Academic Honor Policy | St. Lawrence University Academic Affairs

Academic Honor Policy

Academic Integrity Procedures

All students at St. Lawrence University are bound by honor to maintain the highest level of academic integrity.  By virtue of membership in the St. Lawrence community, every student accepts the responsibility to know the rules of academic honesty, to abide by them at all times, and to encourage all others to do the same.

Responsibility for avoiding behavior or situations from which academic dishonesty may be inferred rests entirely with the students.  Claims of ignorance, unintentional error, and academic or personal pressure are not excuses for academic dishonesty.  Students should be sure to learn from faculty what is expected as their own work and how the work of other people should be acknowledged.  Instructors are expected to maintain conditions which promote academic honesty.

Instructors have the duty to investigate any instance involving possible academic dishonesty and must follow the procedures of the Constitution of the Academic Honor Council rather than make private arrangements with the student involved.  Violations of the St. Lawrence University Code of Academic Honor are administered under the constitution of the Academic Honor Council which is reprinted in its entirety below.

Academic Honor Council Constitution

APPENDIX III: The Constitution of the Academic Honor Council shall be as follows in accordance with ARTICLE XI, SECTION 2:
Clause I: The Academic Honor Code – Responsibilities of the Student

Section 1.  All information contained in this article shall be provided to incoming first year students during the summer before their matriculation at St. Lawrence University. Students must electronically indicate that they have read and will abide by the Academic Honor Code when first activating their SLU online ID and email address. In addition, at a First-Year Convocation St. Lawrence students are asked to sign a ledger acknowledging their awareness of and their agreement to abide by the Academic Honor Code.

Section 2. Academic Honesty: A major commitment of the University is “to the intellectual development of the student” (St. Lawrence University Aims and Objectives) which can be achieved only by strict adherence to standards of honesty. At St. Lawrence, all members of the community have a responsibility to see that these standards are maintained. Consequently, St. Lawrence University students will not engage in acts of academic dishonesty as described below.

It is assumed that all work is done by the student unless the instructor/mentor/employer gives specific permission for collaboration or sharing of work. Honesty requires handing in or presenting original work where originality is required.

Clause II: Academic Dishonesty

Section 1. Although not an exhaustive list, the following constitute examples of academic dishonesty:

a. Plagiarism: Presenting as one’s own work the work of another person--words, ideas, data, evidence, thoughts, information, images, media, artistic material, organizing principles, or style of presentation--without proper attribution. Plagiarism includes paraphrasing or summarizing without acknowledgment by quotation marks, footnotes, endnotes, or other indices of reference (cf. Joseph F. Trimmer, A Guide to MLA Documentation).

b. Cheating on examinations and tests, which consists of knowingly giving or using or attempting to use unauthorized assistance during examinations or tests.

c. Dishonesty in work outside of examinations and tests, which consists of handing in or presenting as original work that is not original, where originality is required.

d. Handing in or presenting false reports on any experiment.

e. Handing in or presenting a book report on a book one has not read.

f. Falsification of records.

g. Supplying information to another student knowing that such information will be used in a dishonest way.

h. Submission of or presentation of work (papers, journal abstracts, oral presentations, etc.) which has received credit in a previous course to satisfy the requirement(s) of a second course without the knowledge and permission of the instructor/supervisor/mentor of the second course.

i. Knowingly making false statements in support of requests for special consideration or special timing in the fulfillment of course requirements.

Section 2. Claims of ignorance and academic or personal pressure are unacceptable as excuses for academic dishonesty. Students must learn what constitutes one’s own work and how the work of others must be acknowledged. Any student found guilty of academic dishonesty by the Academic Honor Council may have a letter placed in his or her permanent file.

Clause III: Responsibilities of Faculty

Section 1. All faculty share responsibility in teaching the ethics of research, scholarship, and scholarly integrity. This responsibility includes holding students to the highest ethical standards in their work and being consistently intolerant of dishonesty.

If an instructor encounters any form of academic dishonesty, s/he has an obligation to call the offending student(s) to account. Appropriate responses depend on the case, and the instructor has three options.

