will be expunged from the student’s academic file upon graduation, assuming no further acts of academic misconduct occur.

    • Once the student has been placed on the probationary watch list, further incidents of academic misconduct may lead to suspension or expulsion.
  2. Indicate that a “citation for academic misconduct” be issued to the student. This option usually requires the student to undergo special educational instruction and assistance as well, but it also typically entails placing the student on a probationary watch list, unless the student has already received another such citation in the past.

    • Records of being on the probationary watch list will be expunged from the student’s academic file upon graduation, assuming no further acts of academic misconduct occur.
    • Once a student has been placed on the probationary watch list, further incidents of academic misconduct may lead to suspension or expulsion.

NOTE: If the course-level penalty assigned by the instructor is failure for the entire course, the instructor is to indicate, on the Academic Misconduct Notification Form, that the instructor’s dean is to direct the Registrar’s Office to create an “Academic Hold” which will prevent the student from withdrawing from the course in question (the student may still withdraw from other courses).

IV. Penalty Classifications for Academic Misconduct

There are two levels of penalties for incidents of academic misconduct.

  1. A course-level penalty, which is assigned by the instructor, in line with the policies on the instructor’s syllabus.
  2. A concurrent university-level penalty, which will include educational instruction and assistance, but may include placing the student on a probationary watch list, suspension, or even expulsion from the university, depending on the type of violation and/or the type and number of previous violations.

V. Course-Level Penalties for Academic Misconduct

Upon discovery of an act of academic misconduct, the assigning of a course-level penalty is up to the discretion of the instructor. If the student requests an AIC hearing panel to review his or her case and is found innocent of the alleged misconduct, the instructor must retract any course-level penalties and re-grade the assignment(s) in question as if no academic misconduct occurred.

Unless the course-level penalty is failure for the entire course, the student may still withdraw from the course, provided that the deadline for withdrawing has not yet passed.

VI. University-Level Penalties for Academic Misconduct

Once a student has admitted to an act of academic misconduct, or has been found guilty of committing such an act by a Hearing Panel of the Academic Integrity Council (see section XVI, “Actions Taken Upon an AIC Hearing Panel Decision” below), the university-level penalties below are to be imposed, and the student’s academic advisor is to be notified. If the student is an athlete, the Chief Athletics Officer and the Faculty Athletics Representative are to be notified. If the student is a member of ROTC, his or her Commanding Officer is to be notified.

Warnings

  • One warning will result in mandatory educational instruction and assistance, to help ensure that the student avoids committing such an act again.
  • A second warning will result in further mandated educational instruction and assistance, along with the student being placed on the probationary watch list, unless the two warnings occur concurrently, in which case they are to be treated as one warning.
  • If students receive no more than two warnings during their course of study at Jacksonville University, and no further acts of academic misconduct occur, these warnings will be expunged from their academic files upon graduation.
  • Once a student has been placed on the probationary watch list, further incidents of academic misconduct may lead to suspension or expulsion, with the length of the suspension to be determined by the instructor’s dean.

Citations for Academic Misconduct

  • One citation will result in mandatory education instruction and assistance, in addition to the student being placed on the probationary watch list. This is to occur regardless of whether or not the student has received a previous warning. In cases where the student has already received two warnings, however, and has hence already been placed on the probationary watch list, punishment will then be governed by the guidelines listed below.
  • Records of an act of academic misconduct are only retained in a student’s academic file if the student is eventually suspended or expelled from the university for academic misconduct. Notations regarding such an act will otherwise be expunged from the student’s academic file upon graduation.
  • If a student’s first two offenses occur concurrently (as determined by a relevant Dean), whether they involve warnings, citations, or a mix of both, they are to be treated as one offense. If these first two offenses are a mix of a warning and a citation, they are to count as one citation of academic misconduct.

Educational Instruction and Assistance

The purpose of special educational instruction and assistance is to help ensure that students avoid committing acts of academic misconduct again.

  • A “training hold” will be placed on the student’s account to prevent the student from registering for classes, requesting transcripts, and / or graduating, until the instructor’s dean or designee receives notification from the appropriate units (i.e., the Writing Center and the Academic Support Center) that this educational training has been completed.
  • The student is still to be allowed to withdraw from the course in which academic misconduct occurred, prior to completing this educational training, provided that the course-level penalty determined by the instructor is not failure for the entire course and that the university deadline for withdrawing has not passed. The mandatory educational instruction is to include 1) individualized educational counseling with (non-student) staff at the Academic Support Center and 2) instruction from the Writing Center about plagiarism. This instruction is to include both components, no matter what the exact nature of the act of misconduct was.
  • This mandatory educational instruction is to consist of standardized modules approved by the Academic Standards Committee.

