Academic Integrity Policy

Academic Integrity at Winona State University is based on honesty. The University requires that work produced by students represents their personal efforts and requires that they properly acknowledge the intellectual contributions of others.

WSU students are required to adhere to the University's standards of academic integrity.  Following are examples of behaviors considered unacceptable and viewed as violations of the academic integrity policy:

Examples of Policy Violations

Cheating:  Using or attempting to use unauthorized materials in any academic exercise or having someone else do work for you.  Examples of cheating include looking at another student's work, bringing an unauthorized “crib sheet” to a test, obtaining a copy of a test prior to the test date, or submitting homework borrowed from another student.

Deception and Misrepresentation:  Lying about or misrepresenting your work, academic records, or credentials.  Examples of deception and misrepresentation include forging signatures, falsifying application credentials or transcripts, and misrepresenting group participation.

Enabling Academic Dishonesty: Helping someone else to commit an act of academic dishonesty.  This would include giving someone else an academic assignment with the intent of allowing that person to copy it or allowing someone else to cheat from your test papers, quizzes, assessments or other course materials.

Fabrication:  Refers to inventing or falsifying information.  Examples of fabrication include inventing data for an experiment you did not do or did not do correctly or making references to sources you did not use in academic assignments.

Multiple Submissions: Submitting work you have done in previous classes as if it were new and original work.  Although faculty may be willing to let you use previous work as the basis of new work, they expect you to do new work for the class.  Students seeking to submit a piece of work to more than one class should seek the permission of both instructors.

Plagiarism:  Using the words or ideas of another writer without proper acknowledgment, so that they seem as if they are your own.  Plagiarism includes behavior such as copying someone else's work word for word, rewriting someone else's work with only minor word changes, and/or summarizing someone else's work without acknowledging the source.

Consequences for Academic Violations

Consequences for academic violations are most often addressed by the instructor and the student at the time of the violation. The instructor’s determination is final unless appealed to the dean of the college.

Possible consequences at the discretion of:

  •  Faculty:  Re-do the exam or assignment, award a lower or failing grade on an assignment and/or  the course, or allow the student to withdraw from the course.
  •  Department:  Dismissal from a program or major
  •  Dean:  Administrative withdrawal of the student from a course after consultation with the instructor
  •  Vice President for Student Life and Development:  Disciplinary probation or suspension

Note:  There may be circumstances where the Dean of the College, in collaboration with the WSU Director of Student Conduct and Citizenship, will determine that the case will be heard as a student conduct issue.  Students found culpable of a violation(s) will face disciplinary consequences as defined in the Student Conduct Code.  The WSU Student Conduct Code can be obtained online or in the Office of Student Life and Development.

Student Rights

  • Oral or written notice of the charges from the faculty member is required even though an immediate consequence may be imposed.
  • An explanation of the evidence against the student.  Note: Evidence may be physical or in the form of witnesses or observers.
  • An opportunity for the student to present their side of the story
  • Notice of the decision(s)
  • An opportunity to appeal the decision(s)

Appeal Procedure

Step I:  A student appealing a faculty, department, or dean’s decision should meet within 14 calendar days on an informal basis with the faculty member, department chair, or dean directly involved in the situation in an attempt to address the matter and resolve the issue(s).  If the student is not comfortable working with the faculty member or if the student is not able to get a response within this period of time, they may appeal to the next higher level of authority.   

Step II:  A student may appeal the decision in Step I and has 14 calendar days to meet with and present a dated, signed, and written account of the circumstances to the appropriate college dean.  The appeal shall contain a statement indicating the reason for the appeal and the relief requested.  The academic dean (or higher authority) shall respond to the student and faculty member with a written decision within 14 calendar days of receipt of the appeal.

Written appeals must be based on one or more of the following reasons:

  • The evidence presented at the meeting between the faculty and the student does not support the outcome.
  • There are facts not brought out in the original meeting which may affect the outcome.
  • There was a procedural error which could have affected the outcome of the meeting.
  •  The consequences were perceived as excessively severe.

