In November 2010, President Alan Kadish appointed a broadly representative Task Force on Academic Integrity to examine the issue of Academic Integrity throughout the Touro College and University System. The Task Force was charged with the following mission:
In addressing the issues raised by the President, the Touro College and University System, under the leadership of the Task Force, joined the International Center for Academic Integrity (based in Clemson University), conducted surveys of faculty, administration, and students, and examined best practices in all areas concerning academic integrity both within the Touro College and University System and throughout academic institutions nationally and internationally. The Task Force has sought to define Policies and Procedures that are clear, uniform, and appropriate to address issues of Academic Integrity at Touro. The Touro College and University System owes a debt of gratitude to the Presidential Task Force, the members of which are listed in the Appendix.
In developing the TCUS Policy on Academic Integrity, the Task Force drew freely from exemplary policy documents that were already in place within units of the Touro College and University System, including those of the New York Medical College, the Touro College School of Health Sciences, Touro University-California and Touro University-Nevada. A college-wide survey was conducted in conjunction with Dr. Donald McCabe at Rutgers University, President of the Center for Academic Integrity. His participation and advice have been invaluable.
This document contains a Statement on Academic Integrity Policy followed by a comprehensive presentation of Violations of Academic Integrity. Additionally, this document provides Best Practices in the Promotion of Academic Integrity to be adopted by faculty, staff, and students regarding training, test administration, and plagiarism detection. Finally, the document delineates Procedures in Response to Violations of Academic Integrity, and contains Recommendations on Implementation of this Policy.
As Dr. Kadish instructed the Task Force, “The issue of Academic Integrity is one that affects every unit and individual involved in academic life.” It is our hope that the Policies and Procedures Statement will foster Academic Integrity throughout the Touro College and University System.
Touro College and University System is a community of scholars and learners committed to maintaining the highest standards of personal integrity in all aspects of our professional and academic lives. Because intellectual integrity is a hallmark of scholarly and scientific inquiry as well as a core value of the Jewish tradition, students and faculty are expected to share a mutual respect for teaching, learning and the development of knowledge. They are expected to adhere to the highest standards of honesty, fairness, professional conduct of academic work and respect for all community members.
Academic dishonesty undermines our shared intellectual culture and our ability to trust one another. Faculty and administration bear a major responsibility for promoting a climate of integrity, both in the clarity with which they state their expectations and in the vigilance with which they monitor students. Students must avoid all acts of dishonesty, including, but not limited to, cheating on examinations, fabricating, tampering, lying and plagiarizing, as well as facilitating or tolerating the dishonesty of others. Academic dishonesty lowers scholastic quality and defrauds those who will eventually depend on the knowledge and integrity of our graduates.
The Touro College and University System views violation of academic integrity with the utmost gravity. Such violations will lead to appropriate sanctions, up to and including expulsion from the college community. We commit ourselves to the shared vision of academic excellence that can only flourish in a climate of integrity.
The Touro College and University System's policy on academic integrity, which is outlined in this document, is designed to guide students as they prepare assignments, take exams, and perform the work necessary to complete their degree requirements, and to provide a framework for faculty in fostering an intellectual environment based on the principles of academic integrity.
The International Center for Academic Integrity (ICAI), of which the Touro College and University System is a member, identifies five fundamental values of academic integrity that must be present if the academic life of an institution is to flourish: Honesty, Trust, Fairness, Respect, and Responsibility.1 To sustain these values, the TCUS Academic Integrity Policy, modeled after that of Rutgers University 2, requires that a student or researcher:
Adherence to these principles is necessary to ensure that:
Failure to uphold the principles of academic integrity threatens not only the reputation of Touro, but also the value of each and every degree awarded by the institution. All members of the Touro community bear a shared responsibility for ensuring that the highest standards of academic integrity are upheld.
The Touro College and University System administration is responsible for working with faculty and students to promote an institutional culture of academic integrity, for providing effective educational programs that create a commitment to academic integrity, and for establishing fair procedures to deal with allegations of violations of academic integrity.
The following are considered to be violations of academic integrity and are prohibited by the Touro College and University System. Students, faculty, and other members of the Touro College and University System community who are in violation of one of the offenses listed below or similar such offenses or who assist in the commission of such offenses may be subject to sanctions as described below in the section "Procedures in Response to Violations of Academic Integrity."
