Academic Honesty

Student Academic Honesty Code: School of Management Implementation and Adjudication Procedures

Preamble

Binghamton University depends on the honesty and integrity of its faculty, staff and students to carry out its academic mission. As such, every member of the Binghamton University community is charged with upholding the Academic Honesty Code. Actions that breach the Code erode the trust of those who look to universities for honest evaluations of academic work arrived at through honest processes. Violations of the Code may also cause individual harm, including under- and over-evaluations of performance as well as inaccurate reports of performance to post-graduate schools, professional societies and employers. With so much at stake, collectively and individually, Binghamton University views maintaining academic honesty and integrity as the obligation of all members of the faculty, staff and student body.

This document refers to the adjudication of issues of academic honesty for students. 

Publication and Dissemination of the University Academic Honesty Code

Students will receive copies of the Academic Honesty Code during Orientation. 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.

Binghamton University Academic Honesty Code

For a complete copy of the University Academic Honesty Code view the University Bulletin.

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 School of Management 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:

Plagiarism

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 acknowledgment, 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 of cheating include:

  • Unauthorized collaboration of any sort during an examination.
  • Reading of an examination before it has been given.
  • Unauthorized use of notes, books, 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.
  • Providing examination information to students who have not yet taken the examination.

Multiple Submissions

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.

Unauthorized Collaboration

Collaboration on projects, papers, or other academic assignments where such collaboration 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.

Forgery

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).

Sabotage

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.

Bribery

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.

Buying and Selling Course Materials on the Internet

There are internet sites through which college students can buy and sell course materials such as answers to exam questions or assignments, or papers (e.g., Chegg and CourseHero). If you use these “study sites” or similar platforms to obtain course materials, or otherwise acquire or access course materials without your instructor’s permission, you face a charge of “Unauthorized Collaboration.” If you use such sites to sell or distribute course materials, you face a charge of “Cheating” and may also be participating in copyright infringement. 

Responsibility for Implementation of the Academic Honesty Code

Each school of Binghamton University will implement the Student Academic Honesty Code and adjudicate all matters related thereto (except as noted below) through its own committee structure. Academic dishonesty adjudication processes are handled by the school offering the course in which the student has been accused of academic dishonesty (regardless of if the student is admitted to a different school). For example, a Psychology student in Harpur College accused of academic dishonesty in a School of Management course would be subject to the School of Management adjudication processes. Of note, in cases of alleged academic dishonesty by a graduate student, consultation between schools will occur, as appropriate, to navigate any potential larger impact departments may incur if a student is found responsible for academic dishonesty.

Each school is responsible for reporting findings of guilt (either by admission or by adjudication) to the Provost’s Office to be archived in a central database. Reports of academic dishonesty will be retained by the School of Management 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.

The Graduate School’s Role in Academic Dishonesty Cases

Each of Binghamton University's schools has an Academic Honesty Committee. Each school will handle their own academic honesty cases involving graduate students as noted above, with the following exception:

If an Academic Honesty Committee recommends revocation of a degree, then the written recommendation and all materials pertaining to the case should be submitted within 10 business days to the Graduate School for review. At his or her discretion, the Dean of the Graduate School may call the committee together, and/or summon the student (or graduate) in the process of rendering his/her decision. If the Dean of the Graduate School concurs with the recommendation, then the respondent will be informed by the Dean. Within 10 business days of receiving the decision of the Dean, the student (or graduate) may file a written appeal of that decision, of no more than 500 words, with the Provost, whose determination following examination of the evidence and written recommendations will be final.

Any graduate programs temporarily residing in the Graduate School will report and adjudicate all cases through the Graduate Council’s Academic Standards Committee. These processes and procedures can be found here: https://www.binghamton.edu/grad-school/resources/policies-procedures/manual/academic-honesty.html#The_Graduate_School_Role.

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.

Interpretation of the Academic Honesty 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 School of Management Academic Honesty Committee in accordance with procedures laid out in the Code 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.

Plagiarism. 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 (i.e., providing a copy of an examination to another student).

Multiple Submissions. This is a Category I violation.

Unauthorized Collaboration. This is a Category I violation, unless it also involves Category II offenses.

Fabrication and Misrepresentation. This may be a Category I or Category II violation.

Forgery. This is a Category II violation.

Sabotage. This is a Category II violation.

Bribery. 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 University 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.

Categorization of Academic Violations

If there is no previous academic honestly violation by the accused student on record with the Provost’s Office, then it is at the instructor’s discretion as to whether the alleged offense constitutes a Category I or Category II violation. There are two factor’s which instructors should consider when making this determination:  

  1. The nature of the violation. According to the University Academic Honesty Code, and as noted above, some types of violations are Category I in nature, some are Category I or II, and some are automatically Category II. 
  2. The severity of the violation. The instructor should consider the level of premeditation involved in the violation, the extent of material copied, the value of the assignment, etc.

