Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism
(Faculty Code, Chapter V, Article IX, Section 1)
Academic Dishonesty Defined
Falsification of data, misrepresentation of another’s work as one’s own (such as cheating on examinations, reports or quizzes, purchasing material from the web), plagiarism from the work of others, or the presentation of substantially similar work for different courses (unless authorized to do so), is academic dishonesty and is a serious offense. Knowingly helping other students cheat or plagiarize will also be considered academic dishonesty.
Plagiarism occurs when you, intentionally, or due to your own negligence, use someone else’s words, ideas, or data without proper acknowledgment. To avoid plagiarism, whenever you use exact wording of another author in your written text, you must enclose the words in quotation marks, whether it be a paragraph, a sentence, or merely an aptly expressed phrase. You must then acknowledge the source in a precise and complete citation. It is not enough to cite the source without indicating by quotation marks that the words are someone else’s. It is also not enough to change one or two words in a sentence; that does not make it your own sentence. Another common error is to use another person’s ideas or data without indicating the source. Even if you paraphrase the ideas, you must give credit in a citation to their originators. In oral presentations, the original source also should be given proper credit in the form of internal source references and in bibliographic entries. While all of the above applies primarily to plagiarism from texts, websites, scholarly articles, review, handbooks, encyclopedias, etc., it also applies to the use, either wholly or in part, of another student’s paper. The use of another student’s ideas or words on an examination or report obviously constitutes plagiarism and is taken seriously by the faculty. Similarly, giving your ideas or words to another student to represent as their own also constitutes plagiarism. It is a form of cheating; indeed, it is a form of theft. It indicates dishonesty and a lack of personal integrity, which may affect not only your grade, but also how your professors perceive your academic commitment.
Reporting, Procedures and Penalties
(Faculty Code, Chapter V, Article IX, Section 2)
- When a faculty member determines that an instance of academic dishonesty has occurred, the faculty member must promptly notify the Dean of Students. For a first offense, the Dean of Students and the faculty member together will decide if the student’s actions require a hearing by the Council on Student Affairs. For all subsequent offenses, the Dean of Students will initiate a hearing by the Council on Student Affairs.
- Shortly after learning that an instance of academic dishonesty has occurred, the faculty member shall notify the student of the allegation that academic dishonesty has taken place. At this time the faculty member shall also either schedule a meeting with the student, which must take place promptly and in which the faculty member shall explain the nature of the allegation of academic dishonesty and the penalty to be assessed; or the faculty member shall inform the student that the case has been referred to the Council on Student Affairs. If the Dean and faculty member choose the latter option, this faculty member must also at the same time inform thechair of the Council on Student Affairs of this decision so that the chair can convene the Council to determine the validity of the charge and the penalty to be assessed.
- The requirement that the student meet with either the faculty member or the Council on Student Affairs promptly upon being notified of the determination that an allegation of academic dishonesty has taken place may be waived in cases where there are extenuating circumstances, such as a holiday break. Any party wishing to obtain this waiver must submit a written request for such a waiver to the chair of the Council on Student Affairs, and send a copy of this written request to the other party or parties, within two days of the notification of the student that a determination of academic dishonesty has taken place. The chair shall decide whether or not to grant this request within one day of receiving it, and shall communicate their decision immediately to the parties involved along with the revised timetable for the meeting to take place.
- Withdrawing from a class or dropping without record does not preclude academic dishonesty proceedings from going forward. When the student meets with either the faculty member or the Council on Student Affairs after being notified by the faculty member that the faculty member has concluded that academic dishonesty has taken place in a course for which the student is registered, the student shall also receive notification that any withdrawal from the course will not be final unless and until the student is shown not to have committed academic dishonesty. A student who is shown to have committed academic dishonesty but whose penalty is less severe than an “F” grade in the course may still withdraw from the course.
- The student shall have the right to challenge an initial allegation rendered by the faculty member regarding the charge of academic dishonesty, for a first offense, by appealing to the Council on Student Affairs. The council shall then provide a determination of the validity of the allegation and the penalty to be assessed, which shall be the final determination unless it is, in turn, appealed.
- For any meetings of the Council on Student Affairs regarding a case of academic dishonesty, the chair shall ensure that minutes of the proceedings are generated for the use of the Curriculum Committee in case of an appeal.
- A decision by the Council on Student Affairs may be appealed by a student who is the subject of disciplinary action by the council when:
- The student feels that there has been a procedural error in the discipline process by the Council, or;
- Evidence or information relevant to the case did not arise during the hearing.
If the accused student wishes to appeal the council’s decision, the student may petition the chair of the faculty in writing, within five days of the decision, stating which of these two grounds is being used as a basis for the appeal. The chair of the faculty will then act on the petition in one of three ways:
- The chair of the faculty may decide to hear the appeal and then rule.
- The chair of the faculty may form a panel to hear the appeal.
- The appeal petition may be rejected.
- A report on each case of demonstrable academic dishonesty will be kept on confidential file by the Dean of Students while the student is in attendance at Whitman College. Upon the student’s graduation the report will be destroyed. The purpose of reporting cases of demonstrable academic dishonesty is to provide a record in order to discourage repeat offenses and also to facilitate identification of repeat offenders. All meetings and deliberations pursuant to items 1 through 5 of this policy shall be otherwise kept strictly confidential.
Sanctions for academic dishonesty are as follows:
- In a case where academic dishonesty has been committed by a student concerning course-work, and where a hearing by the Council on Student Affairs is deemed unnecessary, the faculty member teaching the course in question shall have the discretion to decide what punitive measures to take with a maximum penalty of a grade of “F” in the course.
- For a first offense, in a case where academic dishonesty not concerning the student’s own coursework has been committed by the student, the Council on Student Affairs shall determine the sanction.
- A subsequent offense of any prohibited conduct in the policy will come before the Council of Student Affairs and may result in expulsion from the college.
- A student who is found to have committed academic dishonesty in a course from which the student has withdrawn shall have this provisional withdrawal canceled, and shall be penalized in accordance with the above guidelines.