Ethics and Integrity Policy

  1. Preamble

    As a professional school within Binghamton University, the College of Community and Public Affairs (CCPA) is committed to upholding the highest professional standards of ethics and integrity. Such standards are the core of any community-based or public-affairs profession. As we prepare students for professional practice, we must, in effect, attest to their moral character. We consider it our collective responsibility to articulate our basic values and to engage in activities to ensure that our students, faculty, staff and administrators demonstrate ethics and integrity.

    Clearly defined expectations, professionalism, mutual respect, and integrity among faculty, staff, administrators, and students are essential norms which contribute to an effective professional learning environment.

    The CCPA Academic Ethics and Integrity Committee (hereafter referred to as the Academic E&I Committee or simply the Committee) shall have primary responsibility for implementing the policies and procedures described below. This document is intended to guide decision making and practice, and to articulate standards which can be used to gauge whether people have engaged in unethical conduct. We acknowledge that no statement of ethical standards can anticipate all situations that have ethical implications. The policies and codes establish values, principles and standards. People must use their judgment in applying these values to specific situations.

    The core ethical principles which govern the decisions of the Academic E&I Committee include:

    1. Individual Rights, Responsibilities and Accountability. We are responsible, as individuals and as professionals, to our students, colleagues, institution, community, and society.

    2. Mutual Respect. We recognize and honor the rights and dignity of all individuals and groups.

    3. Honesty. We are guided in all activities for high regard for the truth.

    4. Integrity. We behave in a trustworthy manner to promote ethical practice and maintain the confidence placed in us by the public.

    5. Professional Competence and Conduct. We demonstrate and develop professional knowledge and skills in ourselves, our constituents, and our institution.

  2. The CCPA Academic Ethics and Integrity (E&I) Committee

    1. Composition of Entire Committee.

      1. The entire Academic E&I Committee shall consist of one full-time tenured faculty representative from each academic department and program within the College, and one student from each academic department and program within the College. The faculty representatives shall be selected by their respective departments. The student representatives shall be selected by their respective student associations.

      2. Each August an Academic E&I Committee shall be appointed by the process described above to serve for that academic year. In cases of department-approved absence, which shall include, but not be limited to sabbatical or graduation, the department may select a replacement member for the remainder of the vacant term.

      3. The chair of the Academic E&I Committee must be one of the faculty representatives on the Committee. In the first year, the chair shall be selected by lot. Thereafter, the chair shall rotate by department in alphabetical order effective on the first day of class in the fall semester.

      4. Generally, the Academic E&I Committee will not meet during the summer but will do so if necessary. If the Committee action affects a student’s ability to graduate and waiting until the fall would constitute an undue burden, the student may submit a written request to the CCPA Dean’s Office asking the Committee to conduct business during the summer. If some or all members of the Committee are unable to convene, replacements for individual members of the Committee or the entire Committee will be designated by the Dean on an ad hoc basis for the purpose of a specific case.

    2. Quorum for Hearings for Specific Cases

      1. The total size of the Academic E&I Committee shall increase as the number of officially recognized departments and academic programs in the CCPA expands. The Committee shall consist of faculty members and one student representative from the relevant academic program, that is, the department or program in which the course was offered or grievance submitted. For purposes of conducting hearings, a quorum shall consist of a majority of committee members (50% + 1 of the members). The faculty representative for the department in which the case is grieved must be in attendance for a quorum to be present. The chair also must be in attendance for a quorum to be present.

    3. Conflict of Interest.

      1. Any member of the Committee who brings a charge (under the academic grievance or academic dishonesty provisions of this policy) is automatically disqualified for that

        hearing and shall recuse themselves. Each member of the Committee has a responsibility to recuse themselves if there is an actual conflict of interest regarding the case or either party. Should the chair recuse themselves the Dean will appoint a chair for the purposes of that hearing.

      2. A party in a dispute can petition the Committee to have a member of the Committee recuse themselves for cause. The disputant must specify the nature of the recusal request. The Committee member may then recuse themselves or offer a rebuttal to the request. If a Committee member does not recuse themselves, the Committee will vote, by secret ballot, on whether to honor the recusal request. Assertions of prejudice must be substantive and cannot simply be on the basis of a Committee member being in the same academic department or program as a party in the case.

      3. In the case where a Committee member is disqualified, the department shall select a replacement for the purposes of that hearing. In situations not anticipated and addressed by this policy, the Academic E&I Committee shall make every effort to proceed in a manner that is equitable to all parties involved. If the chair of the Committee is disqualified, the Dean will appoint a chair for the purposes of that hearing.

