Skip to main content

What is academic integrity?

Academic integrity is expected of any and all people who engage in research, teaching and learning in Cornell University. The University has a Code of Academic Integrity, as does each school and college at Cornell, including ILR.

In principle, academic integrity requires that you submit only your own work for evaluation; that you acknowledge the work, words and conclusions of others to be the borrowed product of their effort; and that you do nothing to advantage yourself unfairly over others in your academic efforts.

In practice, academic integrity requires:

  • that you bring no unauthorized materials into exams and test rooms, and neither give nor use assistance or information not expressly approved by the course instructor;
  • that you research, write and submit your own essays, research papers and term projects;
  • that you collaborate with others to prepare for exams and to complete group projects up to the limits set by the instructor in your courses and no further;
  • and that you follow copyright restrictions on computer software, use computer hardware fairly and appropriately, and submit only your own computer-assisted work, according to the limits set by instructors in your courses.

If you are believed to have violated the code

If an instructor has reason to believe that you have violated the ILR Code of Academic Integrity, he or she will schedule a Primary Hearing, usually with the Director of the Office of Student Services as a witness, to present the evidence for the allegation and to enable you to respond to or refute the allegation.

Penalties, suspension, or expulsion

The instructor decides, then, if the allegation stands and what penalty should be applied. Instructors can apply penalties such as a lowered grade or a failing grade on the assignment or for the course. If an instructor thinks your infraction requires suspension or expulsion, he or she must ask for a hearing by a Faculty-Student Academic Integrity Hearing Board, which reviews the entire case and arrives at an independent decision. They may support or deny the penalty desired by the instructor.

Filing an appeal

If you believe that a finding or penalty imposed by an instructor is unjustified, you may appeal to a Faculty-Student Hearing Board, which may confirm or modify the penalty (eliminating, reducing or increasing it) depending on the decision of the full Board.

The Code of Academic Integrity

A copy of the complete Code of Academic Integrity is available on this web page. The Code should be consulted so you may know the procedures and the rights to counsel that you have in both Primary Hearings and Board Hearings.