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Academic Standards & Policies Committee Minutes 4_26_11

Roger Williams University

Faculty Senate Academic Standards and Policies Subcommittee

Minutes: April 26, 2011  at  2:00PM

Location: ARCH 239A 


Present:  Kathleen Dunn, Matthew Gregg, Cliff Timpson, Jennifer Stevens, Mary Wu, Robert Dermody (chair)

Participated Electronically: Jacquline Cottle, John Madritch, Lou Procaccini,


  1. Academic Integrity Policy – continued discussion of revising Academic Integrity Policy and establishment of University Academic Conduct Committee as proposed by Dean’s Council.

Motion – The Academic Standards and Polices Committee recommends to the Faculty Senate that the Proposed Academic Integrity Policy Catalog Copy, dated April 26, 2011, replace the current policy in the next University Catalog.

See Proposed Academic Integrity Policy Catalog Copy, dated April 26, 2011 below.

Meeting Adjourned 3:30 PM


Proposed Academic Integrity Policy Catalog Copy, April 26, 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 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 (  Students are encouraged to consult their instructor if they have questions regarding proper documentation of sources and avoiding 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
  • Failure of the class in which the breach occurred
  • Academic probation for one semester
  • Suspension for one semester
  • Separation (dismissal) from the Roger Williams University community

Academic Conduct Committee

The University Academic Conduct Committee is empowered to investigate and adjudicate all cases of suspected breaches of academic integrity.  This committee will also serve as the record keeper of all academic integrity breaches. The University Academic Conduct Committee may, as part of its deliberations, consider a student’s prior breaches of academic integrity on file.  The University Academic Conduct Committee shall establish and publish by-laws and procedures pertaining to its own operations. 


Committee Composition


The University Academic Conduct Committee shall be composed of one elected representative from each school or college (including one from each CAS division) and two representatives elected by the Student Senate, and one administrator (ex officio) from Academic Affairs, for 2 year staggered terms.


Procedure for Dealing with Alleged Breaches of Academic Integrity

  1. A faculty member who suspects a breach of academic integrity shall investigate.  Upon finding evidence of a breach of academic integrity, a faculty member may penalize the offending student(s) and must 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. 


  1. Dean’s offices will forward all action taken by faculty regarding academic integrity violations, along with all corresponding documentary evidence to the University Academic Conduct Committee.


  1. Students may appeal any penalty for a breach of academic integrity enforced by a faculty member to the Academic Conduct Committee by notifying the dean’s office and the faculty member in writing within 21 days of the action. The dean’s office informs the student(s) of the appeal process and his/her rights via RWU e-mail.


  1. The University Academic Conduct Committee shall hear student appeals of faculty actions concerning academic integrity.  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 Academic Conduct Committee to the Provost within 21 days of decision.  The Provost’s decision is final. 
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