Undergraduate Bulletin

Spring 2020 Bulletin

Integrity

Committees on Academic Standing and Appeals (CASA)

Undergraduate students with a declared major or area of interest in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences (CEAS) should make requests in matters outlined below to the Committee on Academic Standing and Appeals of CEAS. CEAS programs include applied mathematics and statistics, biomedical engineering, chemical and molecular engineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, engineering science, information systems, mechanical engineering, and technological systems management. See also the entry Petitioning for Exceptions below.

All other students, including those who have not declared a major (indicated by GEN on the student’s record), and those who have declared an area of interest (e.g., pre-business GBS, pre-nursing GNS, excluding those with an area of interest in a CEAS program) should make requests in matters outlined below to the Committee on Academic Standing and Appeals of the College of Arts and Sciences. See also the entry Petitioning for Exceptions below.

Both committees operate under faculty legislation and consider exceptions to regulations pertaining to such matters as registration changes, course loads, and academic standing. The CEAS committee also deals with academic dishonesty and academic grievances. Note: Not all exceptions to regulations or deadlines are petitionable. Changing to or from the G/P/NC option after the deadline published in the academic calendar is not petitionable.

In exceptional circumstances, students may petition the appropriate Committee on Academic Standing and Appeals for permission to withdraw from a course after normal deadlines. Students who obtain permission to add or drop courses after the normal deadlines will be charged $20 for each program change form processed by the Registrar. Students who, because of extraordinary situations beyond their control, are granted permission to withdraw from all courses and who will not be in attendance during the semester are not charged a fee.

The Committee on Academic Standing and Appeals of the appropriate college considers all petitions for reinstatement in cases of academic suspension. (See the section Academic Standing, Support, and Retention) Students who are granted reinstatement will be assessed a $50 processing fee.

Petitioning for Exceptions

Students are responsible for reviewing, understanding, and abiding by the University’s regulations, procedures, requirements, and deadlines as described in official publications including this Undergraduate Bulletin, the Student Handbook, and online class schedules.

Occasionally extraordinary circumstances necessitate that a student request an exception to an academic regulation or deadline. These may include exceptions to registration processing dates and exceptions to regulations on academic standing. Students must file a petition with the appropriate Committee on Academic Standing and Appeals. See the entry Committees on Academic Standing and Appeals (CASA) above. Note that changing to or from the P/NC option after the deadline published in the academic calendar is not petitionable.

Most petitions for exceptions must be accompanied by documentation demonstrating why the student was unable to comply with the regulation or deadline for which the student is requesting an exception. Ignorance of deadlines or regulations is insufficient cause to grant an exception.

Students with majors in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences may obtain written information about academic regulations, guidelines, and procedures from the Engineering and Applied Sciences Undergraduate Student Office, where petitions are filed. All other students should consult the Academic and Transfer Advising Services Center or, for EOP/AIM students, the Office of Special Programs, and file petitions with the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs.

Academic Integrity

Academic Integrity Policy

Any member of the academic community may refer a suspected violation of academic integrity to the Academic Judiciary Office.  The accusation should be submitted using the online reporting form found on the academic integrity website within two weeks of the discovery of the suspected violation.  All faculty are encouraged to discuss the situation with their Chair, Undergraduate Program Director or Dean’s Office before submitting an official accusation.   When it is not possible for the accusation to be made within the two-week period, justification for the delay should be included in the filing documentation.  Course instructors who suspect violations of academic integrity must report their suspicions to the Academic Judiciary Office; they may not establish a penalty independently.  An instructor will be asked to provide a recommended penalty on the accusation report submitted to the Academic Judiciary Office. The instructor’s recommended penalty is noted on the accusation report submitted to the Academic Judiciary committee. Instructors may wish to consult with the Academic Integrity Officer before identifying recommended penalties.     

When the Academic Judiciary Office receives an accusation, each student is notified by email and instructed to make an appointment with the Academic Integrity Officer to discuss the accusation.  This meeting may include an academic advisor or other professional from the student’s College/School to address the implications of the accusation on degree progress or other related academic issues/concerns.  Students are encouraged to invite an advisor to offer counsel on any potential academic implications. A copy of the accusation report (including a course instructor's recommended penalty, if applicable) and supporting documentation, if any, will be given to all parties named in the report.  Students accused of academic dishonesty will have two weeks from the date of notification to inform the staff within the Academic Judiciary Office whether or not they intend to appeal the accusation.   In the meantime, a student's academic record will notate an "I" grade in the course signifying that there is a pending academic judiciary matter (for course-based accusations), as well as pending remarks of academic dishonesty.  The "I" grade and the pending remarks will remain until the matter is resolved.  Students should continue attending class and completing coursework for in-progress courses. 

Penalties for Violating Academic Integrity 

An F for the course is considered to be an appropriate penalty grade for an academic integrity violation that occurs within the context of a course or courses, though a more lenient or more severe penalty may be recommended under certain circumstances. For example, where premeditation or conspiracy (e.g., use of ringers or electronic devices) is involved, penalties such as suspension or expulsion may be considered. The minimum penalty is typically a zero on the assignment in question. In all cases a written report of the offense and the recommended penalty of the course instructor must be forwarded to the Academic Judiciary Office in order that students may be formally notified of the accusation, recommended penalty, and procedures for accepting the recommended penalty or appealing the accusation and requesting a hearing. A course for which a penalty grade has been assigned cannot be dropped or taken Pass/No Credit.

