Academic Integrity

OFFICE OF RECORD: The General Faculty
ISSUED BY: Vice President for Academic Affairs
APPROVED BY: 03-22-00
EFFECTIVE DATE: 8/6/01 (Last Revised 8/31/07)



Dakota State University is committed to providing students with a quality education. To this end, the faculty of DSU will not tolerate academic dishonesty in any form. This policy clarifies the definition of academic dishonesty, the student's rights, and the faculty rights and responsibilities to prohibit, limit, report and censure violations of the University's Academic Integrity policy.


Registration at Dakota State University requires adherence to the University's standards of academic integrity. The following examples represent some basic types of behavior that are unacceptable:

  1. Cheating: using unauthorized notes, study aids, devices, or information on an examination; altering a graded work and resubmitting the work for re-grading; presenting another person's work as your own. Cheating also includes aiding and abetting academic dishonesty, for example: (a) providing material, information, or other assistance to another person with knowledge that such aid could be used in any of the violations stated above, or (b) providing false information in connection with any inquiry regarding academic integrity.
  2. Plagiarism: submitting material that in part or whole is not entirely one's own work without attributing those same portions to their correct source.
  3. Fabrication: falsifying or inventing any information, data or citation; presenting data that were not gathered in accordance with standard guidelines, defining the appropriate methods for collecting or generating data, and failing to include an accurate account of the method by which the data were gathered or collected.
  4. Obtaining an Unfair Advantage:(a) stealing, reproducing, circulating or otherwise gaining access to examination materials prior to the time authorized by the instructor; (b) stealing, destroying, defacing or concealing library materials with the purpose of depriving others of their use; (c) unauthorized collaboration on an academic assignment (d) retaining, possessing, using or circulating previously given examination materials, where those materials clearly indicate that they are to be returned to the instructor at the conclusion of the examination; (e) intentionally obstructing or interfering with another student's academic work or (f) otherwise undertaking activity with the purpose of creating or obtaining an unfair academic advantage over other students' academic work.
  5. Falsification of Records and Official Documents: altering documents affecting academic records; forging signatures of authorization or falsifying information on an official academic document, grade report, letter of permission, petition, drop/add form, ID card, or any other official University document.
  6. Unauthorized Access to computerized academic or administrative records or systems: viewing or altering computer records, modifying computer programs or systems, releasing or dispensing information gained via unauthorized access, or interfering with the use or availability of computer systems or information.

Suspected cases of academic dishonesty should be reported to the course instructor. Any student suspecting but not reporting cases may be included in any subsequent hearing for aiding and abetting academic dishonesty.


Once a faculty member suspects a student of academic dishonesty, or another student reports an act of academic dishonesty, there is a defined process for proceeding. By following the procedure, both the student(s) and faculty member(s) concerned are protected. The faculty member's responsibilities and the student's rights are specified below.

The Process:

  1. Each faculty member has the responsibility and authority to deal with instances of academic dishonesty occurring within his/her classroom/laboratory setting. The faculty members' responsibility begins with the course syllabus. In the syllabus, each faculty member must include his or her academic integrity policy and the implication of violating that policy OR reference the Trojan Handbook code of conduct. If a faculty member has reason to believe that a violation has occurred, he/she will evaluate the available evidence, which may include meeting with the student(s) involved, in an effort to reach a finding. If the faculty member finds the student(s) guilty of academic dishonesty, he/she will take appropriate action to impose whatever action or corrective measures he/she deems appropriate, as specified in the syllabus. Any action taken in regard to academic dishonesty is at the discretion of the faculty member but cannot exceed those actions or corrective measures specified in the syllabus.
  2. As with any academic action, the student has the right to appeal the actions or corrective measures imposed by the faculty member. (See related DSU Policy 03-30-00). As indicated above, it is the obligation of every faculty member to inform students at the beginning of each course of the objectives, requirements, performance standards and evaluation procedures for the course. This information should be incorporated into the current course syllabus and provided in writing or via the course web site to students. If a student believes that the action / corrective measure imposed by the faculty member was inappropriate, he/she may appeal the action / corrective measure by filing a formal appeal, following the process outlined below.
  3. Referrals to the Academic Integrity Board may be made either by the student or faculty member involved.
    1. If the student appeals the action/corrective measure imposed by a faculty member, they must file the appeal within two weeks of their notification by the faculty member.
    2. Faculty members may refer cases to the Academic Integrity Board by sending a referral dossier to the Chair. The dossier should include a memo detailing the nature of the case, a copy of a written statement of the specific academic integrity violation sent to the student, as well as any relevant student work and source documents.

