Aggie Honor System
Aggie Honor Code
“An Aggie does not lie, cheat, or steal, or tolerate those who do.”
The Aggie Honor Code is fundamental to the value of the Texas A&M at Qatar experience, and is based on the long-standing affirmation of the above statement. It is also consistent with the Texas A&M University Core Value of Integrity. All Aggies are expected to uphold and live by the Aggie Honor Code, even after graduation.
Academic integrity violations are taken seriously, and are adjudicated by the Academic Services Office. ASO is responsible for educating about the Aggie Honor Code, responding to academic violation reports, and facilitating remediation efforts for students found to be in violation of the Aggie Honor Code.
Academic Integrity: Texas A&M at Qatar Aggie Honor System
Aggie Honor System Forms
Definitions of Academic Misconduct
Misconduct in research or scholarship includes fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, reviewing, or reporting research. It does not include honest error or honest differences in interpretations or judgments of data. Texas A&M University students are responsible for authenticating all work submitted to an instructor. If asked, students must be able to produce proof that the item submitted is indeed the work of that student. Students must keep appropriate records at all times. The inability to authenticate one’s work, should the instructor request it, is sufficient grounds to initiate an academic dishonesty case. Academic dishonesty includes the commission of any of the following acts. This listing is not, however, exclusive of any other acts that may reasonably be called academic dishonesty. Clarification is provided for each definition by listing some prohibited behaviors.
Intentionally using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, notes, study aids or other devices or materials in any academic exercise.
During an examination, looking at another student’s examination or using external aids (for example, books, notes, calculators, conversation with others or electronic devices) unless specifically authorized in advance by the instructor.
Having others conduct research or prepare work without advance authorization from the instructor.
Acquiring answers for any assigned work or examination from any unauthorized source. This includes, but is not limited to, using the services of commercial term paper companies, purchasing answer sets to homework from tutoring companies, and obtaining information from students who have previously taken the examination.
Collaborating with other students in the completion of assigned work, unless specifically authorized by the instructor teaching the course. It is safe to assume that all assignments are to be completed individually unless the instructor indicates otherwise; however, students who are unsure should seek clarification from their instructors.
Other similar acts.
Making up data or results, and recording or reporting them; submitting fabricated documents.
The intentional invention and unauthorized alteration of any information or citation in any academic exercise.
Using “invented” information in any laboratory experiment, report of results or academic exercise. It would be improper, for example, to analyze one sample in an experiment and then “invent” data based on that single experiment for several more required analyses.
Failing to acknowledge the actual source from which cited information was obtained. For example, a student shall not take a quotation from a book review and then indicate that the quotation was obtained from the book itself.
Changing information on tests, quizzes, examinations, reports, or any other material that has been graded and resubmitting it as original for the purpose of improving the grade on that material. Providing a fabricated document to any University employee in order to obtain an excused absence or to satisfy a course requirement.
Other similar acts.
Manipulating research materials, equipment, or processes, or changing or omitting data or results such that the research is not accurately represented in the research record.
Changing the measurements in an experiment in a laboratory exercise so as to obtain results more closely conforming to theoretically expected values.
Other similar acts.
- Multiple Submissions
Submitting substantial portions of the same work (including oral reports) for credit more than once without authorization from the instructor of the class for which the student submits the work.
Submitting the same work for credit in more than one course without the instructor’s permission.
Making revisions in a paper or report (including oral presentations) that has been submitted in one class and submitting it for credit in another class without the instructor’s permission.
Representing group work done in one class as one’s own work for the purpose of using it in another class.
Other similar acts.
The appropriation of another person’s ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit.
Intentionally, knowingly, or carelessly presenting the work of another as one’s own (i.e., without crediting the author or creator).
Failing to credit sources used in a work product in an attempt to pass off the work as one’s own. Attempting to receive credit for work performed by another, including papers obtained in whole or in part from individuals or other sources. Students are permitted to use the services of a tutor (paid or unpaid), a professional editor, the technical Communications Center or the University Writing Center to assist them in completing assigned work, unless such assistance is explicitly prohibited by the instructor. If such services are used by the student, the resulting product must be the original work of the student. Purchasing research reports, essays, lab reports, practice sets, or answers to assignments from any person or business is strictly prohibited. Sale of such materials is a violation of both these rules and State law.
