Academic Integrity

YouTube channel: Stefanie Stauber

FAQs

Honor Board

What the the Honor Board's responsibilities?
  • To oversee ongoing efforts to maintain the visibility and effectiveness of Hofstra's Honor Code via marketing campaigns, websites, and other promotional activities. This responsibili3ty entails close coordination with University Relations, Admissions, Student Affairs and the Student Government Association.
  • To form ad hoc appeals committees to resolve appeals involving academic integrity violations. The ad hoc committee will consist of 3 voting members chosen from the honor board, including 1 student, 1 academic administrator, and 1 faculty member. In addition the ad hoc appeal committee will contain 4 non-voting members including representatives from the Provost's office, Student Affairs, the Dean's office where the alleged violation was said to have occurred and the department (normally the Department Chair) where the alleged violation was said to have occurred.
  • To coordinate the development of instructional and informational resources (including workshops, websites, visiting speakers etc.) designed to support community members (both faculty and students) in the area of academic integrity.
  • To undertake a comprehensive review of honor code policies and procedures, including the recommendation of updates and improvements at least once every three years.
  • To provide an annual report describing Honor Board activities to the Provost, the Vice President of Student Affairs, the Faculty Senate and the Student Government Association.
What is the Honor Board's membership structure?
  • The Honor Board is led by 3 co-chairs consisting of a faculty member, a student and an administrator. Additional membership includes 4 faculty, 4 students, 2 academic administrators and 2 student affairs administrators. Faculty members are elected. Student members are appointed jointly by the Provost and Vice President of Student Affairs. Academic administrative representatives are appointed by the Provost. Student Affairs administrative representatives are appointed by the Vice President for Student Affairs. Given its responsibilities the Honor Board also has as ex-officio members a representative from University Relations and Admissions.
Who are the current Honor Board members?
  • A list of current Honor Board members can be found here.
When does the Honor Board hold meetings?
  • The Honor Board meets as needed, but normally conducts most of its work via sub-committees set up at the beginning of each academic year.


