Jul 25, 2024  
2016-2017 Student Handbook 
    
2016-2017 Student Handbook [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Integrity Procedures


VII. Academic Integrity Procedures

  1. Academic dishonesty includes but is not limited to, cheating on examinations, falsifying records, submitting plagiarized work of any kind, or providing or receiving assistance in course work in a manner not authorized by the instructor.
    1. Any student, administrator or faculty member may bring charges of academic dishonesty against a student.
      1. A student charged with academic dishonesty shall be accorded the presumption of innocence.
      2. The instructor should carefully evaluate the evidence of academic misconduct and the severity of the offense prior to imposing sanctions on a student.
    2. The instructor of record should make a charge of academic dishonesty directly to the student involved and decide the sanctions to be imposed.
      1. Instructor-imposed sanctions for academic dishonesty include: requiring work to be rewritten and resubmitted, lowering a grade, reducing the grade on the assignment, advising the withdrawal of a student from a class, and assigning a student a failing grade for the course in which the academic dishonesty occurred.
      2. For a case of academic dishonesty, an instructor may impose a penalty no greater than a failing course grade.
      3. If an instructor believes that a student penalty greater than a failing course grade is warranted by a particular case of academic dishonesty the instructor should either:
  2. Arrange a conference between the student, the Program Coordinator and the instructor, or submit a statement, in writing, to the Chair of the Blue Ridge Curriculum & Instruction Committee requesting a hearing to consider suspension or expulsion.
    1. The instructor should inform the student, orally or in writing, of the sanctions to be imposed, the reasons for those sanctions, the availability of the appeal process, and the need to file an appeal within five days.
      1. If the student admits responsibility and accepts the instructor-imposed sanctions, the instructor should submit a written description of the offense and the sanctions to the Program Coordinator, the VP of Enrollment Management and the Chair of the Blue Ridge Curriculum & Instruction Committee.
      2. If the charges are denied, the accused student has five class days to contact the instructor’s Program Coordinator to request a conference.
      3. If the student does not respond to the instructor’s charges of academic dishonesty by contacting the Program Coordinator within five days, the instructor-imposed sanctions shall be imposed.
    2. When dealing with a case of academic dishonesty, the instructor may request a conference with the Program Coordinator, Program Director and the student charged with the offense.
      1. A student who accepts a failing grade because of academic dishonesty shall not be permitted to withdraw from that course, even if the failing grade is given prior to that semester’s official withdrawal deadline.
      2. A student who receives a failing grade in a course as the result of a charge of academic dishonesty and chooses to appeal the grade shall not be allowed to withdraw from the course unless the appeal is resolved in the student’s favor.
      3. A student who is in the process of appealing a charge of academic dishonesty has the right to remain enrolled in the class in which the charge was made until the completion of the appeal process.
    3. When brought by anyone other than the instructor of record, a charge of academic dishonesty involving a student or students in a specific course should be made to the instructor’s Program Coordinator who may take one of two actions.
    4. The Program Coordinator may refer the matter to the course instructor for appropriate action following the procedures outlined above.
    5. The Program Coordinator may contact the student and the instructor directly and initiate a conference (explained below)
    6. A charge of academic dishonesty that does not involve a specific course (e.g., falsifying records, cheating on a standardized test) should be made to the Chair of the Blue Ridge Curriculum & Instruction Committee or any Program Coordinator who will refer the matter to the Chair.
    7. A student who is guilty of more than one incident of academic dishonesty while matriculating at Blue Ridge will be referred to the Chair of the Curriculum & Instruction Committee who, together with the Judicial Coordinator, will decide upon further disciplinary sanctions.
    8. Any individual making a charge of academic dishonesty has the responsibility to demonstrate that a preponderance of evidence indicates that a violation has occurred.
  3. Charges of academic dishonesty in a specific course that cannot be resolved by the instructor and the student involved should be referred to the instructor’s Program Coordinator. In situations where the instructor is the Program Coordinator, another Program Coordinator will be asked to participate in the process.
    1. A Program Coordinator conference can be initiated by a request from either the student or the instructor involved, or by the Program Coordinator acting on a complaint from any member of the academic community.
    2. The conference should take place in person within ten days of the Program Coordinator first receiving a request from either a student or an instructor to hold it.
    3. This conference does not constitute a hearing on the student’s responsibility for academic dishonesty.
    4. The purpose of the Program Coordinator conference shall be to clarify judicial procedures and possible sanctions for both the student and the instructor and to coordinate further appeals.
    5. The Program Coordinator may review the evidence and recommend particular courses of action that are acceptable to both the student and the instructor.
    6. The Program Coordinator may not overturn an instructor-imposed sanction without the instructor’s consent.
    7. The Program Coordinator conference cannot result in any penalties being imposed on a student beyond those previously described as “instructor-imposed sanctions.”
