Integrity Violation Processes
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.
The purpose of these processes is to understand the incident at hand and to clarify the situation. Students who are being reviewed should know that they are welcome to have an advocate present for them throughout the process and that the primary contacts for each process are available to answer questions throughout the process. Students should rest assured that confidentiality is of the highest importance during and after the process.
How it works: Academic Integrity Process
Note: The Penn State Smeal MBA and Executive MBA Program are governed by a separate process.
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 for assistance. Any potential disciplinary violations and sanctions should be discussed with the Associate Dean prior to moving forward with any academic integrity violation.
Meeting with the Student
The instructor completes the (“AIF”) and meets with the student to discuss the allegation and sanction.
The student may choose to accept the terms set forth on the AIF or contest the allegation and/or sanction. The decision will be indicated on the form. The student may take up to five business days to communicate the decision. Students failing or refusing to participate in the process will be deemed “not contesting” the terms set forth on the AIF.
The instructor delivers the AIF to the college’s academic integrity Records Coordinator.
The Smeal College Records Coordinator is Monica Snyder, 202 Business Building.
If the student accepts the instructor’s terms, the matter proceeds to the enforcement phase.
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). 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.
Upon the committee’s review of the information provided, it can make any of the following determinations: First, it can find 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.
In cases in which the terms of the AIF 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 Conduct to determine if the student has had a prior academic integrity violation.
If there is no prior violation, the instructor applies the academic sanction. The AIF is delivered to the Office of Student Conduct by the Records Coordinator.
If there has been a prior violation, the matter restarts at the Meeting with the Student phase with the college academic integrity officer functioning in the role of the instructor. Academic integrity officer will consult with the instructor regarding the alleged violation and alternate sanctions with respect to the prior violation history. The student’s prior history will not be revealed to the academic integrity committee during any initial review of a contested case.
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 Conduct 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. The AIF is delivered to the Office of Student Conduct by the Records Coordinator. 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 AIF is delivered to the Office of Student Conduct by the Records Coordinator.
How it Works: Academic Integrity Violation Process for Penn State Smeal MBA and Executive MBA Students
The following process applies to all students enrolled in the Penn State Smeal MBA and Executive MBA Programs:
Violation Reports and Disclosure Notices
- Access the Alleged Academic Integrity Violation Report for Instructors (PDF).
- Access the Alleged Academic Integrity Violation Report for Non-Instructors (PDF).
- View the disclosure notices from last semester and archives.
Dennis Sheehan, Faculty Director, Executive MBA Program