Failing to cite the World Wide Web, databases and other electronic resources if they are utilized in any way as resource material in an academic exercise. Other similar acts.
General information pertaining to Plagiarism:
Style Guides: Instructors are responsible for identifying any specific style/format requirement for the course. Examples include, but are not limited to, American Psychological Association (APA) style and Modern Languages Association (MLA) style.
Direct Quotation: Every direct quotation must be identified by quotation marks or appropriate indentation and must be properly acknowledged in the text by citation or in a footnote or endnote.
Paraphrase: Prompt acknowledgment is required when material from another source is paraphrased or summarized, in whole or in part, in one’s own words. To acknowledge a paraphrase properly, one might state: “To paraphrase Locke’s comment…” and then conclude with a footnote or endnote identifying the exact reference.
Borrowed facts: Information gained in reading or research, which is not common knowledge, must be acknowledged.
Common Knowledge: Common knowledge includes generally known facts such as the names of leaders of prominent nations, basic scientific laws, etc., basic historical information (e.g., George Washington was the first President of the United States.) Common knowledge does not require citation.
Works Consulted: Materials which add only to a general understanding of a subject may be acknowledged in the bibliography, and need not be footnoted or end-noted. Writers should be certain that they have not used specific information from a general source in preparing their work unless it has been appropriately cited. Writers should not include books, papers, or any other type of source in a bibliography, “works cited” list, or a “works consulted” list unless those materials were actually used in the research. The practice of citing unused works is sometimes referred to as “padding.”
Footnotes, endnotes, and in-text citations: One footnote, endnote, or in-text citation is usually enough to acknowledge indebtedness when a number of connected sentences are drawn from one source. When direct quotations are used, however, quotation marks must be inserted and acknowledgment made. Similarly, when a passage is paraphrased, acknowledgment is required.
Graphics, design products, and visual aids: All graphics, design products, and visual aids from another creator used in academic assignments must reference the source of the material.
Other similar acts.
Intentionally or knowingly helping, or attempting to help, another to commit an act of academic dishonesty.
Knowingly allowing another to copy from one’s paper during an examination or test.
Distributing test questions or substantive information about the test without the instructor’s permission.
Collaborating on academic work knowing that the collaboration will not be reported.
Taking an examination or test for another student. Signing the name of another person on an academic exercise or attendance sheet.
Conspiring or agreeing with one or more persons to commit, or to attempt to commit, any act of scholastic dishonesty.
Other similar acts.
- Abuse and Misuse of Access and Unauthorized Access
Students may not abuse or misuse computer access or gain unauthorized access to information in any academic exercise.
- Violation of Departmental or College Rules
Students may not violate any announced departmental or college rule relating to academic matters.
- University Rules on Research
Students involved in conducting research and/or scholarly activities at Texas A&M University must also adhere to standards set forth in University Rule 15.99.03.M1 – Responsible Conduct in Research and Scholarship.
Reporting by Student and Adjudicating Academic Misconduct
A. REPORTING OPTIONS
Students have two options when reporting an alleged violation. They may report alleged violation to either the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs or the instructor of the course in which the alleged violation occurred. Initiating formal procedures is a necessary and obligatory remedy when other methods are inappropriate or have failed (i.e. drawing attention to a suspected violation, moral suasion, etc.).
If a student is alleged to have violated the Honor Code but the class, department, and instructor cannot be identified, charges may be brought by any instructor or student who has knowledge of the violation. False and malicious reporting of an incident shall be considered a violation of the Aggie Code of Honor, and shall be adjudicated by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
B. REPORTING FORMATS
There are three reporting formats for Honor Code violations: general reporting, confidential reporting, and anonymous reporting. Each reporting format will initiate some action by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and can potentially lead to the initiation of a case. Reports may be made via electronic media, written letter, in person and/or telephone conversation. The preferred reporting methods are electronic or written.
- General Reporting
General reporting constitutes a submission of a report in which the reporting party is willing to fully identify him/herself to all involved in the case. This is the preferred reporting format and will ensure that all facts are obtainable.