Plagiarism is defined as the unauthorized use of the writings, ideas and/or computer-generated material of others without appropriate acknowledgement and the representation of them as one's own original work. Plagiarism encompasses acts of inadvertent failure to acknowledge sources, as well as improper attribution due to poor citation.
When using ideas/words from other sources, the student must clearly define the sources using standard methods of citation. Plagiarism can occur even when one does not use the exact words of another author. Paraphrasing written material by changing or rearranging words without the proper attribution is still considered plagiarism (even if it eludes identification by plagiarism detection software). It is therefore critically important that students understand how to cite. If students have any questions about the proper use and citation of material from other sources, they should seek help from their professors.
Plagiarism takes many forms. Flagrant forms, or intentional plagiarism, as stated in the Thesis Guidelines of the New York Medical College 3, include, but are not limited to: purchasing or copying a paper from the Internet or from a fellow student or anyone else, whether or not that paper has been published; copying or cutting and pasting portions of others' work (whether a unique phrase, sentence, paragraph, chart, picture, figure, method or approach, experimental results, statistics, etc.) without attribution; copying clinical notes/materials without personally performing the patient examination. Plagiarized sources may include not only print material but also computer programs, CD-ROM video/audio sources, emails and material from social media sites and blogs, as well as assignments completed by other students at Touro College and University System and elsewhere. A more subtle, but equally flagrant, form is paraphrasing or attempting to put in one's own words the theories, opinions or ideas of another without proper citation.
Students may not reuse their own previous work without appropriate citation. This is a form of plagiarism called self-plagiarism, and may mislead the reader or grader into the erroneous belief that the current submission is new work to satisfy an assignment.
Students are cautioned against assuming that a fact or idea is common knowledge and are encouraged to provide citation, to deflect a charge of plagiarism.
Plagiarism is not only the failure to cite but the failure to cite sources properly. If a source is cited but in an inadequate way, the student(s) may still be guilty of unintentional plagiarism. It is therefore crucial that students understand the correct way to cite. The rules are relatively simple:
In its policies and disciplinary procedures, the Touro College and University System will seek to recognize and differentiate its penalties between intentional plagiarism (as defined above) and failure to cite sources properly. However, both forms are violations.
The Student Code of Academic Integrity at the New York Medical College4 defines cheating as improperly obtaining and/or using unauthorized information or materials to gain an advantage on work submitted for evaluation. Providing or receiving assistance unauthorized by the instructors is also cheating.
Examples of cheating include, but are not limited to:
Examples of unauthorized assistance include3:
Failure to comply with any and all Touro College and University System test procedures will be considered a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy.
The integrity of the scientific enterprise requires adherence to the highest ethical standards in the conduct of research and research training. Therefore, students and other trainees conducting research are bound by the same ethical guidelines that apply to faculty investigators. These standards are described briefly in the New York Medical College Guidelines for Ethical Practices in Research and Policies for Dealing with Instances of Alleged Violations of Ethical Standards5 and more fully in the US Public Health Service Policies on Research Misconduct6.
Research misconduct is defined in the USPHS Policy as "fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results."6 When appropriate, adjudication will be conducted according to Touro College and University System's Guidelines for Ethical Practices in Research cited above.
In the Student Code of Academic Integrity, the New York Medical College uses the following as examples of research misconduct4:
Fabrication means making up information, data, or research results, or pretending to have performed experiments that were not, in fact, conducted.
Falsification means inappropriately altering or manipulating data, images, or information on clinical or laboratory records, practicum experiences, research results, equipment, and/or processes so that one possible conclusion or interpretation is favored over others.
Plagiarism, on its own a violation of academic integrity, may additionally constitute research misconduct if it is committed in the context of a research effort.
Misleading or fraudulent behavior, put simply, is lying, and includes acts contributing to or associated with lying. It takes on any form of fabrication, falsification or misrepresentation.
Examples include, but are not limited to:
Unauthorized removal or alteration of College documents (e.g., library books, reference materials, official institutional forms, correspondence), software, equipment, or other academic-related materials, including other students' work, for the purpose of gaining an unfair academic advantage. It should be noted that tampering as a form of cheating may also be classified as criminal activity and may be subject to criminal prosecution.
