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Academic Integrity

While honest scholarship is time-consuming and often requires hard work, it is also the primary process by which students learn to think for themselves. Faculty members must teach respect for methods of inquiry within the various disciplines and make assignments that will encourage honest scholarship; students in turn must uphold a standard of honesty within the College, thereby affirming the value and integrity of their Lehman degree. The following definitions and procedures govern cases involving undergraduate student work.

Academic dishonesty is prohibited in The City University of New York. Penalties for academic dishonesty include academic sanctions, such as failing or otherwise reduced grades, and/or disciplinary sanctions, including suspension or expulsion.

Definitions and examples of academic dishonesty

Cheating is the unauthorized use or attempted use of material, information, notes, study aids, devices or communication during an academic exercise. Examples of cheating include:

  • Copying from another student during an examination or allowing another to copy your work.

  • Unauthorized collaboration on a take home assignment or examination.

  • Using notes during a closed book examination.

  • Taking an examination for another student, or asking or allowing another student to take an examination for you.

  • Changing a graded exam and returning it for more credit.

  • Submitting substantial portions of the same paper to more than one course without consulting with each instructor.

  • Preparing answers or writing notes in a blue book (exam booklet) before an examination.

  • Allowing others to research and write assigned papers or do assigned projects, including using commercial term paper services.

  • Giving assistance to acts of academic misconduct/ dishonesty.

  • Fabricating data (in whole or in part).

  • Falsifying data (in whole or in part).

  • Submitting someone else's work as your own.

  • Unauthorized use during an examination of any electronic devices such as cell phones, computers or other technologies to retrieve or send information.

Plagiarism is the act of presenting another person's ideas, research or writings as your own. Examples of plagiarism include:

  • Copying another person's actual words or images without the use of quotation marks and footnotes attributing the words to their source.

  • Presenting another person's ideas or theories in your own words without acknowledging the source.

  • Failing to acknowledge collaborators on homework and laboratory assignments.

  • Internet plagiarism, including submitting downloaded term papers or parts of term papers, paraphrasing or copying information from the internet without citing the source, or "cutting & pasting" from various sources without proper attribution.

Obtaining Unfair Advantage is any action taken by a student that gives that student an unfair advantage in his/her academic work over another student, or an action taken by a student through which a student attempts to gain an unfair advantage in his or her academic work over another student. Examples of obtaining unfair advantage include:

  • Stealing, reproducing, circulating or otherwise gaining advance access to examination materials.

  • Depriving other students of access to library materials by stealing, destroying, defacing, or concealing them.

  • Retaining, using or circulating examination materials which clearly indicate that they should be returned at the end of the exam.

  • Intentionally obstructing or interfering with another student's work.

Falsification of Records and Official Documents

Examples of falsification include:

  • Forging signatures of authorization.

  • Falsifying information on an official academic record.

  • Falsifying information on an official document such as a grade report, letter of permission, drop/add form, ID card or other college document.

A faculty member who suspects that a student has committed a violation of the CUNY Academic Integrity Policy shall review with the student the facts and circumstances of the suspected violation whenever feasible.

Thereafter, a faculty member who concludes that there has been an incident of academic dishonesty sufficient to affect the student's final course grade shall report such incident on a Faculty Report Form which is attached to this Policy and shall submit the Form to the college's Academic Integrity Officer who is Dr. Conrad Walker, Assistant Vice President, Student Affairs & Dean of Students. His office is in Shuster Hall room 204 and he can be reached at 718-960-8242,

The Academic Integrity Officer shall update the Faculty Report Form after a suspected incident has been resolved to reflect that resolution. Unless the resolution exonerates the student, as described in Section 4.4, the Academic Integrity Officer shall place the Form in a confidential academic integrity file created for each student alleged to have violated the Academic Integrity Policy and shall retain each Form for the purposes of identifying repeat offenders, gathering data, and assessing and reviewing policies. Unless the student is exonerated, written decisions on academic integrity matters after adjudication also shall be placed in the student's academic integrity file. The Academic Integrity Officer shall be responsible for maintaining students' academic integrity files.