- Confidential Reporting
Confidential reporting constitutes a submission of a report in which the reporting party is willing to provide his/her name to the instructor and/or the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, but wishes to have his/her name remain confidential through the proceedings of the case. Confidential reporting allows the instructor and/or the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs to contact the reporting party to gather further information when necessary.
- Anonymous Reporting
Anonymous reporting constitutes a submission of a report in which the reporting party desires to remain anonymous. This report will be considered a tip and handled as such. The reporting party will not be identifiable and cannot be contacted for further information on the case. An anonymous tip is not sufficient ground to initiate a charge; however, the tip can initiate an investigation.
C. ADJUDICATION OPTIONS
Instructors have two options for adjudication of cases. They may refer the case to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs or they may adjudicate the case themselves, if it is a first offense. If the case is referred to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, the instructor will complete an Honor Code Violation Report Form and send it to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for further consideration within five (5) University business days of notification of the alleged incident. At any time before the instructor has imposed one or more of the Sanctions the instructor and the accused student each have the right to terminate the instructor-based adjudication and transfer the process to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
Reporting by Instructor and Adjudicating Academic Misconduct
A. REPORTING OPTIONS
Upon encountering an alleged violation of the Honor Code for the first time, the instructor has the option of handling the case himself/herself or referring the case to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Upon encountering an alleged violation of the Honor Code for the second time, the instructor must refer the case to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
B. REPORTING FORMATS
If the case is referred to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, the reporting method must be electronic or written. The instructor shall complete the Honor Code Violation Report Form as soon as practicable (with a preference for five (5) University business days) of the instructor’s discovery of the alleged violation, and send it to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for further consideration.
C. ADJUDICATION OPTIONS
If the instructor decides to handle the case autonomously, he/she will meet with the alleged violator. In this meeting, the instructor shall inform the student of the violation and give him/her the opportunity to be heard. After meeting with the alleged violator, the instructor will determine if there has been a violation of the Honor Code. If no violation is found, the case is dropped and no action is taken. The instructor shall document the meeting and notify the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs that the meeting occurred as soon as practicable. If the instructor determines that there has been a violation of the Honor Code, the instructor determines the severity of the Honor Code violation, and assesses a sanction using the sanctions options provided by the TAMU Honor Council. The instructor completes the Honor Code Violation Report Form. The instructor is authorized to impose the following sanctions:
The instructor may assign appropriate academic sanctions based upon the specifics of the incident. The usual penalty for a violation shall be an “F*” in the course and “Honor Violation Probation”. Less severe penalties may be imposed if the circumstances warrant. Examples include:
- Receiving a course grade reduction.
- Receiving a zero on an assignment.
- Being required to participate in extra requirements for a course.
- Being withdrawn from the class.
No Upper Division student found guilty of academic misconduct may receive Cum Laude, or Magna Cum Laude honors at graduation. Upper Division status is defined as having earned 60 or more credit hours, including transfer hours, prior to the date of the violation. This sanction is automatic upon a finding of academic misconduct, and is imposed without regard to the severity of other sanctions imposed by the instructor.
Note: At any point prior to the instructor’s imposition of a sanction, either the alleged violator or the instructor may terminate the process and refer it to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. If the instructor determines the violation deserves a greater penalty than an “F*” in the course, the case is automatically referred to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for adjudication.
D. Notification of Sanctions
The instructor meets with the violator to notify him/her of the sanctions and of the appeal process. The student is required to check one of the options on the Honor Code Violation Form and sign the form. If the student accepts responsibility for the violation and accepts the sanction assigned by the instructor, the Honor Code Violation Form shall be sent to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs as soon as practicable (with a preference for five (5) University business days), where it is kept on record. If this violation represents a student’s second violation of the Aggie Honor Code, the case shall be automatically referred to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for adjudication. The instructor will be notified by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs that his/her decision will take precedence. If the student indicates on the Honor Code Violation Form that he/she does not agree with the sanction, or denies that the violation occurred, the instructor obtains the alleged violator’s signature on the Honor Code Violation Form and submits it to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs within five (5) University business days. This submission begins the appeal process.
