Information Applicable to All Students
Student Academic Honesty Code
Actions outside the Boundaries of Academic Honesty and Integrity
No set of written guidelines can anticipate all types and degrees of violations of academic honesty. To the extent that the examples below are not exhaustive, duly appointed representatives of the University will judge each case according to its merits. They will be guided by the principle that academic dishonesty involves misappropriation of academic or intellectual credit to oneself or to the discredit of others. Instances of such dishonesty include:
Presenting the work of another person as oneís own work (including papers, words, ideas, information, computer code, data, evidence-organizing principles, or style of presentation of someone else taken from the Internet, books, periodicals or other sources). Plagiarism includes:
∑ quoting, paraphrasing or summarizing without acknowledgement, even a few phrases;
∑ failing to acknowledge the source of either a major idea or ordering principle central to oneís own paper;
∑ relying on another personís data, evidence or critical method without credit or permission;
∑ submitting another personís work as oneís own;
∑ using unacknowledged research sources gathered by someone else.
Cheating on Examinations
Giving or receiving unauthorized help before, during or after an examination. Examples include:
∑ unauthorized collaboration of any sort during an examination;
∑ reading of an examination before it has been given;
∑ unauthorized use of notes, books, tapes, computers or other aids during an examination;
∑ allowing another person to take an examination in oneís place;
∑ looking at someone elseís examination during the examination period;
∑ allowing another person to use oneís own examination during the examination period;
∑ passing examination information to students who have not yet taken the examination.
Submitting substantial portions of the same work for credit more than once, unless there is prior explicit consent of the instructor(s) to whom the material is being or has been submitted.
Collaboration on projects, papers, computer programs or other academic assignments that has been prohibited by the instructor.
Fabrication and Misrepresentation
Misrepresenting or fabricating material, including misleading citation of sources as well as falsified or fabricated data or results from experiments or other analyses. Misrepresenting facts related to academic performance, including the justification of absences, late assignments and other activities.
Imitating another personís signature on academic documents (for example, an academic advising form or oneís own paper that is signed with respect to the time of submission) or other official documents that have an effect on academic credit (for example, a medical form submitted in support of taking a make-up examination).
Deliberately impairing, destroying, damaging or stealing anotherís work or working material. Examples include destroying, stealing or damaging anotherís laboratory experiment, computer program, term paper, examination or project; removing uncharged library materials with the effect that others cannot use them; defacing or damaging library materials with the effect that others cannot use them; hoarding or displacing materials within the library with the effect that others have undue difficulty using them; interfering with the operation of a computer system so it has an adverse effect on the academic performance of others.
Offering or receiving any service or article with the purpose or effect of receiving a grade or other academic benefit that was not earned on the merits of the academic work.
Responsibility for Implementation
Each school of Binghamton University, including the Graduate School and the Division of Health and Physical Education, will implement the Student Academic Honesty Code and adjudicate all matters related thereto (except as noted below) through its own committee structure. All reports of findings of guilt (either by admission or by adjudication) will be reported to the Provostís Office for archival purposes.
For cases involving graduate students in the five professional schools, initial implementation shall occur in those schools. For graduate cases in Harpur College of Arts and Sciences, initial implementation shall occur in the cognizant department or program. Any graduate programs temporarily residing in the Graduate School will report and adjudicate all cases through the Graduate Councilís Academic Standards Committee. At its discretion, the Academic Honesty Committee in any department or school may consult with the Graduate Councilís Academic Standards Committee about unusual or complicated cases. When an act of academic dishonesty violates the Universityís policy on ethical research, the procedures outlined in the Policy on Responsible Conduct of Research, as found in the University Bulletin, apply.
Publication and Dissemination of the Code
Students will receive copies of the code during Orientation, when they will discuss its importance and its meaning. They will acknowledge the code and their intent to abide by its terms each semester when they log onto the registration system. Faculty will ensure enforcement of the code.
Interpretation of the Code
Violations of the code vary in severity, so that the appropriate punishments vary. Some violations (Category I) may be handled by the instructor and student(s) involved. However, violations requiring more severe penalties (Category II) are appropriately dealt with by the Academic Honesty Committee of the relevant school in accordance with procedures laid out in the Rules of Student Conduct. Category I violations are serious but may be dealt with by the instructor. Category II violations may result in letters of reprimand, probation, suspension or expulsion from the University. Behavior explicitly permitted in a course syllabus or explicitly permitted by the instructor for a specific assignment is not a violation of the code.
