*The following information is subject to change - students should consult the current Academic Calendar for up to date information.*
Academic integrity is defined by the basic principles of honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility. These values serve as the foundation for the development and acquisition of knowledge and all members of the University community are expected to uphold them. For students, adherence to these fundamental values is essential for earning academic credit in all courses, whether offered on- or off-campus, online, or as placements, practicums or internships. Trent University’s Academic Integrity website provides helpful information on why integrity is important and how to avoid integrity infractions.
Academic dishonesty, including plagiarism and cheating, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. Engaging in any form of academic dishonesty or misconduct in order to obtain academic credit or advantage of any kind is an offence under this policy.
Plagiarism is knowingly presenting words, ideas, images, data, or any other form of work of another person (including essays, theses, lab reports, projects, assignments, presentations, and posters) in a way that represents or could be reasonably seen to represent the work as one’s own. “Knowingly” includes ought reasonably to have known. Plagiarism includes failure to acknowledge sources correctly and submitting materials copied from the Internet without proper acknowledgement of the source. Draft work submitted for evaluation is subject to the same standard as final work.
Cheating is dishonest academic conduct or attempted dishonest academic conduct during tests or examinations or in the preparation of any other coursework or in the presentation of credentials for admission to the University or one of its programs. Some common examples are:
- submitting one’s own original student work for credit in more than one course (includes a course being repeated) without the prior agreement of the instructors involved
- bringing aids, including electronic aids, that have not been authorized by the instructor into an examination or test
- impersonating another individual or colluding in an impersonation for an examination or test
- copying from one or more other individuals or knowingly permitting one or more other individuals to copy from one’s own test, examination paper, lab report, or assignment collaborating with one or more other individuals when collaborative work has not been expressly authorized by the instructor
- communicating with one or more other students during a test or examination
- purchasing or selling any piece of work for submission, or facilitating the selling and purchasing of such material
- submitting purchased material as one’s own work
- falsifying or tampering with results in laboratory experiments or research assignments
- falsifying transcripts or tampering with documents used to make decisions about admissions to the University or one of its programs
- withholding transcripts or other required documents at the time of application to the University
- submitting false or misrepresentative medical certificates or other documentation in support of requests for concessions on academic work or deadlines
Penalties for Academic Offences on Coursework, Tests, or Exams
Minor or major offence
The penalty for a student who has been found to have committed an academic offence will be based on whether the offence is minor or major.
First minor offence:
The penalty for a first offence that is a minor offence will be partial or total loss of marks on the piece of academic work. The grade reduction shall, at a minimum, lead to a failure on the piece of work. The recommended penalty is a zero grade. There will be no opportunity to resubmit the coursework, test, or exam.
Second minor or first major offence:
The penalty for a second minor offence or a first offence that is a major offence will be a grade of zero on the piece of academic work with no opportunity to resubmit, plus a transcript notation (e.g. AHCL 1001H – Academic Dishonesty). A reduced final grade or a final grade of zero in the course may also be levied.
Subsequent offence, Suspension:
The penalty for any offence i) after two minor offences; or ii) after a first offence that is a major offence; or iii) that is a major offence where a minor offence is already on record will be a period of suspension from the University (academic status “Suspension – Academic Dishonesty”) ranging from one term to two years in addition to a zero grade in the course and an Academic Dishonesty notation for the course. If a student, who is otherwise eligible to graduate, has been suspended for academic dishonesty, the student may not graduate until the period of the suspension has been served.
Subsequent offence, Expulsion:
The penalty for any subsequent offence will be expulsion from the University.
The penalties above will be levied unless there are extraordinary circumstances which justify a different penalty.
Factors to determine whether offence minor or major
In deciding whether an offence is minor or major, consideration will be given to the following factors:
- the extent of the dishonesty
- whether the act in question was deliberate or whether the student ought reasonably to have known
- the importance of the work in question as a component of the course or program
- the academic experience of the student
- any other relevant circumstances
These factors shall also be taken into consideration in determining penalty where the usual penalty provides for a range.
