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Faculty Plagiarism Policy

Approved by the Welfare Council on 9/15/2009
Approved by the Faculty Senate Executive Committee on 9/24/2009
Approved by the Chancellor 10/19/2009
WC#05-08/09

I. Definition:

Plagiarism is presenting another existing work, original idea, or creative expression as one's own without proper attribution. Any ideas or materials taken from another source, including one's own work, must be fully acknowledged unless the information is common knowledge. What is considered "common knowledge" may differ from subject to subject. To avoid plagiarizing, one must not adopt or reproduce material from existing work without acknowledging the original source. Existing work includes but is not limited to ideas, opinions, theories, formulas, graphics, and pictures. Examples of plagiarism, subject to interpretation, include but are not limited to directly quoting another's actual words, whether oral or written; using another's ideas, opinions, or theories; paraphrasing the words, ideas, opinions, or theories of others, whether oral or written; borrowing facts, statistics, or illustrative material; and offering materials assembled or collected by others in the form of projects or collections without acknowledgment.

II. Applicability:

This policy applies to non-research allegations of plagiarism involving faculty, including administrators holding faculty rank, while employed at SIUE. For cases of plagiarism involving research, see University Policy 1Q5. For cases of plagiarism, research and non-research related, involving members of the SIUE faculty occurring prior to their employment at SIUE, the SIUE Faculty Handbook will govern the process. Specifically, allegations of plagiarism that relate to former academic or disciplinary work shall be referred to the applicable educational institution and/or former employer for further action, if warranted. This policy does not apply to former employees of SIUE nor is it applicable to allegations of plagiarism involving academic or disciplinary work that occurred prior to the faculty member's employment at SIUE. If an outside educational institution or representative thereof determines that an SIUE faculty member committed an act of plagiarism in his/her prior academic or disciplinary work and such work was a factor in the University's decision to employee said faculty member, the University may pursue appropriate disciplinary action in accordance with the SIUE Faculty Handbook within sixty (60) days from the date in which the University is officially notified of the plagiarism.

III. Procedures and Guidelines:

The faculty are responsible for teaching, enforcing and modeling appropriate standards of intellectual honesty and integrity (see Policy 1Q1: Faculty Code of Ethics and Conduct; Policy 1Q5: Academic Integrity in Scholarship and Research), and consequently must be held to the highest standard. However, the academic contexts within which faculty are engaged are diverse, and must be considered when evaluating whether plagiarism has occurred. Academic contexts can range from highly competitive, in which attribution for a work provides justification for and advancement of status within a particular community, to strictly institutional, in which official credit for a work does not represent a means of achieving status and advancement and where use and reuse of work is accepted and even expected and encouraged. Some purported instances of plagiarism may not warrant extensive investigation. In particular, policies and procedures intended to address plagiarism should not apply to the routine use of source material when such instances occur in a legitimate institutionalized context. However, the academy in general and this institution in particular, cannot abide the misrepresentation of source material as one's own in order to fraudulently advance one's status within the academy or outside the academy. Therefore, upon consideration of the circumstances surrounding allegations of plagiarism, those allegations that are deemed to be of substance shall be handled in accordance with the following procedures:

Procedures in Cases of Suspected Plagiarism

1. Complaint Process: Any member of the University community who becomes aware of an apparent instance of plagiarism has the responsibility to report the circumstances to the unit executive officers (i.e., head of the department or comparable administrator and the school or college dean) of the unit concerned. Allegations of plagiarism involving a dean shall be reported to the Provost Office and allegations of plagiarism involving the Provost shall be reported to the Office of the Chancellor. The unit executive officers, deans, other administrators involved, and the entire academic community are charged with protecting the academic careers of persons who have in good faith reported allegations of plagiarism as well as of the person alleged to have violated the Plagiarism Policy.

2. Appointment of Inquiry Committee: Within ten (10) working days from the date the allegation is received, the dean, in consultation with the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs , shall appoint an Inquiry Committee consisting of one tenured faculty member or academic professional from the unit in which the person whose conduct is in question holds a primary appointment and two tenured faculty members from the University community to conduct a preliminary inquiry as expeditiously as possible. The dean shall meet with the above Inquiry Committee upon its appointment to review procedures for conducting the inquiry, and further, be available for subsequent consultations on procedures as the inquiry proceeds. At this time, the person whose conduct is in question shall be informed in writing of the appointment of the Inquiry Committee and the nature of the allegations.

3. Review of Allegations by the Inquiry Committee: The Inquiry Committee shall make an initial determination as to whether the allegations raise a legitimate question of plagiarism. If the Inquiry Committee determines that the allegations warrant an investigation, it shall recommend further action to the dean, Provost, or Chancellor as appropriate. If the decision is made not to pursue the case further, all written records should be sealed and deposited in the Office of the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. All records must be kept for ten (10) years. Care should be taken that nothing is entered at this point in the personnel file of the person whose conduct had been in question. Both this person and the one who raised the questions shall be notified in writing of the decision.