This may be either a Category I or Category II violation, depending on the amount of material that is plagiarized and the degree of premeditation. A Category I violation involves small amounts of plagiarized material ó for example, a single passage or a relatively minor idea. Category II violations occur when more material is plagiarized or where central ideas are plagiarized. Category II violations may involve more planning and premeditation.
Cheating on Examinations
This may be either a Category I or Category II violation, depending on the level or amount of unauthorized help given or received on the examination and the degree of premeditation. Category I includes looking at anotherís examination or collaborating on a small portion of the examination. Category II violations involve cheating on most or all of an entire examination ó for example, providing a copy of an examination to another student or allowing another student to take an examination in oneís place. Category II violations may involve more planning and premeditation.
This is a Category I violation.
This is a Category I violation, unless it also involves Category II offenses.
Fabrication and Misrepresentation
This can be a Category I or II violation.
This is a Category II violation.
This is a Category II violation.
This is a Category II violation.
Note that misconduct involving forgery, sabotage and bribery refers only to such offenses when committed for an academic purpose as defined in the Student Academic Honesty Code; any violations involving other aspects of student life or subject to federal, state and/or local law are dealt with through the University judicial system.
Each school should develop its own procedures, consistent with these guidelines. These procedures may vary, depending on the size of the school and other relevant factors. The appropriate procedures for addressing the two categories of violations are as follows.
Category I Violations
If an instructor discovers one of these violations, the instructor should first communicate with the student regarding the nature of the charge and the evidence on which the instructor has relied in reaching the conclusion that a violation has occurred. The student should be given the opportunity to respond. If the instructor remains convinced by the preponderance of evidence that a violation has occurred, the instructor may check to see if there is a record of a previous violation by the student. Students who are accused of a second Category I offense will be treated as being charged with a Category II offense and referred to the committee of the school in which the offense occurred.
If there is no previous violation, the faculty member should impose the appropriate penalty. The instructor should then fill in a Report of Academic Dishonesty Form describing the violation that occurred and the evidence supporting that finding. The form will also explain to the student the procedures whereby the student may appeal the decision. The student will be asked to read and sign the form and will be provided with a copy. If the student chooses not to sign the form, the case goes to a hearing before the committee of the school in which the offense occurred. The instructor will then forward the Report of Academic Dishonesty Form along with the supporting evidence to the chair of the appropriate committee, who will send a copy to the Provostís Office, where it will be kept on file. Records of Report of Academic Dishonesty forms should be retained until the student's graduation, or for six years following the semester or term of the violation in the case of a student who departs from the University without graduating.
Category II Violations
If an instructor discovers a Category II violation, the instructor should first communicate with the student regarding the nature of the charge and the evidence on which the instructor has relied in reaching the conclusion that a violation has occurred. If the instructor remains convinced that a Category II violation has occurred, he or she should submit a detailed written charge with supporting evidence to the honesty committee of the school in which the offense occurred. The student will be notified of the charge and the date of the hearing and will receive a copy of the committee procedures. The instructor should assign an Incomplete grade for the studentís work, pending the outcome of the hearing. If, after the hearing, the committee concludes that the charges were unproven, the faculty member should re-evaluate the studentís work in light of that finding. In determination of any penalty for Category II violations, committees will consider all relevant factors, including the nature of the violation and any previous violations that may have been committed by the student. The chair of the appropriate committee will report any guilty findings to the Provostís Office, where they will be kept on file.† Records of hearing cases should be retained for six years following the semester or term in which the hearing is held. If a hearing case is appealed, the six years would begin after the semester or term in which the appeal decision is made.
Note: This ends the section of the Bulletin and information applicable to Student Academic Honesty Code.
Academic Grievance Procedures
If a student has a complaint about a grade or other academic grievance, the first step is to talk to the instructor involved. If the matter is not settled satisfactorily, the student should contact the department chair or division director about the complaint and submit the complaint through the formal grievance procedure established by the department. The department decision may, if the student still feels aggrieved, be appealed to the appropriate dean.
