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IV - Academic Integrity

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Code of Ethics | Academic Integrity Committee


Clarkson values personal integrity. Matriculation at Clarkson carries with it the obligation that a student will not claim as his or her own, the work of another, or any work that has not been honestly performed, will not take any examination by improper means, and will not aid and abet another in any dishonesty.

Violations of the Code of Ethics are regarded as most serious offenses and render the offenders liable to severe disciplinary action. Alleged violations of the Code of Ethics are dealt with according to the section on the Academic Integrity Committee.



The Academic Integrity Committee deals with alleged violations of the Code of Ethics.

The Committee is the primary body for adjudicating alleged violations. If faculty members elect to levy sanctions on their own authority against students for violations committed in their courses, they must inform the charged students of their right to appeal the sanction to the Committee and inform the Academic Integrity Committee of any sanctions levied.

Once the faculty notifies the student of their action, it should be noted in the letter from the faculty member that the student has the right to appeal the decision to the Academic Integrity Committee and has 7 calendar days to make their decision to appeal known to the chair of the Academic Integrity Committee. Once the 7 days have passed the decision of the faculty member is considered final.

All cases involving a recommendation of suspension or expulsion must be referred to the Committee.

The Committee, at the end of each semester, will prepare a summary of the cases of established violations and the sanctions imposed and a copy sent to the Dean of Students Office.

The duties of the Committee thus are:

  1. to adjudicate cases specifically referred to it,
  2. to hear appeals to sanctions imposed by individual faculty members, and
  3. inform the Dean of Students Office.

All cases, whether they are handled by individual faculty members or by the Committee, must be reported to the Dean of Students Office who will consolidate the information with the files of student conduct violations.

Committee Composition and Terms of Membership

  1. The Committee shall consist of four faculty members, three undergraduate students of Clarkson University, and a fourth faculty member who shall serve as nonvoting chair.
  2. The term of office for members of the Committee shall be one year, from one commencement to the next.

Appointment Requirements and Procedures

  1. Student Members. Student members shall be selected by the Student Senate in the spring to serve for the following academic year. The Student Senate shall appoint three members and one alternate to the Committee. If any vacancy shall exist during the year, the Student Senate shall appoint the alternate to the Committee for the balance of the year.
    Recall: The student members of the Committee shall be ancillary to Article XIII of the CUSA Constitution.
  2. Faculty Members. The Faculty Senate will select from the full-time Clarkson faculty the chair, three additional members, and two alternates in the spring to serve for the following academic year.

Responsibilities of the Chair

  1. The chair shall ensure that the designated procedures are followed for organizational and Committee meetings.
  2. The chair shall preside at all hearings and meetings of the Committee, maintaining order and decorum, and ruling on points of procedure.
  3. The chair shall maintain complete files of each case to be kept in the SAS.
  4. The chair shall report in writing annually to the Faculty Senate and the Student Senate, describing the number and types of cases dealt with, and problems encountered (without, however, revealing names or other confidential matters).