 In addition to any penalty imposed by the Academic Judiciary, a student who is found responsible for a first offense of academic dishonesty will have an academic dishonesty notation on their record and for course-based offenses, will typically be given a Q grade for the course, signifying that they have violated academic integrity policies.  The Q is computed in the student's GPA as an F.  After successfully completing the non-credit academic integrity course (called the Q Course), the academic dishonesty notation and the Q grade (if applicable) are removed.  The Q grade is replaced with the earned grade. Students must successfully complete the University's Q Course no later than the academic semester immediately following the finding of an academic integrity violation. 

The Q Course requires attendance at every session that meets on Wednesdays for 1 hour (1:00 – 2:00pm) per week for 10 weeks during the fall and spring semesters. Students are encouraged to register at least one month before the start of the course.   

You may find out more about the Q course by calling the Division of Undergraduate Education at (631) 632-7080 or email:  academic_judiciary@stonybrook.edu

Multiple Offenses 

If a student is found responsible for two or more violations of academic integrity, the Academic Judiciary Committee will consider recommending a penalty in addition to those already established for the separate offenses. The penalties for a second offense include suspension or permanent expulsion from the University, a permanent notation on the student's academic record of academic dishonesty, and/or a permanent Q grade for all courses (past and current) for which the student was found responsible for violating academic integrity. 

Appeals of Academic Dishonesty Accusations 

A student accused of violating academic integrity policies may appeal the accusation through the Academic Judiciary Office.  An accusation that is not appealed will be considered as a finding of responsibility for violating academic integrity. By appealing the accusation, the student asserts that they did not violate University policy concerning academic integrity. Students may not appeal /request exceptions for having a Q grade on their record or taking the Q course. 

All appeals must be presented in writing not later than two weeks after notification of the accusation and meeting with the Academic Judiciary Office to discuss the accusation and the academic integrity policies and procedures. On receiving a student's request for an appeal, the Academic Judiciary Office will inform the instructor or reporting individual and schedule a hearing. In cases of first offenses, where students do not appeal, the recommended penalty of the reporting individual/instructor will be applied, with very few exceptions. 

Students who appeal an accusation for a course that is in progress should continue attending the class and completing coursework. Any student who is granted a hearing and is found not responsible of violating academic integrity will receive their earned grade in the course. 

A student who is granted a hearing and is found responsible for violating academic integrity will receive penalties as described above. These penalties may differ from the penalty recommended by the reporting individual/instructor. 

NOTE: A student who is found responsible for violating academic integrity and is determined to have presented false evidence or false statements at the hearing may have a second accusation of dishonesty brought against them by the hearing board. This would constitute multiple accusations and potentially more serious penalties, including suspension or permanent expulsion.

Hearing Boards

Academic judiciary hearing boards consist of appointed members from the Academic Judiciary Committee, but may also include faculty and staff who have volunteered to serve on the hearing boards. 

A five-person hearing board will consist of two faculty, one professional staff member and/or teaching assistant, and two undergraduate students; majority vote determines outcome. The Academic Integrity Officer (or designee) will normally serve as non-voting hearing officer.  In those situations, where the student and course are in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences (CEAS), one faculty member and one student representative will be from the CEAS.  Additional faculty will be consulted to address specific technical issues as appropriate. 

Evidence 

The standard of evidence used by the hearing board is "clear and convincing." Students may be found responsible on the basis of direct evidence, circumstantial evidence, or a combination of the two. This may include, for example, any of the following: a dramatic change in writing style; possession of accessible notes, devices (i.e. mobile phones, clickers, calculators, translators, etc.), or similarly prohibited material during an exam; observed communication between students during an exam; or unusual similarity among exams, papers, assignments, projects, or other work, including similarity with online resources.

The Hearing

A student accused of violating academic integrity will be given an opportunity to address the hearing board. The student may bring an advisor or witness. Advisors may counsel their advisees during the hearing but do not have the privilege of the floor. The Academic Judiciary Office must be notified of the intention to bring advisors or witnesses no later than two working days prior to the hearing. 

The board may call its own witnesses and introduce pertinent information to the hearing. The board may bring an advisor, who may remain during the entire hearing. The reporting individual/instructor and the student may ask each other questions, as well as ask questions of each other's witnesses. 

When two or more students are accused in the same academic dishonesty case, they can request to meet with the board independently of the other student(s) and their advisors and witnesses. 

The hearing officer may dismiss any participant who exhibits disruptive behavior during the hearing. The board will attempt to reach a decision on the basis of the evidence before it regardless of the presence or absence of the persons concerned, their witnesses, or their advisors. In cases where reasonable notice of absence for cause has been given (at least 24 hours), the hearing will be postponed and rescheduled as soon as possible. 

