Since Bethel University is a Christian academic community, its fundamental purpose is the pursuit of knowledge and the development of growing Christian persons. Essential to the success of this educational mission is a commitment to principles of ethical academic integrity. Every member of the university community is responsible for upholding the highest standards of honesty at all times. Students, as members of this community, are also responsible for adhering to the principles and spirit of academic honesty. 

Academic Honesty Violations

Violation of honesty standards can result in denial of credit (U or F) in a course, as well as dismissal from the university. Penalties are given at the discretion of the faculty member, and offenders may be referred to the vice president and dean. 

Academic Honesty Violation Definitions 

Activities that have the effect or intention of interfering with education, pursuit of knowledge, or fair evaluation of a student’s performance are prohibited. Examples of such activities include, but are not limited to, the following definitions:

  1. Cheating: Using or attempting to use unauthorized assistance, material, or study aids in examinations or other academic work, or preventing or attempting to prevent another from using authorized assistance, material, or study aids. Examples: using a cheat sheet in a quiz or exam; altering a graded exam and resubmitting it for a better grade; etc.
  2. Plagiarism: Using the ideas, data, or language of another without specific and proper acknowledgment. Examples: misrepresenting another’s work (paper, lab report, article, or computer work) as one’s own original creation and submitting it for an assignment; using someone else’s ideas without attribution; failing to cite a reference or to use quotation marks where appropriate; etc.
  3. Fabrication: Submitting contrived or altered information in any academic exercise. Examples: making up data for an experiment; fudging data; citing nonexistent or irrelevant articles; etc.
  4. Multiple submission: Submitting, without prior permission, any work submitted to fulfill another academic requirement. Example: submitting the same paper for two different classes; etc.
  5. Misrepresentation of academic records: Misrepresenting or tampering with or attempting to tamper with any portion of a student’s transcripts or academic record, either before or after coming to Bethel University. Examples: forging a registration form or a change of grade slip; tampering with computer records; etc.
  6. Facilitating academic dishonesty: Knowingly helping or attempting to help another violate any provision of this code. Example: working together on a take-home exam or other individual assignment; etc.
  7. Unfair advantage: Attempting to gain unauthorized advantage over fellow students in an academic exercise. Examples: gaining or providing unauthorized access to examination materials (either past or present); obstructing or interfering with another student’s efforts in an academic exercise; lying about a need for an extension for an exam or paper; continuing to write even when time is up during an exam; destroying, hiding, removing, or keeping library materials; etc.
  8. Computer crimes: Damaging or modifying computer programs without permission. Examples: software piracy; hacking; constructing viruses; knowingly introducing viruses into a system; copying programs and data belonging to others; etc.

Appeals of Disciplinary Action Related to Academic Honesty Violations

Students charged with a violation have the right to appeal any disciplinary action. As soon as possible following the disciplinary action in question, the student will seek to resolve the matter first with the instructor or with the party directly responsible for the decision, and then with the department chair. (If the instructor is the department chair, the student should contact the appropriate divisional dean.). If after talking with the instructor and the department chair, the matter is not resolved, the student may appeal in writing to the vice president and dean. This written appeal must be received within three weeks of the decision or incident in question.