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Office of Academic Personnel

University Handbook, Appendix F: Academic conduct, academic honesty, and honor system constitution

Academic Conduct, Academic Dishonesty, Undergraduate Honor Code, and Student Grievance Procedures
(FSM 4‑11‑89, 10‑10‑89, 4‑18‑98, 2-10-04, 6/12/07, 9/09/08)


      Rights and Responsibilities: Undergraduate and Graduate Students

      1. Every student has:
        1. Freedom of inquiry, conscience, expression, association, and the right to petition for redress of grievances.
        2. The right to have information about his or her opinions and associations acquired by professors and administrators in the course of their work as instructors, advisors, and counselors held confidential and not disclosed to others unless by the student's consent.
        3. Freedom from unfair treatment on the part of faculty and administration in the assignment and evaluation of academic work done for the completion of requirements for a particular course of his or her program for a degree.
        4. The right to due process in the conduct of proceedings pursuant to the provisions of this document or any other proceedings conducted under any other provisions of any other rule or regulation governing Kansas State University.
        5. The right to immunity from reprisal in the form of University disciplinary action or proceedings for seeking redress pursuant to the provisions of this document.
      1. Every student is responsible for:
        1. The exercise of applicable rights and freedoms, as enumerated in Section I.A. above, in a manner which shall not materially and substantially interfere with the requirements or appropriate discipline in the operation of the institution or infringe on the rights of other students. 
        2. Completing the requirements and meeting the standards of any course in which he or she is enrolled; requirements for participation in classroom discussion and submission of written  assignments are not inconsistent with this section.
      (FSM revised 02‑15‑94, 09-09-08)

      All academic relationships ought to be governed by a sense of honor, fair play, trust, and a readiness to
      give appropriate credit to the intellectual endeavors of others where such credit is due. Since the
      academic community expects that the process of intellectual and creative endeavor is beneficial to a
      student, the student's original work, created in response to each assignment, is normally expected. The
      following rules and guidelines are intended not to replace an atmosphere of trust and cooperation in the
      pursuit of knowledge, but rather to assure due process and to provide guidelines for action in those
      instances where the proper relationships and attitudes have broken down.

      The definitions, procedures, and penalties included in this report shall be publicized and made available
      to all students; any student enrolling at Kansas State University implicitly indicates by so enrolling that he
      or she accepts the stipulations concerning academic honesty and the procedures they entail as outlined
      in this report.

      1. Cheating: Plagiarism

        1. Definition of Plagiarism.

          Plagiarism is taking credit for someone else’s ideas, work, or words.  In a university setting, it means submitting academic, scholarly, or literary work in which you either claim or imply the material to be your own, when that is not the case.  Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, eleventh edition, defines plagiarism simply: “to steal and pass off the ideas or words of another as one’s own without crediting the source" (2003).

        2. Avoidance of Plagiarism. 

          In practical terms, plagiarism could include:

            1. Buying a term paper, or copying another person’s paper, even if she or he gives you permission.


            1. Cutting and pasting information from the Internet into your own paper without properly identifying it as a quotation and properly attributing the source.


            1. Using someone else’s concept and presenting it as if it is your own original creativity, without acknowledging the source of the idea.


          While some acts of plagiarism are obvious attempts to deceive, like buying a term paper, others result from sloppy scholarship or failure to follow proper format for crediting sources.  For example:

            1. If you copy directly from another source and acknowledge it in your bibliography or list of works cited, yet fail to put it in quotation marks, this is plagiarism.  The reason is that, although you have indicated that the idea is someone else’s, the lack of quotation marks implies that the words are your own.


            1. Paraphrasing is summarizing a source so that you have rewritten the material in your own words but maintained the original author’s ideas.  When you paraphrase, you do not need to put the words in quotation marks, but you do need to properly attribute the original source.  Paraphrasing does not mean simply changing one or two words, or leaving out a sentence, while the rest remains the same.  Even if you identify the original author, but have used faulty paraphrasing that retains too much of the original, the result is inadvertent plagiarism. 


            1. If you use another researcher’s specific methodology, you should acknowledge doing so.  While some research protocols are widespread and general enough to need no citation, if the protocol, analysis, or technique can be attributed to  a specific publication it should be cited. 


          1. Works of visual art and design, and images of the work, cannot be misrepresented as original work by another.  Such images cannot be used in part or whole without permission of the artist.


        3. Discipline-specific Guidelines.

          Different departments and disciplines may have specific guidelines and standards for how to properly acknowledge and document sources.  For example, some departments will require students to use a certain citation format, such as MLA, APA, or CMS.  If instructors or departments have specific requirements concerning citation or paraphrasing, it is their responsibility to make these requirements clear to the students.  If students have any question about how to properly attribute work, it is their responsibility to ask the instructor.  Departments that encourage collaborative learning and scholarship should make clear to students what constitutes fair academic collaboration, and what constitutes academic dishonesty.

