Academic Integrity

Each student shall observe standards of honesty and integrity in academic work completed at WNMU. Students may be penalized for violations of the Academic Integrity policy.


Violations include any behavior that misrepresents or falsifies a studentís knowledge, skills or ability with the goal of unjustified or illegitimate evaluation or gain. Such violations include two broad categories: (1) cheating and (2) plagiarism.

1.      Cheating includes, but is not limited to, using or attempting to use unauthorized materials such as notes, texts, images, electronic devices, and unauthorized copies of test materials. Cheating is also understood to mean unauthorized collaboration with others, copying the work of another, or any action that presents the work of others to misrepresent the studentís knowledge, skills, or ability;

2.      Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to, the intentional or unintentional representation of anotherís work as oneís own without proper acknowledgement of the original author or creator of the work, failure to quote and/or cite sources, providing or receiving unauthorized assistance in the preparation of any academic work, the fabrication of sources or information, or submitting the same work for more than one course/instructor without the permission of the current course instructor.


All faculty shall, in the class syllabus, clearly define the conditions under which academic dishonesty would occur in their class (in accordance with the above policy) and clearly define the penalties for such dishonesty. Penalties and educational interventions are imposed at the discretion of the faculty member under the following conditions:

1.  Infractions deemed by the faculty member to be minor in nature and that were not covered through instructional materials or the course syllabus shall result in faculty consultation with the student. It is recommended that faculty consider offering instructional coverage of the issue for the entire class. No action detrimental to a studentís grade is taken in this instance;

Faculty are highly encouraged to inform the Academic Integrity Panel about this issue since it could inform the greater WNMU community about students' need for instruction regarding such matters. However, names of students who received such a consultation shall not be divulged;

2.      Infractions that were covered through instructional materials or the course syllabus shall result in a penalty to be determined by the faculty member when the student admits to the offense. The instructor will meet with the student to review the issue and subsequently file the Faculty Adjudication Form with the Academic Integrity Panel (AIP);

3.  Infractions that were covered through instructional materials or the course syllabus to which the student denies responsibility shall be forwarded to the AIP through the Faculty Adjudication Form. Such an action is an automatic request for a hearing at which both the student and faculty member will present their respective cases.  

No action detrimental to a studentís grade can be taken until AIP renders a decision. The Panel decision is communicated to both the student and faculty member. If the student is found to have committed an academic infraction as alleged, the faculty member will decide on the appropriate penalty and report his/her action back to AIP.

If the student is found not to have committed an academic infraction as alleged, the faculty member must base the studentís grade on any and all academic work without reference to any allegation of dishonesty.

Subsequent Offenses

All Faculty Adjudication Forms will be retained in the studentís permanent file and will be taken into consideration if the studentís file is accessed in future instances involving Academic Integrity. This information could also be provided to external sources (e.g. graduate programs or professional organizations) when requested through appropriate releases. The AIP shall retain the right to request a hearing with any student who has an accumulation of forms in his/her file. In extreme cases, AIP, after having dealt with multiple infractions by a single student, may recommend to the VPAA that the student be expelled from the University.

Appeals: Student Rights and Responsibilities

If a student determines that his/her grade was reduced based on a disputed allegation of academic dishonesty that was not referred to AIP or was reduced contrary to a finding of AIP, or if the student feels that, in his/her opinion, the faculty-imposed penalty was unfair, the student may appeal his/her grade to AIP. If AIP finds that the faculty member improperly reduced the grade of a student or that the penalty imposed was unfair, it will direct the faculty member to change or reinstate the studentís grade in accordance with this policy. If the faculty member fails to follow such a directive, the Vice President for Academic Affairs will be so notified by AIP and may then, in conjunction with the University Registrar, change the grade improperly applied by the faculty member.

A student may appeal any penalty pursuant to the procedure set forth in the Student Handbook.

Academic Integrity Panel

The Academic Integrity Panel shall consist of two faculty members appointed by the President of the Faculty Senate, two students appointed by the President of the WNMU Student Body, and one staff member appointed by the President of the Staff Senate. In addition, each of the presiding Presidents shall appoint one alternate who will serve in the event a regular member is unable to attend Panel hearings. The chairperson of the Panel shall be elected by the members.