Step III - If the issue is not resolved in Step II, the student has 14 calendar days to appeal to the Vice President for Academic Affairs.  This appeal should be a dated, signed, and written account of the situation.  The vice president shall respond to the student, faculty member and dean with a written decision within 14 calendar days of receipt of the appeal.  The decision of the vice president is final.

The 14 day response period does not include breaks and holidays.  A time extension may be granted upon request to the dean (Step II) or academic vice president (Step III).  Failure to submit a timely appeal, or request for extension, constitutes a waiver of any right to request an appeal.  

Students Rights and Responsibilities Minnesota State Board of Trustees Policy 3.1

Part 1. Freedom to Learn
In addition to being the basic constitutional rights enjoyed by all citizens, students in colleges and universities have specific rights related to academic freedom and their status as students.  Freedom to teach and freedom to learn are inseparable facets of academic freedom.  The freedom to learn depends upon appropriate opportunities and conditions in the classroom, on the campus, and in the larger community.  Students are expected to exercise their freedom with responsibility. 

Part 2.  Freedom of Expression
Individual students and student organizations shall be free to examine and to discuss all questions of interest to them and to express opinions publicly and privately.  They shall be free to support causes by orderly means that do not disrupt the regular and essential operation of the institution.  In the classroom, students shall be free to take reasoned exception to the data or views offered in any course of study and to reserve judgment about matters of opinion, but they are responsible for learning the content of any course of study for which they are enrolled. 

Part 3.  Freedom of Association
Students shall be free to organize and join organizations to promote their common and lawful interests, subject to institutional policies or regulations.  Registration or recognition may be withheld or withdrawn from organizations that violate institutional regulations. 

Part 4.  Student-Sponsored Forums.
Students shall have the right to assemble, to select speakers, and to discuss issues of their choice.  The college or university shall establish reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions to assure that the assembly does not substantially disrupt the work of the institution or does not interfere with the opportunity of other students to obtain an education or otherwise infringe upon the rights of others.  Such regulations shall not be used as a means of censorship.  The president or designee may prohibit any forum when holding the event, in their judgment, would result in physical harm or threat of physical harm to persons or property.  Prior to any such prohibition, the president shall make their best effort to consult with a designated member of the student association.

Part 5.  Student Publications
Student-funded publications shall be free of censorship and advance approval of the copy, and their editors and managers shall be free to develop their own editorial and news coverage policies.  Editors and managers of student publications shall be protected from arbitrary suspension and removal because of student, faculty, administrative, or public disapproval of editorial policy or content.  The student fee allocation process shall not be used as a means of editorial control of student-funded publications.  All student publications shall explicitly state on the editorial page that the opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the college, university, system, or student body. 

Part 6.  Catalog and Course Information
To the extent possible, students will be provided relevant and accurate information regarding courses prior to enrollment.  Catalog descriptions will be accurate and based on information existing at the time of publication.  To the extent possible, class schedules will list the names of the faculty teaching courses. 

Part 7.  Academic Information
Students shall have access to accurate information about general requirements for establishing and maintaining acceptable academic standing, information that will enable students to determine their individual academic standing, and information regarding graduation requirements. 

Part 8.  Academic Evaluation
Student academic performance shall be evaluated solely on the basis of academic standards, including any requirements that are noted in the catalog, course syllabus, or student handbook.  Students shall have protection against prejudiced or capricious evaluation and shall not be evaluated on the basis of opinions or conduct in matters unrelated to academic standards.  Students shall have the right to review their corrected examinations or other required assignments used by the faculty in evaluating the student’s academic performance.

Part 9.  Property Rights
Term papers, essays, projects, works of art, and similar property shall be returned to a student upon request, within a reasonable timeframe, when no longer needed for evaluation purposes, unless the student grants written permission for them to be retained. 

Part 10.  Off-Campus Conduct
Students who violate a local ordinance or state law risk the legal penalties prescribed by civil authorities.  A college or university need not concern itself with every violation.  Nevertheless, a college or university may take disciplinary action against students for off-campus behavior, following the procedures of the code of conduct of that college or university.