While the rest of the nation struggles with the truth, Quinnipiac University remains committed to building a stronger culture of academic integrity.
The university is a member of Center for Academic Integrity, a group of universities that are “committed to the principles of integrity,” according to the CAI Academic Integrity Web site. It was this emphasis that led to the creation of the Academic Integrity Board.
Students, staff and faculty are all members of the board. Board members rotate on and off of judiciary hearing committees at different times. Students apply by writing an essay, faculty are elected through their school or college and staff members are chosen by the offices of academic and student affairs.
The process of an inquiry into academic dishonesty begins by filing a grievance. This measure can be taken by any member of the university.
After a report is filed, a student can either accept responsibility for her or his actions, or move to a case review where they will determine whether a hearing will be necessary. If a student is found to be in violation of the university’s academic integrity policy, sanctions range from a mandatory learning center program to expulsion.
While the board is better known on campus for hearing cases of academic fraud, its other, larger function is to educate the student body about academic integrity. The board is centered on the five principles set forth by the Center for Academic Integrity: honesty, trust, responsibility, fairness and respect.
Professor Renee Gravois Lee, the university’s director of academic integrity and a professor of marketing and advertising, agrees that this is the board’s most important duty.
“A lot of students don’t realize that they’re breaking the policy,” Daniel Brown, assistant director of the student center said. Lee added that student misunderstanding of what constitutes plagiarism is one of the most common problems the board sees.
Junior Anthony Brisson is a member of the Academic Integrity Board. He has created a reference CD to educate students about issues of academic honesty. He hopes to “not only get the CD published for Quinnipiac use, but also to publish it for middle, secondary and higher education school use.”
While Brisson’s reasons for getting involved with the Academic Integrity Board were quite unique, other student members simply want to get involved with something good.
“It sounded like a good organization to be a part of with a policy that I feel is important, so I applied,” Courtney Rice, sophomore broadcast journalism major who currently sits on the board, said.
Lee has many goals for advancing academic integrity. Her hope for the future, she says, is “for everyone at Quinnipiac to contribute to strengthening the campus culture of integrity. Students can hold themselves and each other to higher standards. Faculty and staff can increase their efforts to promote integrity in and outside of the classroom.”
Lee challenged members of the Quinnipiac community by adding, “Imagine how much progress we could make in reducing academic misconduct if each person at Quinnipiac made a personal commitment to and took action toward this goal.”
A copy of the university’s academic integrity policy is available to students by visiting www.quinnipiac.edu/x847.xml.