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Cornell College's Academic Policy

Honesty in Academic Work
The College considers Cornell students to be responsible persons whose maturity will develop in a community that encourages free inquiry. The College expects the highest degree of personal integrity in all relationships. Any form of dishonesty is a violation of this spirit and of College rules.

A student is expected to explicitly acknowledge ideas, claims, observations, or data of others, unless generally known. When a piece of work is submitted for credit, a student is asserting that the submission is her or his work unless there is a citation of a specific source. If there is no appropriate acknowledgement of sources, whether intended or not, this may constitute a violation of the College's requirement for honesty in academic work and may be treated as a case of academic dishonesty.

Dishonesty in academic work includes both cheating and plagiarism.

Cheating refers to the use of unauthorized sources of information on examinations or any attempt by students to deceive the evaluator of an examination, paper, or project.

Plagiarism is the act of taking the work of another and presenting it as one's own, without acknowledgement of the original source.

There is not one set of rules for the acknowledgement of sources that is appropriate across all disciplines. For this reason, students are always encouraged to consult their professors and guidelines included in their syllabi. However, in general the appropriate acknowledgement of sources involves meeting the following requirements:

Quotations and Paraphrasing. All direct quotations, even if mingled with original words and ideas, must be placed within quotation marks and accompanied by a specific citation for the source of the quotation. Unless the information is generally known, all phrases that are not original to the author - even two or three words - must be placed in quotation marks and cited. If an existing idea is used but paraphrased or summarized, both the original author's words and sentence structure must be changed and a specific citation for the source must still be made. It is always the responsibility of the student to provide precise sources for all ideas, information, or data he or she has borrowed or adapted. Simply listing sources in a bibliography is not sufficient. Students who use information from the World Wide Web are expected to follow these same guidelines for the citation of sources.

Failure to cite sources properly constitutes academic dishonesty, whether the omission is intentional or not.

Ideas and Data. All students are required to acknowledge the ideas of others. Every student is expected to do her or his own work in the completion of an assignment or an examination unless either (a) the sources for these ideas are explicitly cited, or (b) the instructor explicitly allows such collaboration. In addition, a person giving unauthorized assistance to another on an examination is just as guilty of cheating as the person who accepts or solicits such aid.

Submitting revisions of academic work previously submitted, either in the current course or in previous courses, qualifies as academic dishonesty unless the student obtains the explicit permission of all of the instructors involved.

All data sources must be cited accurately. It is dishonest to fabricate or alter research data included in laboratory reports, projects, or other assignments.

A safe guide is to provide a full citation for every source consulted. Sources may include, but are not limited to, published books, articles, reviews, Internet sites, archival material, visual images, oral presentations, or personal correspondence. In addition, students should always keep previous drafts of their work in order to provide documentation of their original work. Finally, due to disciplinary differences, students should consult their professor, a librarian, and/or the Teaching and Learning Center for specific instructions on properly providing citations for sources.

Procedures for Dealing with Dishonesty in Academic Work
If an instructor judges that a student has violated the College's policies on academic honesty, the student may be charged with academic dishonesty and assigned an F either for the particular examination, paper, report, or project, or for the course. The instructor shall notify the student in writing of the charge and the penalty and shall include a statement of the circumstances which precipitated the action. A copy of the instructor's letter along with a copy of the paper shall be sent to the Registrar. The Registrar shall then advise the student in writing of the right to appeal. Within ten (10) days of notification, the student may appeal the charge and/or the penalty by submitting a letter to the Dean of the College requesting that he or she appoint an ad hoc committee consisting of three (3) faculty members, one of whom may be nominated by the student. The recommendation of this committee is advisory only and is not binding upon the instructor.

All material and information relative to the charge of academic dishonesty shall be kept by the Registrar in a special file during the period in which the student is enrolled at Cornell College, serving only as a statement of record if the student is charged a second time with academic dishonesty. In the case of an appeal after the first offense, the file shall be destroyed if the committee finds the student not guilty and the instructor concurs; otherwise, the recommendation of the committee shall be inserted into the special file. If there are no further charges, the file will be destroyed at the time of the student's graduation from Cornell.

Should a subsequent charge of academic dishonesty be brought against a student, the Registrar shall again advise the student in writing of the aforementioned right to appeal under the same procedures.  Should the second charge be sustained by the instructor, the Registrar shall notify the Dean of the College who shall convene a committee consisting of the Dean of the College, the Dean of Students, and the Chair of the Academic Standing Committee, who shall determine the status of the student. The normal penalty for a second offense is indefinite suspension from the College.


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