Academic Honesty Policy

Background and Purpose

Academic honesty is a fundamental principle of the College of Business at FAU. An important function of any college is the creation and dissemination of knowledge. For this reason, we are especially sensitive to the protection and proper attribution of knowledge created by others. Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated within the College of Business. It is the responsibility of faculty and students to adhere to the academic honesty policy at all times. FAU has an honor code requiring a faculty member, student, or staff member to notify an instructor when there is reason to believe an academic irregularity is occurring in a course. The instructor's duty is to pursue any reasonable allegation, taking action, as described below, where appropriate. In the event that the instructor takes no action or appears to disregard the allegation, the complainant may report the offense to the next higher level of authority. Under the provisions of the University honor code, witnesses must report any observed or suspected violations.


Academic honesty is defined to be the use of one's own intellectual effort at all times without misappropriating or representing as one's own the work of others. Examples of academic dishonesty include

  • "cheating"
  • the giving or receiving of help on assignments when the professor has prohibited outside assistance
  • copying answers from another student or from a key or notes
  • allowing another student to copy
  • collaborating on assignments or exams except when expressly authorized
  • unattributed copying, such as
    • the use of purchased or borrowed papers
    • the use of reference materials without citation
  • plagiarism, which involves incorporating the work of others, either in whole or in part, into one's own work without proper citation. Plagiarism may involve the use of text or ideas or both.

Procedure for Enforcement

Academic dishonesty should first be reported to the instructor in whose class the alleged offense occurred. The instructor then must investigate the alleged offense and, notify the student in conference of the instructor's perception of the facts. If the instructor ascertains or believes that the allegation is factually supported, the instructor will mail or give to the student a brief written statement of the charges and the proposed disciplinary action. A copy of this statement shall be sent to the department head, who will notify the Office of the Registrar that an electronic notation of the irregularity should be attached to the student's transcript. The memorandum to the registrar should include complete information about the proposed penalty, including any determination about grades for the work in question and the course. This notification will block the student from withdrawing from the class unless the instructor permits it. If the charges are dropped in the appeal process, or if there is no second offense during the student's stay at the University, the notation will be expunged from the record upon written request from the student following graduation from, or two semesters of nonattendance at, the University. Penalty grades will not be changes unless the charges are dropped during appeal.

Disciplinary Action

Disciplinary action for violations of the academic honesty policy is a function of the gravity of the offense. Action taken may include any or all of the following:

  • assignment of a failing grade on the work in question
  • failing grade in the class
  • suspension or dismissal from the College and/or the University.

Dismissal may be warranted even for a first offense if the violation is severe. Penalty grades cannot be removed by a drop or the forgiveness policy. When the department head notifies the Office of the Registrar of the irregularity, the registrar will inform the department head as to whether the student is a repeat offender. If the student is a repeat offender, a penalty of suspension or expulsion is mandatory.

Appeals Procedure

The student may appeal the proposed penalty by presenting a written request for appeal within ten days to the next level (Department Chair or Director, or to the Dean of the College if the Department Chair made the initial determination of academic dishonesty.) During the initial investigation and any subsequent appeal the student shall have the opportunity to present facts in his or her defense, and may have an advisor present for counsel if desired. The advisor may not answer in place of the student. The Department Chair's or Director's written statement of findings and action taken will be delivered to the student and the Dean of the College of Business. The student may appeal the actions of the initial appeal hearing to the College of Business Academic Petitions Committee. Requests for a hearing must be presented in writing within 10 days of receipt of the decision from the initial appeal hearing. The student may appeal the committee’s actions to the Provost or his designee by requesting a hearing within 10 days of the committee’s decision. These appeals are limited to the following basis:

  • Failure to receive due process
  • Arbitrary actions including lack of commensurateness of penalty to
  • offense
  • New pertinent information not available during earlier proceedings.
  • The Provost may act on an appeal as follows:
  • Dismiss the appeal and uphold the action taken by the college
  • Order a new hearing by a different student/faculty council
  • Reduce the severity of the penalty administered.

Records and Right to Counsel

Records of appeals and minutes will be maintained by the Dean’s Office. These hearings are considered to be educational activities. The strict rules of evidence do not apply. Students may be assisted by attorneys, but may not abdicate the responsibility to respond to charges to their legal advisors.