1. What Is Academic Integrity?

Academic integrity means not lying, cheating, or stealing. To cheat on an examination, to steal the words or ideas of another, or to falsify the results of one’s research corrupts the essential process by which knowledge is advanced. Cheating, plagiarism, fabrication of data, giving or receiving unauthorized help on examinations, and other acts of academic dishonesty are contrary to the academic purposes for which the University exists.

2. Academic Integrity & U.M.F.K.

The community of the University of Maine at Fort Kent recognizes that adherence to high standards of academic integrity is vital to the academic function of the University.

Academic integrity is based upon honesty. All students of the University are expected to be honest in their academic endeavors. All academic work should be performed in a manner which will provide an honest reflection of the knowledge and abilities of each student. Any breach of academic honesty should be regarded as a serious offense by all members of the University community.

The entire University community shares the responsibility for establishing and maintaining standards of academic integrity. Those in charge of academic tasks have an obligation to make known the standards and expectations of acceptable academic conduct. Each student has an obligation to know and understand those standards and expectations. While the academic community recognizes that the responsibility for learning and personal conduct is an individual matter, all students and faculty members are expected to help to maintain academic integrity at the University by refusing to participate in, or tolerate, any dishonesty.

3. Violations of Student Academic Integrity

Violations of student academic integrity include any actions which attempt to promote or enhance the academic standing of any student by dishonest means. The following is a listing of some, but not necessarily all, actions that are violations of academic integrity:

A. Cheating on an academic exercise. Cheating includes giving or receiving unauthorized aid or information by copying, by using materials not authorized, by attempting to receive credit for work performed by another, or by otherwise failing to abide by academic rules.

B. Plagiarizing the words, ideas, or data of others by not giving proper acknowledgment of sources. Plagiarism includes failing to identify verbatim statements as quotations and failing to give appropriate credit and citations of sources used.

Study, preparation, and presentation should involve at all times the student’s own work as much as possible. It is a proper part of the learning process to incorporate the thoughts or ideas of others into one’s own mind and one’s own presentations with the purpose of learning and enlarging personal boundaries of knowledge. When a new idea is learned from the work of others, however, there is a clear distinction between the presentation of that idea with acknowledgment of sources and the presentation of the idea as one’s own. Any work that the student borrows from others must be suitably identified with appropriate citations because conscientious acknowledgment of sources is always required by the principles of academic integrity.

It is understood by the academic community that the principles of academic integrity require that all work submitted or presented without citation of sources will be the student’s own work, not only on tests, but also in themes, papers, homework, and class presentation, unless it has been clearly specified that the work is a team effort.

C. Fabricating information with intent to deceive. Fabrication includes, but is not limited to, falsifying experimental data or results, inventing research or laboratory data or results for work not done, knowingly presenting falsified or invented results, citing information not taken from the sources indicated, falsely claiming sources not used, and making statements that are known to be false, misleading, or not supported by evidence.

Conclusions or opinions that are presented must be drawn from genuine research results or data or from well known information unless they are clearly identified as being speculation or supposition.

D. Submitting any academic accomplishment in whole or in part for credit more than once whether in the same course or in different courses without the prior consent of the instructors.

E. Obtaining or attempting to obtain an examination, or any part of it, before the examination has been given.

F. Obtaining or attempting to obtain an examination, or any part of it, after the examination has been given when specifically prohibited.

G. Intentionally attempting to interfere with or prevent others from having fair and equal access to the resources of the University’s libraries or the University’s computers including theft and the intentional damaging or destroying of any materials or computer files.

H. Copying, editing, or deleting computer files without permission.

I. Altering, changing, or gorging University academic records or forging the signature of any academic officer.

Sanctions for Student Violations of Academic Integrity

A student who admits to being guilty or who is found to be guilty of a violation of academic integrity will be subject to appropriate sanctions. Sanctions will be determined in accordance with this policy and University of Maine Student Conduct Code. The exact penalty will depend upon the particular circumstances of each individual case.

Student violations of academic integrity may be either course-related or non-course related. A course-related violation of academic integrity is any offense that may be committed for the purpose of promoting or enhancing the academic standing of the student who commits the offense. A non-course-related violation of academic integrity is any offense that does not affect the academic standing of the person committing the offense.

