Academic dishonesty is prohibited in The City University of New York. Penalties for academic dishonesty include academic sanctions, such as failing or otherwise reduced grades, and/or disciplinary sanctions, including suspension or expulsion.

  1. Definitions and Examples of Academic Dishonesty.

1.1 Cheating is the unauthorized use or attempted use of material, information, notes, study aids, devices or communication during an academic exercise. Example of cheating include:

  • Copying from another student during an examination or allowing another to copy your work.
  • Unauthorized collaboration on a take home assignment or examination.
  • Using notes during a closed book examination.
  • Taking an examination for another student, or asking or allowing another student to take an examination for you.
  • Changing a graded exam and returning it for more credit.
  • Submitting substantial portions of the same paper to more than one course without consulting with each instructor.
  • Preparing answers or writing notes in a blue book (exam booklet) before an examination.
  • Allowing others to research and write assigned papers or do assigned projects, including using commercial term paper services.
  • Giving assistance to acts of academic misconduct/ dishonesty.
  • Fabricating data (in whole or in part).

1.2. Plagiarism is the act of presenting another person’s ideas, research or writing as your own. Examples of plagiarism include:

  • Copying another person’s actual words without the use of quotation marks and footnotes attributing the words to their source.
  • Presenting another person’s ideas or theories in your own words without acknowledging the source.
  • Failing to acknowledge collaborators on homework and laboratory assignments.
  • Internet plagiarism, including submitting downloaded term papers or parts of term papers, paraphrasing or copying information from the internet without citing the source, or “cutting & pasting” from various sources without proper attribution.

1.3.  Obtaining Unfair Advantage is any action taken by a student that gives that student an unfair advantage in his/her academic work over another student, or an action taken by a student through which a student attempts to gain an unfair advantage in his or her academic work over another student. Examples of obtaining unfair advantage include:

  • Stealing, reproducing, circulating or otherwise gaining advance access to examination materials.
  • Depriving other students of access to library materials by stealing, destroying, defacing, or concealing them.
  • Retaining, using or circulating examination materials which clearly indicate that they should be returned at the end of the exam.
  • Intentionally obstructing or interfering with another student’s work.

1.3. Obtaining Unfair Advantage is any action taken by a student that gives that student an unfair advantage in his/her academic work over another student, or an action taken by a student through which a student attempts to gain an unfair advantage in his or her academic work over another student. Examples of obtaining unfair advantage include:

  • Stealing, reproducing, circulating or otherwise gaining advance access to examination materials.
  • Depriving other students of access to library materials by stealing, destroying, defacing, or concealing them.
  • Retaining, using or circulating examination materials which clearly indicate that they should be returned at the end of the exam.

Intentionally obstructing or interfering with another student’s work

1.4. Falsification of Records and Official Documents

Examples of falsification include:

  • Forging signatures of authorization.
  • Falsifying information on an official academic record.
  • Falsifying information on an official document such as a grade report, letter of permission, drop/add form, ID card or other college document

2. Methods for Promoting Academic Integrity

2.1. Orientation sessions for all new faculty (full and part-time) and students shall incorporate a discussion of academic integrity. Packets containing a copy of the CUNY Policy on Academic Integrity and, if applicable, the college’s procedures implementing the Policy, and information explaining the Policy and procedures shall be distributed. These packets also shall be posted on each college’s website.

2.2.All college catalogs, student handbooks, and college websites shall include the CUNY Policy on Academic Integrity and, if applicable, college procedures implementing the policy and the consequences of not adhering to the Policy.

2.3. Each college shall subscribe to an electronic plagiarism detection service and shall notify students of the fact that such a service is available for use by the faculty.  Colleges shall encourage faculty members to use such services and to inform students of their use of such services.

3. Reporting

3.1.Each college shall subscribe to an electronic plagiarism detection service and shall notify students of the fact that such a service is available for use by the faculty.  Colleges shall encourage faculty members to use such services and to inform students of their use of such services.

3.2. Faculty members shall report all incidents they consider to be academic dishonesty on a Faculty Report Form in substantially the same format as the sample annexed to this Policy and shall submit the Form to the college’s Academic Integrity Officer.  A faculty member who suspects that a student has committed a violation of the CUNY Academic Integrity Policy shall review with the student the facts and circumstances of the suspected violation whenever possible prior to making a determination triggering submission of a Faculty Report Form. Each college shall use a uniform form throughout the college, which shall contain, at a minimum, the name of the instructor, the name of the student, the course name and number, the date of the incident, an explanation of the incident and the instructor’s contact information.

3.3.The Academic Integrity Officer shall update the Faculty Report Form after a suspected incident has been resolved to reflect that resolution. Unless the resolution exonerates the student, as described in Section 4.4,  the Academic Integrity Officer of each college shall place the Form in a confidential academic integrity file created for each student alleged to have violated the Academic Integrity Policy and shall retain each Form for the purposes of identifying repeat offenders, gathering data, and assessing and reviewing policies.  Unless they exonerate the student, written decisions on academic integrity matters after adjudication also shall be placed in the student’s academic integrity file. The Academic Integrity Officer shall be responsible for maintaining students’ academic integrity files.

