Academic Honesty

The Point Loma Nazarene University community holds the highest standards of honesty and integrity in all aspects of university life. Any violation of the university’s commitment is a serious affront to the very nature of Point Loma’s mission and purpose.

Violations of academic honesty include cheating, plagiarism, falsification, aiding academic dishonesty, and malicious interference.

Cheating is the use of unauthorized assistance that results in an unfair advantage over other students. It includes but is not limited to: Bringing and/or using unauthorized notes, technology or other study aids during an examination; looking at other students’ work during an exam or in an assignment where collaboration is not allowed; attempting to communicate with other students in order to get help during an exam or in an assignment where collaboration is not allowed; obtaining an examination prior to its administration; allowing another person to do one’s work and submitting it as one’s own; submitting work done in one class for credit in another without the instructor’s permission.

Plagiarism is the use of an idea, phrase or other materials from a source without proper acknowledgment of that source. It includes but is not limited to: The use of an idea, phrase, or other materials from a source without proper acknowledgment of that specific source in a work for which the student claims authorship; the misrepresentation and/or use of sources used in a work for which the student claims authorship; the use of papers purchased online as all or part of an assignment for which the student claims authorship; submitting written work, such as laboratory reports, computer programs, or papers, which have been copied from the work of other students, with or without their knowledge and consent.

Falsification is the alteration of information or forging of signatures on academic forms or documents. It includes but is not limited to: using improper methods of collecting or generating data and presenting them as legitimate; altering graded work and submitting it for re-grading; falsifying information on official academic documents such as drop/add forms, incomplete forms, petitions, recommendations, letters of permission, transcripts or any other university document; misrepresenting oneself or one’s status in the university.

Aiding academic dishonesty is assisting another person in violating the standards of academic honesty. It includes but is not limited to: Allowing other students to look at one’s own work during an exam or in an assignment where collaboration is not allowed; providing information, material, or assistance to another person knowing that it may be used in violation of academic honesty policies; providing false information in connection with any academic honesty inquiry.

Malicious intent is misuse of academic resources or interference with the legitimate academic work of other students. It includes but is not limited to: removing books, journals or pages of these from the library without formal checkout; hiding library materials; refusing to return reserve readings to the library; damaging or destroying the projects, lab or studio work or other academic product of fellow students.

A student remains responsible for the academic honesty of work submitted in PLNU courses and the consequences of academic dishonesty beyond receipt of the final grade in the class and beyond the awarding of the diploma. Ignorance of these catalog policies will not be considered a valid excuse or defense. Students may not withdraw from a course as a response to a consequence.

Response Procedure

The following response procedure is recommended to faculty who discover a violation of academic honesty:

  1. Fact-finding:  The faculty member should attempt to speak or otherwise communicate informally with the student as a first step.
  2. Communication of Consequence:  Once the violation is discovered, the instructor should send a written communication to the student regarding the incident and the consequences.  Instructors can give students an “F” on a specific assignment or an “F” in the course as a consequence of violations of academic honesty.
  3. Internal Communication:  The instructor should send a report of the incident to the department chair or school dean, the college dean, the Vice President for Student Development and the Vice Provost for Academic Administration.  The report should include a description of the violation, the action taken, and evidence of the violation.  The offical record of the incident is maintained by the Office of the Vice President for Student Development.
  4. Further action:  Prior instances of misconduct under this or other student conduct policies should be considered in determining disciplinary action for a present violation.  As the Vice President for Student Development and the appropriate college dean consult, if additional action seems necessary it would be taken after consultation with the reporting instructor and communicated in writing to the student.  Depending upon the seriousness of the incident or pattern of incidents, further actions can include probation, suspension or expulsion.

Academic Dishonesty Appeal

The following appeal procedure should be used by a student who wishes to appeal consequences associated with a finding of academic dishonesty:

  1. Instructor:  The student should present a written appeal of the penalty to the instructor involved.  The instructor should respond in writing, with a copy of the response also sent to the department chair.
  2. Department Chair or School Dean:  In the event that satisfactory resolution to the appeal is not achieved between the student and the instructor, the student may submit the appeal in writing to the department chair or school dean, who will review the appeal and send a written ruling to the student and instructor.
  3. College Dean:  Student appeals not resolved at the departmental or school level should be taken to the appropriate college dean for review.  The college dean will review the appeal and send a written ruling to the student, instructor and department chair or school dean.
  4. Administrative Committee:  Student appeals not resolved at the college dean level can be submitted to an administrative committee including an academic administrator of the student’s choice, the Provost or a designee, the Vice Provost for Academic Administration, and the Vice-President for Student Development or a designee.  The appeal decision reached by this committee is final