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Student Handbook
Butler Student Handbook

Academic Integrity

Butler University is an academic community. It exists for the sake of the advancement of knowledge; the pursuit of truth; the intellectual, ethical and social development of students, and the general well-being of society. All members of our community have an obligation to themselves, to their peers and to the institution to uphold the integrity of Butler University. In the area of academic integrity, this means that one’s work should be one’s own and that the instructor’s evaluation should be based on the student’s own efforts and understanding. When the standards of academic integrity are breached, mutual trust is undermined, the ideals of personal responsibility and autonomy are violated, teaching and learning are severely compromised, and other goals of the academic community cannot be realized.

Students are responsible for being fully aware of what constitutes academic dishonesty; claims of ignorance cannot be used to justify or rationalize dishonest acts. Academic dishonesty can take a number of forms, including but not limited to cheating, plagiarism, fabrication, facilitation, and interference:

  • Cheating includes receiving or giving help on papers, experiments, reports, compositions, projects, or examinations without the instructor’s permission. It also includes submitting part of or all of the completed assignment of another person as one’s own work. Of special note and concern is the use of purchased research papers. It is a violation of the regulations of Butler University for a student to purchase a term paper. Cheating is also using unauthorized materials and aids, such as books, one’s own notes or those of another, and calculators during an examination.
  • Plagiarism is the fraudulent misrepresentation of any part of another person’s work as one’s own. Submitting any writing, including take-home exams, that does not properly acknowledge the quoting or paraphrasing of another person’s words, or that fails to give proper credit for another person’s ideas, opinion, or theory is plagiarism. Any unacknowledged use of sources to which one is indebted including but not limited to, music, video, audio, theatre projects, compositions, website, and computer software constitutes plagiarism.
  • Fabrication is the falsification or invention of information or data in reports, lab results, bibliographies, or any other academic undertaking.
  • Facilitating academic dishonesty involves assisting someone in an act of dishonesty.
  • Interference includes the theft, alteration, destruction, or obstruction of another student’s work. Interference may take the form of the theft, defacements, or destruction of resources, e.g., library periodicals and books, so as to deprive other students of information.

The requirements of academic integrity also extend to academic activities involving computers and networks and unethical/unprofessional conduct specific to academic programs. (See Computer Use Policy).

A person who violates the standards of academic integrity undermines the values integral to the educational mission of Butler University. Academic dishonesty is a serious offense, harming both the community and the perpetrator, and Butler University has, accordingly, adopted procedures for dealing with possible instances of academic dishonesty. A college may also adopt its own procedures for dealing with academic integrity issues. In such a case, the college's procedure may be followed in addition to or as an alternative to the procedures set forth in each section that follows.

(Note: “days,” as used throughout the student handbook, except where otherwise stated, means “calendar days.” The reference “Dean” may also refer to the Dean’s designee.)

The Student’s Act of Academic Dishonesty Takes Place in a Course in Which the Student is Enrolled

