Section II. Academic Issues

Section II. Academic Issues

This section outlines grading policies including process for disagreement with assigned grade, the policies on academic and professional integrity and procedures for instances of a possible breach, and appeals procedure regarding academic and professional integrity decisions.

 

Disagreement in Grade Assigned

In instances where a student disagrees with a grade given on an assignment or class, the following procedure will be followed.

Procedure
Faculty members have the right and obligation to determine student grades in light of the student responsibilities and assignments specified in the course syllabi. If a student disagrees with a grade, the student will engage in the following process prior to initiating a formal appeal procedure.

  1. Within 5 business days of the reception of the grade, the student will raise the matter with the faculty member. This investigation may include, but is not limited to, a review of the course expectations and the use of available resources to analyze the paper or assignment. It is normative that the faculty member and student have a conversation to discuss the student’s differing opinion. If a face to face meeting is not feasible due to schedule or distance, a phone or e-mail conversation will be attempted. All e-mail communication will be directed to the student’s Spalding e-mail address; the Spalding e-mail address is the official address for all communication from Spalding University. (Each attempt should be documented by the faculty member. After the third attempt at contacting the student without response, the process will move forward without this conversation.) If the conversation is held, it is to include:
    1. Student’s perspective
    2. Faculty member’s rationale for grade given
    3. Clarification of possible consequences of grade

    1.1. If the aforementioned conversation is held, within 2 business days of such, the faculty member will write a confirmation that the conversation occurred, with a copy given to the student. If given in person, the student will sign a form confirming the conversation occurred. If the meeting is not in person, an email confirmation of the meeting will be sought. (Refusal of the student to sign does not prevent the progression of the process.) This confirmation will only acknowledge that:

    1. the student and faculty spoke of the concern, and
    2. the student had an opportunity to express her/his perspective

    1.2 If student contact is attempted three times without response, and no conversation with the student can occur, the faculty member will render a decision about the issue based on all other available information.

  2. The faculty member will make a decision and communicate the final grade to the student in writing within 5 business days of the interaction with the student through email or mail.

    NOTE: In instances when a student earns a course grade that prohibits the continuation in a course sequence, the student will not register or attend sequential classes. In instances where the grade results in termination from a program/dismissal from the University, the student will not register or attend any further classes and will be withdrawn from current courses.

  3. Copies of all documentation will be retained on file in the School of the responsible faculty member for three years.


Academic Integrity

Characteristics of academic integrity include fairness, respect for others, personal responsibility, and proper recognition and acknowledgement of resources used in all educational activities. In order for this diverse community of learners to fulfill its mission of shared exploration, creativity, and justice, all members must feel free to participate in an atmosphere of trust. A goal of the University is for the concept of integrity to become a habit of the mind and a reality in performance, enriching and guiding all members of the community. Members of the Spalding University community will demonstrate a high standard of integrity in all areas of academic work and university experiences. Faculty are held to high expectations of integrity through professional and disciplinary practices and through policies outlined in the Faculty and Employee Handbooks. In this same spirit, students who breach the University's Policy on Academic Integrity are subject to disciplinary action.

Students, faculty and staff have the duty to report any instance of academic dishonesty to the appropriate authority (i.e., faculty member, dean, chair, program director, etc.). Penalties for academic dishonesty may vary or be more stringent in particular academic units.

Definition "Academic dishonesty" includes academic lying, stealing, or cheating for the purpose of affecting one's grade, course credit, or status, including but not limited to the following:

  • Submitting another person's work as one's own and misrepresenting assigned work as the product of one's sole independent effort;
  • Fabricating work and/or resources as authentic material;
  • Submitting work for more than one course without the prior approval from each faculty member involved;
  • Plagiarizing (i.e., using verbal, written, or visual representations of ideas, works, phrases, paragraphs, or entire documents by others as though the work were one's own);
  • Conducting research that does not comply with the established university policies (see the Policy on the Use of Human and Animal Subjects);
  • Fabricating or falsifying data;
  • Assisting student(s) in engaging in academic dishonesty;
  • Using any unauthorized assistance in completing quizzes, tests, or examinations, or specific course assignments/projects;
  • Acquiring, without permission, any academic evaluative or testing materials;
  • Influencing or attempting to influence through the use of bribery, threats, or any other means of coercion, any Spalding University official, faculty member, graduate student, or employees responsible for processing grades, evaluating students, or maintaining records;
  • Unethical activities related specifically to professional standards and practices (i.e., expectations regarding internships, practica, externships, clinical field placements, etc.). These violations are governed by individual school or program policies and guidelines and the Policy on Professional Integrity for graduate students and students in professional education programs.

