Academic Policies and Procedures for All Students
Principles Governing Academic Life
The faculty assumes that themes, term papers, studio work, results of laboratory experiments, examinations and computer-generated material submitted by the student represent the student’s own work. The presentation for academic credit of the same work in more than one course is prohibited, unless a joint project receives the express and prior consent of the instructors involved. All student work, including collaborations, should conform to the University's ethical standards. The following remarks are intended to clarify this for all students. Whenever there is a question regarding academic integrity, students and faculty should consult the Student Academic Honesty Code, which appears later in this section of the University Bulletin.
Cooperation in Preparing Course Material
Cooperative study of coursework is one of the legitimate ways to master a subject. Joint discussion of problems is therefore encouraged. Sometimes instructors encourage collaborative methods of learning, including peer review of papers. This too can be a productive way of mastering material and promoting one’s writing abilities. Students should be aware that wherever such learning results in an instructor’s evaluation, they are responsible for acknowledging their membership in the group fostering their learning.
Much coursework is assigned to students individually rather than in groups. In carrying out such assignments, unless prohibited by the instructor, a student may ask others for criticism of a piece of writing. Effective learning is often fostered by cooperation and assistance. Nonetheless, such assistance should never be so complete or so detailed that the piece of writing becomes more the work of the person assisting than of the student. That would be a form of misrepresentation. Similarly, a student may occasionally feel the need for preliminary aid in understanding the principles involved in various problems and the methods to be used in solving them (for example, in mathematics and foreign language courses). Such aid is legitimate, but in every case the student must be responsible for the preparation and presentation of assignments. Without these precautions, the student may unwittingly become involved in collaborative work so extensive that it may be considered plagiarism.
Although students may be permitted or required to cooperate with one or more other students in a laboratory experiment, many experiments are to be done by the students independently, and all require some independent work. For students to submit the results of another's experiment as their own, or to accept unauthorized help in an experiment, constitutes academic dishonesty.
All sources of assistance — published or unpublished — are to be scrupulously acknowledged in every piece of writing and in oral reports.
Student Academic Honesty Code
Actions Outside the Boundaries of Academic Honesty and Integrity
No set of written guidelines can anticipate all types and degrees of violations of academic honesty. To the extent that the examples below are not exhaustive, duly-appointed representatives of the University will judge each case according to its merits. They will be guided by the principle that academic dishonesty involves misappropriation of academic or intellectual credit to oneself or to the discredit of others. Instances of such dishonesty include:
Presenting the work of another person as one’s own work (including papers, words, ideas, information, computer code, data, evidence-organizing principles, or style of presentation of someone else taken from the Internet, books, periodicals or other sources). Plagiarism includes:
- quoting, paraphrasing or summarizing without acknowledgement, even a few phrases;
- failing to acknowledge the source of either a major idea or ordering principle central to one’s own paper;
- relying on another person’s data, evidence or critical method without credit or permission;
- submitting another person’s work as one’s own;
- using unacknowledged research sources gathered by someone else.
Cheating on Examinations
Giving or receiving unauthorized help before, during or after an examination. Examples include:
- unauthorized collaboration of any sort during an examination;
- reading of an examination before it has been given;
- unauthorized use of notes, books, tapes, computers or other aids during an examination;
- allowing another person to take an examination in one’s place;
- looking at someone else's examination during the examination period;
- allowing another person to use one’s own examination during the examination period;
- passing examination information to students who have not yet taken the examination.
Submitting substantial portions of the same work for credit more than once, unless there is prior explicit consent of the instructor(s) to whom the material is being or has been submitted.
Collaboration on projects, papers, computer programs or other academic assignments that has been prohibited by the instructor.
Fabrication and Misrepresentation
Misrepresenting or fabricating material, including misleading citation of sources as well as falsified or fabricated data or results from experiments or other analyses. Misrepresenting facts related to academic performance, including the justification of absences, late assignments and other activities.
Imitating another person’s signature on academic documents (for example, an academic advising form or one’s own paper that is signed with respect to the time of submission) or other official documents that have an effect on academic credit (for example, a medical form submitted in support of taking a make-up examination).
Deliberately impairing, destroying, damaging or stealing another’s work or working material. Examples include destroying, stealing or damaging another’s laboratory experiment, computer program, term paper, examination or project; removing uncharged library materials with the effect that others cannot use them; defacing or damaging library materials with the effect that others cannot use them; hoarding or displacing materials within the library with the effect that others have undue difficulty using them; interfering with the operation of a computer system so it has an adverse effect on the academic performance of others.
Offering or receiving any service or article with the purpose or effect of receiving a grade or other academic benefit that was not earned on the merits of the academic work.
Responsibility for Implementation
Each school of Binghamton University, including the Graduate School, will implement the Student Academic Honesty Code and adjudicate all matters related thereto (except as noted below) through its own committee structure. All reports of findings of guilt (either by admission or by adjudication) will be reported to the Provost’s Office for archival purposes.
For cases involving graduate students in the five professional schools, initial implementation shall occur in those schools. For graduate cases in Harpur College of Arts and Sciences, initial implementation shall occur in the cognizant department or program. Any graduate programs temporarily residing in the Graduate School will report and adjudicate all cases through the Graduate Council’s Academic Standards Committee. At its discretion, the Academic Honesty Committee in any department or school may consult with the Graduate Council’s Academic Standards Committee about unusual or complicated cases. When an act of academic dishonesty violates the University’s policy on ethical research, the procedures outlined in the Policy on Responsible Conduct of Research, as found in the University Bulletin, apply.
Publication and Dissemination of the Code
Students will receive copies of the code during Orientation, when they will discuss its importance and its meaning. They will acknowledge the code and their intent to abide by its terms each semester when they log onto the registration system. Faculty will ensure enforcement of the code.
