Undergraduate Policies

Academic Integrity

The integrity of the academic enterprise of any institution of higher education requires honesty in all aspects of its endeavor.  Maintaining academic integrity is therefore the responsibility of all faculty, staff, and students at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. 

Academic dishonesty is prohibited in all programs of the University.  Sanctions may be imposed on any student who has committed an act of academic dishonesty. 

Definitions of Academic Dishonesty

Academic dishonesty includes but is not limited to: 

Cheating - use, or attempted use, of trickery, artifice, deception, breach of confidence, fraud, or misrepresentation of one's academic work. Submission of the same work in its entirety for credit in two courses without obtaining the permission of the instructors constitutes cheating. Collaborating with others when not explicitly allowed by the instructor constitutes cheating.

Fabrication - falsification or invention of any information or citation in any academic exercise. 

Plagiarism - representing, whether intentionally or unintentionally, the words or ideas of another as one's own work in any academic exercise. 

Facilitating dishonesty - helping or attempting to help another commit an act of academic dishonesty, including substituting for another in an examination, misrepresenting oneself, or allowing others to represent as their own one's papers, reports, or academic works. 

INITIATING CHARGES OF ACADEMIC DISHONESTY

Any person who has reason to believe that a student has committed academic dishonesty should bring such information to the attention of the appropriate course instructor as soon as possible. The procedures outlined below are intended to provide the process by which sanction may be imposed if it appears that academic dishonesty has occurred, and by which students may appeal such sanctions.

These procedures apply to all students participating in academic classes and programs, including all graduate, undergraduate, and CSCE programs.  The procedures associated with this policy are the only official procedures for making allegations of, issuing sanctions because of, or appealing charges of academic dishonesty. 

Any instructor may initiate charges of academic dishonesty by following the procedures outlined below. 

    I. Determining Sanctions and Notification of Students

  • a. When academic dishonesty is suspected, the instructor (complainant) should bring the case to the attention of the complainant’s chair and discuss an appropriate course of action/sanction. 
  • b. Possible sanctions include a reduction in grade in an assignment or exam; a zero or failing grade in an assignment or exam; a forced repeat of an assignment or exam; a reduction in grade in a course; a recommendation of a grade of FX (non-deletable failure); recommendation of suspension; or recommendation of dismissal.
  • c. If a sanction is to be applied, the instructor must notify the student, in writing or orally, of the incident observed and the sanction that will be imposed. Such notification should be made within a reasonable period, not more than 14 days after recognizing the incident. 
  • d. The instructor must maintain a record of the notification. 

Notification to the Provost by the Instructor

  • a. Notification to the Provost by the instructor must occur within a reasonable period, not more than 10 days after informing the student. The instructor must fill out a "Notification of Academic Dishonesty Form" (pdf) available online on Office of the Registrar's website at www.uml.edu/docs/notificationofacademicdishonesty_tcm18-3543.pdf and email or fax this form to the Provost or designee. In lieu of the form, an email with the necessary information will suffice. 
  • b. The Provost or designee will send the student official notification of the sanction via certified and electronic mail and include notification of the right to appeal. Such official notification must be sent to the student within a "reasonable" time frame, not to exceed 21 days of receipt of the "Notification of Academic Dishonesty Form."
  • c. The Provost or designee also informs (in writing) the dean and chair of the complainant's department of the complaint and sanction. 
  • d. The Office of the Provost will maintain this information and record the sanction.  The record will be kept until the student graduates the University of Massachusetts Lowell. If there is a record of multiple complaints the provost or designee may apply more severe sanctions including suspension and dismissal.

If the student does not appeal the charges, the process is complete and the sanction is imposed. 

First level of Appeal:  Academic Dean

If the student denies responsibility or believes that the sanction is too severe, the student may appeal the sanction to the Academic Dean of the college of the complainant’s department or designee in writing, within 7 days of receiving notification of the sanction from the office of the provost.  During the appeals process the student is expected to continue attending the class in which the sanction has been issued unless prohibited by department policy.  The Academic Dean or designee will commence a review of the issues raised in the appeal and forward the decision to the office of the Provost as soon as practicable. 