  1. Consideration of alleged academic violations involves issues of academic judgment and review that are distinct from the consideration of alleged violations of the University's rules for nonacademic conduct.
  2. Hearings
    1. A hearing is an administrative and not a criminal proceeding; therefore, there is no need to define academic violations or the hearing procedures with the specificity required in the criminal law. In general, a student shall be entitled to a hearing that is fundamentally fair and shall comply generally with the following. Strict adherence to the rules is not required.
    2. Students, faculty members, or others making allegations of violation of the Code of Ethics shall submit to the chair a written description of the charges.
    3. Within five (5) days of the receipt of the written description, the chair shall, in consultation with the Committee members, set the date for hearing the case. If a member is disqualified by virtue of being a principal in the case or because the member feels unable to judge the case objectively, the rest of the Committee, by majority vote, shall designate an alternate. If the chair is disqualified, the other members of the Committee shall elect, by majority vote, a chair pro tem.
    4. At least seven (7) calendar days in advance of the hearing the Chair shall inform in writing the accused and the accuser of the scheduled hearing. The written notice shall include:
      1. a statement of the charges
      2. a list of all known witnesses and a description of the known evidence in support of the charges
      3. a statement of the time and place of the hearing
      4. a copy of the hearing procedures
    5. A student who fails to appear or to participate in a hearing after proper notice will be deemed to have pled guilty to the charge(s) pending against him or her and will be subject to the sanction levied by the Academic Integrity Committee.
    6. The student has the right to be assisted in his or her defense by an adviser of his or her choice. The adviser may be present but may not participate as an advocate in the proceedings.
    7. Only those persons having a role in the hearing shall be permitted to attend.
    8. Technical rules of evidence applicable to civil and criminal courts are not applicable. All matters upon which the decision may be based must be introduced into evidence at the proceedings of the Committee. Its decision must be based solely upon such matters.
    9. The burden of proof shall rest upon the person(s) bringing the charge.
    10. The student charged will be given the opportunity to testify and to present evidence and witnesses upon his or her behalf. He or she shall have an opportunity to hear and question adverse witnesses, as will the Committee. In no case will the Committee consider statements against a student unless the student has been advised of their content and of the names of those who made them.
    11. There will be a tape recording of all hearings.
    12. After the hearing has been completed, the Committee shall determine in a closed meeting whether the allegation is upheld. A minimum of four votes for and a maximum of zero against shall be required to uphold an allegation. The chair shall be nonvoting. Abstentions shall not be considered a vote against.
    13. For an upheld allegation the Committee shall determine by majority vote one or more of the following penalties to be assessed:
      1. "Ethical Probation" for a period to be specified by the Committee, or the remainder of the student's time at Clarkson to be kept on file in the Office of the Dean of Students. Should a second violation of academic integrity occur during the period of ethical probation, a recommendation to the president for ethical suspension would ensue automatically.
      2. Grade of F for the assignment or examination.
      3. Grade of F for the course or for a percentage of the course. A grade of F submitted by the instructor, either for a piece of work or for the course, as a sanction for a violation of academic integrity, may be overturned by the Committee.
      4. Grade sanction for the course, equal to half integral amounts of a letter grade up to a maximum of three letter grades.
      5. "Ethical Suspension" the student will be suspended for a period of time indicated in a letter from the chair of the Academic Integrity Committee. The committee may enact other conditions as part of the sanction of ethical suspension. The chair will make it known to the Registrar's Office, the Provost, the Vice President for Enrollment & Student Advancement and the Dean of Students.
      6. "Ethical Expulsion" the student will be expelled from the University and will be notified by a letter from the chair of the Academic Integrity Committee. The chair will make it known to the Registrar's Office, the Provost, the Vice President for Enrollment & Student Advancement and the Dean of Students.
      7. A course affected by academic integrity sanctions cannot be dropped.
    14. The chair may vote to break ties. The chair shall forward the recommendations to the President or his designated representative.
  3. Adjudication
    The Committee shall be responsible for the disposition of all cases brought before it during its term of office.

Right to appeal the decision by the Academic Integrity Committee
1. Should a student choose to appeal the decision by the Academic Integrity Committee, the appeal of an Academic Integrity Committee decision must be submitted in writing to the Provost within 7 calendar days from the date of the Hearing Committee decision.

2. The ground(s) for the appeal must be included and clearly stated in the request. Grounds for appeal are limited to:

a. A procedural error occurred during the process that had a direct impact on the outcome;

b. New evidence has come to light that has a direct impact on the outcome which could not have been discovered by a properly diligent person before or during the original proceeding; or

c. The decision as to responsibility and/or sanction is arbitrary or capricious, including but not limited to as a result of bias or disregard of substantial evidence, or because the sanction(s) is (are) clearly disproportionate to the violation.

3. The Provost will have the right to question any and all individuals who can assist in the final determination of the appeal. The Provost will then make one of the following decisions:

a. Affirm the finding or responsibility and affirm the sanction(s).

b. Affirm the finding of responsibility and increase or decrease the sanction.

c. Remand the case back to the original Academic Integrity Board or ask that a new one be formed. This may occur if specified procedural errors were so substantial as to effectively deny the student a fair hearing, or if new and significant evidence became available which could not have been discovered by a properly diligent person before or during the original proceeding.

4. The Provost will notify the student of the decision with an explanation of the final action.

Clarkson University reserves the right to amend this entire document from time to time as deemed necessary.