Interpretation of the Code
Violations of the code vary in severity, so that the appropriate punishments vary. Some violations (Category I) may be handled by the instructor and student(s) involved. However, violations requiring more severe penalties (Category II) are appropriately dealt with by the Academic Honesty Committee of the relevant school in accordance with procedures laid out in the Rules of Student Conduct. Category I violations are serious but may be dealt with by the instructor. Category II violations may result in letters of reprimand, probation, suspension or expulsion from the University, transcript notation, and/or revocation of degree or honors. Behavior explicitly permitted in a course syllabus or explicitly permitted by the instructor for a specific assignment is not a violation of the code.
This may be either a Category I or Category II violation, depending on the amount of material that is plagiarized and the degree of premeditation. A Category I violation involves small amounts of plagiarized material — for example, a single passage or a relatively minor idea. Category II violations occur when more material is plagiarized or where central ideas are plagiarized. Category II violations may involve more planning and premeditation.
Cheating on Examinations
This may be either a Category I or Category II violation, depending on the level or amount of unauthorized help given or received on the examination and the degree of premeditation. Category I includes looking at another’s examination or collaborating on a small portion of the examination. Category II violations involve significant cheating on an examination and may involve more planning and premeditation.
This is a Category I violation.
This is a Category I violation, unless it also involves Category II offenses.
Fabrication and Misrepresentation
This can be a Category I or II violation.
This is a Category II violation.
This is a Category II violation.
This is a Category II violation.
Note that misconduct involving forgery, sabotage and bribery refers only to such offenses when committed for an academic purpose as defined in the Student Academic Honesty Code; any violations involving other aspects of student life or subject to federal, state and/or local law are dealt with through the University judicial system.
Each school should develop its own procedures, consistent with these guidelines. These procedures may vary, depending on the size of the school and other relevant factors. The appropriate procedures for addressing the two categories of violations are as follows.
Category I Violations
If an instructor discovers one of these violations, the instructor should first communicate with the student regarding the nature of the charge and the evidence on which the instructor has relied in reaching the conclusion that a violation has occurred. The student should be given the opportunity to respond. If the instructor remains convinced by the preponderance of evidence that a violation has occurred, the instructor may check to see if there is a record of a previous violation by the student. Students who are accused of a second Category I offense will be treated as being charged with a Category II offense and referred to the committee of the school in which the offense occurred.
If there is no previous violation, the faculty member should impose the appropriate penalty. The instructor should then fill in a Report of Academic Dishonesty Form describing the violation that occurred and the evidence supporting that finding. The form will also explain to the student the procedures whereby the student may appeal the decision. The student will be asked to read and sign the form and will be provided with a copy. If the student chooses not to sign the form, the case goes to a hearing before the committee of the school in which the offense occurred. The instructor will then forward the Report of Academic Dishonesty Form along with the supporting evidence to the chair of the appropriate committee, who will send a copy to the Provost’s Office, where it will be kept on file. Records of Report of Academic Dishonesty forms should be retained until the student's graduation, or for six years following the semester or term of the violation in the case of a student who departs from the University without graduating.
Category II Violations
If an instructor discovers a Category II violation, the instructor should first communicate with the student regarding the nature of the charge and the evidence on which the instructor has relied in reaching the conclusion that a violation has occurred. If the instructor remains convinced that a Category II violation has occurred, he or she should submit a detailed written charge with supporting evidence to the honesty committee of the school in which the offense occurred. The student will be notified of the charge and the date of the hearing and will receive a copy of the committee procedures. The instructor should assign an Incomplete grade for the student’s work, pending the outcome of the hearing. If, after the hearing, the committee concludes that the charges were unproven, the faculty member should re-evaluate the student’s work in light of that finding. In determination of any penalty for Category II violations, committees will consider all relevant factors, including the nature of the violation and any previous violations that may have been committed by the student. The chair of the appropriate committee will report any guilty findings to the Provost’s Office, where they will be kept on file. Records of hearing cases should be retained for six years following the semester or term in which the hearing is held. If a hearing case is appealed, the six years would begin after the semester or term in which the appeal decision is made.[ top ]
Violations Concerning Honors Projects, Theses and Dissertations
In cases of alleged violations of the academic honesty code in honors projects, theses or dissertations, a faculty member who was not part of the original honors, thesis or dissertation committee may be appointed by the head of the academic unit to investigate. The investigation will be conducted in accordance with the policies stated above for Category II violations and under the guidance of the detailed procedures developed by each unit. In addition to possible sanctions mentioned above, there may be other sanctions as deemed appropriate, such as notation on the transcript; requiring students/graduates to revise and resubmit honors projects, theses or dissertations for approval; and/or revocation of the degree or honors.
Note: This ends the section of the Bulletin and information applicable to Student Academic Honesty Code.
Academic Grievance Procedures
If a student has a complaint about a grade or other academic grievance, the first step is to talk to the instructor involved. If the matter is not settled satisfactorily, the student should contact the department chair or division director about the complaint and submit the complaint through the formal grievance procedure established by the department. The department decision may, if the student still feels aggrieved, be appealed to the appropriate dean.
Students should be aware that copyright laws cover photocopying and other reproductions of materials.[ top ]
Summary of Civil and Criminal Penalties for Violation of Federal Copyright Laws
Copyright infringement is the use of someone else's work without permission. It is the act of exercising, without permission or legal authority, one or more of the exclusive rights granted to the copyright owner under section 106 of the Copyright Act (Title 17 of the United States Code). These rights include the right to reproduce or distribute a copyrighted work. In the file-sharing context, downloading or uploading parts or all of a copyrighted work without authority or permission constitutes an infringement.
Penalties for copyright infringement include civil and criminal penalties. In general, anyone found liable for civil copyright infringement may be ordered to pay either actual damages or "statutory" damages affixed at not less than $750 and not more than $30,000 per work infringed. For "willful" infringement, a court may award up to $150,000 per work infringed. A court can, in its discretion, also assess costs and attorneys' fees. For details, see Title 17, United States Code, Sections 504, 505.