Examples include, but are not limited to:
Academic integrity prohibits the making of unauthorized copies of copyrighted material, including software and any other non-print media. Individuals, under the legal doctrine of "fair use", can make a copy of an article or copy small sections of a book for personal use, or may use an image to help teach a concept. As a general rule, if you think you might be violating the copyright law, you probably are. Examples of copyright violations include:
The "fair use doctrine" regarding use of copyrighted materials can be found at the following link: http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html
Academic integrity is the responsibility of all members of the Touro College and University System. As educators, we are obligated to demonstrate by word and action the importance of this core value. As members of the Touro College and University System, faculty members are committed to the pursuit of truth and the advancement of knowledge, tasks that can be realized only in an environment fully supportive of academic integrity. Faculty members are therefore expected to participate fully in establishing an academic environment in which the principles of integrity are understood and practiced by students.
Since promoting academic integrity is a shared responsibility, it is important that appropriate training and support be offered to both faculty and staff throughout the school year.
Factors that may influence cheating and plagiarism among students are grade pressure, time pressure, task pressure, negative personal attitude, lack of awareness, and lack of competence. It is, therefore, important to provide adequate training of students regarding all of the relevant parts of this Academic Integrity policy, as well as with as much education and as many opportunities as possible to learn about citation styles, proper writing skills, and plagiarism avoidance.
Students may find online resources, such as the self-test created by the University of Southern Mississippi, "How much have you learned about Plagiarism"7 useful in clarifying how prepared they are in this area. This test is available to TCUS students via the Touro College Library Website.
Student Orientation programs shall include sessions on Touro's Academic Integrity policy, and each student shall be provided with a copy of the policy at that time. Furthermore, each student must sign an honor statement. Since many Touro schools or units are mission-based or profession-oriented, the ethical values of the school mission should be referenced in the statement. Students will also be required to complete a library-developed session or sessions that demonstrate research method, information literacy, and proper use of sources.
Faculty members are expected to promote academic integrity in the following ways in their classes:
In order to reduce the opportunity for cheating on examinations, faculty members should employ the following best practices whenever possible:
A copy of each examination is to be filed with the Department Chairperson or Dean so that he or she can maintain a historical file on exams used in the course.
The Touro College and University System offers SafeAssign, a plagiarism detection system accessed through Blackboard. SafeAssign helps faculty prevent plagiarism by detecting unoriginal content in student papers. Though not 100% foolproof, particularly in instances of paraphrase or translation, SafeAssign does act as a plagiarism deterrent, and has features designed to help educate students about plagiarism and the importance of proper attribution of any "borrowed" content.
In addition to SafeAssign, faculty can avail themselves of other anti-plagiarism search engines such as Yahoo! Google, Google Scholar, Plagiarism.Org, AltaVista, Lycos and library databases.
There are many excellent sources of information on plagiarism detection. One of the best is Harris, R.A. (2001). The Plagiarism Handbook. Glendale, CA: Pyrczak Publishing.
The Touro College and University System is particularly sensitive to the challenges of academic integrity in online education because of the physical separation between faculty member and student. The online teaching environment poses specific difficulties regarding the administration of examinations and the assessment of student work. These challenges compel the College and University System to be conversant with developments and best practices in the field of online education, and to be receptive to both new opportunities and challenges associated with emerging technologies as they are being developed and implemented.
Following are a number of best practices for promoting academic integrity in online education8:
This Touro College and University System Academic Integrity Policy applies to all students in each of Touro's schools. Any act in violation of this Policy or any allegation of misconduct related to this Policy involving a student must be reported and addressed in accordance with the adjudication procedures outlined below or those of the student's school, which at no time will be less stringent than the requirements and standards set forth in this Policy Statement.
Faculty members or other members of the Touro community who encounter cases of plagiarism or cheating should contact the Chair of the relevant department, and inform the offending student of such. The Chair will report the incident, in writing, to the Dean. The Chair will provide faculty with advice specific to the individual incident. No grade may be entered onto the student's record for the course in question before the issue is resolved, either informally or formally.
Students who are found to have violated the Touro College and University System's Standards of Academic Integrity are subject to sanctions. Each school (see Appendix II for listing of schools) shall designate the Dean responsible for adjudicating violations of Academic Integrity (herein referred to as the "Dean" except where otherwise noted). Depending on the school's Student Handbook or Bulletin, this may be the Dean of Students, the Dean of Faculties, or another appropriate responsible individual.
