Academic Integrity Policy

Community Standards of Conduct:
Academic and Professional Integrity

The following is excerpted from the complete Community Standards of Conduct.

Standards Relative to Academic Integrity
Related Administrative Policies and Documents
The Structure of the Discipline System
The Discipline Process

III. Community Standards of Conduct
The following presents the standards of conduct expected of students. A range of sanctions has been authorized for each type of violation. Aggravated, repeated or multiple violations may result in more serious sanctions than those indicated for a violation of a single standard of conduct. A more detailed description of each of the sanctions is found in Part IV.C.

A. Standards Relative to Academic Integrity
Purchase College believes that academic integrity is fundamental to the teaching, learning, and creative processes. Ethical behavior is the cornerstone of an academic and artistic community. Faculty members and professional staff are held equally to this standard in their work. Allegations of violations are handled through procedures outlined in the applicable collective bargaining agreement. All forms of academic dishonesty are considered serious violations of the student code of conduct. The following is a list of some, but not all, types of prohibited behavior.

  1. Cheating on examinations and assignments, including:
    • Copying from another student
    • Allowing another student to copy from you
    • Using or attempting to use study aids, devices, “cheat sheets,” or other materials not expressly authorized by the professor
    • Unauthorized collaboration with another individual on take-home assignments or examinations
    • Buying, acquiring without permission, or selling copies of an examination.
      It is the student’s responsibility to clarify with the professor what constitutes acceptable use of test aides or collaboration.
  2. Plagiarism
    Plagiarism is the appropriation or imitation of the language, ideas, and/or thoughts of another person and the representation of them as one’s own original work. It includes:
    • Buying or downloading papers or works and submitting them as one's own.
    • Copying sections of books or articles in one’s paper without proper citation.
    • “Copying and pasting” from online sources without proper citation.
    • Failing to properly cite quotations or ideas taken from external sources.
    • Using false citations or fabricating sources.
    • Receiving unauthorized assistance from another person on a written or creative project.
    • Self-plagiarism (submitting the same work for more than one course without permission of the instructor).
      Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the definition of plagiarism and the acceptable methods of attribution.
  3. Submitting falsified data on lab work or research projects.
  4. Giving or offering inducements to professors for the purpose of affecting grades.
  5. Stealing, altering, or destroying the academic work of another student.

Violation of any of the above may lead to formal disciplinary action and assignment of the following sanctions:

  • Minimum Sanction: Failing grade on the assignment or examination
  • Maximum Sanction: Expulsion
  • Recommended Sanction (First Offense): Permanent failing grade for the course
  • Recommended Sanction (Second Offense): Expulsion

G. Related Administrative Policies and Documents

Professional Program Requirements: The School of the Arts and its individual units—the School of Art+Design and the Conservatories of Dance, Music, and Theatre Arts—have developed formal expectations for students in their professional preparation programs. Boards-of-study for individual programs may impose additional sanctions related to breaches of codes of professional conduct, including dismissal from the program. Copies are provided to each student upon entering the college and are available, upon request, from the respective director’s office.

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IV. The Structure of the Discipline System
As the designee of the president of the college, the vice president for student affairs shall provide direct administrative oversight and supervision of the college’s discipline system, simultaneously assuring strict adherence to the college’s Community Standards of Conduct and resolute commitment to the due process rights of students.

A. Description of Structures and Jurisdictions
The discipline system provides for the adjudication of alleged offenses, by either administrative and/or committee action, depending on the nature of the offense and/or the preference of the accused. Specifically, the system consists of:

4. Initial conference officers for cases involving allegations of academic dishonesty:
In cases involving academic integrity, the faculty member alleging the violation serves as the initial conference officer.
5. The Academic Integrity Committee(s):
The Academic Integrity Committee hears cases arising from alleged violations of standards of academic integrity (see III.A), requests for hearings by students disputing allegations by faculty members, referrals by faculty members recommending additional sanctions for an alleged violation, and all cases in which the alleged violation would constitute a second offense.
7. The provost of the college:
The provost shall, for specified grounds only, hear all appeals of discipline decisions rendered the Academic Integrity Committee.
8. The president of the college:
In accordance with the authority assigned to the president of the college by the policies of the Board of Trustees of the State University of New York, the president may review and modify any decision made by any person or board operating under their authority under this policy as he or she deems appropriate. Any consultation with the president of the college which may be necessary will occur before the final decision is reached.