Willful copyright infringement can also result in criminal penalties, including imprisonment of up to five years and fines of up to $250,000 per offense.
Any instructor may exclude from attendance any student who, in the instructor’s judgment, has seriously impaired the class’s ability to achieve the objectives of the course.
The student may appeal the instructor’s action to the department or school via the department’s grievance procedure. If the student is not satisfied with the ruling or recommendation emerging from the grievance hearings, an appeal may be brought to the appropriate dean.
Attendance in Classes
Students are expected to attend all scheduled classes, laboratories and discussions. Instructors may establish their own attendance criteria for a course. They may establish both the number of unexcused absences permitted to receive credit for the course and the number of such absences after which the final grade may be adjusted downward. In such cases it is expected that the instructor stipulate such requirements in the syllabus and that the syllabus be made available to students at or near the beginning of classes. In the absence of such statements, instructors have the right to deny a student the privilege of taking the final examination or of receiving credit for the course, or may prescribe other academic penalties if the student misses more than 25 percent of the total class sessions. Excessive tardiness may count as absence.
In order to attend a class, either undergraduate or graduate, individuals must be appropriately registered for the particular course or receive the permission of the instructor.
For more information, please see the current Faculty-Staff Handbook section on Instructional Policies at http://www2.binghamton.edu/academics/provost/faculty-staff-handbook/handbook-vii.html.[ top ]
It is the University's policy that all faculty members administer their final or end-of-course examinations during the official Examination Period, at the time scheduled by the Office of Course Building and Academic Space Management. Faculty who wish to administer final or end-of-course examinations outside the official Examination Period must have permission of the deans of their schools. Except examinations for labs, students shall not be required to take examinations or turn in take-home finals during the week preceding the official Final Examination Period. If there is no comprehensive final examination but only a series of examinations or quizzes, the last examination, test or quiz must take place on the assigned day during final examination week.
Students should not have to take three or more final examinations in one 24-hour period. In cases in which a student has more than two examinations scheduled during a 24-hour period, faculty are urged to arrange a time for a make-up exam. In cases where a conflict arises, the faculty member teaching the largest course will be expected to arrange a make-up examination because s/he has the greatest probability of offering another make-up for other valid reasons.[ top ]
Student Authentication Policy
At Binghamton University, distance-learning students must log into a secure portal via a customized user ID and password. All students who enroll in courses at Binghamton are authenticated through an identity management system that provides a unique user name and password for access. Without these identifiers, students cannot register for classes or access University tools for distance learning. The University’s policies regarding academic honesty and acceptable use of information technology services include penalties for unauthorized use of another individual’s name and password and for cheating on examinations. In addition, some academic units offering distance learning classes use proctored exams. In the future, when other methodologies to assist with student authentication become more prevalent and affordable, Binghamton University will use them. (For more information, please see the ITS acceptable use policy athttp://www.binghamton.edu/its/policies/acceptable-use.html and the Academic Honesty Policy in the "Academic Policies and Procedures for All Students" section of the University Bulletin.) Instructors of distance learning courses are encouraged to require students to acknowledge the acceptance of these policies in course syllabi and in online materials provided for the course.[ top ]
Distance Learning Courses
Distance learning courses are indicated in the schedule of classes on BU Brain with an Instructional Method of Online Asynchronous (OA), Online Synchronous (OS), Online Combined (OC), or Online Hybrid (OH). Online Asynchronous courses are those in which the instruction is recorded/stored and then accessed by the students at another time. Online Synchronous courses are those in which students are at locations remote from the instructor and viewing the instruction as it occurs. Online Combined courses are those in which there is a combination of asynchronous and synchronous instruction that occurs over the length of the course. Online Hybrid courses are those in which there is both in-person and online (asynchronous and/or synchronous) instruction that occurs over the length of the course.
Policy on Responsible Conduct of Research
The Public Health Service and National Science Foundation require recipients of grants to develop policies on scientific misconduct and adopt procedures to both uncover acts of research fraud and examine allegations of misconduct in the conduct of research. On the advice of the Graduate Council and its Advisory Committee for Scholarship and Research, the University has adopted the following policies regarding the responsible conduct of research in all fields throughout the University.
Research misconduct is defined as fabrication, falsification or plagiarism in proposing, conducting or reporting research and creative scholarly activity. It does not include honest error or honest differences in interpretations or judgments of data.
The University has established a procedure to review reports of research misconduct. The principles associated with Binghamton’s policy and procedure are as follows:
- The University shall treat all parties with justice and fairness and shall be sensitive to each person’s reputation and responsibilities.
- Procedures shall preserve the highest attainable degree of confidentiality compatible with an effective investigation response.
- Procedures shall be as expeditious as possible in leading to the resolution of the charges in a timely manner.
- The integrity of the process shall be maintained by carefully avoiding any real or apparent conflict of interest.
The vice president for research (VPR) has primary responsibility for overseeing research integrity, and shall appoint a research integrity officer (RIO), who will be primarily responsible for the correct observance of the procedures set forth below.
Reports of misconduct shall be handled in a four-stage process:
- an inquiry to determine whether the allegation or related issue warrants further investigation;
- when warranted, an investigation to collect and examine all pertinent evidence;
- a formal finding on the allegation; and
- appropriate administrative action on the matter.
- The contact person for allegations of research misconduct is the research integrity officer. The RIO shall be responsible for securing and maintaining written records for all allegations.
