Homewood Undergraduate Academic Ethics Policy
Throughout its history, The Johns Hopkins University (“University”) has enjoyed a distinguished reputation for academic excellence and integrity. Each member of the University bears a personal responsibility to uphold the ethical standards of the institution. The Undergraduate Academic Ethics Board (“Ethics Board”) has adopted the following procedures for responding in a timely and impartial manner to infractions of the high ethical standards of the academic community. Faculty and undergraduate students in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences (“KSAS”) and the Whiting School of Engineering (“WSE”) are expected to understand their responsibilities as members of the University academic community and are bound by this policy.
For general questions regarding Student Conduct please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
This policy applies to all undergraduate students in KSAS and WSE.
All issues of non-academic student misconduct are subject to the University-wide Student Conduct Code.
Research misconduct is defined as fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, reviewing or reporting research. For a complete definition, refer to PDF Document: The Johns Hopkins University Research Integrity Policy. The Policy applies to all University faculty, staff, trainees and students engaged in the proposing, performing, reviewing or reporting of research, regardless of funding source. Allegations of research misconduct regarding a student must be referred to the Research Integrity Officer for assessment under that Policy and must also be reported to the relevant Vice Dean of Education or designee.
Undergraduate KSAS and WSE students may enroll in courses in one or more other University divisions or schools. Undergraduate KSAS and WSE students are subject to this policy not only when enrolled in KSAS or WSE courses, but also when enrolled in courses in other University divisions or schools. Academic misconduct in the context of those “outside” courses will be subject to and resolved under this policy.
Violations of Academic Integrity
Undergraduate students enrolled in KSAS and WSE assume a duty to conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to the University’s mission as an institution of higher learning. Students are obliged to refrain from acts which they know, or under circumstances have reason to know, violate the academic integrity of the University.
Academic misconduct is prohibited by this policy. Academic misconduct is any action or attempted action that may result in creating an unfair academic advantage for oneself or an unfair academic advantage or disadvantage for any other member or members of the academic community. This includes a wide variety of behaviors such as cheating, plagiarism, altering academic documents or transcripts, gaining access to materials before they are meant to be available, and helping another individual to gain an unfair academic advantage. Nonexclusive examples of academic misconduct are listed below.
Cheating. The following are nonexclusive examples of cheating:
- fraud, deceit, or dishonesty in an academic assignment, text or examination.
- use or consultation of unauthorized materials (e.g., notes, books, etc.) on assignments, tests, or examinations.
- unauthorized discussion of a test or exam during its administration.
- copying content on an assignment, test or examination from another individual.
- obtaining a test or examination or the answers to a test or examination before administration of the test or examination.
- studying from an old test or examination whose circulation is prohibited by the faculty member.
- use or consultation of unauthorized electronic devices or software (e.g., calculators, cellular phones, computers, tablets, etc.) in connection with assignments, tests or examinations.
- use of paper writing services or paper databases.
- unauthorized collaboration with another individual on assignments, tests or examinations.
- submission of an assignment, test or examination for a regrade after modifying the original content submitted.
- permitting another individual to contribute to or complete an assignment, or to contribute to or take a test or examination on the student’s behalf.
- tampering with, disabling or damaging equipment for testing or evaluation.
- unauthorized submission of the same or substantially similar work, assignment, test or exam (e.g., a paper, etc.) to fulfill the requirements of more than one course or different requirements within the same course.
Plagiarism. The following are nonexclusive examples of plagiarism:
- use of material produced by another person without acknowledging its source.
- submission of the same or substantially similar work of another person (e.g., an author, a classmate, etc.).
- use of the results of another individual’s work (e.g., another individual’s paper, exam, homework, computer code, lab report, etc.) while representing it as your own.
- improper documentation or acknowledgment of quotations, words, ideas, or paraphrased passages taken from published or unpublished sources.
- wholesale copying of passages from works of others into your homework, essay, term paper, or dissertation without acknowledgment.
- paraphrasing of another person’s characteristic or original phraseology, metaphor, or other literary device without acknowledgment.
Forgery/Falsification/Lying. The following are nonexclusive examples of forgery, falsification and lying:
- falsification or invention of data or information for an assignment, test or exam, or in an experiment.
- citation of nonexistent sources or creation of false information in an assignment
- attributing to a source ideas or information that is not included in the source.
- forgery of university or other official documents (e.g., letters, transcripts, etc.).
- impersonating a faculty member.
- request for special consideration from faculty members or university officials based upon false information or deception.