Students

What is academic integrity and why is it important?
Academic integrity is a core value at the heart of Hofstra’s mission and the basis for just about everything we do. It involves honestly reporting the reasons and sources for one’s conclusions or creative work. Without it, the natural and social sciences couldn’t advance knowledge. The humanities and the arts require it to encourage and cultivate creativity and new forms of expression. In short, there is nothing more important about academic life than knowing that we are dealing with one another honestly.
But why is it important for me? I’m a student and not likely to be producing conclusions or creative works on which others have to depend.
First of all, you are “only” a student for now. We expect Hofstra students to take their places among the scientists, scholars, creative artists and in the world of business in the not too distant future. Cultivating the values we know will lead you to be productive and successful in all of these roles is an explicit part of the Hofstra mission. So, it makes a great difference that you see yourself from the beginning as part of a community dedicated to academic integrity and that you develop habits that will enable you to contribute and lead to your future success.
I’ve never cheated or copied others’ work. Is there something else I should be doing to help cultivate academic integrity at Hofstra?
You’ve already done a lot just living up to the goals implicit in our understanding of academic integrity. Beyond that, however, it is important that your friends and other students know that you value academic integrity. When it comes up it is crucial that you be explicit about what you think. It may not be an easy conversation, but being open with your friends about academic honesty is the most effective way to help everyone maintain academic integrity. You can also help by joining in the ongoing public conversations about academic integrity sponsored by the Task Force or others.
Does Hofstra have an honor code? What does it say?
Hofstra’s Honor Code is as follows: “As a member of the Hofstra community, I pledge to demonstrate integrity and ethical behavior in all aspects of my life, both inside and out of the classroom. I understand that I am accountable for everything I say and write. I will not misrepresent my academic work, nor will I give or receive unauthorized assistance for academic work. I agree to respect the rights of all members of the Hofstra community. I will be guided by the values expressed in the P.R.I.D.E Values. I accept the responsibility to follow this Honor Code at all times.”
What if I’m not certain about what is permitted? For example, can I resubmit work I’ve submitted in another class?
When in doubt it is always best to ask your professor. In most instances, simply resubmitting previously submitted work would be viewed as a form of “self-plagiarism.” The dishonesty involves whether you’ve actually produced work in response to the specific requirements of that course and engaged in the kind of learning the instructor hopes to foster in you that semester. A conversation with your professor, however, could help you to see how you might look back at previous work and build upon it in a way that allows you to produce something that extends your earlier insights in new and exciting ways and that meets the professor’s goals for your learning in that semester.
What about sharing homework?
Again, the key here is to be sure you understand the professor’s intentions with the assignment. Sometimes collaborative work is encouraged and the results are really best seen as a common product of shared activity. Other times, however, the professor intends for you to work through things on your own so that you develop the skills or learn the information necessary for your own future success. When in doubt, ask the instructor. Most will give you clear and straight advice quickly.
A friend asked to see my paper? Can I show it to her/him?
This can be a tricky situation. If your friend is asking for your help as he/she is thinking through his/her own approach to an assignment the sharing of work can be helpful. At the same time, there are many cases where a “friend” has taken the basic structure of a paper, changed things a bit, and submitted it as his or her own work. When this comes to light the instructor may be unable to tell who did the original work and who copied. As a result you could find yourself accused of academic dishonesty without any tools for proving that the work is yours. To protect yourself it is best not to share your papers with others. If you chose to do so, however, it is important to be explicit about your expectations and intentions with your friend. An upfront conversation about how the work is to be used will usually help you to avoid most problems.
I have been notified by my professor that he/she thinks I cheated. What should I do? What can I expect?
If you have been notified that your professor believes you cheated, it’s important to understand that it’s simply a belief. If you didn’t do anything wrong, you should be able to prove that to your professor. Every academic dishonesty report gets submitted to the Provost’s Office, regardless of the outcome. More information is available on the "What To Do" page.
What if I know I didn’t cheat but can’t convince the professor?
You have a fixed period of time after receiving written notification from the Dean of Students/Office of Community Standards to appeal the faculty member’s conclusion that you cheated or the penalty s/he imposed. For details see Undergraduate Students: FPS 11, Graduate Students: FPS 11G, Law School Students: FPS 11A, and Medical School Students (Bulletin 2010-11 p. 111ff). Appeals must be submitted via email to Provost@Hofstra.edu.
Who is notified the first time a student is accused of cheating by his/her teacher?
The information is communicated to the Office of Community Standards, logged into a confidential database and placed in a confidential file. If there are no further incidents the information remains confidential and has no additional impact beyond the initial penalty assessed by the faculty member.
What penalties can a teacher apply to someone who he/she believes has cheated.
At Hofstra the faculty member is solely responsible for determining the proper punishment in the context of the class and the extent of the violation.
What can I expect to happen if I admit to a professor that I cheated when he/she confronts me?
A student who admits having committed an offense is more likely to generate in the professor a willingness to see the violation within a larger context and to take into account any mitigating circumstances. Stonewalling, especially when evidence of misconduct is clear, almost always leads to bad feelings and stronger sanctions. Keep in mind that this process is difficult for everyone involved. Making it longer and harder typically leads to even more unpleasantness.
Are students ever suspended and/or expelled from the University for cheating?
Yes. This is possible when a student is charged with a second offense.


Faculty

What should I do if I suspect a student has cheated?
Inform the student as soon as possible of your suspicion and, if possible, discuss the matter with him or her to explain the nature of the alleged offense and to inquire into the student's knowledge of its character and seriousness.
What do I do if I conclude that the student has cheated?
Impose an appropriate penalty and submit an Honor Code Violation Report on the Portal (received by the Office of the Provost and Dean of Students), and—for graduate students only—to the appropriate academic dean. Provide a copy of the report to the student.
How do I determine the penalty for a student who has cheated?
For an undergraduate student, the penalty you impose in your course is up to you. If you have a written policy specifying penalties, follow it. If not, we encourage you to consult with colleagues and your chair to learn how similar incidents have been handled in your department, and with the Provost’s Office to learn how such cases have been handled across the University.
Why does Hofstra ask me to discuss the violation with the student?
Unless the student appeals your judgment, you will have sole discretion to determine his or her penalty. It seems fair that you should hear the student out before you impose punishment. And even in the most clear-cut cases, speaking to our students about their violations is consistent with our intent to educate offenders.
Why does Hofstra ask me to report the violation to the Provost?
First, reporting the violation guarantees the student due process. Second, it allows the Provost to identify repeat offenders who are subject to stricter penalties. Third, it allows the Honor Board to collect data on the nature of cheating at Hofstra.
Will the student be expelled if I report him or her?
If the student is an undergraduate first-time offender, he or she will likely not be suspended or expelled. Repeat offenders are subject to suspension or expulsion at the discretion of the Provost, as are graduate students.
What happens if a student appeals my decision?
The Provost will review the appeal and attempt to mediate a resolution. If no resolution is achieved, an Ad Hoc Board of Appeals will hear the case and issue a binding ruling. You will need to attend the hearing to present your case. The presumption of innocence applies, so the burden is on you to demonstrate that a violation occurred and to justify the penalty. Most findings of academic dishonesty are not appealed by students.