Students should be aware that copyright laws cover photocopying and other reproductions of materials. Students should contact faculty members or library staff for information regarding these laws.
Any instructor may exclude from attendance any student who, in the instructorís judgment, has seriously impaired the classís ability to achieve the objectives of the course.
The student may appeal the instructorís action to the department or school via the departmentís grievance procedure. If the student is not satisfied with the ruling or recommendation emerging from the grievance hearings, an appeal may be brought to the appropriate dean.
Attendance in Classes
Students are expected to attend all scheduled classes, laboratories and discussions. Instructors may establish their own attendance criteria for a course. They may establish both the number of absences permitted to receive credit for the course and the number of absences after which the final grade may be adjusted downward. In such cases it is expected that the instructor stipulate such requirements in the syllabus and that the syllabus be made available to students at or near the beginning of classes. In the absence of such statements, instructors have the right to deny a student the privilege of taking the final examination or of receiving credit for the course, or may prescribe other academic penalties if the student misses more than 25 percent of the total class sessions. Excessive tardiness may count as absence.
Policy on Responsible Conduct of Research
The Public Health Service and National Science Foundation require recipients of grants to develop policies on scientific misconduct and adopt procedures to both uncover acts of research fraud and examine allegations of misconduct in the conduct of research. On the advice of the Graduate Council and its Advisory Committee for Scholarship and Research, the University has adopted the following policies regarding the responsible conduct of research in all fields throughout the University.
Research misconduct is defined as fabrication, falsification or plagiarism in proposing, conducting or reporting research and creative scholarly activity. It does not include honest error or honest differences in interpretations or judgments of data.
The University has established a procedure to review reports of research misconduct. The principles associated with Binghamtonís policy and procedure are as follow:
∑ The University shall treat all parties with justice and fairness and shall be sensitive to each personís reputation and responsibilities.
∑ Procedures shall preserve the highest attainable degree of confidentiality compatible with an effective investigation response.
∑ Procedures shall be as expeditious as possible in leading to the resolution of the charges in a timely manner.
∑ The integrity of the process shall be maintained by carefully avoiding any real or apparent conflict of interest.
The vice president for research (VPR) has primary responsibility for overseeing research integrity, and shall appoint a research standards officer (RSO), who will be primarily responsible for the correct observance of the procedures set forth below. The RSO will normally be the operations manager of the Research Foundation at Binghamton.
Reports of misconduct shall be handled in a four-stage process:
∑ an inquiry to determine whether the allegation or related issue warrants further investigation;
∑ when warranted, an investigation to collect and examine all pertinent evidence;
∑ a formal finding on the allegation; and
∑ appropriate administrative action on the matter.
a. The contact person for allegations of research misconduct is the research standards officer. The RSO shall be responsible for securing and maintaining written records for all allegations.
b. An inquiry shall be made into any allegation that the initiator (the person making the allegation) provides in writing to the RSO. The purpose of this inquiry is to determine whether a full investigation is warranted. The RSO will notify the respondent (the person about whom the allegation is made) in writing of the allegations (if possible, maintaining the confidentiality of the initiator), and of the respondentís right to submit a written response to the allegation. The RSO shall submit the allegation along with all evidence that may exist, any written rebuttal from the respondent, and any other pertinent documentation to the Advisory Committee for Scholarship and Research of the Graduate Council for review. The RSO will provide staff support to the committee. The Advisory Committee shall make a written recommendation to the VPR on whether a formal investigation is warranted. This process must be completed within 60 days of the receipt of the initial allegation unless an extension of time is approved by the VPR.
c. Within 10 days of receiving the recommendation, the VPR, after consulting with Legal Affairs and the RSO, shall determine whether to conduct an investigation, to drop the matter or to take some other appropriate action. If the VPR decides not to pursue the matter further, the RSO will seal all files and notify the respondent and the initiator in writing that allegations have been dropped. If the VPR decides to proceed with an investigation, the RSO will notify the respondent and initiator in writing, and the VPR will notify the respondentís chair, dean and vice president; the RSO will also notify external funding agencies and governmental offices as contractually required.