      2. Academic Community. 

        The ethical standards outlined above apply throughout the academic community.  These guidelines apply to faculty and research assistants in their possible use of students’ and colleagues’ research and ideas, as well as to students’ use either of source materials and authorities or of other students’ ideas and work. 

      3. Honesty, courtesy, and open dealing with others underlie all the above stipulations. Whenever possible, in cooperative intellectual ventures, all parties should be fully informed at the outset, preferably in writing, of the allotment of responsibilities, recompense, and credit and recognition to be given to all parties to the enterprise.


    1. Other Forms of Academic Cheating
      1. Definition: In addition to plagiarism as defined above, various other forms of academic dishonesty occur which shall be subject to the penalties provided below (Section III). These include, but are not limited to, consultation of textbooks, library materials, or notes in examination where such materials are not to be used during the test; use of crib sheets or other hidden notes in such an examination, or looking at another student's test paper to copy strategies or answers; having a confederate supply questions or answers from an examination to be given or in progress; having a person other than the one duly registered and taking the course stand in at an examination or any other graded activity (in which cases all consenting parties to the attempt to gain unfair advantage shall be deemed culpable and subject to penalties); deliberate falsification of laboratory results, or submission of samples or findings not legitimately derived in the situation and by the procedures prescribed or allowable; submission in a paper, thesis, lab report, or other academic exercise of falsified, invented, or fictitious data or evidence, or deliberate or knowing concealment or distortion of the true nature, origin, or function of such data or evidence; procurement and/or alteration without permission from appropriate authority of examinations, papers, lab reports, or other academic exercises, whether discarded or actually used, and either before or after such materials have been handed in to the appropriate recipient; collaborating with others on projects where such collaboration is expressly forbidden; submission of one's previously graded work for a new assignment (without the instructor's consent); and other forms of academic dishonesty and fraud. The application of the above definition of academic cheating and that of the definition of plagiarism in II.A. above within a given discipline shall rest finally with the department or discipline concerned.
    1. Procedures: While the governing principle, once cheating is suspected, is that due process shall be observed and no charge made without adequate objective evidence, it is apparent that prior to that, it is most desirable to exercise due care so that tempting, compromising, or ambiguous situations do not arise.


We, the undergraduate and graduate students and faculty of Kansas State University, in order to conduct our academic endeavors under high standards of individual responsibility, thereby promoting personal honor and integrity, set forth this constitution of the Honor & Integrity System.


    1. The Honor & Integrity System is intended to contribute to an environment at Kansas State University that fosters academic honesty and integrity.
    1. All members of the academic community, both students and faculty, are urged to report violations of the honor pledge.
    1. The honor pledge statement: On all assignments, examinations, or other course work undertaken by students, the following pledge is implied, whether or not it is stated: "On my honor, as a student, I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid on this academic work."
    1. The K-State Honor & Integrity System specifies how alleged violations of the honor pledge are adjudicated by the Honor Council.
    1. The Honor Council employs the Faculty Senate definitions for academic dishonesty in interpreting and applying this Honor & Integrity System.
    1. Grading disputes and non-academic, behavior-related issues are handled elsewhere by existing K-State systems.
    1. Breaches of faculty honesty and integrity are covered by existing university policies that are published in the Faculty Handbook.


    1. The Honor Council includes faculty and undergraduate students from each of the following colleges: Agriculture, Architecture Planning and Design, Arts and Sciences, Business Administration, Education, Engineering, Human Ecology, Technology and Aviation. Each college is represented by two student and two faculty members, with the exception of the College of Arts and Sciences, which is represented by three students and three faculty members, and the College of Technology and Aviation, which is represented by four students and four faculty members. In addition, the dean of student life will appoint three staff members and the associate Provost for diversity will appoint three students at large to serve on the Honor Council. Ten graduate students will be appointed at large by the graduate student council president upon the recommendation of the Graduate Student Council.
    1. Undergraduate student members:
      1. Undergraduate students are nominated to the Honor Council by the student body president.
      1. Student nominees must have completed two semesters at Kansas State University, be in good academic standing and be enrolled in a minimum of 6 credit hours.
      1. Diversity may be a consideration in appointing members.
      1. The student body president nominates student members from each of the previously mentioned colleges.
      1. All nominations are subject to approval by Student Senate.
      1. The student body president forwards the names of nominees to the Provost, who ensures eligibility.
    1. Graduate student members:
      1. Graduate student nominees must be currently enrolled and in good academic standing.
      1. Diversity may be a consideration in appointing members.
      1. Graduate student nominees are forwarded to the Provost who ensures eligibility
    1. Faculty Members:
      1. Faculty apply for membership to their respective dean.
      1. Deans' nominations are forwarded to the Provost and the president of the Faculty Senate who jointly approve members from each college.
      1. Diversity may be a consideration in appointing members.
    1. All appointments are subject to approval by Faculty Senate.


