Academic Integrity

(Student Handbook 1.5)

Introduction (Student Handbook 1.5.A)

Miami University is a scholarly community whose members believe that excellence in education is grounded in qualities of character as well as of intellect. We respect the dignity of other persons, the rights and property of others, and the right of others to hold and express disparate beliefs. We believe in honesty, integrity, and the importance of moral conduct. We defend the freedom of inquiry that is the heart of learning and combine that freedom with the exercise and the acceptance of personal responsibility.

Miami demands the highest standards of conduct from its students, faculty, and staff. As a community of scholars, our fundamental purpose is the pursuit of knowledge. Integrity in academic study is based on sound disciplinary practices and expectations as well as a commitment to the values of honesty and integrity.

As stated in the Statement of Good Teaching Practices (MUPIM, Section 5.4), a responsibility of the faculty is to “…demonstrate respect for students as individuals, and adhere to their proper roles as intellectual guides and counselors. Professors make every reasonable effort to foster honest academic conduct and to assure that their evaluations of students reflect students’ true merit.” Faculty also have the responsibility for “assuming the positive obligation to confront students suspected of academic dishonesty.”

All Miami students are expected to be of the highest character and to behave honestly in their learning and in their behavior outside the classroom. Academic and other forms of dishonesty violate the spirit of the values espoused by Miami University and undermine the value of a Miami education for everyone, especially for the person who is dishonest. Therefore, students are encouraged to hold one another accountable and report suspected academic dishonesty to their instructors. Additionally, when students err in their academic conduct, they are expected to accept responsibility for and learn from their actions. As such, the process outlined in this policy is intended to be educational in nature and provide learning opportunities for students in maintaining personal and academic integrity.

Students are responsible for knowing and understanding these standards; misunderstanding of the appropriate academic conduct will not be accepted as an excuse for academic dishonesty. If a student is in doubt about appropriate academic conduct in a particular situation, he or she should consult with the instructor of the course, the department chair/program director, the academic dean in the appropriate division, or the Coordinator for Academic Integrity in order to maintain the highest standards of academic integrity.

Criteria (Student Handbook 1.5.B)

Academic dishonesty is defined as any activity that compromises the academic integrity of the institution or subverts the educational process. Examples of academic dishonesty include, but are not limited to:

Academic Dishonesty (Student Handbook 1.5.B.1)

Academic dishonesty is defined as engaging or attempting to engage in any activity that compromises the academic integrity of the institution or subverts the educational process, including as a means to complete or assist in the completion of an academic assignment.

An academic assignment is defined as the submission or presentation of any student work for evaluation, grade, or academic credit. This includes, but is not limited to, assignments in courses, proficiency waiver exams, and portfolios of research submitted to earn academic credit. This definition applies to work submitted face-to-face or through on-line or electronic means and work submitted for face-to-face, hybrid, and on-line courses affiliated with any of Miami University’s campuses and divisions.

Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, the following acts.

Acts of academic dishonesty (Student Handbook 1.5.B.2)

    1. Cheating: using or attempting to use or possessing any aid, information, resources, or means in the completion of an academic assignment that are not explicitly permitted by the instructor or providing such assistance to another student.

Examples of cheating include, but are not limited to:

      • Possessing, referring to, or using in any way unauthorized textbooks, notes, study aids, crib/cheat sheets, or other information during an academic assignment, in paper, electronic, or other format;
      • Possessing, referring to, or using in any way unauthorized electronic devices or other materials during an academic assignment;
      • Looking at or using information from another student’s work during an academic assignment;
      • Receiving assistance from another individual in any academic assignment when not explicitly permitted by the instructor;
      • Utilizing or soliciting another person to complete any portion of an academic assignment in place of oneself or submitting the work of another person as one’s own;
      • Submitting the identical or substantially the same assignment to fulfill the requirements for two or more courses without approval of the instructors involved or submitting the identical or substantially the same assignment from a previously completed course to fulfill the requirements for another course without the approval of the instructor of the latter course;
      • Completing or participating in the completion of any portion of an academic assignment for another student to submit as his or her own work, including taking a quiz or an examination for another student;
      • Providing assistance, information, or materials to another student in a manner not authorized by the instructor.
    1. Plagiarism: presenting as one’s own the work, the ideas, the representations, or the words of another person/source without proper attribution.