a.†† The VPR, within 30 days of the inquiry report, will appoint an investigation panel of persons who have no conflicts of interest with the respondent and have research backgrounds that qualify them to understand the subject matter of the alleged research misconduct. The panel will consist of a minimum of three persons, at least one of whom must be a faculty member. The respondent may challenge any panel member, within 14 days of written notification of panel membership, on the ground that the member does not meet the above criteria.
b.†† The VPR shall define the subject matter of the investigation in a written charge to the investigation panel. The VPR may change the subject matter during investigation if substantive new material is discovered by the investigation panel; the panel must notify the VPR of such new material.
c.†† The RSO will convene the first meeting of the investigation panel, and will provide staff assistance to the panel. The panel will select a chair at the first meeting.
d.†† The panel shall present a written report to the VPR within 90 days of its appointment. This report will contain an explicit finding of fact with respect to each allegation in the investigation charge listing the supporting evidence, and will describe the investigative process used. The report will also state the panelís conclusions as to whether any of the proven allegations violate research integrity. Investigation will be completed within 120 days or an extension must be justified by the vice president.
e.†† A copy of the report will be made available by the RSO to the respondent. The respondent may submit written comments within 14 days of receipt of report to the VPR through the RSO.
††††† The VPR will send the report, with any written comments of the respondent, to the president through the vice president for academic affairs, together with the VPRís recommendations.
a.†† Where allegations are not substantiated, the University shall take action to clear the reputations of those falsely accused; all files relating to the case will be sealed.
b.†† When the findings of the investigation substantiate the allegation of misconduct, the president shall initiate appropriate action, depending on the nature of the misconduct and the employment status of the individual involved, and shall notify the sponsor of the action if the research was performed with external support. United University Professions-represented employees may be disciplined according to Article 19 of the agreement with UUP or may be subject to such other action as the president deems appropriate.
c.†† The research record shall be corrected if fabricated or fraudulent information has been published.
Notification of Other Agencies during Process
1.†††††††† Criminal Activities: If any criminal activities are discovered or claimed during inquiry or investigation, University Counsel shall be informed.
2.†††††††† Federal-Sponsored Research: Federal agencies will be kept informed of all inquiries and investigations as required contractually. Specifically:
a.††††† in the early inquiry stage if there is one or more of the following:
ó†††††††† an immediate health hazard;
ó†††††††† need to protect sponsor resources;
ó†††††††† need to protect human or animal subjects;
ó†††††††† need to protect person reporting misconduct.
b.††††† when the VPR recommends an investigation.
c.††††† the findings of the investigation and the institutional sanctions.
Student Research Projects
1.†††††††† Students who intend to contact private, voluntary or governmental agencies as part of their research in an academic project should first ask the faculty member who assigned the project to secure permission and cooperation from University and agency officials.
2.†††††††† Students engaged in research, independent study, internships or other courses/projects involving human subjects must be made fully aware of their ethical, legal and moral responsibilities and their potential legal/financial liabilities when participating in such activities. Students planning research and/or course work involving human subjects should consult their faculty adviser for project design and methodology. The Universityís Human Subjects Research Review Committee (HSRRC) reviews and must approve all research activities involving human subjects; HSRRC approval must be obtained prior to the initiation of the research. The Division of Research staff provides the appropriate review forms and guidance to initiate the human-subjects research review process.
3.†††††††† Students planning research and/or coursework involving live vertebrate animals should consult their faculty adviser for project design and methodology. In addition, the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) must first review and approve such projects to ensure compliance with University, state and federal regulations regarding the humane care and treatment of vertebrate animals. For appropriate review forms and guidance, contact the coordinator for animal care at 607-777-6136.
4.†††††††† Students planning projects involving the use of recombinant DNA molecules must consult with their faculty adviser for proper project protocol. The Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) oversees all research on campus involving the use of recombinant DNA molecules in order to ensure compliance with both University and federal regulations. IBC approval must be obtained prior to the initiation of any research involving the use of recombinant DNA molecules. Further information and guidelines are available from the Division of Research at 607-777-6136.
5.†††††††† Students planning research projects involving the use of radioactive materials must consult with their faculty adviser for proper project protocol. The Radioactive Safety Committee oversees all research on campus involving the use of radioactive materials. For further information, contact the radiation safety officer at 607-777-4370.
