Academic Misconduct

Academic Misconduct



What is Academic Integrity?
What is Academic Misconduct?
Tips to avoiding Academic Misconduct
Meeting with your professor
Academic Misconduct Sanctions

What is Academic Integrity?Oxford Dictionary defines Integrity as: "The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles".

is essential to all elements of education and scholarship. Without integrity, academic qualifications cannot be relied upon, research cannot be trusted, and degrees, diplomas, and certificates lose their value.

Academic Integrity: MRU students are expected to consistently submit original work, give credit to other peoples' ideas and work and complete all submissions independently and honestly.

MRU is committed to the fundamental values of honesty, trust, fairness, respect and responsibility. There is an expectation that students, faculty and staff will maintain these values, the result being the high standard of academic integrity present across the University community. Upholding the expectation of students to consistently practice academic integrity helps to build the reputation of a university respected for its principles and for the value of its credentials. The message to the larger community, including industry partners and prospective employers, is that a credential earned at MRU is of high value producing outstanding employees.

The OSCS strives to promote awareness of academic integrity across the community, by providing students' with a fair and consistent framework of what MRU deems to be acceptable standards of academic and non-academic behaviour. What is Academic Misconduct?Academic misconduct occurs when a student/s misrepresents facts or information and gains an unfair academic advantage over other students. Specifically, the giving, taking or presenting of information or material that unethically or dishonestly benefits an individual student or a group of students in the achievement of academic merit.

Plagiarism & Cheating
Plagiarism refers to a form of academic misconduct that occurs when an individual leads others to believe that work has been authored by them when the work has been authored by another individual.

Examples of plagiarism include but are not limited to:

  • Using an idea, an image, data or the words of someone else as your own.
  • Submission or use of information or data which has been altered or contrived in any way that is intended to mislead.
  • Academic submission which includes misleading references to materials that don't accurately reflect the actual sources used.

Cheating is another form of academic misconduct.

Examples of cheating include but are not limited to:

  • Possessing unauthorized materials, in whole or in part, that have not been approved for use by your professor. This includes crib notes, notes written on any part of the body, copying from another student or using or possessing any electronic device not previously approved by the professor.
  • Re-submitting all, or portions of, academic work previously assessed and graded for credit without approval by the current professor. (Often referred to as "self-plagiarism").
  • Assisting others to cheat.
  • Altering or forging any document related to academic status or progress.
  • Collaborating with another person/s, assisting another or receiving assistance from another on an assignment, exam or in satisfying any other course requirement.
  • Altering answers or grades and submitting the altered assignment or exam to be re-graded.
  • Paying for, or offering money or other incentives in exchange for academic advantage.
Will misconduct appear on my academic transcript?
This depends on the circumstances surrounding the misconduct. In very serious cases of academic or non-academic misconduct, a Panel Hearing may be convened. As a result, a notation of misconduct may be placed on your transcript for a prescribed time.

Do I have to meet with my professor?
Whenever possible, you are encouraged to meet with your professor. You may be contacted by the OSCS to meet with a staff member for further discussion.

Won't it be my word against the professor? Who will believe me?
The Code of Student Conduct ensures all Mount Royal students are treated consistently and objectively when facing allegations of misconduct. The Office of Student Community Standards was created to protect the interests of students as well as faculty and staff, and to balance the rights of all.
  • Educate yourself on institutional and faculty policies regarding plagiarism, cheating, and acceptable formats for citing academic sources (APA, MLA, etc.).
  • Sometimes individual professors will differ in their expectations regarding formatting and citation requirements. Speak with your professors about what is considered acceptable, including limits on quotation without citation, collaborative work, mobile devices in class, and expectations during exams. Read your course outline or syllabus that should address academic requirements and restrictions.
  • Take advantage of supports offered by Student Learning Services, such as workshops on APA and MLA referencing, paraphrasing, time management and planning papers. You can also make an appointment with Writing and Learning Strategist to get individual help.

Meeting with your professorIf your professor believes that you have committed academic misconduct, here is what to expect about the upcoming process:

Before your meeting with your professor

  1. Arrange to meet with your professor as soon as possible.
  2. You are welcome to bring a support person with you. This can be a friend or the Student Advocacy Coordinator from the Student Association. This person is not permitted to speak for you. However, your support person may ask questions or confirm the procedure. If your professor is planning on having another colleague present, they should let you know before your meeting.
  3. Review this site and the Code of Student Conduct policy.

At the meeting

  1. Your professor will provide a brief description and any other additional evidence that will be useful for you.
  2. You can expect to be treated with respect by your professor and, in turn, you are supposed to treat your professor with the same courtesy and professionalism.
  3. Keep in mind that you are not being singled out. If your professor determines that a violation has occurred, they are obligated to report the infraction to the OSCS and should provide full disclosure on what the recommended sanction will be.

After the meeting with your professor

  1. Your professor will submit the incident form to the OSCS.
  2. The OSCS will review the incident and will send you an email to your mtroyal account to let you know that the incident has been received and the sanction imposed by your instructor.

The goal of your professors and of the OSCS is to develop your understanding of academic formatting and guidelines so that the same mistake will not be repeated. To this end, you might be asked to attend one or more of the Academic Success workshops offered by Student Learning Services. 

If you have had any other recorded academic or if it is determined that the incident was very serious, a panel hearing may be held.

Academic Misconduct SanctionsPrior to making a decision regarding sanctions, there is a reasonable expectation that the instructor, or if applicable, the Academic Review Panel or the Academic Appeal Panel, have considered all relevant details, and, based on a balance of probabilities, have concluded that the incident does establish academic misconduct.

Participants are encouraged to contact the OSCS discuss examples of sanctions that have been imposed in prior, similar cases. The following guidelines may be considered when choosing a sanction that is proportionate to the incident:

  • previous incident/s of academic misconduct;
  • the severity of the incident;
  • whether there is more than one allegation;
  • personal circumstances of the student;
  • a disability that relates to the misconduct;
  • cultural factors;
  • language factors;
  • age factors.

Example of an important distinction to consider when considering sanction/s
A less severe sanction may be most appropriate where there has been no previous reported misconduct and it is agreed that although the student has submitted plagiarized work, it was due to the student's lack of knowledge and not an intent to deceive.

A more severe sanction may be considered appropriate where there are multiple allegations of misconduct, the infraction was knowingly copied and submitted for credit and the student falsely claimed the work as their own.

The following are examples only of consequences commonly used as a result of a finding of academic misconduct. There is no requirement to choose solely from the list below. Decision makers may choose one or more of the following sanctions, and/or additional sanctions not listed, that have been based on the circumstances of the case, have a remedial emphasis, and are proportionate to the incident.

Warning: written notice advising that a recurrence of similar academic misconduct will result in more severe academic consequences.
Grade reduction: a reduction in grade for any aspect of the assessment of the student's work associated with academic misconduct.
Failing grade: a student receives a failing grade in the course associated with the academic misconduct.