Procedure for Instance of a Possible Breach in Academic Integrity
Students, faculty and staff have the duty to report any possible instance of academic dishonesty to the appropriate authority (i.e., faculty member, program director, Chair, Dean, etc.). When a faculty member (responsible for the course, program, etc.) becomes aware of a possible instance of academic dishonesty, she or he is responsible for initiating the following procedure:

  1. Within 5 business days, the faculty member will investigate the matter thoroughly. This investigation may include, but is not limited to, a review of the student’s file and the use of available resources to analyze the paper or assignment. It is normative that the faculty member and student have a conversation to discuss the faculty member’s discovery and to provide the student with an opportunity to present an explanation. If a face to face meeting is not feasible due to schedule or distance, a phone or e-mail conversation will be attempted. All e-mail communication will be directed to the student’s Spalding e-mail address; the Spalding e-mail address is the official address for all communication from Spalding University. (Each attempt should be documented by the faculty member. After the third attempt at contacting the student without response, the process will move forward without this conversation.) If the conversation is held, it is to include:
    1. Faculty member’s rationale for concern of academic dishonesty
    2. Student’s response
    3. Clarification of possible consequences

    1.1. If the aforementioned conversation is held, within 2 business days of such, the faculty member will write a confirmation that the conversation occurred, with a copy given to the student. If given in person, the student will sign a form confirming the conversation occurred. If the meeting is not in person, an email confirmation of the meeting will be sought. (Refusal of the student to sign does not prevent the progression of the process.) This confirmation will only acknowledge that:

    1. the student and faculty member spoke of the concern, and
    2. the student had an opportunity to express her/his perspective

    1.2 If student contact is attempted three times without response, and no conversation with the student can occur, the faculty member will render a decision about the issue based on all other available information.

  2. Faculty Decision:

    2.1 If the faculty member determines there has been no incidence of academic dishonesty, no further action is required, other than written notification to the student that no action will be taken.

    2.2 If the faculty member determines there has been an incidence of academic dishonesty, within 5 business days of the conversation with the student (or after the third failed attempt at contacting the student for this conversation), the faculty member will write a formal document articulating her/his findings and sanctions. Copies of this document will be given to the student, in person with signature verifying receipt or via registered mail with delivery confirmation requested. Further, copies will be disseminated to the student’s program director and the student’s file. A copy will be retained, also, by the faculty member.

  3. Sanctions that may be imposed by the responsible faculty member include the resubmission of the relevant assignment, a lowered or failing grade for the assignment, and/or a lowered or failing grade for the course, as may be delineated in each college/school's printed sanctions policy.
  4. Each individual School’s/College's sanction policy will vary, based upon individual course requirements and/or specific program level standards and may be more stringent in some Schools based upon their external professional accreditation standards and regulatory requirements for the discipline.

    NOTE: In instances when a student earns a course grade that prohibits the continuation in a course sequence, the student will not register or attend sequential classes. In instances where the grade results in termination from a program/dismissal from the University, the student will not register or attend any further classes and will be withdrawn from current courses.

  5. Copies of all documentation will be retained on file in the School of the responsible faculty member for three years.
  6. All disciplinary actions taken will be reported to the Provost and recorded in the student’s official file in the University Registrar’s Office.


Professional Integrity

Undergraduate and graduate students in professional programs must act in accordance with the standards, ethics, and conduct of their profession when fulfilling any of their program requirements (e.g., practicum, externship, internship, research work) and while performing any work or activities related to their profession (e.g., a job or an assistantship).

Exhibiting inappropriate, dishonest, and/or unprofessional behavior according to standards set in and for the student's professional discipline may be cause for dismissal from a program. The University reserves the right to make final decisions on sanctions and dismissals related to ethical/professional misconduct.