As stated above, incidents are reported to the department Chairperson, and a report by the Chair is submitted to the Dean. The method of resolution of the violation may be either informal or formal.
At the discretion of the Dean or Chair, the student may be removed from the class pending a resolution of the matter. Should a student action be of such a nature that it is felt that he or she must be relieved of his/her right to attend the Touro College and University System, the student may be temporarily suspended from the Touro College and University System upon recommendation of the Dean. In the case of suspension, an expedited formal hearing will be scheduled. Suspended students may not avail themselves of the informal resolution process.
The student and faculty member may resolve the issue informally—with notice to the Chair of the Department and the Chair's consultation with the Dean (which must be accompanied by a written synopsis of the matter)—and the faculty member, in consultation with the Chair, may impose any range of sanctions (Class C, D, or E) short of suspension and expulsion. If the student agrees to the decision, then any disposition will be final. Once accepted by the student, the decision of the faculty member and Chair is not subject to appeal, and is binding on both the student and faculty member.
The Chair must indicate whether the violation was a minor or inadvertent violation that is not subject to reporting, or whether the violation is significant enough to warrant reporting. The outcome of the informal resolution should be reported in writing to the Dean, who will maintain the record of significant violations for the duration of the student's academic career.
The informal resolution process is not available to individuals who have been previously reported.
In the event that (1) the student denies the charge, (2) the student and faculty member do not agree to informal resolution, (3) the student is a repeat offender, or (4) for any other reason for which informal resolution is not appropriate as determined by the Chair or the Dean, then the matter shall be submitted for formal resolution.
The Touro College and University System has developed the following formal method of resolution to deal with academic integrity allegations and complaints.
To institute formal resolution, the following procedures shall be followed:
Committee Hearings will proceed under the following guidelines:
The Committee shall reach a decision using the following guidelines:
Academic Appeal Process
In the event the Dean and the Committee have decided to suspend, expel or revoke a student's degree, following notification of the Dean's decision, a student may wish to appeal the decision. He or she has five (5) working days within which to submit a formal written appeal of the decision to the respective Chief Academic Officer (e.g., the Provost or Senior Provost) or Presidential designee. The appeal should be accompanied by a narrative explaining the basis for the appeal. The narrative should fully explain the student's situation and substantiate the reason(s) for advocating a reversal of the prior recommendation or decision by the Committee or the Dean.
The Provost may grant an appeal only on the basis of one of the following:
The Provost may interview the student, but will not conduct a hearing. The Provost will consider the merits of the appeal and may even consult the Chair of the Committee. The Provost will notify the student in writing of the appeal decision. The decision of the Provost shall be final.
Pending resolution on charges, the status of the student will not be altered except in cases where the student has been suspended, in which case an expedited resolution procedure will be in effect. If a student is suspended for any reason, all as-yet undisbursed financial aid may be withheld unless or until the action is fully resolved and the student is reinstated. If reinstated, the financial aid funds can be released to the student. If the student is dismissed, the funds will be returned to the proper agency or lender.
Sanctions may be imposed by the faculty, the Dean or the Committee.
Sanctions may include the following or combinations thereof5:
Records of the resolution of proceedings shall be kept in accordance with the following:
A student may see his/her file in accordance with Touro College and University System regulations concerning inspection of records as spelled out in Guidelines for Access to and Disclosure of Educational Records Maintained by the Touro College and University System.
A Touro College and University System (TCUS) Academic Integrity Council will be appointed by the President. The TCUS Council will receive reports on resolution of Academic Integrity issues from the various units of the TCUS (as spelled out in the above policy) and would be responsible to oversee and report to the President annually on the implementation of the Academic Integrity policy throughout the Touro College and University System. The Council would also be responsible for recommending to the President any changes to this policy.
The official Touro College and University System Policy on Academic Integrity should be distributed by the President's Office. It should be added to the Faculty Handbook, Student Handbook, etc.
The TCUS Academic Integrity Council will draft a template of an Honor Statement that would be adopted by Division and Schools of the TCUS for use in their individual programs.