Probationary Watch List, Suspension, and Expulsion

  • Records of being on the probationary watch list will be expunged from the student’s academic file upon graduation, assuming no further acts of academic misconduct occur.
  • Once the student has been placed on the probationary watch list, any further acts of academic misconduct, whether it be warning or a citation, may result in suspension from the university, with the length of the suspension to be determined by the instructor’s dean.
  • If students are suspended for academic misconduct, that notation will remain on file in the office of the Chief Academic Officer, but it will not be entered on their permanent transcripts.
  • Once students have been suspended for academic misconduct, any further warnings or citations that occur upon their return may result in immediate expulsion from the university.
  • Students who are expelled from Jacksonville University are unable to enroll in any future classes, and records of this expulsion are maintained in their academic files. Official transcripts, however, do not record any mention of expulsion or the reasons why students are expelled.

Special Cases

  • If the instructor’s dean judges a particular act of academic misconduct to be especially egregious, he or she may take the matter to the Chief Academic Officer, who may impose harsher penalties than those outlined above, including immediate expulsion from the university after just one act.
  • As mentioned above, if a student’s first two offenses occur concurrently, whether they involve warnings, citations, or a mix of both, they are to be treated as one offense. If a student who has previously been free of academic misconduct suddenly commits more than two offenses in one semester, however, it is up to the judgment of the Chief Academic Officer to decide whether those acts will count as one or more offenses.

VII. Student Notification

Once the instructor’s dean or designee has received the Academic Misconduct Notification Form from the instructor, if the course-level penalty assigned by the instructor is failure for the course, the instructor’s dean is to inform the Registrar to place an “Academic Hold” to prevent the student from withdrawing from the course in question.

If the instructor has indicated “WARNING” only on the Academic Misconduct Notification Form, that instructor’s judgment is to be respected. If the instructor marks “CITATION,” however, the instructor’s dean has the right to lessen that to a “WARNING” if, in his or her judgment, the infraction fits the guidelines for a warning. Again, these guidelines include any of the following circumstances:

  • The affected assignment amounted to 5% or less of the total grade in the course.
  • An act of plagiarism occurred due to a technicality and was likely unintentional.
  • Mitigating circumstances suggests that the act of misconduct was not an overt attempt to gain an unfair advantage.

The instructor’s dean or designee is then to ascertain whether or not this is the student’s first offense, so that he or she can accurately communicate to the student what the university penalty will be if the student chooses to admit committing the act in question. Once this determination is made, the instructor’s dean or designee is to notify the student by email.

  • After receiving the Academic Misconduct Notification Form from the instructor, the instructor’s dean or designee is to notify the student what the course- and university-level penalties will be if the student admits to the act of academic misconduct described in the Academic Misconduct Notification Form previously submitted by the instructor. The instructor’s dean or designee is to inform the student of the following options (only if an Academic Misconduct Notification Form is submitted by the instructor) : 1) admit committing the act in question and accept the course- and university-level penalties, 2) accept the penalties without an admission of misconduct, or 3) request a hearing with the Academic Integrity Council.
  • The instructor’s dean or designee may advise the student to seek counsel from a faculty advisor, coach, and/ or administrator.
  • The instructor’s dean or designee is to inform the student that he or she has seven (7) business days from the postmark date (or email time stamp) of this notification to request a hearing with the Academic Integrity Council, or the student will be presumed guilty of committing the violation.

VIII. Student Admissions of Guilt

In cases in which the accused student admits to the act of academic misconduct, accepts the penalties without an admission of misconduct, or fails to request a hearing with the Academic Integrity Council within the allotted seven (7) business days, the instructor’s dean or designee is to record a determination that the student has indeed committed the act in question. The instructor’s dean or designee is also to notify the Registrar to place a “training hold” on the student’s on the student’s account to prevent the student from registering for classes, requesting transcripts, and / or graduating, until the instructor’s dean or designee receives notification from the appropriate units (i.e., the Writing Center and the Academic Support Center) that any required educational training (see Section VI above) has been completed. The instructor, the student’s academic advisor, and the student’s dean (if applicable) are then to be notified, and all university- level penalties are to be assessed and applied. If the student is an athlete, the Chief Athletics Officer and the Faculty Athletics Representative are to be notified. If the student is a member of ROTC, their Commanding Officer is to be notified. The notification is also sent to the office of the Chief Academic Officer for recordkeeping.

