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Conduct and Honesty

For RIT’s Policy on Student Academic Integrity Process, click here.

As a university, RIT is committed to the pursuit of knowledge and the free exchange of ideas. In such an intellectual climate it is fundamentally imperative that all members of this academic community behave in the highest ethical fashion possible in the manner by which they produce, share, and exchange this information. In the case of studentsi, Academic Honesty demands that at all times student work be the work of that individual studentii, and that any information that a student uses in a work submitted for evaluation be properly documented. Any violation of these basic standards constitutes a breach of Academic Honesty and hence becomes Academic Dishonesty.

“RIT Engineering faculty, staff and students are truthful and honorable, and do not tolerate lying, cheating, stealing, or plagiarism.”

All members of our community are expected to abide by these principles and to embrace the spirit they represent.  We each have a responsibility to address any unethical behavior we observe; either through direct discussion with the offending party, or by discussion with an appropriate faculty or staff member.  Allowing unethical behavior to continue unchallenged is not acceptable.

Academic Honesty

Academic Dishonesty falls into three basic areas: cheating, duplicate submission and plagiarism.

1. Cheating

Cheating is any fraudulent or deceptive academic act, including falsifying of data, possessing, providing, or using unapproved materials, sources, or tools for a work submitted for faculty evaluation.

2. Duplicate Submission

Duplicate submission is the submitting of the same or similar work for credit in more than one course without prior approval of the instructors for those courses. (If the courses are taken in separate quarters, only the permission of the second instructor is required.) Similar rules apply for prior work done on co-op.

3. Plagiarism

Plagiarism is the representation of others’ ideas as one’s own without giving proper credit to the original author or authors. Plagiarism occurs when a student copies direct phrases from a text (e.g. books, journals, internet), or paraphrases or summarizes those ideas without attribution.  This also applies to group effort on work submitted for faculty evaluation.

Consequences of Academic Dishonesty

Any act of Academic Dishonesty will incur the following consequences. After notifying and presenting the student with evidence of such misconduct, the instructor has the full prerogative to assign a lower grade, including an “F” for the offense itself or for the entire course.  If after careful review of the evidence, the instructor decides that the student’s actions are indeed misconduct and warrant a penalty, the instructor will add a letter to the student’s file in his or her home department (copy to the student, Department Head and the Dean) documenting the offense.  Depending on the seriousness of the offense, the student may also be brought before the Academic Conduct Committee of the College in which the offense occurred, and may face academic suspension or dismissal from the Institute.  The student has the right to appeal any disciplinary action as described in section D17.0 “Academic Conduct and Appeals Procedures”and D18.0 “RIT Student Conduct Process” of the Institute Policies and Procedures Manual.

This KGCOE policy is intended to apply to all academic pursuits at RIT, including courses taken outside of the KGCOE (with additional adherence to the policies of the relevant academic unit).

Faculty and Staff Responsibilites

The faculty and staff bear key responsibilities in ensuring that students adhere to this policy and that this policy is uniformly enforced. In addition to the procedures outlined in D17.0, section C of the Institute Policies and Procedures Manual, KGCOE faculty and staff are expected to do the following:

  1. Faculty are expected to remind students of this policy in every course, as an intrinsic part of the course materials, and ideally as a point of discussion.
  2. Faculty are expected to inform students of what specific exceptions to the rules may apply to a particular course, such as whether working together on homework or lab assignments is permitted.
  3. Faculty have an ethical responsibility to uphold this policy in their courses. Student grievances against any faculty who fail to enforce this academic honesty policy may be made to other faculty, advisors, or department heads within KGCOE, who will report these grievances to the appropriate administrator.
  4. Faculty must discuss the rationale for the disciplinary action with the student, including appeal options.  Consistent with the criteria outlined under Consequences of Academic Dishonesty, the instructor will add a letter to the student’s file in his or her home department (copy to the student, Department Head and the Dean) documenting the offense. 
  5. Administrators will support the faculty enforcement of these policies.


i The policy for faculty ethical behavior is contained in C2.0 (Misconduct in Research and Scholarship) of the Institute Policies and Procedures Manual.

ii On occasion student work may be in the form of a group project assigned and sanctioned by an instructor or group of instructors.

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