Academic Integrity for Students

RBS has many terrific career management professionals who do a great job of ensuring our students are prepared and have access to many of the world’s best employers. But it’s a very competitive job market. If you lack integrity in your academic work, you will be at a disadvantage because you may not know what recruiters and employers expect you to know. And if your lack of integrity results in a low or failing grade in a course, an XF, or even suspension or expulsion, your job search will become much more difficult. The best way to succeed in business, and in life, is to consistently act with complete integrity.

To avoid problems, ensure you know what academic integrity is and be aware of the common reasons why students, despite the costs, sometimes fail to maintain academic integrity.

What is Academic Integrity?

RBS adheres to the Rutgers University Academic Integrity Policy. Read it. Know it. Live it. As are many good books, this policy has also been turned into a movie. New students receive notice to complete an academic integrity tutorial that is available on Blackboard as a series of four videos, each with an accompanying quiz. Completion of these tutorials, to include scoring 100% on each quiz, is mandatory for all new students (both undergraduate and graduate).

What are the types of violations?

Section II of the RU Academic Integrity Policy lists the different types of violations. Ignorance is never an excuse for any of these violations. But the first listed violation – plagiarism – is the one that most often confuses students. If you still lack clarity regarding what constitutes plagiarism, then review the resources provided on the RU academic integrity website.

There are many types of academic integrity violations but only two levels of violation: nonseparable and separable. Section IIB of the RU Academic Integrity Policy defines these levels in detail and provides examples of violations and sanctions. The main distinctions are as follows (from p. 4 of Policy):

“Nonseparable violations are less severe violations for which the possible sanctions do not include suspension or expulsion from the University; separable violations are more severe violations for which the possible sanctions include suspension or expulsion. Whether a given violation is classified as nonseparable or separable depends on a number of factors including: the nature and importance of the academic exercise; the degree of premeditation or planning; the extent of dishonest or malicious intent; the academic experience of the student; and whether the violation is a first-time or repeat offense.”

What happens if I'm accused of a violation?

If you are accused of violating the academic integrity policy, in some situations faculty have the option of handling your case directly, or they may ask the RBS Academic Integrity Facilitator to handle it. If it is not a first-time nonseparable violation, or if you are a graduate student, faculty members do not have the option to handle it directly and must pass it to the RBS Academic Integrity Facilitator.  

Section III of the RU Academic Integrity Policy provides information about the various parties involved in administration of the academic integrity policy. If you are accused of a violation, familiarize yourself with these roles. In addition, review the Information Sheet for Accused Students.

Avoiding violations

The best way to avoid violating the academic integrity policy is to steer clear of situations that tempt you to take shortcuts. Prepare for class – you should expect to spend at least two hours outside of class studying for each hour of in-class instruction. Pace written assignments so that you have plenty of time for research and revision. Don’t take more courses than you have the time and ability to handle. If you need help, seek it. Talk to your academic advisor. Use RBS and RU resources.

We all know it happens, though. One of the world’s leading experts on cheating in college is an RBS faculty member.  He literally wrote the book on the topic. And he’s helped us all to be aware of its existence and how to prevent it and police it. RBS faculty are on alert for violations. When violations occur, they lead to significant penalties. Review the statistics; there are hundreds of cases each year unfortunately, with a handful leading to suspension and dismissal. Read some of the stories from past offenders. Avoid becoming a statistic.