    8. If, at the end of the conference, the student admits responsibility for the act of academic dishonesty and agrees to accept the sanctions proposed by the instructor, no further action will be taken.
    9. The Program Coordinator should obtain a written statement from the student who agrees to the sanctions that will be imposed as a result of the conference.
    10. The Program Coordinator shall forward copies of this written statement, along with a description of the offense and the instructor-imposed sanctions, to the VP of Enrollment Management and the Chair of the Blue Ridge Curriculum & Instruction Committee.
    11. If, at the end of the conference, the student denies responsibility for an act of academic dishonesty, the Program Coordinator shall contact the Chair of the Blue Ridge Curriculum & Instruction Committee to schedule a hearing by the Academic Appeals Committee.
      1. The student may only appeal the charge of academic dishonesty itself and not the sanctions imposed for academic dishonesty once responsibility has been established.
      2. A student who admits responsibility in a case of academic dishonesty but disagrees with the instructor-imposed sanctions cannot appeal under the Academic Integrity policies.
        1. A student must appeal a disagreement with an instructor-imposed sanction by following the grade appeal procedures.
        2. The student’s initial meeting with the instructor shall count as the meeting with the instructor under the grade appeal policy.
    12. At the end of the conference if either the faculty member or the Program Coordinator deems that the case warrants further disciplinary procedures, the Program Coordinator shall contact the Chair of the Blue Ridge Curriculum & Instruction Committee to initiate judicial action.
    13. If the instructor involved in the academic dishonesty dispute is a Program Coordinator Chair, another Program Coordinator shall act in the capacity of the first Program Coordinator for the purposes of the conference.
  4. Academic dishonesty disputes that are not resolved by the conference with the Program Coordinator should be referred to the Chair of the Blue Ridge Curriculum & Instruction Committee.
    1. Upon receiving a request for a hearing the Chair of the Blue Ridge Curriculum & Instruction Committee shall constitute a three-member hearing board from the pool of faculty members composing the Academic Appeal Committee following the procedure outlined in Section IV Grade Appeal Procedure, Step 3.
    2. One of the three members shall be elected to act as Chair of the proceedings. The Chair of the Academic Appeal Committee shall present to the student and to the person making the charge of academic dishonesty, written notification of the charges, including at least the following items:
      1. A written enumeration of the charges.
      2. A statement that a hearing will be held together with a notice of the date, time, and place of the hearing.
      3. A clear statement of the information, data, and evidence directly supporting the proffered charges.
      4. A statement advising the student of that student’s rights, to include the following:
        1. The student has the right to the presumption of innocence until responsibility can be established through a preponderance of evidence.
        2. The student has the right to bring witnesses, to question the accuser, and to question any of the accuser’s witnesses.
        3. The student has the right to bring an advisor to the proceedings to monitor due process.
      5. The advisor may consult with the student but may not speak on behalf of the student.
      6. The advisor may not, otherwise, participate directly in the proceedings unless given specific permission to do so by the Academic Appeal Committee.
    3. The Academic Appeal Committee shall review all relevant evidence in the case to determine if the student is “responsible” or “not responsible” for the act of academic dishonesty.
      1. The Academic Appeal Committee shall interview the original instructor and the student against whom the charges have been brought.
      2. The Committee may seek additional information and may interview witnesses whose testimony is relevant to the charge of academic dishonesty.
      3. The student and the instructor have the right to bring witnesses and to question witnesses brought by the other party or by the Committee.
      4. All proceedings in the hearing must be tape-recorded, and either party to the dispute may request a copy of the tape recording at their own expense.
    4. Within ten days after the conclusion of the hearing, the Academic Appeal Committee shall send a written notice of its decision to both parties in the dispute, the Chair of the Blue Ridge Curriculum & Instruction Committee, and the appropriate Program Coordinator.
      1. If the Committee determines that the student is “responsible” for the act of academic dishonesty:
        1. The instructor-imposed sanctions shall be imposed.
        2. The Committee chair shall send written notification to the VP of Enrollment Management.
      2. If the Committee determines that the student is “not responsible”, then the instructor shall be required to re-evaluate the student’s work with the assumption that it is not the result of an act of academic dishonesty.
      3. An instructor who has awarded the student found “not responsible” a lowered or failing grade based on the charge of academic dishonesty shall be instructed to re-evaluate the student’s final grade and, if necessary, submit a Grade-Change form.
      4. A student found “not responsible” for an act of academic dishonesty shall be permitted to withdraw from the course in which the charge was made, even if the withdrawal deadline has passed or a final grade has been awarded.
      5. The hearing may only rule on the factual questions of whether or not an act of academic dishonesty has occurred.
        1. The Committee is not authorized to rule on the appropriateness of instructor-imposed sanctions once the student’s responsibility has been established.
        2. The Committee is not authorized to impose any sanctions on the student beyond those initially imposed by the instructor.
    5. Either the student or the faculty member may appeal the decision of the Academic Appeal Committee to the President of Blue Ridge Community and Technical College, whose decision shall be final.