4. Investigation: If there is sufficient evidence of plagiarism to warrant further investigation, the person whose conduct is in question and any collaborators in the work concerned shall be informed in writing of the substance of the evidence warranting additional investigation and requested to cooperate with the investigators.

a. A thorough investigation shall be conducted by an Investigation Committee of three competent scholars, appointed by the dean in consultation with the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs or Chancellor, if appropriate, and consisting of one tenured faculty member from the unit in which the person whose conduct is in question holds a primary appointment, one tenured member of the faculty from elsewhere within the University (they may, but need not be, the same persons who conducted the preliminary investigation), and a peer professional from outside the institution. The dean, Provost, or Chancellor shall meet with the above Investigation Committee upon its appointment to review procedures to be used during the investigation, and further, be available for subsequent consultations on procedures as the investigation proceeds. The person whose conduct is under scrutiny shall be informed in writing of the composition of the committee, and shall be invited to provide the committee with pertinent information.

b. The Investigative Committee shall, before making its report, provide the person whose conduct is being investigated the opportunity to meet and discuss the case with the committee, with or without representation. The committee shall then prepare a written report to the dean. If the committee concludes that no breach of professional standards of competence and responsibility has occurred, the case shall be considered closed. If so, all written records shall be disposed of as specified in paragraph 3 of the procedures, and those involved in the case notified in writing of the disposition.

c. All stages of the review and investigation up to this point shall be treated as entirely confidential to the extent allowable by law. Disclosure of information during the inquiry and/or investigative process to anyone except those who are directly involved in an investigation is prohibited.

5. Finding of the Investigation Committee: If the committee determines that there is sufficient evidence to support a violation of this policy, the Investigation Committee shall prepare a written report which includes a summary of the procedures used to conduct the investigation, the committee's finding, and a recommendation(s) for appropriate action. The dean, Provost, or Chancellor, as appropriate, shall review the Committee's report and take action to either affirm, modify, or reject the Investigation Committee's findings and/or recommendations(s) in a separate written decision. The Investigation Committee's report and the dean, Provost, or Chancellor's decision shall be provided to the complainant, the accused, and the accused's appropriate supervisor for further action in accordance with applicable University policies and procedures.

a. Nothing in this policy should be construed or implemented in a manner which conflicts with contractual or statutory obligations of the University governing possible misconduct under funded research for externally funded research projects.

b. All records involving an investigation under this policy must be maintained for ten (10) years.

6. Request for Review:

a. The accused shall have the right to seek a review of the Investigation Committee's findings and/or the dean's, Provost's, or Chancellor's decision by filing a written request for review within five (5) working days from the date of receipt of the final decision or finding. Request for review is made to the Provost or the Chancellor as appropriate. The Provost or Chancellor, if appropriate, shall review the evidentiary record and either uphold or reverse the decision.

b. The decision of the Provost or Chancellor, if appropriate, shall be final. If a request for review is submitted, the Provost shall stay any action until the review process is concluded.

7. Provost and Chancellor:

If an allegation of plagiarism is made against a dean or Provost, the above procedures shall be followed, except that the Provost shall act in place of the dean if a dean is accused of plagiarism, and the Chancellor shall act in place of the Provost if the Provost is accused of plagiarism.

8. Substantial Compliance:

Substantial compliance with all of the procedures set forth in these Procedures shall be deemed full compliance if the party challenging the procedures has suffered no substantial harm caused by the actual procedure used. In any event, the review and/or investigation of an alleged violation of this policy shall be completed in no more than sixty (60) calendar days, unless additional time is required for good cause.

9. Retaliation:

Retaliation against an individual who makes allegations or complaint of a violation of this policy, or who participates in an investigation, is prohibited. Retaliation is prohibited by University regulation, state and federal law and can lead to disciplinary action independent of the allegations.

10. Malicious Charges:

It shall be a violation of this policy to allege, file or raise a claim that is malicious in nature and lacks good faith belief as to its truthfulness against members of the SIUE faculty. If a violation of this section is committed, the University may initiate any and all appropriate action, including but not limited to disciplinary action against an employee or civil action against a member of the public.

11. Conflicting Provisions:

Nothing in this policy should be construed or implemented in a manner which conflicts with contractual or statutory obligations of the University governing possible misconduct under funded research for externally funded research projects and/or applicable collective bargaining agreements.

Citations

Policies of the SIU Board of Trustees Section 7: Legal and Ethical Conduct Requirements, Section F. Plagiarism Policy, References and Selected Resources, http://bot.siu.edu/leg/policies.html#7F

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