Category I Violations

If an instructor discovers a Category I violation, the instructor must first meet with the student in-person, over the phone, or via Zoom to communicate the nature of the charge and the evidence the instructor has relied on to reach the conclusion that a violation has occurred. The student must be given the opportunity to respond. If the instructor remains convinced by a preponderance of evidence that a violation has occurred, the instructor must consult with the Associate Dean for Undergraduate and Graduate Programs to verify if the student has any record of a previous academic honesty code violation on file with the Provost’s Office. Students who are accused of a second (or more) Category I offense will have their cases treated as Category II offenses. As noted below, Category II cases will be referred to the School of Management Academic Honesty Committee.

If the accused student does not have any previous violation of the Academic Honesty Code on file, the course instructor must fill out a Report of Category I Academic Dishonesty describing the violation that occurred and the evidence supporting that finding. The student will also be asked to read and sign the form.

Note: Students have seven business days in which to retract their signatures on the Report of Category I Academic Dishonesty for whatever reason. Retractions must be sent via email to the Associate Dean for Undergraduate and Graduate Programs.

The instructor will then forward the Report of Category I Academic Dishonesty along with any supporting evidence to the Associate Dean for Undergraduate and Masters Programs, who will report the violation to the Provost’s Office, where it will be kept on file. Reports of Category I Academic Honesty Code violations are retained by the School of Management 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. Reports of Category I academic dishonesty are only shared with select Binghamton faculty and staff via the Provost’s Office database on a need-to-know basis (i.e., to verify a second violation). Reports of Category I academic dishonesty are not shared with any individual, agency or organization outside the University (i.e., law schools, medical schools, licensing bodies, etc.).

If the student chooses NOT to sign the Report of Category I Academic Dishonesty form, the case goes to a hearing before the School of Management Academic Honesty Committee. The instructor will then forward the Report of Category I Academic Dishonesty form (without the student’s signature) along with the supporting evidence to the Associate Dean for Undergraduate and Graduate Programs, who will share the documents with the Academic Honesty Committee. Note that if the student is found responsible by the Academic Honesty Committee, the penalty imposed by the committee may be more severe than the original penalty proposed by the course instructor.

Note: If a student withdraws from a course to avoid a grade penalty for a Category I violation, the School of Management may pursue the violation through an Academic Honesty Hearing.

Category II Violations

If an instructor discovers a Category II violation, the instructor must first meet with the student in-person, over the phone, or via Zoom to communicate the nature of the charge and the evidence the instructor has relied on to reach the conclusion that a violation has occurred. The student must be given the opportunity to respond. If the instructor remains convinced based on a preponderance of the evidence that a Category II violation has occurred, the instructor must submit a detailed written statement via email with supporting evidence to the Associate Dean for Undergraduate and Masters Programs, who serves as chair of the Academic Honesty Committee and will facilitate the committee hearing process happening. 

Information instructors should include in the written statement to the Associate Dean for Undergraduate and Graduate Programs is as follows:

  • The student’s name.
  • The course number and title.
  • A copy of the course syllabus.
  • The date and semester of the alleged academic dishonesty.
  • A brief description of the discovery and further investigation of dishonesty by the instructor.
  • A summary of any conversations with the student in chronological order.
  • A summary of the observations of any others who may have observed the dishonesty.
  • A summary of written instruction and/or classroom discussions during the course pertaining to academic dishonesty.

Within fourteen business days of receipt of the instructors written statement, the student will be notified via email by the Academic Honesty Committee Chair of the formal charge and the date of the hearing. The accused student will also be provided a copy of the committee procedures. Reasonable accommodations will be made to work around the student’s schedule.

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 determining any penalty for Category II violations, the committee 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 Academic Honesty Committee will report any guilty findings to the Provost’s Office, where they will be kept on file. 

Records pertaining to hearings will 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.

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. In addition to the 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.

Violations Involving Doctoral Students

Violations involving SOM doctoral students/candidates will be considered Category II violations in cases where there is discretion to choose between Category I and Category II. Academic integrity is the foundation on which careers in academia/science are built, and it is expected of every doctoral student.

If the Term Ends Prior to Case Resolution

It is sometimes the case that the administrative process for managing claims of Category I and Category II Academic Honesty Code violations extends beyond the close of the semester. In the event this happens, instructors are asked to assign a grade of incomplete (“I”) for the accused student in the applicable course until the case has been officially resolved. If the accused student is found to have violated the Academic Honesty Code, then the original in-course penalty will be applied retroactively. 