- An inquiry shall be made into any allegation that the initiator (the person making the allegation) provides in writing to the RIO. The purpose of this inquiry is to determine whether a full investigation is warranted. The RIO will notify the respondent (the person about whom the allegation is made) in writing of the allegations (if possible, maintaining the confidentiality of the initiator), and of the respondent’s right to submit a written response to the allegation. The RIO shall submit the allegation along with all evidence that may exist, any written rebuttal from the respondent, and any other pertinent documentation to the Advisory Committee for Scholarship and Research of the Graduate Council for review. The RIO will provide staff support to the committee. The Advisory Committee shall make a written recommendation to the VPR on whether a formal investigation is warranted. This process must be completed within 60 days of the receipt of the initial allegation unless an extension of time is approved by the VPR.
- Within 10 days of receiving the recommendation, the VPR, after consulting with Legal Affairs and the RIO, shall determine whether to conduct an investigation, to drop the matter or to take some other appropriate action. If the VPR decides not to pursue the matter further, the RIO will seal all files and notify the respondent and the initiator in writing that allegations have been dropped. If the VPR decides to proceed with an investigation, the RIO will notify the respondent and initiator in writing, and the VPR will notify the respondent’s chair, dean and vice president; the RIO will also notify external funding agencies and governmental offices as contractually required.
- The VPR, within 30 days of the inquiry report, will appoint an investigation panel of persons who have no conflicts of interest with the respondent and have research backgrounds that qualify them to understand the subject matter of the alleged research misconduct. The panel will consist of a minimum of three persons, at least one of whom must be a faculty member. The respondent may challenge any panel member, within 14 days of written notification of panel membership, on the grounds that the member does not meet the above criteria.
- The VPR shall define the subject matter of the investigation in a written charge to the investigation panel. The VPR may change the subject matter during investigation if substantive new material is discovered by the investigation panel; the panel must notify the VPR of such new material.
- The RIO will convene the first meeting of the investigation panel, and will provide staff assistance to the panel. The panel will select a chair at the first meeting.
- The panel shall present a written report to the VPR within 90 days of its appointment. This report will contain an explicit finding of fact with respect to each allegation in the investigation charge listing the supporting evidence, and will describe the investigative process used. The report will also state the panel’s conclusions as to whether any of the proven allegations violate research integrity. Investigation will be completed within 120 days or an extension must be justified by the vice president.
- A copy of the report will be made available by the RIO to the respondent. The respondent may submit written comments within 14 days of receipt of report to the VPR through the RIO.
- The VPR will send the report, with any written comments of the respondent, to the president through the vice president for academic affairs, together with the VPR’s recommendations.
- Where allegations are not substantiated, the University shall take action to clear the reputations of those falsely accused; all files relating to the case will be sealed.
- When the findings of the investigation substantiate the allegation of misconduct, the president shall initiate appropriate action, depending on the nature of the misconduct and the employment status of the individual involved, and shall notify the sponsor of the action if the research was performed with external support. United University Professions (UUP)-represented employees may be disciplined according to Article 19 of the agreement with UUP or may be subject to such other action as the president deems appropriate.
- The research record shall be corrected if fabricated or fraudulent information has been published.
Notification of Other Agencies during Process
1. Criminal Activities: If any criminal activities are discovered or claimed during inquiry or investigation, University Counsel shall be informed.
2. Federal-Sponsored Research: Federal agencies will be kept informed of all inquiries and investigations as required contractually. Specifically:
— an immediate health hazard;
— need to protect sponsor resources;
— need to protect human or animal subjects;
— need to protect person reporting misconduct;
2. when the VPR recommends an investigation;
3. the findings of the investigation and the institutional sanctions.
Student Research Projects
- Students who intend to contact private, voluntary or governmental agencies as part of their research in an academic project should first ask the faculty member who assigned the project to secure permission and cooperation from University and agency officials.
- Students engaged in research, independent study, internships or other courses/projects involving human subjects must be made fully aware of their ethical, legal and moral responsibilities and their potential legal/financial liabilities when participating in such activities. Students planning research and/or course work involving human subjects should consult their faculty advisor for project design and methodology. The University’s Human Subjects Research Review Committee (HSRRC) reviews and must approve all research activities involving human subjects; HSRRC approval must be obtained prior to the initiation of the research. The Division of Research staff provides the appropriate review forms and guidance to initiate the human-subjects research review process.
- Students planning research and/or coursework involving live vertebrate animals should consult their faculty advisor for project design and methodology. In addition, the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) must first review and approve such projects to ensure compliance with University, state and federal regulations regarding the humane care and treatment of vertebrate animals. For appropriate review forms and guidance, contact the Animal Resources Laboratory at 607-777-4905.
- Students planning projects involving the use of recombinant DNA molecules must consult with their faculty advisor for proper project protocol. The Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) oversees all research on campus involving the use of recombinant DNA molecules in order to ensure compliance with both University and federal regulations. IBC approval must be obtained prior to the initiation of any research involving the use of recombinant DNA molecules. Further information and guidelines are available from the Division of Research at 607-777-6137.
- Students planning research projects involving the use of radioactive materials must consult with their faculty advisor for proper project protocol. The Radioactive Safety Committee oversees all research on campus involving the use of radioactive materials. For further information, contact the radiation safety officer at 607-777-4370.
- Failure to comply with these guidelines may result in the Division of Research, HSRRC, IACUC and/or IBC notifying other University agencies and, in turn, those agencies taking action.
Unlawful Sale of Dissertations, Theses and Term Papers
The following is a reproduction of section (213b) of the Education Law of New York State, concerning the illegal sale of term papers, theses or dissertations:
- No person shall, for financial consideration, or the promise of financial consideration, prepare, offer to prepare, cause to be prepared, sell or offer for sale to any person any written material which the seller knows, is informed or has reason to believe is intended for submission as a dissertation, thesis, term paper, essay, report or other written assignment by a student in a university, college, academy, school or other educational institution to such institution or to a course, seminar or degree program held by such institution.
