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Moravian College
Catalog

Policy on Academic Code of Conduct

Moravian College expects its students to perform their academic work honestly and fairly. A Moravian student, moreover, should neither hinder nor unfairly assist other students in efforts to complete their own work. This policy of academic integrity is the foundation on which learning at Moravian is built.

The College's expectations and the consequences of failure to meet those expectations are outlined in the current Student Handbook, and in the Statement on Academic Honesty at Moravian College, available from the Office of the Provost. If a student, at any point in an academic career at Moravian, is uncertain about his or her responsibility as a scholar or about the propriety of a particular action, the instructor should be consulted.

The sections that follow outline key academic policies and regulations. Please note that appeals of academic policies and issues (including, but not limited to, the specific policies stated below) are heard by the Academic Standards Committee, through the associate provost. Decisions of the Academic Standards Committee can be appealed to the provost and dean of the faculty. The president of the College does not hear appeals except where (1) new evidence is uncovered after the review by the provost and dean of the faculty; or (2) where the student making the appeal has concerns about procedural issues during the appeals process. Appeals of academic policies and issues must be made by the student on his/her own behalf; appeals may not be submitted by a parent, legal guardian, or attorney on behalf of a student. Appeals to the president must be submitted in writing.

RECORDING IN CLASS

Students are not permitted to record a class by any means without prior express authorization of the faculty member. Unauthorized recording may be deemed a violation of the Student Code of Conduct.

ACADEMIC CODE OF CONDUCT

Academic integrity is the foundation on which learning at Moravian College and Moravian Theological Seminary is built. Students are expected to perform their academic work honestly and fairly. In addition, students should neither hinder nor unfairly assist the efforts of other students to complete their work successfully. Institutional expectations and the consequences of failure to meet those expectations are outlined below.

In the policy below, “the Committee” refers to the Academic Standards Committee for undergraduate and graduate students and faculty in the School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences or the School of Natural and Health Sciences; “the Committee” refers to the “Admissions and Standing Committee” for students and faculty in Moravian Theological Seminary.

In an academic community, students are encouraged to help one another learn. Because no two students learn in exactly the same way or absorb exactly the same things from a lecture, students are encouraged to study together. The boundaries on what is or is not acceptable work may not always be clear; thus, if at any point in academic work at Moravian, students are uncertain about their responsibility as scholars or about the propriety of a particular action, the instructor should be consulted. Students can violate the academic code of conduct without intending to do so; it is therefore important that they familiarize themselves with both institutional definitions and expectations (as defined in the policy below) as well as departmental, program, and instructor expectations. The Committee does not consider intent when reviewing alleged violations of policy. 

RESPECT FOR ACADEMIC HONESTY

Failure to respect academic honesty includes but is not limited to:

This list is not to be considered complete but rather covers the most common areas of concern. In general, students should be guided by the principles as described here.

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is defined as the use, deliberate or not, of any outside source without proper acknowledgment. While the work of others often constitutes a necessary resource for academic research, such work must be properly used and credited to the original author. This principle applies to professional scholars as well as to students.

An "outside source" is any work (published or unpublished) composed, written, or created by any person other than the student who submitted the work. This definition is adapted from Napolitano v. Princeton, which established the accepted legal standard.

All work that students submit or present as part of course assignments or requirements must be their own original work unless otherwise expressly permitted by the instructor. This includes any work presented, in written, oral, or electronic form or in any other technical or artistic medium. When students use the specific thoughts, ideas, writings, or expressions of others, they must accompany each instance of use with some form of attribution to the source. Direct quotes from any source (including the Internet) must be placed in quotation marks (or otherwise marked appropriately) and accompanied by proper citation, following the preferred bibliographic conventions of the department or instructor. It is the instructor's responsibility to make clear to all students in the class the preferred or required citation style for student work. Ignorance on the student's part of bibliographic convention and citation procedures is not a valid excuse for having committed plagiarism.