    4. Duties

      1. The Committee has primary responsibility to ensure conformity with the CCPA Academic Ethics and Integrity policies and procedures as well as relevant University- wide policies and procedures. The duties of the Academic E&I Committee can be generally considered to fall into two categories – academic grievances and academic honesty. Specifically, the Academic E&I Committee has responsibility to:

        1. Hear and deliberate cases regarding academic grievances; and

        2. Hear and deliberate cases regarding academic dishonesty.

          Professional programs require students to exhibit professional conduct within the field; violations of professional conduct are handled at the departmental level with appeal to the Dean, per Section III. Professional conduct violations are not reviewed by the Academic E & I Committee.

      2. The policies, procedures and Committee responsibilities in each of these areas are described below.

      3. Departments and programs in the CCPA may adopt and implement policies and procedures governing professional conduct (III. below); departments offering graduate programs in the CCPA may adopt and implement policies and procedures governing academic grievance (IV. below), and academic honesty (V. below) that are consistent with University and College policies. Departments or programs without

    formal departmental policies are governed by CCPA Academic Ethics and Integrity Policies and Procedures.

  3. Professional Codes of Conduct/Ethics/Professionalism

    1. Implementing Policies

      1. Departments and programs in the CCPA may adopt and implement their own policies, procedures, and codes of conduct consistent with professional norms and accreditation standards of their respective disciplines. These policies must be consistent with University and College policies and may contain more stringent professional standards governing conduct in the community/field placements/internships, etc. If a department adopts its own policies, copies must be submitted to the Dean’s Office and made available to students in a handbook or online. Departmental standards in graduate programs may articulate academic as well as non-academic grounds for removal of a student from the program as long as this is part of a policy that applies a clearly stated progressive discipline model and uses a process with final review/appeal to the Dean of the CCPA. If discipline-specific accreditation standards require policies or procedures other than those articulated in these policies and procedures, the program will conform to the policies and procedures mandated by the accrediting body. If a student appeals an action taken by a department or program on a code of conduct violation, the appeal will be submitted to the Dean of the CCPA following these guidelines:

        1. A student may file a written appeal of no more than 2 pages in length of the decision with the Dean of the CCPA within five (5) calendar days of receipt of the outcome of the departmental or program code of conduct procedure.

        2. Grounds for appeal may include, but are not limited to, procedural error, new and pertinent information provided the information was not known nor could it be known to either party when the decision was made, or review of sanction.

        3. An appeal review is conducted on the basis of the written hearing record, unless there is substantial new and pertinent information; in that case, the new information considered to be pertinent to the outcome of the case is at the discretion of the Dean.

        4. The Dean will notify the student within ten (10) calendar days of receipt of the request, whether the appeal is denied or accepted. If the appeal is accepted, the Dean will also notify the student regarding the course of events to follow, whether there will be modification of the original disposition, an appeal hearing, or a new hearing.

  4. Academic Grievances

    1. Definition and Scope of Academic Grievances.

      1. A grievance may be filed when a student alleges that another party’s actions or inactions have caused and/or resulted in academic harm, and he or she seeks redress for the alleged harm. All parties involved in a grievance are held to the strictest standards of confidentiality throughout the process and after its conclusion.

        Note: Throughout this section, the term petitioner or grievant refers to the student who alleges academic harm and files a grievance. The term respondent refers to the faculty member(s), staff, or student(s) accused of causing academic harm to the petitioner.

      2. The Scope of Academic Grievances may include:

        1. The process by which a grade was determined;

        2. Unfair treatment regarding program or course requirements, other academic contact, or funding;

        3. Other academic matters in the program or with individual members of the department that may affect the grievant’s academic standing.

      3. Items not subject to this grievance procedure:

        1. Personal conduct outside the academic process including, but not limited to, personal disputes between or among members of the department or college;

        2. Unpleasant or uncivil behavior within the academic components of the department, in- and outside of the classroom, unless the behavior results in some form of academic harm; or

        3. Professional code of conduct issues addressed in Section III.

    2. Procedures for Academic Grievances.

       

      1. Informal Procedures for Academic Grievances

         

        1. Each department and program in the CCPA is required to establish and implement procedures for informal resolution of academic grievances in keeping with the CCPA minimum requirements outlined below. In the absence of a specific departmental or program process for informal resolution of academic grievances, the following shall apply:

        2. Whenever a student believes that a grievable offense has occurred, he/she must seek resolution informally with the other(s) involved in the dispute beginning no later than 30 days after the incident occurred or grades are posted. Both parties are expected to make a “good faith” effort to resolve the dispute informally. In

          general, a good faith effort involves the parties meeting to try to resolve the issue or requesting facilitation/mediation through the department chair or program director. Should one or the other party or parties to the dispute not make such good faith effort as determined by the appropriate Academic E&I Committee, the lack of good faith effort may be considered as aggravating or mitigating in any subsequent formal process.

