The Catholic University of America

Student Academic Dishonesty



Approved by: Academic Senate and The President
History: Issued    -- June 14, 2006  
  Revised  -- April 24, 2007  
  Additional History
Related Policies:  
Additional References: Student Academic Dishonesty Procedures
Responsible Official: Provost tel. (202) 319-5244

I. Introduction

Academic honesty is one of the foundations of the educational mission and Catholic commitment of this University. Academic dishonesty, including such practices as cheating, plagiarism and fabrication, undermines the learning experience, and, as it involves fraud and deceit, is corrosive of the intellectual principles and is inconsistent with the ethical standards of this University. Academic dishonesty damages the sense of trust and community among students, faculty and administrators.

This policy sets forth the standards of honesty which student members of our academic community are expected to follow. The faculty is also bound to adhere to the strictest standards of academic honesty. All members of the academic community have an obligation to familiarize themselves with these standards and to conduct themselves in accordance with both their letter and their spirit. Individual schools in the University have committed themselves to implementing these standards and to educating faculty, staff and students on the importance of academic honesty and on the application of these standards in a variety of academic settings.

Accompanying this policy are procedures that set forth a system for enforcement of these standards, including the application of sanctions where violations have been found. Sanctions are necessary to demonstrate that the University treats violations of academic honesty seriously and will act aggressively, when necessary, to deter wrongdoing. The effectiveness of the enforcement scheme depends in large measure on the conscientious cooperation of members of faculty in the implementation of the standards. Faculty members are therefore charged with the responsibility of seeking to assure student compliance with the requirements and initiating enforcement proceedings where appropriate.

All students and courses, whether face-to-face or online, must adhere to the academic integrity standards of the University.

II. General Provisions

A. This policy applies to each school in the University and to all students enrolled in these schools. Individual schools (or departments) are initially responsible for handling individual cases of alleged academic dishonesty. A school (or department) may follow more elaborate procedures if it has its own established procedures for handling suspected cases of academic dishonesty or if required by its professional accrediting agency and particularly if required by the rules and practice of the particular professional discipline involved.

B. This policy supersedes all earlier and other statements on academic dishonesty published or appearing anywhere before its approval.

C. This policy applies to all academic conduct in the broadest sense, including submitted drafts and final coursework, research, comprehensive examinations and the preparation of theses or dissertations.

D. Sanctions for violations of this policy, which may include the revocation of a previously awarded degree, certificate or award, may be applied whenever a determination is made that a violation has taken place.

E. Confidentiality shall be observed in all proceedings under this policy, to the extent possible, except where otherwise specifically provided.

F. The faculty member is the individual who has initial responsibility for initiating the procedures provided in this policy. The term "faculty member" includes any individual or committee with responsibility for a class, project or activity, for example, a professor of a course, director of composition in the School of Arts and Sciences, a dissertation committee or the dean of a school. Other University employees, such as graduate assistants, are expected to bring any suspected cases of academic dishonesty to the attention of the responsible faculty member who will proceed in accordance with the procedures stated in this policy. The faculty member's dean shall maintain the case file containing the relevant documents.

G. The Office of the Provost will maintain a register, which will include a listing of incidents of academic dishonesty that have been reported by the school deans' designees in accordance with this policy and after all appeals and/or periods of appeal are over. The Register will be confidential and information contained therein will be made available only as authorized by this policy. Within five (5) years of a student's departure from the University, the entries in the Register shall be transferred to University Archives.

H. If information is received by a member of the University community alleging that a graduate of the University engaged in academic dishonesty at the time he or she was a registered student but the alleged dishonesty was discovered after graduation, the information shall be brought to the attention of the dean of the school where the graduate was matriculated, who shall determine the procedures to follow and the appropriate sanction.

III.  Categories of Academic Dishonesty

The following are the major categories of academic dishonesty:

A. Plagiarism is the act of presenting the work or methodology of another as if it were one's own. It includes quoting, paraphrasing, summarizing or utilizing the published work of others without proper acknowledgment, and, where appropriate, quotation marks. Most frequently, it involves the unacknowledged use of published books or articles in periodicals, magazines, newspapers and electronic media. However, any unacknowledged use of another's words, ideas or electronic processes constitutes plagiarism, including the use of papers written by other students, oral presentations, interviews, radio or TV broadcasts, any published or unpublished materials (including Web-based materials, letters, pamphlets, leaflets, notes or other electronic or print documents), and any unauthorized or inadequately credited use of foreign language, scientific and/or mathematical calculation and/or modeling programs or online services.

B. Improper use of one's own work is the unauthorized act of submitting work for a course that includes work done for previous courses and/or projects as though the work in question were newly done for the present course/project.

C. Fabrication is the act of artificially contriving or making up material, data or other information and submitting this as fact.

D. Cheating is the act of deceiving, which includes such acts as receiving or communicating or receiving information from another during an examination, looking at another's examination (during the exam), using notes when prohibited during examinations, using electronic equipment to receive or communicate information during examinations, using any unauthorized electronic equipment during examinations, obtaining information about the questions or answers for an examination prior to the administering of the examination or whatever else is deemed contrary to the rules of fairness, including special rules designated by the professor in the course.

E. Attempts to engage in any of the conduct described above or the facilitation of any of this conduct by another individual will be treated as conduct constituting academic dishonesty for purposes of this policy.

F. The preceding forms of academic dishonesty are stated in general terms. The individual schools (or departments) may deem it appropriate to supplement the present statement of policy with specific interpretations that relate its terms and provisions to the individual programs of the schools (or departments). In addition, the individual schools (or departments) are responsible for implementing programs to educate faculty, staff and students in the requirements of this policy and to answer any questions that may arise regarding specific interpretations of this policy.