Graduate Student Handbook

Academic Misconduct and the Honor Code (from Chapter 4 of the Louisiana Tech University Catalog)

Academic integrity at Louisiana Tech University is based upon and encompasses the principles of honesty, fairness, respect, responsibility, and excellence. Through the active pursuit of academic integrity, the University strengthens the value of the education and degrees that students seek to earn. Conversely, misconduct tarnishes the reputation of Louisiana Tech University and discredits the accomplishments of current students as well as graduates. Consequently, the University expects that all members of its academic community will demonstrate honesty and integrity in all academic relationships.

The purpose of the Honor Code is to articulate and support the interests of Louisiana Tech University in maintaining the highest standard of conduct in academic affairs. This policy has been developed to provide students and faculty with guidelines to determine what behaviors violate the Honor Code and procedures for dealing with behaviors alleged to be in violation of the Code.

Honor Code Statement

Being a student of a higher standard, I pledge to embody the principles of academic integrity.

Honor Code Violations

Acts that will be considered violations of the honor code are grouped in the categories that follow. It will be considered a violation of the Louisiana Tech University Honor Code to commit or to attempt to commit any offense as outlined below.

  • Cheating - Cheating is defined as the act of giving unauthorized assistance to or receiving unauthorized assistance from another individual for the purpose of completing academic requirements. This includes, but is not limited to, the completion of homework, tests, projects, or research assignments. Some examples of cheating are:
    • During an examination, referring to information not specifically allowed by the instructor or receiving information from another student or another unauthorized source. Also included would be allowing another student to copy your paper.
    • Representing another person's work or any part thereof, be it published or unpublished, as one's own, which is referred to as "plagiarism."
    • Copying another's entire paper and claiming it as one's own.
    • Copying a part of a paper or another source and claiming it as one's own.
    • Copying information from a source word for word without using citations.
    • Copying information from a source but changing the words around without providing citations.
    • Obtaining, distributing, or referring to a copy of an examination which the instructor and/or department has not authorized to be made available for such purpose.
    • Submitting work that has been previously or is being concurrently used in a different class by oneself or by another student. Special permission must be obtained from the instructor or professor if a student wishes to utilize or develop further any work prepared for another class.
    • Misrepresentation of data for any purpose will represent a violation of the standards of the honor code.
  • Falsification - Falsification is defined as altering official University documents, forging signatures of University officials or any other individual, or any other attempt to misrepresent official institutional documents or records. This also includes the alteration of grades or any other records related to the academic performance of students, whether another student's or your own. This shall also include submitting any false records in order to gain admission to the University. Violations include not only falsification of records but also oral and written misrepresentation of truth in any kind of communication with University officials. This violation is an automatic referral to the Behavioral Standards Committee.
  • Stealing/Unauthorized Access - This violation includes acquiring unauthorized access to property, information, or materials which belong to another person. These materials or property may belong to a faculty member, a staff member, the university, or another student and can be acquired in any form, including electronic information. This violation is an automatic referral to the Behavioral Standards Committee.
  • It will also be considered a violation of the Louisiana Tech University Honor Code to assist, attempt to assist, or conspire to assist another student in committing the offenses as outlined above.

Honor Code Violation Initial Action

Upon a determination by University faculty or staff that there has been a violation of the Honor Code, he/she may invoke sanctions without referral to the Honor Council. The student will have the option to accept the penalty without a hearing or to request that the matter be referred to the Honor Council for an appeal. If the student accepts the sanction without appeal, it shall be the responsibility of the instructor to report the violation and sanctions imposed to the Honor Council through the Office of Student Life.

On other occasions, the instructor may feel that there was a possible Honor Code violation and will have the option to refer the matter directly to the Honor Council for appropriate action.

Should a student wish to report a violation of the honor code, he or see should notify the instructor or the Office of Judicial Affairs, as is appropriate.

The Honor Council

The Honor Council shall be composed of the following:

  • Three faculty members appointed by the Vice President for Academic Affairs; and
  • One staff member appointed by the Vice President for Student Affairs;
  • Five students with three being upperclass undergraduates appointed by the SGA President and 2 graduate students appointed by the Dean of the Graduate School; and
  • One faculty chairperson appointed by the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Honor Council ???:

  • Quorum - The presence of a chairperson and six members with at least two student members; and, with a quorum present, the Committee may perform any of its functions and exercise any of its powers.
  • Recusation - Any member of the Committee who is involved or associated with the case being considered may excuse himself or herself.
  • All hearings will be closed except to those involved in the hearings.