Academic Integrity Code
Academic integrity stands at the heart of intellectual life. The academic community is bound by a fundamental trust that professors and students alike undertake and present their work honestly. As a community of the mind, we respect the work of others, paying our intellectual debts as we craft our own work.
The Academic Integrity Code (“Code”) for American University defines honorable conduct, outlines attendant rights and responsibilities, and describes procedures for handling allegations of academic misconduct. Violating standards of academic conduct is a serious matter subject to discipline. Most charges of Code violations are brought by the university faculty to the Academic Integrity Code Administrator of the major teaching unit (School or College) in which the course is taught.
Violations adjudicated under the Code include the following: plagiarism; inappropriate collaboration; dishonesty in examinations (in-class or take-home); dishonesty in papers; work done for one course and submitted to another; fabrication of data; interference with other students’ or scholars’ work; bribes, favors, and threats; and other academic misconduct. Violations of the Code will be treated seriously, with special attention to repeat offenders. Sanctions for Code violations may include failure for the course, a notation on the student’s permanent record, suspension and dismissal, as well as other lesser sanctions. Freshman Forgiveness does not apply to Code violations.
By enrolling at American University and then each semester when registering for classes, students acknowledge their commitment to the Code. As members of the academic community, students must become familiar with their rights and their responsibilities. In each course, they are responsible for knowing the requirements and restrictions regarding research and writing, examinations of whatever kind, collaborative work, the use of study aids, the appropriateness of assistance, and other issues. Students are responsible for learning the conventions of documentation and acknowledgment of sources. American University expects students to complete all examinations, tests, papers, creative projects, and assignments of any kind according to the highest ethical standards, as set forth either explicitly or implicitly in this Code or by the direction of instructors.
The Academic Integrity Code may be found at: www.american.edu/academics/integrity/.
Student Academic Grievance Policy
In the course of academic life, a student may come into disagreement with a faculty member or with the policies and actions of an academic unit as they affect the student’s progress toward completion of a course or degree. In cases of complaint or disagreement over academic matters not resolved by consultation among the parties, the university provides the student the right to initiate a grievance procedure, as described in the Student Academic Grievance Policy located on the Office of Undergraduate Studies website under Academic Policies.
Students should have protection through orderly procedures against prejudiced or capricious academic evaluation. At the same time, they are responsible for maintaining standards of academic performance established for each course in which they are enrolled. Evaluation of students and the awarding of credit must be based on academic performance professionally judged and not on matters irrelevant to that performance, such as personality, physical disability, age, race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, degree of political activism, or personal beliefs.
Judgment regarding standards of evaluation for a student’s academic performance is a faculty responsibility and is not grievable. Normally, only questions relating to whether a faculty member complied with the stated requirements of the course and applied standards of evaluation fairly and equitably are potentially grievable.