Hearings normally proceed as follows: 

The individual/instructor reporting the violation of academic integrity makes a statement summarizing the case and reviews supporting documentation, if any. This statement cannot be interrupted by questions or challenges. However, the hearing officer may ask the speaker to repeat something for clarification. 

The student accused of violating academic integrity then makes a statement responding to the accusation. The student may present evidence at this point supporting their appeal of the accusation. The student's statement cannot be interrupted by questions or challenges.  However, the hearing officer may ask the speaker to repeat something for clarification. If the hearing involves multiple students accused in the same case, all students will be present for the reporting individual/instructor’s statement. However, each student will make a separate response statement, without any other students present. If a statement by any of the students implicates any of the others, the implicated student will be informed so that they can respond. 

The members of the hearing board may ask questions of any of those present, including witnesses. Witnesses will normally not be present for the initial statements and will be called in to the hearing room only after initial statements are presented and the hearing board's initial questions are answered. Their presence will normally be permitted only during their own statements. Either party may call witnesses. 

At the conclusion of the hearing, the board will make a decision of finding the student "responsible" or "not responsible" for violating academic integrity. All decisions will be made by majority of the members present. The individual votes and tally are not divulged. 

Although there can be substantial variance, hearings are normally completed within about an hour. Students and reporting individuals/instructors will be notified by email of the outcome of the hearing. 

Appeal of Committee Action   

Decisions made by the Academic Judiciary Committee can be appealed by submitting a detailed statement (either as e-mail text or an attachment) to the Associate Provost for Academic Success at academic_appeals@stonybrook.edu.  In situations where the student is in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences (CEAS), the appeal will be forwarded for consideration to the CEAS Office of the Dean.  Appeals are only considered based on new evidence not available at the time of the hearing and/or errors in procedure.  Appeals must be submitted within seven (7) business days of the original hearing committee's decision. Instructions for appeals and specific deadlines are included in the email with the decision by the hearing committee. 

 n Academic Judiciary appeal that is denied by the Associate Provost or CEAS Office of the Dean, may be appealed to the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education only when new documentation not available at the time of the hearing or evidence of procedural error is provided. Appeal requests should include the original request, as well as the new documentation and/or evidence of procedural error, and must be submitted within seven (7) business days of the communication of the decision from the Associate Provost's or CEAS Dean’s Office. Appeals should be addressed to: Dr. Charles Robbins, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, c/o Nadine Greenstein at nadine.greenstein@stonybrook.edu. The appeal decision of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education is final. 

Completion of Cases 

Once an accusation has been initiated, the hearing or review procedures prescribed by these rules will be completed whether or not the reporting individual or student remains associated with the University. 

Communication with Student 

All Academic Judiciary email will be addressed to students at the email address on record in the Registrar's Office.

Students who have been found guilty of academic dishonesty and, as a consequence, have been assigned a Q grade may not graduate with University honors. Requests for exceptions to this policy for students with majors in the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business, School of Journalism, the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, and students enrolled in Sustainability programs are reviewed by the University’s Academic Integrity Officer. No exceptions will be made for students graduating with majors in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Scholarly and Scientific Misconduct

While most cases of academic dishonesty fall under the jurisdiction of the judiciary committees, students involved in allegations of scholarly or scientific misconduct as defined below are subject to the campus policy and procedure for investigating such allegations as filed in compliance with the requirements of the Public Health Service’s Office of Research Integrity.

Scholarly and scientific misconduct are defined as: fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, or other serious deviation from accepted practices in proposing, carrying out, or reporting results of scholarly activities; and retaliation of any kind against a person who reported or provided information about suspected or alleged misconduct and who has not acted in bad faith. This definition is not meant to include actions involving honest error or honest differences in interpretations or judgments of data.

Academic Grievances

The Academic Judiciary Committee for the College of Arts and Sciences and the Committee on Academic Standing and Appeals in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences consider students’ complaints of arbitrary, capricious, malicious, or otherwise improper actions related to grading and other evaluations, assignments, examinations, other requirements for credit, and any other academic matters. While such grievances are most often brought by students against instructors, the committees consider grievances involving any member of the academic community on the West Campus. The committees, however, cannot intervene in matters covered by the procedures set forth in the Policies of the Board of Trustees, the Rules for the Maintenance of Public Order, or the collective bargaining agreements between New York State and United University Professions (the faculty-staff union) or GSEU (the Graduate Student Employees Union).

The committees consider only charges of clearly improper academic practices; they will not intervene in disagreements about an instructor’s intellectual judgment (e.g., grading). Grievances should be brought to a committee only after students or others have unsuccessfully pursued other avenues of redress, such as discussion with the instructor and department chairperson. Grievances should be put in writing, including all pertinent details, and should be submitted to the appropriate committee within one month of the alleged impropriety. Further information about academic grievance procedures may be obtained from the Academic Judiciary Web site at http://www.stonybrook.edu/uaa/academicjudiciary/ as well as from the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs or the Engineering and Applied Sciences Undergraduate Student Office.

For more information on responsibilities and integrity, see the section Office of University Community Standards.