Academic Integrity Standards
At Pratt, students, faculty, and staff do creative and original work. This is one of our community values. For Pratt to be a space where everyone can freely create, our community must adhere to the highest standards of academic integrity.
Academic integrity at Pratt means using your own and original ideas in creating academic work. It also means that if you use the ideas or influence of others in your work, you must acknowledge them.
- We do our own work,
- We are creative, and
- We give credit where it is due.
Based on our value of academic integrity, Pratt has an Academic Integrity Standing Committee (AISC) that is charged with educating faculty, staff, and students about academic integrity practices. Whenever possible, we strive to resolve alleged infractions at the most local level possible, such as between student and professor, or within a department or school. When necessary, members of this committee will form an Academic Integrity Hearing Board. Such boards may hear cases regarding cheating, plagiarism, and other infractions described below; these infractions can be grounds for citation, sanction, or dismissal.
Academic Integrity Code
When students submit any work for academic credit, they make an implicit claim that the work is wholly their own, completed without the assistance of any unauthorized person. These works include, but are not limited to exams, quizzes, presentations, papers, projects, studio work, and other assignments and assessments. In addition, no student shall prevent another student from making their work. Students may study, collaborate and work together on assignments at the discretion of the instructor.
Examples of infractions include but are not limited to:
- Plagiarism, defined as using the exact language or a close paraphrase of someone else’s ideas without citation.
- Violations of fair use, including the unauthorized and uncited use of another’s artworks, images, designs, etc.
- The supplying or receiving of completed work including papers, projects, outlines, artworks, designs, prototypes, models, or research for submission by any person other than the author.
- The unauthorized submission of the same or essentially the same piece of work for credit in two different classes.
- The unauthorized supplying or receiving of information about the form or content of an examination.
- The supplying or receiving of partial or complete answers, or suggestions for answers; or the supplying or receiving of assistance in interpretation of questions on any examination from any source not explicitly authorized. (This includes copying or reading of another student’s work or consultation of notes or other sources during an examination.)
For academic support, students are encouraged to seek assistance from the Writing and Tutorial Center, Pratt Libraries, and/or the Learning/Access Center, or to consult with an academic advisor about other support resources.
Academic Integrity Code Adjudication Procedures
One aspect of Pratt’s student conduct adjudication process is to resolve alleged violations of Pratt’s Academic Integrity Code, and if a violation is demonstrated, to render an appropriate sanction. The conduct adjudication process is not intended to be a formal legal process although fundamental fairness applies. This process, educational in nature, has as its goal to protect the rights of individuals while at the same time providing an experience from which they can learn.
Central to Pratt’s Academic Integrity Code procedures is the Academic Integrity Standing Committee (AISC). The AISC is an Institute-wide committee that reports to the Provost and is comprised of members from each department or program. In addition to serving on Academic Integrity Hearing Boards, the committee provides education and support on issues of academic integrity for faculty and students including counsel to students who commit first-time minor infractions.
Every attempt is made to resolve alleged infractions at the most local, informal level possible. However, all incidents of academic dishonesty must be reported. Faculty report cases of academic dishonesty through the Retention Alert system (or similar). This information will be retained and shared with the school/department’s AISC member but it will not become part of a student’s transcript.
Cases will be referred to the Academic Integrity Hearing Board under the following circumstances:
- In the case of a second allegation in the same or another course.
- When the infraction is judged to be so serious that the maximum penalty available to the faculty member (failure of the course) is deemed to be insufficient.
Cases will be referred to an Appeals Board if any party involved in the initial hearing contests the outcome.
Cases will be referred to the Provost for a final hearing if any party involved in the Hearing Board or the Appeals Board processes contest the outcome. The Provost’s word will be final.
A. Academic Integrity Hearing Board
An Academic Integrity Hearing Board is convened to hear and make decisions about students’ alleged academic infractions. Most prominent among these are cases of alleged academic dishonesty, including plagiarism and cheating. The Academic Integrity Hearing Board does not hear grade disputes; students may appeal these through a separate process (see Grade Disputes).
An Academic Integrity Hearing Board consists of three members from the Academic Integrity Standing Committee (AISC) and one member is selected to serve as chair. It is the chair’s responsibility to ensure that proper procedures are followed.
2. General Guidelines
a) A member may not serve on a board if he or she has a conflict of interest concerning the case being heard. If a member of a board perceives him or herself to have a conflict with respect to the case at hand, that member must withdraw and an alternate will be selected.
b) If by majority vote, the board decides that a member may be prejudicial with respect to the case at hand, an alternate will be selected.
c) If the respondent or complainant objects to a member for good cause, and the board so decides, an alternate will be selected.
B. Appeal Board
If the involved faculty member(s), student(s) or chair object to the Hearing Board’s decision, an Appeal Board may be convened. All parties have ten working days from the Hearing Board’s decision to request an Appeal Board be convened. The Appeal Board is composed of three members of the AISC who did not serve on the original Hearing Board. The chairperson, a voting member appointed by the board, will ensure that proper procedures are followed.
If, after both a hearing and an appeal, any parties are not satisfied with the outcome, they may petition the Provost for a hearing. The decision of the Provost (or the Provost’s designee) will be final. Petitions must be submitted to the Provost’s office in writing within one calendar week of the Appeal Board decision. The Provost’s office will confirm receipt of appeals via email.
