Policy on Academic Dishonesty

Policy Statement

One of the core values of Trinity Western University is the integration of high standards of personal, moral, and spiritual integrity with academic excellence. As such, the University considers any case where an individual knowingly acts or fails to act in a manner to gain unearned academic credit to be a serious offence. It is the student’s responsibility to inform themselves as to what constitutes academic dishonesty, and to address any questions that they have in this respect to the individual professors they are dealing with. It is the instructor’s responsibility to confront any student who, in the instructor’s judgment, has committed an act of academic dishonesty. The penalty for an act of academic dishonesty will be assigned according to procedures listed below. The University does not record acts of academic dishonesty on student transcripts, but does keep a permanent record of such acts indefinitely for internal purposes.

Definition of Terms

Academic Dishonesty: to act in a manner to gain unearned academic credit; examples of academic dishonesty include, but are not limited to:

  • Plagiarism (see below)
  • Cheating on examinations, tests, etc.
  • Falsifying labs results
  • Impersonating another student in an examination, test, etc.
  • Falsifying or misrepresenting information on academic records or official documents
  • Submitting the same or substantially the same work for credit in more than one course, without faculty permission (whether the earlier submission was at TWU or another institution)
  • Aiding or abetting another student’s academic dishonesty

Plagiarism"plagiarism (from a Latin word for ‘kidnapper’) is the presentation of someone else’s ideas or words as your own." (The Little, Brown Handbook, 2nd Can. Ed. 555).
Knowingly: if the person ought reasonably to have known.

Procedures for dealing with acts of academic dishonesty

  1. If an instructor suspects that a student has committed an act of academic dishonesty, s/he shall determine if an offense has been committed by reviewing all relevant information and discussing the situation with the student.
  2. If the instructor determines that an offence has been committed, s/he shall query the Academic Dishonesty database to see if the student in question has committed a prior offence prior to assigning a penalty. (Currently, the instructor takes this step by contacting his/her Dean, or if s/he is not available, the Office of the Provost.)
  3. If it is the student’s first offence, the instructor will impose an appropriate penalty and note this on the form entitled Record of Academic Dishonesty, copies of which are then given to the student by the instructor and submitted to the Office of the Provost. For a first offence, the penalty will normally range from redoing the assignment to receiving a zero for the assignment/examination involved. Students may appeal the faculty member’s decision to the Faculty/School Dean, whose decision is final.
  4. If it is not the student’s first offence, the instructor will consult with his/her Dean who will recommend an appropriate penalty to the Vice Provost, who will decide on the penalty. For a second offence, the penalty will normally range from receiving a zero on the assignment or examination to failing the course. For a third or higher offence, the penalty will normally range from failing the course to being suspended or expelled from the University. The instructor shall complete the Record of Academic Dishonesty and submit it to the Vice Provost who will meet with the student. For penalties up to failing the course, students may appeal the Vice Provost’s decision to the Provost, whose decision is final.
  5. In cases involving a recommendation for suspension or expulsion, the Vice Provost shall forward the recommendation to the chair of the University Accountability Committee to begin stage two of the University’s formal accountability process (as per the Student Handbook). Students are entitled to hearings and appeals set out by that Committee.
  6. In all cases, every effort will be made to process the review/decision in a timely fashion.

Approved by UAC April 8, 2008