Section 2. If a student submits an assignment in which the work of others is not properly employed or cited, and the instructor regards such a case as indicating that the student needs further instruction in the proper use and citation of sources, the instructor may return the work to the student with clear direction to revise it to conform to proper citation practices. Grading of both the original and revised versions of student work shall remain the prerogative of the faculty member. The instructor may choose to send a letter to the Academic Dean describing the incident. This letter may become part of a student’s internal file in the Academic Dean’s office but will not be shared externally.

Section 3. If the instructor believes a student knowingly represented the work of others as her or his own, and in this way was intentionally dishonest, then the instructor must treat the case as an instance of cheating, and must submit a letter to the Academic Dean. In this and all other instances of academic dishonesty, intentional or unintentional, as long as the student has no documented prior history of academic dishonesty, the instructor may choose to assess what s/he deems to be appropriate penalties and inform the student involved that s/he has the right to appeal the case to the Academic Honor Council.. This letter will become part of the student’s internal file in the Academic Dean’s office and may be shared externally at the discretion of the Dean of Academic Affairs.

Section 4. In any case of academic dishonesty, the instructor may choose to forward the case to the Academic Honor Council. The case must be forwarded with supporting evidence within one week (see Article VII, Section 1). In all cases, the disposition of the case will be placed in the student’s internal file in the Academic Dean’s office. If the student is found to have violated the Academic Honor Code, a letter may be placed in the student’s permanent file in the Student Life Dean’s office and may be shared externally at the discretion of the Dean of Academic Affairs.

Section 5. In all cases, if an instructor believes that the appropriate penalty for cheating or dishonesty should be failure in the course, the instructor must send the case and all supporting evidence to the Academic Honor Council. In all cases where the alleged dishonesty does not take place in a credit-bearing course, the case must be forwarded to the Academic Honor Council. Finally, if the student has a prior history of academic dishonesty, the case must be forwarded to the Academic Honor Council.

Clause IV: Jurisdiction of the Academic Honor Council

Section 1. The Academic Honor Council shall be responsible for hearing cases of alleged violations of the Academic Honor Code. The Dean of Academic Affairs shall be responsible for adjudicating cases in the rare instances that the Academic Honor Council is unable to hear them, following guidelines given in Clause XI, Section 3.

Clause V: Responsibilities of the Academic Honor Council

Section 1. The Academic Honor Council shall conduct hearings to adjudicate allegations of academic dishonesty and shall submit its findings to the Dean of Academic Affairs. If the Academic Honor Council finds that academic dishonesty has taken place, it shall also submit a recommendation for disciplinary action.

Section 2. Hearings shall be held by the Academic Honor Council within a reasonable length of time after receipt of charges, normally within three weeks.

Clause VI: Membership of the Academic Honor Council

Section 1. The Academic Honor Council shall consist of at least six, and normally no more than ten, student members and three faculty members. The Chairperson of the Academic Honor Council shall be a student; students appointed as chair must have served two semesters on the council except in extenuating circumstances.

Section 2. Student candidates for the Academic Honor Council must be in good standing with the University. They shall be selected at the end of each academic year to serve a one-year term. The selection committee shall consist of the graduating members of the Academic Honor Council, a member of the Senior Executive Board of the Thelomathesian Society, and chair of the Academic Affairs Committee of the Thelomathesian Senate. Students recommended by the selection committee shall be considered for final approval by the Thelomathesian Senate. At that time the Chairperson of the Academic Honor Council shall be recommended by a majority of the selection committee for final approval by the Thelomathesian Senate.

Section 3. The faculty members of the Academic Honor Council shall be selected by Faculty Council and shall serve two-year terms. They may be re-appointed. In the case of a faculty vacancy on the Academic Honor Council, a new member shall be selected by Faculty Council.

Clause VII: Removal of Members of the Academic Honor Council

Section 1. Student members of the Academic Honor Council may be removed before their one-year term is complete for betrayal of trust in matters pertaining to the Academic Honor Council and/or failure to maintain good academic and social standing and/or for failing to meet the responsibilities of serving on the Council. Requests for removal may be initiated by any member of the St. Lawrence University community at any time during the academic year.

Section 2. Student members of the Academic Honor Council may be removed by a majority vote of the executive board of the Thelomathesian Society.

Section 3. Faculty members of the Academic Honor Council may be removed by Faculty Council.

