All Western Washington University students have an obligation to fulfill the responsibilities of their particular roles as members of an academic community. Honesty is essential to learning. Without it, fair evaluation for all is impossible. Academic integrity is demanded, and academic dishonesty at Western Washington University is a serious infraction dealt with severely. No student shall claim as his or her own, the achievements, work or arguments of others, nor shall he or she be a party to such claims. It is the instructor’s responsibility to confront a student and to take appropriate action if such academic dishonesty, in the instructor’s judgment, has occurred.
For help and guidance with the academic honesty procedures, students and faculty should contact the Secretary to the Academic Honesty Board at AcademicHonestyBoard@wwu.edu or (360) 650-3480. The Student Life Office does not participate in the process, but can direct students to the appropriate office, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional support.
Students who do not meet the deadlines given in the procedures shall be deemed to have waived their right to appeal. If any officer of the University or the Academic Honesty Board fails to meet the deadlines or procedures established in this policy, then the student or faculty member may appeal to the next level in the process based on procedural grounds. The deadlines are set to provide a rapid resolution of the incident. However, unforeseen circumstances such as illness or absence from the campus may result in an extension of a deadline. Such extensions shall be recorded in writing by the unit head (the Chair or Director of the department where the faculty member resides), or the Dean of the appropriate college, or secretary to the Academic Honesty Board, as appropriate. If the end of fall or winter quarter is reached during the steps of the academic honesty procedure, the remaining parts of the process will be considered at the start of the next academic quarter. If an appeal has not moved all the way through the process before the end of spring quarter, and if all parties are not available and willing to proceed during the summer, then the clock “stops” until the start of fall term. An effort will be made to resolve the issues as soon as possible when there are extenuating circumstances (e.g., a student is graduating).
2. Academic Dishonesty
Academic dishonesty is not qualitatively different from other types of dishonesty. It consists of misrepresentation by deception or by other fraudulent means. Academic dishonesty compromises the instructor’s ability to fairly evaluate any student’s work or achievement. It includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Giving, taking, or receiving unauthorized information to/from another person during any type of assignment or test.
- Obtaining or providing without authorization questions or answers prior to the time of an assignment or test.
- Using unauthorized sources for answers during any assignment or test.
- Taking part in or arranging for another person to complete an assignment or to take a test in place of another.
- Giving or receiving answers by use of signals or electronic communication during a test.
- Altering answers on a scored test and submitting it for a higher grade.
- Collaborating with others in a required assignment without the approval of the instructor.
- Stealing class assignments or portions of assignments, including electronic files, and submitting them as one’s own.
- Not crediting participants for their part in a group project or claiming credit for work not done on a group project.
- Plagiarism, which is presenting as one’s own in whole or in part the argument, language, creations, conclusions, or scientific data of another without explicit acknowledgment. Examples include, but are not limited to:
- Using another person’s written or spoken words without complete and proper citation.
- Using information from a Website, CD-ROM or other electronic source without complete and proper citation.
- Using statistics, graphs, charts and facts without acknowledging their source.
- Submitting a paper purchased from a term-paper service.
- Paraphrasing, which is imitating someone else’s argument using other words without acknowledging the source.
- Claiming credit for someone else’s artistic work, such as a drawing, script, musical composition or arrangement.
- Using someone else’s lab report as a source of data or results.
- Using one’s own or substantially similar work, produced in connection with one course, to fulfill a requirement in another course without prior permission. A student may use the same or substantially the same work for assignments in two or more courses only with written permission from the instructors of all the classes involved.
- Submitting the results of a machine translation program as one’s own work.
Although instructors should make every effort to ensure that all students are aware of the policies for academic dishonesty, it is the responsibility of each student to read, understand, and uphold the standards of academic honesty.
An instructor suspecting an act of academic dishonesty shall discuss the matter thoroughly with the student involved. Arrangements for this discussion shall be made by the instructor within ten (10) working days after discovering the alleged violation. If the incident occurs at the end of the quarter, or in the event the student is absent from campus, the instructor shall attempt to contact the student via email and in writing at the most recent permanent address available in the Registrar’s Office.