IX. Membership of the Academic Integrity Council (AIC)

The Academic Integrity Council is led by a Chair.

  • The AIC Chair is a non-voting member who presides over all hearings of the AIC.
  • The AIC Chair is to serve as a neutral resource to both students and faculty.
  • The AIC Chair is to be a tenured faculty member, appointed by the Chief Academic Officer to serve a two-year term, which may be renewed.

The other members of the Academic Integrity Council form a pool of faculty members from which the AIC Chair draws to form Hearing Panels.

  • At least three faculty members from each college are to be appointed to the AIC, with at least one faculty member coming from each academic school or division. These faculty members are to be tenured, unless the particular division or school they represent has less than two tenured faculty. In such cases, non-tenured faculty may be appointed to the AIC. These faculty members are to be appointed to the AIC by the deans of each college, in consultation with division chairs, to serve two-year terms, which may be renewed. Additional tenured faculty members may be appointed to the AIC as needed, from any academic division or school, at the discretion of the deans. The terms of these faculty members are to be staggered, to ensure continuity.
  • Three undergraduate students, to be selected from three different academic units, are to be appointed by the Chief Student Life Officer each year to serve one-year terms on the AIC. Terms of service are renewable.
  • Three graduate students, to be selected from three different academic units, are to be appointed by the Chief Student Life Officer each year to serve one-year terms on the AIC. Terms of service are renewable.

X. Convening an AIC Hearing

A student can request a hearing with the Academic Integrity Council only after an Academic Misconduct Notification Form is submitted by the instructor. If there is no Academic Misconduct Notification Form submitted by the instructor, the student will need to refer to information in the Grade Appeal Process in the JU Catalog.

If the student requests a hearing with the Academic Integrity Council, the instructor’s dean or designee is to forward all information regarding the alleged act of academic misconduct to the AIC Chair, who is to meet with the student in a neutral, advisory role, to review the case and discuss the student’s options. If the instructor who has charged the student with an act of misconduct is also the AIC chair, then the instructor’s dean will designate another faculty member serving on the AIC to meet with the student, and to serve as the AIC chair for that case.

The AIC Chair may make frank recommendations at this meeting that result in the student choosing to forego the hearing and admit to committing academic misconduct, but it remains the student’s right to have a hearing if he or she chooses. If, after this meeting, the student still wishes to request a hearing, the AIC Chair is to schedule one within the next fourteen (14) business days, if possible.

When alleged violations occur at the end of a fall or summer semester, the hearing is to take place within thirty (30) days of the beginning of the next spring or fall semester, respectively. When alleged violations occur during the spring semester, the hearing is to take place no later than thirty days after the beginning of the following fall semester.

The AIC Chair will then select the participants of a Hearing Panel from the members of the AIC. The Hearing Panel is to consist of three to five voting members (aside from the chair).

Members of the AIC may disqualify themselves from participating in any particular Hearing Panel for any reason. In such a case, it is up to the chair to find a replacement member according to the above guidelines. The instructor who has accused the student of academic misconduct cannot be a member of the hearing panel, nor serve as the AIC chair for that panel.

The instructor and the instructor’s dean are to be notified of the time and place of the hearing.

If an accused student is either unwilling or unable to attend a Hearing Panel that he or she has requested, the AIC chair may opt to have five members of the AIC review the student’s case without requiring these members to attend a physical meeting. 

XI. AIC Hearing Panel Jurisdiction

AIC Hearing Panels have jurisdiction over one issue and one issue alone: determining whether accused students are guilty of the particular act(s) of academic misconduct related to the warning or the citation alleged by the instructor. AIC Hearing Panels have no jurisdiction over the penalties imposed for violations, or whether the act in question merits a warning or a citation for academic misconduct.

Only the instructor’s dean has the right to change a citation to a warning. His or her decision on this matter is final. If a student who has admitted an act of academic misconduct or been found guilty of one by a hearing panel should wish to contest the severity of a course-level penalty imposed by an instructor (on the basis that the penalty was not in accordance with the instructor’s stated syllabus policies), that student would need to follow the process outlined in the “Standard Procedures for Appeals of Grades and Sanctions” section of this catalog.