Procedures for Imposition of Sanctions

Determination on academic vs. disciplinary sanction

The Academic Integrity Officer shall determine whether to seek a disciplinary sanction in addition to an academic sanction. In making this determination, the Academic Integrity Officer shall consult with the faculty member who initiated the case and may consult with student affairs and/or academic affairs administrators as needed. Before determining which sanction(s) to seek, the Academic Integrity Officer also shall consult the student's confidential academic integrity file, if any, to determine whether the student has been found to have previously committed a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy, the nature of the infraction, and the sanction imposed or action taken. Prior violations include both violations at the student's current college and violations that occurred at any other CUNY college. In making the determination on prior violations, the Academic Integrity Officer .shall determine whether the student previously attended any other CUNY colleges and, if so, shall request and be given access to the academic integrity files, if any, at such other CUNY colleges.

The Academic Integrity Officer should seek disciplinary sanctions only if (i) there is a substantial violation; or (ii) the student has previously violated the Policy; or (iii) academic sanctions are unable to be imposed because the student has timely withdrawn from the applicable course. Examples of substantial violations include but are not limited to forging a grade form or a transcript; stealing an examination from a professor or a university office; having a substitute take an examination or taking an examination for someone else; having someone else write a paper for the student or writing a paper for another student; sabotaging another student's work through actions that prevent or impede the other student from successfully completing an assignment; and violations committed by a graduate or professional student or a student who will seek professional licensure. The college also should consider any mitigating circumstances in making this determination.

Procedures in Cases Involving Only Academic Sanctions

Student Admits to the Academic Dishonesty and Does Not Contest the Academic Sanction

If a faculty member wishes to seek only an academic sanction (i.e., a reduced grade) and the student does not contest either his/her guilt or the particular reduced grade the faculty member has chosen, then the student shall be given the reduced grade, unless the Academic Integrity Officer decides to seek a disciplinary sanction. The reduced grade may apply to the particular assignment as to which the violation occurred or to the course grade, at the faculty member's discretion. A reduced grade may be an "F" or another grade that is lower than the grade that the student would have earned but for the violation.

The faculty member shall inform the Academic Integrity Officer of the resolution via email and the Officer shall update the applicable Faculty Report Form to reflect that resolution.

Student Admits to the Academic Dishonesty but Contests the Academic Sanction

In a case where a student admits to the alleged academic dishonesty but contests the particular academic sanction imposed, the student may appeal the academic sanction through the college's grade appeal process. The student shall be allowed, at a minimum, an opportunity to present a written position with supporting evidence. The committee reviewing the appeal shall issue a written decision explaining the justification for the academic sanction imposed.

Student Denies the Academic Dishonesty

In a case where a student denies the academic dishonesty, a fact-finding determination shall be made, by the Student-Faculty Disciplinary Committee established under Article XV of the CUNY Bylaws. The Student-Faculty Disciplinary Committee shall issue written decisions and send copies of their decisions to the college's Academic Integrity Officer. The Academic Integrity Officer may not serve on a college's Academic Integrity Committee.

Procedures in Cases Involving Disciplinary Sanctions

If the college decides to seek a disciplinary sanction, the case shall be processed under Article XV of the CUNY Bylaws. If the case is not resolved through mediation under Article XV, it shall be heard by the college's Faculty-Student Disciplinary Committee.

If the college seeks to have both a disciplinary and an academic sanction imposed, the college shall proceed first with the disciplinary proceeding and await its outcome before addressing the academic sanction. The student's grade shall be held in abeyance by using the PEN grade established for this purpose, pending the Committee's action. If the Faculty-Student Disciplinary Committee finds that the alleged violation occurred, then the faculty member may reflect that finding in the student's grade. The student may appeal the finding in accordance with Article XV procedures and/or may appeal the grade imposed by the faculty member in accordance with section 4.2.2. If the Faculty-Student Disciplinary Committee finds that the alleged violation did not occur, then no sanction of any kind may be imposed.

Where a matter proceeds to the Faculty-Student Disciplinary Committee, the Academic Integrity Officer shall promptly report its resolution to the faculty member and file a record of the resolution in the student's confidential academic integrity file, unless, as explained below, the suspected violation was held to be unfounded.

Required Action in Cases of No Violation

If the Faculty-Student Disciplinary Committee finds that no violation occurred, the Academic Integrity Officer shall remove all material relating to that incident from the student's confidential academic integrity. file and destroy the material.

Faculty Report Form

It is necessary to complete the following form to report an incident of suspected and/or resolved academic dishonesty: You should also make a copy for your records and submit your report to the Dean of Students, Dr. Conrad Walker. Dr. Walker can also be reached in Shuster Hall 204, email:, ph: 718.960.8242.