  1. Imposition of sanctions by the instructor.
    (a) The instructor has a conference with the student. The instructor should explain the nature and basis of the allegation of academic dishonesty. The student must be provided with the opportunity to respond.
    (b) The instructor has the option of consulting his or her department chair in order to determine whether an infraction has occurred, if a penalty should be imposed, and, if so, what it should be. The department chair may attend the conference with the student. Deans of the colleges without department chairs may appoint a faculty consultant for the same purpose. The instructor may apply other procedures formally agreed to within his or her college.
    (c) If the instructor concludes that the alleged infraction did take place, the instructor will report this in writing to the student, generally within seven (7) days after the conference. A copy of the report will be sent to the Dean of Student Services. The report will state the nature of the offense, the penalty imposed, and how the decision can be appealed. The report will also inform the student that the Vice President for Student Affairs may impose an additional penalty (as determined by the procedures stated in 3 below).
    (d) The instructor may impose a penalty ranging from lowering the grade for an assignment or test to failing the assignment, the test, or the course. The office of Registration and Records should be informed immediately when the penalty is an “F” for the course, so that the student may not withdraw from the course and receive a “W.” This grade may be changed subject to the outcome of an appeal. 
  2. Imposition of sanctions by the dean of the student’s college.
    (a) The instructor may request that the dean of the student’s college handle the allegation of academic dishonesty. The instructor may opt for this course of action either before or after a conference with the student accused of academic dishonesty. In either case, if the Dean decides to handle the allegation of academic dishonesty, the Dean will have a conference with the student, explain the nature and basis of the allegation and provide the student with the opportunity to respond. The Dean may invite the instructor to attend the conference.
    (b) If the Dean concludes that the student did commit the alleged infraction, the Dean will impose a penalty and follow the procedures described in 1(c) and 1(d).
  3. Actions by the Vice President for Student Affairs.
    (a) After receiving a report of an act of academic dishonesty, the Vice President for Student Affairs must examine whether the student has a previous record of academic dishonesty in order to determine if additional action should be taken.  If further action is taken, the vice president must report his/her decision in writing to the student, generally within 10 days. A copy of the report will be sent to the Dean of the student’s college. The report will mention how the action can be appealed.
    (b) If the student has no previous record of academic dishonesty, the Dean of Student Services or the Vice President for Student Affairs may advise the student to have a conference with the Dean of his college with the purpose of assisting the student in finding ways of realizing academic success without dishonesty.
    (c) If the student has a record of one prior offense the student is required to have a conference with the Dean of his or her college.
    (d) If the student has a record of two prior offenses the student will be immediately suspended for the semester in which the last offense took place. If that semester has already passed, the student will be suspended for the semester following the one during which the last offense occurred.
    (e) If the student has a record of three prior offenses, the student will be immediately dismissed from the University.
  4. Appeal
    (a) If the student seeks to appeal the penalty imposed by the instructor the student should initiate the appeal in writing to the Dean of her/his college within seven (7) days of the date of the notification letter/e-mail stating the penalty. The Dean will have a conference with the student, generally within 10 days after receiving the notice of appeal. The student will be informed in writing of the Dean’s action generally within seven (7) days after the conference. The report will mention how the decision can be appealed. A copy of the report will be sent to the instructor and the Dean of Student Services.
    (b)  If the student seeks to appeal an action by the Dean of his/her college, or by the Vice President for Student Affairs, the student must initiate the appeal in writing to the Dean of Student Services within seven (7) days of the date of the notification letter/e-mail stating the action.
    (c) The University Appeals Board shall conduct a review only if two (2) or more members of the board, or its chair, believe that the student may have suffered some injustice due to a procedural error or substantive error (such as availability of new evidence, demonstrable bias in earlier decision led to a fundamentally unfair decision, etc.). After submitting the appeal, the student will be informed in writing whether a review will be held. The student is generally given at least seven (7) days to prepare for the review.
    (d) The University Appeals Board will make its own rules for the conduct of reviews, which will be consistent with the provisions contained in the student handbook.
    (e) The University Appeals Board may modify any appealed decision, as it deems appropriate. The decision of the appeals board will be reported in writing to the student generally within seven (7) business days after the review. A copy of the report will be sent to the instructor, the Dean of the student’s college, and the Dean of Student Services.

The Student’s Act of Academic Dishonesty is Not Related to a Course in Which the Student is Enrolled

  1. The instructor whose course is involved has a conference with the student and the Dean of the student’s college. If the allegation of academic dishonesty is reported by a person other than the instructor whose course is involved, this person may be invited to attend the conference.
  2. If the Dean concludes after consultation with the instructor, that the alleged infraction did take place, this will be reported in writing to the student, generally within seven (7) days after the conference with the student. A copy of the report will be sent to the Dean of Student Services. The report will state the nature of the offense and how the decision can be appealed. The report will also inform the student that the Vice President for Student Affairs may impose a penalty if prior offenses have been recorded.
  3. The Vice President for Student Affairs will take further action according to the procedures stated in the preceding section, Appeal 3(a)–(e).
  4. The student may appeal according to the procedures outlined in the preceding section, Appeal, 4(a)–(e).

The Student’s Act of Dishonesty Takes Place in a Computer Facility

System managers or other individuals will report any possible instance of academic dishonesty that takes place in a computer facility to the Dean of Student Services, who will decide which of the procedures for academic dishonesty should be followed.

Professional Conduct:

  1. Allegations of unethical or unprofessional conduct of a student enrolled in or applying to a professional degree program may be addressed by the Dean of the appropriate college according to the policies and procedures of the college. A student found to be in violation of the college’s policies may be subject to a grading sanction as well as suspension or termination from their professional degree program.
  2. A student may be subject to sanctions under both the University’s Rules of Conduct and a college’s professional conduct policies. 
  3. If the Dean of the college concludes that the alleged infraction did take place, the instructor will report this in writing to the student generally within seven (7) days after the conference. The report will state the nature of the offense, the penalty imposed, and how the decision can be appealed. A copy of the report will be sent to the Dean of Student Services.
  4. The student may appeal according to the procedures outlined above under Appeal 4(a)–(e).