General Regulations and Information Governing All Graduate Students

L) ACADEMIC BEHAVIOUR

1. Principles

2. Academic Dishonesty: Offences

3. General Procedure

4. Procedure for Departmental Resolution

5. Procedures for Resolution by the School of Graduate Studies

6. Penalties

7. Transcript Entries

8. Disposition of Documentation

9. Right of Appeal


1. Principles

In the course of a graduate degree program students are expected to learn those principles which constitute proper academic behaviour. Within the University Community there is a collective responsibility to maintain a high level of scholarly integrity. Dishonesty has no place in the academic community. Academic misbehaviour cannot be condoned or even appear to be condoned. Students have the responsibility to ascertain those actions which could be construed as dishonest or improper. Certain flagrant violations are listed below under Academic Dishonesty. Students are reminded that for guidance on proper scholarly behaviour they should seek assistance from their instructors and supervisors. The Graduate Students' Union will provide students with information on their legal rights and the information that advice about acceptable writing standards is available through the Writing Centre.

2. Academic Dishonesty: Offences

NOTE: In the following section the plural shall be deemed to include the singular.

Academic offences shall be deemed to include, but shall not be limited to, the following:

a) Cheating: Cheating on examinations, theses, assignments, work term reports, projects, internship reports, or any other tests.

Cheating includes copying from another student's work or allowing another student to copy from one's own work, consulting with any unauthorized person during an examination or test, or using unauthorized aids; or knowingly recording or reporting false empirical or statistical data. The work referred to includes examinations, theses, assignments, work term reports, projects, internship reports, or any other tests which are to be used in judging the student's performance in a course or program of study, or on any special tests which the University may offer.

b) Impersonation: Impersonating another student or allow-ing oneself to be impersonated.

By impersonation is meant the imitation of a student or entrance into an arrangement with another person to be impersonated for purposes of taking examinations or tests or carrying out laboratory or other assignments.

c) Plagiarism: Plagiarism is the act of presenting the ideas or works of another as one's own. This applies to all material such as theses, essays, laboratory reports, work term reports, design projects, seminar presentations, statistical data, computer programmes and research results. The properly acknowledged use of sources is an accepted and important part of scholarship. Use of such material without acknowledgement, however, is contrary to accepted norms of academic behaviour.

d) Theft of examination papers or other material: By theft is meant obtaining by an improper means examination papers, tests, or any other such material.

e) Use and/or distribution of stolen material: The use of material which the student knows to have been improperly obtained and/or the distribution of such material is considered to be an academic offence.

f) Submitting false information: This offence includes falsifying, submitting or causing to submit false academic transcripts, forms or records, credentials, medical or other certificates, or making a false or incomplete declaration to the University.

g) Submitting work for one course which has been or is being submitted to another course without express permission to do so: This includes the presentation of an essay, report or assignment to satisfy some or all of the requirements of a course when that essay, report, or assignment has been previously submitted or is concurrently being submitted for another course without the express permission of the professor(s) involved.

3. General Procedure

a) When a member of the University community has grounds for belief that an academic offence has been committed, that person will report the matter without delay to the Head of the Department or the appropriate academic officer (i.e., Dean or Director) of the unit in which the offence occurred. In the case of non-academic units, such as the Registrar's Office, Library and Computing Services, the matter shall be referred through the University officer in charge of that unit. The student should be informed of the suspicion as soon as possible in an effort to avoid further improper behaviour. There should then be an immediate direct attempt to resolve minor offences between the instructor or supervisor and the student(s) concerned at the departmental level. Only if resolution proves impossible, or one party is dissatisfied with the resolution, should the Department Head or other appropriate academic officer become further involved.

b) If, in the judgment of the Department Head or other appropriate academic officer (in consultation with his Dean of Faculty) the alleged offence against University regulations is such as to warrant resolution through the School of Graduate Studies, the Department Head or other appropriate academic officer will refer the matter to the Dean of Graduate Studies, and procedures for resolution by the School of Graduate Studies will be implemented.

c) If, in the judgment of the Department Head or other appropriate academic officer, the offence warrants resolution through departmental procedures, the individuals involved will be advised to attempt to resolve the matter without proceeding to a formal hearing. In the event that no resolution is possible between the individual parties, the Department Head or other appropriate academic officer will institute proceedings through the School of Graduate Studies. In all cases, it is the responsibility of the Department Head or other appropriate academic officer to ensure that fairness and impartiality are achieved in the treatment of students.

d) The principle of anonymity shall apply. All written documents shall refer to the student by number and the faculty member by letter.

