A community built on principles of Christlikeness sets a very high standard!
All members of the Lipscomb University community are expected to conduct themselves responsibly and honorably, and with integrity in all activities and uphold the values of the institution and must not lie, cheat, or steal in academic endeavors, nor condone the actions of those who do.
- Anchored in our Christ-centered mission, Lipscomb University will lead as a top-tier, nationally recognized institution. We will excel in teaching, learning and research; be ambitious in our service to others; and be driven by continuous improvement.
- We are a Christ-centered community preparing learners for purposeful lives through rigorous academics and transformative experiences.
Our Core Tenets:
- We are a community engaged with the life and teachings of Jesus. We are committed to an ongoing search for truth. We provide excellent, whole-person learning experiences to shape lives of character, leadership, service and faith. We equip people to succeed in their vocation and contribute to the common good by living out their faith in action.
- Love God | MATTHEW 22:37B-38
- Serve others | GALATIANS 5:13B
- Respect all | MATTHEW 22:39B
- Pursue joy | PSALM 68:3
- Seek to learn | PROVERBS 1:5A
- Embrace collaboration | GALATIANS 5:22-23A
- Deliver our best | COLOSSIANS 3:23A
- Create solutions | JEREMIAH 33:3
themselves with academic integrity. Below is a non-exclusive list of the key types of
academic integrity violations.
- Cheating is intentionally using, attempting to use, or providing unauthorized materials, information, study aids, or the ideas or work of another in any academic exercise.
- Fabrication is the intentional and unauthorized falsification or invention of any information or citation in an academic exercise. Fabrication or alteration of data tends to occur to deliberately mislead.
- Facilitating academic dishonesty is intentionally or knowingly helping or attempting to help another to violate any provision of this academic integrity policy.
- False citation is falsely citing a source or attributing work to a source from which the referenced material was not obtained. A simple example of this would be footnoting a paragraph and citing a work that was never utilized.
- Multiple submission is the use of work previously submitted at Lipscomb University or any other institution to fulfill academic requirements in another class. For example, using a paper from a 12th grade English class for an LU 1103 assignment constitutes a multiple submission. Slightly altered work that has been resubmitted for another class is also considered to be a multiple submission. With prior permission, some instructors may allow students to complete one assignment for two classes. In this case, prior permission from both instructors is necessary.
- Plagiarism is intentionally or knowingly representing the words or ideas of another as one’s own in any academic exercise (i.e., using someone else’s ideas or work without proper or complete acknowledgement). Plagiarism encompasses many things, and is by far the most common example of an academic integrity violation. For example, copying a passage straight from a book into a paper without quoting or explicitly citing the source is plagiarism. In addition, completely reworking someone else’s work or ideas and using it as one’s own is also plagiarism. It is very important that students properly acknowledge all ideas, work, and even distinctive wording that are not their own. However, certain information in any discipline is considered "common knowledge" and may be used without acknowledgment. What is considered to be common knowledge varies among fields. Students unsure of how to properly cite a source are encouraged to consult an instructor, or a relevant manual of style.
- Retaliation is an act or threat of action against a student or instructor in response to the student or instructor exercising his or her rights under this academic integrity policy or otherwise properly performing his or her academic responsibilities in accordance with applicable university policies. Retaliation can take many forms, including, without limitation, threats, intimidation, coercion, or discrimination.
- Unauthorized collaboration is the act of collaborating or working with others on any assignment without the specific permission of the instructor.
- Unauthorized use of technology is the utilization of tools in the creation of academic work that are not explicitly permitted by the instructor, with or without citation. This includes, but is not limited to, the use of internet applications, research databases, citation generators, authoritative sources of information, and artificial intelligence (AI) tools. Students and faculty have access to research librarians who can provide guidance on the authorized use of technology for academic work.
This academic integrity policy does not apply to cases of misconduct that are subject to
Lipscomb University’s responsibilities under the Public Health Service Policies on
Research Misconduct, as set forth in 42 CFR Part 93. If there is any doubt about
whether any alleged misconduct is subject to this academic integrity policy or the
university’s Research Misconduct Policy, the university’s Research Integrity Officer, as
identified in the Research Misconduct Policy, will make the determination as to which
Any member of the university community may report an academic integrity violation. The procedures for reporting an academic integrity violation are set forth below.
Instructor observes or discovers a suspected academic integrity violation.