4. Procedures for Imposition of Sanctions

4.1. Determination on academic vs. disciplinary sanction.

The Academic Integrity Officer shall determine whether to seek a disciplinary sanction in addition to an academic sanction.  In making this determination, the Academic Integrity Officer shall consult with the faculty member who initiated the case and may consult with student affairs and/or academic affairs administrators as needed. Before determining which sanction(s) to seek, the Academic Integrity Officer also shall consult the student’s confidential academic integrity file, if any, to determine whether the student has been found to have previously committed a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy, the nature of the infraction, and the sanction imposed or action taken.  Prior violations include both violations at the student’s current college and violations that occurred at any other CUNY college.  In making the determination on prior violations, the Academic Integrity Officer shall determine whether the student previously attended any other CUNY college and, if so, shall request and be given access to the academic integrity file, if any, at such other CUNY college.

The Academic Integrity Officer should seek disciplinary sanctions only if (i) there is a substantial violation; (ii) the student has previously violated the Policy; or (iii) academic sanctions may not be imposed because the student has timely withdrawn from the applicable course.  Examples of substantial violations include infractions that are similar to criminal activity (such as forging a grade form; stealing an examination from a professor or a university office; or forging a transcript); having a substitute take an examination or taking an examination for someone else; sabotaging another student’s work through actions designed to prevent the student from successfully completing an assignment; and violations committed by a graduate or professional student or a student who will seek professional licensure.  The college also should consider any mitigating circumstances in making this determination.

4.2. Procedures in Cases Involving Only Academic Sanctions

4.2.1. Student Admits to the Academic Dishonesty and Does Not Contest the Academic Sanction.

If a faculty member wishes to seek only an academic sanction (i.e., a reduced grade) and the student does not contest either his/her guilt or the particular reduced grade the faculty member has chosen, then the student shall be given the reduced grade, unless the Academic Integrity Officer decides to seek a disciplinary sanction. The reduced grade may apply to the particular assignment as to which the violation occurred or to the course grade, at the faculty member’s discretion. A reduced grade may be an “F” or another grade that is lower than the grade that the student would have earned but for the violation. The faculty member shall inform the Academic Integrity Officer of the resolution via email and the Officer shall update the applicable Faculty Report Form to reflect that resolution.

4.2.2 Student Admits to the Academic Dishonesty but Contests the Academic Sanction.

In a case where a student admits to the alleged academic dishonesty but contests the particular academic sanction imposed, the student may appeal the academic sanction through the college’s grade appeal process.  The student shall be allowed, at a minimum, an opportunity to present a written position with supporting evidence. The committee reviewing the appeal shall issue a written decision explaining the justification for the academic sanction imposed.

4.2.3 Procedures in Cases Involving Disciplinary Sanctions.

If the college decides to seek a disciplinary sanction, the case shall be processed under Article XV of the CUNY Bylaws.  If the case is not resolved through mediation under Article XV, it shall be heard by the college’s Faculty-Student Disciplinary Committee. If the college seeks to have both a disciplinary and an academic sanction imposed, the college shall proceed first with the disciplinary proceeding and await its outcome before addressing the academic sanction. The student’s grade shall be held in abeyance pending the Committee’s action.  If the Faculty-Student Disciplinary Committee finds that the alleged violation occurred, then the faculty member may reflect that finding in the student’s grade.  The student may appeal the finding in accordance with Article XV procedures and/or may appeal the grade imposed by the faculty member in accordance with section 4.2.2. If the Faculty-Student Disciplinary Committee finds that the alleged violation did not occur, then no sanction of any kind may be imposed.Where a matter proceeds to the Faculty-Student Disciplinary Committee, the Academic Integrity Officer shall promptly report its resolution to the faculty member and file a record of the resolution in the student’s confidential academic integrity file, unless, as explained below, the suspected violation was held to be unfounded.

4.3.  Procedures in Cases Involving Disciplinary Sanctions.
If the college decides to seek a disciplinary sanction, the case shall be processed under Article XV of the CUNY Bylaws.  If the case is not resolved through mediation under Article XV, it shall be heard by the college’s Faculty-Student Disciplinary Committee.

If the college seeks to have both a disciplinary and an academic sanction imposed, the college shall proceed first with the disciplinary proceeding and await its outcome before addressing the academic sanction. The student’s grade shall be held in abeyance pending the Committee’s action.  If the Faculty-Student Disciplinary Committee finds that the alleged violation occurred, then the faculty member may reflect that finding in the student’s grade.  The student may appeal the finding in accordance with Article XV procedures and/or may appeal the grade imposed by the faculty member in accordance with section 4.2.2. If the Faculty-Student Disciplinary Committee finds that the alleged violation did not occur, then no sanction of any kind may be imposed.

Where a matter proceeds to the Faculty-Student Disciplinary Committee, the Academic Integrity Officer shall promptly report its resolution to the faculty member and file a record of the resolution in the student’s confidential academic integrity file, unless, as explained below, the suspected violation was held to be unfounded.

4.4. Required Action in Cases of No Violation

If either the Academic Integrity Committee or the Faculty- Student Disciplinary Committee finds that no violation occurred, the Academic Integrity Officer shall remove all material relating to that incident from the student’s confidential academic integrity file and destroy the material.

5. Implementation

Each college shall implement this Policy and may adopt its own more specific procedures to implement the Policy.  Colleges’ procedures must be consistent with the policy and procedures described in the Policy.