Examples of plagiarism include, but are not limited to:

      • Submitting material that in part or whole is not entirely one’s own work without accurate and appropriate citations and attribution (including appropriate use of quotation marks);
      • Using the words, ideas, or structure/sequence of another person or source without accurate and appropriate citation and attribution (including the appropriate use of quotation marks).
    1.  Fabrication: falsification, invention, or manipulation of any information, citation, data, or method.

Examples of fabrication include, but are not limited to:

      • Changing material on a graded academic assignment and requesting re-grading for that assignment;
      • Presenting false or invented information in any academic assignment;
      • Presenting false claims regarding how information or data was collected or generated;
      • Providing an inaccurate account of how information or data was collected or generated;
      • Inventing or inaccurately presenting citations or sources.
    1.  Unauthorized collaboration: working with another individual or individuals in any phase of or in the completion of an individual academic assignment without explicit permission from the instructor to complete the work in such a manner.
    2.  Misrepresentation: falsely representing oneself or one’s efforts or abilities in an academic assignment.

Examples of misrepresentation include, but are not limited to:

      • Utilizing another person to complete any portion of an academic assignment in place of one’s self;
      • Having another individual sign-in for a course or use an iClicker or other electronic device to record one’s presence or participation in a class.
    1.  Gaining an unfair advantage: completing an academic assignment through use of information or means not available to other students or engaging in any activity that interferes with another student’s ability to complete his or her academic work

Examples of gaining an unfair advantage include, but are not limited to:

    •  Retaining, possessing, using, or distributing previous or current academic assignment materials when the instructor has indicated that those materials are not to be retained or shared or are to be returned to the instructor at the conclusion of the academic assignment or course (including originals, copies, reproductions, or pictures and electronic or hard copy formats);
    • Taking pictures of, making copies of, or reproducing any academic assignment materials when the instructor has indicated that those materials are not to be copied or reproduced in any form;
    • Obstructing or interfering with another student’s academic work or ability to gain access to information to be used in the completion of an academic assignment;
    • Taking another student’s work without his or her knowledge;
    • Removing academic assignment materials from an instructor’s office, classroom, computer, or any other University space (physical or virtual/electronic);
    • Violating the procedures described to maintain the integrity of an academic assignment.

Attempts to engage in any of the above actions will be treated the same as completed acts.

Procedures for Reporting and Adjudicating Cases of Academic Dishonesty (Student Handbook 1.5.C)

Academic dishonesty weakens the quality of education and the academic culture for all members of the Miami University community. All members of the Miami University community are expected to uphold the principles of academic integrity and to deter and report academic dishonesty.

Procedures for reporting alleged academic dishonesty (Student Handbook 1.5.C.1)

If academic dishonesty is suspected to have occurred within a course, the course instructor who suspects that a student has engaged in academic dishonesty shall refer the alleged incident to the department chair/program director at the campus where the course is offered in a timely manner (i.e., regional campuses chairs handle cases related to course sections offered on the regional campuses). If academic dishonesty is suspected to have occurred on an academic assignment that is not within a course (e.g., proficiency waiver examination, portfolio or research submitted for credit), the person in charge of the academic assignment shall refer the alleged incident to his or her department chair/program director.

Note: department chair/program director refers to the department chair of an academic department or the director of a program not housed within an academic department. 

Other persons, including students, who believe they have knowledge of academic dishonesty, should report the alleged dishonesty to the instructor of the course or person in charge of the academic assignment in which the dishonesty is alleged to have occurred. If, after reasonable inquiry, the course instructor or person in charge of the academic assignment finds the report credible, he or she will report the alleged incident to the appropriate department chair/program director.

In referring the alleged incident to the department chair/program director, the course instructor or person in charge of the academic assignment (herein referred to as the instructor) shall provide an account of the incident and include all relevant documentation. The instructor is encouraged to communicate to the student suspected of committing academic dishonesty that he or she has been referred to the department chair/program director.

