Academic Integrity Policy

Institutional Policy

The academic integrity policy statement applies to all Union Institute & University students and employees. The procedural guidelines that follow the policy statement are specific to students; procedures for employees who violate the Academic Integrity Policy are separate and can be found on the university’s employee intranet, under human resources policies.

Policy Statement

Union Institute & University is committed to ensuring the highest level of academic integrity. Violations of academic integrity of any kind are strictly prohibited. Violations of academic integrity include, but are not limited to, plagiarism, cheating, and dishonesty.

Definitions

Academic Integrity

Characterized by honesty and responsibility in scholarship, based on the following assumptions about academic work at Union Institute & University:

  • Students attend UI&U in order to learn, and academic assignments exist for the sake of this goal.
  • All academic work must be met through a student’s own efforts. Academic work completed any other way is unacceptable, and any grades and credits awarded as a result are fraudulent.

Academic integrity means understanding and respecting these basic truths, without which no university can exist. Academic dishonesty is not just “against the rules” but violates the assumptions that are at the heart of all learning. Violations of academic integrity destroy the mutual trust and respect that should exist among students and faculty, as well as being unfair to students who operate with integrity and honesty

Plagiarism

The practice of claiming or implying authorship of another person’s written or creative work, ideas, and/or words through incorporation, in whole or in part, into one’s own without adequately acknowledging or crediting the source. Plagiarism usually takes the form of submitting the work or ideas of another (written, artistic, technical, etc.) as one’s own. Commonly plagiarized sources include books and articles (published and unpublished), Internet sites, and other students’ work. Plagiarism may be unintentional or intentional; this policy and related procedures apply regardless of intentionality.

Cheating

The use of deception or other means in an effort to obtain credit for a learning activity.

There are other forms of academic dishonesty, which include but are not limited to: entering into a consensual relationship with an instructor, mentor, advisor, or other employee responsible for evaluating the student’s work (which creates an immediate conflict of interest for both the student and the instructor); providing false or inaccurate information about one’s academic and/or professional background, such as claiming a degree one has not earned or submitting false letters of recommendation; submitting the same work for credit more than one time; or violating any protocols and/or procedures specified in a course syllabus.

Identification of Student Plagiarism

Assignments submitted by students as part of any undergraduate or graduate course or as a component of any student’s academic program are regularly reviewed for plagiarism, which may include use of plagiarism identification software. Each enrolled student agrees that, by registering for learning activities, s/he consents to the submission of her/his work for textual similarity review to identify possible plagiarism.

Personal Relationships and Academic Integrity

A close personal relationship (sexual, familial, or personal) with an instructor, mentor, advisor, or other employee responsible for evaluating a student’s work creates an immediate conflict of interest for both the student and the instructor. Students should be aware that having a close personal relationship with an individual who has responsibility/authority to evaluate/approve the student’s work may be construed to be a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy – a form of cheating.

While such consensual relationships are not forbidden by the university, a student involved in a consensual relationship with an instructor may not register for coursework with that individual. If there are no other sections of the course available, the student is required to disclose the relationship to the dean, so that the student’s work and the instructor’s evaluation of that work can be monitored.

If a consensual relationship comes to light after the conclusion of a course, the dean will immediately forward the case to the VPAA for review by the academic integrity committee. All of the student’s coursework will be closely reviewed by the committee – a review that may include comparison of the quality of the work in the subject course to the student’s work in other courses. If the review leads to a conclusion of favoritism (grade inflation, evidence of inappropriate assistance from the instructor, or other similar violations of academic integrity), the committee will make a recommendation to the VPAA for disciplinary action. Disciplinary action could range from changing the course grade to reflect the actual quality of the student’s work, to academic probation, or even dismissal from the program.

Because the university’s employee Conduct and Ethics Policy states that sexual relationships between employees and students are “usually deemed inappropriate or unethical,” disciplinary action will also be taken against the instructor, in accordance with the university’s human resources policies and procedures.