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Frequently Asked Questions

Why has the University established this process for handling academic integrity violations?

The previous system for handling academic dishonesty cases was handled through department, college, and University Academic Practices Committees. The new process was established to alleviate extra committee work for faculty members, to provide a consistent process throughout the University, and to provide a university system for tracking students who repeatedly cheat, fabricate, and/or plagiarize assignments.

Why do faculty members need to report cases to the Assistant Director for AI?

The Assistant Director for AI keeps track of violations so that appropriate sanctions can be made. If a student violates the policy more than once, a more severe sanction should be imposed; therefore, after it is determined that the student did violate the AI Policy and before faculty members impose a sanction, the faculty should check with the Assistant Director for AI to see if previous violations have been committed. Keep in mind that students can transfer from college to college and continue to violate the AI Policy without being detected unless records are kept of violations. Therefore, it is important to report cases to the Assistant Director for AI.

How will you know if students have heard about the policy?

The Assistant Director for AI presents information about the policy and the violations to various student groups (Student Orientation classes, Student Convocation and forums.). Every instructor should also discuss the policy and basic concepts of cheating, plagiarism, and fabrication in his or her class. In order for students to understand the policy, they must understand the concepts of cheating, plagiarism, and fabrication and how it relates to a specific class. We cannot assume that students understand these concepts, particularly first-year students who are coming directly from high school. High schools provide varying degrees of instruction regarding these issues.

Is the AI Policy in the Faculty and Student Handbooks?

Yes.

How should faculty members report cases?

Please go here for instructions.

How involved does a faculty member have to be after the report is filed?

If a student accepts responsibility for his/her actions and agrees to the sanction imposed by the instructor, then the case is closed and the faculty member simply needs to submit the case in writing to the Assistant Director for AI. If the student requests a hearing, however, then the faculty member will need to appear before the College Academic Integrity Committee to present his or her information regarding the case. If the student appeals the decision of the College Academic Integrity Committee and the case goes before the University Academic Integrity Committee, then the faculty member will not need to appear before the University AI Committee. The appeal will only reach the University AI Committee if there are irregularities in procedure, new evidence not available for the first hearing, or if the punishment is not consistent with the violation.

If a student merits a sanction of suspension or expulsion, then the case goes to the Student Disciplinary Council, the only body designated to handle suspension or expulsion (KRS 164.370). If this is the case, then the faculty member will need to appear before this Committee to present his or her information regarding the case. The Assistant Director for AI will help facilitate the entire process.

How long does the report stay in the system? For example, if a student drops out for a year or two and then returns to EKU, will the report still be on file?

Most files are kept for 5 years and after that, destroyed. Exceptions to this may be suspensions, expulsions, or cases with "FX" sanctions. Information cannot be disclosed in a file unless students have provided their written consent. Students are protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) whose three components are:

  1. The right of students to inspect and review education records
  2. The right of students to seek to amend education records.
  3. The right to of students to have some control over disclosure of information from education records.

There are exceptions: In some occupations (e.g., medical, law enforcement), employers will need to know if students have records of AI violations. If a subpoena is served, those files will be turned over to the proper authorities.

Education Records are defined as records that contain information directly related to the student and are maintained by an educational agency or institution or a party acting for the institution. Exceptions to education records include: sole possession records, employment records, law enforcement records, health records, and alumni records.

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