4. Procedure for Departmental Resolution

If, upon receiving a report of an alleged academic offence the Department Head or other appropriate academic officer, decide that an attempt should be made to resolve that matter within the department the following procedures shall apply:

a) The Department Head or other appropriate academic officer shall request that the accusor and the accused meet with him (or her) and at the meeting the Department Head or other appropriate academic officer shall state the allegation, indicate the range of applicable penalties, and arrange a second meeting between the accusor and the accused only.

b) At the second meeting the parties (accusor and accused) shall endeavour to obtain a mutually satisfactory resolution of the matter.

c) The parties (accusor and accused) shall report jointly to the Department Head or other appropriate academic officer on the result of their second meeting.

d) If the report is of a resolution which the Department Head or other appropriate officer considers to be fair and equitable the matter shall be considered closed. If the Department Head or other appropriate academic Officer considers the reported resolution to be unfair and/or inequitable he or she will endeavour to obtain an alternative satisfactory resolution directly with the parties.

e) Should all reasonable efforts to obtain a Departmental resolution fail, the Department Head or other appropriate academic officer will refer the case to the Dean of Graduate Studies and shall inform the accusor and the accused accordingly. From this stage onward procedures for resolution by the School of Graduate Studies will apply.

NOTES: 1) The accused or accusor may request, during the procedures for an informal resolution, that the case be referred to the Dean of Graduate Studies and thereafter the procedures for resolution by the School of Graduate Studies will apply.

2) Procedures for Departmental Resolution will not be applied to cases involving alleged offences on final examinations.

3) If at any stage of the procedures for either Departmental or Graduate Studies resolution, the accused fails to appear or to respond to a charge, without reasonable cause, within two weeks of notification of an allegation, action may be taken on the charge in the absence of the accused.

4) If at any stage of the procedures for either Departmental or Graduate Studies resolution, the accusor fails to appear at a scheduled hearing to defend an allegation, without reasonable cause, within two weeks of notification by the Department Head or other appropriate academic officer, the action will be dismissed.

5. Procedures for Resolution by the School of Graduate Studies

If the matter cannot be resolved following the Procedure for Departmental Resolution as outlined above, or if the allegation involves a major breach of University regulations, the following procedures shall apply:

a) If the Department Head or other appropriate academic officer (in consultation with the Dean of his faculty) is satisfied that the student has a serious case to answer, he or she shall inform the student in writing of the nature of the case against him or her. In addition, the Department Head or other appropriate academic officer shall report to the Dean of Graduate Studies who shall immediately appoint a disinterested Investigator from the membership of the Academic Council of Graduate Studies. The Investigator will interview separately the accusor and accused and relevant witnesses. At these interviews, the Investigator, the accusor, the accused and relevant witnesses all have the right to be accompanied by a registered student or a member of the Faculty or Staff of the University.

b) Upon completion of these interviews, the Investigator shall submit a written report of all findings to the Dean of Graduate Studies.

c) The Dean of Graduate Studies shall present this report to both the accusor and accused for perusal and comment. Once in receipt of this report, the accusor and accused shall have two weeks in which to submit to the Dean of Graduate Studies any additional comments on the report that he or she wishes to be considered.

d) Upon receipt of all information from the Investigator as well as comments from the accusor and accused, the Dean of Graduate Studies shall strike an ad hoc committee to review the case and make recommendations to the Academic Council of the School of Graduate Studies. The Investigator may be asked to attend the meetings of the Ad hoc committee to answer questions and provide information pertinent to the case, but shall be absent from the formal discussion and voting.

e) The Academic Council of the School of Graduate Studies shall take appropriate action in accordance with the section headed "Penalties".

NOTES: 1) If at any stage of the procedures for either Departmental or Graduate Studies resolution, the accused fails to appear or to respond to a charge, without reasonable cause, within two weeks of notification of an allegation, action may be taken on the charge in the absence of the accused. Action will proceed regardless of the current status of the student.

2) If at any stage of the procedures for either informal or formal resolution, the accusor fails to appear at a scheduled hearing to defend an allegation without reasonable cause, within 2 weeks of notification the action will be dismissed.