When writing creative or research papers in a foreign language, students may not use electronic translation services. Utilizing such tools without express permission of the instructor constitutes plagiarism. The use of electronic dictionaries for single-word inquiries or short idiomatic expressions is permissible at the discretion of professors in the Department of Modern Languages and Literature.

Students may not present oral or written reports written by others as their own work. This includes incorporating formal lecture notes written or dictated by someone other than the student.

Students may not use writing or research obtained from a term-paper service or purchased from any person or entity, unless they fully disclose such activity to the instructor and are given express permission. They may not use writings or research obtained from any other student previously or currently enrolled at Moravian or elsewhere or from the files of any student organization unless expressly permitted to do so by the instructor.

Students may not submit or present work prepared in whole or in part to fulfill course requirements for more than one course, unless expressly permitted to do so by all instructors involved. This includes work submitted for courses at other institutions as well as in previous semesters at Moravian College or Moravian Theological Seminary.

Students must keep all notes, drafts, and materials used in preparing assignments until a final course grade is given. For work in electronic form, they may be asked to keep all intermediate drafts and notes electronically or in hard copy until final grades are given. All such materials must be available for inspection by the instructor at any time.

Cheating

Students may not submit homework, computer solutions, lab reports, or any other coursework prepared by, copied from, or dictated by others (either inside or outside of the institution). If the student is employing the services of a tutor (whether from the campus community or elsewhere), the tutor may not prepare the student's work for class.

Students may not provide or receive unauthorized help in taking examinations, tests, or quizzes, or in preparing any other requirements for a course. Such restrictions are illustrated by but not limited to the following:

  • Using unauthorized material in an examination, test, or quiz.
  • Using notes in any form, regardless of who prepared them, unless authorized by the instructor.
  • Using calculators or any other electronic devices unless authorized by the instructor. The instructor has the right to insist that electronic devices must be turned off, put away, or collected until the conclusion of the assessment.
  • Using e-mail or text-messaging during any exam without the permission of the instructor.
  • Stealing, using, or transmitting in writing, electronically, or verbally, actual examinations, tests, quizzes, quiz banks, or portions thereof prior to, during, or following an exam.
  • Reading or observing another student's work without that student's consent and the instructor's consent, whether that work be on paper, in electronic form, or in any other medium.
  • Sharing of electronic documents or notes during the exam, including during take-home exams, without prior permission of the instructor.
  • Soliciting or using a proxy test-taker or acting in that capacity.
  • Posting to a public or private website any course materials without the instructor's permission.

Helping or Hindering Others

Students may not tamper with, damage, or otherwise hinder the work of others to complete their own assignments.

Students may not collaborate during an in-class examination, test, or quiz, or work with others on out-of-class assignments, exams, or projects unless expressly allowed or directed to do so by the instructor. If students have any reservation about their participation in any out-of-class assignments, they should consult with the instructor.

Falsification

Students may not offer a falsified excuse for an absence from an examination, test, quiz, or other course requirement, directly or through another source. Students may not falsify an excuse for an absence from class, even when there is to be no graded assessment on that day.

Students may not falsify laboratory results, research data, or results. They may not invent bibliographical entries for research papers or handouts. They may not falsify information about the date of submission for any coursework.

In the preparation of course, program, or degree work, students are directed to comply with the copyright law of the United States (Title XVII, U.S. Code, available in Reeves Library). Violations of copyright law and of regulations regarding the use of copyrighted material for educational purposes are violations of this policy.

Students may not copy print or non-print media or download copyrighted files (including music) from the Internet beyond accepted norms. Reeves Library staff should be consulted concerning U.S. copyright policies on "fair use" for educational purposes.

