Department of History College of Arts and Sciences
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Links of Interest

Office of Student Conduct
Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities (pdf)
Definition of academic and classroom misconduct
Academic misconduct process and procedures
Policy of the Department of History about academic misconduct
Implementing the departmental policy about academic misconduct
Advice to students about plagiarism and using sources
Information about TurnItIn.com
Links to Web sites on plagiarism

Policy about Academic MIsconduct


The purpose of a university education is to learn. Cheating, plagiarizing, and other acts of dishonesty do not contribute to learning. They are, rather, attempts to avoid learning that defeat the very purpose of education. They are rightly regarded as both unethical and illegal under the academic standards of The University of Memphis.

You owe it to yourself and your reputation as a student to be well informed as to what constitutes plagiarism and to avoid even the suspicion that you are guilty of it. In addition to the policy statements given below, you should become thoroughly familiar with the document “Advice about plagiarism and using sources.”

The Department of History at The University of Memphis bases its policy about academic misconduct on statements from the Faculty Handbook and the Office of Student Conduct. The statements from the Office of Student Conduct are in turn based on more detailed statements in the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities, popularly known as the Student Handbook.

Definitions

[These definitions are from the Office of Student Conduct statement about misconduct]

Academic Misconduct

Plagiarism - The adoption or reproduction of ideas, words, statements, images, or works of another person as one's own without proper attribution.

Cheating - Using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or aids in any academic exercise or test/examination. The term academic exercise includes all forms of work submitted for credit or hours.

Fabrication - Unauthorized falsification or invention of any information or citation in an academic exercise.

Classroom Misconduct

Disruptive behavior in the classroom may be defined as, but not limited to, behavior that obstructs or disrupts the learning environment (e.g., repeated outbursts from a student which disrupt the flow of instruction or prevent concentration on the subject taught, failure to cooperate in maintaining classroom decorum, etc.), text messaging, and the continued use of any electronic or other noise or light emitting device which disturbs others (e.g., disturbing noises from electronic devices).

At the University of Memphis, the instructor has responsibility for maintaining control over classroom behavior and can order the temporary removal or exclusion from the classroom of any student engaged in disruptive conduct or conduct that violates the general rules and regulations of the institution for each class session during which the conduct occurs. Extended or permanent exclusion from the classroom, beyond the session in which the conduct occurred, or further disciplinary action can be effected only through appropriate procedures of the institution. The instructor may also report incidents of classroom misconduct to the Office of Student Conduct and/or the department chair.

Academic discipline procedures

This flow chart, created by Associate Dean of Students Benjamin Morton, illustrates visually the options available when a faculty member believes a student has engaged in academic misconduct. It may help you to interpret the verbal descriptions that follow:

Flow chart

[These procedures are from the Office of Student Conduct statement about procedure]

Plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic dishonesty are prohibited. Students guilty of academic misconduct, either directly or indirectly, through participation or assistance, are immediately responsible to the instructor of the class in addition to other possible disciplinary sanctions which may be imposed through the regular institutional disciplinary procedures.

An instructor who believes a student has committed an act of academic misconduct shall notify the student in writing of the basis for the belief and allow the student five (5) business days to respond to the allegation. The student shall respond to the allegation by scheduling a meeting with the instructor to discuss the matter. After meeting with the student to review the alleged misconduct, the instructor has two options:

(a) they may make a decision regarding appropriate action, or

(b) they may refer the matter to the Academic Integrity Committee.

Summary Discipline - If, after the student has had the opportunity to respond to the alleged violation, the instructor finds sufficient evidence exists to conclude that a violation did occur; the instructor may make a decision regarding the appropriate penalty. The instructor may issue a failing or diminished grade for the course or issue a failing or diminished grade on the assignment or examination in question. The instructor will communicate their decision to the Chair of the Department within five (5) business days of their meeting with the student. After receiving notice of the action taken, the Chair will then notify the student of the instructor's decision within five (5) business days.

Academic Integrity Committee - Rather than making a decision, the instructor may instead choose to defer disciplinary action to the Academic Integrity Committee. At this meeting, both the student and the instructor will be invited to present to provide information to support their case. The Academic Integrity Committee may issue a failing or diminished grade for the course or issue a failing or diminished grade on the assignment or examination in question.

At the conclusion of the disciplinary process, all decisions regarding acts of academic misconduct will be communicated to the Office of Student Conduct.

Once a student has been accused of an act of academic misconduct, the student may not drop or withdraw from the class until such time as the matter has been resolved.   A student found responsible for academic misconduct is not permitted to withdraw from the course to avoid summary discipline.

In cases where more than one student is suspected of academic misconduct, each student’s case will be adjudicated separately.

Students found responsible for multiple acts of academic misconduct may be subject to further disciplinary action including suspension from the University. In the event the sanction is suspension or expulsion from the University, the student will have the choice to appeal the decision pursuant to the Tennessee Uniform Administrative Procedures Act (TUAPA).

Appeals of Academic Integrity Violations

A student found responsible by their instructor for act(s) of academic misconduct may seek a review by the Chair of the Department. A request for such a review must be submitted (in writing) within five (5) business days of receipt of notice of the instructor's decision. During this review, the student and instructor will present information to support their case. After reviewing the material presented by the instructor and the student, the Chair may:

(a)   Uphold the action taken by the instructor, or

(b)   Modify the action taken by the instructor.

Following this review, the student may request an appeal of the decision of the Department Chair by submitting a letter of appeal (in writing) to the Academic Integrity Committee within five (5) business days of the Department Chair's review meeting. The Office of Student Conduct will then schedule an appeal hearing before the Academic Integrity Committee.

In cases where the faculty member has deferred disciplinary action to the Academic Integrity Committee, a student may appeal the original jurisdiction decision of the Academic Integrity Committee by submitting a letter of appeal (in writing) to the University Committee on Student Conduct within five (5) business days of being notified of the Academic Integrity Committee's decision.   The Office of Student Conduct will then schedule an appeal hearing before the University Committee on Student Conduct.

A student may appeal a grade assignment for course work not associated with a finding of academic misconduct (as distinct from a student disciplinary sanction) through the appropriate University grade appeal procedures.

Models of summary discipline letters for faculty

[The Office of Student Conduct has prepared models (templates) for the letters to be sent by faculty members and departmental chairs concerning academic integrity violations (all the model letters are in PDF)]

Submission of work submitted in other classes

Papers, reviews, projects, and other written work submitted for credit in another class either at The University of Memphis or elsewhere may not be submitted for credit in any class within the Department of History. The Department regards the submission of such work as academic misconduct, an attempt to earn credit for work that was not actually done for the class, and it will result in the same sanctions as prescribed for other academic misconduct.

TurnItIn.com

The University of Memphis has secured a site license to use TurnItIn to maintain a high level of academic integrity in written work by students. Your instructor may require that you submit written work to TurnItIn.com, which will evaluate that work for originality (or unoriginality), using an extensive database of online documents and previously submitted papers.

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Last Updated: 3/12/14