Texas Tech University Statement of Academic Integrity
Academic integrity is taking responsibility for one's own work, being individually accountable, and demonstrating intellectual honesty and ethical behavior. Academic integrity is a personal choice to abide by the standards of intellectual honesty and responsibility. Because education is a shared effort to achieve learning through the exchange of ideas, students, faculty, and staff have the collective responsibility to build mutual trust and respect. Ethical behavior and independent thought are essential for the highest level of academic achievement, which then must be measured. Academic achievement includes scholarship, teaching and learning, all of which are shared endeavors. Grades are a device used to quantify the successful accumulation of knowledge through learning. Adhering to the standards of academic integrity ensures that grades are earned honestly and gives added value to the entire educational process. Academic integrity is the foundation upon which students, faculty, and staff build their educational and professional careers.
Texas Tech is committed to creating an exciting university atmosphere that is free
of academic dishonesty. All members of the university community, including faculty,
students, and staff, are upheld to the standard of having integrity in the work they
produce. The standard is for all members of the Texas Tech community to contribute
to the campus environment in an ethical, fun, and honest manner. Integrity matters
because student success matters.
The following is designed to provide useful data, helpful web links, and practical information to assist in understanding academic integrity issues better at Texas Tech.
What is Academic Dishonesty?
"Academic dishonesty" includes, but is not limited to, cheating, plagiarism, collusion, falsifying academic records, misrepresenting facts, and any act designed to give unfair academic advantage to the student (such as, but not limited to, submission of essentially the same written assignment for two courses without the prior permission of the instructor) or the attempt to commit such an act. The Code of Student Conduct contains the definitions of Academic Integrity Code violations and can be accessed here.
A Guide For Faculty and Intructors
Questions regarding Academic Integrity processes at TTU can be directed to the Office of Student Conduct at (806) 742-1714.
Step 1: Review of Allegations
The Instructor of Record in a course recognizes or is notified that an academic integrity violation may have occurred.
- Contact the Office of Student Conduct at 742-1714 to discuss the incident and develop a plan to proceed in addressing the concern.
- Collect any information related to the allegation to present to the student and the Office of Student Conduct.
- Follow departmental procedures for notifying the Department Chair or Associate Academic Dean that an academic integrity incident is being investigated.
Step 2: Academic Integrity Violation Review Meeting with the Student
The Instructor of Record should initiate contact with the student to discuss the allegation and inform the student of the findings.> Faculty members and instructors are encouraged to meet one-on-one with students, but may inform them via e-mail, if necessary.
- The faculty member should clearly describe to the student any information about the potential academic integrity violation and allow the student an opportunity to respond to the allegations.
- After hearing the student's response, if the faculty member still feels an academic integrity violation may have occurred, the faculty member should inform the student what the potential academic sanction or penalty would be for the behavior, if found responsible.
- The faculty member should also explain to the student that a violation of this type would also result in a referral to the Office of Student Conduct and that, if found responsible, additional disciplinary sanctions, conditions, and restrictions may be imposed by a Conduct Officer.
- Explain to the student that they will be asked to meet with a Conduct Officer that will listen to the student's explanation, review all available information from the Instructor of Record, and give the student the opportunity to provide their own information regarding the allegation.
- Inform the student that, if found responsible, both the academic penalties/sanctions and the disciplinary sanction would remain in the student's disciplinary record for seven years and could result in more severe sanctions should additional behaviors occur.
- Inform the student that they may not withdraw from the course and should continue to attend class and participate in course-related assignments as usual throughout the conduct process.
- If the student does not respond to a faculty member's request to meet or the electronic communication within a reasonable period of time, then skip to Step 3.
Step 3: Complete the Incident Report Form
Following the discussion of the allegations and potential academic penalties, the faculty member should complete an Incident Report and submit it to The Office of Student Conduct.
- Update the appropriate Associate Academic Dean and/or Department Chair that a formal Incident Report is being submitted to the Office of Student Conduct.
- The Incident Report Form is available online or can be reported via Campus Mail (MS 5029) by sending an account of the incident, student meeting, and available evidence to The Office of Student Conduct.
- In the report, include any available information collected indicating that a violation of the Academic Integrity policy occurred. This information can be attached to online report, mailed, or delivered to Office of Student Conduct.
- When the report is received by The Office of Student Conduct, it will be reviewed by a designated Conduct Officer.
- The Conduct Officer will contact the referring faculty member to discuss the incident and initiate a meeting, if necessary.
- During this meeting, the Conduct Officer and the referring faculty member will investigate the information provided and discuss appropriate sanctions, in the event the student is found responsible.
Step 4: Formal Academic Integrity Hearing
After the investigation process is complete, the Conduct Officer will send the student a formal Allegation Letter and schedule a hearing.
- The referring faculty member may participate in the Academic Integrity Hearing and will receive a copy of all official communication between the Office of Student Conduct and the student.
- If the faculty member wishes to be present at the hearing, they should inform the Conduct Officer of their preference and the Conduct Officer will coordinate the hearing time when it is convenient for the faculty member.
- Following the hearing and decision, the referring faculty member will receive a copy of the decision letter sent to the student.> The appropriate Associate Academic Dean will be copied as the appeals officer.
Fast Facts and Stats on Cheating and Plagiarism
- Educational Testing Service Fact Sheet
- Educational Testing Service Cheating Background (Research detailing Kindergarten through Higher Education students)
Web Links For More Information...
- Great resource for students on plagiarism, including writing smart and academically honest papers
- Excellent information for Faculty on how to incorporate plagiarism education into their courses
- The International Center for Academic Integrity
- Academic integrity tutorial - What is cheating? What is plagiarism? Take an online quiz and test yourself on whether or not you can spot plagiarism (in the "Case Studies" section in this link).
- Academic integrity quiz Real life scenarios that can give you an insight on what cheating and plagiarism actually is and isn't.
- Plagiarism Blog
- The Institute for Global Ethics