Academic Integrity and Intellectual Property Rights

Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community.  Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are responsible for reading and understanding all sections in the Student Handbook relating to standards of conduct and academic life. Students who violate University rules on academic dishonesty are subject to disciplinary penalties, including the possibility of failure or removal from a course, disciplinary probation, and/ or dismissal from the University.  Academic dishonesty includes but is not limited to cheating, plagiarism, collusion, fabrication, falsification, and falsifying academic records, other acts intentionally designed to provide unfair advantage to the student, and/or the attempt to commit such acts. Detailed definitions of these acts are provided in the Student Handbook.

Texas Woman’s University makes every effort to preserve the faculty/student relationship. The following procedure has been developed with this relationship in mind. Faculty members should clearly identify course specific standards which interpret University, college, and/or departmental policies related to academic integrity. These explanations should appear in the course syllabus.

In the event of potential academic dishonesty, the faculty member who discovers evidence or receives reports of academic dishonesty should:

  1. Meet and/or contact the student to discuss the alleged activity as soon as possible. In this meeting, students should be presented with their rights in the Student Code of Conduct process and the evidence of potential academic dishonesty. During this meeting, the student(s) will state whether or not they are responsible or not responsible for this academic integrity violation. In addition, faculty should submit documentation of the alleged academic dishonesty with supporting documentation to the Office of Civility and Community Standards. 
  2. If the student(s) acknowledges the act of academic dishonesty, and the faculty member is satisfied that the incident can be effectively resolved with a grade sanction, the faculty member will assign a reasonable penalty such as:
    • Written reprimand
    • Assignment of a 0 on an assignment
    • Assignment of a lower grade on the test/paper/project in question, with an explanation from the instructor
    • Assignment of a grade of F in the course
  3. If the faculty member determines that the violation is more severe, the case should be referred to the Office of Civility and Community Standards as soon as possible. 
  4. If the student denies the allegation of academic dishonesty, the faculty member will report this to the Office of Civility and Community Standards. The Director or appointed designee of the Office of Civility and Community Standards will institute disciplinary proceedings listed in the Student Code of Conduct in  the Student Handbook. In all cases, the disciplinary proceedings will begin with an information gathering meeting between the Direcotr or appointed designee. During this meeting, the accused student(s) will have the opportunity to discuss and review all evidence, ask questions about  the process, request an advocate, and/or discuss options available for resolution. During the information gathering meeting, the student will be presented with the following options:
    • Acknowledge responsibility for the academic dishonesty violations, which indicates that the student does not contest the charge of academic dishonesty, waives all rights to a formal resolution, and accepts a sanction imposed by the Office of Civility and Community Standards; or
    • Request a formal resolution through the Office of Civility and Community Standards.

Formal resolution option(s) are outlined in the Student Handbook. If an outcome has not been determined at the end of a semester or summer session, the faculty member must assign a grade of NG (no grade) to the student until resolution and sanctioning (if applicable).

The following sanctions may be imposed by the Office of Civility and Community Standards for academic dishonesty violations:

  • Written reprimand
  • Assignment of a 0 on an assignment
  • Assignment of a lower grade on the test/paper/project in question, with an explanation from the instructor.
  • Assignment of a grade of F in the course.
  • Removal from the course with the assignment of a failing grade (WF)
  • Disciplinary Probation
  • Suspension from the University
  • Expulsion from the University
  • Other appropriate sanctions as determined by the Office of Civility and Community Standards

The faculty member may recommend a sanction during the formal resolution process. If the determined sanction involves a grade, the sanction will be communicated to the faculty member who will assign the sanction accordingly.

Students may appeal a decision through written notice of appeal to the Vice President for Student Life or appointed designee within 72 hours following the receipt of the decision. The decision of the Vice President for Student Life or appointed designee is final.

Record of Scholastic Dishonesty

Records of scholastic dishonesty are retained in the Office of Civility & Community Standards Office and are kept separate from the student’s academic record or transcript except in cases of suspension or expulsion. Student conduct records, including academic dishonesty, may be released to persons only with consent of the student, or by exceptions described in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act including:

  1. other school officials who have been determined to have a legitimate educational interest;
  2. federal, state and/or local officials to whom such information is specifically allowed; and/or
  3. a court order or subpoena.

Intellectual Property

Texas Woman’s University’s Board of Regents Policy “Intellectual Property,” covers the ownership, distribution, and commercial development of intellectual property developed by TWU faculty, staff, students, and others participating in TWU programs.