Damage to Academic Resources

Damage to or abuse of library, media, computing, or other academic resources is prohibited by the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

FILING OF VIOLATIONS OF THE ACADEMIC CODE OF CONDUCT

Any student currently enrolled at the institution may be charged with a violation of the Academic Code of Conduct, even where the violation is not tied to a specific course. Alleged violations of the Academic Code of Conduct are normally submitted by a faculty member and are generally tied to a specific course. However, the initial suspicion of a violation may be identified by anyone on campus, from other students to other faculty/advisors, to members of the administrative or support staff; such suspicions should be brought the the course instructor or vice provost. When charges are ties to a specific course, the penalty is decided by the instructor, in accordance with the consequences listed below. When the student is charged without tied to a specific course, the Academic Standards Committee can determine the penalty or may refer the case to Student Development for potential adjudication in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct. Students, faculty, or staff who bring forth charges may not do so anonymously if they wish for the charge to be processed and potentially adjudicated, through they may make their initial conversation with a faculty member private and confidential.

PROCEDURES FOR AND CONSEQUENCES OF VIOLATING THE ACADEMIC CODE OF CONDUCT

An instructor who suspects a student of violating the academic code of conduct with regard to an assignment, requirement, examination, test, or quiz will consult with the department chair or another full-time faculty member in the department, using a blind copy of the work in question, to verify the violation. If they agree that a violation has taken place, the instructor will, in almost all cases, assign either a grade of 0 to the work in question or a failing grade in the course in which the violation occurred. In cases of plagiarism, the instructor can request to the Academic Standards Committee that the student be allowed to redo an assignment for a lesser grade (but not zero), for educational purposes. The Committee can decline to allow this lesser penalty without disclosing their reasons. This path does not prevent the student from submitting an appeal of the charge through the normal processes.

The instructor may recommend that the Academic Standards Committee consider suspension or expulsion, if the instructor and the chair feel that the circumstances of the alleged violation are particularly egregious or if professional standards in a program leading to licensure or other professional credential have been violated. The Academic Standards Committee is not bound by this recommendation, but will take it under advisement and require a hearing with the student who has been charged.

The student must be informed in writing (which may be via email) of the alleged violation and penalty; and a copy of this memo must be sent to the vice provost or (for students in Moravian Theological Seminary) to the Dean of the Moravian Theological Seminary. A message within the course management system is not sufficient. A record of the violation will be kept in the Office of the Provost (or Seminary Dean’s Office, with a copy in the record of the Office of Vocation and Enrollment). In alignment with the Student Code of Conduct, these records are considered part of a student's educational record as defined by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and may be released in certain circumstances as allowed by that law. The College will comply with requests for release of these records in accordance with FERPA when a current or former student seeks admission to another institution of higher education or for employment for a period of seven years following a student's last date of attendance for most cases and indefinitely in cases involving suspension or expulsion. Students may petition the Academic Standards Committee to have their records sealed, so that a prior violation is not reported to prospective employers or graduate/professional schools; however, the decision as to whether or not to seal such records lies with the Academic Standards Committee. Requests to have records sealed will not be accepted until at least on calendar year has passed since the incident has been reported; requests to seal records will not be granted where the resulting penalty was suspension or expulsion. Students may request to have a single incident sealed, but requests involving multiple incidents will not be granted. Although a student's records would be effectively sealed, the student needs to be aware that there are some situations where the student might apply for a job or for admission for additional education (e.g., grad school, law school) and that institution requires records be shared, even these sealed ones. In these cases, Moravian College will not share your records without the student's permission, but the student must realize that they may not be eligible for that position without allowing that institution access to these records. In other words, if they don't give permission in those cases where the institution or employer requires access to these records, the student may need to rescind your application to that institution or could expect that their application for admission or employment might not be accepted.

The institution strongly recommends that any finding of academic impropriety be disclosed to the student's faculty advisor, to assist the student in understanding the implications of the finding and to assist the advisor in counseling the student. The vice provost or Seminary dean may notify the advisor without specific permission from the student, in compliance with FERPA.