- Nothing herein contained shall prevent such educational institution or any member of its faculty or staff, from offering courses, instruction, counseling or tutoring for research or writing as part of a curriculum or other program conducted by such educational institution. Nor shall this section prevent any educational institution or any member of its faculty or staff from authorizing students to use statistical, computer, or any other services which may be required or permitted by such educational institution in the preparation, research or writing of a dissertation, thesis, term paper, essay, report or other written assignment. Nor shall this section prevent tutorial assistance rendered by other persons which does not include the preparation, research or writing of a dissertation, thesis, term paper, essay, report or other written assignment intended for submission to such educational institution in fulfillment of the requirements for a degree, diploma, certificate or course of study. Nor shall any person be prevented by the provisions of this section from rendering services for a fee that shall be limited to the typing, transcription or reproduction of a manuscript.
- Nothing contained within this section shall prevent any person from selling or offering for sale a publication or other written material which shall have been registered under the United States laws of copyright, provided, however, that the owner of such copyright shall have given his authorization or approval for such sale and provided further that such publication or other written material shall not be intended for submission as a dissertation, thesis, term paper, essay, report or other written assignment to such educational institution within the state of New York in fulfillment of the requirements for a degree, diploma, certificate or course of study.
- No person shall sell, assign or otherwise transfer for business or for any other purpose to any person any information and material of a personal or private nature acquired from a purchaser of a dissertation, thesis, term paper, essay, report or other written assignment without the prior consent of such purchaser. The term "information and material of a personal or private nature" as used in this subdivision shall include, but not be limited to the name of such purchaser, his address and telephone number, the name of such educational institution, the name or number of the course, the name of the faculty member or members for whom such written assignment has been prepared and any description of the research involved or the nature of such written assignment.
- A violation of the provisions of this section shall constitute a class B misdemeanor.
- The attorney general and district attorney of the county wherein a violation of this section occurs shall have concurrent authority to investigate and prosecute any violation of this section and any related violations discovered during the course of such investigation.
- Whenever there shall be a violation of this section, an application also may be made by the attorney general in the name of the people of the state of New York to a court or justice having jurisdiction to issue an injunction, and upon notice to the defendant of not less than five days, to enjoin and restrain the continuance of such violation; and if it shall appear to the satisfaction of the court or justice that the defendant has, in fact, violated this section, an injunction may be issued by such court or justice, enjoining and restraining any further violation, without requiring proof that any person has, in fact, been injured or damaged thereby. In any such proceeding the court may make allowances to the attorney general as provided in section eighty-three hundred three, subdivision six of the civil practice law and rules. In connection with any such proposed application, the attorney general is authorized to take proof and make a determination of the relevant facts and to issue subpoenas in accordance with the civil practice law and rules. Additionally, the attorney general may apply in any such proceeding for a monetary penalty of not more than one thousand dollars per violation.
Access to University Records
The Freedom of Information Law (New York State Public Officers Law, Article 6) provides rights of access to University records, except those that fall within one of the nine categories of deniable records [Public Officers Law § 87(2)].
Written application for examination and copying of accessible records must be made either during regular business hours or on an approved form, or by written or electronic correspondence, addressed to the Records Access Officer, Office of University Counsel, Couper Administration Building, Room AD 614, or FOIL@binghamton.edu. Appeals of a denial of requested information may be taken within 30 days to Kellie Dupuis, FOIL Appeals Officer, State University of New York, State University Plaza, Room S315, 353 Broadway, Albany, New York, 12246.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), commonly known as the Buckley Amendment, provides students with access to their files and assures them of the confidentiality of their records. Undergraduates’ main academic files are kept in the University Registrar’s Office. Graduate records are kept in the Graduate School. The University is not required by legislation to make available to students files kept in the office of the New York State University Police, Binghamton; Binghamton University Counseling Center or the Student Health Center. Students with files in these offices should contact the appropriate office with any questions.
There is to be no oral or written release of personally identifiable information from any student’s educational record without the signed and dated consent of the student, except to:
- authorized University personnel defined by the person responsible for the file as having a reasonable need to know;
- state and federal education authorities to whom information must be made available by statute and/or for the audit of federal programs;
- organizations and educational agencies involved in testing, administering financial aid or improving instruction, provided the information is presented anonymously;
- accrediting agencies;
- appropriate persons to comply with a court-ordered subpoena, in which case an attempt is made to notify the student in advance unless prohibited by court order;
- appropriate persons in the case of emergency;
- University counsel.
Information printed in the University Directory and information routinely released to the public, such as Commencement listings, election results and rosters of athletic teams, is regarded as public or “directory information” and, as such, may be released without student consent.
The following information is defined as directory information and may be routinely released unless specified differently by the student:
- local address and telephone number;
- home address and telephone number;
- e-mail address;
- class level;
- degree information (including any associated majors, certificates or minors);
- dates of attendance.
Students should be aware that even though they may request and receive directory exclusion status, it is a federal requirement that the University promptly provide lenders and guarantee agencies with any information it has regarding the last known address, surname, employer and employer address of a borrower who attends or has attended the University.
Information that is not classified as directory information and may not be released to third parties without written consent of the student includes (but is not limited to) the following:
- grade-point average;
- student course schedules (including class name, meeting times and meeting places);
- financial aid information;
- student identification number; social security number.
Third-party sources requesting to know a student’s course schedule for “emergency purposes” should be referred to the New York State University Police, Binghamton. University Police will attempt to ascertain the nature of the emergency and contact the student with the message.
Other Information Regarded as Public
Other information occasionally released in a routine manner to appropriate representatives of various media for publicity purposes includes:
- awards and academic degrees awarded at Binghamton University;
- participation in recognized University activities (election outcomes, membership in athletic teams, participation in plays, etc.);
- personal information on members of University athletic teams (height, weight, high school, etc.).
Students with questions about their records or wishing to withhold their names from the University Directory should contact the Registrar’s Office at 607-777-6088.
