Academic Honesty

Dominican University of California is rooted in the Dominican ideals of love of truth, beauty, and the life of the mind, combined with a deep respect for the dignity and worth of the individual. In the spirit of this philosophy, all members of the University community have the responsibility to protect and maintain an academic climate in which the fundamental freedom to learn and grow can be enjoyed by all its members.

Faculty, administration, staff, and students are expected to demonstrate standards of conduct, personal honor, regard for the rights of others, and respect for order, which are essential for good citizenship and appropriate to the pursuit of academic goals. In becoming a member of this academic community, one accepts the right and responsibility to abide by standards of intellectual integrity and standards for conduct. The Honor Code depends upon the willingness of members of the campus community, individually and collectively, to maintain and perpetuate standards of the Honor Code. When one becomes aware of a violation of this principle, she/he is bound by honor to take some action. He/she may report the violation, speak personally to the individual involved, or do whatever is appropriate under the circumstances. If one stands by and does nothing, both the spirit and the operation of the principle of honor are threatened.

Academic Honor

Dominican University of California is an academic community. All of our community members are expected to abide by ethical standards both in their conduct and in their exercise of responsibilities toward other members of the community. Students, faculty members, administrators, and staff are expected to adopt standards of behavior that place a high value on respecting the ideas of others. All intellectual accomplishments—examinations, papers, lectures, experiments, and other projects—should adhere to the highest standards of academic integrity and ethics.

The faculty, administration, and staff recognize their obligation to provide continuing guidance as to what constitutes academic honesty and to promote procedures and circumstances that will reinforce the principle of academic honor. Fundamental to the principle of independent learning is the requirement of honesty and integrity in the performance of academic assignments, both in the classroom and outside. Students should avoid academic dishonesty in all of its forms, including plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic misconduct.

The University reserves the right to determine in any given instance what action constitutes a violation of academic honesty and integrity.

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is an act of academic dishonesty and is a serious ethical and scholarly violation unless the words, phrases, or sentences are in quotation marks and the sources are given in full. Broadly defined, plagiarism is presenting the work of another person as one’s own. It is unacceptable to copy text or ideas, either verbatim or in using wording or sentences from a source, without citing the author and source. These sources might be written, such as textbooks, library books, journal articles, encyclopedia articles, or they may be electronic, such as computer files, Internet sites, or they may be audio discs, musical scores, or film and video materials. The format of the information you use is irrelevant; any material written by another that you incorporate into your papers must be properly acknowledged using the style manual appropriate to the discipline or required by the instructor. Similar care must be taken in the preparation of oral presentation.

There are two main forms of plagiarism:

  1. Direct copying of any source without proper acknowledgment
  2. Integrating ideas or concepts from one or various sources without citations

The presentation of material without acknowledging its sources misleads the reader about the source of the ideas, language, or data. Required practices include written citations acknowledging the ideas or work of others that contribute directly to your work. When using the exact language of another, the text must be put in quotation marks and the source acknowledged. When using combined sources for a paper that closely express the views of other authors, even though the wording may be changed, each of the works must be cited. Students should consult with their instructor if there is any question regarding good practices of citation.

Plagiarism is a very serious matter. Plagiarism, like cheating on an assignment or exam, is a violation of the University Honor Code.

Cheating

While plagiarism is, perhaps, the most common form of academic cheating, other violations of scholarly integrity also undermine the learning process and compromise personal honor. Any effort to flout the general standards of academic conduct or to circumvent the stated course expectations of individual instructors constitutes “cheating” and violates the University Honor Code. Such dishonorable behavior includes:

  • Using information from another student’s research or paper
  • Copying information from another student’s test or using unauthorized materials during an examination, whether an in-class or take-home exam
  • Buying, selling, or stealing test questions, answers, or term papers
  • Doing work or taking tests on behalf of another student or submitting work done by another person
  • Falsifying data or laboratory results
  • Submitting the same work for more than one course

Penalty for Student Acts of Plagiarism or Cheating

Should an incident of plagiarism or cheating occur, the faculty member is expected to take swift action. If, after investigating the incident and consulting with the chair of the department within which the course is offered, the faculty member determines a violation did occur, the faculty member will fill out an Academic Misconduct report form and submit a copy to the Dean of the appropriate school with originals going to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. The report should include copies of the evidence of the plagiarism or cheating. The penalties for acts of plagiarism or cheating may include failing an assignment/exam, failing a course, and/or dismissal from the University. Determination of the appropriate penalty will be made by the Vice President for Academic Affairs in consultation with the faculty member and department chair.

In all cases the University reserves the right to determine the final administrative, disciplinary, or legal action including dismissal from the University for any offense. The Vice President of Academic Affairs will communicate with the student by letter with copies to the chair of the department within which the course is being offered, the chair of the department in which the student is majoring, the instructor of the course, and the Dean. The original documents will remain in a confidential file in the Office of the Vice President of Academic Affairs. The confidential file will be destroyed upon graduation of the student.

Procedures for Students Who Witness an Act of Plagiarism or Cheating

The University expects anyone who witnesses or has knowledge of plagiarism or cheating to report it using the following procedure: (1) report the incident to the faculty member whose course is involved; (2) if not satisfied with the results, discuss the incident with the Department Chair; and (3) if still not satisfied, see the Dean of the appropriate school. University employees are responsible to maintain confidentiality. Cases should not be discussed beyond official channels; breaking of confidentiality by a faculty member is considered to be unprofessional conduct and is a violation of the Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA.)

Student Rights

A student who believes s/he has been falsely accused of plagiarism or cheating, or that the instructor’s resolution of the alleged incident is unjust, may appeal, in writing, directly to the Department Chair and the Dean of the appropriate school. The appeal should follow the process outlined by the university’s Human Resources department.