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, falsifying academic records, or other acts that provide an unfair advantage to the student. 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. Contact the respondent/student to arrange a meeting, during which the student will be informed of the suspected violation and the sanction the Faculty Member will be recommending. The faculty member should then complete the Academic Integrity Violations report with documentation about the incident and a recommended sanction.
  2. If the student fails to reply to the faculty member’s request for a meeting within 5 days, the faculty member can complete the Academic Integrity Violations report and turn the case over to the Office of Civility & Community Standards (OCCS).
  3. Once the Academic Integrity Violation report has been received by OCCS, OCCS will contact the student to ascertain whether the student pleads “responsible” or “not responsible” to the alleged violation. 
  4. As part of the investigation, the OCCS may consult with appropriate academic personnel.
  5. If the student pleads “responsible” and it is the student’s first offense, the OCCS will communicate the finding and the sanction to the student. If the student has had a prior violation, the OCCS will determine whether additional sanctions are warranted.
  6. If the student pleads “not responsible,” the OCCS will investigate and adjudicate the incident as described in the Student Code of Conduct. Just as students may submit additional information and have an advocate present during this process, academic components may submit additional information and expert perspectives, and referring faculty may also have an advocate present during hearings.
  7. Should the student plead or be found “responsible,” all efforts will be made to honor the sanction recommended by the faculty member, unless the situation dictates otherwise. The sanction should not be applied until the full process is completed. Should a term end with a case unresolved, students may receive a grade of NG (no grade) until the case is adjudicated.
  8. Students found in violation of the Academic Integrity Policy may also be at risk for removal from their respective academic program. Academic departments have the right to remove a student from their academic programs if the student fails to meet the expectations of that particular program. The process for removal from an academic program follows the guidelines for academic decisions and the academic appeal process as found in the TWU Catalog.
  9. As per the Student Code of Conduct, TWU may withhold awarding a degree otherwise earned until the completion of the student conduct/academic integrity process, including the completion of all sanctions imposed, if any.

In cases of academic dishonesty, students found responsible can receive sanctions both from the Office of Civility and Community Standards and the faculty responsible for the course. Sanctions include, but are not limited to:

  • 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 URP “Intellectual Property,” covers the ownership, distribution, and commercial development of intellectual property developed by TWU faculty, staff, students, and others participating in TWU programs.