The University of Alabama at Birmingham expects all members of its academic community to function according to the highest ethical and professional standards. Students, faculty, and the administration of the institution must be involved to ensure this quality of academic conduct.
Academic misconduct undermines the purpose of education. Such behavior is a serious violation of the trust that must exist among faculty and students for a university to nurture intellectual growth and development. Academic misconduct can generally be defined as all acts of dishonesty in an academic or related matter.
Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, the following categories of behavior:
ABETTING is helping another student commit an act of academic dishonesty. Allowing someone to copy your quiz answers or use your work as their own are examples of abetting.
CHEATING is the unauthorized use or attempted use of unauthorized materials, information, study aids, the work of others, or computer-related information.
PLAGIARISM means claiming as your own the ideas, words, data, computer programs, creative compositions, artwork, etc., done by someone else. Examples include improper citation of referenced works, the use of commercially available scholarly papers, failure to cite sources, or copying another person’s ideas.
FABRICATION means presenting falsified data, citations, or quotations as genuine.
MISREPRESENTATION is falsification, alteration, or the misstatement of the contents of documents, academic work, or other materials related to academic matters, including work substantially done for one class as work done for another without receiving prior approval from the instructor.
Violations of the UAB Academic Honor Code are punishable by a range of penalties, from receiving a failing grade on an assignment to an F in the course to dismissal. Any course grade of F for academic misconduct supersedes any other grade or notation for that class. Withdrawal from a course while a possible violation of the Academic Honor Code is under review will not preclude the assignment of a course grade that appropriately reflects the student’s performance prior to withdrawal if the violation is substantiated.
Procedure for Suspected Violation
In the event of a suspected violation of the Academic Honor Code, UAB follows this procedure:
- Upon reaching the conclusion that academic dishonesty may have occurred and that action is warranted, the instructor should inform the student of the charge as soon as possible. The student has the right to hear the instructor’s reasons for making the charge, to inspect all relevant evidence in the instructor’s possession, and to respond to the charge. Based on the student’s response and all the evidence, the instructor will determine if a penalty is appropriate. If a penalty is deemed appropriate, the instructor will inform the student of the action to be taken. If the student is not in agreement with the findings or the penalty, the instructor will provide the student with a written statement of the action taken and the basis for it. A copy of this letter will be sent to the chair of the department.
- Within two weeks of this notification of a judgment of academic dishonesty, the student may appeal the instructor’s decision by letter to the chair of the department or his/her designated representative. The chair, acting expeditiously, should take testimony from the student, the instructor, and all appropriate witnesses and make a decision. If the chair reverses the finding of academic misconduct, the instructor must reexamine the work in question and assign credit without prejudice. In the event that the chair is the instructor in the course, the dean will replace the chair in the appeal process.
- In cases where a grade of F is assigned in the course and the student has utilized the appeal process described above (in section 2), the student has two weeks to appeal the decision by letter to the dean of the school responsible for the course. The dean should acknowledge receipt of the student’s appeal and inform the student of the course of action within 10 working days of the date the appeal is received in the dean’s office. At the dean’s discretion, an advisory panel may be appointed to study the appeal and make a recommendation to the dean. However, it is the responsibility and prerogative of the dean alone to make, in a timely manner, the final decision. The decision of the dean is final.
- In cases where the final decision concerning an academic misconduct charge is an F for the course, a letter to this effect will be sent to the Office of the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Programs and be kept on file. The course repeat policy will not apply to course grades resulting from instances of academic misconduct. In these cases, the grades of F received will be computed in the UAB grade point average.
In addition, students should consult the policies of the school/program in which they are enrolled to determine school/program guidelines and penalties regarding academic misconduct and suspension for academic misconduct.
Schools that suspend a student on the first offense may post this offense on the student’s UAB academic record.
A student suspended from a UAB school for academic misconduct will have a hold placed on his/her registration and will not be permitted to enroll in another UAB school without that school’s permission. Some UAB programs have policies preventing enrollment of students with past academic misconduct offenses.
Note that individual schools may have academic misconduct rules in addition to the above.