B. Composition of Hearing Committees

2. The Academic Integrity Committee is a panel of faculty and students, plus a nonvoting chair appointed by the provost. The faculty and students are recruited each semester by the chair, to ensure that an adequate number of members are available across the various days and times of the week. The chair shall attempt to include faculty from each school and conservatory whenever possible. The Purchase Student Government Association shall assist the chair in recruiting student members of the panel. From the membership of the committee, the chair shall select a panel of two faculty members and one student to hear any given case.

C. Authority of Hearing Committees
In cases arising from violation of the Standards of Academic Integrity, the Academic Integrity Committee may assign the sanctions below.

  1. Assuming a finding of responsible, the following sanctions, either alone or in combination, may be assigned. The number in parenthesis at the end of each designated sanction identifies the minimum level of sanctioning authority required by the hearing officer/body in order for assignment of that sanction to be made (See IV.A.3).
    a. Disciplinary Reprimand (I). A disciplinary reprimand is a written notification to the student that his or her behavior is unacceptable in the college community and that repetition of that behavior will result in further and more serious disciplinary action. This sanction is usually combined with educational sanction(s).
    d. Educational Sanctions (I). Educational sanctions are intended to contribute to the education of the student, the education of the college community, and/or to be a form of social restitution.
    • (1.) Developmental exercises: The student may be required to attend, plan, or participate in a program, workshop, or other appropriate activity.
    • (2.) Community service: The student may be required to work jointly with the hearing officer or committee to determine a community service project that is in some way related to the offense.
    f. Disciplinary Probation (I). This sanction is assigned for a definite period of time during which the student may be required to fulfill specified conditions or obligations, with the understanding that failure to meet the requirement of the probation or further infraction of college policy may result in more severe sanctions, including suspension or expulsion from the college. Individuals on disciplinary probation are not eligible to hold office in any student group or organization; are not eligible for certain employment positions on campus; and are not eligible to participate in study abroad programs. This sanction may limit student participation in other college activities or programs as determined by individual college units. Additionally, students who are simultaneously on academic and disciplinary probation are not eligible for campus housing.
    h. Suspension (III). This sanction separates a student from the college for a specified period of time, ranging from a portion or all of a given semester to a full calendar year, and is automatically accompanied by the assignment of persona non grata status from the college. Conditions for return to the college, if any, must be outlined at the time of suspension.
    i. Expulsion (III). Expulsion is the permanent separation of the student from the college. It is reserved for the most serious offenses against the college, and is automatically accompanied by the assignment of persona non grata status from the college.

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V. The Discipline Process

B. Procedures for Handling Alleged Violations of Standards of Academic Integrity
A faculty member who finds evidence of academic dishonesty shall take the following actions:

  1. Notify the student of the charge in writing, using the “Alleged Violation of Academic Integrity Notification” form.
  2. Notify the student of the time, date, and place of the initial conference, such conference to occur within a minimum of two business days notice and preferably not more than seven days.
  3. Conduct an initial conference with the student following the guidelines in Section V.C.3 of this document. In academic integrity cases, the faculty member serves in the capacity of the initial conference officer.
  4. Possible outcomes of the initial conference:
    a. The accused student may elect not to appear, at which time all statements contained in the specification of charges shall be considered true and accurate. The faculty member then:
    • Assigns an appropriate academic sanction:
      Minimum: Failing grade on the assignment or examination
      Recommended/Maximum: Permanent failing grade for the course;
    • Completes an “Academic Integrity Violation Resolution” form;
    • Sends one copy of the resolution form to the student; and,
    • Forwards other copies and supporting evidence, retaining copies, to the chair of the Academic Integrity Committee.
    • The faculty member may also choose to refer the case to the Academic Integrity Committee with a recommendation for additional sanctions (e.g., suspension or expulsion).
    The campus judicial officer maintains a permanent file of all forms and documents submitted. The judicial officer monitors all submissions to determine if the violation would constitute a second offense. In such cases, he or she informs the chair of the Academic Integrity Committee that a hearing is mandated.
    b. If, during the initial conference, in the judgment of the faculty member, the evidence does not support the allegation, he or she may elect to drop the charges.
    c. The accused student may accept responsibility for the charges pending against him or her. He or she may waive the right to a hearing before the Academic Integrity Committee and agree to accept the sanction determined by the faculty member, who:
    • Assigns an appropriate academic sanction
      Minimum: Failing grade on the assignment or examination
      Recommended: Permanent failing grade for the course;
    • Completes the “Academic Integrity Violation Resolution” form and obtains the student’s signature on it, indicating waiver of the hearing and acceptance of the finding and the sanctions;
    • Gives one copy of the resolution form to the student, and;
    • Forwards other copies and supporting evidence, retaining copies, to the chair of the Academic Integrity Committee.
    d. If the student and the faculty member disagree on whether a violation occurred or on the appropriate sanction, the student has a right to request a hearing before the Academic Integrity Committee. The faculty member:
    • Informs the student of the intention to assign a failing grade
    • Completes and signs an “Academic Integrity Violation Resolution” form indicating that a hearing is required.
    • Forwards it and supporting evidence, retaining copies, to the chair of the Academic Integrity Committee.
  5. The Academic Integrity Committee has original jurisdiction in cases involving student requests for a hearing on a disputed allegation of academic dishonesty, referrals from faculty members recommending additional sanctions, and all cases that would constitute a second academic integrity offense for a student. The committee follows the procedures for hearings specified in Section V.C.4 and the rights of the accused student are the same as in Section V.C.6.
    a. If the committee concludes that it is more probable than not that a violation did not occur, the faculty member is required to assign a grade for the assignment and course based on academic performance, disregarding the allegation of academic dishonesty.
    b. If the committee concludes that it is more probable that a violation did occur, it affirms the sanction imposed by the faculty member and may impose additional sanctions as authorized in Section III.A if the committee believes they are warranted.
    c. The Academic Integrity Committee shall inform the student and the faculty member, in writing, of its determination, within three business days following the hearing.
  6. A student may appeal the decision of the Academic Integrity Committee to the provost on the grounds that:
    a. Fair consideration was not provided to the student, i.e., there is evidence that some aspect of the hearing was prejudicial, arbitrary, or capricious; or
    b. New and significant information, not reasonably available at the time of the initial hearing, has become available; or
    c. The sanction or remedy imposed is not in due proportion to the nature and seriousness of the offense.
  7. Appeals procedure
    a. Within three working days of receipt of the written notification of the decision by the Academic Integrity Committee, the student must:
    • submit a letter to the Office of the Provost stating the intention to appeal, as outlined in V.B.7, and
    • cite which one or more of the specific grounds for appeal, as outlined in V.B.7, and
    • supply information that substantiates the grounds on which the appeal is being made.
    b. The chair of the Academic Integrity Committee forwards all relevant materials and the complete hearing file to the provost.
    c. The provost determines if grounds for an appeal exist and, if so, whether or not to accept the appeal.
    d. If the provost concludes that the appeal contains significant new information not available at the original hearing, he or she remands the case to the Academic Integrity Committee to conduct another hearing.
    e. The provost may appoint an ad hoc panel of two faculty members and one student to review the case file for evidence that the original hearing was unfair or prejudicial. If the provost concludes that the student was not given fair consideration, the provost may remand the decision of the Academic Integrity Committee for a new hearing by a newly constituted panel, with directions to correct the deficiencies.
    f. If the provost concludes that the sanction was disproportionate to the offense, he or she may reduce the sanctions imposed by the Academic Integrity Committee.
  8. The provost will assure that the decision honors all aspects of the due process rights of the student, the requirements of this policy, and applicable SUNY Board of Trustees policy. In his or her review, the provost will correct any deficiencies and/or make any adjustments that are necessary. In accordance with the authority assigned to the president of the college by the policies of the Board of Trustees of the State University of New York, the president may modify any decision made by any person or board operating under their authority under this policy as he or she deems appropriate. Any consultation with the president of the college which may be necessary will occur before the final decision is reached. When the decision has been reviewed and approved, the provost shall communicate the findings, together with his or her rationale, to the student, the faculty member who brought the charges, the chair of the Academic Integrity Committee, and the campus judicial officer.

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Updates
Please direct updates for this page to the managing editor in the Office of the Provost and Academic Affairs.


For Faculty from the Academic Integrity Committee:

Faculty Guide (PDF)
Notification Form (instructor to student; fillable PDF)
Resolution Form (fillable PDF)

Academic Integrity Flow Chart of Actions (PDF)

This guide and the forms are also available under Faculty Resources and Forms on the provost’s site.


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