        3. The informal process ends when both parties reach a mutually acceptable solution to the dispute, or when either or both parties determine they cannot reach an acceptable resolution. In no case shall the informal process extend beyond the end of the academic semester following the semester in which the alleged offense occurred.

        4. Resolutions to informal process must be filed in writing with the department chair or program director.

           

          When any part or the entire grievance leading to failure of informal process involves allegations of academic dishonesty or violation of professional code of conduct they shall be dealt with under the procedures outlined in the CCPA academic honesty policies or professional code of conduct policies (see Section V and III respectively). Any non- academic grievance should be directed to the appropriate University office.

      2. Formal Procedure for Academic Grievances

        1. In the event of failure of informal resolution, the formal process of grievance management begins. Each department or program in the CCPA that offers professional graduate degrees may adopt and implement policies and procedures for formal resolution of academic grievances; in these cases, after the departmental process is completed the decision may be appealed as described in IV. B. 8. In the absence of a specific departmental or program process for formal resolution of academic grievances and in the case of all undergraduate students, the following shall apply:

        2. The petitioner must initiate the formal College procedure within five (5) calendar days of the end of the informal departmental procedure by filing a written statement of charges with the CCPA Dean’s Office.

        3. The statement of charges, no more than 2 pages in length, shall be typewritten and shall clearly state the name of the petitioner, the name of the person(s) who allegedly caused the harm, a 1-2 paragraph explanation of the basis for the grievance, and supporting documentation. Supporting materials (copies of syllabi, assignments, e-mail correspondence, etc.) relevant to the charges must be attached to the statement of charges and must substantiate the alleged charges to go forward to the Committee’s review.

        4. Within five (5) calendar days of receipt of the written statement of charges, the CCPA Dean’s Office shall confirm with the department chair the failure of departmental informal procedures.

        5. Also within five (5) calendar days of receipt of the written statement of charges and confirmation of failure of informal departmental procedures, the CCPA Dean’s Office shall notify (in writing or via e-mail) the chair of the Academic E&I Committee that a grievance has been filed and shall provide the chair with a copy of the statement of charges and supporting documentation.

      3. The Role of the Chair of the Academic E&I Committee in Scheduling a Hearing

        1. Within five (5) calendar days of notification that a grievance has been filed, the chair of the Academic E&I Committee will notify all Committee members, and the grievant and respondent in writing by certified mail that a formal grievance has been filed and will provide the parties with a copy of the charges and supporting materials.

        2. The respondent will have five (5) calendar days after receiving the notice of grievance to file a written response, no more than 3 pages in length, to the charges with the Committee chair through submission to the CCPA Dean’s Office and to submit materials supporting his/her position.

        3. The Committee may meet prior to any formal hearing to clarify issues, review documents and determine whether the issue falls within the scope of academic grievances as defined in the CCPA policy. Where the issue is deemed to be not within the jurisdiction of the Committee, it shall be dismissed without prejudice.

        4. Subsequent to that meeting and the determination of Committee jurisdiction, should that be decided in the affirmative, the Committee shall schedule a hearing according to the following procedures:

          1. A hearing shall be scheduled within twenty (20) calendar days of the Committee chair’s receipt of the statement of charges.

          2. The hearing shall be at a time and location reasonably convenient to all parties. The Dean’s Office shall coordinate the scheduling of the meeting.

          3. Notice of the hearing shall be provided via email to all parties and to the department chair or program director, and acceptances or demur by email shall be required of all parties no fewer than seven (7) calendar days before the date of the hearing.

        5. Identification of advisors and witnesses for both parties must be made, in writing to the chair of the Committee through submission to the CCPA Dean’s Office, no fewer than seven (7) calendar days before the scheduled hearing.

        6. If the action in question occurred fewer than thirty (30) calendar days before the end of the relevant semester and with the approval of both parties the hearing shall be scheduled during the first thirty (30) days of the following semester, but may be scheduled over the summer if the outcome of the hearing could impede the student’s standing or progress toward graduation.

