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 alleged academic dishonesty, the faculty member who discovers evidence or receives reports of academic dishonesty should:
- Check with the Office of Civility and Community Standards to determine if there has been a previous violation of academic dishonesty. If there has been a previous violation, the matter is referred to the Conduct Review Officer in the Office of Civility and Community Standards. If this is an alleged first violation, then the faculty member will arrange to meet with the student(s) accused of the alleged infraction. At this meeting, the faculty member will complete the Academic Dishonesty Report Form which the student will sign with an acknowledgment of acceptance of responsibility.
- 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
- If the faculty member determines that the violation is a severe case, referral may be made to the Conduct Review Committee for action by reporting to the Conduct Review Officer using the Academic Dishonesty Report Form.
- If the student denies the allegation of academic dishonesty, if the case is a second violation or if the faculty member believes the severity of the incident may warrant a sanction more severe than is available to faculty, the faculty member will forward a written summary (Academic Dishonesty Report Form) of the incident to the Office of Civility and Community Standards. The summary must include relevant evidence. The Conduct Review Officer will institute disciplinary proceedings listed in the Student Code of Conduct in the Student Handbook. In all cases, the disciplinary proceedings will begin with a pre-hearing conference between the Conduct Review Officer and the accused student. During the pre-hearing conference, the accused student(s) will have the opportunity to discuss and review all evidence as well as ask questions about the charges and the options available for resolution. During the pre-hearing conference the student will be presented with the following options:
- To plead responsible for the charge of academic dishonesty, which indicates that the student does not contest the charge of academic dishonesty, waives all rights to a formal hearing, and accepts a sanction imposed by the Conduct Review Officer; or
- To request a formal hearing with the Code of Conduct Review Committee.
The formal hearing process is outlined in the Student Handbook. Pending the outcome of an investigation that is not resolved at the end of a semester or summer session, the faculty member must assign a grade of NG (no grade) to the student.
The following sanctions may be imposed by the Codes of Conduct Review Committee for academic dishonesty:
- 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 Conduct Review Committee
The faculty member may recommend a sanction to the Committee during the hearing process. If the assigned sanction involves an action involving a grade, the sanction will be communicated to the faculty member who will assign the sanction accordingly. Whether the matter is resolved administratively or through a formal hearing, the student may appeal by delivering a written notice of appeal to the Vice President for Student Life within 72 hours following the receipt of the decision. The decision of the Vice President for Student Life 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. Student conduct records including academic dishonesty may be released to persons outside of the university only with consent of the student, or by exceptions described in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act including:
- other school officials who have been determined to have a legitimate educational interest;
- federal, state and/or local officials to whom such information is specifically allowed; and/or
- a court order or subpoena.
Texas Woman’s University’s Board of Regents Policy 4.02, “Intellectual Property,” covers the ownership, distribution, and commercial development of intellectual property developed by TWU faculty, staff, students, and others participating in TWU programs.