Romance Studies Academic Integrity

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Code of Academic Integrity

University wide policy and information about the Code of Academic Integrity can be found on this Office of the Dean page.


Please find below the procedures that instructors (faculty, lecturers, and TAs) in the Department of Romance Studies should follow in order to ensure that our Department is discouraging violations of academic integrity and that the Department is responding appropriately to such violations:

1. The first and most essential response is prevention. Instructors should familiarize themselves with the Code of Academic Integrity, as well as with the University’s procedures for responding to violations of the Code.

Having thus informed themselves, instructors should seek reasonable ways to reduce the likelihood that students will violate the Code. For example, instructors should not make the course grade entirely dependent on very few assignments (e.g., on only one exam). They should avoid using the same exam or the same assignments semester after semester, and they should seek to create makeup exams that are different from regularly scheduled exams. They should discuss appropriate citational procedures, where relevant, and educate students about how to acknowledge the work of others responsibly.

Instructors should include a statement on academic integrity in their course syllabi. Here are two examples:

a. Long version:

All the work you submit in this course must have been written for this course and not another and must originate with you in form and content with all contributory sources fully and specifically acknowledged. Use of internet translators is not permitted. Collaborative work of the following kinds is authorized in this course: peer review and critique of students’ essays by one another and, when approved by the instructor in particular cases, collaborative projects by pairs of students.

Make yourself familiar with Cornell’s Academic Integrity Code, which is distributed to students in the Policy Notebook.

In this course, depending on the severity of the academic integrity violation and the instructor’s awareness of any extenuating circumstances, the penalty might be, for example: an “F” for the term; an “F” for the assignment; a reduction in the grade for the course (e.g. from A to A-, from B to C, from A to C, etc.).

Please keep in mind that if I have reason to believe that a student has violated the Code, there are procedures I am required to follow. I have to notify the student of a primary hearing to present the evidence and to allow the student to respond; if I determine that the student has violated the Code, I assign a grade penalty and I have to notify the record keeper and the Chair of the Academic Integrity Hearing Board in the College of Arts & Sciences. If the violation is the student’s first, the notification will be put in a locked box and there will be no additional consequences. However, should the student be found guilty of a second violation of the Code, the case will be referred to the Academic Integrity Hearing Board to determine further penalties. These further penalties can range from a note on the student’s transcript to suspension or expulsion from the University.

b. Short version:

Please abide by all university codes of conduct. By submitting work for this class, you assert that it is your own. If you ever have doubts about what constitutes ownership of work, please see me and familiarize yourself, meanwhile, with Cornell’s Academic Integrity Code.

Instructors should feel free to adapt these sample statements for their particular needs.


2. In the event of a suspected academic integrity violation*, the instructor will notify the appropriate people:

* Instructors will need to make a judgment call about whether the “violation” is intentional, or whether it is the result of ignorance, distraction, or misunderstanding. There are cases where the student genuinely does not realize that what s/he has done could constitute a violation of academic integrity. The instructor may find that these sorts of cases are best dealt with by educating students, individually and as a group, rather than resorting to the primary hearing described below.

  • TAs should notify their course supervisor
  • Course supervisors and instructors should notify the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) and the Associate Chair

3. The instructor of record, in consultation with the DUS or DLI, should follow the guidelines set out by the University for the primary hearing.

This hearing should consist of a meeting with the student, an independent witness (see #2), and any witness that the student would like to summon on his/her behalf. The instructor should give the student a week’s notice for the hearing, although it may, with the student’s consent, take place earlier. The instructor will determine, usually at the end of the hearing, whether the student is guilty of violating the Code. If the student is deemed innocent, the faculty member will communicate this in writing to the student. If the student is deemed guilty, the faculty member will assign a grade penalty that is appropriate to a violation of the Code, and will communicate the results of the primary hearing to the student and to the record keeper of the Academic Integrity Hearing Board of the College of Arts & Sciences.

This last part is essential. Please keep in mind that students are not usually punished for first violations. Reporting this behavior to the Chair and the College, however, is the only way to address serial offenders.

4. If the instructor finds that s/he needs time to reflect on the case after the primary hearing, or to consult with others, s/he should communicate this in writing to the student, and s/he should make every effort to come to a decision as soon as possible.

5. Please note that the University does grant instructors the option of assigning a penalty of “no penalty” for a violation of the Code.

An instructor who chooses this option must still notify the student that the student has violated the Code, and the instructor must also send the notification to the record keeper of the Academic Integrity Hearing Board in the College of Arts & Sciences.

6. If the violation of the Code is severe enough that it warrants being taken to the Academic Integrity Hearing Board immediately, the instructor of record will follow the University’s procedures for doing so.