Academic Integrity

As an academic community of integrity, Wilmington University faculty and students are expected to pursue learning with high ethical standards, dignity, and responsibility towards others. To that end, the faculty of Wilmington University embrace the following values as fundamental elements of such a community (International Center for Academic Integrity, 2020).

Honesty is exemplified through both faculty and student’s work, words, ideas, and actions. Honesty lays a foundation for lifelong integrity and respect.

Trust is promoted by faculty who set clear guidelines for assignments and the evaluation of student’s work. Students prepare work that is honest, thoughtful, and genuine. Mutual trust encourages and supports the free exchange of ideas.

Fairness is demonstrated by faculty who communicate expectations clearly and uphold academic integrity. Faculty establish clear and transparent expectations, standards, and practices to support fairness in all interactions with students. Students demonstrate fairness when they do their own work and uphold the academic reputation of themselves and of the university.

Respect in academic communities is reciprocal and requires showing respect for oneself as well as others. Respect for others means valuing diversity of opinions and appreciating the need to challenge, test, and refine ideas. Respect is demonstrated by faculty who recognize students as individuals, provide full and honest feedback, and value a variety of perspectives. Students demonstrate respect when they take an active role in their own education, contribute to the learning process, and perform to the best of their ability.

Responsibility is demonstrated by both faculty and students who hold themselves accountable for their own actions, and work to discourage and prevent misconduct of others. Responsibility rests upon foundations of personal accountability coupled with the willingness of individuals and groups to lead by example, uphold mutually agreed-upon standards, and take action when they encounter wrongdoing.

Courage is an element of character that allows learners to commit to the quality of their education by holding themselves and their fellow learners to the highest standards of academic integrity.

Academic communities of integrity provide opportunities for students to make choices, learn from them, and grow. Through this interactive process, courage, honor, and integrity can develop as interwoven mutually dependent characteristics.

Types of Violations

To ensure the honesty, fairness, and fundamental values of the intellectual environment at Wilmington University, students are expected to pursue learning with integrity, dignity, and responsibility towards others. Students are expected to be attentive to proper methods of documentation and acknowledgement in all academic work. Any situation involving violation of Academic Integrity Policy demeans the violator, degrades the learning process, deflates the meaning of grades, discredits the accomplishments of past and present students, and undermines the integrity of the degree and the university. Acts of academic dishonestly are serious offenses and are of major concern to the University. When a student places his or her name on submitted work, the student certifies the originality of all work not otherwise identified by appropriate acknowledgement. A violation of any of the below listed items is a violation of academic integrity.

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is defined as the submission of information without properly acknowledging the source through complete, accurate, and specific references. Plagiarism applies to the use of published and unpublished sources. Examples of plagiarism include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Directly quoting another person’s words without the use of quotation marks and/or acknowledgment of the course
  • Paraphrasing, or restating, another person’s ideas, opinions, or theories without acknowledging the source
  • Using facts, statistics, or other material taken from a source without acknowledging the source
  • Submission of the student’s own work which has previously been submitted for other assignments (self-plagiarism)

Students are urged to consult with individual faculty members, department heads, or recognized handbooks in their discipline (located at http://www.wilmu.edu/ssc/writing.aspx) if they are in doubt as to whether their work may contain plagiarized material. This should be done before the work is submitted.

Fabrication

Fabrication is the intentional use of invented information or the falsification of research or other findings with the intent to deceive. Examples of fabrication include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Citing information not taken from the source indicated
  • Inventing data, facts, or sources for an academic assignment
  • Listing sources in a bibliography or reference list that were not used in that assignment/project
  • Listing hours worked or activities performed during a clinical or service learning experience that did not occur

Cheating

Cheating is an act or an attempted act of deception by which the student seeks to misrepresent that he or she has mastered information on an academic exercise. Examples of cheating include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or study aids in an academic exercise
  • Copying from another person’s work or allowing another person to copy your work
  • Collaborating with another person during an examination or graded assignment without permission by the instructor
  • Utilizing online paper mills and/or study websites for the purpose of buying, selling, or bartering exams and assignments
  • Unauthorized sharing of examination answers with others
  • Falsification of data such as constructing data results as if statistics were genuine data

Grade and Test Tampering

Test tampering is obtaining, distributing, or receiving a test or examination without consent of the instructor. It is also a violation of the Academic Integrity policy if a student takes a test for another student.

Tampering with grades in a grade book or assisting with changing any academic record in the university is prohibited.

Violation of the Academic Integrity Policy

First Violation:

  1. The faculty member shall confer with the student regarding the violation of the Academic Integrity Policy.
  2. In consultation with the specific Program Chair of the college in which the course is offered, the faculty member is to select one or more of the following sanctions:
    • Require that the student repeat any work affected by the violation of the Academic Integrity Policy.
    • Assign the student a lower grade for the assignment (this is not necessarily a grade of (0) zero).
    • Assign the student a failing grade for the course (this is not necessarily a grade of (0) zero).
  3. After a sanction is selected, the Program Chair will inform the Dean of the College in which the course in question resides and what action was taken. Objective evidence of the violation must be submitted to the Dean. The Dean shall inform the Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs who will notify the student in writing that his or her continued enrollment at Wilmington University is provisional; the Assistant Vice President may require the student to complete the course ENG 310 (Research Writing). The Vice President of Student Affairs will receive a copy of the letter.
  4. The Dean of the College has the discretion to immediately forward any violations directly to an Assistant Vice President or Vice President of Academic Affairs to be considered for review by the Student Discipline Committee.

Second Violation:

In the event of a second violation related to academic integrity, the Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs shall inform the Vice President of Administrative & Legal Affairs and submit materials related to any previous offenses. Depending on the nature of the violation, the Vice President of Administrative & Legal Affairs may temporarily suspend the student from university activities and convene a meeting of the Student Discipline Committee.

Subsequent Offences:

Referred to the Student Discipline Committee

Promoting Academic Integrity

Wilmington University utilizes Turnitin as a proactive tool as an aid in educating students about academic integrity, plagiarism and the proper citation of any borrowed content. The software tool is designed to allow students and faculty to use together to review student work and to allow for students to have an opportunity to assess their efforts prior to submitting an assignment. Faculty may also use this software to affirm the originality of assignments.

University Writing Centers and Tutors:

The Student Success Center is designed to provide students with the support and resources necessary to achieve their goals. The Student Success Center is committed to all Wilmington University students’ academic success by providing personalized tutoring, mentoring, writing and learning resources, as well as multiple workshops and seminars. In partnership with other University offices, the Student Success Center offers a broad set of programs and services, empowering students to achieve academic excellence.

Additional information related to University policy may be found on the University website: https://www.wilmu.edu/studentlife/acadintegrity.aspx.