Concordia University

What you need to know now about academic integrity

Because at midterm time, something as simple as a forgotten cellphone can mean a failing grade
February 9, 2017
By Sara DuBreuil


Academic dishonesty — plagiarism, cheating or any other form — is taken very seriously at Concordia.

The Academic Code of Conduct, the university’s policy, outlines academic integrity and its related procedures.

A lot of offences under the code can happen at exam time. These include obvious transgressions, such as copying answers or stealing exam questions ahead of time.

But the code also covers lesser-known offences including making changes to exam booklets, taking any part of an exam from the examination room or bringing cellphones and notes into an exam, whether they are used or not.

Other non-exam related offences include handing in the same assignment to more than one class, falsifying research facts or data and lending work to another student who may copy it or hand it in as their own.

Some of the offences can occur accidentally or may even seem like harmless behaviour, which is why Raja Bhattacharya, coordinator of the Student Advocacy Office, says his advice for avoiding academic misconduct is simple: take the time to read the code carefully. 

“Academic misconduct has a broad ambit,” says Bhattacharya. “Knowingly or unknowingly, if you become a part of that unfortunate exercise you will be charged under the code.”

The consequences of academic dishonesty

Students charged with plagiarism, cheating or other forms of academic dishonesty will have to attend an interview with the dean or faculty code administrator to explain what happened and why.

After the interview, the administrator will decide whether to uphold the charge, and if so, what the consequence will be. The sanction can be anything from a verbal reprimand, grade reduction or failing mark to suspension or even expulsion from the university.

Need help?

Bhattacharya says that the code should help students understand academic misconduct, but that the Student Advocacy Office is there to offer support if you need it.

“If anyone is struggling with understanding a specific provision of the code, they can come and see us,” says Bhattacharya. “We will be more than happy to explain it.”

The Student Advocacy Office also assists students who find themselves charged under the Academic Code of Conduct.

Learn more about Concordia's Academic Code of Conduct.

Concordia's Academic Code of Conduct: updated in 2015

A review committee made up of faculty and student representatives, chaired by Melodie Sullivan, legal counsel for Student and Administrative Affairs, held a comprehensive review of Concordia's Academic Code of Conduct from January 2012 to August 2014.

The review resulted in a few important updates to the code, including an introductory statement stressing the importance of honest and responsible conduct for students, instructors and administrators alike.

It also clarifies that any form of dishonest behaviour, cheating or plagiarism is considered an offence, whether intentional or not. And the articles were rearranged to follow the same procedural order that a student would experience if charged with academic misconduct.

The updated Academic Code of Conduct went into effect May 4, 2015, the first day of the 2015-16 academic year.


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