Procedures for Instances of Possible Breach of Professional Integrity
Students, faculty and staff have the duty to report any possible breach of professional integrity to the appropriate authority (i.e., faculty member, program director, Chair, Dean, etc.). When a faculty member (responsible for the course, program, etc.) becomes aware of a possible breach of professional integrity, she or he is responsible for initiating the following procedure:

  1. Within 5 business days, the faculty member will investigate the matter thoroughly. This investigation may include, but is not limited to, a review of the student’s file, the use of available resources to analyze the allegation, including possibly speaking with the initiating complainant. It is normative that the faculty member and student have a conversation to discuss the possible breach of professional integrity and to provide the student with an opportunity to present an explanation. If a face to face meeting is not feasible due to schedule or distance, a phone or e-mail conversation will be attempted. All e-mail communication will be directed to the student’s Spalding e-mail address; the Spalding e-mail address is the official address for all communication from Spalding University. (Each attempt should be documented by the faculty member. After the third attempt at contacting the student without response, the process will move forward without this conversation.) If the conversation is held, it is to include:
    1. Faculty member’s rationale for concern of professional misconduct
    2. Student’s response
    3. Clarification of possible consequences

    1.1. If the aforementioned conversation is held, within 2 business days of such, the faculty member will write a confirmation that the conversation occurred, with a copy given to the student. If given in person, the student will sign a form confirming the conversation occurred. (Refusal of the student to sign and/or date the note shall not prevent the progression of the decision.) If the meeting is not in person, an email confirmation of the meeting will be sought. This confirmation will only acknowledge that:

    1. the student and faculty spoke of the concern, and
    2. the student had an opportunity to express her/his perspective

    1.2 If student contact is attempted three times without response, and no conversation with the student can occur, the faculty member will render a decision about the issue based on all other available information.

  2. Faculty Decision:

    2.1 If the faculty member determines there has been no incidence of professional misconduct, no further action is required, other than written notification to the student that no action will be taken.

    2.2 If the faculty member determines there has been an incidence of professional misconduct, within 5 business days of the conversation with the student (or after the third failed attempt at contacting the student for this conversation), the faculty member will write a formal document articulating her/his findings and sanctions. Copies of this document will be given to the student, in person, with signature verifying receipt or via registered mail with delivery confirmation requested. Further, copies will be disseminated to the student’s program director and the student’s file. A copy will be retained, also, by the faculty member.

  3. Sanctions that may be imposed by the responsible faculty member include a formal apology; a resubmission of the assignment, and/or a lowered or failing grade for the course, as may be delineated in each college/school's printed sanctions policy. More severe sanctions shall be referred immediately to University administration.
  4. Each individual School’s/College's sanction policy will vary, based upon individual course requirements and/or specific program level standards and may be more stringent in some Schools based upon their external professional accreditation standards and regulatory requirements for the discipline.

    NOTE: In instances when a student earns a course grade that prohibits the continuation in a course sequence, the student will not register or attend sequential classes. In instances where the grade results in termination from a program/dismissal from the University, the student will not register or attend any further classes and will be withdrawn from current courses.

  5. Copies of all documentation will be retained on file in the School of the responsible faculty member for three years.
  6. All disciplinary actions taken will be reported to the Provost and recorded in the student’s official file in the University Registrar’s Office.


Professional and Academic Decisions: Student Appeal Procedure

If the student disagrees with a faculty member’s findings and decision regarding a grade assigned or the outcome of an investigation into breaches of professional and/or academic integrity, the student may file an appeal using the steps below.

1Within 5 business days following the confirmed delivery of the faculty member’s written documentation of her/his decision, the student will submit written documentation of their appeal to the Chair or Program Director overseeing the academic program who, within 2 business days, will share it with the involved faculty member. The faculty member will then submit a written response to her/his supervisor within 5 business days.

2Within 5 business days of the receipt of the faculty member’s response to the student appeal, the Chair/Program Director will render a decision to either uphold the original decision or overturn the original decision in favor of the appeal. This decision will be placed in writing and sent to the student and faculty member either through registered mail with delivery confirmation or in person, with a signature verifying receipt.

3If the student desires to grieve further, within 5 business days of confirmed delivery of the Chair/Program Director’s written decision, the student will request in writing that all documentation be forwarded to the Associate Dean of the academic area or designee. The student may add further information if pertinent to the appeal. The Associate Dean or designee’s decision in the matter will be final and will be rendered within 10 business days of the receipt of the final appeal. In cases where the Associate Dean may be a part of the complaint, the final decision will be rendered by the Undergraduate or Graduate Dean or designee.

4Copies of all documentation will be maintained on file in the academic program of the responsible faculty member for 3 years.

5All disciplinary actions taken will be reported to the Provost and recorded in the student’s official file in the University Registrar’s Office.NOTE: All appeals must be completed within 45 business days of the initial discovery/disagreement as described in the pertinent policy (Professional Integrity, Academic Integrity, or Disagreement in Grade Assigned.)