        7. No fewer than five (5) calendar days before the scheduled hearing, the CCPA Dean’s Office shall make available to the Committee and the parties to the dispute

          copies of the complaint, the response, list of Committee members, advisors and witnesses, and any other documents relevant to the case.

        8. If either the grievant or respondent does not appear at the hearing, then the hearing is conducted with the party absent. The Committee may make a directed judgment favoring the attending party and the case will be considered closed, or the Committee may hear from the party in attendance and make a decision based on the merits of the case before them. If both parties fail to appear at the hearing, the case shall be dismissed with no possibility of appeal.

        9. The Committee shall have the discretion to allow for rescheduling in cases of emergency, as determined by the Committee.

           

      4. The Academic Grievance Hearing

        1. The hearing shall be closed and all matters discussed kept confidential by all parties. Ex parte discussions shall be limited to discussions about policies and procedures, and shall not identify any of the parties to the case.

        2. Only the parties involved and their hearing advisors have the right to attend the hearing before the Committee. If legal counsel is obtained, the Committee chair must be notified immediately. A party may bring an advisor, but that person may not participate directly in the hearing. If a party brings an advisor who is a lawyer or has a legal background, without having notified the Committee chair, the hearing is suspended and the chair will consult with the University counsel as to how to proceed. A party may bring witnesses, but they may not attend or participate directly in the hearing. Witnesses will be asked to be available at the time of the hearing and will be called in at the request of the Committee. If an advisor or witness does not appear at the hearing, then the hearing is conducted with the person absent. All persons attending the hearing are governed by confidentiality requirements.

        3. Each grievant and respondent shall be given a limited time to present any additional material at the hearing, with the Committee chair allocating the length of time, save that both parties shall receive the same length of time individually. The Committee may elect, at its sole discretion, to have collective presentations made by each side of the dispute, should more than one participant be on any one side.

        4. All parties to the grievance shall be present at the hearing to listen to the presentations made, view the documents presented by, and ask questions of other parties.

        5. Members of the Committee shall have the right to question both the documents and the presentations at the hearing, both during and after any presentations, in an order and manner determined solely by the Committee.

        6. Upon completion of the hearing, determined at the sole discretion of the Committee, the parties of the dispute will retire and the Committee shall determine an appropriate time for its decision, save that in no case may it be later than five

          (5) calendar days after the conclusion of the hearing. A written record of the

          hearing must be kept by the Committee for use by the Associate Dean or Dean in cases of appeal. Proceedings are not permitted to be audio or video recorded.

        7. In any case, if an informal, mutually agreed upon resolution between all parties is concluded, the formal process shall cease immediately, save that the Committee must be informed of the resolution.

      5. The Decision of the Academic E&I Committee

        1. All Committee decisions shall be arrived at by simple majority vote.

        2. The majority decision shall be in writing, signed by all members of the Committee, and shall provide the basis for the decision.

        3. Should any Committee member disagree with the decision or with its reasoning, he or she will have the right to file a minority report or concurring report which shall be attached to the decision and distributed as part of that decision.

        4. The decision shall be distributed to all parties of the case and to the department chair or program director, within five (5) calendar days of that decision via certified mail. In no case shall any party to the dispute be informed of the decision by any other means.

        5. Any penalties decided by the Committee shall be referred to the appropriate department, College, or University body.

           

      6. Academic E&I Committee Actions Regarding Academic Grievances

         

        1. The Committee may decide to reprimand or in extreme cases refer the entire matter to the appropriate University body.

        2. The Committee may decide the department chair, program director or the CCPA Dean must act to correct fault found and presented in the decision.

           

      7. Appeal of Academic E&I Committee Decisions

        1. Students enrolled in graduate programs with a formal departmental or program academic grievance policy may appeal the decision of the departmental or program Committee to the Dean of the CCPA as described in IV. B. 8.

        2. In cases of undergraduate students and graduate students in programs without formal academic grievance procedures, the decision of the Academic E&I Committee may be appealed by either party to the Associate Dean of the CCPA. The appeal must be submitted in writing within five (5) calendar days of receipt of the Academic E&I Committee decision. The written appeal will ordinarily be based on allegations of abrogation of due process. The appeal also may be based upon a claim of new and pertinent information provided the information was not known nor could it be known to either party at the time of the hearing and was therefore not available to the Committee at the time of its deliberations.

