Academic Integrity Policy

    1. Adoption by the Faculty
      1. The Faculty of Purdue University Northwest (PNW) hereby adopts the following policy and procedures for appeals of alleged academic dishonesty, pursuant to the authority delegated to its Faculty. The PNW Senate, as the governing body of the Faculty, has approved this PNW Academic Integrity policy as of February 2017.
    2. Preamble
      1. The Academic Integrity process is one component of an overall system promoting academic integrity at Purdue University Northwest. Appeals of alleged academic dishonesty will operate in accordance with the Purdue University Northwest Code of Student Conduct, the Student and Faculty Handbooks on Academic Integrity, and other initiatives related to the promotion of academic integrity.
      2. These initiatives will be coordinated by the PNW Academic Integrity Committee, which reports to the Student Affairs Committee of the Faculty Senate.
      3. Academic dishonesty comes in many forms, including (but not limited to) cheating on exams and committing plagiarism on assignments. Academic dishonesty need not be intentional.
      4. Instructors are charged with the responsibility of responding appropriately and promptly to instances of academic dishonesty that occur among students in their courses. This responsibility is a serious one and at times may be difficult to execute.
      5. Instructors therefore are invited to seek out the guidance of others including the Faculty Advocate, Chair of the PNW Academic Integrity Committee and the Office of the Dean of Students before announcing a finding of academic dishonesty and imposing any penalty on a student.
      6. An instructor who determines that academic dishonesty has occurred possesses the authority to impose on the student(s) in question any grading penalty he or she deems appropriate, up to and including issuing a failing grade for the course. More extensive penalties, such as but not limited to removal from a course or suspension from the university, may be imposed only by the Office of the Dean of Students.
      7. A student seeking to appeal an allegation of academic dishonesty as they see fit may seek assistance from the Student Advocate in the Office of the Dean of Students or the Chair of the PNW Academic Integrity Committee.
      8. Upon a student’s successful appeal of an allegation of academic dishonesty, the Chair of the PNW Academic Integrity Committee shall have the authority to overturn any penalty imposed.
    3. Organization of the University Committee for Academic Integrity
      1. A PNW Academic Integrity Committee shall be established by the Faculty Senate with the authority to hear appeals of alleged academic dishonesty. The PNW Academic Integrity Committee shall report to and be responsible to the Student Affairs Committee of the Purdue University Northwest Faculty Senate.
      2. The committee shall be chaired by a faculty member appointed by the Faculty Senate.
      3.  The committee shall consist of two faculty representatives from each academic unit, who also shall simultaneously serve on the University Committee for Grade Appeals. The members shall serve staggered two-year terms. (During the 2016-17 and 2017-18 academic years, each academic unit will appoint one representative from each campus site.) The faculty representatives from each academic unit shall be selected by the academic units and shall start their terms of service at the beginning of the fall semester.
      4. The committee shall include student representatives from lists provided by the Office of the Dean of Students. These lists shall include undergraduate and graduate students in good standing enrolled at either campus site. The list shall provide each student’s primary campus location and degree-seeking college. Separate lists shall be kept for undergraduate and graduate students. These lists also shall provide the student representatives for the University Committee for Grade Appeals.
      5. The Chair of the committee may make appropriate appointments or fill vacancies under the following conditions:
        1. when an appointing authority fails to make an initial appointment within the specified time or within seven days of a vacancy.
        2. when one of the panel representatives is unable to serve.
      6. Faculty and student representatives shall be excused in a particular case because of a potential conflict of interest. In no case shall a panel member (faculty or student) be selected from the same academic unit as the instructor or the student involved. No faculty or student members shall serve on more than one panel involving the same case, including a grade appeals panel. When a potential conflict of interest exists, the Chair of the PNW Academic Integrity Committee shall select a substitute panel member as necessary.
      7. A screening panel shall consist of one faculty and one student, each from the PNW Academic Integrity Committee, and a representative from the Office of the Dean of Students, exclusive of the Student Advocate(s). The status of the student representative, undergraduate or graduate, shall correspond to the status of the student involved. The Chair of the PNW Academic Integrity Committee presides over the screening panel without vote.
      8. Each Academic Integrity hearing will be heard by a panel of five (5) members of the Academic Integrity Committee: two students and three faculty members. The five panelists for a particular hearing will be chosen by the Chair of the PNW Academic Integrity Committee. The Chair of the PNW Academic Integrity Committee presides over the hearing panel without vote.
      9. A secretary will be chosen from among the three faculty representatives on the Hearing Panel. The Secretary is charged with the responsibility of writing up the decision that was reached and a brief statement of the rationale for that decision. At the end of each academic year, the Chair of the PNW Academic Integrity Committee shall submit a report to the Student Affairs Committee of the Faculty Senate that includes
        1. an enumeration of the result of all academic integrity appeals filed
        2. the number of appeals dropped before being heard by a screening panel
        3. the number of appeals heard by screening panels, including the number of appeals approved and rejected by the screening panel
        4. the number of appeals that proceeded to a full hearing, including the number of appeals accepted and the number of appeals rejected. For each hearing, the report will include the date, decision (accept or reject appeal), and panel membership (faculty and student).
