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Senate Academic Standards and Policies Committee Minutes 2_23_11

Roger Williams University

Faculty Senate Academic Standards and Policies Subcommittee

Minutes: February 23, 2011

Present:  Louis Procaccini, Cliff Timpson, John Madritch, Mary Wu, Kathleen Dunn, Robert Dermody (chair)

Note: other committee members participated electronically by contributing comments and suggestions via email…Matthew Gregg, Jennifer Stevens, Jacquline Cottle.

Meeting called to order at 11:00AM


  1. Continued Business  –  Discussion of Dean’s Council Proposal on Academic Integrity dated February 2, 2011, appended to these minutes.

While the committee is in favor of the creation of a University Academic Appeals Committee (ACC), the AS & P committee has several concerns with the Dean’s Council Proposal Regarding Academic Integrity…

  1. The process appears confusing. 
  2. How will this new policy/committee be implemented?
  3. How will compliance to this new policy be monitored?  By whom?
  4. Will this university-wide academic integrity committee replace the college-level academic integrity committees?
  5. If a faculty member accuses a student of cheating, and the student admits to this claim, does the case need to further involve the university-wide academic integrity committee?
  6. Is the professor still responsible of submitting the academic dishonesty “form” to his/her dean?
  7. If we still have college-level academic integrity committees, what types of academic breathes will the university-wide committee be responsible for? 
  8. Are all allegations of a suspected breach forwarded to the ACC–or only instances where the faculty member determines a breach occurred?
  9. Can the ACC change a penalty imposed by faculty? 

10.  Procedures Numbers 3 & 4 give unlimited power to the ACC.

11.  What will the composition of the ACC be?

12.  How will the membership of ACC be determined?

13.  Language is still too vague, and gives “power” to the ACC that has not fully been addressed (e.g., what does “adjudicate” mean, what is meant by “consider entire student record…”).

14.  It would make more sense to determine who is on the ACC and how it is selected BEFORE deciding to pass a motion “empowering it to adjudicate”.


  1. New Business – Catalog language regarding Semester Credit Limits

Issue tabled until next meeting.



Appendix: Dean’s Council Proposal on Academic Integrity dated February 2, 2011

DRAFT: 2 February 2011

Academic Integrity Pledge

We, the undergraduate students of Roger Williams University, commit ourselves to academic integrity. We promise to pursue the highest ideals of academic life, to challenge ourselves with the most rigorous standards, to be honest in any academic endeavor, to conduct ourselves responsibly and honorably, and to assist one another as we live and work together in mutual support.

Breaches of Academic Integrity

Roger Williams University exists to foster the mature pursuit of learning, which is premised upon the exercise of mutual trust and honest practice when representing data, findings and the sources of ideas used in an academic exercise. The University expects students to observe these principles of academic integrity that ensure the excellence of their education and the value of their diploma.

Examples of breaches of academic integrity include but are not limited to:

Cheating: Using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information or citation in any academic exercise.  Examples include, but are not limited to

  • Copying from another student on exams or assignments;
  • Altering graded exams of assignments and resubmitting them for a new grade; 
  • Submitting the same paper for two classes without both instructors written permission.

Fabrication: Unauthorized falsifications or invention of any information or citation in any academic exercise.  Examples include, but are not limited to

  • Using made-up citations in papers or other assignments
  • Representing collaborative work as the result of individual effort;  
  • Collaborating on graded assignments beyond the extent authorized by the instructor

Plagiarism: Plagiarism is best defined as the incorporation of words and ideas of another person in an attempt to claim that person’s work as one’s own. Thus, plagiarism fails to engage in civil, scholarly discourse.  It is is sometimes a form of intellectual theft and is always a form of intellectual fraud.

      In its worst form, plagiarism may consist of directly copying large or small portions of either printed or online works, or, as frequently happens in schools, written papers of another student, without properly crediting the source(s) from which they came. There are, however, more subtle forms of plagiarism as well. Paraphrasing, which is the process of using alternative expressions to communicate the meaning of another author’s words, is also a form of plagiarism, unless the sources of those ideas are acknowledged.  Roger Williams University provides resources and advice to students to help avoid plagiarism.  See How to Avoid Plagiarism ( and the Cite Right Manual (  Any instructor will gladly assist a student seeking to avoid plagiarism. 

      Examples of plagiarism include, but are not limited to

  • Quoting or paraphrasing someone else’s work without correct citation.
  • Copying work of another and representing it as your own; 
  • Purchasing a paper, essay or other work;
  • Having someone else do your work for you;

Fraud: Altering, forging, or encouraging another person to alter or forge, official records of the institution, or assisting others in such activities. Examples of plagiarism include, but are not limited to

  • Taking an exam for someone else.
  • Changing the grade on an assignment and representing it as the original grade

Willful Damage: Damaging another’s creative work or property.


Facilitating Academic Dishonesty:  Assisting or aiding someone else in committing a breach of academic integrity.   Examples include, but are not limited to

  • Allowing another student to copy a paper, problem set, exam or other assignment that is meant to be completed individually,
  • Taking an exam or completing an assignment for another student
  • Obtaining a copy of an exam in ahead of time for oneself or another student


Consequences of a Breach of Academic Integrity

Civil discourse and the entire academic project depend on the mutual trust among the community of scholars that is Roger Williams University.  Even a small breach of academic integrity diminishes that trust.  Accordingly, the consequences of a breach of academic integrity, depending on severity, include: 

  • Failure on the assignment on which the breach occurred
  • A letter of reprimand specifying the nature of the breach of academic integrity, placed on file  for the duration of the student’s academic career at Roger Williams University
  • Failure of the class in which the breach occurred,
  • Failure of the class with a notation on the student’s transcript
  • Academic probation for one semester
  • Suspension for one semester
  • Separation (dismissal) from the Roger Williams University community

Procedure for Dealing with Alleged Breaches of Academic Integrity

  1. A faculty member who suspects a breach of academic integrity shall investigate and communicate directly with the student(s) via RWU e-mail with copies sent to his/her dean’s office.  Documentary evidence must also be forwarded to the dean’s office.  Students may appeal any penalty for a breach of academic integrity enforced by a faculty member independently of the Academic Conduct Committee, to the Academic Conduct Committee by notifying the dean’s office and the faculty member in writing within 30 days of the action.
  2. Dean’s offices will forward allegations of a breach in academic integrity, along with all documentary evidence to the University Academic Conduct Committee for further investigation and adjudication.  The dean’s office informs the student(s) of the review process and his/her rights via RWU e-mail. 
  3. The University Academic Conduct Committee is empowered to investigate and adjudicate all cases of suspected breach of academic integrity on the part of students, to hear student appeals of faculty actions concerning academic integrity and establish and publish by-laws and procedures pertaining to its own operations.  The University Academic Conduct Committee may, as part of its deliberations, consider a student’s entire experience while at Roger Williams University. The decision of the Academic Conduct Committee will be communicated to the student, Dean, and faculty member(s) in writing via RWU e-mail.  Student(s) may appeal a decision of the ACC to Provost within 30 days of decision.  Provost’s decision is final. 

[Resources consulted in preparing this policy include: “Fundamental values of academic integrity” (Center for Academic Integrity. Retrieved January 12, 2011 from ) and “MIT Academic Integrity” (Retrieved January 12, 2011 from]

DRAFT: 2 February 2011


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