Clause VIII: Responsibilities of the Chairperson of the Academic Honor Council

Section 1. The Chairperson shall be responsible for informing the members of the Academic Honor Council of meetings, providing them with the pertinent information, and facilitating these meetings.

Section 2. The Chairperson shall be responsible for delivering the written recommendation to the Dean of Academic Affairs.

Clause IX: Procedures

Section 1. All charges of academic dishonesty with respect to the Academic Honor Code that are sent to the Academic Honor Council must be presented in writing through the office of the Dean of Academic Affairs. The office of the Dean of Academic Affairs will work with the Chairperson of the Academic Honor Council to contact the faculty person and student involved and the members of the Honor Council to schedule a hearing.

Section 2. The Academic Honor Council will invite all parties involved to bring forward pertinent materials for consideration. In addition, parties may request that witnesses and other testimony be considered by the Academic Honor Council (or the Council may make its own requests for witnesses or testimony). The decision to hear witnesses and/or consider testimony rests with the Academic Honor Council. No one is permitted to attend an Academic Honor Council hearing unless invited to do so by the Council, and, except in extraordinary circumstances, no one other than a charged party and testifying witnesses will be so invited. If discrepancies emerge between faculty and student testimony, either or both parties may be recalled for further testimony. The faculty and staff involved may make recommendations to the Academic Honor Council about the adjudication of the case. However, they shall not be involved in the final decision-making process.

Section 3. The students involved shall be made aware of their rights before the case is heard by the Academic Honor Council. These rights are:

a. The right to be informed of the charges in writing and to examine evidence pertinent to the case.

b. The right of a one-week notice in advance of their hearing before the Academic Honor Council. This time period may be waived by agreement between the student charged and the Academic Honor Council.

c. The right to consult the office of the Dean of Academic Affairs about Academic Honor Council procedures. The staff member consulted is understood not to be an advocate for the student but simply a neutral provider of procedural information.

d. The right to remain silent.

e. The right to request that witnesses and/or faculty advisors be permitted to testify at a hearing. However, the Academic Honor Council ultimately determines whether particular witnesses will be permitted to testify and can place reasonable limits on the number of witnesses who will be permitted and the matters about which they will be permitted to testify.

f. The right to appeal the decision of the Dean of Academic Affairs.

The Academic Honor Council recommends that all students seek counsel from a faculty member or academic advisor before their hearing.

Section 4. The faculty involved shall be made aware of their rights before the case is heard by the Academic Honor Council. These rights are:

a. The right to clear and consistent procedures for hearing all cases of academic dishonesty, expressed in the form of a clearly-written and easily accessed-statement about the roles played by the Dean of Academic Affairs, the Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, and the AHC;

b. The right to be informed in writing, and in a timely fashion, that a case is being heard by the AHC, and of the final decision;

c. The right to present pertinent materials for consideration by the AHC, and to respond to questions from the AHC. This includes the right to present information that is relevant to a case after the first materials pertinent to a case are submitted to the AHC, but before the case is adjudicated;

d. The right to be informed of the day, time, and location of the hearing, one week in advance, or as soon as possible should the student charged and AHC agree to waive the one-week notice period;

e. The right to address the AHC;

f. The right to not attend a hearing;

g. The right to meet with the AHC separate from the other party before and during the hearing;

h. The right to request witnesses to testify before AHC;

i. The right to bring an advisor to the hearing;

j. The right to be free—in addition to those policies stated in the "Acceptable/Professional Behavior Policy” and the "Combined Discrimination and Harassment Policies” on the HR website and the “Public Order Policy” in the Student Handbook—from harassment, intimidation, or threat from students and students' agents (e.g. friends, family, academic advisors, faculty, and staff) before, during, and after a case.

