Plagiarism and academic dishonesty

CDSP depends on the honesty and integrity of community members in order to function. Honesty in following examination protocols and for presenting one’s work as one’s own is fundamental to the ethos of the academic community. In addition, it is assumed that those intending leadership in the church will commit themselves to honesty in all their dealings. Evidence of failure to maintain this integrity in the academic environment of CDSP is therefore a serious matter.

Definition: (from the GTU Plagiarism Policy, GTU Doctoral Handbook)

  • Plagiarism is the presentation of another’s ideas, methods, research or words without proper acknowledgment. It runs the gamut from failing to cite a reference (sloppy scholarship) to passing off another’s work as one’s own. It includes close paraphrasing as well as lifting of entire lines nearly verbatim without acknowledgment. As the effects of the plagiarism will be the same regardless of intent, intent will not be construed as essential to the act, although it may be considered in determining whether the charge of plagiarism should be pursued or what the penalty may be.

For general requirements for proper acknowledgment in written work, see Kate Turabian, Manual for the Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations and The Chicago Manual of Style.

Reporting Plagiarism: In cases where plagiarism of published or unpublished work of another scholar or of other students is detected in a CDSP student’s work, report the complaint to the CDSP Dean of Academic Affairs. The Dean then informs the student’s advisor.

In cases where plagiarism of published or unpublished work of another scholar or student is detected in a CDSP faculty member’s work, report the complaint to the CDSP Dean of Academic Affairs. The Dean then informs the President and Dean. If the accused faculty member is the Academic Dean, the report is made directly to the President.

Action in Case of Student Plagiarism: In consultation with the student’s advisor, the Academic Dean will review the evidence and determine the seriousness of the offense. In cases of apparent confusion about academic expectations, the student will be advised and corrected by the Academic Dean or the student’s advisor. In cases of a minor infraction, the student will receive a written reprimand that will be filed with the student’s other academic records. In extreme cases, the matter will be taken to the CDSP Faculty, who will determine an appropriate form of censure. A notation that the matter has been reported and discussed will be placed by the Academic Dean in the student’s permanent file. Possible penalties for plagiarism include one or more of the following: a grade of “F” on the plagiarized paper or exam; failure of the affected course; academic probation; suspension for a specified time; expulsion from the seminary. In the case of a student in the M.Div. program, the penalty may include reporting to the relevant diocesan authorities. A student who believes he or she has been falsely accused may appeal to the President and Dean.

Other Forms of Academic Dishonesty: Exams and other assignments at times depend on a student’s sense of honor regarding sharing of information with other students, time limits, or other limitations that cannot be proctored by the instructor. It is expected that in these situations, members of the CDSP community will also demonstrate serious commitment to honesty. Evidence of a student cheating on exams will be treated with the same seriousness as evidence of plagiarism, and the same range of consequences and penalties may apply.

Action in Case of Faculty Plagiarism: In the case of a member of the Core Doctoral Faculty, procedures specified in the GTU Doctoral Handbook will be followed. In the case of a non-CDF faculty member, the Dean of Academic Affairs and President and Dean will consult with legal advisers on the Board of Trustees to determine appropriate action.

GTU Consortial Agreement Concerning Plagiarism: When a student from one GTU school is suspected of plagiarism in a course that the student is taking at another GTU school, the following protocol will be followed:

  1. The faculty member teaching the course will notify the dean of the faculty member’s school that the student has been suspected of plagiarism.
  2. The dean of the faculty member’s school will notify the dean of the student’s school that the student has been suspected of plagiarism.
  3. The faculty member will follow the policy of his or her own school in regard to possible consequences within the context of the course (e.g., failing grade on the assignment, failing grade for the course, etc.)

The student’s school will be responsible for following its own policy in regard to possible consequences beyond the context of the course (e.g., warning, academic probation, expulsion, etc.)

© 2012 Church Divinity School of the Pacific