Honesty, integrity and ethics – they matter.
They matter at home, at school, and at work. A professional school such as the Lassonde School of Engineering must adhere to the highest standards of excellence. This includes academic honesty in teaching, learning, and research, within our campus walls and beyond them.
Without academic honesty, our integrity as a professional school is at stake. Our work, our ideas, writing or other intellectual property should be protected and respected.
In an effort to adhere to such high standards of excellence, Lassonde takes academic honesty very seriously. Our strict adherence to the Senate Policy on Academic Honesty is one way to help ensure the integrity of our community remains intact. Help us maintain our integrity by familiarizing yourself with, and adhering to, the Senate Policy on Academic Honesty.
Looking for faculty resources? Visit the Academic Honesty & Integrity Faculty Resources page.
Resources for students
Students struggling in their course(s), or who are experiencing a personal crisis, make the poor decision to cheat out of desperation. If you or someone you know is struggling in a course, or with a personal crisis, reaching out for help is the best course of action. Academic dishonesty is never a good choice and can result in severe consequences. It’s just not worth it. There are people who can help students encountering difficulties, such as Instructors and other Faculty members, Academic Advisors, Personal, Learning Skills, and Disability Counsellors, and other members of our community. There are also helpful resources online, such as the Student Papers and Academic Research Kit (SPARK).
How does the Senate Policy define academic honesty?
“Academic honesty requires that persons do not falsely claim credit for the ideas, writing or other intellectual property of others, either by presenting such works as their own or through impersonation. Similarly, academic honesty requires that persons do not cheat (attempt to gain an improper advantage in an academic evaluation), nor attempt or actually alter, suppress, falsify or fabricate any research data or results, official academic record, application or document. Finally, academic honesty requires that persons do not aid or abet others to commit an offence of academic dishonesty, including intentional acts to disrupt academic activities.”
What are some examples of academic dishonesty?
Academic dishonesty comes in several different forms, intentional and unintentional. Many people are unaware of what constitutes an offence against the Senate Policy. The Senate Policy provides a list of the different types of offences. Cheating, plagiarism, and aiding and abetting academic dishonesty are just a few examples of breaches of the Senate Policy.
How does the Policy define Cheating, Plagiarism, and Aiding/Abetting?
2.1.1 Cheating is the attempt to gain an improper advantage in an academic evaluation. Some examples of cheating include:
- Copying another person’s answer to an examination question;
- Consulting an unauthorized source during an examination;
- Obtaining assistance by means of documentary, electronic or other aids which are not approved by the instructor;
- Submitting work prepared in collaboration with another or other member(s) of a class when collaborative work on a project has not been authorized by the instructor;
More examples are listed in the Senate Policy on Academic Honesty.
2.1.3 Plagiarism is the misappropriation of the work of another by representing another person’s ideas, writing or other intellectual property as one’s own. This includes the presentation of all or part of another person’s work as something one has written, paraphrasing another’s writing without proper acknowledgement, or representing another’s artistic or technical work or creation as one’s own. Any use of the work of others, whether published, unpublished or posted electronically, attributed or anonymous, must include proper acknowledgement.
Aiding and Abetting Academic Dishonesty
2.1.10 Encouraging, enabling or causing others to do or attempt any of the above [see Policy] with intent to mislead an instructor, academic unit, program, office or committee as to a student’s academic status, qualifications, actions or preparation, or knowingly aiding or abetting anyone in a breach of academic honesty shall itself be considered misconduct. Taking any action which can reasonably be interpreted as intending to encourage or enable others to commit an offence of academic honesty.
What if I am suspected of academic dishonesty? What if I suspect academic dishonesty in someone else?
The Lassonde School of Engineering strictly adheres to the policies and procedures referred to in the Senate Policy on Academic Honesty.
- Students should report suspected breaches of the Policy to the Instructor/Course Director
- Faculty must report suspected breaches of the Policy to the Assistant Dean Students, Lassonde School of Engineering
What happens next?
There are a few key steps involved:
Step 1. Explore What Happened
Where a breach of the Policy is suspected, the first step is to sit down with all of the relevant people involved to discuss what happened. A meeting of this sort is called an Exploratory Meeting, where we explore what has happened. Who participates in a meeting of this sort? The student, the Faculty member, and the Assistant Dean Students. The Faculty member will share why they were suspicious that a breach occurred, and the student will have an opportunity to respond. The conversation is mediated by the Assistant Dean Students and a notetaker is also present. The purpose of an exploratory meeting is to try to determine if a breach of the Policy occurred.
Step 2. Find a Resolution
Sometimes everyone agrees that a breach did not occur. When this happens, we won’t maintain any record of the exploratory meeting.
Sometimes everyone agrees that a breach did occur. When this happens, we will explore a range of penalties. Penalties range from lenient (e.g., written reprimand or special assignment) to mild (e.g., zero on the assignment or reduction of final course grade) to severe (e.g., transcript notation, suspension or expulsion), depending on the circumstances. If you are wondering what factors are considered when determining a penalty, review Section 2.3 of the Senate Policy on Academic Honesty.
Sometimes there is disagreement with respect to whether a breach occurred or whether a particular penalty is appropriate. When this happen, we refer the matter to the Lassonde Committee on Examinations and Academic Standards (CEAS).
Step 3. Refer to the Committee
The Lassonde Committee on Examinations and Academic Standards (CEAS) is comprised of Faculty members and student representatives. CEAS oversees all academic honesty matters in Lassonde. Any time a breach is found to have occurred or if there is disagreement at an exploratory meeting, CEAS will review the case. Ultimately, CEAS has the final say on whether a breach occurred or whether a particular penalty is appropriate.