All members of UNH share responsibility for promoting and protecting the highest standards of integrity in scholarship and professional practice. 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.
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. Students are expected to complete independent, original work for each academic activity unless otherwise specified by the faculty member. Students should seek clarification when in doubt. Any attempts to deviate from these principles will be construed as acts of academic dishonesty subject to disciplinary action.
I. Scope and Applicability
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.
Sections I - III of this policy apply to all University of New Hampshire students. Sections IV - VII of this policy apply to all University of New Hampshire students except students at the Law School. For information on the procedures and resolution processes for resolving reports of academic integrity violations at the Law School, view the Law School Catalog.
II. Prohibited Academic Conduct
The following behaviors constitute academic misconduct.
Use or attempted use of any academic exercise materials, information, study aids, electronic data, AI tools, assignment/exam surrogate, or other forms of assistance without authorization.
Consulting with one or more individuals on an academic exercise or examination without the express permission of the course instructor.
Use or submission of intellectual property, ideas, evidence produced by another person, including computer generated text or work outsourced to third-parties, in whole or in part as one's own in any academic assessment without providing proper citation or attribution. In some cases, reusing one’s own previous work without acknowledging or citing the original work can constitute self-plagiarism.
Falsification, or Misrepresentation of Information
Providing fabricated information, inventing data or citations, or misrepresenting information or oneself in an academic activity or related to academic attendance or other academic requirements.
Facilitating Academic Dishonesty
Assisting or attempting to assist another to engage in behavior that facilitates academic dishonesty, including but not limited to allowing another to copy from one’s work; taking an exam by proxy for someone else; or removing an examination or quiz from a classroom, faculty office, or other facility without authorization.
Tampering with, circumventing, or destroying any educational material or resource in a manner that deprives any other student of fair access or reasonable use of that material or resource. Educational resources include but are not limited to computer facilities, electronic data, reserved readings, reference works, or other library materials. Academic interference also includes acts in which the student committing the infraction personally benefits from the interference, regardless of the effect on other students.
III. Reporting Allegations of Academic Misconduct
The University encourages any individual who has witnessed a UNH student engage in academic misconduct to report it directly to the faculty member of the course or the academic college. Reports submitted to the Office of Community Standards by someone other than the faculty member of the course in which the alleged violation has occurred will be sent to the faculty member for determination of a violation.
IV. Procedures for Resolving Academic Misconduct
In the event that a student is alleged to have violated the standards outlined in the Academic Integrity policy, the following procedures will apply:
Notice of the allegations
The instructor for the course in which the alleged violation occurred will schedule a meeting with the student. The purpose of the meeting is to inform the student of the alleged violation, share the evidence for the alleged violation, give them the opportunity to respond, and decide the appropriate course of action.
When notifying the student about the allegation and inviting them to attend the meeting, the instructor has discretion regarding how much information to provide regarding the allegation. The instructor is encouraged to, at least, notify the student that the purpose of the meeting is to discuss an alleged academic integrity violation. Instructors may us this template for this email notification. Use of this template is optional.
Opportunity to Respond
During the meeting, the student will have an opportunity to review and respond to the summary of evidence and provide any additional information or evidence to refute the allegations before a final decision is made as noted below. During the 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.
Failing to participate
If the student does not respond to the instructor’s attempt to schedule a meeting within seven (7) days of initial contact, the instructor may determine if a violation has occurred without the student’s participation and, if so, assign an academic penalty proportionate to the violation. If a student fails to respond or attend a meeting, they forfeit any opportunity to appeal the instructor’s decision.
The instructor will consider the summary of evidence and any response from the student to determine whether the student is responsible for the allegations. The instructor's prescribed standard of proof used to determine responsibility for policy violations is the preponderance of the evidence standard; when the information suggests that it is more likely than not that a violation occurred.
Notice of the decision
The instructor will inform the student of their final decision. If the instructor is issuing a formal grade penalty as a result of the decision, the student will be sent a written statement of facts that the instructor found to have occurred in relation to the allegations of academic misconduct, an explanation of the evidence relied on to determine the facts, and a copy or link to the appeal procedures and the deadline to submit an appeal. This information, along with the assignment in question, will also be sent to the faculty's department chair or program director, the the assistant/associate dean of the student’s college or graduate school, and Community Standards for the purposes of monitoring and recordkeeping. The student will receive an outcome letter with a description of the appeal process.
