Academic Integrity

The University is committed to academic excellence and integrity. Santa Clara University Students affirm the following commitment to academic integrity:

I am committed to being a person of integrity. I pledge, as a member of the Santa Clara University community, to abide by and uphold the standards of academic integrity contained in the Student Conduct Code.

Students are expected to do their own work and to cite any sources they use. Academic dishonesty may include but is not limited to plagiarism (i.e., representing the work or ideas of others as one’s own without giving proper acknowledgment), cheating (e.g., copying the work of another person, falsifying laboratory data, sabotaging the work of others), and other acts generally understood to be dishonest by faculty or students in an academic context.

A student who is guilty of a dishonest act in an examination, paper, or other work required for a course, or who assists others in such an act, may, at the discretion of the instructor, receive a grade of “F” for the course. In addition, a student found guilty of a dishonest act may be subject to sanctions, up to and including dismissal from the University, as a result of the student judicial process as described in the Student Handbook and the Academic Integrity Protocol. A student who violates copyright laws, including those covering the copying of software programs, or who knowingly alters official academic records from this or any other institution is subject to similar disciplinary action.

Academic Integrity Protocol

Allegations within the Context of a Course

These procedures are intended to protect the integrity of the instructional program and of student academic achievement. Any member of the Santa Clara University community with a suspicion or evidence of academic dishonesty of some kind as described in the Student Conduct Code (e.g., plagiarism, falsification of data, misrepresentation of research, or the use of prohibited materials during an examination, and other acts generally understood to be dishonest by faculty or students in an academic context) may initiate an allegation of student academic dishonesty. The following describes procedures for resolution by due process.

If the allegation arises within the context of a course or academic assignment, its resolution begins with the instructor responsible for that course or assignment, who informs the student of the suspicion. If the instructor judges on the basis of available evidence that an academic violation has occurred, the instructor applies an academic sanction and notifies the student of the reason for the academic sanction. The instructor decides on the severity of the academic sanction (e.g., refusal to accept an assignment, “F” on the particular assignment, or “F” for the entire course). The instructor will report in writing to the department chair and the Office of Student Life what violation of academic integrity has occurred and what academic sanction has been applied. The Office of Student Life will pursue the matter as a violation of the Student Conduct Code through the University judicial process. This process is not intended to limit academic freedom.

Appeal Process for Academic Sanctions

If, after discussion with the instructor concerning the academic sanction applied, the student wants to challenge the instructor’s decision, the student will contact the chair of the department in which the course is offered. If the instructor is the department chair, then the appeal is made to the dean of the school or college in which the course is offered or designate, and the dean or designate refers the case to the chair of a closely related department.

The department chair hearing the appeal has the option to convene an ad hoc panel if the complexity of the case warrants doing so. The student suspected of committing academic dishonesty has the right to bring a support person whose only role is to accompany the student to the hearing. The panel will include two full-time faculty members from the department in which the course was offered, one full-time faculty member from a closely related department, and two students who are trained student judicial board members. Staff in the Office of Student Life will arrange for the participation of the student panel members. The charge of the panel is to study all previously considered and newly developed evidence, review statements of all parties concerned, interview all parties concerned, and make a recommendation to the department chair.

The parties involved have the right to file an objection to the appointment of a particular faculty member or student to the ad hoc panel. This objection must be based upon a belief that the named faculty member or student is unable to conduct an impartial evaluation and therefore will not review the case in an impartial manner. The objection is filed with the chair hearing the appeal who will make a ruling on this objection. If necessary, the chair will then appoint a different faculty member or student.

After reviewing all relevant materials and information, including the recommendation of the ad hoc panel when one is convened, the department chair will consider all evidence available, confer with all parties concerned, inform all parties of the recommendation regarding the alleged violation, and report the recommendation to the student and the Office of Student Life. However, final responsibility for assigning grades remains with the instructor of the course.

Decisions may only be appealed to one level above the instructor. All proceedings are intended to be confidential.

If the student wishes to withdraw from the course, the instructor’s approval is required for the withdrawal process. The instructor may refuse to approve of the withdrawal and may assign an appropriate grade.

University Judicial Process

When the Office of Student Life receives the report, the assistant dean will meet with the student to discuss the relevance of the violation to the Student Conduct Code. Whether further judicial sanctions are applied or not, the report of academic dishonesty will remain on file in the Office of Student Life for the remainder of the student’s enrollment at Santa Clara University. The student involved has the right to include a statement as part of these files.

If it is ruled that the student committed an academic integrity violation, the Office of Student Life will administer a judicial sanction that would range from a letter of warning to expulsion from the University. The severity of the judicial sanction depends on the severity of the circumstances, including the student’s judicial history and previous academic integrity violations.

Allegations Outside a Course

If the allegation involves a situation outside the context of a course, resolution begins with the Office of Student Life. The assistant dean will confer with all parties concerned. After hearing all evidence and conducting further investigation as needed, the assistant dean will either hear the case or refer it to a judicial board in accordance with the University Judicial Process. The outcome of the hearing will be communicated to those involved.

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