This Touro College and University System Academic Integrity Policy applies to all students in each of Touro's schools. Any act in violation of this Policy or any allegation of misconduct related to this Policy involving a student is to be reported and addressed in accordance with the adjudication procedures outlined above or those of the student's school, which in no event will be less stringent than the requirements and standards set forth in this Policy Statement.
Within three months of the distribution of the Touro College and University System Policy on Academic Integrity, the Dean of each Touro School or Division shall inform the Touro College and University System Academic Integrity Council that the School has adopted the Touro College and University System Policy on Academic Integrity and the existence of the more stringent requirements, if any. In addition, the Dean of each Touro school or division will inform the TCUS Academic Integrity Council of the identity of the Dean designated as responsible for Academic Integrity and the composition of the Individual School Academic Integrity Committee consisting of at least three members, and preferably five. A quorum of such committee shall be three members.
Dr. Stanley Boylan, Chair, Vice President of Undergraduate Education and Dean of Faculties
Mr. David Raab, Chief of Staff to the President
Rabbi Moshe Krupka, Senior Vice President of College Affairs
Professor April Schwartz, JD, Chair, Director of Law Library and Professor of Law
Professor Laurie Bobley, Coordinator of Online Education and Special Education
Dr. Howard Feldman, Chair, Faculty Senate; Professor of Biology, Lander College for Women
Ms. Sara Tabaei, Touro Library Information Literacy Services Director
Dr. Donne Kampel, Associate Dean of Faculties for Development and Evaluation
Examination Security Subcommittee
Dr. Jim O'Connor, Chair, Dean of the College of Education (COE), Touro University, California
Dr. Carole Beckford, Chair, Psychology, New York School of Career and Applied Studies (NYSCAS)
Dr. Jutta Guadagnoli, Associate Professor in Basic Sciences, Touro University, Nevada (TUN)
Dr. David Lenihan, Dean, Preclinical Medicine, Touro College of Osteopathy, NY (TouroCOM)
Dr. Anthony Polemeni, Vice President of Graduate Education and Dean, Graduate Division
Ms. Frada Harel, Chair, ESL and English, New York School of Career and Applied Studies (NYSCAS)
Campus Culture Subcommittee
Dr. Mark Press, Chair, Chair, Department of Psychology, Division of Undergraduate Studies
Dr. Nadja Graff, Associate Dean, School of Health Sciences
Dr. Gordon McCarter, Assistant Dean in the College of Pharmacy (COP), Touro University, California; Chair, COP Academic Standards Committee
Mr. Michael Newman, JD, Chief Compliance Officer and General Counsel, Touro College
DIVISION OF UNDERGRADUATE STUDIES
LANDER COLLEGE FOR MEN
LANDER COLLEGE FOR WOMEN – THE ANNA RUTH AND MARK HASTEN SCHOOL
LANDER COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES IN FLATBUSH
NEW YORK SCHOOL OF CAREER AND APPLIED STUDIES
SCHOOL FOR LIFELONG EDUCATION
INSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL STUDIES (IPS) – MACHON L'PARNASA
TOURO COLLEGE SOUTH
DIVISION OF GRADUATE STUDIES
THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF EDUCATION
THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF JEWISH STUDIES
THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF PSYCHOLOGY
THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK
THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF TECHNOLOGY
THE SCHOOL OF HEALTH SCIENCES
THE JACOB D. FUCHSBERG LAW CENTER
TOURO COLLEGE OF OSTEOPATHIC MEDICINE – TouroCOM
TOURO COLLEGE OF PHARMACY
TOURO UNIVERSITY – CALIFORNIA
COLLEGE OF EDUCATION AND HEALTH SCIENCES
COLLEGE OF OSTEOPATHIC MEDICINE
COLLEGE OF PHARMACY
TOURO UNIVERSITY – NEVADA
COLLEGE OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
School of Education
School of Nursing
School of Occupational Therapy
School of Physical Therapy
COLLEGE OF OSTEOPATHIC MEDICINE
School of Physician Assistant Studies
TOURO COLLEGE WORLDWIDE
TOURO COLLEGE – LOS ANGELES
LANDER INSTITUTE MOSCOW
TOURO COLLEGE BERLIN
TOURO COLLEGE FRANCE
TOURO COLLEGE ISRAEL