VI. Academic Integrity

Academic Integrity
(revised 8/31/23)(Amended 6/20/2024)

  1. The university is committed to assuring ethical behavior by all its members toward all its members, and all members of the university community are expected to share in this commitment to ethical behavior. Academic dishonesty is an offense against the university. A student who has committed an act of academic dishonesty has failed to meet a basic requirement of satisfactory academic performance. Thus, academic dishonesty is relevant to the evaluation of the student’s level of performance, and is also a basis for disciplinary action by the Office of Academic Integrity, which resides in the Office of the Provost.
  2. All members of the university community will maintain an environment in which each member of that community is given equal opportunities to achieve academic success and each member’s academic achievements are assessed fairly and objectively.
  3. All members of the university will take active roles in the promotion and maintenance of an environment of academic integrity. These roles include, but are not limited to, the following:
    1. Knowing and abiding by the academic regulations of the university.
    2. Beginning each semester, the instructor must inform the class in writing of his/her policy regarding academic dishonesty. This policy must be consistent with Article VI.
    3. Taking safeguards to deter the opportunistic violation of the academic regulations of the university.
    4. Reporting any suspected acts of academic dishonesty to the appropriate party.
    5. Ensuring that other members of the university are diligent in their responsibilities to the maintenance of academic integrity.
  4. Students should report any suspected acts of academic dishonesty to the instructor as soon as possible.
    1. The student’s report to the instructor must include any information or evidence that can assist the instructor in determining whether to pursue the alleged incident.
    2. The student’s report should include a description of the circumstances leading to the suspicions of academic dishonesty.

    The instructor will then determine whether to submit a report as described in section F below.

  5. Academic dishonesty refers to any act that is intended to produce an academic assessment that is not commensurate with an individual’s performance, or any act that is intended to unfairly assist or hinder an individual’s academic efforts. Such acts include, but are not limited to, the following:
      1. Allowing the work of one person to be academically assessed as the work of another.
      2. Allowing academic credit to be assigned to work that was not performed.
      3. Unauthorized possession of resources (e.g., reserved library material, laboratory material, art work, computer software or medical excuses).
      4. Misrepresentation of an academic record (e.g., changing grades, failure to report work done at other institutions).
      5. Denial of access to resources (e.g., reserved library material, laboratory material, art work, computer software) intended to be available to others.
  6. Instructors must notify students of their intention to report a suspected incident of academic misconduct within 10 calendar days of detecting the incident. Instructors must report, using Option A or Option B, the circumstances and academic assessment impact of any suspected acts of academic dishonesty to the provost’s office as soon as possible after notifying the student, but in no case longer than 14 calendar days after notifying the student. The Office of Academic Integrity will copy the report to faculty member submitting the report, and the course department chair, and contact the student.
    Option A — Discussion Agreement
    Instructors have the option to discuss the specific allegation with the student. If the instructor and student agree on a sanction (e.g., reduction in course grade, failing course grade, assignment of additional work), no disciplinary action will be taken by the provost’s office as a result of this specific act alone. If, however, this specific act represents the student’s second or greater instance of academic dishonesty, the provost’s office may choose disciplinary sanctions (e.g., suspension, dismissal). Instructors must indicate on the form if no agreement was reached by the instructor and the student.

    In all cases, the form, and relevant materials must be forwarded to the Office of Academic Integrity for evaluation.

    Option B — Academic Integrity Violation Report
    If the instructor chooses not to complete the discussion agreement, he or she must nonetheless notify the student, complete the academic integrity violation report, attach relevant materials, and forward this information to the provost’s office.

    Regardless of the option used, instructors may award a failing grade on the assignment, a failing grade in the course, or may otherwise adjust the assignment or course grade as deemed appropriate. In addition, instructors may choose to assign additional work.

    Instructors should reflect on their academic determination in light of the provost’s/designee’s decision concerning disciplinary sanctions. Students wishing to appeal a course grade should follow the grade appeal process, described in Article VII of the Faculty Handbook.

    Forms are available from the Office of Academic Integrity.

