Academic Integrity Policy

It is the responsibility of every student to familiarize themselves with Rio’s academic integrity standards, along with the course syllabus, as claims of ignorance, unintentional error, or the demands of academic work do not excuse violations.

Examples of some common violations (this is not an exhaustive list):

  • Plagiarism: to take ideas, writings, sayings, etc. from another person or source and pass them off as one’s own.
  • Cheating: to behave dishonestly on an assignment or examination. Rio considers using materials, study notes, information, etc., when completing academic work without permission to be cheating. Some examples include
    • copying another student’s work, with or without the other person’s knowledge;
    • without permission, using a textbook, smart phone, tablet, or other means to access information during an assignment, test, quiz, exam, or project;
    • knowingly viewing a test, quiz, exam or other assessment before the test is administered, and communicating with others during a test, quiz, exam or other assessment to gain information to improve one’s grade;
    • having someone else complete an assignment or write a paper on your behalf.
  • Academic Misconduct: Tampering with grades or obtaining and/or distributing any part of a test or examination. Some examples include:
    • Obtaining a copy of a test, examination or other assessment without authorization before the test, examination or other assessment is administered;
    • Distributing a copy of a test, examination or other assessment, either for money or for free, before the test, examination or other assessment is administered;
    • Changing a grade or grades in a grade book, on a computer, or on an assignment;
    • Continuing to complete a test, examination or other assessment without authorization after the allotted time.
  • Duplicate submission: Submitting the same paper in two or more different classes without permission of the instructors.
  • Facilitating Academic Dishonesty: Knowingly allowing another person to take work you have done and pass it off as his or her own.
  • Fabrication: Inventing or misrepresenting information. For example, listing sources in works cited you did not use in your paper or, in the Sciences, creating or altering data.
  • Impersonation: To represent oneself as someone else for the purpose of fraud. In an on line or hybrid course, if someone other than the student completes assigned work on behalf of the student. This could also occur in a face-to-face or hybrid setting.
  • Collusion or unauthorized collaboration: When a student working on an assignment on which they should work alone enlists help from another student, students, or other persons to complete the assignment.

Any person committing an act of plagiarism, cheating, impersonation, unauthorized collaboration, or other form of academic dishonesty is subject to the fullest measure of consequences, up to and including course failure and suspension. Repeated violations will subject the student to automatic academic suspension with failing grades for not less than one academic year. Failing grades assigned because of academic dishonesty are not eligible for forgiveness under the Academic Forgiveness Policy and cannot be removed the cumulative GPA calculation by repeating the course.

 Academic Integrity Procedure

When a faculty member believes a student has committed a violation of the academic integrity policy, the faculty member will notify the academic deans. The faculty member will report, in writing, the student’s name and ID number to the dean to determine whether or not the student has a record of academic dishonesty. The dean will respond, in writing, within three (3) regular academic days of receiving the faculty member’s written report. Then the faculty member shall discuss with the student the evidence and allow the student a chance to respond. If, after discussing the issue with the student, the faculty member believes the student did NOT violate the Academic Integrity Policy, then the issue is closed. If the faculty member believes the student did violate the Academic Integrity Policy, then the faculty member may determine an appropriate sanction. The faculty member may also select one or more sanctions from these options:

  1. Require the student to revise and resubmit the work;
  2. Require the student to retake the quiz, test, or exam;
  3. Require the student to write an additional paper or take an additional exam; and/or
  4. Lower the grade for the paper or exam (including to a failing grade) without opportunity to regain the lost credit.
  5. Assign the student a failing grade for the course which shall be designated as DF (academic dishonesty failure). There is no opportunity to remove a grade of DF from the academic record.

Within three (3) regular academic days of making a decision, the faculty member will contact the student and Registrar, in writing, informing them of the sanction(s).

If the student agrees to the sanction(s) and the faculty member is satisfied with student’s response, then the issue is closed.

If the student denies the allegation, then the faculty member will immediately forward all evidence and a written statement to the academic dean of the college in which the course is offered. Within five (5) regular academic days of receiving the written statement from the faculty member, the dean will attempt to meet separately with both the faculty member and the student. If the academic dean decides the evidence does not adequately support the charges against the student, then she/he shall so notify both the faculty member and the student in writing. If the academic dean decides that evidence adequately supports the charges against the student, then the dean may discuss with the faculty member an appropriate sanction including one or more from those listed above. The dean may also determine that the infraction warrants a more severe sanction and require the student receive a failing grade for the course and not be allowed to withdraw from the course to keep the grade off their transcript. Failing grades assigned because of academic dishonesty will not be eligible for Forgiveness under the Academic Policy.

Within five (5) regular academic calendar days, the dean will notify the student, instructor, and the Office of the Registrar in writing of her/his decision and the sanction. If either the student or the faculty member is not satisfied with the dean’s decision, then within five (5) regular academic calendar days of the dean’s decision, the student or the faculty member may appeal the dean’s decision to the Vice President for Academic Affairs, and request him/her to convene an Academic Integrity Panel.

Academic Integrity Panel:

  1. The Academic Integrity Panel will consist of voting members as follows: one (1) faculty member from €ach School, elected to the current Academic Policy Committee, the Vice President of the Student Senate or an elected delegate, and a justice of the senate judiciary. The Vice President for Academic Affairs, or his/her designate, will inform both parties of the makeup of the panel no later than five (5) regular academic calendar days before the hearing. If either party feels that a particular School’s representative may be biased, then he/she may ask, by two (2) regular academic calendar days before the hearing, that the School’s other representative be used instead. If both parties contest both of a School’s representatives, then the Vice President for Academic Affairs shall choose another representative from the School. The chair will only vote in the event of a tie.
  2. The Academic Integrity Panel must meet within ten (10) regular academic calendar days of the request.
  3. The dean involved will provide all documentation and records of previous meetings to the Academic Integrity Panel before the panel meets.
  4. The student and instructor of record may be present to present their cases.
  5. The Academic Integrity Panel shall issue a written decision within ten (10) regular academic calendar days of the meeting and send copies to the student, instructor, and the Office of the Registrar.
  6. Office of the Registrar’s staff will place a copy of the panel’s decision in the student’s file.
  7. The Academic Integrity Panel’s decision is final. There is no other level of appeal.