Academic Misconduct

The University of Providence strives to maintain an environment of trust, respect, and integrity that facilitates the pursuit of scholarly goals. As such, students are expected to exhibit high standards of academic conduct.

All acts of dishonesty in academic work constitute academic misconduct and are prohibited. Such acts include:

  • Cheating: Use or attempted use of unauthorized material, information, study aid, or electronic data that the student knows or should know is unauthorized in any academic assignment, exercise, paper, or examination. Cheating also encompasses the provision or acceptance of any unauthorized assistance during an examination or assignment to be completed individually, including but not limited to talking to another student, viewing or copying another student’s examination or assignment, making or receiving gestures from another student, or engaging another person to complete an assessment or examination in place of the student.
  • Plagiarism: Representation of another’s work as one’s own. This includes the unauthorized and unacknowledged use of the phrases, sentences, paragraphs, ideas, illustrations, drawings, photographs, or computer programs of another whether by using exact or nearly exact words without quotation marks or by omitting citations or both.
  • Duplicate Submission of the Same Work: Submitting the same work for more than one course is a violation unless the professor(s) assigning the work gives consent in advance. This includes work first produced in connection with classes at either the University of Providence or other institutions attended by the student.
  • Collusion: Collusion includes cooperation that results in the work or ideas of others being presented as one’s own (e.g., rather than as a group effort). However, ordinary consultation of faculty, library staff, tutors or others is legitimate unless the instructor has imposed stricter limits for a particular assignment.
  • False Information and Lying: This includes consciously furnishing false information to other students, faculty members and their representatives, advisors, administrators or representatives of university offices with the intent to mislead. Instances would include but are not limited to misrepresenting activity outside of the classroom (reports on field work, internships, etc.) or improperly seeking special consideration or privilege (e.g., for postponement of an examination or assignment deadline, etc.).
  • Falsifying Academic Documentation and Forgery: This includes any attempt to forge or alter academic documentation (including transcripts, letters of recommendation, certificates of enrollment or good standing, registration forms, drop/add forms, withdrawal forms, and medical certification of absence) or to falsify other writing in academic matters (e.g., any documentation provided to instructors) concerning oneself or others.
  • Theft, Abuse, and Destruction of Academic Property: This comprises unauthorized removal, retention, mutilation, or destruction of common property of the University of Providence that deprives others of equal access to these materials. Such property includes but is not limited to library materials, laboratory materials, computers and computer software, etc. This includes also sequestering library materials for the use of an individual or group; a willful or repeated failure to respond to recall notices from the library; and the removal or attempt to remove library materials from the library without authorization. The theft, mutilation, or destruction of another student’s academic work, including books, notes, computer programs, papers, reports, laboratory experiments, etc. also falls under this type of violation.
  • Unauthorized Use of Information Technologies: In the context of the completion of a course and/or assignments (contained within a course), the unauthorized use of computers or the University’s computer network (e.g., the unauthorized use of software, access codes, computing accounts, electronic mail, and les) or other electronic devices (calculators, smart phones, iPods/iPads, tablets etc.) is prohibited.
  • Aiding and Abetting Academic Dishonesty: This includes intentionally:
    1. providing material, information, or other assistance to another person with knowledge that such aid would be used to commit any of the proscribed acts noted above; or
    2. providing false information in connection with any inquiry regarding academic integrity.

Anyone other than the course instructor suspecting a violation is expected to inform the course instructor at the earliest possible opportunity, even while the suspected violation is being committed. In the absence of the course instructor, the applicable Department Chair or Division Chair will receive reports of violations and will replace the course instructor in the following procedures.

Initial Procedure

The course instructor meets with the student (either in person or video conferencing) to discuss the incident. The student will be informed of the course instructor’s suspicions. The student may respond to the allegations and may bring witnesses, if deemed pertinent by the instructor.

The course instructor is the initial judge of whether a student is guilty of academic misconduct and, if necessary, assigns a sanction. This determination of responsibility shall be based upon the facts of the incident and whether it is more likely than not that the student is responsible for the alleged violation(s).

The student shall be provided written notification of the course instructor’s decision and sanction, normally within five business days. The minimum penalty for an act of academic misconduct shall be a grade of “F” (failure) on the paper, assignment, or examination involved. More severe penalties may be enforced by individual instructors, provided that such penalties are identified in the course syllabus. The maximum penalty for plagiarism that may be levied is a grade of “F” (failure) for the course.

Copies of plagiarized work or other written evidence of the academic misconduct will be placed on file with the Coordinator of Student / Faculty Relations. This file is separate from the student’s permanent academic file and confidential. First violations of the Code are a part of this confidential record. Second violations are handled on a case-by-case basis and will become part of the student’s academic file only in those instances when subsequent offenses are serious enough to warrant inclusion.

Severe or repeated instances of academic misconduct will result in more severe sanctions up to and including expulsion.


Should a student disagree with an instructor’s judgment, the student may appeal the instructor’s decision by following the “Academic Related Appeals Process”.


Records involving allegations of academic misconduct shall be maintained confidentially by the administrator who oversees student misconduct incidence and/or the applicable Department Chair or Division Chair of the appropriate School until five years after the responsible student graduates or permanently separates from the University of Providence.

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