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It is the policy of Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) that all faculty members conduct themselves in a manner that fosters academic excellence. The Honor Code at TAMIU is set forth in order to give general notice of prohibited academic conduct. As described in the Faculty Handbook, Faculty members are responsible for determining the curriculum of a course, for developing appropriate methods of evaluating student learning, for evaluating fairly, for upholding academic standards, and for enforcing policies concerning academic honesty.
The Office of Student Conduct and Community Engagement is prepared to support faculty in promoting the value of academic integrity and to avoid academic dishonesty. All members of the TAMIU community are responsible for knowing and practicing university-wide rules, policies and procedures regarding academic integrity, as well as any procedure specific to their school, program, and course.
Strategies to Encourage Student Integrity in the Classroom
- Recognize and affirm academic integrity as a core institutional value.
- Foster a lifelong commitment to learning.
- Affirm the role of faculty as guide and mentor.
- Help students understand the potential of the Internet—and how that potential can be lost if online resources are used for fraud, theft, and deception.
- Encourage student responsibility for academic integrity.
- Clarify expectations for students.
- Develop fair ad creative forms of assessment.
- Reduce opportunities to engage in academic dishonesty.
- Respond to academic dishonesty when it occurs.
- Help define and support campus-wide academic integrity standards.
Source: 10 Academic Integrity Principles for Faculty (McCabe & Pavela, 2004)
Why Students Do It
In order to encourage and foster academic excellence, it is important to understand what motivates a student to cheat or plagiarize. Below is a list of reasons for student dishonesty.
- Adherence to other loyalties
- Helping a friend
- Loyalty to a group
- All’s fair in love and academia
- Campus ethos
- Others do it
- No one ever really gets punished/caught
- External pressures
- Professor/text did not adequate explain material
- Others’ cheating puts me at disadvantage
- Semester workload too heavy
- Too many tests on one day
- Financial aids depends on GPA
- GPA for athletic qualification
- Job leaves no time for study
- Illness prevents adequate preparation
- Pressure from parents
- Good grades needed for job or graduate school
- Lack of effort
- Did not attend class
- Did not study, do reading, etc.
- Unexpected opportunity arose
- Instructor left room during exam
- Other students didn’t cover their paper
- Performance concerns
- Need to excel at any cost
Bernard Whitley, Jr. and Patricia Keith-Spiegel, Academic Dishonesty.
Ann Lathrop and Kathleen Foss, Student Cheating and Plagiarism in the Internet Era.
Recognizing and Gathering Information
Ideally, incident report will be accompanied by supported documentation. Documentation may include, but is not limited to:
- Turnitin originality reports
- Copies or links to authorized resource material
- Notes/answer key retrieved from the student
- Copies of the assignments/exam in question
- Written reports of observation made during the event
- Copies of the syllabus which clearly explain the instructor’s expectations and consequences of academic misconduct
- Summary statement by the instructor of any intervention that occurred during the execution of the violation (such as moving the student to a different seat, witness reports, etc.)
Source: Texas A&M University, Academic Integrity (2013).
The Process to Report Academic Misconduct
It is the responsibility of the faculty member to report acts of academic dishonesty. Upon finding a violation of the Honor Code, a faculty member must follow the following steps to report academic misconduct.
Step 1 – The instructor informs the student in writing of the complaint.
Step 2 - The student meets with the instructor to discuss the complaint, if at all possible.
Step 3 - Based on this meeting, the instructor decides whether the student violated the academic integrity rule as defined in the Student Handbook.
Step 4 - If the student is not responsible, the case is closed.
Step 5 - If the instructor finds the student is responsible of academic dishonesty, s/he gives an academic sanction and sends letter of sanction to student within ten (10) University business days. Letter must be sent via University e-mail carbon copy the provost, dean and chair of the department, the university registrars, and director of student conduct and community engagement.
Step 6 – Instructor submit incident report via Academic Dishonesty Reporting Form, including all supporting documentation. Example of supporting documentation includes, but is not limited to: course syllabus, Turnitin Originality Report, special course assignments, e-mail correspondence, etc.
Step 7 – If the student disagrees with the charge of academic dishonesty, s/he has the right to appeal to the Honor Council.
To learn more about the reporting process and recommended academic sanctions, visit the TAMIU Faculty Handbook.
The TAMIU Honor Council
The Honor Council serves as a centralized system established to response fairly to academic violations of the TAMIU Honor Code.
The Honor Council serves to provide faculty and students with a means by which they may report academic dishonesty, to provide students with a means of appealing charges of academic dishonesty, and to provide the Provost with recommendations regarding general academic sanctions or remedial efforts.
The Honor Council shall have the authority to create processes and operating procedures to implement the Honor System and to enforce the academic rules. Through the Office of Student Conduct and Community Engagement, this Council shall serve as an initial hearing body for cases involving academic integrity outside the scope of a course offered at TAMIU, and as an appellate body for students charged with violating the Honor Code during a course offered at TAMIU. The Honor Council will also be the central body responsible for maintaining records and for coordinating communication, prevention, training, remediation, and adjudication efforts for the Honor System.
Want to be a member of the Honor Council? If so, you may contact the Office of Student Conduct and Community Engagement for more information at 956-326-2288 or via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Flow Charts and Letter Templates
Faculty and administrators can use the following flow chart and templates to develop the necessary communication in academic dishonesty.
Resources for Faculty
- College of Arts and Sciences Course Policy (Syllabus)
- Academic Integrity: A Letter to My Students" by Bill Taylor of Oakton Community College
- Anti-Plagiarism Strategies
- Plagiarism: A Good Practice Guide (PDF)
- Center for Academic Integrity (CAI)
- Turnitin Support and Training Resources
- TAMIU Student Handbook
Reading on Academic Dishonesty in Colleges & Universities
- “Academic Misconduct by University Students: Faculty Perceptions and Responses” by Sandra Nadelson (plagiary.org)
- "Actions Instructors can Take to Help Prevent Cheating in Exams" by Columbia College
- “Cheating in Academic Institutions: A Decade of Research” by Donald McCabe, Linda Trevino, and Kenneth Butterfield (Rutgers University)
- “Dan Ariely on Our Buggy Moral Code” on factors that influence cheating behavior (TED Talks)
5201 University Blvd., Laredo, TX 78041-1900
(956) 326-2286 or (956) 326-2288
Fax: (956) 326-2279
E-mail: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org