Instructors may assess the seriousness of an academic integrity violation and determine
how it should be addressed. For more information about the type of factors that instructors might consider in assessing a violation, see the section below entitled “Levels of Violations and Sanctions.”
Upon becoming aware of an alleged academic integrity violation, the applicable instructor should follow the following procedures:
- 1. The instructor should privately confront the student with the alleged violation, present to the student any available evidence that a violation may have occurred, explain the severity of the apparent violation, and ask the student to respond. Instructors should document in writing the content and results of this discussion along with any available evidence that supports the allegation.
- 2. If the instructor decides that no violation has occurred, or if the student satisfactorily explains suspicious actions or evidence, the matter should be dropped and no further action is necessary.
- 3. Following the discussion with the student, if the instructor decides that an academic integrity violation deserving a sanction has occurred either because the student admits the violation or denies the allegation without providing a satisfactory explanation, then the instructor should take the following steps:
A. The instructor should complete and sign the “Faculty Disposition of Academic Integrity Violation” form (the “Form”) (found in the Provost Office section of myLipscomb), which includes the instructor’s recommended sanction for the violation. The instructor may select on the Form the sanction that the instructor imposes within his or her course and the instructor may recommend other sanctions not listed on the Form for the Council to consider. For more information about the sanctions that an instructor may recommend, see the section below entitled “Levels of Violations and Sanctions.” An instructor may not impose dismissal or expulsion from the university as a sanction. Dismissal or expulsion resulting from an academic integrity violation may only be assessed by the Council in connection with a hearing. For more information, see the section below entitled “Levels of Violations and Sanctions.”
B. The instructor should present a copy of the signed Form to the student either in person or via the student’s official Lipscomb University email address and ask the student to complete and sign the Form and return it within 10 calendar days of receipt. Upon receipt of the signed Form from the instructor, the student may:
- Option 1: Complete and sign the Form accepting the instructor’s determination and recommended sanctions as specified on the Form. The instructor will forward the fully signed Form to the Chair (the “Chair”) of the Academic Integrity Council (the “Council”) for further assessment, taking into consideration whether the student has committed any prior academic integrity violations. For more information, see the section below entitled “Council Procedures.”
- Option 2: Refuse to complete or sign the Form. If the Form is not completed, signed, and returned to the instructor within 10 calendar days of receipt, the recommended sanction(s) specified on the Form will be deemed final and effective immediately (unless indicated otherwise on the Form). The instructor will forward the Form to the Chair for further assessment, taking into consideration whether the student has committed any prior academic integrity violations. For more information, see the section below entitled “Council Procedures.”
- Option 3: Complete and sign the Form, requesting a hearing with the Council regarding the instructor’s determination of a violation and/or the sanction as specified on the Form. The instructor will forward the Form to the Chair. For more information, see the section below entitled “Council Procedures.”
If the student requests a hearing with the Council, the student must submit with the signed Form a written statement to the Chair describing the situation in question and explaining why the instructor’s determination of a violation and/or the sanction specified on the Form is in incorrect or inappropriate. The written statement should be accompanied by all relevant materials and documentation. The instructor will also be requested to submit a written statement and all relevant materials and documentation supporting the determination of a violation and/or sanction(s) as specified on the Form. For more information, see the section below entitled “Council Procedures – Hearing Process.”
Academic integrity violations discovered by any member of the university community other than a faculty member.
Any member of the university community may report a suspected violation of academic integrity to the instructor(s) overseeing the associated academic assignment, course, project, or research. If in doubt about who the instructor is, reports should be made to
the appropriate program director.
Reporting parties should be aware that an instructor may receive a report of a suspected violation of academic integrity and may ask evidence-gathering questions about the violation, but will otherwise be very limited in what can be discussed about the case or its disposition with the reporting party due to the privacy rights of the alleged
Once an instructor has been made aware of a suspected academic integrity violation, then the instructor should follow the procedures set forth above under the section entitled “Instructor observes or discovers a suspected academic integrity violation.”
Academic integrity violations involving Lipscomb University faculty or staff members.
Any member of the Lipscomb University community who suspects that an academic integrity violation has been committed by a Lipscomb University faculty or staff member is encouraged to report the alleged violation to the employee’s supervisor, director, dean, or vice president, as applicable. In such a case, the allegations will be investigated, considered and addressed by the applicable member of Lipscomb University’s Senior Leadership Team, or his or her designee, and any resolution of such allegations will be subject to any applicable grievance procedures set forth in accordance with the applicable handbook.