Academic Integrity Sanctions
Instances of academic misconduct represent behavior that is of an especially serious nature. Sanctions assigned to instances of academic misconduct should convey the message that this type of behavior can serve as a destructive force within the academic community. However, a wide range of sanctions can be employed in order to strike an appropriate balance between sending a message of accountability and enhancing a student’s moral and cognitive development. Sanctions in each subcategory below can be used in conjunction with sanctions from other sub-categories. While this list is not designed to be exhaustive, it demonstrates the wide range of sanctions that can be utilized to respond to findings of responsibility for academic misconduct.
- General Sanctions
The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and the Campus Dean & CEO are empowered to assign any of the following sanctions:
- Expulsion from the university – as defined in TAMU University Student Rules, section 27
- Dismissal from the university – as defined in TAMU University Student Rules, section 27
- Suspension from the university – as defined in TAMU University Student Rules, section 27
Instructors may impose only the Academic Sanctions. A case must be transferred to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs if the instructor wishes to recommend a sanction involving separation from the University.
- Academic Sanctions
The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs or the instructor may assign appropriate academic sanctions based upon the specifics of the incident. The usual penalty for an initial violation shall be an “F*” in the course and “Honor Violation Probation”. More severe penalties (including separation from the University) may be imposed by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs if the facts and circumstances warrant such penalties. Less severe penalties may be imposed if the circumstances warrant. Examples include:
- A grade reduction for the course.
- A zero on an assignment.
- Requirement to participate in extra requirements for a course.
- Educational Sanctions
The instructor or Associate Dean for Academic Affairs may assign appropriate educational sanctions. Examples of educational sanctions include requiring a student to attend an academic integrity seminar, to perform appropriate university or community service, or to make restitution for damage that occurred as a result of the incident. No Upper Division student found guilty of academic misconduct may receive Cum Laude, Summa Cum Laude, or Magna Cum Laude honors at graduation. Upper Division status is defined as having earned 60 or more credit hours, including transfer hours, prior to the date of the violation. This sanction is automatic upon a finding of academic misconduct, and is imposed without regard to the severity of other sanctions imposed by the instructor or the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
- Additional Consequences
There may also be specific impact for a student within their academic major or degree program based upon a finding of academic misconduct and the consequences of subsequent sanctions. Students are encouraged to discuss their involvement in an academic misconduct situation and its impact upon their academic major or degree program with their academic advisor.
- Repeat Offenses
When an alleged violation is reported, and it is determined that the student has a previous violation on record; the case must be referred to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for further adjudication. The usual penalty for a second offense is one of the General Sanctions, that is, separation from the university. Less severe penalties may be imposed if the circumstances warrant.
THE “F*” GRADE DESIGNATION
A student who is assessed a grade of “F*” shall have it documented on his/her transcript with the notation “FAILURE DUE TO ACADEMIC DISHONESTY.” The grade of “F*” is intended to recognize a student for failing to uphold the values of academic integrity at Texas A&M University. The grade of “F*” shall be treated in the same way as an “F” for the purposes of calculating Grade Point Ratio and determination of academic class standing. A student who receives a grade of “F*” will be considered to be on “Honor Violation Probation” with the university for reasons of academic misconduct. A student who is on “Honor Violation Probation” is subject to the following restrictions:
- Ineligibility to hold an office in any student organization recognized by the university or to hold any elected or appointed position within the university.
- Ineligibility to represent the university to anyone outside the university community in any way, including representing the university at any official function, intercollegiate athletics or any forms of intercollegiate competition or representation.
- Ineligibility to receive a university-administered scholarship or fellowship when the “Honor Violation Probation” is in place for longer than one semester. Some scholarships adhere to more strict guidelines, and, therefore, ineligibility may result from a lesser length of time on “Honor Violation Probation.”
- Ineligibility to receive an Aggie Ring, to pre-register for classes, or to receive a diploma. Additional restrictions or conditions also may be imposed, depending on the timing, nature and severity of the misconduct. Examples are inability to receive an official transcript and inability to participate in commencement exercises.