Unlawful Sale of Dissertations, Theses and Term Papers
The following is a reproduction of section (213b) of the Education Law of New York State, concerning the illegal sale of term papers, theses or dissertations:
Unlawful sale of dissertations, theses and term papers.
1. No person shall, for financial consideration, or the promise of financial consideration, prepare, offer to prepare, cause to be prepared, sell or offer for sale to any person any written material which the seller knows, is informed or has reason to believe is intended for submission as a dissertation, thesis, term paper, essay, report or other written assignment by a student in a university, college, academy, school or other educational institution to such institution or to a course, seminar or degree program held by such institution.
2. Nothing herein contained shall prevent such educational institution or any member of its faculty or staff, from offering courses, instruction, counseling or tutoring for research or writing as part of a curriculum or other program conducted by such educational institution. Nor shall this section prevent any educational institution or any member of its faculty or staff from authorizing students to use statistical, computer, or any other services which may be required or permitted by such educational institution in the preparation, research or writing of a dissertation, thesis, term paper, essay, report or other written assignment. Nor shall this section prevent tutorial assistance rendered by other persons which does not include the preparation, research or writing of a dissertation, thesis, term paper, essay, report or other written assignment intended for submission to such educational institution in fulfillment of the requirements for a degree, diploma, certificate or course of study. Nor shall any person be prevented by the provisions of this section from rendering services for a fee that shall be limited to the typing, transcription or reproduction of a manuscript.
3. Nothing contained within this section shall prevent any person from selling or offering for sale a publication or other written material which shall have been registered under the United States laws of copyright, provided, however, that the owner of such copyright shall have given his authorization or approval for such sale and provided further that such publication or other written material shall not be intended for submission as a dissertation, thesis, term paper, essay, report or other written assignment to such educational institution within the state of New York in fulfillment of the requirements for a degree, diploma, certificate or course of study.
4. No person shall sell, assign or otherwise transfer for business or for any other purpose to any person any information and material of a personal or private nature acquired from a purchaser of a dissertation, thesis, term paper, essay, report or other written assignment without the prior consent of such purchaser. The term "information and material of a personal or private nature" as used in this subdivision shall include, but not be limited to the name of such purchaser, his address and telephone number, the name of such educational institution, the name or number of the course, the name of the faculty member or members for whom such written assignment has been prepared and any description of the research involved or the nature of such written assignment.
5. A violation of the provisions of this section shall constitute a class B misdemeanor.
6. The attorney general and district attorney of the county wherein a violation of this section occurs shall have concurrent authority to investigate and prosecute any violation of this section and any related violations discovered during the course of such investigation.
7. Whenever there shall be a violation of this section, an application also may be made by the attorney general in the name of the people of the state of New York to a court or justice having jurisdiction to issue an injunction, and upon notice to the defendant of not less than five days, to enjoin and restrain the continuance of such violation; and if it shall appear to the satisfaction of the court or justice that the defendant has, in fact, violated this section, an injunction may be issued by such court or justice, enjoining and restraining any further violation, without requiring proof that any person has, in fact, been injured or damaged thereby. In any such proceeding the court may make allowances to the attorney general as provided in section eighty-three hundred three, subdivision six of the civil practice law and rules. In connection with any such proposed application, the attorney general is authorized to take proof and make a determination of the relevant facts and to issue subpoenas in accordance with the civil practice law and rules. Additionally, the attorney general may apply in any such proceeding for a monetary penalty of not more than one thousand dollars per violation.
Access to University Records
The Freedom of Information Law (Public Officers Law, Article 6) provides rights of access to University records, except those that fall within one of the nine categories of deniable records [section 87(2)].
Written application for examination and copying of accessible records must be made during regular business hours on the approved forms or in a letter addressed to the Records Access Officer, Office of University Counsel, 609 Couper Administration Building. Appeals of a denial of requested information may be taken within 30 days to Stacey Hengsterman, Office of the Vice Chancellor and Secretary of the University, State University of New York, State University Plaza, Albany, NY 12246.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), commonly known as the Buckley Amendment, provides students with access to their files and assures them of the confidentiality of their records. Undergraduatesí main academic files are kept in the University Registrarís Office. Graduate records are kept in the Graduate School. The University is not required by legislation to make available to students files kept in the office of the New York State University Police, Binghamton; Binghamton University Counseling Center or the Student Health Center. Students with files in these offices should contact the appropriate office with any questions.