V. Resolution Options
The instructor of the course has discretion for determining the appropriate resolution of an academic misconduct violation. Possible resolutions to an allegation of academic misconduct are:
- Informal Resolution: If the factors surrounding the violation are mitigating, the instructor may resolve the matter informally and not report it. Mitigating factors that could result in an informal resolution may include a genuine misunderstanding, minor error, the circumstances under which the academic misconduct occurred, absence of prior academic misconduct, sincere insight into the nature of the harm caused and a willingness to reduce or repair the effect of the harm; and/or any steps the student has taken to remedy the behavior. In some cases, an instructor may create an assignment that is used exclusively to teach students about academic honesty. If violations occur on these assignments, the resolution of these cases may still be considered "informal" even if the student receives a minor grade penalty. Examples of informal resolutions include:
- No formal action or penalty
- Written warning to the student
- An educational conversation about academic integrity with the instructor
- Requiring the student to complete an academic integrity training
- Having the student complete a reflection paper or activity
- Referral to academic resources or tutoring services
- Requiring the student to repeat/resubmit or submit an alternative academic assessment to be graded on its merits in lieu of or in addition to the original academic assessment.
- Formal Resolution: If the factors surrounding the violation are substantially aggravating, the instructor may proceed and resolve the matter formally and issue an academic penalty. Academic penalties issued by the instructor may not exceed failure of the course. Aggravating factors may include deliberate or intentional acts; the circumstances under which the academic misconduct occurred; an established pattern of academic integrity violations; prior Informal Resolution; harm to other students' learning; length of time since last violation; extent of adverse or negative impact to an individual or the university community; the nature and importance of the academic assessment.
If the instructor is resolving the matter formally, the instructor will complete the Report of Academic Misconduct form. Instructors are strongly encouraged to complete and submit the form in a timely manner. A delayed or prolonged passage of time may impact what could otherwise be a meaningful intervention. Examples of Formal Academic Penalties may include:
- Reduced or failing grade on an academic assessment or examination.
- Reduced or failing grade in the course.
VI. Additional Consequences for Egregious or Multiple Violations
In cases where students have a demonstrated track record of academic misconduct or the alleged violation is highly serious in nature, the assistant/associate dean of the student’s college or graduate school may consult with the Office of Community Standards to consider if a referral to the University’s conduct process is more appropriate. In such instances, the process, through its conclusion, will follow the Conduct Resolution Procedures under Article IV of the Student Code of Conduct.
Certain academic penalties may have additional ramifications outside of the individual course (e.g., failing a course might have GPA implications that cause a student 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.
VII. Appeal Process and Procedures
Any student issued a formal academic penalty may request to 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 Consequences for Egregious or Multiple Violations section above, those additional decisions may not be appealed under this policy.
- A procedural error occurred in the handling of the violation and/or academic penalty that could meaningfully change the outcome
- 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.
Procedures to Request an Appeal
The following appeal procedures apply:
- To appeal a decision, the student must complete an Academic Honesty Violation Appeal form within three (3) business days of receipt of the written decision letter.
- The student's appeal must describe the allegation, the grounds for appeal, and describe the justification for the appeal.
- Failure to submit a completed appeal form within three (3) business days from receipt of the decision letter will result in the original penalty being upheld without further appeal opportunity.
Preliminary and Final Appellate Review
- Upon receipt of the appeal, the student’s petition will be forwarded to the designated Review Officer to determine if the appeal adequately fits the appeal grounds described under this policy.
- If the Review Officer determines that the appeal will not be moving forward, they will communicate their decision and the rationale for their decision to the student. Initial determinations made by the Review Officer are final and the process ends.
- If the Review Officer determines that the appeal will move forward, they will act as chair and convene an individual or group to review the appeal from the following committees, typically, within twenty (20) calendar days of receipt of the appeal. The chair may designate another individual to chair at their discretion.
- Undergraduate Students: Undergraduate Academic Integrity Committee (UAIC) (Chair: Dean of Students)
- Graduate Students: Graduate Council Student Affairs Committee (GCSAC) (Chair: Associate Dean of the Graduate School)
- 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 Panel and Chair may determine that expert witness testimony is potentially relevant to the review and may appropriately consult with or permit the expert witness to attend the appellate review.
- The committee will then make a final determination regarding whether to dismiss or uphold the penalty. In extraordinary circumstances, the Chair may call the hearing panel back together or overturn the decision of the committee. Otherwise, decisions made by the committee are final and non-reviewable.
VII. Maintaining Student Records
Academic Misconduct records, including investigation records, are maintained electronically by the Office of Community Standards in accordance with the Schedule for Record Retention and Disposal as described in Article IV of the Code of Conduct.