  7. Grades are to be assigned based on the individual efforts of each student. No credit will be given for any work that does not represent the individual efforts of a particular student or his or her contribution to a collaborative effort. Instructors are solely responsible for assessing academic performance, and the provost is solely responsible for the application of disciplinary measures.The provost/designee will determine whether any punitive actions should be taken in response to an act of academic dishonesty, and the provost/designee will determine the nature of any such actions in accordance with the rules and regulations of the university. (Collected Rules and Regulations 200.020 E.2.)
    1. Disciplinary proceedings may result in a hearing before the Student Conduct Committee.
    2. Any person connected to the events surrounding a suspected act of academic dishonesty (e.g., instructor, teaching assistant, and classmate) is expected to cooperate with the provost’s investigation.
    3. Disciplinary outcomes may include no action, a warning, probation, suspension, permanent expulsion from the university, and withholding of transcripts and diplomas.
  8. Evaluation of Student-Athlete Coursework
    The intent of this policy is to achieve compliance with the University of Missouri’s policies related to academic integrity (i.e., Collected Rules and Regulations (CRR)) 200.010 Student Conduct and CRR 300.010 Faculty Bylaws of the University of Missouri-Columbia and with NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) Bylaw 14.9 Academic Integrity. In this policy, “student-athlete” refers only to University of Missouri students who are members of a varsity sports team. Per NCAA Bylaw 14.9, involvement of a staff member in an institutional academic integrity policy violation is a violation of the bylaw:

    NCAA Bylaw Prohibited Conduct — Institutional Staff Member or Representative of Athletics Interests. A current or former institutional staff member or a representative of an institution’s athletics interests shall not be involved (with or without the knowledge of the student-athlete) in: (Adopted: 4/28/16 effective 8/1/16, Revised: 10/27/21)

    1. A violation or breach of an institutional policy regarding academic honesty or integrity related to a student-athlete;
    2. The alteration or falsification of a student-athlete’s transcript or academic record; or
    3. The provision of academic assistance or an exception that is not otherwise permissible pursuant to Bylaw 16.3, is not generally available to the institution’s students and results in the certification of a student-athlete’s eligibility to participate in intercollegiate athletics, receive financial aid, or earn an Academic Progress Rate point.

    Furthermore, policies related to grading are “clearly and inherently related to academic honesty and integrity” (See University of Oregon Public Decision (2018)). Therefore, violation of an institutional policy or guideline related to grading by an institutional staff member, including current or former student-athletes who serve in a role where they grade other student-athletes, e.g., graduate teaching assistant, would constitute a violation of Bylaw 14.9.

    Thus, the intent of this policy is to mitigate any real or perceived conflict of interest in the evaluation of student-athletes’ academic performance. As such, the following individuals shall not grade student-athletes’ course work: individuals who are currently employed by the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics (ICA), including full-time, part-time, or student staff; current University of Missouri student-athletes; or, former University of Missouri student-athletes who are four years or less post-eligibility or post-graduation.

    An ICA staff member, a current or former student-athlete with a grading role, including instructor, for a course in which student-athletes are enrolled shall have a co-instructor who is not an ICA Staff member or current or former student athlete (as defined above). The co-instructor shall be integrally involved in all aspects of the course, including instruction, and the co-instructor also shall be responsible for evaluation of academic performance (i.e., grading of coursework) and determination of course grades. The co-instructor of record needs to be involved in the evaluation of student-athletes’ course work to the extent that he/she/they can attest that the student-athletes were evaluated the same as non-student-athletes. The co-instructor will be listed as a co-instructor of record.

    Students employed by ICA as undergraduate student workers or as graduate assistants shall not grade student-athletes’ work; students who work for ICA as volunteers also shall not grade student-athletes’ work. “ICA” refers strictly to the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics; companies that Athletics contracts with, such as food service, are not part of ICA. The Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR) will work with Athletics at the beginning of each semester to identify student workers/volunteers and inform them of the policy (i.e., they may not also be graders for courses in which student-athletes are enrolled). “Volunteer” refers to an individual who does ongoing, unpaid work for ICA. Current and former student-athletes (four years or less post-eligibility or post-graduation) shall not grade student-athletes’ coursework.

    At the beginning of each term, the FAR will receive from the Certifying Officer: 1) a report of all current and former student-athletes who have grading roles that includes the instructor and course/section number, 2) a report of all ICA staff who have grading roles that includes the instructor and course/section number; and, 3) a list of current student-athletes in these sections/courses. The conflict of interest can be alleviated by switching student-athletes to course sections that do not have a current or former student-athlete/ICA staff member in a grading role; and/or by the FAR communicating with the instructor to have another grader/GTA or the faculty member evaluate the student-athletes’ work. The FAR will work with ICA to identify all student workers to inform them that they may not also be graders for courses in which student-athletes are enrolled.

    Faculty will not be responsible for identifying the graders/graduate teaching assistants who as current/former student-athletes or current ICA staff members have the potential conflict of interest; rather, the faculty member is expected to work with the FAR to alleviate the conflict of interest as described above.