Once a referral has been submitted to the department chair/program director, the department chair/program director may meet with the instructor to discuss the criteria for academic dishonesty, hearing procedures, the nature of the evidence, or to request more information.

Procedures for notifying referred student(s) (Student Handbook 1.5.C.2)

The department chair/program director shall notify the student referred for a suspected case of academic dishonesty in writing via the student’s University electronic mail address that a referral has been made and will schedule a hearing with the referred student. The department chair/program director will notify the student via the student’s University electronic mail address of the hearing no fewer than five class days prior to the hearing. If the student requests that the hearing occur prior to the scheduled date, the department chair/program director shall make every effort to accommodate a student’s request for an expedited hearing date, taking into consideration the availability of all involved in the hearing. (Note: any reference to class days in this policy does not include final exam week.)

  1. The referral notification must include a copy of the instructor’s report with all supporting documentation; the date, time and location of the hearing (or request for the student to contact the department chair/program director to schedule the hearing by a specified date); the Student Guide to Academic Dishonesty; and it will refer the student to the procedures outlined in this section.
  2. In the notification, the student also will be informed that if he or she has been found responsible for a prior violation of academic dishonesty or for a violation of Section 102 (Dishonesty) of the Code of Student Conduct, that suspension from the University for a semester is the minimum sanction that will be imposed if the student is found responsible for the alleged incident.
  3. The student also will be informed that he or she may request to meet with the Coordinator for Academic Integrity or the department chair/program director or designee to review these procedures and the charges against him or her.
  4. If the suspected case of dishonesty involves a student serving as a substitute for or assisting someone else in completing an academic assignment, both the student responsible for the academic assignment and the student alleged to have provided prohibited academic assistance will be referred, and the case may, at the discretion of the department chair/program director, be addressed in a single hearing during which both students are present.

Procedures for conducting the hearing (Student Handbook 1.5.C.3)

Department chairs/program directors may conduct the hearing for the referred case of suspected academic dishonesty or they may identify a designee to conduct the hearing. The designee must be a Miami University faculty member or administrator but need not be from the department/program in which the referral originates. If a student requests that a designee conduct the hearing, the department chair/program director must identify a designee to conduct the hearing.

When possible, hearings should be held with all parties present, in person. However, if all parties are not able to be present in person, hearings may be held via video/phone means in order to facilitate a timely resolution of the case (e.g., during breaks between terms, for overseas students).

  1. The instructor who referred the case of suspected academic dishonesty will be present at the hearing. In an extraordinary circumstance, if the instructor cannot be present, either in person or via video/phone, the hearing may occur with the report the instructor submitted used in place of the instructor’s testimony.
  2. Referred students may have an advisor or parent present with them at the hearing. However, the advisor or parent may not speak on the student’s behalf or present any arguments. The role of a student’s advisor or parent is to support and advise the student.

At the hearing the instructor shall present the referred student and department chair/program director or designee with the evidence of academic dishonesty, including any supporting witnesses or information. The referred student will have the opportunity to respond, submit a written statement, invite factual witnesses to attend on his or her behalf, and ask questions of the instructor and witnesses called by the instructor. The department chair/program director or designee conducting the hearing shall ask questions of all parties involved in order to understand the full nature of the situation and the evidence presented by both parties.

To the extent possible or necessary, the hearing should serve as an opportunity to have an educational conversation with the referred student about academic integrity.

Procedures for adjudicating cases of academic dishonesty (Student Handbook 1.5.C.4)

Following the hearing, the department chair/program director or designee shall review all of the documentation and testimony and determine whether the referred student has committed an act of academic dishonesty. The greater weight of the evidence is sufficient for the department chair/program director or designee to conclude the student committed academic dishonesty.

If the department chair/program director or designee concludes that the student is not responsible for committing academic dishonesty, the department chair/program director or designee will inform in writing via the student’s University electronic mail address, the student, the referring instructor, and the dean or his or her designee of the division in which the violation was alleged to have occurred, and the Coordinator for Academic Integrity of this finding. If the department chair/program director or designee determines that no violation of the Academic Integrity Policy has occurred, but that the student may benefit therefrom, the department chair/program director or designee may direct the student to successfully complete an educational seminar conducted by the Coordinator for Academic Integrity within a specified period of time.

