I. Code of Academic Integrity
Academic integrity is openness and honesty in all scholarly endeavors. The University of Portland is a scholarly community dedicated to the discovery, investigation, and dissemination of truth, and to the development of the whole person. Membership in this community is a privilege, requiring each person to practice academic integrity at its highest level, while expecting and promoting the same in others. Breaches of academic integrity will not be tolerated and will be addressed by the community with all due gravity.
The University of Portland defines academic integrity as “openness and honesty in all scholarly endeavors.” This standard is to be upheld by faculty, students, administration, and staff to the extent that their roles in the University involve or influence scholarly activities, both on and off campus.
The University expects each faculty member and each student to engage in and promote scholarship in such a way that peers and experts will recognize the individual's work as a scholarly undertaking, thorough and consistent with regard to the standards of one’s discipline, appropriately cautious and self-critical, and cognizant and respectful of the contributions of others, including differing or opposing points of view.
The University’s interest in maintaining compliance with this standard is grounded in nothing less than its identity as a scholarly community in the Roman Catholic tradition. As a Roman Catholic institution of higher learning, the University seeks to provide an educational opportunity for its students within a Judeo-Christian context that promotes respect, honesty, and fairness in service to God and neighbor. In the words of its mission, the University is committed to providing “an environment that fosters development of the whole person,” including the moral and ethical self, and to promoting “a concern with issues of justice and ethical behavior” that is “central to the daily life of the University.”
As a scholarly community, the University believes that it is vital to the academic process, as well as desirable in itself, to maintain an environment in which ideas, accomplishments, and information can be exchanged freely and creatively without misgivings as to the honesty and openness of one’s colleagues. Beyond this, the University’s stature and reputation as a scholarly community depend on the quality of its research and pedagogy, as well as its ability to certify its achievements in these areas. In conferring credentials, recognizing competencies, and awarding degrees, honors, promotions, and distinctions to students, faculty, and other associates of the University, it is imperative that the University have full confidence that all concerned parties have conducted themselves in accordance with its standard of academic integrity.
In line with this, the University holds that a consistent, active commitment to its standard of academic integrity not only benefits all members of the University community, but also is the responsibility of each and every member, without exception. Thus, each person who participates in the mission of the University of Portland and shares its privileges is accountable to the University not only for their own individual actions with regard to the standard of academic integrity, but also for the actions of groups of which they are a part. Furthermore, each person is responsible for encouraging academic integrity in others by means of direct communication and personal example, for discouraging breaches of academic integrity, for confronting persons who commit breaches, and for reporting breaches to the appropriate authorities.
Guidelines for Implementation of the University’s Code of Academic Integrity
Examples of Violations of Academic Integrity
Violations of academic integrity include cheating, forgery and plagiarism. The following are presented as examples only, not as a comprehensive list. For further examples or more precise information, one should consult the recognized sources of authority in a particular field of study. Students should consult directly with their teachers. Ignorance of these or other breaches of academic integrity will not be deemed by the University as an excuse for failure to meet its expectations.
Cheating — Cheating is the violation of the letter or spirit of an academic endeavor in order to gain an advantage, put someone else at a disadvantage, or both. It includes, but is not limited to:  using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, notes, information, and study aids on an examination; copying someone else’s paper;  fabricating or falsifying information;  submitting the work of another as one’s own;  using or circulating previous examination materials without the instructor’s permission;  submitting the same work for more than one class without the permission of both instructors;  accessing or using computer information without authorization;  encouraging, assisting, or otherwise facilitating any violation of academic integrity;  any form of intentional obstruction or destruction that inhibits the progress, accomplishment, or evaluation of academic endeavors in order to gain an advantage, put someone else at a disadvantage, or both.
Forgery — Forgery refers to falsifying or inventing information, data, or citations. It includes, but is not limited to:  fraudulently using academic records;  falsifying or inventing academic credentials or letters of recommendation;  falsifying official signatures of any member of the University community;  altering documents affecting academic records.
Plagiarism — Plagiarism is the use or representation of words or ideas of another without attribution, so that they appear to be one’s own. It includes, but is not limited to:  using another’s words, ideas, methodology, or formulation of a problem without proper acknowledgment;  using approximate wording or paraphrasing inappropriately;  claiming someone else’s work as one’s own;  allowing students or research assistants to gather research information without recognition of their work;  failure to acknowledge all sources of information or contributions to an assignment or other academic work.
Levels of Violations
All violations of academic integrity will be penalized as appropriate. In determining the appropriate penalty, consideration should be given to the knowledge-level and experience of the person committing the violation, the degree of intention in the violation, the nature of the violation, and whether or not this is a first offense or a repeat offense. The following penalties are at the discretion of the dean's office.
