A commitment to academic integrity is at the heart of Saint Xavier’s mission as an intellectual community, dedicated, in the words of the University Philosophy Statement, to the examination of fundamental questions of human concern, respectful dialogue in the context of diverse points of view and experience, as well as the search for truth and justice. For faculty and students alike, the scholarly enterprise requires clear and rigorous argument, acknowledging the sources of our ideas, the quality of the evidence that supports them, and taking responsibility for the errors we have made.
The efforts of students to cultivate these academic skills and intellectual virtues in turn requires formative evaluation, accurately and justly assessing student progress. In order to achieve this, instructors must be certain that students’ work is their own, and that all records of accomplishment are authentic and reliable. In this context, when students misrepresent their knowledge or abilities, they are more than simply breaking the rules of academic conduct. Such behavior undermines not only the student’s own academic progress, but the integrity of academic evaluation itself. For that reason, it may result in failure for the assignment, failure for the course, suspension from the University, or permanent dismissal from the University.
The principles of academic integrity should govern all forms of academic work, from the content of papers, projects and presentations to one’s conduct before and during examinations. These principles -- and thus the very possibility of honest evaluation -- can be jeopardized by a number of actions, including but not limited to:
- Cheating on an examination, including but not limited to using cheat sheets, unauthorized materials, copying from peers, or obtaining copies of tests through unauthorized means;
- Unauthorized collaboration with one’s peers on assignments, exams, projects or presentations;
- Plagiarizing, which may include:
- copying phrases or sentences word for word from a source without enclosing the copied words in quotation marks and indicating the actual source; or
- changing the wording of a source slightly, but still incorporating all the ideas of the source without indicating the source; or
- altering the wording significantly but still incorporating the main ideas from other sources without indicating, through standard forms of documentation, which sources have been used, thereby implying that the ideas are one’s own;
- Unacknowledged and unauthorized resubmission of work completed in other courses;
- Using unauthorized or falsified instruments of identification with the intent of academic fraud; supplying false academic records (transcripts, grade reports, etc.) to any official of the university; forging, altering, or making unauthorized use of University records or documents;
- Hindering one’s peers by removing, misplacing or defacing library or other instructional materials.
Faculty and administrators who discover such violations should compile evidence sufficient to document the incident and may impose penalties appropriate to their purview. When the offense and proposed penalty entail suspension or dismissal from the University, the violation must be addressed in consultation with the appropriate dean and the provost.
Students who believe they have been wrongly accused and penalized may initiate a Course Grade Grievance, as described in the Course Grade Grievance Procedure section of the Catalog.