Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the moral code and ethical policy of scholarly work. It requires the adoption of educational values and the maintenance of academic standards. Academic integrity and honesty are central components of a student's education, and the ethical conduct maintained in an academic context will be taken eventually into a student's professional career. Academic integrity is essential in a community of scholars searching and learning to search for truth. Anything less than total commitment to integrity undermines the efforts of the entire academic community. Both students and faculty are responsible for insuring the academic integrity of the university. 

This policy applies to the academic conduct of all persons who have ever matriculated at Michigan Technological University, whether or not the person is enrolled at the time an allegation of academic misconduct is made.

This policy addresses academic misconduct in course work. Allegations of misconduct in research or publication are addressed underMisconduct in Research, Scholarly and Creative Endeavors Policy.

Procedures to ensure fairness and due process for all parties involved in any apparent violation of the Academic Integrity Policy have been developed, and will be reviewed every five years by the Office of Academic and Community Conduct in consultation with the Graduate School and  University Conduct Board.

Definition of Academic Misconduct

Michigan Tech defines academic misconduct as any attempt to create or assist in creating an unfair advantage for an individual or an unfair disadvantage for other members of the university community.

Types of Academic Misconduct

Plagiarism

Copying another's work or ideas and calling them one's own or not giving proper credit or citation. This includes but is not limited to reading or hearing another's work or ideas and using them as one's own; quoting, paraphrasing, or condensing another's work without giving proper credit; purchasing or receiving another's work and using, handling, or submitting it as one's own work.

Cheating

Unauthorized use of any study aids, equipment, or another's work during an academic exercise. This includes but is not limited to unauthorized use of notes, study aids, electronic or other equipment during an examination; copying or looking at another individual's examination; taking or passing information to another individual during an examination; taking an examination for another individual; allowing another individual to take one's examination; stealing examinations. Cheating also includes unauthorized collaboration. All graded academic exercises are expected to be performed on an individual basis unless otherwise stated by the instructor. An academic exercise may not be submitted by a student for course credit in more than one course without the permission of all instructors. [i.e. selfplagiarism].

Contract Cheating

The outsourcing of student work to third parties. Third parties may include but are not limited to family and friends; academic custom writing sites; legitimate learning sites (e.g., file sharing, discussion, and micro-tutoring sites); legitimate non-learning sites (e.g., freelancing sites and online audio sites); paid exam takers; and pre-written essay banks. Most online help sites have honor codes and/or copyright policies. Students should ask their professors whether or not they (students) are authorized to use online help sites. Students should only upload content to these websites that they have made or are otherwise authorized to post.

Fabrication

Intentional and/or unauthorized invention or alteration of any information or citation during an academic exercise. This includes but is not limited to  the unauthorized changing or adding an answer on an examination and resubmitting it to change the grade; inventing data for a laboratory exercise or report.

Facilitating Academic Misconduct

Allowing or helping another individual to plagiarize, cheat, or fabricate information.

Sanctions, Educational Conditions, and Remedies

The purposes of sanctions include, without limitation: 

  1. to educate the respondent about appropriate conduct; 
  2. to promote the personal and professional development of the respondent;
  3. to discourage the respondent and other students from violating the Student Code of Community Conduct; and
  4. to protect other members of the University community. 

The sanctions imposed on a respondent should be proportional to the respondent’s misconduct and appropriate for the particular case based on the gravity of the offense (including, without limitation, how the violation affected or reasonably could have affected other members of the University community). Consideration may also be given to the respondent’s conduct record; whether the respondent acted in self-defense, and, if so, whether the amount of force used was reasonable under the circumstances; and other aggravating or mitigating factors

Range of Sanctions

Written Warning

A written statement that further violations of University rules will result in more serious sanctions.

Conduct Probation 

A status which generally will not exceed eighteen (18) months, unless at the discretion of the decision-maker(s), the status should exceed eighteen (18) months. Students who violate any regulation while on conduct probation are likely to receive enhanced sanctions for any subsequent violations. Conduct probation means a student is not in good social/conduct standing, and therefore may be ineligible to participate in co- and/or extra-curricular activities, student employment, scholarships, etc. Once a student has completed at least one third (1/3) of their total probationary period, they may apply to the PERC program to be reinstated to good conduct standing. Applicants will be required to successfully complete additional educational conditions prior to being released from conduct probation. Please contact the Office of Academic and Community Conduct at studentconduct@mtu.edu for more information on the PERC program.

Conduct Suspension

The termination of a person’s status as a student for a definite or indefinite period of time with the possibility of reinstatement. The termination may be immediate. The student must submit a petition for reinstatement and have it approved by the Office of Academic and Community Conduct before being allowed to return. To be eligible to petition for reinstatement, students must have successfully completed all educational conditions and remedies. Students must petition for reinstatement at least six (6) weeks prior to the term they hope to re-enroll for. If allowed to return, a determination will be made whether or not the student will be placed on conduct probation for a specified period of time. 

Conduct Expulsion

The immediate termination of a person’s status as a student without the possibility of reinstatement.

Grading Sanctions

In addition to the sanctions described above, the decision maker (University Conduct Board or hearing officer) may also assign, in consultation with the instructor for the course, a grading sanction of “F*,” “E*,” or “U*” in the course as a disciplinary measure.  In such cases, the faculty member responsible for teaching the course will submit an F, E, or U in the course for the student, and the decision maker will require the student to complete an educational assignment on ethics and integrity. F*:  If the student has not completed an educational assignment within the time specified in the conduct decision, the decision maker will instruct the Registrar’s Office to add an “*” to the F grade and the transcript will read "failure due to academic misconduct”.  Students receiving a grade of F* will not be allowed to repeat the course. Students with a grade of F* remaining on their transcripts may not serve as an officer of any recognized student organization, nor represent the university in official university events external to the University, including varsity sports, student contests and competitions, and similar events. E* and U*:  A student receives a grade of E* for pass/fail courses or U* for audited courses.  These grades will be administered in the same manner as a grade of F*. If a grading sanction of “F*,” “E*,” or “U*” is not assigned, the decision maker may make other recommendations to the instructor regarding grading including lowering the grade by one whole letter, but such recommendations are not required to be adopted by the instructor.  Grades may also be lowered at the discretion of the instructor in any case where the decision maker finds a violation of academic misconduct. In any course for which the instructor has lowered the grade or issued an “F,” the student may not withdraw nor use the pass/fail option (SCV, LCV, ECV).

Revocation of Degree

The University reserves the right to revoke an awarded degree for fraud in receipt of the degree, or for serious disciplinary violations committed by a student prior to the student’s graduation.

Educational Conditions

Conduct decisions, in addition to a sanction, may include, but are not limited to, educational condition(s) such as writing assignments, educational/experiential workshops, counseling, fees, community service, restorative practices, and educational projects. The University has complete discretion to require or to not require educational conditions on a case by case basis. Students with critical financial situations may submit a written petition to the Office of Academic and Community Conduct to demonstrate why they cannot pay University education condition fees. Supporting documentation as to why the student has a critical financial situation and is unable to pay is recommended. The petition and any supporting documentation will be reviewed to determine if their fiscal conditions warrant a reduction or waiver.

Remedies 

In addition to a sanction and educational conditions when a respondent is found responsible for violations of the Student Code of Community Conduct, remedies may also be included in a decision. The goal of a remedy is to ensure the behavior(s) stops and does not reoccur. Remedies may include, but are not limited to, limited access to campus, temporary or permanent removal from the residence hall or campus property, change in on-campus living location, loss of privileges, well-being assessments, and no-contact orders.