Student Absences for Religious Beliefs
In accordance with New York State Education Law 224-a, student absences may be excused as follows:
- No person shall be expelled from or be refused admission as a student to an institution of higher education for reason that he or she is unable, because of his or her religious beliefs, to register or attend classes or to participate in any examination, study or work requirements on a particular day or days.
- Any student in an institution of higher education who is unable, because of his or her religious beliefs, to attend classes on a particular day or days shall, because of such absence on the particular day or days, be excused from any examination or any study or work requirement.
- It shall be the responsibility of the faculty and of the administration officials of each institution of higher education to make available to each student who is absent from school because of his or her religious beliefs, an equivalent opportunity to register for classes or make up any examination, study or work requirements that he or she may have missed because of such absences on any particular day or days. No fees of any kind shall be charged by the institution for making available to the said student such equivalent opportunity.
- If registration, classes, examinations, study or work requirements are held on Fridays after 4 p.m. or on Saturdays, similar or makeup classes, examinations, study or work requirements, or opportunity to register shall be made available on other days where it is possible and practicable to do so. No special fees shall be charged to the student for these classes, examinations, study or work requirements, or registration held on other days.
- In effectuating the provisions of this section, it shall be the duty of the faculty and of the administrative officials of each institution of higher education to exercise the fullest measure of good faith. No adverse or prejudicial effects shall result to any student because of his or her availing himself or herself of the provisions of this section.
- Any student who is aggrieved by the alleged failure of any faculty or administrative officials to comply in good faith with the provisions of this section, shall be entitled to maintain an action or proceeding in the supreme court of the county in which such institution of higher education is located for the enforcement of his or her rights under this section.
- It shall be the responsibility of the administrative officials of each institution of higher education to give written notice to students of their rights under this section, informing them that each student who is absent from school because of his or her religious beliefs must be given an equivalent opportunity to register for classes or make up any examination, study or work requirements which he or she may have missed because of such absence on any particular day or days. No fees of any kind shall be charged by the institution for making available to such student such equivalent opportunity. It is the student’s responsibility to notify their instructors at least one week in advance of a scheduled religious holiday, if they intend to miss class. Instructors will determine the coursework that should be completed in order to make up the student’s absence. Students are responsible for the prompt completion of any alternative assignments.
Binghamton University Online Student Records
All students at Binghamton University have 24/7 access to an online information service through BU BRAIN Self Service. Students may access BU BRAIN Self Service, via the University Portal at http://my.binghamton.edu/, from their residence halls, home computers or in the on-campus public computing areas. In BU BRAIN Self Service, students may register for classes, add and drop courses as well as change grading options (within specified time frames), check and print their course schedules, check their grades, check for any financial obligations owed to the University, make payments, review their financial aid status, manage their computer accounts, request an official transcript, print an unofficial transcript and obtain the University’s official certification of enrollment form.
Registration and Changes in Program
Students at Binghamton University register for their classes using the online student registration system. Students are responsible for ensuring that they are registered for the proper number of credits and types of courses. Although staff may assist with student registration, it is ultimately each student's responsibility to check his/her registration, verify that it is correct, and to correct it as needed. Registration/course schedules can be checked and verified in BU BRAIN Self Service via the Portal at http://my.binghamton.edu/.
Currently enrolled, degree-seeking students may participate in early registration for classes in an upcoming term (spring or fall) approximately two-thirds of the way through the current semester. Students are assigned registration start times, referred to as “time tickets,” based on the number of credits they have completed. Registration start times are available online approximately two weeks prior to early registration on the student's record in BU BRAIN Self Service via the Portal.
New and transfer students may register for classes during Orientation or just before the start of classes. There is a brief registration period just prior to the start of classes each semester when eligible students may register for courses. Registration must be completed by each student in BU BRAIN Self Service via the Portal before the add/drop deadline for that term.
Students who have outstanding debts with the University will not be permitted to register for courses or obtain transcripts until the outstanding debts are satisfied (paid in full). In addition, debts owed to the University that are not paid by the end of the term will be forwarded to a collection agency or the NYS Attorney General's office for collection.
Binghamton University also conducts an add/drop course period each semester. Students may add a course to their schedule, or drop a course without having a grade recorded, up until the add/drop course deadline. This deadline is listed in the academic calendar. A course withdrawal period extends from the add/drop deadline until the announced course withdrawal deadline (fall and spring semester: around the ninth week of classes; Winter Session and Summer Session: times vary). Students who drop courses during this period receive a grade of “W”. The course withdrawal deadline is also the deadline for changing grading options for individual courses. These policies apply to courses offered on a full-term basis. Deadlines for adding and dropping courses offered for a half-semester or less are adjusted accordingly. Deadlines for half semester courses are available on the Registrar's website, http://www2.binghamton.edu/registrar/deadlines.html.
All course adds or drops occurring after the deadline dates require academic approval from the student’s academic advising office. Such late requests should be made through the automated petition process in BU BRAIN Self Service via the Portal.
Students must cite extraordinary circumstances to justify a late add, a late drop or late withdrawal, that is, circumstances beyond their control and beyond their ability to foresee. Poor judgment, academic incompetence or not registering for a course by the deadline does not qualify as an extraordinary circumstance.
For information on auditing courses, please see the Admission section of the University Bulletin.
At the end of each semester, students may access their grades in BU BRAIN Self Service via the Portal at http://my.binghamton.edu/. For a discussion of the grading system used in each undergraduate college and school, see the specific college and school sections in this publication. Under appropriate circumstances, students may take undergraduate courses in any of the schools at Binghamton University. Courses are usually graded according to the offering college or school’s grading system; e.g., a course offered by the School of Management is graded using the School of Management's grading system, and a Harpur College course is graded according to the Harpur system. However, if a student petitions the instructor for an exception and the petition is approved, the grading system of the student's school may be used. (Example: a student in Harpur College of Arts and Sciences who takes a School of Management course petitions the instructor and the Harpur College Academic Advising Office to request to be graded according to the Harpur grading system.) Approved petitions must be submitted to Financial Aid and Student Records by the deadline for the change-of-grading option/withdrawal deadline for processing.