Accusations of violations of the Academic Code of Conduct must be presented to the vice provost or Seminary dean by the end of the drop/add period of the subsequent spring term (for violations related to fall term courses) or within 30 days of the end of the spring term or summer term (for violations related to spring term courses or summer term courses, respectively). In the event where a violation was discovered when a student was initially awarded a grade of incomplete, accusations of a violation of the Academic Code of Conduct must be presented to the vice provost or Seminary dean within 30 days after all work for the course has been submitted. No charges may be brought after that date.

For students in accelerated or cohort-based programs, faculty members have three weeks from the end of a term to present charges of code of conduct violations. Students have 30 days from the time of notification of the alleged violation to file an appeal. Students in these situations may continue in the program until the appeal has been reviewed and a course of action determined by the Academic Standards Committee. Should the student wish to appeal decisions of the Academic Standards Committee, the student may continue in the program until the appeal has been heard and the student has been notified of the decision. Students who are subject to program dismissal or institutional suspension or expulsion may remain in the program until they are notified that their appeals are complete and given a date of dismissal, suspension or expulsion. Students in this situation are not eligible for refunds of any tuition paid up to the date of their separation from the institution.

If a student is charged with a violation of the code of conduct in the last term of study and faces possible course failure, suspension, or expulsion as a result, the Academic Standards Committee may instruct the registrar to withhold the student's diploma and delay conferral of the degree until the case is adjudicated.

A faculty member who wishes to impose a penalty other than course failure or assignment failure must confer with the vice provost or Seminary dean before notifying the student of the penalty.

Graduate students who are charged with a violation of the academic code of conduct may face suspension or expulsion for a single offense. The decision to expel will be made by the Academic Standards Committee, but will be informed in part by a recommendation by the appropriate graduate program director.

Students wishing to appeal either the charge of a violation of the academic code of conduct or the penalty are encouraged to first consult with the faculty member. If they wish to pursue an appeal, students should meet with the department chair or program director. To seek an appeal beyond this, students should do so in writing to the Committee. Student appeals must be filed within 30 days of the instructor's filing of the violation. The faculty member will be asked to explain in writing the charge and circumstances surrounding it. Letters from material witnesses may be submitted by either the faculty member or the student, but letters in support of the student's character will not be accepted or considered by the Committee.

Students charged with a second violation of the Academic Code of Conduct will be referred automatically to the Committee after the faculty member assigns the initial penalty. As with student appeals of charges or penalties, the faculty member and the student in question will submit a written explanation of the situation. If the charge is found to be valid, the committee will determine whether the penalty was sufficient and reasonable. At this point, the student could be suspended or expelled.

If the Committee determines that suspension or expulsion is reasonable and advisable, the student will be informed of this action in writing. If an appeal is requested, a formal hearing will be held. No parents or friends may be present. Material witnesses will be asked to submit testimony in writing and may be asked to testify in person. No character witnesses or written statements from such parties are permitted. Students may consult with their academic advisor in preparing an appeal or defense before the Committee. The provost may elect to hear appeals of suspensions or expulsions.  Once the process (including appeals) for suspension or expulsion is finalized, the student’s transcript is updated to show suspended or expelled, as appropriate.

In the event of a third charge, the case will be automatically referred to the Committee for a formal hearing, following the procedure described above. Should the committee determine that a student has violated this code of conduct for the third time, the result is typically immediate expulsion; for students at Moravian Theological Seminary, this action occurs without the necessity of a Seminary faculty vote. Students wishing to appeal must make their request in writing. Appeals of an expulsion or suspension must be received by the provost within five class days of receipt of the original hearing verdict. The provost shall evaluate the written appeal so as to determine whether grounds exist.  Once the process (including appeals) for suspension or expulsion is finalized, the student’s transcript is updated to show suspended or expelled, as appropriate.

Any member of the Committee who feels he or she has a conflict of interest in reviewing the case must be recused from discussion and voting. For a case to be reviewed, a simple quorum is required. If more than two faculty or administrative members of the committee recuse themselves from deliberations, the vice provost or Seminary dean will appoint ad hoc replacements from the faculty to review the case.