    1. Attend scheduled meetings of the Honor Council.
    1. Communicate and promote the Honor & Integrity System to the Kansas State University community.
    1. Advise students and faculty who report violations of the honor pledge.
    1. Serve as neutral investigators of alleged honor pledge violations.
    1. Serve as panel members during hearings of alleged honor pledge violations.
    1. If elected, serve as Chair or vice-Chair of the Honor Council.


    1. Members' terms are two years, except for initial appointments, which are divided equally between one-year and two-year terms.
    1. Members' terms begin at the end of the spring semester and end at the conclusion of the spring semester of the final year of their appointment.
    1. No member of the Honor Council may serve two consecutive full terms.
    1. Members participate in a training process developed by the Director of the Honor & Integrity System.
    1. If members resign or are removed from office, replacement appointments are made by the respective entity for the remaining portions of their terms.


The Honor Council may remove any member on grounds of malfeasance, misfeasance or nonfeasance in office by two-thirds vote of the membership. Positions on the Honor Council that are unfilled at the time of a vote are not considered part of the membership.

The Honor Council may recommend that the provost remove the Director or Associate Director on the grounds of malfeasance, misfeasance or nonfeasance in office by two-thirds vote of the membership.


    1. Chair
      1. The Chair is chosen annually from the membership of the Honor Council by majority vote.
      1. The Chair presides at meetings of the Honor Council and serves in a parliamentary role.
      1. The Chair, with the assistance of the Honor Council, annually evaluates the performance of the Honor & Integrity System Director and forwards the evaluation and a recommendation to the Provost.
      1. If the Honor & Integrity System Director has a conflict of interest in an alleged violation, the Honor Council Chair serves in the role of Honor & Integrity System Director for that case.
    1. Vice Chair
      1. The vice Chair is chosen annually from the membership of the Honor Council by majority vote.
      1. The vice Chair performs the duties of the Chair when the Chair is unable to do so.
    1. Director
      1. The Director of the Honor & Integrity System is appointed by the Provost to oversee the Honor Council.
      1. Director's responsibilities:
        1. Communicate and promote the Honor & Integrity System to the Kansas State University community.
        1. Receive alleged violations of the Honor & Integrity System.
        1. Determine whether alleged violations should proceed to a hearing panel.
        1. Select investigators, panels for hearings and appeals, and panel Chairs.
        1. Provide the equipment and technical assistance for recording hearings.
        1. Record findings of the hearing and appeal panels.
        1. Maintain the records of all Honor Council proceedings.
        1. Review Honor & Integrity System policies and report annually to the Provost, Faculty Senate and Student Senate.
        1. Serve as an ex-officio member of the Honor Council.
        1. Develop and conduct a training program for members of the Honor Council.


    1. The Provost and the dean of student life, or their representatives, may serve an advisory role at Honor Council meetings.
    1. The Director of the Honor & Integrity System and staff members of the Honor Council have speaking rights during Honor Council meetings.


Students' rights are enumerated under Article XII of the K-State Student Governing Association constitution.


    1. Amendments to this constitution may be proposed by any member of the faculty, undergraduate or graduate student at Kansas State University.
    1. All amendments must be approved by 3/4 vote of the Honor Council selected and qualified.
    1. All amendments are subject to approval by Faculty Senate and Student Senate.


The Director and Associate Director annually review the Honor & Integrity System Constitution and Investigation and Adjudication Procedures and when appropriate, present amendments to the Honor Council for consideration and approval. Amendments to the Honor & Integrity System Constitution must then be approved by Faculty Senate, Graduate Council, and Student Senate. Changes in the Investigation and Adjudication Procedures must be reviewed at five-year intervals by Student Senate and Faculty Senate as specified in Article XI of the Constitution.

The Honor & Integrity System Director and Associate Director prepare an annual report of the previous year’s Honor & Integrity System activities at the beginning of fall semester and present it to the Provost, Faculty Senate, Student Senate, Graduate Student Council and Graduate Council.

The Honor Council Chair annually initiates and organizes the Honor Council evaluation of the job performance of the Director and Associate Director and forwards that evaluation and recommendation to the Provost at the conclusion of the spring semester.


Upon adoption by the Faculty Senate and Student Senate, the Investigation and Adjudication Procedures shall be subject to periodic review by Faculty Senate, Graduate Council, Graduate Student Council, and Student Senate, at 5 year intervals beginning in 2005.  Interim revisions to the Investigation and Adjudication Procedures may be made upon approval by, a 2/3 vote of the Honor Council, and the Provost.  The Investigation and Adjudication Procedures must be posted at the Honor & Integrity System website (http://www.ksu.edu/honor) and updated regularly.

  • Excludes the School of Veterinary Medicine