Undergraduate Catalog

Header Image

Academic Regulations and Policies

Academic Misconduct

Academic misconduct is any activity that may compromise the academic integrity of the university, or subvert the educational process. Examples of academic misconduct include, but are not limited to,

  • Violating course rules as contained in the course syllabus or other information provided to the student; violating program regulations as established by departmental committees and made available to students;
  • Knowingly providing or receiving information from others during examinations; or possessing or using unauthorized materials during examinations;
  • Knowingly providing or using assistance in the laboratory, on field work, in scholarship, or on a course assignment when said work was to be completed individually;
  • Submitting plagiarized work for an academic requirement. Plagiarism is the representation of another’s work or ideas as one’s own whether intentional or unintentional; it includes the unacknowledged paraphrasing or word-for-word use of another person’s work, and/or the inappropriate unacknowledged use of another person’s ideas. Each student is responsible for understanding plagiarism and the consequences of committing plagiarism. The Viterbo University library offers information about plagiarism and how it can be avoided. Viterbo students are strongly encouraged to complete an online tutorial on avoiding plagiarism, which is available atwww.indiana.edu/~istd.
  • Submitting substantially the same work to satisfy requirements for one course or academic requirement that has been submitted to satisfy requirements for another course or academic requirement, without permission of either the instructor of the course for which the work is being submitted or the supervising authority for the academic requirement;
  • Falsifying or fabricating laboratory results, research results, or any other assignments;
  • Serving as, or enlisting the assistance of a substitute for a student in the taking of examinations;
  • Altering grades or marks in an effort to change the earned grade or credit;
  • Altering university forms or records, or using such forms or records without authorization; or
  • Engaging in activities that unfairly place other students at a disadvantage, such as taking, hiding, or altering resource material, or manipulating a grading system.

A faculty member who suspects a student of academic misconduct shall follow these steps.

  • Notify the student in writing of the allegation.
  • Contact the program director (graduate program) and /or the department chair or dean of the school  (undergraduate program)
  • Contact the vice president for academic affairs to notify that office that the student is involved in an allegation of academic misconduct and to discover if the student has previously violated the academic integrity policy.
Procedures for Unintentional Violations of Academic Misconduct (undergraduate or graduate)

If the student has not previously committed academic misconduct, the faculty member shall determine whether this academic misconduct is intentional or unintentional. Unintentional academic misconduct occurs when a student attempts to acknowledge, quote, and/or cite sources but does so inadequately or incorrectly. In determining if the misconduct is intentional or unintentional, the faculty member may consult with the student and/or program director. Students may have only one report of unintentional academic misconduct; more than one unintentional offense shall be treated as intentional academic misconduct. If the faculty member determines that the misconduct is unintentional, the faculty member:

  • Must provide a written warning that the continuation or repetition of academic misconduct will be cause for additional disciplinary action; and
  • May award a failing grade on the assignment; or
  • May require the student to resubmit the corrected assignment or complete an alternative assignment. The faculty member shall determine the grade for the resubmitted or alternate assignment.

In determining the appropriate sanction, the faculty member shall consider all pertinent facts, including the nature of the offense, mitigating and aggravating circumstances, and the student’s response to the event. The faculty member shall notify the vice president for academic affairs that the misconduct was determined to be unintentional so that the vice president for academic affair’s office may properly monitor all faculty notifications for patterns of academic misconduct.

Procedures for Intentional Violations of Academic Misconduct (undergraduate or graduate)

Graduate Program Procedures

If the faculty member determines that the misconduct was intentional, he or she shall refer the incident to the director of the relevant graduate program. The director of the program shall collect all pertinent facts, including the nature of the offense, mitigating circumstances, the student’s response to the event, and the failure of the individual to comply with past sanctions. The program director shall make the final determination of whether or not academic misconduct occurred and, if so, whether said misconduct was intentional or unintentional. If the program director finds that the student has intentionally violated the academic integrity policy, the program director will notify the student in writing and make a recommendation to the academic vice president who shall impose sanction(s). At a minimum, the student shall receive a failing grade in the course. Most cases of intentional academic misconduct at the graduate level will result in either suspension or expulsion from Viterbo University.

 

Undergraduate Program Procedures

If the faculty member decides that the misconduct was intentional or the student admits the academic misconduct, then one or more or the following sanctions may be imposed by the faculty member:

  • Award a failing grade on the test or paper; or
  • Require the student to take another test or resubmit the paper;
  • Award a failing grade for the class. (This action must have the approval of the school dean of the discipline of the misconduct.)

The student will be notified in writing of the findings by the vice president for academic affairs.  A copy of the decision letter will also be sent to the vice president for student development, or designee. This action is required for maintenance of complete disciplinary records.

Sanctions for Previous Violations of Academic Misconduct (undergraduate and graduate)

If the student has committed other academic misconduct, the matter shall be handled by the academic vice president as described below. The vice president for academic affairs may impose one or more of the following sanctions for a violation of this academic integrity policy.

