09 Academic Honesty

Honesty is a core value at the University of New Hampshire. The members of its academic community both require and expect one another to conduct themselves with integrity. This means that each member will adhere to the principles and rules of the University and pursue academic work in a straightforward and truthful manner, free from deception or fraud.

Any attempts to deviate from these principles will be construed as acts of academic dishonesty and will be dealt with according to the rules of due process outlined below.

The value of honesty and the expectation of conduct that goes with it are intended to reinforce a learning environment where students and faculty can pursue independent work without unnecessary restraints. At the same time, the University recognizes its responsibility to encourage and inculcate values and standards of conduct that will guide its students throughout their careers.

The academic honesty policy provides standards of conduct for individuals only. Policies relating to recognized student organizations are described elsewhere. Such organizations, however, are expected to conform to the values and standards that govern their members as individuals within the UNH community. It is expected that students attending the University will conduct themselves in accordance with the rules and regulations of the University. Students must acknowledge the University’s right to take disciplinary action, including suspension or dismissal, for failure to comply with the expectations delineated by this policy.

This policy establishes the expectations of the University of New Hampshire for academic honesty and defines situations that constitute academic misconduct related to undergraduate and graduate coursework and undergraduate thesis and research projects. Finally, it presents the due process that follows should misconduct occur.

While it is impossible to list all cases that might arise, the following are provided as examples of academic dishonesty.

09.1 Written Classroom Examinations

Presenting the work of other students as one’s own, or assisting another student to do so, in a written classroom examination is considered to be cheating. Cheating may also occur when a student violates the conditions governing the examination.

Examples include, but are not limited to the following.

  1. Using oral, written, visual, or other form of communication intended to give or receive improper assistance;
  2. Looking at or copying another’s work;
  3. Using unauthorized materials (texts, notes, etc.);
  4. Having a surrogate take an exam;
  5. Altering your work after an exam has been returned and before resubmitting it;
  6. Obtaining and/or using an upcoming exam ahead of time.

09.2 Out-of-Class Work

Collaboration or aid on out-of-class work, when prohibited by the instructor, is considered to be cheating. Such unauthorized activity includes, but is not limited to the following:

  1. Receiving outside help on take home exams;
  2. Consulting with others about homework, laboratory reports, etc.;
  3. Copying another’s homework, laboratory reports, etc., and submitting them as your own.

09.3 Plagiarism

The unattributed use of the ideas, evidence, or words of another person, or the conveying of the false impression that the arguments and writing in a paper are the student’s own. Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to the following:

  1. The acquisition by purchase or otherwise of a part or the whole of a piece of work which is represented as the student’s own;
  2. The representation of the ideas, data, or writing of another person as the student’s own work, even though some wording, methods of citation, or arrangement of evidence, ideas, or arguments have been altered;
  3. Concealment of the true sources of information, ideas, or argument in any piece of work.

09.4 Misrepresentation

The deliberate falsification of information substituted in place of the truth is misrepresentation and includes but is not limited to the following:

  1. Having another person represent or stand in for oneself in circumstances where the student’s attendance and/or performance is required;
  2. Leaving a class, laboratory, etc. without permission but after attendance has been taken;
  3. Presenting false academic credentials;
  4. Having another person author one’s written work;
  5. Submitting work originally submitted for one course to satisfy the requirements of another course, without prior consent of the current instructor (it is assumed that the current instructor expects the work to be original);
  6. Forging or using another’s signature;
  7. Altering or destroying academic records and documents;
  8. Presenting false data, experimental results, or physical results.

09.5 Academic Policy

Violations of academic policy that are considered as academic dishonesty include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Removing materials from the library without proper authority;
  2. Infringing on the rights of other students to fair and equal access to academic resources;
  3. Duplicating course materials expressly forbidden by the instructor;
  4. Ignoring or willfully violating class or laboratory instructions or policies.

09.6 Computers

Violations of computer codes of ethics distributed at the University will be considered academic dishonesty.

09.7 Procedures for Resolving Academic Misconduct

In the event that a student is alleged to have violated the standards outlined in the Academic Honesty policy, the following procedures will apply. 