6. Penalties

The imposition of any of the penalties listed below does not preclude further action under the Criminal Code of Canada. A student who has been found guilty of an academic offence will be subject to a penalty or penalties commensurate with the offence. The range of penalties and their determination is given below. Enforcement of penalties resulting from Procedures for Resolution by the School of Graduate Studies will be overseen by the Registrar. Some cases may warrant more than one penalty for the same offence, and previous academic misconduct will be taken into account in determining penalties. Penalties resulting from Department resolution shall be limited to 6.(a) and 6.(b). Penalties shall be imposed on the basis of the student's status at the time of the offence.

a) Reprimand: This shall be in the nature of a warning by the Department Head, or appropriate academic officer or an appropriate Committee to the student that his/her behaviour has been unacceptable to the University.

b) Reduction of grade: A reduction of grade will apply to an examination, test, or assignment to which an offence is relevant, and will be decided by the Academic Council of the School of Graduate Studies upon the recommendation of the Department concerned in the case of a resolution by the School of Graduate Studies, or by a Department Head, or appropriate academic officer in the case of a Departmental resolution. Since graduate students must obtain a B grade in required courses and a pass in additional courses a reduction of grade could lead to termination of program.

c) Probation: The period of probation will be determined by the Academic Council of the School of Graduate Studies. The impact of being placed on probation is that the commission of any further academic offence during the period of probation may lead to suspension or expulsion.

d) Suspension: Suspension will apply to a course, department, faculty, school, or the University. The period of suspension will be determined by the Academic Council of the School of Graduate Studies and shall not exceed three consecutive semesters, and shall be part of the allowable time for a graduate program.

e) Expulsion: The recommendation for expulsion from the University will be made by the Academic Council of the School of Graduate Studies to the President for his/her final decision. Prior to the President's decision, the Secretary of the Academic Council will notify the accused, in writing, of the recommendation for expulsion from the University. The accused will be allowed a period of two weeks following the date of release of such notification to lodge an appeal before the President's final decision concerning expulsion from the University. Any such appeal should be made in writing to the Executive Committee of Senate.

f) Revocation of Degree: The recommendation will be made by the Academic Council of the School of Graduate Studies that the Senate rescind a degree that has been obtained by submission of fraudulent or plagiarized work.

g) Rescinding of Admission and Degree Revocation: The submission of false information (see General Regulation L.2.f) in support of an application for admission to Memorial University is an Academic Dishonesty Offence. In the event that this offence is discovered after the granting of a degree, the Academic Council of the School of Graduate Studies may recommend to the Senate that the student's admission be rescinded and that the degree(s) granted to the student be revoked.

In the event that a student has been found guilty of an Academic Dishonesty Offence and when a penalty has been determined, a notation on the student's transcript may be made by the Registrar as provided for in section 7 below.

7. Transcript Entries

Transcript entries shall relate to the penalty(ies) imposed as follows:
Penalty Transcript Entry
Reprimand No transcript entry
Reduction of Grade Entry of final grade for course
Probation "On probation at the University for academic misconduct until Day, Month, Year"*
Suspension "Suspended from the School of Graduate Studies for academic misconduct until Day, Month, Year"*
Expulsion "Expelled from the University for academic misconduct"
Revocation of Degree "Degree revoked for Academic Dishonesty"

* These entries may be removed from the students' transcript on petition to the Senate but not before three years from the date the penalty was imposed



8. Disposition of Documentation

The disposition of documents relating to allegations under these procedures shall be as follows:

a) The cases where the allegation was either found "not proven" or "unfounded" no documentation shall be retained.

OTHERWISE

b) In the case of a resolution effected through the procedures for departmental resolution, all documentation shall be retained in the office of the relevant Department Head or other appropriate academic officer.

OR

c) In the case of a resolution effected through the procedures for resolution by the School of Graduate Studies all documentation shall be forwarded to the Office of the Registrar.

9. Right of Appeal

Appeals against decisions of the Academic Council of the School of Graduate Studies made under Regulation L.5 shall be directed to the Executive Committee of Senate.

NOTES: 1) These PROCEDURES shall apply to all academic offences relating to graduate studies involving, but not limited to, those students who either have been or who are enrolled at Memorial University. Notification of an allegation of academic dishonesty will be forwarded to the last known mailing address of the student as noted on the files of the School of Graduate Studies. The University reserves the right to implement action under these PROCEDURES where an allegation has been made against a student but where reasonable efforts to contact the student have failed.

2) While a student can continue in a program of studies, if eligible, while an investigation under these PROCEDURES is being carried out, the University does not accept liability for any consequences to the student's progress including retroactive effect on grades and promotion within a program, arising from an investigation and any negative decision rendered. However, the University may take these consequences into account as appropriate, and to the extent feasible, in cases where charges are dropped or the student is found not guilty.


Last modified on May 21, 2002 by MaryJane Puxley

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