  • Interim suspension – Suspension from classes, campus facilities, university premises and/or university-sponsored functions, for an interim period pending disciplinary proceedings. A student suspended on an interim basis may discuss with the academic vice president or designee the reliability of the information related to the student’s academic misconduct.
  • University suspension – Separation from the University for a specified period of time. The academic vice president may specify conditions for readmission
  • University expulsion – Permanent separation of the student from the University.

The vice president for academic affairs will communicate the decision in writing to the student. The academic vice president will also send a copy of the letter to the vice president for student development, or designee. In accordance with procedures set forth in the Viterbo University Student Handbook, students may appeal any decision for breach of academic honesty to the University Board of Review. (See academic appeals below.) In any appeal case the breach of the academic policy itself takes precedence over the sanction given for the violation.  

Procedural Norms for Academic Appeals

In accordance with procedures set forth in the Viterbo University Student Handbook, students may appeal any decision for breach of academic honesty to the University Board of Review. (See academic appeals below.) In any appeal case the breach of the academic policy itself takes precedence over the sanction given for the violation. Appeals Process for the Academic Integrity Policy When a student disputes the charge of breaching the academic honesty policy or the sanction given for the violation:

  • The student should address in writing the specific complaint to the individual faculty member and include copies of all communication used in the initial stages of the investigation.
  • If the student disagrees with the faculty member’s decision, the student may continue the written complaint and include copies of all communication used in the stages of the investigation to the program director (graduate) or chairperson of the relevant department (undergraduate).
  • If the student disagrees with the program director or chairperson’s decision, the student may continue the written complaint and include copies of all communication used in the stages of the investigation to the dean of the relevant school.
  • If the student disagrees with the dean’s decision, the student may continue the written complaint and include copies of all communication used in the stages of the investigation to the vice president for academic affairs.

If the informal appeals do not satisfactorily resolve the grade dispute, the student may file a formal, written appeal to the Board of Review. The Board of Review will meet, at a minimum, three times a year, if necessary, during:

  • Fall in-service week in August (To address all spring and first seven week summer session appeals.)
  • The last week in November (To address all summer and first seven week fall session appeals.)
  • The second week in April (To address all fall and first seven week spring session appeals.)

Formal grade appeals to the Board of Review must be filed within the fourth week of the subsequent semester following the finalization of grades in the Registrar’s office. This written appeal shall include:

  • A request to the chairperson of the Board of Review to meet to hear the appeal.
  • An initial statement of the problem, including both a chronology of events leading up to the informal appeal, and a description of the previous attempts to resolve the dispute with the instructor, chairperson, dean, and Vice President for Academic Affairs.
  • Submission of a name of a member of the Viterbo University faculty, administration, general staff, and/or student body to serve on the Board of Review on the student's behalf.

The Board of Review will acknowledge the receipt of the appeal within five working days and notify the student of the next Board of Appeals meeting date. A copy of the written appeal shall be presented to the vice president for academic affairs and the aggrieved faculty member, program and/or department by the Board of Review within five working days. The respondents shall in turn present in writing a response with any necessary documentation to the Board of Review with five working days. The vice president for academic affairs shall name a member of the Viterbo University faculty, administration, general staff, and/or student body to serve on the Board of Review on the respondent's behalf. All parties affected by the appeal shall have a copy of the student’s written grievance no later than three working days before their meeting with the Board of Review. All parties that the Board requests to participate in the hearing will be notified in writing no later than three working days before a meeting convenes. Any additional evidence deemed necessary by the Board to consider the appeals adequately shall be solicited in writing no later than three working days before the meeting date. All written statements and documentation shall be made available to both the complainant, the respondent, the vice president for academic affairs, and to the president by the chairperson of the Board of Review no later than one working day in advance of the meeting. The Board of Review may let stand the decision of the vice president for academic affairs, reverse it, or take another course of action, including but not limited to remanding the issue to any previous party in the appeal process. In unusual cases, if after thorough review of a grade dispute, the Board of Review finds a serious injustice in the awarding of the grade, it may recommend a grade change to the president of the university. The grade change can be effected only by the action of the president on the specific recommendation of the Board of Review. The recommendation(s) of the Board of Review shall be submitted to the president and conveyed in writing within 24 hours of the end of the hearing to the student who filed the appeal, the affected faculty member, the affected department's chairperson, and the vice president for academic affairs.  The decision of the Board of Review may be appealed by either party to the president of the university. The appeal must be written and submitted to the president within two weeks of the recommendation by the Board of Review. After considering the appeal, the president shall render a decision, which is final. The president shall notify both parties of the decision within one week of this appeal. Other than the deadline for initiating the appeals process, all deadlines stated in the appeals process may be lengthened or shortened by the reviewing entity for good cause, upon the request of either party or at the reviewing entity for good cause, upon the request of either party or at the reviewing entity’s own discretion. All records and correspondence in such cases will be kept in the office files of the vice president for academic affairs until graduation.  Students’ academic transcripts shall exclude academic misconduct violations except for cases of expulsion.