        5. any other dispositions of academic integrity appeals cases
        6. No names of individual students who brought appeals or faculty members whose allegations of academic dishonesty were appealed shall be included in this annual
          report.
    4. University Academic Integrity Procedures
      1. It is hoped that most allegations of academic dishonesty will be resolved before any formal request for an appeal becomes necessary.
      2. Such resolution may be achieved through discussions among the accused student(s) and accusing professor, perhaps with the mediation of the student advocate, Chair of the PNW Academic Integrity Committee, Department Head, or Office of the Dean of Students.
      3. If a resolution agreeable to both parties (accused student and accusing instructor) cannot be achieved, the student may submit a formal appeal to an alleged violation of academic integrity.
      4. The formal appeal must be made in writing to the Chair of the PNW Academic Integrity Committee. An appeal must be based on one of the following claims:
        1. The allegation of academic dishonesty is false.
        2. The instructor’s allegation of academic dishonesty and/or the subsequent penalty issued are in violation of university policy.
      5. A student appeal based on the first claim above must describe clearly the factual circumstances surrounding the allegation and the student’s basis for claiming that no academic dishonesty occurred.
      6. A student appeal based on the second claim above must describe clearly the university policy in question and the factual events that are being cited as violating that policy.
      7. In preparing an appeal, a student may seek assistance from the Student Advocate(s) in the Office of the Dean of Students or from the Chair of the PNW Academic Integrity Committee.
      8. After receipt of the student’s written appeal, the Chair shall promptly forward a copy of the appeal to the instructor involved. The instructor, having the burden of proof, must prepare a written response to the student’s appeal and submit it to the Chair. The Chair shall promptly forward a copy of the written response from the instructor to the student.
      9. A screening process will be in place to ensure that the appeal has at least minimal merit. Only the unanimous agreement among the three voting members that the appeal is without merit will prevent it from going forward to a hearing. If any panel member deems that the appeal has at least minimal merit, then the Chair will schedule a formal hearing.
      10. If the panel unanimously determines that the appeal has no merit, then the appeal is closed.
      11. If the student appeals the grade on the basis of academic integrity, the results from the Academic Integrity Screening Panel or, if convened, Hearing Panel) must be made
        available to the Grade Appeal Screening Panel.
      12. A Screening Panel may consider only evidence respective to a specific appeal for a single course. Other courses of the student or of the instructor shall not be accepted as evidence.
      13. The Chair of each Hearing Panel will be the Chair of the PNW Academic Integrity Committee, charged with the responsibility of overseeing the events of the Hearing
        Panel and ensuring the procedural integrity of the process. The Chair will not vote on the outcome of any Hearing Panel and thus should not be present for the deliberations
        of the five members who will be voting on the outcome. In an instance where the Chair is not able to chair a particular Hearing Panel, he/she may designate a faculty
        member of the PNW Academic Integrity Committee to serve as Chair and oversee the proceedings of that case.
      14. The five members of the Hearing Panel will be instructed to base their decisions on the evidence presented in the hearing, with respect to the basis of the appeal. A Hearing Panel may consider only evidence respective to a specific appeal for a single course. Other courses of the student or of the instructor shall not be accepted as evidence.
      15. The student and the instructor may each have an advisor present at the hearing. Each party has the right to present evidence and witnesses on their behalf and to challenge evidence and to question opposing witnesses. Advisors shall be allowed to advise the parties concerned, but shall not be allowed to address the panel or witnesses directly.
      16. A Hearing Panel shall proceed in the following manner:
        1. Instructor’s presentation of witnesses and evidence.
        2. Student’s cross-examination of witnesses.
        3. Student’s presentation of witnesses and evidence.
        4. Instructor’s cross-examination of witnesses.
        5. Question period by the Hearing Panel members.
        6. Instructor’s final statement.
        7. Student’s final statement.
      17. The decision of each Hearing Panel will be on the basis of a majority vote of the five Panel members hearing that case. The Secretary will write up the decision reached by
        the Hearing Panel along with a brief statement of the rationale for that decision. This will be submitted to the Chair of the Academic Integrity Committee within 48 hours of the hearing. The Chair will then submit his/her own letter to the student and instructor within 48 hours, informing them of the decision.
      18. If the student appeals the grade on the basis of academic integrity, the results from the Academic Integrity Hearing Panel must be made available to the Grade Appeal Screening Panel.
      19. The decision of the Hearing Panel is final
    5. Academic Integrity Appeals Timeline
      1. The timeline for the procedures described above shall be as presented here below. A University business day is a day during which the Office of the Dean of Students is open for normal business.
Event Timing 
(1) Instructor alleges academic dishonesty; may inform Office of the Dean of
Students. Instructor must notify student of the allegation and grading penalty to
be imposed.
(1) Any time prior
to assignment of
final grade
(2) Student submits formal appeal; instructor is notified promptly(2) 14 University
business days from
(1)
(3) Screening Panel reviews student’s formal appeal and notifies the student
and the instructor of its decision
(3) 7 University
business days from
(2)
(4) Hearing Panel convenes if case is received from Screening Panel. Chair of
Academic Integrity Committee promptly informs the student and the instructor
of the Hearing Panel decision.
(5) 14 University
business days from
(3)