Further assessment of Form.
Upon completion, the Form should be sent in a sealed envelope to the Chair (currently Walter Surdacki, whose office is located in Ezell 218). Upon receipt of the Form, the Chair will make a record of the reported violation and related sanction(s) and search the Council’s records to determine if the student has committed any previous violations and has been previously sanctioned. A determination
of one or more previously recorded violations and sanctions may be taken into consideration by the Council as it assesses the latest violation being reported.
Procedures following further assessment of the Form.
If a student who is accused of an academic integrity violation has not had any previous academic integrity violations, indicates on the Form that he or she accepts the sanction(s), and does not indicate on the Form that the student desires a hearing with the Council and the instructor does not indicate on the Form that any additional
sanction(s) should be considered, then the matter will be closed and the recommended sanction(s) will be deemed final and effective immediately (unless indicated otherwise on the Form).
If, however, in such a case the instructor indicated on the Form that additional sanction(s) should be considered and the Chair agrees, then a hearing with the Council will be held with respect to the alleged violation. For more information, see the section
below entitled “Hearing Process.”
If a student who is accused of an academic integrity violation has had one or more previous academic integrity violations, then the Council will meet without the instructor or student present to review the student’s file in its entirety and consider if additional sanctions may be appropriate. If the Council determines that additional sanctions are
not appropriate, then the matter will be closed and the recommended sanction(s) will be deemed final and effective immediately (unless indicated otherwise on the Form). If the Council determines that additional sanctions are or might be appropriate, then a hearing
with the Council will be held with respect to the alleged violation. For more information, see the section below entitled “Hearing Process.”
If a student who is accused of an academic integrity violation indicates on the Form that the student desires a hearing, then a hearing with the Council will be held with respect to the alleged violation. For more information, see the section below entitled “Hearing Process.”
The Council’s hearings are designed to be fair to all parties involved while presenting an opportunity for all relevant evidence and documentation to be presented and carefully considered.
Hearing called by the Council because of multiple offenses or the instructor’s recommendation for further sanctions.
The Chair will ask the student to submit a written statement to the Chair regarding the latest alleged academic integrity violation. If the student refused or failed to sign and
return the Form, this statement should also include the student’s rationale for not signing and returning the Form. The statement should be accompanied by all relevant materials and supporting documentation that the student wishes for the Council to take
Unless the hearing is held because of multiple offenses and the accused agreed to the sanctions for the latest offense, the Chair will ask the instructor to submit to the Chair a written statement summarizing the circumstances of the situation in question and the
instructor’s rationale for the recommended sanction(s).
All statements and supporting materials must be submitted to the Chair at least three business days prior to the date of the scheduled hearing. These documents will be provided to the members of the Council prior to the hearing for their review.
Hearing requested by the student, as specified in the submitted Form.
A hearing regarding an instructor’s determination of an academic integrity violation and/or the specified sanction is intended to be a fair and non-threatening process that provides the student with an opportunity to seek broader consideration of the matter.
To support the objective of a fair and non-threatening hearing process, the only situation in which the Council may consider imposing additional sanctions in connection with a hearing initiated by the student is if the student has had previous academic integrity violations, which considered along with a determination of guilt for the latest violation, warrants additional sanctions. The Council may also consider additional sanctions for the discovery of multiple violations occurring at approximately the same time or during the same semester. For more information, see the section below entitled “Levels of
Violations and Sanctions.”
Prior to the hearing, the student must submit a written statement to the Chair describing the situation in question and explaining why the instructor’s determination of a violation and/or the sanction specified on the Form is in incorrect or inappropriate. The written statement should be accompanied by all relevant materials and supporting documentation that the student wishes for the Council to take into consideration. Failure by the student to timely submit a written statement with supporting materials will be deemed a final revocation of the student’s request for a hearing with respect to the instructor’s determination and the hearing will be canceled. In such a case, the matter will be closed and the recommended sanction(s) will be deemed final and effective immediately (unless indicated otherwise on the Form).
The Chair will ask the instructor to submit a written statement summarizing the circumstances of the situation in question and the instructor’s rationale for the recommended sanction(s).
