The City University of New York

Academic Integrity 

A Project of the

University Faculty Senate
 of the
City University of New York
Editor: Philip A. Pecorino

A Website Resource for A Model Program

What need is there for a program?

Many CUNY units have Academic Integrity programs. CUNY has a Task Force about to issue (Spring, 2004) recommendations and calling for some uniform policies and procedures.   CUNY Task Force

Where violations of Academic Integrity strike at the very core of what academic institutions are about CUNY must act to discourage disparaging acts in order to preserve the worth of its enterprise and better accomplish its educational mission. While in schools and on campuses criminal behaviors including assaults, a variety of harassments, robberies and other thefts should also be prevented and dealt with in clear and effective manners such acts are against persons and not direct attacks on the institutions themselves. Violations of academic integrity degrade the educational program and insult the institution. Violators are attempting to undermine the mission of education and reduce it to credentialing that might be obtained by any means that one can get away with. Diplomas and degrees issued to those who obtain them through violations of academic integrity cheapen all such diplomas and degrees and the good students know this. No school, college or university can long afford to ignore assaults on its core activities and values.  So, there must be a policy and the means to enforce it.

There are many ways to “cheat” . Violations of academic integrity can be broken down into categories such as: plagiarism, fabrication, cheating and academic misconduct. Studies indicate that singular measures will not stop these violations but a full program of education and proactive prevention as well as detection and clear, appropriate and timely responses can lower the rate of increase and perhaps diminish the rate of occurrences altogether. So actions taken to enforce a policy on academic integrity would not be in vain.

Faculty are the ones to act on this as it is the faculty that designs the academic programs, provide for the instruction and all ancillary educational functions related to instruction.  The faculty approve and authorize the awarding of degrees from the university.  The faculty are the portion of CUNY that would be first to detect violations of Academic Integrity and they would be the primary agents of enforcement.  It is the responsibility of the faculty to insure that the degrees awarded are legitimately earned. So, it is for the faculty to design and implement the mechanism through which it is to fulfill its responsibility to insure the legitimacy of the award.   Any mechanism imposed on the faculty that makes the faculty wary of the process of enforcement or reluctant to participate due to the mechanism placing undo burdens or removing the decision making from the faculty is a mechanism likely to be avoided as often as observed.  

If there is now to be a a set of CUNY procedures regarding violations of Academic Integrity it should be for the faculty to create the basic policies and procedures for their enforcement.

The University Faculty Senate has acted to provide a set of resource materials on this website to assist faculty in establishing the policies and procedures and programs at the individual CUNY units.