Academic Integrity Policy
I. Our Integrity Covenant
We, the members of the Harding community, recognize that our covenant of integrity is with three parties.
First and foremost, students and faculty recognize their covenant with God. All morality is ultimately defined by the very nature of God, in whom all truth can be found. Desiring to reflect the heart and nature of Christ, we make a covenant with our God to be truthful and transparent.
Second, we acknowledge that we have a covenant with each other. By doing our own work, working hard, and receiving credit and recognition that represent effort and sacrifice, we create and maintain an atmosphere of excellence and fairness. As members, therefore, of this Christian community we covenant with each other to guard and protect our commonly held trust.
Third, integrity is a covenant that we make with ourselves. Our goal of being servants deserves our every effort to dedicate ourselves fully to those disciplines of study and research that will contribute to the formation of our character and our academic skills. Academic rewards obtained without personal and authentic effort rob us of both the spiritual and professional preparation that God desires.
Our academic integrity originates in the very nature of God, manifests itself in our commonly held and protected reputation, and reveals its value in the prepared Christ-like servanthood that results from a disciplined life.
II. Our Integrity Principle
Honesty: Using only authorized collaboration, information and study aids for assignments and testing. Being completely truthful in all academic endeavors.
Authenticity: Presenting only ideas and creative expressions that are unique, unless properly cited according to University guidelines. Submitting the work of another constitutes plagiarism.
Accountability: Holding ourselves to the highest ethical standards, and not allowing academic dishonesty in others to go unchallenged.
III. Our Integrity Pledge
I hereby pledge to God, to the Harding University academic community, and to myself that I will uphold godly standards of honesty, authenticity and accountability in all my undertakings.
IV. Violations of Academic Integrity
The following are specific types of violations of the University’s Academic Integrity Policy; if a violation of academic integrity principles occur which is not specifically provided for below, then any sanctions will be based on the most similar type of violation that exists. Until a professor notifies the student of academic misconduct, even multiple occurrences of the same kind of violation will be handled as a single incident. Additional infractions will be counted separately. If a violation requires the Director of Academic Affairs to issue a sanction, the Director shall provide a rationale for its determination and application of the particular sanction(s). General guidance on substantial issues of sanctions shall be provided by the Provost.
A. Academic Integrity Violations include:
- Any form of plagiarism whether done deliberately or by mistake.
- Unauthorized collaboration on homework assignments.
- Copying from or viewing another student’s work during an examination or while completing an assignment.
- Using any materials or resources that are not authorized by the instructor for use during an examination or in completing any assignment.
- Collaborating during an examination with any other person by giving or receiving information without specific permission of the instructor.
- Facilitating or aiding and abetting any act of academic dishonesty.
- Collaborating on laboratory work or other assigned work when instructed to work independently.
- Submitting, without specific permission of the instructor, work that has been previously offered by the same student for credit in another course.
- Falsification of attendance and/or participation.
- Fabricating any information or citation in an academic exercise or lying to a University employee about assignments.
- Submitting as one’s own any theme, report, term paper, essay, computer program, speech, painting, drawing, sculpture, or other written or creative work or project of any nature prepared totally or in large measure by another.
- Submitting altered or falsified data for a research project.
- Conduct unbecoming of a professional in the classroom or while participating in a practicum, internship, field experience, or any similar academic experience.
B. The following violations will result in multiple sanctions including either disciplinary probation or suspension:
- Theft, abuse, hoarding or concealment of academic property.
- Buying, selling or otherwise obtaining or providing information about an examination not yet administered.
- Substituting for another person or permitting any other person to substitute for oneself to take an examination.
- Falsifying or signing another person’s name on any academically-related University form or document.
C. The following violations will result in academic suspension or expulsion:
- Altering grades or official records.
- Sabotaging another student’s work.
- Submitting altered or falsified data for work submitted for requirements outside of the classroom at the graduate level (e.g. honor’s thesis; master’s thesis; doctoral dissertation; candidacy exam; qualifying exam; dissertation defense).