- fabrication of a reason (e.g., medical emergency, etc.) for needing an extension on or for missing an assignment, test or examination.
- claiming falsely to have completed and/or turned in an assignment, test or examination.
- falsely reporting an academic ethics violation by another student.
- failing to identify yourself honestly in the context of an academic obligation.
- providing false or misleading information to an instructor or any other University official.
Facilitating Academic Dishonesty. The following are nonexclusive examples of facilitating academic dishonesty:
- intentionally or knowingly aiding another student to commit an academic ethics violation.
- allowing another student to copy from one’s own assignment, test, or examination.
- making available copies of course materials whose circulation is prohibited (e.g., old assignments, texts or examinations, etc.).
- completing an assignment or taking a test or examination for another student.
- sharing paper mill/answer bank websites or information with other students.
Unfair Competition. The following are nonexclusive examples of unfair competition:
- intentionally damaging the academic efforts of another student.
- stealing another student’s academic materials (e.g., books, notes, assignments, etc.)
- denying another student needed University resources (e.g., hiding library materials, stealing lab equipment, etc.).
Responsibilities of Students & Faculty
Faculty members and instructors are responsible for specifying at the beginning of each semester or term the basic rules and procedures for any and all coursework, examinations, and other academic exercises. Under this policy, instructors of record for a course assume the same responsibilities and expectations of faculty members. They are also responsible for exercising a reasonable degree of caution while writing, transporting, and administering examinations and other graded work. All faculty members and instructors are responsible for taking appropriate actions in accordance with this policy in all cases of suspected violations of academic ethics.
It is the responsibility of each student to report to the faculty member in charge of the course or to the Office of Student Conduct any suspected violations of academic ethics.
Procedures for Handling Suspected Violations of Academic Integrity
If a student is suspected of a possible violation of academic ethics, the faculty member in charge of the course must review the facts of the case promptly with the student(s). If, after speaking with the student(s), the faculty member believes that a violation of academic ethics has occurred, the faculty member must first contact the Office of Student Conduct to determine whether the offense is a first offense or a second or subsequent offense.
If a first offense, the faculty member may – in consultation with the Office of Student Conduct – choose to resolve the case directly with the student (i.e., the faculty member and student may reach an agreement on the resolution of the alleged misconduct. Note, neither the faculty member nor the student is obligated to resolve an allegation of academic misconduct under this section).
If such an agreement is reached, the faculty member must promptly provide the student with a resolution agreement form outlining the resolution that includes the charges, a summary of the information, the findings, and the sanctions agreed upon. A student has five (5) business days from the date of receipt to sign the resolution agreement form. Once a student signs an agreement with the faculty member or instructor of record, there are no further avenues for appeal.
The faculty member may also decline this option and defer to the Office of Student Conduct. If the faculty member attempts to resolve the case directly but cannot reach an agreement with the student (e.g., the student denies violating policy or the student does not agree with the proposed sanction, etc.); if the offense is a second or subsequent offense; or if in the case of a first offense, the faculty member believes that the sanction warranted is a failure in the course or more severe, the faculty member must promptly notify the Student Conduct Office in writing of the alleged violations, information, including potential witnesses, and other pertinent details of the case. In such instances, the case will proceed to the next phase of resolution as outlined below.
In the case of a first offense that is not resolved between the faculty member and student, a first offense where the sanction imposed would be a failure in the course or more severe; or a second or subsequent offense, the Office of Student Conduct will be assigned to the case and gather information regarding the alleged academic misconduct to determine the appropriate means of resolution.
This gathering of information may include without limitation meetings with or requests for statements from the respondent and witnesses, and review of any related information. The Office of Student Conduct may dismiss a case for a lack of sufficient information or if the alleged conduct does not fall within conduct prohibited by this policy. Absent these circumstances, the case will be resolved as explained below.
The faculty member or instructor of record should submit all relevant documents to the Office of Student Conduct at least five business days prior to a hearing. The respondent should submit all relevant documents to the Office of Student Conduct at least three (3) business days prior to the hearing. If any documents are submitted after this date, both parties will be notified of its addition.
Any charge received at the end of the semester, summer term, or during the final exam period, may be held over until the following semester. When possible, hearings may be held during Intersession and summer. For summer hearings, officers and board members may be drawn from the Board for the subsequent academic year at the discretion of the Director of Student Conduct (or designee).
Types of Conduct Proceedings
There are two types of conduct proceedings – an administrative hearing and a panel hearing. The Office of Student Conduct will, after the initial inquiry, decide whether a case will be resolved through an administrative hearing or a board hearing. In making this decision, the Office of Student Conduct will consider the nature of the alleged misconduct and potential sanctions, the complexity of the facts, the prior academic misconduct history of the respondent, and other relevant information and factors.