        3. If the Associate Dean is a party against whom the grievance is brought, either as a teaching faculty member or as Associate Dean, a direct appeal to the Graduate School may be pursued

        4. The Associate Dean shall review the written records, including the decision of the Academic E&I Committee.

        5. The Associate Dean will convey a decision via certified mail to all parties within ten (10) calendar days of receipt of appeal. It shall be the responsibility of the Associate Dean of the CCPA to inform all parties, at the same time as the decision is conveyed, of the possibility of a final appeal to the Dean within ten (10) calendar days of the issuance of the Associate Dean’s decision.

      8. Final Appeal

         

        1. Either party to the case may file an appeal of ruling with the Dean within five (5) working days of receipt of the hearing outcome from the departmental or program Committee in graduate programs with formal procedures or the Associate Dean in the case of undergraduates and programs without formal procedures.

        2. If a written appeal is made to the Dean, the Associate Dean/department/program will provide the Dean with all documents, including the Committee’s report, the Associate Dean/department/program decision, and the written claim of abrogation of due process and/or new information. The Dean will, within twenty (20) calendar days, make a final decision on the matter. There will be no further recourse after the Dean’s decision.

        3. If the Dean is a party against whom the grievance is brought, either as a teaching faculty member or as Dean, a direct appeal to the Graduate School may be pursued.

        4. In cases involving graduate students where the Associate Dean or Dean of the CCPA recuses themselves from the appeal process, the decision may be appealed to the Assistant Dean of the Graduate School pursuant to the Graduate School’s grievance procedures which are specified in the Student Handbook https://www.binghamton.edu/grad-school/resources/policies- procedures/manual/grievance-procedures.html. In either case, the decision of the Dean (either the Dean of the CCPA or the Dean of the Graduate School) shall be final.

      9. Records of Grievances

         

        1. All documentation relating to the grievance shall be kept in a separate and confidential file in the Dean’s Office for at least six (6) years. The Dean will have access to this file.

  5. Academic Honesty

     

    1. Definitions and Scope of Academic Dishonesty.

      1. Honesty and integrity should be the bedrock of academic and professional life. The CCPA takes violations of the Academic Honesty Code very seriously. The Academic Honesty Code for Binghamton University can be reviewed online in the University Bulletin under "Academic Policies and Procedures for All Students. Instances of academic dishonesty may include, but are not limited to: plagiarism, cheating on examinations, multiple submissions, unauthorized collaboration, fabrication and misrepresentation, forgery, sabotage, or bribery.

        Violations of the Code vary in severity, so the appropriate penalties 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 departmental, program or the CCPA Academic Ethics and Integrity Committee.

         

    2. Prevention of Academic Dishonesty.

       

      1. The faculty understands the pressures of school and urges students to seek consultation if they feel they are unable to complete assignments properly in a timely fashion. In cases involving minor violations of the academic honesty code which the faculty member has reason to believe were unintentional, the faculty member has some discretion to pursue a range of options at mediating an academic honesty case before it is channeled formally. All faculty teaching in the College of Community and Public Affairs are expected to engage in efforts to prevent, educate about, and identify instances of plagiarism or academic honesty. Faculty are encouraged to use Turnitin.

    3. Responding to Suspected Violations of the Academic Honesty Code.

      1. In deciding how to respond to a particular violation of the Code, faculty are expected to keep in mind that they have a responsibility to their students, colleagues, the institution and the profession to treat these matters seriously and to follow University and College policies and procedures. Academic honesty is a college-wide responsibility and, as a general rule, violations of the Code should not be treated as isolated incidents. When a faculty member has a complaint of academic honesty to report, the following procedures are to be followed.

    4. Initiation of Informal Action.

      1. Contacting the Student: When academic dishonesty is suspected, a faculty member may confront the student with his/her suspicions, as soon as possible after the dishonesty is discovered. Although confronting the student is generally the first step, it is not required before bringing a case to the Committee. Examples of situations in which it may not be appropriate to confront the student include: when the student has already left on break prior to the discovery of the dishonesty, when the student already has been warned for a prior incident of academic dishonesty, or when the student already has a record with the Provost’s Office.