V. Sanctions for Academic Misconduct
One or more of the following consequences shall result when academic misconduct has been determined:
Class A Sanctions (Course Level)
- Repeat the assignment or complete an additional assignment, with possible less credit awarded in either case.
- Lowering of the grade on the test or assignment, possibly to “F” or zero.
- Requiring the completion of additional learning activities.
- Lowering of the grade for the course, possibly to “F.”
- Immediate removal from the course with either a “W” or an “F” placed on the transcript.
Class B Sanctions (Program Level)
- Placement on disciplinary academic probation on a program level.
- Suspension or expulsion from a specific degree program.
Class C Sanctions (University Level)
- Placement on disciplinary academic probation.
- Suspension from the University for a designated time.
- Permanent expulsion from the University.
Multiple violations that occur over the length of the student’s tenure at Harding University may result in disciplinary academic probation, academic suspension, or expulsion. Faculty members and administration retain the right to impose sanctions according to their course syllabi, program handbooks, and/or professional judgment. For offenses not specifically mentioned, faculty members may confer with the Director of Academic Affairs and propose a description of the offense and the sanction(s) to be assigned to it. On appeal, the Provost may also impose additional educational sanctions.
Additionally, one or more of the following consequences may result when academic misconduct has been determined in an academic support area:
- Loss of privileges in the academic support area.
- Monetary charges to cover all costs (repair, recovery, replacement, etc.) associated with the misconduct.
- Withdrawal of transcripts or publications.
DISCIPLINARY ACADEMIC PROBATION
Students on Disciplinary Academic Probation are limited to 16 credit hours and are not eligible to represent the University in any extracurricular activities, such as, but not limited to: athletics (both intercollegiate and club level), cheer leading, chorus, debate, band, dramatic productions, international programs, Spring Sing, and student publications. Representing the university includes public performances and trips but not regular meetings and practices.
SUSPENSION AND EXPULSION
Suspension involves withdrawal of enrollment privileges for a specified period of time and ordinarily carries with it conditions which must be met for re-enrollment. Suspended students are not permitted to live or board in University facilities or approved student housing. Re-enrollment after a suspension requires that the student apply to the Provost, or designee, at the close of the imposed period for a determination of whether they have met the conditions of their re-enrollment. Students suspended may not receive credit for University work completed by correspondence or in residence at another university without prior permission from the Provost or designee. Records of suspension are maintained indefinitely.
Expulsion is a permanent dismissal from the University. These records are maintained indefinitely.
DEGREES, HONORS, AND AWARDS
The University reserves the right to withhold or withdraw degrees, honors, scholarships, or awards, or privileges, due to violations of the Academic Integrity Policy.
VI. Resolution of Academic Misconduct
The Director of Academic Affairs will be available to the faculty or staff member as a consultant during the resolution process.
INVESTIGATION OF ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT
Incidents of alleged academic misconduct shall be resolved according to the following process. Faculty should consult with their immediate supervisor throughout the process. Adjunct faculty should include a full-time faculty member who is not a member of the Academic Performance and Standards Committee in all meetings with the student.
- Following discovery of the suspected academic misconduct, the faculty or staff member shall meet with the student to discuss the allegation. (In extenuating circumstances, this contact may be by phone or email.) If new information is revealed at this meeting or if the student needs time to bring mitigating evidence, a second meeting should take place.
- If the faculty member determines that a case of academic misconduct has occurred but cannot determine which student(s) are responsible (for example, when two essays are nearly identical, but it is uncertain who copied from the other), the teacher shall file an Academic Integrity Incident Report which includes the names of all the students involved. Sanctions are not imposed with an Academic Integrity Incident Report.
- Academic Misconduct Report:
- Faculty or staff should consult their immediate supervisor if they need help in determining an appropriate sanction.
- If the decision is to impose only Class A sanctions, within two business days the faculty or staff member must:
- inform the student in writing of the decision,
- file an Academic Misconduct Report with the Provost Office, copy the immediate supervisor and the dean, and
- implement the sanction.