An administrative hearing involves a meeting between a conduct administrator, faculty board member, and the respondent. The conduct administrator and faculty board member may also meet with witnesses and others involved and obtain and review relevant evidence. The conduct administrator and faculty board member will review the allegations and evidence with the respondent and give the respondent an opportunity to respond. The conduct administrator and faculty board member will determine based on the preponderance of the evidence whether the respondent is responsible for the alleged policy violation(s), and, if so, issue (an) appropriate sanction(s)
The board is comprised of trained University students, faculty, and staff appointed for annual terms by the Vice Deans of Undergraduate Education for KSAS and WSE and the Office of Student Conduct. The board, comprised of three (3) student members and two (2) faculty/staff, is charged with determining based on a preponderance of the evidence whether a respondent’s actions constitute a violation of this policy and, if so, determining (an) appropriate sanction(s). The board shall make its determination of responsibility and sanctions by consensus and be unanimous.
A student board member will chair the board. The student chair will conduct the proceedings of the hearing and is responsible for maintaining records of all procedural decisions.
If any member of the board feels they are unable to evaluate all parties fairly, they should remove themselves from the board. Board members may be appointed from outside board members in the discretion of the Office of Student Conduct should circumstances so warrant.
The respondent may discuss procedures with the Office of Student Conduct but may not approach or contact members of the board, the reporter, or the reporter’s witnesses concerning any matter directly or indirectly related to the hearing.
Multiple students charged with academic misconduct arising from a single incident or occurrence may have their hearings joined at the discretion of the Office of Student Conduct. When a hearing involves a joinder of charges, the determination of responsibility of each student shall be determined separately.
The hearing is a closed proceeding, meaning that no one other than the respondent, faculty member or instructor of record, board members, and necessary University personnel may be present, except as follows. The exception to this is that the student is encouraged to have an advisor accompany the student throughout the hearing. The respondent, the advisor, and any witnesses called to the hearing will be present in the hearing room only when making a statement or being questioned by the board. The board hearing is recorded, but the deliberations of the board are not recorded. Following the hearing, the board and the respondent may listen to the recording upon request; however, all copies of the recording will remain in the University’s possession.
In general, hearings will proceed as follows, although the board has discretion to alter the order or manner in which it hears or receives evidence, and to impose time limits on any stage of the process:
- opening statement from the reporter, if applicable
- opening statement from the respondent
- questioning of the reporter by the board, if applicable
- questioning of the respondent by the board
- questioning of the witnesses, if any, by the board
- closing statement from the reporter, if applicable
- closing statement from the respondent
The Office of Student Conduct or board may request the presence of any witness with relevant information about a case. The respondent may request the board to hear from witnesses with relevant information. Absent exceptional circumstances, the respondent must inform the Office Student Conduct in writing at least three (3) days in advance of any meeting or hearing of the names of the witnesses and to what they will attest. The Office of Student Conduct or board may determine whether and the extent to which witnesses will be permitted to participate or be questioned in any meeting or hearing, including whether their testimony is relevant.
In connection with the resolution of alleged policy violations, a respondent shall:
- be notified in writing of the allegations in advance of any meeting or hearing;
- be notified in writing of the charges, and the date, time and location of the hearing, and identity of the hearing administrator or board members five (5)business days in advance of the hearing;
- have the opportunity to review in advance of any meeting or hearing in which the respondent is a participant any information to be considered by any faculty/staff member, administrator or board consistent with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (“FERPA”) and to protect other confidential information;
- be notified in writing of the outcome of any hearing, namely the findings, determination of responsibility, and any sanctions; and
- be notified in writing of the outcome of any appeal.
A respondent may raise the potential for conflict of interest, bias, or both of any University personnel participating in the resolution process. A respondent may also decline to participate in the resolution process. The University may however continue the process without the respondent’s participation.
Communications under this policy will primarily be conducted with students through their official University email address, and students are expected to check their official University email on a regular basis.
A “preponderance of the evidence” standard will be used to determine responsibility for alleged violations of this policy. A “preponderance of the evidence” standard is an evidentiary standard that means “more likely than not.” This standard is met if the proposition is more likely to be true than not true.
Except in the case of a resolution for first-time offenses with a faculty member, the respondent may appeal an administrator or board’s finding of responsibility and/or sanction(s). A respondent must file an appeal within ten (10) days of the date of the notice of outcome on one or more of the following grounds:
- procedural error that could have materially affected the determination of responsibility or sanction(s);
- new information that was not available at the time of the hearing and that could reasonably have affected the determination of responsibility or sanction(s); and
- excessiveness of the sanction(s).