There is to be no oral or written release of personally identifiable information from any studentís educational record without the signed and dated consent of the student, except to:
∑ authorized University personnel defined by the person responsible for the file as having a reasonable need to know;
∑ state and federal education authorities to whom information must be made available by statute and/or for the audit of federal programs;
∑ organizations and educational agencies involved in testing, administering financial aid or improving instruction, provided the information is presented anonymously;
∑ accrediting agencies;
∑ appropriate persons to comply with a court-ordered subpoena, in which case an attempt is made to notify the student in advance unless prohibited by court order;
∑ appropriate persons in the case of emergency;
∑ University counsel.
Information printed in the University Directory and information routinely released to the public, such as Commencement listings, election results and rosters of athletic teams, is regarded as public or ďdirectory informationĒ and, as such, may be released without student consent.
The following information is defined as directory information and may be routinely released unless specified differently by the student:
∑ local address and telephone number;
∑ home address and telephone number;
∑ e-mail address;
∑ class level;
∑ degree information (including any associated majors, certificates or minors);
∑ dates of attendance.
Students should be aware that even though they may request and receive directory exclusion status, it is a federal requirement that the University promptly provide lenders and guarantee agencies with any information it has regarding the last known address, surname, employer and employer address of a borrower who attends or has attended the University.
Information that is not classified as directory information and may not be released to third parties without written consent of the student includes (but is not limited to) the following:
∑ grade-point average;
∑ student course schedules (including class name, meeting times and meeting places);
∑ financial aid information;
∑ student identification number (usually Social Security number).
Third-party sources requesting to know a studentís course schedule for ďemergency purposesĒ should be referred to the New York State University Police, Binghamton. University Police will attempt to ascertain the nature of the emergency and contact the student with the message.
Other Information Regarded as Public
Other information occasionally released in a routine manner to appropriate representatives of various media for publicity purposes includes:
∑ awards and academic degrees awarded at Binghamton University;
∑ participation in recognized University activities (election outcomes, membership in athletic teams, participation in plays, etc.);
∑ personal information on members of University athletic teams (height, weight, high school, etc.).
Students with questions about their records or wishing to withhold their names from the University Directory should contact the Registrarís Office at 607-777-6087.
Student Absences for Religious Beliefs
In accordance with New York State Education Law 224-a, student absences may be excused as follows:
∑ No person shall be expelled from or be refused admission as a student to an institution of higher education for reason that he or she is unable, because of his or her religious beliefs, to register or attend classes or to participate in any examination, study or work requirements on a particular day or days.
∑ Any student in an institution of higher education who is unable, because of his or her religious beliefs, to attend classes on a particular day or days shall, because of such absence on the particular day or days, be excused from any examination or any study or work requirement.
∑ It shall be the responsibility of the faculty and of the administration officials of each institution of higher education to make available to each student who is absent from school because of his or her religious beliefs, an equivalent opportunity to register for classes or make up any examination, study or work requirements that he or she may have missed because of such absences on any particular day or days. No fees of any kind shall be charged by the institution for making available to the said student such equivalent opportunity.
∑ If registration, classes, examinations, study or work requirements are held on Fridays after 4 p.m. or on Saturdays, similar or makeup classes, examinations, study or work requirements, or opportunity to register shall be made available on other days where it is possible and practicable to do so. No special fees shall be charged to the student for these classes, examinations, study or work requirements, or registration held on other days.
∑ In effectuating the provisions of this section, it shall be the duty of the faculty and of the administrative officials of each institution of higher education to exercise the fullest measure of good faith. No adverse or prejudicial effects shall result to any student because of his or her availing himself or herself of the provisions of this section.
∑ Any student who is aggrieved by the alleged failure of any faculty or administrative officials to comply in good faith with the provisions of this section, shall be entitled to maintain an action or proceeding in the supreme court of the county in which such institution of higher education is located for the enforcement of his or her rights under this section.