All statements and supporting materials must be submitted to the Chair at least three business days prior to the date of the scheduled hearing. These documents will be provided to the members of the Council prior to the hearing for their review.
The Chair will endeavor to convene hearings within ten business days of receipt of the Form, subject to extenuating circumstances, including, without limitation, class schedules, school-related travel schedules (such as athletics events or conferences), summer break, and other official calendar breaks in the academic year.
Hearings will be held in person on campus if reasonably possible; however, hearings may be held via video-conferencing if all parties cannot reasonably be physically present.
1. At least five Council members shall be in attendance at the hearing (including the Chair, at least two faculty members, and at least two student members) and the student and the instructor must also be present.
If, however, the student or the instructor does not attend the hearing, nor gives prior notice to the Chair of his or her inability to attend the hearing and requests that the hearing to be rescheduled, then the following applies:
- A. If the hearing was called because of multiple offenses or the instructor’s recommendation for further sanctions, then the hearing will proceed and the Council will make its determinations in light of the evidence presented, including written statements and supporting materials submitted prior to the hearing.
- B. If the hearing was initiated by the student and the student does not attend the hearing, then it will be canceled, the matter will be closed, and the recommended sanction(s) will be deemed final and effective immediately (unless indicated otherwise on the Form).
2. The Chair will make introductions and explain procedures for the hearing.
3. The instructor will be given up to 15 minutes to explain his or her position.
4. The student will be given up to 15 minutes to explain his or her position. The student will be allowed to have a silent support person with him or her during the hearing. The support person will not provide advice and may not be an attorney or family member.
5. The Council will be allowed to ask questions of either party.
6. Both the instructor and the student may make a written request to the Chair at least three business days prior to the hearing for up to three relevant witnesses with firsthand knowledge of the alleged offense to speak to the Council during the hearing. The identity of each witness and the scope of the witness’s proposed testimony must be included in the written request. The Chair must approve each proposed witness prior to the hearing, and will notify the requesting instructor or student as to which, if any, witnesses are approved. All approved witnesses must remain outside of the hearing until called to give their statement. The Council, the instructor, and the student may ask questions of witnesses. When a witness’s testimony and questions are complete, the witness will be dismissed from the hearing.
7. The instructor may take up to five minutes to make final comments.
8. The student may take up to five minutes to make final comments.
9. The Chair will adjourn the hearing and the Council will go into private session for deliberation over all the evidence presented.
10.Each hearing may be transcribed by the Council. A student will not have the right to review or receive a copy of any minutes or notes from the meeting.
The Council’s decisions regarding a final determination of any allegations and any sanctions will be made by majority vote in private session, by members present during the hearing, based on a preponderance of the evidence.
Decisions made in accordance with this policy by the Council are final with no levels of appeal beyond the Council.
Within three business days of the hearing, subject to extenuating circumstances (including, without limitation, summer break or other calendar breaks in the academic year), the Chair will notify the student and the instructor of the Council’s final decision via official Lipscomb email addresses.
If the Council’s final determination results in the student’s dismissal or expulsion from a program or the university, the Chair will send appropriate notification to the applicable
Academic integrity violations may take many forms and range in severity. Factors that may be considered in determining the severity of a violation for purposes of a corresponding sanction include, but are not limited to:
- Academic class or status of the student (e.g., freshman vs. senior; undergraduate vs. graduate);
- Weight of the academic exercise with which the violation occurred;
- The portion of an academic exercise related to the violation;
- The degree of premeditation or planning to execute the violation;
- The extent of dishonest or malicious intent;
- The clarity of any guidelines or restrictions that the student should have reasonably known about the assignment, project, or research;
- The extent to which the violation injures the environment of trust within the academic community; and
- The student’s previous record (if any) of violations of academic integrity.
Instructors may impose the following sanctions for academic integrity violations:
- Treat violation as a “teachable moment” and provide instruction appropriately;
- Assign a paper or research project related to academic integrity and ethics;
- Require resubmission of the assignment and/or an additional assignment that may be more difficult than the original assignment;
- Reduced or no credit/failing grade on original assignment;
- Grade penalty for the course;
- Failing grade for the course; and
- Recommendation to the Council for additional sanctions beyond the foregoing.