      2. Informal Sanctions: If, after confronting the student or investigating the matter, the instructor remains convinced by the preponderance of evidence that a violation has occurred, the instructor should then contact the Dean’s Office to see if there is a record of a previous violation by the student. If there is no previous violation and the infraction is minor and deemed by the faculty member to be unintentional, the faculty member may decide that formal action through the Committee is not warranted and he/she may choose to assign a failing grade for the assignment. In rare cases, these informal sanctions may be appropriate. However, it is the policy of the CCPA that some formal action is necessary in most cases to preserve the integrity of the academic institution. Documenting even minor violations of the Code through the Category I procedures described below allows the student to continue his/her studies without severe penalty, yet ensures that an accurate record is maintained in case the student commits a subsequent offense.

    5. Formal Action Regarding Academic Honesty.

      1. Each department and program in the CCPA that offers professional graduate degrees may adopt and implement policies and procedures for formal resolution of academic honesty violations following University and College policies and procedures as described below for Category I and Category II violations. In the absence of a specific departmental or program process for formal resolution of academic honesty violations and in the case of all undergraduates, the following shall apply:

      2. The initiator of an academic honesty complaint should consult the Binghamton University Student Academic Honesty Code to determine whether the student has committed a Category I or Category II violation. Upon receipt of a charge of a Category II violation or where a student declines to sign an admission of Category I violation form, the chair of the appropriate Academic Ethics and Integrity Committee shall convene the Committee within 10 (10) calendar days.

      3. Students who feel they have been unjustly accused of academic dishonesty by a faculty member or a student, or who feel that they have been unjustly penalized for alleged academic dishonesty by a faculty member, may request that the case be heard

        by the departmental, program or the CCPA Committee as specified above. The Committee shall determine whether there is sufficient merit to warrant an Academic Honesty hearing.

    6. Category I Violations.

      1. The Admission of Dishonesty form, which can only be used in the case of a Category I violation, is like a plea bargain arrangement, whereby the student admits guilt in return for the promise that the case will not be brought before the Committee. Once signed by the student and faculty member, the Admission of Dishonesty form is given to the chair of the appropriate Academic Ethics and Integrity Committee, to be maintained in a confidential file in the Provost’s Office.

      2. Generally, the Admission of Dishonesty form should be used only with first time offenders. It may be appropriate for a freshman or returning graduate student in his/her first semester, but not for a senior or graduate student nearing degree completion. Similarly, it may be appropriate for small amounts of plagiarized material (or when a student cites his/her sources but does not identify information as a direct quote), but not when large quantities or central ideas are presented without giving credit to the authors.

      3. Faculty who are considering using the Academic Dishonesty form should check with the chair of the appropriate Academic Ethics and Integrity Committee, who will confer with the Dean’s Office to determine if the student has a prior record of academic dishonesty. Because an Admission of Dishonesty is kept on file for six years following a student's departure from the university or until a student graduates, this process helps to inform other faculty members and the Committee if another incident occurs involving the same student. A student with an admission form already on file will be charged with a Category II offense and will be brought before the appropriate Committee at a hearing.

      4. If the student declines to sign the Admission of Dishonesty form, the appropriate Academic E&I Committee will hold a hearing pursuant to the departmental, program or the CCPA procedures described below for Category II violations.

         

    7. Category II Violations.

      Note: This process also applies for Category I violations where the student declines to sign an Admission of Dishonesty form.

      1. If the 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 a conclusion that a violation has occurred. If, after communicating with the student, the instructor remains convinced that a violation has occurred, he or she should submit a detailed written charge with

        supporting evidence to the appropriate Academic Ethics and Integrity Committee. In cases that go to the CCPA Academic E&I Committee, the charge and supporting materials should be submitted to the Dean’s Office. The instructor should also contact the chair of the appropriate Academic Ethics and Integrity Committee who will check with the Dean’s Office to determine if there is a record of a previous violation by the student. Per University policy, when an academic dishonesty case is brought before the committee, 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.

      2. Notification of the Parties

         

        1. The Committee chair or his/her designee shall notify all parties of the charges under consideration not less than ten (10) calendar days prior to the scheduled hearing. This notification shall be in writing and shall become a part of the record. The notice should be delivered by certified mail.

        2. The Dean’s Office shall schedule a hearing at a time and location reasonably convenient to all parties.

        3. This notification of hearing shall inform all parties of the following, with sufficient particularity and in sufficient time to ensure opportunity to prepare for the hearing. All parties will be informed of the following:

           

          1. The specific charges brought against them (allegation, time, place, and brief circumstances of occurrence and parties involved).