Section 5. Cases involving students who have left the University or are participating in an academic program abroad shall normally remain pending until the student returns.
Section 6. Cases shall normally be heard by five members of the Academic Honor Council. A quorum shall consist of four members, with at least three students and at least one faculty member present.
Section 7. Decisions and recommendations on cases of academic dishonesty shall be made by a majority of the vote of the Academic Honor Council. If the minority is strongly opposed to the decision or recommendation, they have the option of sending a letter of dissent to the Dean of Academic Affairs stating their opinion(s). In the case of a tie vote, the opinions of both sides shall be communicated to the Dean of Academic Affairs.
Section 8. The Academic Honor Council shall determine if a student is guilty of the charge(s) and shall forward a recommendation regarding its findings to the Dean of Academic Affairs. All intentional and unintentional acts of academic dishonesty may result in disciplinary action. Recommendations of disciplinary action may include, but are not limited to: a failing grade on the work in question; a failing grade in the course; disciplinary probation; suspension from the University; denial of future research support; return of fellowship support in cases where the dishonesty occurs while the student is receiving fellowship support; return of wages in cases where the student is paid for the work; or expulsion from the University. When appropriate, the Academic Honor Council may recommend to the Dean that the guilty student be required to participate in educational programs or counseling sessions. In cases where a student is found guilty of academic dishonesty, intentional or unintentional, a letter noting the verdict may be placed in the student’s permanent file in the Office of Student Life (in which case it may be reported to employers, graduate schools, licensing agencies, etc., inquiring about a student’s educational experience at St. Lawrence). In all cases, a report describing the disposition of the case will be added to the student’s internal file in the Academic Dean’s office. Decisions will be shared with all parties to the case, and decisions for those found guilty of academic dishonesty will be shared with a student’s academic advisor(s) and with the Athletic Department if the student is a varsity athlete.
Section 9. Normally, the Dean of Academic Affairs shall follow the recommendation of the Academic Honor Council. If the Dean wishes to change the determination or the penalty as given in Council’s recommendation, the Dean shall first consult with the Chairperson of the Academic Honor Council and the faculty member(s) who heard the case, unless they are unavailable, prior to notifying the student.
Section 10. At the end of each semester, the Academic Dean’s Office shall provide to the campus community a summary report of the cases heard and recommendations forwarded to the Dean of Academic Affairs. The names of individuals involved shall not be included in the summary report. This report shall be submitted to Faculty Council and to Thelmo, and will be published in the following semester’s first edition of the Hill News. It may also be publicized in other venues.
Section 11. In cases involving re-admission of students who have been suspended for academic dishonesty, the Dean of Academic Affairs shall determine if the student will be readmitted, and if so, the conditions of re-admission.

Clause X: Appeals
Section 1.
Students shall have the right to appeal within seven (7) days of the final decision. Written appeals shall be addressed to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A copy of this letter shall also be sent to the Chairperson of the Academic Honor Council. Appeals are to be based on procedural violations or violations of the student’s rights under this Constitution.
Section 2. The purpose of an appeal shall not be to rehear cases of academic dishonesty, but rather to ensure that rights were not violated and appropriate procedures were followed
Section 3. The Dean shall review the appeal letter and, where practical and appropriate, shall discuss the appeal with the Chairperson of the Academic Honor Council before making a final decision. A copy of the Dean’s decision on the appeal shall also be sent to the Chairperson of the Academic Honor Council.

Clause XI: Responsibilities of the Dean of Academic Affairs
Section 1.
The Dean of Academic Affairs shall make a final decision based on the recommendation of the Academic Honor Council, all evidence pertaining to the case, any record of previous academic dishonesty involving the student. If the Dean wishes to change the determination or the penalty as given in the Council’s recommendation, the Dean should first consult with the Chairperson of the Academic Honor Council and the faculty member(s) who heard the case, unless they are unavailable, prior to notifying the student. The Dean of Academic Affairs may return a case to the Council for reconsideration.
Section 2. The Dean of Academic Affairs shall handle all appeals involving procedural infractions in the hearing process.
Section 3. For cases that emerge when classes are not in session and there are pressing reasons to consider them before the semester resumes, the Dean of Academic Affairs shall consult with available members of the Academic Honor Council and design an appropriate modified procedure.
Section 4. The Office of the Dean of Academic Affairs shall be responsible for informing students, in writing, of alleged violations of the Academic Honor Code.
Section 5. The Academic Dean’s Office shall be responsible for assuring that a report of cases brought to the Academic Honor Council is submitted to the Hill News at the beginning of each semester.

Clause XII: Responsibilities of the President of the University
Section 1.
The President of the University shall make the final decision on expulsion of students from the University.

Clause XIII: Amendments
Section 1.
Any member of the University can propose an amendment to the Constitution of the Academic Honor Council.
Section 2. In order to be approved, a proposal requires a two- thirds vote of the Thelomathesian Society and the approval of the Faculty.