University of California, San Diego


September 19, 2000


SUBJECT:  Integrity of Scholarship

The UCSD Academic Senate Policy on Academic Integrity establishes the standards that apply to academic course work for both undergraduate and graduate students. The principle of honesty must be upheld if the integrity of scholarship is to be maintained by an academic community. In that regard we draw your attention to the following points.

1. Instructors are urged to state in writing the kinds of aid and collaboration that are allowed and not allowed in their courses. A written statement not only provides students with a hard copy of the instructor's policy, but also assists the instructor in preparing a cheating case that goes to a hearing.

2. Instructors should inform students that material taken from the web or other forms of electronic media are subject to the same requirements of attribution applicable to hard copy reference sources or material.

3. Instructors must inform the Dean of the students' colleges of all informal resolutions of cheating incidents. A record of all cases of academic dishonesty is maintained by the college deans so that repeat offenders can be identified.

4. Instructors may not unilaterally lower a student's grade for suspected cheating without first discussing the incident with the student and permitting her/him to respond to the charge.

5. The academic consequences (i.e., the grade) of an act of dishonesty should be proportionate to the severity of the offense and the significance of the tainted assignment. The Senate's policy includes the statement that any act of dishonesty may be grounds for failure in the course. Instructors who follow such a policy would be well advised so to state on the syllabus.

Trained staff are available to assist faculty in assessing incidents of suspected academic dishonesty and processing instances that require follow up action. You may contact Nick Aguilar, Director, Student Policies and Judicial Affairs (858-534-6225) or via email at naguilar@ucsd.edu, for assistance. You can also obtain from Nick copies of the "UCSD Instructor's Guide for Preventing and Processing Incidents of Academic Dishonesty." That document, as well as the Policy on Integrity of Scholarship, may be accessed electronically on the Student Policies and Judicial Affairs home page at:

Thank you for your attention to this very important matter.

                                                Michael A. Bernstein, Chair
                                                Academic Senate, San Diego Division

                                                Vistasp M. Karbhari, Chair
                                                Committee on Educational Policy