Level 1 — Level 1 violations may occur because of the violator’s lack of knowledge in cases where this knowledge could be reasonably expected. The violation is not intentional and is the first offense. In general, the nature of the violation is minor and may involve only one assignment in a course. Penalties are educative rather than punitive, and may include:  making up the assignment;  requiring the student to rewrite a paper for a minimally passing grade;  requiring acquisition of specific knowledge related ethics;  community service for a specified number of hours.
Level 2 — Level 2 violations are of a more serious nature. The violation occurs when the violator has some knowledge or experience and the violation was committed with some degree of intent. Penalties may include:  an academic warning for a stated period of time (not to exceed one year) during which time any further violation will constitute grounds for a Level 3 penalty;  assigning no credit to the work;  assigning a failing grade in the course;  writing a short paper on the ethical issues related to the violation and what was learned from the experience.
Level 3 — Level 3 violations are of a very serious nature. The violation is intentional and premeditated. It directly benefits the violator or harms others, or both. The nature of the violation is major. Repeated Level 2 violations may constitute a Level 3 offense. Mitigating circumstances may include the acceptance of responsibility by the violator when confronted. Penalties may include:  academic probation for a stated period of time (may exceed one year and include the loss of some or all benefits of programs, university related scholarships, and the like); during this time any further violation will constitute grounds for a Level 4 penalty;  assigning a failing grade in the course;  restitution for damages;  suspension from the University for one or more semesters with notification that further violations will result in dismissal from the University;  withdrawal of University funding.
Level 4 — Level 4 violations are the most serious violations. The violation is intentional and premeditated. It directly benefits the violator and harms others. Repeated Level 2 or 3 violations may constitute a Level 4 offense. Penalties may include:  dismissal from the University;  permanent notation on the student’s transcript;  restitution for damages;  revocation of an awarded degree.
Procedures for Addressing Violations
All individuals accused of a violation of academic integrity have the right to notice of the specific charges, a fair consideration of the charges, a fair review of the evidence, and confidentiality as allowed by law and in fairness to other affected persons.
Any person who believes that there has been a violation of the policy and wishes to report it, should report it to an appropriate faculty member or associate dean.
Process for Addressing Academic Integrity Violations
- The faculty member will: a) Meet with the student to discuss the incident and to determine the likelihood that a violation occurred, b) Gather and preserve any relevant evidence, c) Document the incident and the evidence as soon as possible.
- If the faculty member determines that a violation is likely to have occurred, the faculty member must report the violation to his or her associate dean and supply the relevant documentation, including a short memorandum describing the incident, the evidence and the recommended penalty. In addition, the faculty member needs to inform the student that the associate dean will set up a meeting to discuss the alleged violation. Normally the faculty member is expected to make a recommendation within one week after receiving a report or witnessing an incident.
- Throughout the process, the faculty member should preserve the student’s confidentiality to the greatest extent possible and generally not discuss the student's connection with academic dishonesty to anyone other than the associate dean.
- The associate dean will review the material submitted and then set up a meeting with the student. After separate conversations with the faculty member, student and any other relevant witnesses, the associate dean will determine if an integrity violation has occurred. If a violation has occurred, the associate dean will determine the appropriate penalty, in consultation with the faculty member and after reviewing the student's file for previous violations. The associate dean will inform the student in writing of the charge and the penalty. The associate dean must maintain a file of all reports.
- The associate dean of the college or school where the violation occurred will inform the associate dean of the student's college or school of the violation in writing. The associate dean from the student’s college or school will generally meet with the student to discuss the incident and any previous integrity violation in their college or school. The student may be subject to additional penalties from his or her college or school.
- All final decisions and penalties must be conveyed to the student in writing.
- If the student is an athlete or a cadet in ROTC, the student’s associate dean will report the violation to the appropriate individuals.
- For athletes, the associate dean must notify in writing the Director of Academics and Student Athlete Development and the Athletics Director of the integrity violation. For ROTC students, the associate dean must notify in writing the commander of the student's detachment (Army or Air Force).
Students may appeal the decision of the associate dean in writing to the associate provost, making clear the basis of the appeal. The appeal may be based solely on one of the following criteria: 1. The procedures for addressing violations of academic integrity outlined in the Bulletin were not followed during the student’s original review; 2. New and significant evidence is available which was unknown and could not have been known at the time of the initial review; or 3. The student has been treated in a capricious or prejudiced manner. The associate provost will consult with the associate dean, the faculty member and the student involved and will review all the materials associated with the case. The student will be informed in writing of the final decision on the appeal. The decision of the associate provost is final.