          2. The time and place to appear before the Committee for a hearing.

          3. Their right to review documents before a hearing is available or during the hearing.

          4. Only the parties involved and their advisors have the right to attend the hearing before the committee. If legal counsel is obtained, the Committee chair must be notified immediately. A party may bring an advisor, but that person may not participate directly in the hearing. If a party brings an advisor who is a lawyer or has a legal background without prior notification of the Committee chair, the hearing is suspended and the chair will consult with the university counsel as to how to proceed. A party may bring witnesses, but they may not attend or participate directly in the hearing. Witnesses will be asked to be available at the time of the hearing and will be called in at the request of the committee. If an advisor or witness does not appear at the hearing, then the hearing is conducted with the person absent. All persons attending the hearing are governed by confidentiality requirements.

          5. Their right to be present at any portion of the meeting when evidence is heard with respect to the case.

          6. Their right, after the Committee has met and made its recommendation to the Associate Dean to appeal the decision.

          7. The student’s right to plead guilty, in a signed statement, and accept the appropriate penalty.

          8. The student’s right to waive the hearing, in a signed statement to the Committee chair, and to accept the decision of the Committee.

          9. The procedures and policy of the Academic Ethics & Integrity Committee as outlined in the present document.

             

      3. The Academic Honesty Hearing

        1. The hearing shall be closed and all matters discussed kept confidential by all parties. Ex parte discussions shall be limited to discussions about policies and procedures, and shall not identify any of the parties to the case.

        2. Only the parties involved and their advisors have the right to attend the hearing before the committee. If legal counsel is obtained, the Committee chair must be notified immediately. A party may bring an advisor, but that person may not participate directly in the hearing. If a party brings an advisor who is a lawyer or has a legal background without prior notification of the Committee chair, the hearing is suspended and the chair will consult with the university counsel as to how to proceed. A party may bring witnesses, but they may not attend or participate directly in the hearing. Witnesses will be asked to be available at the time of the hearing and will be called in at the request of the committee. If an advisor or witness does not appear at the hearing, then the hearing is conducted with the person absent. All persons attending the hearing are governed by confidentiality requirements.

        3. As soon as the student appears before the Committee, the chairperson shall review the student’s rights and privileges and acquaint them with the purpose of the meeting, namely, to assess the evidence in light of the full context in which the alleged honesty violation occurred, in order to render a fair and equitable recommendation.

        4. Each party shall be given a limited time to present any additional material at the hearing, with the Committee chair allocating the length of time, save that all parties shall receive the same length of time individually. The Committee may elect, at its sole discretion, to have collective presentations made by each side of the dispute, should more than one participant be on any one side.

        5. All parties to the grievance shall be present at the hearing to listen to the presentations made, view the documents presented by, and ask questions of other parties.

        6. Members of the Committee shall have the right to question both the documents and the presentations at the hearing, both during and after any presentations, in an order and manner determined solely by the Committee.

        7. Upon completion of the hearing, determined at the sole discretion of the Committee, the parties to the dispute will retire and the Committee shall determine an appropriate time for its decision, save that in no case may it be later than five

          (5) calendar days after the conclusion of the hearing. A written record of the

          hearing must be kept by the Committee for use by the Associate Dean or Dean in cases of appeal. Proceedings are not permitted to be audio or video recorded.

        8. In any case, if an informal, mutually agreed upon resolution between all parties is concluded, the formal process shall cease immediately, save that the Committee must be informed of the resolution.

           

      4. The Decision of the Committee

        1. Upon completion of the hearing, determined at the sole discretion of the Committee, the parties to the dispute will retire, and the Committee shall assess the evidence and formulate its recommendation to the Associate Dean. During this part of the hearing, no one other than Committee members shall be present and no new evidence may be introduced.

        2. The decision will be based on an open vote by all members hearing the charge. The recommendation shall be based on a vote of the majority of the members. Those members of the Committee who do not concur with the majority decision have the right to append a minority report to the recommendations.

        3. The Committee may recommend to the Associate Dean any of the following:

           

          1. No action be taken against the student or students involved.

          2. A letter of reprimand will be sent to the student, a copy of which will be kept in the Committee’s confidential file.

          3. The student be placed on disciplinary probation and in the event he/she is found guilty of any other acts of academic dishonesty, a more stringent penalty could result. The record of this would be kept in the Committee’s confidential files and used only in the event other charges are brought against the student.

          4. Suspension, with denial of registration at Binghamton University for a specified period of time. A record of this shall be kept in the Committee’s confidential file.

          5. Expulsion, with no opportunity to return to Binghamton University. A record of this shall be kept permanently in the Committee’s confidential file.

