Undergraduate Academic Policy

Undergraduate Academic Policy

The maintenance of academic honesty and integrity is a vital concern of the University community. Any student found responsible for violating the policy on Academic Integrity shall be subject to both academic and disciplinary sanctions. Violations of the policy on Academic Integrity include, but are not limited to, the following:

Cheating Copying or attempting to copy from an academic test or examination of another student; using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, notes, study aids or other devices for an academic test, examination or exercise; engaging or attempting to engage the assistance of another individual in misrepresenting the academic performance of a student; or communicating information in an unauthorized manner to another person for an academic test, examination or exercise.

Fabrication and falsification Falsifying or fabricating any information or citation in any academic exercise, work, speech, test or examination. Falsification is the alteration of information, while fabrication is the invention or counterfeiting of information.

Plagiarism Presenting the work of another as one’s own (i.e., without proper acknowledgment of the source) and submitting examinations, theses, reports, speeches, drawings, laboratory notes or other academic work in whole or in part as one’s own when such work has been prepared by another person or copied from another person.

Abuse of academic materials and/or equipment Destroying, defacing, stealing, or making inaccessible library or other academic resource material.

Complicity in academic dishonesty Helping or attempting to help another student to commit an act of academic dishonesty.

Falsifying grade reports Changing or destroying grades, scores or markings on an examination or in an instructor’s records.

Misrepresentation to avoid academic work Misrepresentation by fabricating an otherwise justifiable excuse such as illness, injury, accident, etc., in order to avoid or delay timely submission of academic work or to avoid or delay the taking of a test or examination.

Other Academic units and members of the faculty may prescribe and give students prior notice of additional standards of conduct for academic honesty in a particular course, and violation of any such standard of conduct shall constitute violation of the policy on academic integrity.

Procedures and Sanctions

Under the Bylaws of the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska [Sections 2.9 and 4.1(i)], the respective colleges of the University have jurisdiction over procedural matters concerning academic dishonesty. Just as the task of inculcating values of academic honesty resides with the faculty, the faculty is entrusted with the discretionary authority to decide how incidents of academic dishonesty are to be resolved. If a faculty member suspects that a student has intentionally violated the principles of academic honesty, the faculty member shall initiate the following procedures, starting at step 1, continuing only as necessary to steps 2 or 3. (Note: The academic integrity policy and process applies to both undergraduate and graduate students.  However, for graduate students, the role of the Department Chair refers to the Graduate Program Chair, and the role of the college and dean refer to the University of Nebraska Graduate College and the UNO Graduate Dean.)

Step 1 The faculty member shall request a meeting with each student involved. At the meeting, the faculty member shall:

  • Attempt to ascertain the facts pertinent to the incident;
  • Explain to the student the basis for the suspicion of academic dishonesty; and
  • Give the student an opportunity to explain the matter satisfactorily.

If the student offers an unsatisfactory explanation, the faculty member shall inform the student of the penalty for the offense, and shall explain to the student his or her rights to mediation, as described in step 2, and appeal as described in step 3. Any penalty imposed by the faculty member, such as retaking a test or rewriting a paper, or failure for the work involved or failure for the course, shall be limited to the course. If the student admits responsibility and accepts the penalty, the faculty member may consider the case closed, but will keep a confidential record of the action taken and retain any pertinent materials relating to the academic dishonesty until the end of the next regular semester following imposition of the penalty for academic dishonesty. A penalty of "F" for the course must be reported to the department chair and to the Registrar. It is recommended that a faculty member who imposes a penalty for academic dishonesty report the student and the penalty imposed to the department chair, the dean, and to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. If a faculty member reports any action taken to a department chair, a dean, the Registrar, or the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, the faculty member shall inform the student.

Step 2 If the faculty member and student cannot reach agreement as to the matter of an alleged incident of academic dishonesty, they may request the departmental chair to serve as a confidential mediator, exploring the student's intentions, the gravity of the suspected offense, and the appropriateness of the penalty. If the matter is satisfactorily resolved among these three parties, a record of the resolution shall be retained by the chair. Violation of the policy may be reported to the dean or the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs by the faculty member in whose class the violation occurred. If reported, the student will be notified.

Step 3 If the matter of an alleged incident of academic dishonesty cannot be mediated as provided in Step 2, or if either the faculty member or the student did not wish the departmental chair to mediate, either party may request the dean of the college convene an appropriate college standing committee with student representation or impanel a committee with student representation to consider the matter of the alleged academic dishonesty. The college committee will be drawn from the instructor’s college. The college committee will function in accordance with the procedural guarantees provided in Section 5.4 of the Bylaws of the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska. If the committee finds the student did not violate the policy, the faculty member will award a grade for the student’s work and course without prejudice, and all records related to the incident will be destroyed in the absence of an appeal. If the committee finds that the student has violated the policy, it will uphold the faculty member’s proposed penalty. The dean will:

  • Convey the committee’s decision to the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs;
  • Retain the evidence and records of the committee’s proceedings in accordance with the policies of the Board of Regent’s and UNO on the retention of disciplinary records; and
  • Inform the student and faculty member of the committee’s decision.

The Office of Academic and Student Affairs shall maintain a record of students who violate the policy on Academic Integrity.  Repeat offenders may be subject to disciplinary action under the UNO Student Code of Conduct.  On a first offense, Student Affairs will take no disciplinary action unless the faculty member who reports a violation specifically requests their intervention.  On subsequent offenses, students will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including expulsion.  Students will be informed of their right to appeal, in accordance with the procedures established by the UNO Student Code of Conduct.