Academic Integrity

Academic Integrity:

An academic community of integrity strives for excellence by creating a learning environment where high academic standards in terms of student performance, program integrity, course development and requirements are encouraged. This can only be realized if the community is aware of and adheres to clearly established values and goals where the end is personal and academic integrity. Our commitment to the values of academic integrity contributes to St. Edward’s University’s being a quality institution of higher learning and that adherence to the Mission Statement will continue to be fulfilled.

The ability to express ourselves articulately in both oral and written form requires an ability for critical and creative thinking which necessitates a clear sense of academic integrity. Academic integrity is important because it involves values which can be grounded in both reason and faith. The core values of academic and personal integrity are:

  1. Honesty: An academic community of integrity advances the quest for truth and knowledge by requiring intellectual and personal honesty in learning, teaching, research, and service.
  2. Fairness: An academic community of integrity establishes clear standards, practices, and procedures and expects fairness in the interactions of students, faculty, and administrators.
  3. Trust: An academic community of integrity fosters a climate of mutual trust, encourages the free exchange of ideas, and enables all to reach their highest potential.
  4. Respect: An academic community of integrity recognizes the participatory nature of the learning process and honors and respects the work of others and the members of the learning community.
  5. Responsibility: An academic community of integrity upholds personal accountability and depends upon action in the face of wrongdoing.

We achieve this not only through publication and proclamation of these values, but also by creating a learning environment where these values can be realized.

St. Edward's University expects academic honesty from all members of the community, and it is our policy that academic integrity be fostered to the highest degree possible. Consequently, all work submitted for grading in a course must be created as a result of your own thought and effort. Representing work as your own when it is not a result of such thought and effort is a violation of our code of academic integrity. Whenever it is established that academic dishonesty has occurred, the course instructor shall impose a penalty upon the offending individual(s). It is recognized that some offenses are more egregious than others and that, therefore, a range of penalties should be available. Whenever possible, it would also be important to try to determine the intent of the offender, since the error could be a result of careless work rather than an intent to deceive. The maximum penalty for a first offense is failure in the course, and if that penalty is imposed, the student does not have the option of withdrawing from the course. In cases of mitigating circumstance, the instructor has the option of assigning a lesser penalty.

After obtaining sufficient evidence that such dishonesty has occurred, the instructor should discuss the question with the student. Instructors who impose a penalty for serious academic dishonesty should report this penalty to the dean or director of the program in which the course is offered. The dean or director will report confirmed cases of dishonesty to the Associate VP for Academic Affairs, and a record of all offenses will be kept in the Office of the Associate VP for Academic Affairs. Offenses that resulted in failure in the course will then be reported to the Office of the Registrar.

The Associate VP for Academic Affairs will determine whether an earlier serious offense by the student has been recorded. A second serious offense merits an automatic appeal. Upon denial of this appeal, the Associate VP for Academic Affairs will dismiss the student from the university and notify the registrar and the dean or director.

A procedure for student appeal is already established and is outlined in detail in the Student Handbook, but it should be noted that, for appeals of decisions regarding academic dishonesty, the student must appeal to the dean of the school or program director within five (5) working days after being notified by the instructor.