The Council may impose the following sanctions in connection with the finding of an academic integrity violation, whether as a result of multiple offenses, an instructor’s recommendation for additional sanctions or otherwise:
- Uphold instructor’s determination of a violation and recommended sanctions;
- Impose additional sanctions listed above that instructors may impose;
- Academic probation, which could lead to academic suspension upon an additional violation;
- Dismissal from honors program, if applicable;
- Denial or cancelation of internships or clinical placements;
- Loss of appointment to academic-based positions, such as fellowships, assistantships, research projects, or instructor assignments;
- Ineligibility for academic scholarships, or reduction or cancellation of athletic scholarships for future semesters;
- Loss of eligibility to walk in commencement ceremonies;
- Academic suspension for one or more semesters;
- Dismissal from an academic program; and
- Expulsion or dismissal from the university.
The Council oversees this academic integrity policy and is the final decision maker in cases of an academic integrity violation. The Council’s decisions with respect to cases brought before it are final.
The Council is comprised of the following university representatives:
- The Chair, who is appointed by the Provost to a three-year term that is renewable.
- One full-time faculty member from each of the colleges within the university, each of whom is appointed by the applicable Dean to a two-year term that is renewable.
- The Council Vice Chair, who is one of the faculty members serving on the Council and is appointed by the Chair to a term that coincides with any remaining portion of the faculty member’s term on the Council and is renewable upon renewal of such term by the applicable Dean.
- One full-time undergraduate student from each of the colleges within the university, each of whom is appointed annually by the applicable Dean to a one-year term.
- One full-time graduate student from each of the colleges within the university, each of whom is appointed annually by the applicable Dean to a one-year term.
Each student representative must meet the following qualifications for appointment to the Council:
- Nominated by both the applicable Dean and Program Director;
- Has a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher;
- Has completed at least 60 hours toward a bachelor’s degree and declared a major or has completed at least one semester as a graduate student.
Students who meet these qualifications and agree to serve on the Council will serve for one academic year beginning in June.
The Chair will maintain all Council records and transfer all records to the successor Chair upon the end of the Chair’s term. Additionally, the Vice-Chair will have access to all Council records in the event the Chair in unavailable for any reason.
Should any student representative of the Council be placed on academic or disciplinary probation for any reason, he or she must vacate his or her Council seat.
In the event that a vacancy occurs on the Council resulting from the end of a Council member’s term or other reason, the Chair will ask the Dean of the applicable college to appoint an eligible replacement for the Council.
All Council members have an equal vote. Student and faculty members of the Council may express their opinions on any applicable matters.
All votes and discussions of the Council are strictly confidential and all members of the Council must, as a condition to serving on the Council, maintain the confidentiality of all Council matters. All education records of students involved in a hearing are subject to
the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (“FERPA”), and all members of the Council must comply with the requirements of FERA with respect to any such education records. Any member of the Council who fails to comply with the terms of FERPA or maintain the confidentiality of Council matters may be dismissed from the
Council and subject to disciplinary action, including termination of employment or expulsion from the university.
In the event that an academic integrity violation is alleged against a Council member, that member will be suspended from the Council until the allegations are completely resolved. If the Council member is not guilty of the allegation, he or she will be immediately reinstated to the Council. If the Council member is found to have committed an academic integrity violation, then he or she will be permanently dismissed from the Council, in addition to any other potential sanctions.
Annual Council Meeting
The Council meets at the beginning of each academic year for training of its members and discussion of academic integrity policies and procedures.
Hearings are generally not attended by the full Council. Instead, a minimum of five representatives from the Council will participate in any given hearing. The following members of the Council will participate in and attend a hearing, depending on the circumstances:
- The Chair will generally attend all hearings. If the Chair is unavailable to participate in a hearing for any reason, then the Vice-Chair will serve as the Chair for the hearing.
- The Chair will select two full-time faculty members to participate in a given hearing, with one member being from the college in which the alleged violation occurred. If the faculty representative from that college is the instructor for the class in which the alleged violation occurred or has any other conflict of interest, then the Chair will choose another faculty member from the Council to participate in the hearing. The Chair will appoint one of the participating faculty members to serve as the secretary for the hearing.
- If the student who is alleged to have committed the academic integrity violation is an undergraduate student, then the Chair will select two undergraduate students from the Council to participate in the hearing. If such student is a graduate student, then the Chair will select two graduate students from the Council to participate in the hearing. If a student member of the Council has a conflict of interest in a particular case, another student from the Council will be selected to participate in the hearing.