If the department chair/program director or designee concludes that the student is responsible for committing academic dishonesty, the department chair/program director or designee, after conferring with the referring instructor, will determine a recommended sanction to be made to the dean or his or her designee of the academic unit in which the violation occurred.

    1. Prior to sending the finding notice, the department chair/program director or designee will first determine if the student has been found responsible for any previous acts of dishonesty. The department chair/program director or designee will contact the Coordinator for Academic Integrity to determine if the student has been found responsible for any previous acts of academic dishonesty or violations of the Code of Student Conduct—Dishonesty.
    2. If the department chair/program director or designee determines that the violation of academic dishonesty is the first instance of dishonesty for which the student has been found responsible, the department chair/program director or designee will recommend to the dean or designee one of the following grade-related sanctions:
      • A letter grade of F, the numerical grade of zero, a percentage grade of zero (0) percent, or a reduced grade or receipt of zero credit for any academic assignment on which academic dishonesty was found to have occurred, or any other portion of the course;
      • A reduced grade for the entire course, including the possible specification of a course letter grade of F or Y (no credit) for a course taken credit/no credit;
      • A letter grade of F for the entire course with transcript notation of “Academic Dishonesty (class)” and the recording of a grade of either ADF for F or ADY for credit/no credit.

The following sanctions also may be applied:

    • Participation in an academic integrity workshop conducted by Miami University. The student will be required to pay for the workshop. Failure to complete the workshop will result in a hold being placed on a student’s ability to register for subsequent semesters or to change a class schedule.
    • Completion of an educational seminar other than the academic integrity workshop, listed above.
    • In extraordinary circumstances, the recommendation for suspension may be recommended for a first offense.
  1. If the department chair/program director or designee determines that the student previously has been found responsible for an act of academic dishonesty or for violating the Code of Student Conduct—Dishonesty, the automatic sanction will be suspension for at least one semester. If the student is found responsible for an act of academic dishonesty and previously has been suspended for dishonesty, the automatic sanction will be dismissal from the University.
  2. If the case involves two students, one of whom substituted for another in completing an academic assignment, the automatic sanction will be suspension of both students—the student responsible for the academic assignment and the student providing prohibited assistance.
  3. The department chair/program director or designee will provide a report to the dean or designee and will notify the student in writing of his or her decision.
    • The notice to the dean or his or her designee will include the name of the student, the student’s identification number, full details of the case, and the recommended sanction.
    • The notice to the student will be sent to the accused student via the student’s University electronic mail address. The notice will include a statement of the student’s right to appeal the decision of the department chair/program director or designee as outlined in Section 1.5.D and include the instructions for submitting an appeal.

Appeals of the Department Chair/Program Director or Designee’s Finding and Recommended Sanctions (Student Handbook 1.5.D)

A student found responsible for an act of academic dishonesty by a department chair/program director or designee may appeal the decision in writing to the dean or designee of the division in which the alleged violation occurred within five class days following the student’s receipt of the notice of the findings of the hearing from the department chair/program director or designee*. Note: cases which originated on and were heard by the chair, program director on the regional campuses will be handled by the dean of the regional campuses. The appeal document submitted by the student should state the basis for the appeal and include all supporting documents. (Note: any reference to class days in this policy does not include final exam week.)

*Students who are studying abroad at the time of the notice may be given extended time to submit an appeal based on ability to communicate via electronic means.

  1. Appeals may be made on three grounds: (1) inappropriate sanction, (2) procedural defects in the adjudication of the case sufficiently substantial to have affected the outcome of the hearing, or (3) new evidence sufficiently substantial to have affected the outcome of the hearing.
  2. If the dean or designee concludes that procedural defects occurred or new evidence is available, either or both of which is sufficiently substantial to have affected the outcome of the case, the dean or designee will order a new hearing. The department chair/program director or designee shall identify a designee to hear the case anew.
  3. If the dean or designee concludes the recommended sanction was inappropriate, the dean or designee will impose the appropriate sanction.

