Academic Honesty

It is assumed that all students at George Fox University will endeavor to be honest and of high integrity in all matters pertaining to university life. A lack of respect and integrity is evidenced by cheating, fabricating, plagiarizing, misuse of keys and facilities, removing books and other property not one's own, defacing and altering property, and disrupting classes.

Cheating is defined as intentionally using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or study aids in any academic exercise. It is assumed that whatever work is submitted is the student’s own work and is new work for that course. Fabrication is defined as intentional and unauthorized falsification or invention of any information or citation in an academic exercise or form. Plagiarism is defined as representing the words or ideas of another as one's own in any academic exercise. One who facilitates any of the above is equally responsible with the primary violator.

Penalties may include restitution, a failing grade on an individual paper or exam, loss of campus position or employment, a failing grade for the course, disciplinary probation, suspension, or dismissal. The Office of Academic Affairs handles academic dishonesty issues in conjunction with the Office of Student Life.

The process for academic honesty policy violations is as follows:

  1. A faculty member who suspects an academic honesty violation will attempt to communicate with the student about their suspicion within five working days of discovering the violation. This communication will preferably occur in a face-to-face meeting, although video conferencing, a phone call, or an email exchange are alternatives if a meeting is impractical. 
  2. If after this meeting the faculty member determines that it is more likely than not that an academic honesty violation has occurred, they will assess a penalty, communicate this penalty to the student, and report the policy violation to the Office of Academic Affairs. AAO will keep a copy of the report in a special file for that student.
  3. Upon receipt of a report submission, the Office of Academic Affairs will consult its records to determine whether this is a first offense in the student’s career at George Fox University. If it is a first offense, the sanction imposed by the faculty member will generally be the only penalty.  The Dean will send the student a letter describing the offense, the penalty, and the procedure for appeal, should the student wish to pursue an appeal. AAO will keep a copy of the report in a special file for that student. If it is a repeat offense, the faculty member, Department Chair, and relevant Dean will be informed.  For repeat offenses, the Dean may impose additional sanctions, extending beyond the affected course.
  4. After receiving a copy of the Dean’s letter, students have five working days to appeal the matter to the relevant Dean. The appeal needs to be recorded on the Academic Appeal by Student form available here which is received by Academic Affairs and is shared with the faculty member and Dean. 
  5. The Dean will conduct a comprehensive review of the assembled evidence and may gather additional evidence. He/she will determine if it is more likely than not that an academic dishonesty violation occurred and whether the imposed penalty was reasonable. He/she will communicate a decision in writing to the student, which may include allowing the penalty to stand, modifying the penalty, or granting the appeal and revoking the penalty.
  6. The student or faculty member may request a hearing with the Appeals Board. The student or faculty member must submit a written appeal within five working days after receipt of the written decision from the College Dean. The Academic Appeals Board meets to hear the appeal and determines whether it is more likely than not that an academic dishonesty violation occurred and whether the penalty originally assessed or modified by the Dean (if applicable) is reasonable. The Board will communicate its determination in writing to the College Dean, Department Chair, faculty member, and student. The Board’s decision is final.