        4. The Committee shall forward its written recommendation to the Associate Dean of the CCPA within five (5) calendar days of the conclusion of the hearings.

      5. The CCPA Associate Dean’s Review

        1. The Associate Dean carefully reviews the Committee’s written record and recommendations and makes a determination. He/she will notify all parties and the Committee members in writing of the disposition and rationale for each case within ten (10) working days after receiving the Committee’s written recommendation. The student is apprised of the appeal process. If the Associate

          Dean is a party in the case, the Dean will appoint another individual to decide the case.

           

      6. Appeal Procedure

         

        1. A student, faculty or staff member may file an appeal of ruling with the Dean within five (5) working days of receipt of hearing outcome from the departmental or program committee in graduate programs with formal procedures or the Associate Dean in the case of undergraduates and programs without formal procedures.

        2. Grounds for appeal will ordinarily be based on allegations of abrogation of due process. The appeal also may be based upon a claim of new and pertinent information provided the information was not known nor could it be known to either party at the time of the hearing and was therefore not available to the Committee at the time of its deliberations. An appeal review may be conducted on the basis of the hearing record, unless there is substantial new and pertinent information; in that case, conduct is at the discretion of the Dean.

        3. The Dean will notify the person submitting the appeal within ten (10) working days of receipt of the request, whether the appeal is denied or accepted. If the appeal is accepted, the Dean will also notify the person regarding the course of events to follow, whether there will be modification of the original disposition, an appeal hearing, or a new hearing.

           

      7. Reevaluation of Grade

         

        1. Following completion of all appeals and a determination of whether the charges of academic dishonesty are substantiated, the instructor shall reevaluate the grade(s) of the student(s) accordingly.

           

    8. Records of Academic Dishonesty.

       

      1. Departmental, program and the CCPA Academic Ethics and Integrity Committee shall keep a confidential file in the Dean’s Office to maintain records of case proceedings. Records of hearing cases are retained for six years following the semester or term in which the hearing is held. If a hearing case decision is appealed, the six years begin after the semester or term in which the appeal decision is made. No notation of any disciplinary action of this Committee shall be placed on the student’s transcript unless mandated by University policy. Information concerning disciplinary records shall be released to a third party only if a written release signed by the student is produced.

         

      2. All reports of findings of guilt (either by admission or by adjudication) will be submitted by the Chair of the appropriate Academic E&I Committee through the

    Dean’s Office to the Provost’s Office for archival purposes. Whenever feasible, supporting documentation should be submitted electronically via email.

  6. Failure to Meet Deadlines

    1. Timelines specific in the procedures for Professional Conduct, Academic Grievances and Academic Honesty cases are designed to ensure that these matters do not get drawn out indefinitely, and to provide the parties to a case with the opportunity to respond while their memories are fresh and materials are still available.

    2. In general, failure of any party to meet a specified deadline may result in default and dismissal of the case or a judgment of the merits of the case by the Committee on the basis of information presented.

    3. The Committee has the authority/discretion to extend deadlines with documentation of good cause shown.

  7. Distribution of the Policy

    1. An electronic copy of this document will be available to all students, faculty, staff and administrators on the CCPA website at: https://www.binghamton.edu/ccpa/resources/academic-policies.html

    2. Full-time and adjunct faculty teaching for the CCPA departments shall include the following statement in their syllabi: “As a professional school within Binghamton University, the College of Community and Public Affairs (CCPA) is committed to upholding the highest professional standards of ethics and integrity. Students are expected to comply with the Academic Honesty Code for Binghamton University available online in the University Bulletin under "Academic Policies and Procedures for All Students.). Violations of the Code will be taken seriously. Students should refer to the CCPA Academic Ethics and Integrity policy on the CCPA website at: https://www.binghamton.edu/ccpa/resources/academic-policies.html

  8. Severability

A. If any provision of these policies and procedures is held to be illegal, unenforceable, or inconsistent with University rules, that provision shall be automatically severed and removed from these policies, and the remainder of the policies and procedures shall remain in force.

AMENDMENTS

 

Proposals to amend the Ethics and Integrity Policies and Procedures must be presented to the voting members in writing at least two weeks before discussion at a College meeting. Votes shall be by written ballot and submitted to the Dean within 48 hours of the meeting.

Decisions shall be based on the choice of the majority of those voting. Members who abstain shall be treated (for purposes of decision making) as not voting.

Revised 9-13-18