Procedures for School of Management Academic Honesty Committee

An Academic Honesty Committee hearing will convene no later than 14 business days after receipt of the Report of Category I Academic Dishonesty form (the student chose not to sign) or the detailed written statement from the faculty member alleging the Category II violation.

Composition of the Academic Honesty Committee

The School of Management Academic Honesty Committee is comprised of eight members: the Associate Dean, three faculty members, two undergraduate students and two graduate students. Only undergraduate student members will hear cases involving accused undergraduate students and only graduate student members will hear cases involving accused graduate students. The Associate Dean serves as the committee chair and is a non-voting member. Faculty members are appointed by the Dean or the Dean’s designee. Student members are appointed by the Dean or the Dean’s designee, based upon recommendations from School of Management faculty and staff. 

Role of the Committee Chair (non-voting member)

The committee chair is responsible for the following activities:

  • Scheduling/organizing committee meetings and ensuring quorum. 
  • Notifying the responding student via email of the charge, the date of the hearing, and providing a copy of the hearing procedures. Reasonable accommodations will be made to work around the student’s schedule.
  • Designating a staff member to take minutes at committee meetings. 
  • At the conclusion of the hearing process, filing hearing committee meeting minutes and supporting documentation. 
  • If a student is found responsible, reporting the violation to the Provost’s Office.

Quorum

Quorum shall consist of three members of the Academic Honesty Committee as long as one of the members present at the hearing is a student. In the event the faculty member bringing the case to the committee is a party to the case in question, or if illness or professional conflicts make establishment of a quorum impossible, the chair will select an alternate faculty member. Likewise, if a student committee member is a party to the case in question, the chair will select an alternate student member. 

The Hearing Format 

Faculty members who bring a case before the committee must be present at the hearing in order for it to proceed. In the event a student fails to show up for a schedule hearing, the hearing will proceed without the student present. Reasonable accommodations will be made to work around the student’s class schedule.

Both the faculty member and the accused student may bring to the hearing any written or other form of exculpatory information, and may summon any witness they believe could help the committee’s decision- making process regarding responsibility.

The general structure of the hearing is follows:

  1.  The faculty member recaps the allegation and supporting evidence (20 minutes max.)
  2.  The student is given an opportunity to make a statement in response to the allegation (20 minutes max.)
  3.  The committee directs questions to both parties.
  4.  The student and faculty member are excused and the committee goes into a closed session.
  5.  The committee discusses the allegation and evidence.
  6.  The committee votes on if the student is responsible or not responsible.
  7.  Pending the outcome of the vote, the committee discusses an appropriate penalty.
  8.  The committee votes on the penalty.

Hearing Outcome

Within seven business days of the Academic Honesty Committee making a determination of responsibility, the committee chair will notify the accused student of the committee’s decision and any penalties to be imposed (if applicable).

If found to have violated the Academic Honesty Code, students may face the following administrative penalties in addition to any in-course penalty imposed by the instructor.

  1. Honesty Probation: This is a reportable offense that remains on record for six years after the offense. The University will report the academic honesty offense if requested in a Dean’s Certification Letter from another institution.
  2. Honesty Probation plus Transcript Notation: In addition to what is noted in A, the student receives a mark on her or his transcript for 1 or 2 semesters stating that she or he was found to have violated the University’s academic honesty code.
  3. Suspension: The student is not allowed to take courses at Binghamton University for a period of 1 or 2 semesters. During this time, the student can take courses at other institutions for credit. Graduating students will have their degree conferral delayed for a specific period. A penalty of suspension includes transcript notation.
  4. Dismissal: The student is permanently expelled from Binghamton University. A penalty of dismissal includes transcript notation.

Right to An Appeal

Students may appeal the decision of the Academic Honesty Committee after a Category II hearing has concluded. Students found responsible of academic dishonesty have fourteen business days from the date the Academic Honesty Committee decision being sent via email, to file an appeal with the Dean of the School of Management. The written appeal should be sent via email.

Appeals will be considered only if one or more of the following applies:

  • Procedural Error (if the error is substantive enough to alter the Committee’s decision).
  • New information exists that is significant and/or was not available at the time of the hearing.
  • Sanction/penalty is not commensurate with the violation.

If an appeal is deemed sufficient enough for reconsideration of the case, a review will be conducted by the School of Management Dean, or by his/her designee. The Dean or designee may call the Academic Honesty Committee together, and/or summon the affected student. Within fourteen business days from the receipt of the appeal, a decision will be made by the Dean and the appealing student will be notified via email of the Dean’s decision. 

All appeal decisions by the Dean are final and no further appeals will be considered.