Notification

The instructor for the course in which the alleged violation occurred will notify the student of the alleged violation and will schedule a meeting with the student. The purpose of the meeting is to inform the student of the alleged violation, give them the opportunity to respond, and decide the appropriate course of action. If the student does not respond to the instructor’s attempt to schedule a meeting within 7 calendar days of initial contact, the violation and academic penalty can move forward/progress without the option for a student appeal. See the Appeals section of this policy for more information regarding the appeal process.

resolution processes

During the notification meeting, the instructor may; (a) decide the appropriate course of action and inform the student of any resolution or penalty at that time or (b) choose not to make a final decision and may communicate the course of action and academic penalty at a later date. Possible resolutions are:

  • Informal Resolution: Any violation was a result of a genuine misunderstanding and/or appropriately minor and can be resolved informally (e.g., no formal action, educational conversation, student resubmits the assignment)
  • Formal Resolution: The violation warrants a formal academic penalty (failing the assignment, failing the course, or any other grade penalty), and the instructor will complete the Academic Honesty Violation Report form.

Academic penalties issued by the instructor may not exceed failure of the course.

Decisions as to whether a student violated the academic honesty policy are based upon the preponderance of the evidence standards (i.e. was it more likely than not that the violation occurred?).

The completed Academic Honesty Violation Report form will be sent along with the assignment in question to the faculty's department chair, the Associate Dean of the Student’s college, the Associate Dean of the Graduate School if applicable, and Community Standards for the purposes of monitoring and recordkeeping. The student will receive an outcome letter with a description of the appeal process.

additional follow-up

In some cases, the assistant/associate dean of the student’s college or graduate school may recommend that a matter be referred to Community Standards for additional follow-up and sanctions. Students may be referred to Community Standards for reasons including egregious violations or repeat offenses.

Certain penalties or violations may have additional ramifications outside of the individual course (e.g. failing a course might have GPA implications that cause them to be academically suspended or removed from a program, forging certain documents may violate the ethical standards of a program, etc.). This policy does not supersede or prevent decisions or actions that follow a penalty under this policy.

appeal

Any student issued a formal academic penalty under this procedure may appeal the decision. The appeal is limited to faculty course penalties related to violations of this policy. If there are additional consequences as described in the additional follow-up section above, those additional decisions may not be appealed under this policy. Possible grounds for an appeal are limited to:

  • A procedural error occurred in the handling of the violation and/or academic penalty
  • There was insufficient evidence to find that the student committed the violation
  • New evidence is present that was not available at the time of the initial decision that could meaningfully change the outcome
  • There was a conflict of interest or evidence of bias on the part of the instructor that would prevent them from being able to make an objective decision. Being the course instructor in itself would not constitute a conflict of interest.

The following appeal procedures apply:

  1. To appeal a decision, the student must complete an Academic Honesty Violation Appeal form within 5 business days of receipt of the final outcome letter. The letter will include information regarding how to submit the appeal and the appeal form will be sent to the chair of the appropriate appeal committee or their designee (Chair):
    1. Undergraduate Students: Undergraduate Academic Integrity Committee (UAIC) (Chair: Dean of Students)
    2. Graduate Students: Graduate Council Student Affairs Committee (GCSAC) (Chair: Associate Dean of the Graduate School)
  2. The student's appeal must describe the allegation, the grounds for appeal (listed above), and describe the justification for the appeal.
  3. Failure to submit a completed appeal form within 5 business days from receipt of the outcome letter will result in the original penalty being upheld without further appeal opportunity.
  4. Upon receipt of the appeal, Chair will make a decision regarding whether to move the appeal forward depending on if the appeal adequately fits the grounds for appeal described above. If the Chair determines that the appeal will not be moving forward, the Chair will communicate their decision to the student including providing a rationale for the decision. Initial determinations made by the Chair are final.
  5. If the Chair determines that the appeal will move forward, they will convene a hearing panel to meet, typically, within 14 calendar days of the receipt of the appeal. The instructor that brought forth the allegation(s) and the student’s academic dean will be informed of the hearing, the grounds for appeal, and will supply relevant data and evidence when available. The committee will then make a final determination regarding whether to dismiss or uphold the penalty. In extraordinary circumstances (e.g., a significant procedural error or revelation that would fundamentally alter the decision) the Chair may call the hearing panel back together or overturn the decision. Otherwise, decisions made by the committee are final.