Cal Poly does not tolerate academic cheating or plagiarism in any form.
Learning to think and work independently is part of the educational process. Cheating or plagiarism in any form is considered a serious violation of expected student behavior and may result in disciplinary action.
University policy can be summarized simply: As a student, you are responsible for your own work and you are responsible for your actions.
All faculty and students are encouraged to review the following formal policy on cheating and plagiarism (including definitions, sanctions, and appeal procedures).
Academic Dishonesty: Cheating and Plagiarism
The University does not condone academic cheating or plagiarism in any form. Faculty are expected to uphold and support the highest academic standards in this matter. Instructors should be diligent in reducing potential opportunities for academic cheating and plagiarism to occur. Students' rights shall be ensured through attention to due process, as detailed on the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities' website.
Definition of Cheating
Cheating is defined as obtaining or attempting to obtain, or aiding another to obtain credit for work, or any improvement in evaluation of performance, by any dishonest or deceptive means. Cheating includes, but is not limited to: lying; copying from another's test or examination; discussion at any time of answers or questions on an examination or test, unless such discussion is specifically authorized by the instructor; taking or receiving copies of an exam without the permission of the instructor; using or displaying notes, "cheat sheets," or other information devices inappropriate to the prescribed test conditions; allowing someone other than the officially enrolled student to represent same.
Definition of Plagiarism
Plagiarism is defined as the act of using the ideas or work of another person or persons as if they were one's own without giving proper credit to the source. Such an act is not plagiarism if it is ascertained that the ideas were arrived through independent reasoning or logic or where the thought or idea is common knowledge. Acknowledgement of an original author or source must be made through appropriate references; i.e., quotation marks, footnotes, or commentary. Examples of plagiarism include, but are not limited to the following: the submission of a work, either in part or in whole completed by another; failure to give credit for ideas, statements, facts or conclusions which rightfully belong to another; failure to use quotation marks (or other means of setting apart, such as the use of indentation or a different font size) when quoting directly from another, whether it be a paragraph, a sentence, or even a part thereof; close and lengthy paraphrasing of another's writing without credit or originality; use of another's project or programs or part thereof without giving credit.
Academic Senate Resolution AS-722-10 (PDF)
Student Requirements and Procedures
The value of an academic degree is based upon the reputation of the university. Tolerating academic misconduct ultimately harms that reputation. The Standards for Student Conduct require that students who witness academic dishonesty notify their instructor, department chair, or the Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities. Disciplinary sanctions can be imposed for "encouraging, permitting, or assisting another to do any act that could subject him or her to discipline" [Title 5, Article 2, Section 41301 (b) (20)].
Academic integrity is essential to the educational process. Traditional academic practices require that faculty members address cases of academic dishonesty in the classroom. The final section of Executive Order 1006 insists that, in addition, CSU faculty members report any infractions to a central location so that a student can be held accountable for multiple academic violations and the campus can recognize any patterns of misconduct.
A faculty member should file a Confidential Faculty Report of Academic Dishonesty to facilitate the reporting process.
The resolution of academic dishonesty cases seeks a balance between encouraging a student's professional development and upholding the standards of the academic community. The faculty member can recommend that OSRR either provide a written warning to the student or file formal charges. OSRR ultimately evaluates the merits of the allegation according to the OSRR Process and determines appropriate sanctions, if warranted, based on the specific facts of the case.
Faculty Senate Procedures
Faculty Senate Resolution AS-722-10, dated November 16, 2010, describes policies and procedures for reporting and addressing cheating and plagiarism. The procedures are listed below. You can view the policy on the Academic Programs website.
Procedures for Addressing Cheating
a) Instructors should be confident that cheating has occurred; if there is any doubt, the student should be consulted and/or additional information sought prior to taking action for cheating.
b) The student should be notified by memorandum of the instructor's determination that cheating has occurred and the intended punishment. Said memorandum should notify the student that ifs/he denies cheating: (1) the department head of the course of record will be given an opportunity to resolve the situation to the satisfaction of both parties; and (2) if the situation remains unresolved, an appeal of the finding of cheating (though not of the punishment, if the finding of cheating is upheld) is available through the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities (OSRR).
c) Cheating requires, at a minimum, an "F" assigned to the assignment, exam, or task, and this "F" must be reflected in the course grade. The instructor may assign an "F" course grade for an incidence of cheating.
d) Irrespective of whether an appeal is made, the instructor is obligated to submit to the OSRR director a Confidential Faculty Report of Academic Dishonesty. Physical evidence, circumstantial evidence, and testimony of observation may be attached.
e) If an appeal is made, the grade assigned for cheating and the associated course grade cannot be appealed to the Fairness Board should the OSRR confirm the incidence of cheating.
f) The OSRR director shall determine if any disciplinary action is required in addition to the assignment of a failing grade. Disciplinary actions which are possible include, but are not limited to: required special counseling, special paper or research assignments, loss of student teaching or research appointments, removal from a course, loss of membership in organizations, suspension or dismissal from individual programs or from the University. The most severe of the possible actions shall be reserved for grievous cheating offenses or more than one offense by an individual.
Procedures for Addressing Plagiarism
a) Instructors should be confident that plagiarism has occurred; if there is any doubt, the student should be consulted and/or additional information sought prior to taking action for plagiarism.
b) Plagiarism may be considered a form of cheating and therefore subject to the same procedure which requires notification to the OSRR director and, at a minimum, an "F" assigned to the assignment, exam, or task. However, plagiarism may be the result of poor learning or poor attention to format, and may occur without any intent to deceive; consequently, some instructor discretion is appropriate. Provided that there was no obvious intent to deceive, an instructor may choose to counsel the student and offer a remedy (within her/his authority) which is less severe than that required for cheating. (If in doubt about her/his authority to offer a particular remedy, the instructor should consult OSRR.) Even under these circumstances, the instructor must submit to the OSRR director a Confidential Faculty Report of Academic Dishonesty.
c) An instructor may not penalize a student for plagiarism in any way without advising the student by memorandum that a penalty is being imposed. The instructor should further advise the student in said memorandum that if s/he denies committing plagiarism: (1) the department head of the course of record will be given an opportunity to resolve the situation to the satisfaction of both parties; and (2) if the situation remains unresolved, an appeal of the finding of plagiarism(though not of the punishment, if the finding of plagiarism is upheld) is possible through OSRR.