Simply put, academic integrity means that students are honest and truthful in their studies by taking credit for only their own work. CBA students have full plates: taking courses day and evening, working part-time or full-time, having many group projects, engaging in student organizations, and competing for grades on exams and assignments. Stress and pressure can sometimes lead to taking short cuts that compromise academic integrity because of the lack of time or the desire to get top grades—or even laziness or dishonesty.
My main message is to always take the high road: do your best and do your part in classes and teamwork, no matter what grade you receive. Each student has likely heard some faculty member say that what is learned is much more important than what grade is achieved. The gains of academic dishonesty are short term and shallow while the gains of true learning are long term and deep.
At CSULB, information on plagiarism and cheating can be found online: CSULB Cheating and Plagiarism (pdf)
The following presents some of the main points:
Plagiarism is defined as the act of using the ideas or work of another person or persons as if they were one's own, without giving credit to the source. Such an act is not plagiarism if it is ascertained that the ideas were arrived at through independent reasoning or logic or where the thought or idea is common knowledge. Acknowledge of an original author or source must be made through appropriate references, i.e., quotation marks, footnotes, or commentary.
Cheating is defined as the act of obtaining or attempting to obtain or aiding another to obtain academic credit for work by the use of any dishonest, deceptive or fraudulent means. Examples of cheating during an examination would include, but not be limited to the following: copying…, discussion of answers or ideas relating to the answers on an examination…, giving or receiving copies of an exam without the permission of the instructor, using or displaying notes and "cheat sheets," or other information or devices inappropriate to the prescribed test conditions….
One or more of the following academic actions are available to the faculty member who finds a student has been cheating or plagiarizing…These actions may be taken without a request for or before the receipt of a Report from the Academic Integrity Committee.
- Review – no action.
- An oral reprimand with emphasis on counseling toward prevention of further occurrences.
- A requirement that the work be repeated.
- Assignment of a score of zero (0) for the specific demonstration of competence, resulting in the proportional reduction of final course grade.
- Assignment of a failing final grade.
- Referral to the Office of Student Conduct and Ethical Development for possible probation, suspension, or expulsion.
Information on standards for student conduct can be found online: REGULATION XVI Standards for Student Conduct (pdf)
To summarize my views, the principles of academic integrity require you to take both your professor and your fellow students seriously and to treat them with respect:
- Finish assigned reading before coming to class.
- Attend all class sessions.
- Come to class on time and not leave early.
- Be engaged in the lecture and class discussion.
- Ask questions about anything you don't understand
- Participate in the class discussions to contribute your thinking to the shared effort.
- Monitor your own participation so as to allow for and encourage the participation of others
- Respect other students by not making fun of them or their ideas, and by not holding side-conversations that detract from the class discussion.
- Turn off cell phones before class or set them on vibrate.
- Use laptop computers for note taking purposes only, not to search the Internet or to read email.
Michael E. Solt
Dean, College of Business Administration