REMOVAL OF THE F* GRADE AND/OR HONOR VIOLATION PROBATION
The student may file a written petition to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs to have the grade of F* removed and permanently replaced with the grade of F. The decision to remove the grade of F* shall rest with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. A student will remain on Honor Violation Probation until the F* is removed from the transcript. Additionally, the F* grade, or the F that remains when the “*” designation is removed, will not be eligible for any grade forgiveness or replacement action, and it must be considered in the calculation of a student’s Grade Point Ratio. Graduate students are not allowed to remove an ” F ” from a degree program, regardless of whether it was imposed for cheating or academic failure.
A student who is found responsible for a violation and assessed a sanction has five (5) University business days from the date of notification of the sanction to file an appeal. An appeal of a sanction imposed by the instructor should be filed first with the Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs.
A. Bases of Appeal
The following are the only accepted bases of appeal.
- A violation of due process rights: To determine whether the original hearing was conducted fairly in light of the charges and evidence presented, and in conformity with prescribed procedures giving the accused student a reasonable opportunity to prepare and present rebuttal of allegations.The finding of responsibility: To determine whether the decision reached regarding the accused student was based on a preponderance of evidence, that is, whether the facts in the case were sufficient to establish that a violation of the Honor System Rules occurred.
- Severity of the Sanction(s): To determine whether the sanction(s) imposed were appropriate for the violation of the Honor System Rules which the student was found to have committed. Information not available at the time of the original hearing: To consider new information, sufficient to alter a decision or other relevant facts not brought out in the original hearing because such information and/or facts were not known to the person appealing at the time of the original hearing.
An appeal must be written, signed, and submitted by the student and shall be typewritten. A student wishing to appear in person as part of the appeal hearing should indicate this on their written appeal. A student who is found responsible for a violation and assessed a sanction has five (5) University business days from the date of notification of the sanction to file an appeal.
An evaluation of the written appeal by the Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs or Campus Dean & CEO will determine whether an appeal hearing is warranted. For an appeal to be considered valid, one or more bases of appeal must be cited and appropriately supported in the written appeal. An appeal decision by the Campus Dean & CEO is final.
D. Disciplinary Action Pending Appeal
Following the notification of intent to appeal and pending the appeal decision, the disciplinary action taken by the university shall be stayed unless the university has determined in a case involving suspension, dismissal or expulsion that the continued presence on campus of the charged student poses a continuing danger to persons or property or an ongoing threat of disrupting the academic process. The Assistant/Associate Dean for Academic Affairs or Campus Dean & CEO has the option of extending any deadline for extenuating circumstances.
E. Appeal Hearings
Upon the approval of basis for a written request for a hearing, the Assistant/Associate Dean for Academic Affairs or the Campus Dean & CEO shall set a time and place for the hearing as soon as practicable. The student shall have the right to attend if they have indicated their wish to appeal in person as part of their written appeal. The student has the right to have one person serve as a personal advisor/counselor to consult during the appeal proceedings. (Students who are charged in the same fact pattern or who are not in good standing in the university are not eligible to serve as an advisor/counselor at appeal proceedings). A personal advisor or counselor (who may be an attorney) may appear at the appeal proceedings with the accused student to provide advice, but may not represent the accused student or directly question or cross-examine witnesses. There is no restriction on who a student may consult or seek advice from. An Honor System representative and the appealing student shall be afforded the opportunity for a reasonable oral presentation and shall be permitted to file typewritten or reproduced material. The Assistant/Associate Dean for Academic Affairs or the Campus Dean & CEO may consult any entities including the instructor when making an appeal decision. The Assistant/Associate Dean for Academic Affairs or Campus Dean & CEO may take any of the following actions in response to an appeal: it may review the case and uphold the findings and/or sanctions from the previous level; it may review the case and reverse a finding of responsibility for any or all charges; it may review the case and reduce the sanction(s); it may review the case and require that it be heard again by the original hearing body. After hearing an appeal, the Assistant/Associate Dean for Academic Affairs or Campus Dean & CEO will go into closed session to deliberate. Upon conclusion of its deliberation (which may take place over a course of several days), the panel shall inform the student of its decision. A letter outlining the decision shall be sent to the appealing student.