Integrity Council In Depth

This group is the final arbiter in cases of academic integrity violation. Their decisions surrounding cases brought before them are final.

Composition:

  • Two voting faculty members from the Academic Advisory Committee
  • Two voting student representatives
  • The Provost or Council Chair (voting only in a tie)

The faculty members for each hearing will be elected by the Academic Advisory Committee of the Faculty Senate and will serve a two-year term. The student representatives will be nominated by the deans and department chairs of each college. If a student member of the Integrity Council has a conflict of interest in a particular case, another student from the Council will be selected for the hearing.

Student representatives must meet the following qualifications for nomination:

  • Maintained a minimum 2.5 GPA.
  • Completed at least 75 hours at the end of the semester in which they are nominated.
  • Declared a major.
  • Approved for nomination by at least 90% of the faculty in their first declared major area.

Those student nominees who meet these qualifications and agree to serve on the Integrity Council will serve for one academic year beginning in June.
If a student appearing before the Integrity Council is a graduate student, the two student representatives shall also be graduate students.
The Provost is a standing member of the Integrity Council. The Provost may designate a member of the administration or the faculty to be his representative on the Integrity Council.

Officers

The Integrity Council will select two officers.

  1. The chair will be the Provost or his designated appointee. The chair will be responsible for organizing the other council members and conducting the meetings. The chair position is permanent unless stated otherwise. The vote will be regulated by the chair.
  2. A secretary will be temporarily appointed for each hearing. Typically, the secretary will be appointed by the dean of the college in which the violation has occurred.

Vacancies

In the event of a faculty vacancy, the Academic Advisory Committee of the Faculty Senate will nominate and choose an eligible faculty member.
If the chair chooses to abdicate his/her position, then the Provost will select a new chair to preside. If the Provost serves as the chair and decides to step down then he/she will choose a replacement. If the Integrity Council finds the administrator to be in violation of the policies or regulations of the university then the council can report these wrong doings to the Provost for proper dismissal.

Administrative Procedures

  • Should an honor code violation be reported during the summer sessions, the chair will call upon the newly elected Integrity Council to carry out the necessary procedures. If a student or faculty member position on the Integrity Council cannot be represented by a voting member or an alternate, the chair and the provost may select temporary or ad hoc Integrity Council members to hear the single pending case. However, all duly elected council members should if at all possible be present.
  • Should any member of the Integrity Council be placed on academic or disciplinary probation for any reason, he/ she must vacate his/ her council seat.
  • In the event of a suspected academic integrity violation by a council member, that member will be suspended from the council until the investigation of his/ her case is completed. If the council member is not guilty of the charge, he or she will be immediately reinstated to the council. If he or she is found guilty, then he or she will be expelled from the council permanently and normal disciplinary action will then occur.
  • SGA senators may serve on the Integrity Council, but if SGA at anytime becomes an obstacle then the student can be removed from the Integrity Council by the Provost.
  • All voting positions are equal. Students and faculty members have full voting rights and the freedom of speech to express their opinions. The chair has the freedom to express an opinion, but will only vote in cases of a tie. All votes are confidential. Decisions of the Integrity Council are final.

Meetings

The Integrity Council will meet to hear cases of academic integrity violations in a timely manner as they occur. The Integrity Council will meet as needed to review and make recommendations regarding policies and procedures.

Hearing Procedures

  1. Cases are referred to the Integrity Council when one of the following occurs:
    1. A faculty member refers the case for additional consideration
    2. An accused student refuses to sign the Faculty Disposition of Academic Integrity Violation Form
    3. A student has multiple integrity offenses

Regardless of the source of the referral to the Integrity Council, all appeals will be heard in order to ensure a fair process.

Hearings will convene within five business days of the filing of the disposition form, subject to extenuating circumstances (including, without limitation, summer break or other calendar breaks in the academic year).

  1. Before a hearing convenes the Integrity Council requests summary statements from the student and faculty member involved in the case.
    1. Before convening a hearing resulting from 1a. or 1b. above, the following documents should be submitted to the Chair of the Integrity Council. These documents will be provided to the members of the Integrity Council prior to the hearing for their review.
      • The student will write a statement summarizing the circumstances of the situation in question. If the student refused to sign the Faculty Disposition of Academic Integrity Violation Form, this statement should also include the student’s rationale for not signing the Faculty Disposition of Academic Integrity Violation Form.
      • The faculty member will write a statement summarizing the circumstances of the situation in question and the faculty member’s rationale for the punishment outlined on the Faculty Disposition of Academic Integrity Violation Form.
    2. Before convening a hearing resulting from 1c. above, the following document should be submitted to the Chair of the Integrity Council. These documents will be provided to the members of the Integrity Council prior to the hearing for their review.
      • The student will write a statement summarizing the circumstances of the multiple offenses in question.
  2. The Integrity Council will meet each semester regardless of document submissions.
  3. Hearings of the Integrity Council will follow this protocol:
    1.  The Chair of the Integrity Council will make introductions and explain procedures.
    2. The faculty member will be given 15 minutes to explain his/her position.
    3. The student will be given 15 minutes to explain his/her position. Students will be allowed to have a silent support person with them during the hearing. The support person will not provide advice and may not be an attorney or family member.
    4. The Integrity Council will be allowed to ask questions of either party.
    5. Students can ask up to 3 pertinent witnesses with firsthand knowledge of the offense to speak to the Integrity Council.
    6. The faculty member can ask up to 3 pertinent witnesses with firsthand knowledge of the offense to speak to the Integrity Council.
    7. The Integrity Council can ask questions of witnesses as they arise.
    8. After all witnesses are finished, both sides will then take five minutes to make final comments.
    9. Each hearing will be transcribed. A student will not have the right to review or receive a copy of any minutes or notes from the hearing.
    10.  Decisions will be made by majority vote in private session and a final determination of any allegations based on a preponderance of the evidence (i.e., whether it is more likely than not that the violation occurred).
    11. All members of the council must be present or represented by an alternate as selected by the council chair.
  4. If a student does not attend or participate in a scheduled hearing regarding the student’s alleged violation (irrespective of which party requested the hearing), the hearing need not take place and the proposed academic penalty specified in the Faculty Disposition of Academic Integrity Violation form will be deemed to be the final resolution of the matter and will be enforced by the university. If, however, the hearing relates to a second alleged violation by the student and the student does not attend or participate in the scheduled hearing, the Integrity Council will proceed to meet without the student and will determine the appropriate academic penalty in light of the circumstances as a whole. A representative of the Integrity Council will then contact the student and faculty member regarding such decision, as set forth in item 6 below.
  5. Within three days of the hearing, subject to extenuating circumstances (including, without limitation, summer break or other calendar breaks in the academic year), a representative(s) of the Integrity Council will contact the student and the faculty member to communicate the Council’s final decision.