The Provost or designee must notify the student, by certified and electronic mail, and other relevant parties of the outcome of the appeal process.  If the appeal is sustained on the grounds that the charge is not adequately supported then all records of the incident are destroyed. If the appeal is not sustained then records of the incident are maintained in the Office of the Provost. 

Second level of Appeal: Office of the Provost

The decision reached by the Academic Dean or designee may be appealed to the Provost or designee if the student believes that he or she did not receive due process.

Grounds for Appeal of Due Process

An appeal shall be limited to a review of supporting documents and the process and outcome of the Academic Dean or designee for one or more of the following grounds:

  • Bias by the Instructor, Academic Dean, or designee substantially influenced the outcome of the process to the detriment of the student. 
  • New, relevant information has come to light that was not available at the time of the hearing by the Academic Dean.
  • Unusual procedures were followed or if the procedures outlined herein were not followed, to the detriment of the student.

Appeals may be filed by the student or complainant to the Provost or designee within 7 days of receipt of the decision. Such appeals shall be in writing and shall be delivered to the Provost or designee, and must be based on the "Grounds for Appeal" (above). The Provost or designee may decide to uphold the decision of the Academic Dean or designee or convene the Academic Integrity Appeals Board ("Board").  All decisions by the Provost or designee are final and may not be appealed.  Such decisions will be made as soon as practicable. 

The Provost or designee must notify the student, by certified and electronic mail, and other relevant parties of the outcome of the appeal process.  If the appeal is sustained on the grounds that due process was not followed then all records of the incident are destroyed. If the appeal is not sustained then records of the incident are maintained in the Office of the Provost. 

Academic Integrity Appeals Board

Membership: The Academic Integrity Appeals Board is chaired by the Provost or designee.  The Provost or designee will vote only in the case of a tie.  The Board consists of a minimum of three faculty members chosen by the Provost or designee with no two members selected from the same College and cannot include a faculty member within the department initiating charges of academic dishonesty. 

Right to an Advisor: A student may elect to be accompanied at all proceedings of the disciplinary process by an advisor of his or her choice.  The advisor must be a current member of the faculty, staff, or student body of the University. The role of the advisor in all cases is limited to advising the student during the academic dishonesty proceedings.  The advisor may not speak on behalf of the student, or examine or cross-examine a witness, or address the process publicly during proceedings.  

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities: The University of Massachusetts Lowell is committed to providing appropriate accommodations to students with documented disabilities so that all students have meaningful access to all University of Massachusetts Lowell programs and services, including the Academic Integrity Process.

All those with disabilities who are involved in the Academic Integrity Process, including accusers and accused students, advisors, and witnesses may seek accommodations for any stage of the Academic Integrity Process.  Any student requesting an accommodation must do so far enough in advance to allow the request to be reviewed and an appropriate accommodation identified and implemented. 

A request for accommodation can be made to the Director of Disability Services ("Director"), the designated Academic Dean, or the Provost.  The requests will be reviewed by the Director, who will apply appropriate legal standards and University policies and procedures to determine what accommodation, if any, is appropriate.  The student will be given an opportunity to have an interactive role in the review process (i.e., to discuss the request with the Director, before the Director completes the review).  The Director may require the student to provide appropriate documentation from qualified health care professionals to support the request.  In addition, the Director may consult, as appropriate, with the Academic Dean or the Provost, or another expert of the Director's choosing. The Director will make a decision in light of the student's particular disabilities and the nature of the Academic Integrity Process, upon reviewing any consultations, relevant documentation and relevant previous accommodations provided to the student. The student will be given an explanation of the Director's determination.

If the student requesting accommodations disagrees with the Director's determination on appropriate accommodations, he may appeal the determination to the Office of ADA Compliance (Office of Equal Opportunity and Outreach) within 7 days of the Director's decision.

Appeal of Provost Sanctions (Suspension or Dismissal)

Any additional sanctions applied by the Provost following multiple incidents of academic dishonesty must be appealed to an Academic Integrity Appeals Board as described above. The Board will be chaired by a designee of the Provost who has not participated in the process leading to the charges. 

The Provost or designee must notify the student, by certified and electronic mail, and other relevant parties of the outcome of the appeal process.  If the appeal is sustained on the grounds that the charge is not adequately supported then all records of the incident are destroyed. If the appeal is not sustained then records of the incident are maintained in the Office of the Provost.