- If the Provost Office finds that the student has a prior incident of academic misconduct, further sanctions may be imposed.
- If the decision is that the misconduct has earned sanction beyond Class A:
- The faculty member, chair or program director (if applicable), dean, and Director of Academic Affairs must jointly determine sanctions.
- The dean must file an Academic Misconduct Report (available on Pipeline) with the Provost Office and copy the faculty member and chair or program director.
- The dean shall provide to the student, in writing, a summary of the specific charges, sanctions authorized by the Director of Academic Affairs, and notification of the right to appeal. A copy of this letter must be filed with the Provost Office.
- The student shall have five business days from the formal notification of the academic misconduct to file a written appeal using the form available on Pipeline.
- Students may withdraw their appeal at any point during the appeal process. Likewise, the faculty that issued the sanction may choose to resolve the appeal at any point during the appeal process.
The following statements apply to the appeal procedure for Class A Sanctions:
- After formal notification of disciplinary actions, a student shall have five business days to file an appeal with the Provost Office using the Academic Misconduct Appeal form on Pipeline or the student forfeits that right.
- The Provost Office shall notify the administrator responsible for facilitating the appeal and the faculty member regarding the appeal.
- The appropriate program chair, director, or assistant/associate dean will facilitate the appeal. If the teacher of the course is the chair, director, or assistant/associate dean, the appropriate program dean will facilitate the appeal. If the teacher of the course is the dean, then the Director of Academic Affairs will facilitate the appeal.
- The administrator facilitating the appeal must set up a meeting with the student either in person, over the phone, or through videoconference. This meeting should take within five business days after receipt of the appeal.
- The student may not bring other individuals to the meeting. If the student has eyewitnesses whose testimony may assist in resolving the issue, the eyewitnesses may submit their testimony in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org. These eyewitnesses must have actually witnessed the event to provide evidence of the student’s innocence. They cannot simply be character references. The witnesses’ emailed statements will serve as an affirmation to the truth of their testimony.
- The teacher of the course will not be present during the administrator’s meeting with the student; however, the administrator will meet separately with the faculty member.
- Within two business days following the appeal meetings, the administrator will inform the student, the faculty member, and the Provost Office in writing via Harding University-assigned email of the decision.
- If the appeal is denied, the student may appeal in writing within two business days with the Provost Office by emailing email@example.com.
- If the administrator facilitating the appeal was the chair, director, or assistant/associate dean, then the dean of the program will review the student’s appeal with two other faculty members appointed by the Director of Academic Affairs from the Academic Performance and Standards Committee. If the administrator in the previous appeal was the dean, then the Director of Academic Affairs will facilitate the review instead of the dean. If the Director of Academic Affairs was the administrator, then the Provost will facilitate the review instead of the Director of Academic Affairs.
- The review will include statements from the eyewitnesses, the statement written by the faculty member, a statement written by the chair, director, or assistant/associate dean, as well as any other evidence from the student, faculty member, and chair, director, or assistant/associate dean. The dean may also request a meeting with the student, faculty, or eyewitnesses to clarify any information.
- The dean will send a copy of the appeal decision in writing via Harding University-assigned email to the student, faculty member, and Provost Office within five business days. The decision of the dean shall be final. If the Director of Academic Affairs facilitated the appeal, then the decision of the Director of Academic Affairs shall be final.
The following statements apply to the appeal procedure for Class B and C Sanctions:
- After formal notification of disciplinary actions, a student shall have five business days to file a request for an appeal with the Provost Office using the Academic Misconduct Appeal form on Pipeline or the student forfeits that right. The Provost Office shall notify the dean regarding the appeal.
- Appeals will not be considered based on any of the following reasons:
- Disagreement with published course, program, or university policies (i.e., appealing for a lighter sanction or a “second chance”).
- Differences in policies between different programs at the University.
- The sanction’s impact on a student’s academic progress, athletic eligibility, scholarship eligibility, or eligibility for veteran’s benefits.