Should the instructor be unable to arrange a meeting with the student to discuss the incident in question before final grades are due, the instructor shall leave the grade blank and send a note to the Registrar. The Registrar shall in turn inform the student of his/her responsibility to contact the instructor. Should the student not respond to the faculty member by the 10th working day of the next academic quarter, not including summer, the grade will be changed to an F or where appropriate to “U” or “NP” as in the case of S/U grading or Pass/No Pass grading.
During the discussion between the instructor and the student, the student may be asked to explain his or her thought process and the sources of the information, ideas, data, or calculations presented in the work under dispute. Failure to give an adequate explanation can influence the instructor’s decision.
Following this discussion, the instructor shall determine whether or not an act of academic dishonesty has occurred and determine an appropriate penalty. Within ten (10) workings days of this discussion and the decision by the instructor that an act of dishonesty has occurred, the instructor will submit the Report of Academic Dishonesty Incident form summarizing the incident and include copies of all evidence. This form will be sent to the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Registrar, the Dean’s office, the Unit Head where the course resides (the program chair or, in the case of colleges without department chairs, the Dean), and the student. A record of the violation is maintained in the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Registrar’s Office. If the reported violation is the student’s first offense, the student is required to complete a self-paced workshop on Academic Integrity maintained in the Testing Center.
If the reported violation is the student’s second offense, the student is required to appear before the Academic Honesty Board, which will provide a recommendation for punishment commensurate with the severity of the second offense. Typical punishments will range from temporary suspension (length to be determined by Hearing Board based on the severity of the offense), to permanent expulsion from Western Washington University. Documentation of a third offense is likely to result in expulsion, although the Hearing Board has discretion in determining the severity of the punishment, based on the severity of the offense.
No student shall be allowed to withdraw from a course or from the University to avoid the consequences of academic dishonesty.
Appeal: A student accused of academic dishonesty and who feels the finding to be in error has recourse to an appeals process. Within five (5) working days of the finding of academic dishonesty the student may appeal to the unit head. The unit head shall make a ruling on the case within ten (10) working days of the appeal.
After learning of the unit head’s ruling, either the student accused or the faculty member who initiated the charge may within five (5) working days appeal to the Dean of the college in which the course resides. In the case where a faculty member is teaching for an all-university program not under the purview of a college dean, the appeal will go to the dean of the college where the faculty member’s appointment resides. The dean shall make a ruling on the case as to whether 1) the student in question committed an act of academic dishonesty; and if so 2) whether the sanction was appropriate, within ten (10) working days of appeal.
Either the student or the faculty member who initiated the charge may appeal the findings of the Dean to the Academic Honesty Board within five (5) working days.
The Academic Honesty Board shall consist of two faculty members and two students to be selected from a pool of students and faculty. The Provost shall select the board members and appoint the chairperson. It is recommended that the students and faculty members appointed come from the college involved in the incident, as specified above. The board’s findings are restricted to determining whether the student in question committed an act of academic dishonesty. A hearing shall be called within fifteen (15) working days of the filing of the appeal to the Academic Honesty Board unless both parties agree to a delay. Both the student and the instructor may be accompanied by one person, but that person may not speak on behalf of the student or the instructor. Both the student and the faculty member will be asked to present evidence, make oral arguments, and call witnesses, all of which shall be restricted to the issues under consideration and matters already in the record. Members of the board may question either party.
If the faculty member is on leave or is no longer employed by Western, the unit head shall appear in lieu of the faculty member. If the faculty member is available, but does not appear at the hearing, the form that he or she submitted will be considered to be his or her statement. If the student does not attend the hearing, the student’s appeal shall be considered withdrawn, and the original finding of the faculty member shall be considered final. At the conclusion of the hearing, the board shall, in writing, a) find that there is insufficient cause to overrule the dean’s decision, or b) find that there is sufficient cause to modify or overrule the dean’s decision. The Academic Honesty Board shall send a written copy of its decision to the student, the faculty member, the unit head, the Dean, the Registrar, and the Provost.
Within five (5) working days of the ruling of the Academic Honesty Board, either side may appeal all findings to the Vice President for Academic Affairs, whose decision is final. The Vice President for Academic Affairs will meet with the board chairperson if (s)he intends to overrule or modify the decision of the board. Finally, all participants will be notified in writing by the Office of the Provost, as to the final decision.