XII. AIC Hearing Panel Attendants

AIC Hearings are to be closed from the public. Only the following people are to be allowed to attend:

  • The Chair of the AIC, who is to preside over the proceedings, but not have a vote in determining the outcome.
  • The members of the Hearing Panel, chosen by the AIC Chair
  • The accused student, who may elect to be accompanied by an advisor of his/her choosing. The advisor must be a member of the University community (i.e., a current student, faculty, or staff member) and may not be an attorney for, or a parent of, the accused student. The accused student is responsible for presenting his/her own information, and therefore, advisors are not permitted to speak or to participate directly in the hearing. If the student is unable to attend the hearing, he or she may opt to submit a written statement for review by the panel.
  • The instructor.
  • Witnesses, if relevant, admitted at the sole discretion of the AIC Chair.

The instructor is strongly encouraged to attend the hearing.

XIII. AIC Hearing Panel Proceedings

The Chair of the AIC is to preside over the proceedings of the Hearing Panel.

  • The AIC Chair is to allow the student to present evidence.
  • The AIC Chair may allow the student to present witnesses, at his or her discretion.
  • The AIC Chair may allow the instructor to give testimony and present witnesses, at his or her discretion.
  • The AIC Chair is to allow panel participants to ask both the student and the instructor questions.

Formal rules of evidence need not apply. If either the student or the instructor fails to attend the hearing, the hearing will still proceed. The student has the right to hear the testimony and witnesses offered by the instructor, as well as to review all evidence submitted by the instructor. At the sole discretion of the AIC Chair, the instructor may be excluded from any part of the panel proceedings.

All evidence presented will be considered objectively by the panel. Both the instructor and the student are only to speak when prompted by the AIC Chair. Once all evidence has been presented and panel members have finished with their questions, the Chair will ask everyone to leave except for the panel members, so that deliberations can occur.

XIV. AIC Hearing Panel Deliberations

Once the Hearing Panel is alone with the AIC Chair, the Chair will answer any questions that any member of the AIC Hearing Panel might have about the proceedings. Then the Chair will leave the panelists alone to deliberate until they notify the chair that they are ready to vote. The vote is to be private, submitted by paper ballot, and administered by the chair, with the majority determining the outcome. In the event of a tie, the student is to be found not guilty.

If the accused student is either unable or unwilling to attend the Hearing Panel, and the AIC chair has opted to have five members of the AIC review the student’s case without attending a physical meeting, deliberations are to occur electronically.

XV. AIC Hearing Panel Records & Findings

The AIC Chair is to keep a record of the proceedings and the outcome, documenting the names of all attendants along with the ultimate finding of the Hearing Panel. If the student has been found guilty of academic misconduct, the AIC Chair is to send a notification of the finding to the office of the Chief Academic Officer, or to a designee acting on behalf of the Chief Academic Officer, for recordkeeping.

XVI. Actions Taken Upon an AIC Hearing Panel Decision

The AIC chair is to notify the instructor’s dean and the student’s dean (if applicable) of the outcome of the hearing panel.

If the hearing panel has found the student guilty of academic misconduct, the AIC chair will inform the student’s academic advisor of the outcome. The AIC chair will make the following additional notifications if relevant: if the student is an athlete, the Chief Athletics Officer and the Faculty Athletics Representative are to be notified; if the student is a member of ROTC, their Commanding Officer is to be notified. The instructor’s dean or designee is also to inform both the student and the instructor of the finding and is to enforce all penalties, which may include expulsion from the university. If applicable, the instructor’s dean or designee is also to notify the Registrar to place a “training hold” on the student’s account to prevent the student from registering for classes, requesting transcripts, and / or graduating, until he or she receives notification from the appropriate units (i.e., the Writing Center and the Academic Support Center) that any mandatory educational training (see Section VI above) has been completed.

If the student is found innocent, the instructor’s dean or designee is to notify the Registrar that any holds on the student’s academic records are to be released, and also to notify the instructor to retract any course-level penalties previously assessed and to re-grade the assignment(s) in question as if no academic misconduct occurred.

XVII. Appealing AIC Hearing Panel Decisions

Decisions of an AIC Hearing Panel are final, unless the student can document that a serious procedural error occurred. This documentation must be submitted to the Chief Academic Officer within ten (10) business days of the hearing panel finding. The Chief Academic Officer will then review the student’s appeal, make a decision, and notify all parties of the decision and its rationale. The decision of the Chief Academic Officer will be final.