      The Academic Integrity Board will schedule a review of the case within one week of receiving the appeal. The Board will evaluate the appeal and recommend a course of action to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. This recommendation may include: overturning the action / corrective measures, agreement with the faculty members' course of action / corrective measures, or further action against the appealing student(s) up to and including suspension from the university.
  4. If additional sanctions are imposed on the student, then the student may appeal the committee's decision to the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
  5. The Vice President for Academic Affairs will be the final arbiter in any dispute of academic honesty.
  6. All findings of the Academic Integrity Board will be forwarded to the Vice President/ Dean of Student Affairs. The Vice President/Dean of Student Affairs will be the depository of information for the Board. The findings of the Board may be used in Disciplinary Board Hearings at the discretion of the Vice President/Dean of Student Affairs. However, actions taken by the Disciplinary Board will not be available for the Academic Integrity Board. Therefore, while the findings of the Disciplinary Board hearings are not available to the Academic Integrity Board, the findings of the Academic Integrity Board do become part of the student's overall disciplinary record.
  7. Students charged with academic dishonesty may not change their registration in a course in which the charge is pending, or in which a finding of academic dishonesty has been made.


The enforcement of academic integrity lies with the general faculty of Dakota State University. In all cases involving academic dishonesty, the student charged or suspected shall, at a minimum, be accorded the following rights.

  1. Prompt investigation of all charges of academic dishonesty, to be conducted, insofar as possible, in a manner that prevents public disclosure of the student's identity. Such investigation may include informal review and discussion with an official of the school prior to bringing a charge, provided that such review does not compromise the rights of the student in the formal process.
  2. The faculty member will provide the student with a written statement of the specific academic integrity violation and the action / corrective measure that will be taken by the faculty member.
  3. The student will have two weeks from the date of formal notification in which to file an appeal.
  4. The student will be provided an appeal hearing or meeting with the Academic Integrity Board at which time the student(s) involved may be heard and the accuracy of the charge determined.
  5. At any stage of the proceedings, the student may be accompanied by a fellow student, a faculty member, or another individual of the student's choosing. This person may not take part in the proceedings except as a witness if that individual's testimony is deemed relevant by the Academic Integrity Board. The student must speak on his or her own behalf.


In order to implement these principles of academic integrity, it is necessary for the administration and faculty to take certain steps that will discourage academic dishonesty and protect academic integrity. Those steps include:

  1. Examination security--Each faculty member or college office should safeguard examination security.
  2. Testing Procedures--Faculty should take all feasible efforts to secure the testing area.
  3. Instructors should inform students of the academic requirements of each course. Such information may appropriately include (a) notice of the scope of permitted collaboration, if any; (b) notice of the conventions of citation and attribution within the discipline of the course; and (c) notice of the materials that may be used during examinations and on other assignments.


All proven cases of academic dishonesty will be penalized as appropriate under the circumstances. Any sanctions imposed by the Academic Integrity Board, beyond those actions / corrective measures imposed by the faculty member per the course syllabus, may only be imposed following a hearing by the Academic Integrity Board and the conclusion of the student's appeal process. The student should be notified in writing of any action imposed by the Academic Integrity Board and that written notification should include the board's rationale for imposing the sanction. Any student appearing before the Academic Integrity Board a second time and found guilty a second time should expect the Board to recommend the highest level of sanction, which is expulsion from the university.

Sanctions include:

  1. A letter of reprimand.
  2. A defined period of academic probation, with or without the attachment of conditions.
  3. A defined period of academic suspension, with or without the attachment of conditions.
  4. Expulsion from the university.

Academic probation and academic suspension appeals will be directed to the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

COMPOSITION OF THE BOARD - See policy 04-22-00, Academic Integrity Board.

Last Updated: 1/24/12