For a single, first-time, course-related violation of academic integrity, the maximum penalty imposed will not be greater than a grade of F for the course. Discretion may be exercised to impose a lesser penalty if warranted by the circumstances.

The following is a list of possible sanctions that may be imposed upon students for multiple, course-related, violations of academic integrity or for any number of non-course-related violations of academic integrity. This list shall not be taken to be exhaustive and may be modified or enlarged to meet particular circumstances in any given situation. A combination of two or more of these sanctions may be imposed when justified by the type of violation.

1. Dismissal from the University. Severance of the student’s relationship with the University of Maine at Fort Kent with readmission possible only in accordance with the policies of the University of Maine at Fort Kent.

2. Probated dismissal from the University. Notification that further violations of academic integrity may result in dismissal from the University. The period of probation to be specified for the particular situation, normally for no more than one academic year.

3. Suspension from the University for a stated period of time up to one academic year during which time the student will not be allowed to take any courses at the University of Maine at Fort Kent. The University of Maine at Fort Kent will not accept nor give credit for any courses taken at another institution during suspension.

4. Probated suspension from the University. Notification that further violations of academic integrity may result in suspension from the University. The period of probation to be specified for the particular situation, normally for no more than one academic year.

5. Appropriate grade penalties up to and including F grades in one or more courses. Course instructors may be permitted to exercise discretion in prescribing lesser penalties or additional academic tasks appropriate to allow the student to complete a course and, thereby, receive a grade representing demonstrated knowledge of the course.

6. Loss of some or all of the benefits of programs, scholarships, and other opportunities normally afforded students as support and recognition for superior academic achievement. This would not include any need-based federal financial aid programs.

7. Academic conduct probation for a stated period of time, normally for no more than one academic year, during which time any further violation of academic integrity will constitute grounds for more severe sanctions. Probations may include loss of one or more privileges such as representing the University in an intercollegiate event or contest, participation in extracurricular activities, or appointment to any University Committee.

8. Restitution for damages done to any library materials or computer files. (Damaging library materials or computer files may also subject the student to civil or criminal penalties.)

9. Completion of an assignment to work a specified number of hours at a designated community service activity.

10. Such other action as may be appropriate and/or specified in the University of Maine System Student Conduct Code.

Procedures for Student Violations of Academic Integrity

When, in the opinion of a faculty member, an administrative officer, or a student, a violation of student academic integrity has occurred, these procedures shall be followed in a reasonable and timely fashion:

Charge by a Faculty Member

1. The faculty member will inform the student in private of the specific allegation and the aspect of academic integrity that is alleged to have been violated. The student may explain the circumstances if the student so chooses. The allegation may be dropped if an explanation by the student is accepted as being adequate.

2. If the faculty member chooses to continue the complaint, with or without an explanation by the student, the faculty member will notify the Student Conduct Officer whether or not the violation is a first offense. (Faculty may elect to consult with the Student Conduct Officer to determine whether or not previous offenses are associated with said student of the alleged offense.)

3. If the faculty member confirms that a course-related violation of academic integrity is a first offense, the faculty member may choose to deal with the offense without consulting the Student Conduct Officer. In this case, the faculty member will propose a penalty up to and including a grade of F in the course. If the proposed penalty is approved by the chair of the division in which the course is taught (after consultation with the appropriate division chair), the faculty member will notify the student in writing of the charge and the penalty to be imposed. The letter from the faculty member to the student will include a notice that the student has the right to contest the action by appealing to the Student Conduct Officer in writing within seven calendar days of receiving the letter of notification. Letters will be delivered either by certified mail or hand delivered by the Student Conduct Officer.

4. After the time for the student to review has elapsed, if the student has not chosen to contest the allegation or the penalty, Student Conduct Officer will place the sanction letter in the student’s file.

5. If the student wishes to contest the charge or the penalty of the faculty member, the student will present a letter of review to the Student Conduct Officer. The Student Conduct Officer will initiate the review process and the Chair of the Student Conduct Committee will convene the Student Conduct Committee no later than 14 days after issuance of notification of the Committee.

6. If the Student Conduct Officer finds that there is evidence of multiple or repeated violations of academic integrity by the student, he/she will initiate a student conduct case as specified by the University of Maine System Conduct Code.

Charge by Students or Administrator

The student or administrator making the charge of violation of Academic Integrity will submit the specific charge in writing to the faculty member or to the Student Conduct Officer.