Students should realize that not only do grading systems differ from school to school, but that the various schools also have their own policies on 1) taking courses in other Binghamton University schools and 2) on petitioning for grading options. These grading systems are described in this publication in the introductory section for each school. Students wishing to register a complaint about alleged unfair grading procedures should speak with the instructor or the appropriate department chair.[ top ]
Disciplinary Suspension or Expulsion
Students who are suspended have the following statement placed on their transcript: "Disciplinary Suspension." The suspension notation is removed when the suspension period expires.
Students who are expelled have the following statement placed on their transcript: "Disciplinary Expulsion." Ordinarily, notation of expulsion is a permanent nation on the transcript. After five years from the date of the expulsion, expelled students may submit a written petition to have the notation removed from their transcript. The petition is submitted to the dean of students or his/her designee and must outline the reasons for the request and provide documentation of activities (work, education, etc.) since the student's expulsion from Binghamton University.
Students who have completed degree requirements but who have been suspended for academic dishonesty or judicial reasons must complete the terms of the suspension prior to degree conferral. Suspension is the separation of a student from the University for a definite period of time, after which the student is eligible to return. Conditions for readmission may be specified. Students who have been suspended may not be on campus without specific, written permission of the dean of students.
Involuntary Withdrawal of Students
Students may be involuntarily withdrawn from the University based on the recommendation of the medical director of the University Health Service office or the director of the University Counseling Center without academic penalty; that is, they may continue as students in good academic standing and are eligible to return upon clearance by the dean of students. Efforts are made to preserve a student’s academic progress with Incompletes and/or Withdrawals through consultation with faculty. If there are irreconcilable disagreements in these discussions, the provost will make the final decision regarding the disposition of the student’s academic records. Recommendations for involuntary withdrawals are submitted to the dean of students for appropriate action. Students are sent written notification of the intended action. Appeals may be made in writing to the vice president for student affairs within 10 business days. Students who are involuntarily withdrawn from the University for medical reasons are not readmitted without a recommendation from either the medical director of the University Health Service or the director of the University Counseling Center. Students on voluntary or involuntary medical leave who are otherwise eligible to continue with their studies may request a letter to this effect from the dean of students. Health insurance companies may accept this type of letter for continuing health insurance benefits for a student covered by the policy of a parent or guardian.[ top ]
Full University Withdrawal
Students who withdraw from all courses for which they are registered at the University must follow a formal withdrawal procedure if they wish their record to indicate good standing. Mere absence from class or failure to register does not constitute due notice of withdrawal. Students must submit the withdrawal form by the last day of classes for that semester.
Approved withdrawals are noted on the student’s record as an Official Withdrawal and, in place of a regular grade, the courses have a “W." An official withdrawal processed prior to the add/drop deadline will result in the deletion of all courses, in which case courses will not be marked with a "W" on the student's transcript, because no grades are recorded for students who formally withdraw within the first two weeks of classes. After the add/drop deadline, withdrawal results in a notation on the transcript stating “Official University Withdrawal (date).” Students required to withdraw for disciplinary reasons are not entitled to any refund of tuition.
Students should contact their schools with any questions regarding the withdrawal procedure.[ top ]
Graduate students are required to maintain continuous registration. Any graduate student who withdraws from all registered classes is, in effect, withdrawing from the University and before doing so should carefully review the section on “Continuous Registration and Leave of Absence” in the Academic Policies and Procedures for Graduate Students section of the University Bulletin. Withdrawals are initiated with the Graduate School or the Dean of Students’ office.[ top ]
Undergraduate Students[ top ]
Prior to the Course Withdrawal Deadline
Students are permitted to withdraw from the University after consultation with the academic advising office of their college.[ top ]
After the Course Withdrawal Deadline
Students requesting to withdraw from the University must consult with the academic advising office of their college for consideration of this request. If there is no previous withdrawal on the student’s record, the request will be approved. Students requesting to withdraw for medical reasons will be referred to the Dean of Students office. Medical withdrawals will require the Dean of Students' approval, and students will be required to follow the Dean of Students' readmissions procedures. Students who are attempting a second (or subsequent) semester withdrawal for reasons other than medical reasons will have their cases reviewed on an individual basis. In addition, any student approved for multiple withdrawals must consult the academic advising office of their college for readmissions procedures.[ top ]
Financial Aid Recipients
The University is required to perform a Title IV refund and repayment calculation for any student who withdraws from the University and is a recipient of federal financial aid for the semester of the withdrawal. The calculation determines how much financial aid the student has earned and how much must be returned to the federal government. The date of the withdrawal triggers the amount to be repaid, if any. Students who stop attending, but do not formally withdraw, are subject to the same rules and return of federal funds based on their last date of attendance, last date of academically-related activity or the midpoint of the semester, if no date or withdrawal form is provided.
Information Regarding Students Called to Active Military Duty
Undergraduate students called to active military duty during an academic term should contact their Academic Advising Office. Graduate students should contact their academic department and the Graduate School. The academic advisor or department will advise each student regarding his/her options. The following factors should be considered when advising the student: timing of orders to report to active duty in relation to the semester start and end dates; the length of the active duty orders; the student’s course workload; percentage of work completed, etc. The student will either be allowed to remain in one or more of their courses, will be allowed to take an Incomplete grade in one or more courses, or will be advised to drop all courses (Withdrawal) for the semester.
Students who withdraw from all courses for which they are registered at the University must follow a formal withdrawal procedure. Mere absence from class or failure to register does not constitute due notice of withdrawal. For information on withdrawal procedures, please contact the Dean of Students Office (located in University Union West, Room 205 or by calling 607-777-2804) to initiate the process.
