Academic Honesty Policy

Viterbo students are expected to follow a policy of academic honesty. The willful violation of these standards will result in actions being taken against students who are caught engaging in such unethical conduct.

Violations of that integrity may include cheating, plagiarism, falsification of information, and other similar or related conduct.

Cheating includes but may not be limited to:

  1. copying from another’s examination;
  2. knowingly allowing someone to copy from your own examination;
  3. having or using during a test, materials not authorized by the person giving the test;
  4. knowingly using, buying, stealing, soliciting, or selling in whole or in part the contents of an unadministered test;
  5. substitution for another student or permitting another student to substitute for oneself in part the contents of an un-administered test;
  6. substitution for another student or permitting another student to substitute for oneself in taking a test;
  7. collaborating or seeking aid from another student during a test;
  8. bribing or paying in money or services to obtain an un-administered test or information about an un-administered test;
  9. using books, class notes, or any other means or devices to obtain answers to or gain an unfair advantage on a test when any such aids have been prohibited or are commonly understood to constitute unfair means of test taking;
  10. and other similar or related conduct.

Plagiarism includes but may not be limited to the intentional use of another person’s work, words, or ideas as your own without acknowledging the source in order to gain improperly from the use of the source. Some ideas have such wide currency that all may use them freely; some words (cliches and proverbs) are public property. However, when a writer intentionally borrows from another, that borrowing must be acknowledged in an internal reference, indicating the source (author and title, as fitting) and following the appropriate conventions for such citations, as stipulated by the authoritative body of scholarship within a discipline of study.

Specific examples of plagiarism include but may not be limited to:

  1. copying words, sentences, or passages from a book, magazine, journal, pamphlet, play, essay, the paper of another student, or a paper prepared by anyone other than the student who submits the paper, without appropriately indicating the source of those words, sentences, or passages;
  2. using quotations without quoting them exactly and punctuating them correctly as well as intentionally distorting the context of such quotations in order to argue falsely;
  3. paraphrasing or summarizing another writer’s ideas, even if one does not quote the writer directly, without giving credit to that writer;
  4. failing to provide adequate, available bibliographical information to the reader who may need to refer to the source that the writer of the paper has used;
  5. using graphs, tables, charts, or other printed or electronically recorded information without properly crediting the source;
  6. and other similar or related conduct.

Methods of documenting sources vary from one academic and professional discipline to another. Therefore, students should consult with faculty about the standards for documentation in a class. Faculty should also be aware of these variations and should explicitly identify the system of documentation that they wish their students to follow and a specific source for such documentation standards.

Falsification is the intentional deception of the members of the academic community by inventing or creating information, intentionally falsifying the information in references, or inventing and creating the illusion of having personally acquired or mastered information for the purpose of gaining an unfair, unethical advantage in academic work.

Falsification includes but may not be limited to:

  1. using data that have been altered, contrived, or created to deliberately mislead;
  2. listing bibliographic references not used;
  3. citing information not taken from the indicated source;
  4. falsely claiming to have completed a clinical, internship, field experience, or other form of experiential learning;
  5. inventing data, materials, or sources for academic assignments;
  6. not completing one’s contracted share of work in-group projects;
  7. falsely claiming a disproportionate share of credit for one’s work in a group project;
  8. resubmitting the work in identical or similar form done in one class for unauthorized fulfillment of any
  9. engaging in unauthorized collaboration with another person in preparing written or electronic work for credit (collaboration requires the explicit consent of the instructor and must be acknowledged in the report);
  10. and other or similar or related conduct.

Penalties for Academic Dishonesty

The right to assign and determine the severity of penalties for any breach of academic honesty is reserved exclusively with Viterbo University.

Initially, it is the prerogative of the individual faculty member to assign and determine the severity of discipline. This policy assumes that the student and faculty member involved in such an incident will meet to resolve the problem before the formal process described in this policy should begin. However, any discipline, which includes university-wide probation, suspension, or dismissal, is the prerogative of the Academic Vice President in consultation with the Vice President for Student Development.


Penalties may vary depending upon the seriousness, degree or frequency or any other factor Viterbo deems appropriate to consider. These penalties include but are not limited to:

  1. Require the student to rewrite and resubmit the document, paper, test or project in question;
  2. Fail the student in the falsified assignment and record a zero or other appropriate grade for the assignment;
  3. Fail the student in the entire course or any segment of it;
  4. Dismiss the student from the Viterbo program;
  5. Place the student on university-wide disciplinary probation as described in the Student Handbook;
  6. Suspend the student from Viterbo for a fixed period of time;
  7. Dismiss the student permanently from Viterbo University;
  8. Other appropriate actions.


For all proven breaches of academic honesty, within one week of proof of the violation of this policy, the faculty member shall send a written, signed description of the incident with full identification of the student to the Academic Vice President who in turn within one week of receipt of the faculty member’s correspondence will send one copy to the student by registered mail.

For any violations, which may result in program and/or university-wide academic probation, suspension or dismissal, the student, the instructor and the Academic Vice President shall meet within ten days of the instructor’s decision. At this meeting, after fully examining the circumstances of the incident, the Academic Vice President may exercise any of the options listed in this policy.

Students may appeal any final decision concerning a penalty for breach of academic honesty to the Arbitration Committee as described in the Viterbo University Student Handbook. Such an appeal must be filed in writing to the Academic Vice President within ten days of the decision. All records and correspondence in such cases will be kept in the office files of the Academic Vice President for the term of a student’s enrollment at the university until graduation or until the student leaves Viterbo. Such information will not be part of a student’s permanent Viterbo record.