Academic Integrity

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Each student must act with honesty and integrity, and they must respect the rights of others in carrying out all academic assignments (See ASU’s Student Academic Integrity Policy).

The importance of academic integrity – what more should I know?

Academic integrity violations fall into five broad areas:

  1. Cheating on an academic evaluation or assignment
  2. Plagiarizing
  3. Academic deceit, such as fabricating data, information or documentation
  4. Aiding others in committing integrity violations and inappropriately collaborating
  5. Falsifying academic records

Please see ASU’s Student Academic Integrity Policy for further information.

What is not a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy?

Not all inappropriate behavior in the academic setting is an Academic Integrity Policy violation.

Student Code of Conduct

Violations of the ASU Student Code of Conduct, other than the provision concerning academic dishonesty, are more generally considered inappropriate behavior. The Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities reviews and sanctions these matters. If a student violates both the academic integrity provision and additional provisions of the Student Code of Conduct, both the college and the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities will review the matter. Each independently makes determinations concerning violations and appropriate sanctions.

Research misconduct

For students involved in research, there can be overlapping areas between academic integrity violations and policies concerning research misconduct.

Research misconduct is defined as, “Fabrication, falsification, plagiarism and other practices that seriously deviate from those that are commonly accepted within the academic community for proposing, conducting or reporting research. Instances of honest error and honest differences in interpretations or judgments of data are not considered misconduct.” (ASU RSP 004: Definitions)

At ASU, the Office of the Knowledge Enterprise Development reviews allegations of research misconduct in research. A student who violates ASU’s Misconduct in Research Policy and the Student Academic Integrity Policy may be reviewed by both the college and the Office of the Knowledge Enterprise Development with each independently making determinations concerning violations and appropriate sanctions.

The impact of academic integrity violations

Academic integrity is a fundamental value at ASU and violations can cause real harm to individuals and to our institution.

Harm to the student

  • Cheating robs a student of his or her education. When a student cheats, the student takes away from him or herself the opportunity to grow and to learn.
  • At ASU, students who cheat are caught and the sanctions that are levied are real and can be substantial. Our faculty hold the highest standards of academic integrity. If a student is caught cheating, the punishment can be anything from a lowered grade on an assignment or in a course to expulsion from ASU.
  • Cheating is part of the academic record. Students who are found guilty of cheating can be assigned the grade of "XE" – which explicitly means failure because of academic dishonesty:
    1. The XE grade is recorded on the transcript with the notation "failure due to academic dishonesty."
    2. Students who have received a grade of XE are not permitted to represent the university in extracurricular activities or to hold office in any recognized student organization.
    3. The XE grade remains on a student's transcript permanently.

Harm to peers

  • Cheating creates an unfair grading environment for others and can directly affect the grades of other students. For example, if a student plagiarizes on a group project, all of the students in the group may be sanctioned for an academic integrity violation.

Harm to our institution

  • Cheating lessens the value of the ASU degree and calls into question the learning that occurs in all of our courses and degree programs.
  • Cheating violates fundamental values of the university community. ASU is an intellectual community focused on teaching, research and the values of the New American University. The fair and honest creation, transmission, sharing and application of knowledge to address real-world problems are core activities of the community. 

How to avoid policy violations 

Academic integrity means that all of the work that you submit for ASU courses is your own and that your work clearly acknowledges any intellectual contributions and insights received from others. To complete assignments with integrity you must know:

  • When it’s OK to work with other students on assignments.
  • How to appropriately cite sources.
  • How to manage scientific data.

Tips for completing your work with integrity

Help on using sources, formatting citations and not plagiarizing

ASU resources:

Other universities:

Information for students

Students have the responsibility to understand and uphold the highest standards of academic integrity. If students fail to do so, faculty members and the dean's office have the right to report and sanction violators accordingly.

When accused and sanctioned for an academic integrity violation, the student has the following rights:

  1. To discuss the matter directly with the faculty member.
  2. If the issue is not resolved after speaking with the faculty member, to initiate a discussion with the chair of the academic unit offering the course or the chair's designee.
  3. If the issue is not resolved after speaking with the chair or the chair's designee, to initiate a discussion with the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean's Office (senior staff in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Office of Student and Academic Programs). If an XE for the course or a more severe sanction (e.g. suspension, expulsion) has been recommended by the faculty member, the student is strongly encouraged to meet with dean's office staff to discuss the charge. Students may call 480-965-6506 to schedule an appointment.
  4. To appeal to the College's Student Affairs and Grievances Committee. After discussing the matter with the faculty member, chair and dean's office staff, a student has the right to appeal the finding that an academic integrity violation has occurred or the sanctions levied to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Student Affairs and Grievances Committee. The appeal process is initiated by scheduling an appointment with dean's office staff in the Office of Student and Academic Programs. Students have 10 working days from the date of the email or letter notifying them of the academic integrity violation to initiate an appeal. After the 10 days, the sanction requested by faculty member will be imposed and the matter will be closed.

Note: Unless a student successfully appeals a sanction for an Academic Integrity Policy violation, the dean's office will maintain a record of the incident and the sanction(s). In all cases, the dean's office retains the right to impose or recommend sanctions in addition to those requested by a faculty member (if the seriousness of the current situation or past violations warrant).