University Policies

Academic Honesty at Adelphi

Adelphi University Honor Code
"The University is an academic community devoted to the pursuit of knowledge. Fundamental to this pursuit is academic integrity. In joining the Adelphi community I accept the University’s Statement of Academic Integrity and pledge to uphold the principles of honesty and civility embodied in it. I will conduct myself in accordance with ideals of truth and honesty and I will forthrightly oppose actions which would violate these ideals."

The Committee for Academic Honesty
The Committee will have the responsibility to promote an atmosphere of academic honesty, working to educate the entire Adelphi Community. The Committee will develop and distribute materials including guidelines for promulgating the code of academic honesty through course syllabi, class discussion, and written guidelines to students on matters such as plagiarism.

In the case of infractions of the code of academic honesty, the Committee provides the members to investigate, to mediate, and if ultimately necessary, to constitute a formal Hearing Board.

The Committee will be made up of 12 students and 12 faculty members. Faculty will normally serve for terms of two years to help ensure continuity on the Committee. (In the initial year, half the faculty appointments will be made for one year and half for two. Thereafter all faculty appointments will be made for two years.) Students will serve for terms of one year, but those who desire may be reappointed for a second year by the Student Government Association. Members will normally be chosen in the spring for the coming year. The students will be chosen from names submitted to the Student Government Association. Students may volunteer or be nominated by any member of the university community. Faculty will be chosen from names submitted to the Faculty Senate. Faculty may volunteer or be nominated by any member of the university community. Those who volunteer or are nominated will be fully informed of the nature and seriousness of the committee’s work before the selection process. Only those who agree to undertake the work will be considered. One of the 12 professors will serve as the procedural chair to handle rotating appointments, record-keeping, and so on. Student vacancies that occur during the year will be replaced during the year by the SGA; faculty vacancies will similarly be filled by the Faculty Senate. It is expected that the Faculty Senate and SGA will respectively provide a full slate of appointments each year. In the event that either body is unable to provide all the needed members, the Provost will have the power to supply additional members to make up the full complement. Although the Provost will expect to accept all members selected by the Senate and SGA, the Provost will have the ultimate power to reject candidates deemed unsuitable for the work of the Committee.

The Code of Academic Honesty
The code of academic honesty prohibits behavior, which can broadly be described as lying, cheating, or stealing. Violations of the code of academic honesty will include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Fabricating data or citations
  2. Collaborating in areas prohibited by the professor
  3. Unauthorized multiple submission of work
  4. Sabotage of others’ work, including library vandalism or manipulation
  5. Plagiarism: presenting any work as one’s own that is not one’s own
  6. The creation of unfair advantage
  7. The facilitation of dishonesty
  8. Tampering with or falsifying records
  9. Cheating on examinations through the use of written materials or giving or receiving help in any form during the exam, including talking, signals, electronic devices, etc.

Procedures to Handle Violations
The approach to handling reported violations is generally a progressive one. That is, the procedure is designed to allow choices at various stages based on the severity of the charge or facts that emerge from the proceedings. Although the work will normally be done by the Committee as outlined here, the Provost will have the authority to convene an ad hoc committee to handle charges when the matter is urgent and the standing committee is unable to meet. In such cases the Provost will seek as far as possible to secure both student and faculty representation on the ad hoc hearing committee.

The detailed procedures outlined below are intended and envisioned primarily for undergraduate violations. Graduate students are held to a higher standard: they are typically older, more experienced, and often engaged in study in areas where human health and welfare could be seriously affected by academic dishonesty. Graduate violations should be reported (by professors or students) to the Dean. The student’s Dean will have the power to set a penalty, including immediate expulsion from the program (and therefore from the university). If the graduate student contests the facts, he or she may ask for a hearing with the Committee for Academic Honesty. If the Committee upholds the violation, the Committee will impose the penalty recommended by the Dean. Graduate students will be clearly and formally informed of this policy and of the severity of violations of the code of academic honesty upon enrollment.

Any student who observes or suspects a violation is encouraged to report the violation to the appropriate professor, to any member of the Committee for Academic Honesty, or to the Provost’s Office, which will forward the charge to the Committee. A professor who observes or suspects a violation may wish to begin by talking with the accused student or students. As has always been the case, professors have the right and the power to adjust grades on the basis of academic dishonesty. However whether or not the professor and student agree on the facts or the grade, either may choose to go to the Committee for Academic Honesty. Note: Professors are required to report directly to the Provost’s Office all instances of academic dishonesty. This particularly includes those cases in which the student and professor resolve the matter without requesting any action from the Committee for Academic Honesty. Even though a case of admitted dishonesty may be resolved by stern admonition and/or an agreed on penalty in the form of a grade, a record must be kept so that the professor and the Provost can know whether or not the student has any history of academic dishonesty. Students who wish to contest the claims against them or the decision of the Provost’s Office may request a hearing with the Hearing Board.