Any appeal must be filed in writing to the Vice Dean of Undergraduate Education of KSAS (or designee) or the Vice Dean of Undergraduate Education of WSE (or designee), whichever is applicable. An appeal will involve a review of the file and the audio recording of the hearing and as determined necessary, gathering of information from relevant university personnel or board members; the appeal does not involve another hearing. On review of the appeal, the Vice Dean of Undergraduate Education (or designee) may:
- enter a revised determination of responsibility and/or revise sanction(s);
- remand the matter to the administrator or board to reconsider the determination of responsibility and/or sanction(s)
- request the appointment of a new board to hear the charge;
- uphold the original decision
The Vice Dean of Undergraduate Education (or designee) will simultaneously send the appeal determination, with the reasons therefor, to the Student Conduct Office and to the respondent. The decision of the Vice Dean of Undergraduate Education (or designee) is final. No further appeals are permitted.
The following factors may be considered in the sanctioning process:
- the specific academic misconduct at issue;
- the student’s academic misconduct history; and
- other appropriate factors.
This section lists some of the sanctions that may be imposed upon students for violations of this policy. The University reserves the right, in its discretion, to impose more stringent or different sanctions than those listed below depending on the facts and circumstances of a particular case. Sanctions for academic misconduct under the policy are generally cumulative in nature.
When a student if found responsible for violations of academic ethics, the sanctions that may be imposed include without limitation one or more of the following; this is a non-exhaustive list:
- Formal Warning – The student is notified in writing that their actions constitute a violation of this policy, and may be subject to other actions (e.g., re-taking an exam or failure in a course).
- Retake of the examination, paper, or exercise involved.
- A score of zero on the examination, paper, or exercise involved.
- Lowering of the course grade.
- Failure in the course.
- A notation placed on the student’s permanent transcript explaining the violation and outcome.
- Failure in the course with a notation on the student’s transcript that the grade was for an ethics violation, i.e., an “FEV” grade.
- University Probation – The student is notified that further violations of this policy within the stated period of time will result in the student being considered for immediate suspension or other appropriate disciplinary action. If at the end of the specified time period no further violations have occurred, the student is removed from probationary status.
- Suspension – The student is notified that the student is separated from the University for a specified period of time. The student must leave campus and vacate campus residence halls, if applicable, within the time prescribed and is prohibited from being enrolled at the university, attending classes, or being present on University property or at University events. The conferring of an academic degree may be deferred for the duration of the suspension. A student must receive written permission from the University prior to re-enrollment or re-application. Academic work completed at another institution while on suspension will not be recognized for credit transfer.
- Failure in the course with suspension from the University.
- Failure in the course with suspension from the University and notation on the transcript that the failing grade was for an ethics violation i.e., and “FEV” grade.
Expulsion – Expulsion means the permanent removal of the student from the University. Expulsion includes a forfeiture of all rights and degrees not actually conferred at the time of the expulsion, permanent notation of the expulsion on the student’s University records and academic transcript, withdrawal from all courses according to divisional policies, and the forfeiture of tuition and fees already paid. Any student expelled from the university is prohibited from future reapplication to the University.
In most cases, the sanction for a second or subsequent finding of responsibility must be selected from items (5) through (11) of the above-listed sanctions.
A student found responsible for academic misconduct in a course forfeits the right to withdraw from the course, to change a graded course to pass/fail, or to absolve the grade by repeating the course. Grades assigned as a result of adjudicated ethics violations will always factor into g.p.a calculations even if the course is repeated. Retaken ethics violation courses will not earn duplicate credit. Any withdrawal from that course or change effected prior to the finding of responsibility shall be voided and the student will be re-enrolled.
A student who has been presented with a violation of academic ethics from a faculty member forfeits the right to drop or withdraw from the course during the pendency of an allegation.
If the student is found responsible for academic misconduct, the record shall be held in the Office of Student Conduct and retained on file for seven (7) years after the date of the incident. Records will only be released if a written request has been made and approved by the Office of Student Conduct.
Students should be aware that, in keeping with applicable law and University policy, the notification of the outcome and sanctions against students and, if applicable, other pertinent information, may be shared with University personnel including academic advisors, registrar’s office, financial services, pre-medical, pre-law advisors and the office of international services in cases involving international students as visa status may be impacted.
Last Updated: August 1, 2021