- The Vice Provost will review the appeal and decide if there are sufficient grounds for an appeal. The Vice Provost will send a copy of the decision to the student and the Director of Academic Affairs. If the appeal is denied, then all appeal rights will be exhausted.
- If there are sufficient grounds for an appeal, then the Director of Academic Affairs will appoint an ad hoc committee from the Academic Performance and Standards Committee to review the case. The dean will not be a participant in the committee’s decision process. No faculty members involved with the incident being appealed will be appointed to the ad hoc committee. (For a description of the Academic Performance and Standards Committee, refer to Section VII.) The Director of Academic Affairs will attend as an ex-officio member.
- An appeal meeting shall be scheduled before the Academic Performance and Standards Committee within five business days after approval from the Vice Provost for Accreditation and Institutional Effectiveness. (An exception may be made for extenuating circumstances. For example, the student may be unavailable necessitating that the hearing be conducted upon his or her return.) A student who fails to appear within 15 minutes of the arranged time for the appeal meeting shall forfeit the right to appeal.
- The committee will review the submitted documentation from the student and faculty member. The faculty member will be met with separately (in person or via telephone) to obtain additional information. The committee may meet with the student and/or faculty multiple times if necessary. The student may not bring other individuals to the meeting. If the student has eyewitnesses that will assist in resolving the issue, then the eyewitnesses may submit their testimony in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org for review by the committee. These eyewitnesses must have actually witnessed the event to provide evidence of the student’s innocence. They cannot simply be character references. The witnesses’ emailed statements will serve as an affirmation to the truth of their testimony.
- After conducting the interviews and reviewing all of the documentation, the Academic Performance and Standards Committee, by a majority vote, shall determine whether or not the case has been supported and will report their decision to the Provost. Within two business days the Provost shall inform the student and the dean of the student’s major program in writing of the committee’s decision. This decision shall be final.
- The committee may set the terms and conditions of the sanctions.
- A student who has been suspended or expelled may not be on campus unless specific permission is granted by the Provost or a Student Life dean. If campus housing is used by the disciplined student and the student has been dismissed, the Provost Office will notify the Student Life Dean.
VII. Academic Performance and Standards Committee
The Academic Performance and Standards Committee is a standing committee that provides a pool from which ad hoc committees may be formed to hear various types of academic appeals. The committee is composed of one undergraduate faculty member, one graduate/professional faculty member, one undergraduate student, and one graduate/professional student representative from each college with the exception of the Honors College. The faculty members are appointed for two-year terms by the dean of each college with half being appointed in even years and the other half in odd years. The dean of each college annual appoints the student members. Undergraduate students only sit on appeals involving undergraduate students. Graduate/professional students only sit on appeals involving graduate/professional students. The Director of Academic Affairs appoints an ad hoc committee consisting of six members from the Academic Performance and Standards Committee (four faculty and two students) to review each case. If the appeal is in the Center for Health Sciences, at least two faculty members from the health sciences will be included. If the appeal is in a graduate/professional program, at least two faculty members who teach at the graduate/professional level will be included. The Director of Academic Affairs appoints the chair of each ad hoc committee.
The specific responsibilities of the Academic Performance and Standards Committee for academic misconduct appeals are to review the decision and sanction(s) imposed prior to the appeal to determine if (1) the investigation was conducted fairly and followed prescribed procedures, (2) the decision was based on sufficient evidence, (3) the sanction was appropriate for the violation(s), and (4) any new evidence that comes to light is sufficient to change the decision or sanction.
VIII. Official Records of Academic Misconduct
An Academic Misconduct Form shall be completed for each instance of academic misconduct.
The Provost Office shall ensure maintenance of the official records related to academic misconduct.
Description of violations is used and adapted with the permission of the University of Arkansas. As in the case of any policy and policy guidelines, Harding reserves the right to change them or to make appropriate revisions, additions, amendments or corrections. Faculty and students will be notified of any substantial changes.