- Veteran students recalled to active duty must notify the TRIO Office for Veterans Services at 607-777-2024.
- International students called to military service in their homeland must contact the International Student and Scholars Services Office at 607-777-2510 for information on appropriate departure procedures required under U.S. Immigration law.
- Graduate students called to active duty must provide written documentation of their deployment orders and may then apply for a leave of absence. Students on leave are excused from the registration requirement during the period of the leave. Leaves are normally granted for a period not exceeding 12 months. If possible, requests for leaves of absence should be submitted one month prior to the semester for which the leave is requested. For further details contact the Graduate Office at 607-777-2151.
Students who withdraw from the University to enter military service are granted full tuition refunds for the semester if no academic credit is received (does not apply to international students serving the military in their homeland). A copy of the official military orders must be provided to the University. During the withdrawal procedure, the student must meet with a representative of the Student Accounts Office and make arrangements to provide the document in accordance with State University of New York policy 8 NYCRR § 302.2. (http://www.suny.edu/sunypp/documents.cfm?doc_id=118)
There shall be no tuition or fee liability established for a student who withdraws to enter military service prior to the end of an academic term for those courses in which the student does not receive academic credit.
Note: The term "military service" means full-time active duty in the U.S. Army, Navy (including Marine Corps), Air Force, Coast Guard of the United States, or qualifying National Guard duty during a war, other military operation, or national emergency as defined in Section 5 of the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students (HEROES) Act (Public Law 108-76).
Enlistment under a delayed enlistment plan does not constitute "full-time duty" until the student is required to leave school on the effective date of active duty as stated in the student's orders.
Documentation of the call to active duty in the military service (official orders) shall be provided to and retained by the campus.
Students who withdraw from the University are assessed a prorated room charge based on the date the student removes his/her belongings from the room, completes a room inventory and returns the room key to a member of the Residential Life staff. The prorated charge is calculated by multiplying the weekly room charge by the number of weeks housed.
The amount of a resident dining plan refund is a percentage of the total meal plan paid for that semester, determined according to a prorated weekly schedule. The same prorated percentage is applied to both the cost of the operations component and the discretionary component. An eligible student will receive the anticipated refund.
Financial Aid Recipients
The University is required to perform a Title IV refund and repayment calculation for any student who withdraws from the University and is a recipient of federal financial aid for the semester of the withdrawal. The calculation determines how much financial aid the student earned and how much must be returned to the federal government. The date of the withdrawal triggers the amount to be repaid.
Banks and other lenders have procedures in place to grant deferments/forbearance under the amendment to 34 CFR 682.211(c) which was published on November 1, 2002 (at 67 Fed. Reg. 67048). (http://ifap.ed.gov/dpcletters/L03241.html)
If a borrower's loan is in an in-school status, in-school deferment status, or in a grace period status when the borrower is ordered to active duty or reassigned, the lender must maintain the loan in that status during the period of the borrower's active duty service or reassignment, plus the time necessary for the borrower to resume enrollment in the next regular enrollment period that is reasonably available to the borrower if the borrower is planning to go back to school. However, this maintenance of loan status may not exceed a total of 3 years, including the period of time necessary for the borrower to resume enrollment. Additionally, if the loan was in a grace period status at the time the borrower was ordered to active duty, the period of time during which the borrower served on active duty must be excluded from the grace period in order to ensure that the borrower receives the full grace period in the future. It is the responsibility of the student to notify the lender.
Readmission (or Reenrollment) Information
Undergraduate students who have completed their tour of duty and wish to return to the University to resume their studies should contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office at 607-777-2171.
Graduate students who have completed their tour of duty and wish to return to the University to resume their studies should contact the Graduate School at 607-777-2151.
Academic records of all Binghamton University students are maintained by Financial Aid and Student Records. An official transcript is a student’s complete listing of all coursework taken at the University. Students may obtain copies of their official transcript, or request that the University send them directly to other institutions, provided the student is in good financial standing (free of outstanding debts) with the University. Current students may request a transcript in BU Brain Self Service via the portal at http://my.binghamton.edu/. All others please submit a transcript request by visiting http://www2.binghamton.edu/registrar/services/transcripts.html.
Application for Degree
Undergraduates should file an Application For Degree (AFD) with Financial Aid and Student Records by the deadline of the semester of the anticipated graduation semester. The deadline is the fifth day of classes. The application form is available in BU BRAIN Self Service via the Portal at http://my.binghamton.edu/.
Any undergraduate student who files an AFD should also print and review his/her academic requirements/progress toward their degree via the degree audit report. This report is available in BU BRAIN Self Service via the Portal at http://my.binghamton.edu/. The report will show which program requirements have been completed and which, if any, requirements remain for degree completion. If a student has questions regarding the degree audit report, he/she should consult with an academic advisor in his/her school or with their major departmental advisor. Completion of undergraduate degree requirements and all academic work pertaining to that completion, must be submitted to faculty within 30 calendar days of the last day of classes of the semester in which the student has declared to graduate. Academic work refers to study abroad courses, courses taken at other institutions and courses taken at Binghamton University. In the semester in which the student has declared to graduate, all incompletes must be completed within 30 days of the last day of classes. If requirements are not met by the deadline, students must submit a new AFD for a future semester. Faculty should submit the grades for any incompletes or missing grades within 72 hours after the work has been received and evaluated.
Undergraduate degrees are conferred for spring and fall semesters as well as summer and winter terms.
Graduate students should file a Graduate Application for Degree (GAFD) with the Graduate School. Instructions and the online form can be found at http://www.binghamton.edu/commencement/. Students should complete the form in the semester in which they expect to receive a graduate degree.
Students planning to attend the University-wide Commencement ceremonies can find complete details about participation registration, regalia, event dates, times and locations, diplomas and more at http://www.binghamton.edu/commencement/.