When the Committee receives notification of a suspected violation, the chair will appoint one of the 12 professors serving to undertake the role of mediator and/or fact finder. The fact finder will begin the investigation as expeditiously as possible, but whenever possible no later than a week after receiving the charge.

The appointed professor will first check to see if the accused student has any recorded violations in the records of the Committee maintained in the Provost’s Office. If the student has no record of reported violations, the investigator will approach the accused student and the person or persons who have suspected the student and begin the investigation hoping to find grounds for mediation. If upon investigation it emerges that there are no prior violations and the offense is not egregious, the investigator may attempt to see if all parties can be brought into agreement about the facts of the situation and if a solution can be found which would not require the involvement of a Hearing Board. If no such solution can be reached a hearing will be required, and the professor will proceed to gather facts from all parties concerned. Likewise, if the accused student has any recorded violations, a hearing will be required and the fact-finder will begin the investigation with a view to preparing the case for a hearing. When the investigation is complete, the fact-finder will summarize the case in writing. This summary will be provided to the parties involved in the suspected violation and to the Chair of the Committee on Academic Honesty. The chair will contact the remaining 22 members of the Committee (10 other professors and 12 students) for the purpose of convening a Hearing Board. The Chair will bear in mind that a finding of the Committee requires a minimum of 10 votes, 4 of which must be cast by student members. The hearing is chaired by the fact-finder, who does not cast a vote.

Students may present their own case or have a faculty advocate represent them. They cannot be advised by parents or lawyers during the hearing. Character witnesses will be limited to two, whose statements will normally simply be submitted in writing. The Hearing Board itself may call expert witnesses as deemed useful in addition to material witnesses. The person alleging a violation will be present and the student accused will be present. All members of the Hearing Board present are entitled to ask questions of anyone speaking for either side. If a student refuses to attend a Hearing, the Hearing can and will be held without the student present. The fact-finder will present whatever facts may have been found that might make a case on the student’s behalf.

After the presentations and questions are concluded the Board will deliberate in private. After deliberation votes will be cast by written ballot. The chair will tally the votes before all the members. A minimum of two-thirds will be required to affirm a violation. In Committee hearings, the presumption will be of innocence and the burden of proof will fall squarely on the person alleging a violation. A vote to affirm a violation should be based on clear and convincing evidence.

If two-thirds or more of a minimum of 10 voting members (with at least four students present and voting) vote to find a violation, the Board will then proceed to consider a penalty. The following range of penalties is within the power of the Board to impose:

(i) If the violation is the first offense to come before the Board and only involves the work of the student in question, that is, it does not involve the sabotage of someone else’s work or such theft or damage as harmed another student, the minimum penalty will be probation for one semester after that in which the violation occurred. (Depending on the timing of the hearing, this penalty and others may be imposed immediately to include the semester in which the violation occurred. ) This will be true even when the student is remorseful or the offense is deemed relatively minor. The probation does not appear on the student’s transcript nor does it become part of any permanent record publicly available. Therefore if the student is never again found in violation, there are no permanent consequences to this penalty. It is understood that any proven violation during the probationary period will result in expulsion. If the violation is deemed grievous and/or the student is without proper remorse, the Committee may impose a more severe penalty such as more lengthy probation or even suspension. The Board may choose whether the suspension applies to the semester in which the offense was committed (and may in some cases then entail a retroactive loss of the semester’s credit) or is to apply to an up-coming semester.

(ii) If the violation is a second offense but one not incurred while the student is on probation or if the offense involves damage to the work of another student, the minimum penalty will be suspension either for the semester during which the offense occurred or for the next semester. If the offense is judged particularly grievous and/or the student is without proper remorse, the Board may opt for a more severe penalty, longer suspension or even expulsion.

(iii) If the violation is committed during a probationary period or is a third offense, the automatic penalty will be expulsion from the university.

After the Hearing Board has considered the possible penalty, the Chair will determine what seems to be the penalty thought most reasonable by the majority. There will then be a second vote by written ballot whether or not to impose this penalty. A majority of votes will serve to impose the penalty. If there is no majority, discussion will continue and another penalty will be suggested by the chair and voted on. In case a majority does not emerge, the minimum penalty as indicated above will be automatically imposed. It will be the responsibility of the Provost to make sure that any penalty imposed is carried out.

Decisions against a student may be appealed to the Provost, except in the case of extraordinary circumstances, within seven business days of the original finding. Normally the Provost will only consider appeals on grounds of procedural violation or unreasonableness of penalty. The Provost’s Office will be authorized to set a penalty for the student in question. A finding by the Hearing Board that no violation has occurred cannot be appealed further.

The Chair will keep written records of the Hearing. The hearing will also be tape-recorded. These written and audio records are confidential and will be maintained in the Provost’s Office. The proceedings themselves and the penalty of probation are not a part of the student record. The record of a sole offense will be expunged upon graduation.

This page was last modified on March 10, 2015.
^ Back to Top of Page