Ineligibility for Honour Rolls
A student who has committed a major offence or multiple offences is ineligible for the Dean’s Honour Roll that academic year and the President’s Honour Roll at graduation.
Procedures for Evaluation of Coursework and Conduct during Tests and Exams Note:
All written communication to current students pursuant to this policy will be to the student’s Trent e-mail account.
The instructor will make reasonable inquiries to investigate the circumstances of the matter. If the instructor has reason to believe that a student has committed an academic offence, the instructor will so inform the student within a reasonable time and invite the student to meet to discuss the matter.
Instructor finds no academic dishonesty
If after meeting with the student and reviewing the evidence the instructor is satisfied that no academic dishonesty occurred, no further action will be taken by the instructor unless new evidence comes to their attention.
Instructor finds academic dishonesty, reports to Chair
If, after meeting with the student (or if the student fails to respond to the request for a meeting or does not attend a prearranged meeting) the instructor decides that academic dishonesty has occurred, the instructor will prepare a report to the Chair. The report will summarize the relevant facts and evidence, including the student’s version of events if given. The report will additionally state whether the instructor considers the offence to be minor or major and the reasons therefore, as well as any extraordinary circumstances that are evident in the case. If the offence is considered to be minor, the instructor will recommend a grade reduction (see 2.2). Copies of all supporting documentation will be attached to the report. The instructor will provide a copy of the report to the student and to the Dean.
Opportunity for comment by student
Should the student wish to add to or clarify the information in the report, within seven days of the date of the report, the student may request a meeting with the Chair or send written comments to the Chair.
Chair finds no academic dishonesty
The Chair will carefully review the report and comments, if any. If the Chair is not satisfied that academic dishonesty occurred, the Chair will inform the student in writing of their decision, with a copy to the Dean, and no further action will be taken unless new evidence is brought to the Chair’s attention.
Chair finds academic dishonesty, consults Office of the Dean
If the Chair is satisfied that academic dishonesty occurred, the Chair will first determine if the offence is minor or major and the penalty that should be imposed. The Chair will then inquire of the Office of the Dean whether there is a record of any previous academic offence by the student.
First offence, Chair decides
If there is no record on file of any previous academic offence by the student the Chair will levy a penalty accordingly. If, based on extraordinary circumstances, the Chair decides to levy a penalty other than the usual penalty, the Dean will be notified of the reasons for the penalty. The Chair will send to the student an Academic Dishonesty Form to inform the student in writing of the decision and confirm that a record of the offence will be filed in the department office and the Office of the Dean.
Limits of Chair’s authority
The Chair does not have authority to levy a penalty exceeding a grade in the course of zero with the transcript notation “Academic Dishonesty.”
Timing of Chair’s decision
The Chair’s decision will normally be conveyed to the student within two weeks of receiving student comments or, if no comments are provided, within two weeks of receipt of the instructor report.
Appeal of Chair’s decision to the Dean
The student may appeal a decision by the Chair by writing to the Dean setting out the grounds for appeal within two weeks of receiving the Academic Dishonesty Form. The Dean will normally respond to the appeal within two weeks of receiving the appeal.
Prior record or stronger penalty deemed appropriate by Chair, Dean decides
If there is already a record of an academic offence(s) on file for a student the Chair will forward the material to the Dean who will decide the matter. The Chair may also forward a case to the Dean for decision on an alleged first major offence where the Chair deems that a penalty stronger than they can render is appropriate. In the latter case the Chair will set out the reasons for their conclusion that a stronger penalty is appropriate.
Note on Tests and Exams
Where an allegation of academic dishonesty arises during a test or examination, the responsible invigilator will collect the available evidence and, if the invigilator is not the course instructor, will notify the course instructor who will proceed as detailed above.