Academic Integrity Overview

The Niagara University mission statement expresses the truth of Catholic and Vincentian traditions and is given meaning via teaching and learning activities throughout the university which foster a passion for learning, allow students to experience the vision of gospel-based education, inspire students to serve the poor and oppressed, and develop the whole person. Academic honesty — being honest and truthful in academic settings, especially in the communication and presentation of ideas — is required to experience and fulfill this mission. Academic dishonesty — being untruthful, deceptive, or dishonest in academic settings in any way — subverts the university mission, harms faculty and students, damages the reputation of the university, and diminishes public confidence in higher education.

All members of the university community share the responsibility for creating conditions that support academic integrity. In particular:

  1. Students must abstain from any violations of academic integrity and set examples for each other by assuming full responsibility for their academic and personal development, including informing themselves about and following the university’s academic policy.
  2. Faculty members must foster a climate that is conducive to the development of student responsibility. They should provide guidance as to what constitutes violations of the Academic Integrity Policy and educate students about the ethical and educational implications of their actions. For instance, syllabi must call attention to the Academic Integrity Policy.
  3. Faculty members, furthermore, have the authority and the responsibility to make the initial judgment regarding violations of academic integrity in the context of the courses that they teach. They may impose sanctions up to and including failure of a course at their own discretion in cases involving a violation of academic integrity policies. In cases such as alleged plagiarism, it is important that faculty members distinguish between an intentional violation of the Academic Integrity Policy and a technical error or careless work.
  4. Deans of the various colleges, with the support of the associate vice president for academic affairs or his/her designee and the chair of the Academic Integrity Board, are responsible for ensuring that their faculty, particularly new faculty and part-time faculty, are aware of the university’s Academic Integrity Policy and of their responsibilities in this regard, to maintain the integrity of the academic review process.

These efforts are supported by detailed guidelines and procedures that are designed to deal with violations, to maintain the integrity of the institution and to ensure that university standards are upheld.