Integrity Violation Process

As a member of the Smeal community, it is your duty to aspire to the highest ethical standards and to hold others accountable to them. Penn State and the Smeal College of Business have processes in place to hold students accountable for academic integrity.

As a member of the Smeal community, it is your duty to aspire to the highest ethical standards and to hold others accountable to them. Penn State and the Smeal College of Business have processes in place to hold students accountable for academic integrity. Students should rest assured that confidentiality is of the highest importance during and after the process.

For additional support beyond the instructions provided below, contact:
Lisa Posey, Smeal College Academic Integrity Officer
Trisha Carlson, Smeal College Records Coordinator, 202 Business Building

HOW IT WORKS:

For students enrolled in these programs:  Undergraduate, MAA, Residential MBA, MFIN, MSREAD, MBAN, PhD, Master of Professional Studies in Supply Chain Management, One-Year Master of Accountancy Programs, and Online MBA students use this process.

Investigation Stage

The instructor investigates and gathers information to determine if an academic integrity violation has occurred. If the instructor believes a violation has occurred, the instructor determines the appropriate academic sanction. Instructors may refer to the sanctioning guidelines for academic integrity violations for assistance. 

Meeting with the Student
The instructor meets with the student to discuss the allegation and the proposed sanction. Following the discussion with the student, the instructor completes the University Academic Integrity electronic form (AIF). The meeting will give the instructor the opportunity to find out additional information which may impact the final submission.

The student then receives an email with a link to the electronic submission and will be given an opportunity to respond to the allegation through the system. The student may choose to accept the terms or contest the allegation and/or sanction. Students failing or refusing to participate in the process will be deemed as “not contesting” the terms set forth on the electronic Academic Integrity System.

Uncontested Cases
If the student accepts the instructor’s terms, the matter proceeds to the enforcement phase.

Contested Cases
If the student contests the allegation and/or the academic sanction, the matter is referred to the Academic Integrity Committee (which comprises three faculty members and two students). Through the electronic system, the instructor and student will submit written narratives regarding the allegation (and/or sanction), documents, witness statements and other information in support of the narrative. There are no live hearings or presentations. The system will prompt each party when they are required to respond and will alert them to responses from the other party.

Upon their review of the information provided, the committee can make any of the following determinations: First, it can find that the instructor’s information and sanction are consistent with university policy in identifying and addressing an academic integrity violation. Second, it can find that the information does not support the allegation that a violation occurred. Third, it can find that a violation occurred but that the sanction should be increased or decreased based on the information provided to the committee. The decision of the committee is final. There are no further appeals.

In the event the committee determines that no violation occurred, the matter concludes and no information related to the allegation will be present in the student’s record. The instructor and student will be informed of the committee’s decision. Otherwise, the matter moves to the enforcement stage.

Enforcement Stage

Uncontested Cases
In cases in which the terms in the electronic form have been accepted by the student or in the event of a finding against the student by the Academic Integrity Committee, an inquiry will be made to the Office of Student Accountability and Conflict Response to determine if the student has had a prior academic integrity violation. If there is no prior violation, the instructor applies the academic sanction. If there has been a prior violation, the Academic Integrity Officer will consult with the instructor regarding the alleged violation and alternate sanctions with respect to the prior violation history. A more stringent sanction may be applied.

The Office of Student Accountability and Conflict Response is notified of the outcome.

Contested Cases
In contested matters, the instructor and student will be informed of the committee’s determination that a violation occurred. An inquiry will be made to the Office of Student Accountability and Conflict Response to determine if the student has had a prior academic integrity violation. If there is no prior violation, the instructor will apply the academic sanction. In consultation with the college academic integrity officer, the committee may revise the sanction in light of information regarding previous violation(s). The instructor and student will be informed of the determination made by the committee. The instructor will apply the academic sanction.

The Office of Student Accountability and Conflict Response is notified of the outcome.