Sanctions (Student Handbook 1.5.E)

After acting upon any appeals and giving due consideration to the sanction recommendation of the department chair/program director or designee, the dean or designee will impose the final sanction. Should the dean or designee disagree with the recommendation of the department chair/program director or designee, he or she will consult with the department chair/program director or designee and faculty member prior to changing the recommended sanction.

If the dean or designee concludes that failure for the course with transcript notation of “Academic Dishonesty (class)” and the recording of a grade of either ADF for F or ADY for credit/no credit is the appropriate sanction, the Office of the University Registrar will record the grade of ADF or ADY for the course with a transcript notation of “Academic Dishonesty (class).” If the student officially drops the course, and the recommended sanction was failure for the course, a grade of ADF or ADY shall be imposed with a transcript notation of “Academic Dishonesty.” A student may not change his or her grading option after the date of the academic dishonesty occurrence.

If the dean or designee concludes that suspension is the appropriate sanction, the Office of the University Registrar will place the notice “Suspension for Dishonesty” on the student’s academic record. Similarly, dismissal for academic dishonesty shall be noted on the student’s academic record as “Dismissal for Dishonesty.”

  1. In imposing the sanction of suspension, the dean or designee may suspend the student either immediately or at the close of the current academic semester or term. A sanction of dismissal will take effect immediately.
  2. Suspensions will not be for less than the remainder of the current academic semester or term nor more than the remainder of the current academic semester or term plus up to two succeeding terms or semesters. Suspended students may not attend any term or semester at Miami during a period of suspension.
  3. Academic credit earned elsewhere during a period of suspension will not be accepted in transfer. Incomplete grades may not be removed during periods of suspension or dismissal.

The dean or designee will notify the student of the final sanction decision via the student’s University electronic mail address. The dean or designee will send copies of the final decision letter to the referring instructor, the department chair/program director or designee who conducted the hearing, the Office of the University Registrar, and the Coordinator for Academic Integrity. No sanctions will be imposed until the final decision letter by the dean or designee is sent.

Records of Academic Dishonesty (Student Handbook 1.5.F)

The Coordinator for Academic Integrity, on behalf of the Office of the Provost, is responsible for maintaining records of any adjudication of academic dishonesty. Records of these hearings are kept confidential to the extent permitted by law.

  1. Records of hearings regarding academic dishonesty resulting in a finding of not responsible will be maintained in the Office of the Provost until the end of the academic year in which the finding is made at which time they are destroyed.
  2. Records of disciplinary actions resulting in a finding of responsible and sanctions other than suspensions or dismissals are maintained by the Office of the Provost for seven academic years following the date the finding is made at which time they are destroyed.
  3. Records of disciplinary actions resulting in a finding of responsible and a sanction of suspensions or dismissals are maintained indefinitely by the Office of the Provost. A notation of suspension or dismissal is reflected on the student’s official University academic record (transcript) maintained by the Office of the University Registrar.
  4. At any time after seven years from the date of the finding in which a sanction less than dismissal was imposed, a student or former student may petition the Provost or designee to have the person’s records of academic dishonesty expunged. In consultation with the Dean of Students, the decision to expunge will be based on the severity of the violation(s), the person’s disciplinary record as a whole (including incidents adjudicated by the Office of Ethics and Student Conflict Resolution), and evidence of good behavior since the violation(s). If the record is expunged, any notation of academic dishonesty or suspension for academic dishonesty will be removed from the official academic record maintained by the Office of the University Registrar.
  5. A student who has been dismissed from the University may not request to have his or her record expunged. However, the Provost has the authority to expunge the record and remove the notation in extraordinary circumstances any time after seven academic years from the date the finding was made.

Graduation (Student Handbook 1.5.G)

All Miami University academic dishonesty charges against a student must be resolved and sanctions completed before a student is eligible to graduate.

Interpretation of the Academic Integrity Policy (Student Handbook 1.5.H)

Any question of interpretation or application of the Academic Integrity Policy shall be referred to the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs or designee for final determination.


Revised 2017

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