Undergraduate students may not withdraw from a course in which they have been charged with a breach of this policy, except with the instructor’s written permission, and only if the charge has been filed prior to the last day to withdraw from any course. Dropping the class does not invalidate the charge of misconduct.  If the charge is overturned by the Committee, the student may choose to withdraw with a W from the course without assessment of a late fee.  In this event, no refunds of tuition are granted.

CONSEQUENCES OF CHARGES AFTER CONFERRAL OF THE DEGREE

If a faculty member uncovers evidence of a academic dishonesty committed by a student who has already received a degree, the student will be marked as ineligible for admission to any graduate programs offered by the institution, pending a review of the case. The charge is kept in the records of the Office of the Provost and may be reported to employers or other higher education programs, as per policy above. Students will be notified by the vice provost of the charge so that they have the right to appeal.

STUDENT RIGHTS WITH REGARD TO VIOLATIONS OF THE ACADEMIC CODE OF CONDUCT

Students have the right:

  • To have the alleged violation and penalty described in writing.
  • To see the evidence of the charge collected by the faculty member.
  • To discuss with the instructor the alleged violation and penalty, though official appeals of charges may only be adjudicated by the Academic Standards Committee.
  • To know all of the names of the persons accusing them of violations of the academic code of conduct.
  • To review all material submitted to the Committee before it makes its determination. Response to the material may be made orally or in writing. If the instructor provides a written response to the student's appeal, the student may view that response and provide one additional submission to the committee, if the student chooses to do so.
  • Within one month of the filing of the alleged violation, to appeal in writing the alleged violation or penalty to the Committee.
  • To receive assistance from the academic advisor in preparing an appeal to the Committee. In addition, members of the current student body and current full-time employees may assist the student in preparing an appeal or defense.
  • To receive a decision from the Committee within a reasonable time.
  • To have all record of the alleged violation removed from the student's file in the event of an acquittal.
  • To have at the hearing a member of the faculty, administration, or student body to provide support to the student but not participate in the proceedings. Individuals other than those listed above (including but not limited to family members and attorneys) will not be admitted.
  • To appear in person and present information on their own behalf, to call witnesses, and to ask questions of anyone present at a hearing. In determining the validity of and responsibility for the alleged violation, the Committee will permit witnesses of fact but not character.
  • To refuse to answer or make a statement. Decisions will be based on the available evidence.
  • To elect not to attend a hearing, without penalty, in which case the hearing will be conducted in students' absence with the evidence available, and decisions will be based on that evidence.
  • To request that a previous record of a charge be sealed; for legal reasons, however, the institution may be obligated to report sealed charges.
  • To receive written documentation of the outcome of a hearing and any sanctions imposed.
  • To request an appeal of the process of any hearing by the Committee. Appeals will be heard by the provost, who will determine whether proper procedures have been followed and return the case to the Committee if appropriate. Appeals to the provost must be submitted in writing within 2 weeks of receipt of the decision of the Academic Standards Committee.

FACULTY RIGHTS WITH REGARD TO ALLEGATIONS OF VIOLATIONS OF THE ACADEMIC CODE OF CONDUCT

The faculty member filing the violation has the right:

  • To have the chair or other faculty member present in meetings with the student.
  • To confer with the vice provost or Seminary dean on an appropriate penalty for the alleged violation.
  • To negotiate with the vice provost or Seminary dean an alternative penalty if the instructor feels there are mitigating circumstances.
  • To submit to the Committee any materials relevant to the decision.
  • To review in a timely fashion the student's written appeal and respond in writing to the Committee before the case is reviewed, as well as to review any subsequent response provided by the student to the instructor's response cited above. (At this point, there is no further "back-and-forth" with review of materials between the instructor and student.)
  • To be apprised of the Committee's decision.