Faculty must report any incident of academic misconduct through the Retention Alert (or similar) online system.
For a first offense for which the offending student accepts responsibility, course level consequences of the infraction are at the discretion of the faculty member. (If there is dispute regarding the alleged offense, the incident must be referred to the AISC for review.) The faculty member may choose one of the following sanctions:
- Require the student to repeat the assignment or submit a comparable alternate assignment,
- Impose a lower or failing grade for the particular assignment,
- Assign a lower or failing grade for the course.
When the faculty member reports the infraction and the sanction, the student will be referred to an AISC member. This meeting is an educational opportunity intended to help students understand how to avoid academic dishonesty in the future. Additionally, the student will be required to complete an academic integrity tutorial.
If the faculty member believes that the infraction warrants a more severe sanction than those available at the course level, they should impose one of the above sanctions and refer the matter to the AISC for further review and determination.
If there is dispute regarding an alleged first offense, the incident must be referred to the AISC for review. The AISC chair will review the case to determine whether an infraction has been committed, and will – in consultation with the faculty member – assign one or more the above sanctions. If not satisfied with the resolution, the student has the right to request a hearing. Procedures for a hearing will be the same as those described below, and the student must be advised of the range of possible sanctions (see IV below).
For a student’s second or subsequent reported offense, the Academic Integrity Hearing Board must hear the case.
B. Academic Integrity Hearing Board
Whenever a case is referred, the Hearing Board will be convened and conducted as follows:
1. Submission of Written Complaint
The AISC, upon notice that this is a student’s second infraction or upon receipt of a faculty member’s request for a hearing will convene a Hearing Board within seven business days and forward all relevant and available information regarding the case to the Hearing Board, including a list of witnesses. The Chair of the Department in which the course is being offered, as well as the Chair of the student’s major department (if different) will be notified at this point, along with the relevant Dean or Deans.
2. Notice of Hearing
The Hearing Board will conduct a hearing as soon as possible, but no later than ten business days from the receipt of relevant information. Care will be taken to hold the hearing at a time and day least likely to conflict with class schedules. All parties will be notified via email of the hearing date.
Note: The Institute is committed to a timely process. If the respondent is not present during break periods or if a full Hearing Board cannot be convened in person, video conferencing may be used to ensure a timely hearing. If no alternative arrangements can be made, the hearing will be held within ten business days of the end of the break period.
All three members of the Academic Integrity Hearing Board must be present to constitute a quorum.
4. Failure to attend
If the respondent refuses or fails to attend a hearing, does not attempt to schedule a videoconference, or file a request for temporary postponement, the Hearing Board will, at its discretion, still hear the case. If the case is heard and responsibility for the infraction is determined, the respondent will be appropriately disciplined as though they had been present.
Another person, including a family member or a friend, may attend the hearing for moral support or character testimony only.
Attorneys cannot be present except in cases where the respondent is also facing court action. In this case, the attorney may not question witnesses or board members, but may only advise his or her client.
In some cases, at the discretion of the Provost, an Institute advocate may be appointed to assist the respondent through the Hearing Board process.
6. Scope of Inquiry
The Hearing Board must consider only matters contained in the written complaint. A respondent’s academic and social standing, previous conduct record, if any, or other mitigating circumstances may not be considered when determining responsibility for the infraction, but may be taken into account when deciding upon a sanction.
7. Examination of Witnesses and Documents
The Hearing Board chair will summon witnesses at the request of the parties involved. In addition, the board will have the power to summon witnesses on its own initiative. If a witness cannot appear in person or via videoconference for good cause, the board may, at its discretion, accept a signed statement from the witness. The board will consider whatever documents it deems relevant to the case and will make such documents part of its record.
The respondent has the right to be present at all meetings at which witnesses testify and may ask witnesses questions if they wish to do so. The Hearing Board reserves the right to rule on the relevance of the questions.
9. Access to Documents
Both the complainant and the respondent will have access to all documents submitted to the board from any source and advance access will be given whenever possible. Whenever a party submits new evidence at the hearing, the Hearing Board may, at its discretion, grant an adjournment to give the other party an opportunity to review the material and prepare a rebuttal.
When possible and where applicable, after the Hearing Board has arrived at its decision, the findings will be given verbally to the respondent by the chair of the Hearing Board. At the board’s discretion the complainant may be allowed to hear the findings. Within ten business days of the hearing, the chair will issue to the involved parties written findings of fact, the decisions and/or recommendations of the board, and information about the appeal process.
These findings will, in all cases, be sent to the faculty member who reported the infraction, the members of the Hearing Board, the Chair of the department for which the student did the work in question, along with the Chair of the student’s major department (if different), and the relevant Dean or Deans.
Possible recommendations / penalties are listed in Section IV of this document. Some recommendations will demand additional notifications, as specified there.
In the case that the findings recommend restriction of use of facilities, or of privileges, these findings will also be sent to the offices that control those facilities or privileges.
In the case that the findings recommend that the student make restitution for their actions, the offices responsible for collecting that restitution will be notified, along with the Registrar’s office.
In the case that the recommended sanction is suspension from the Institute, these findings will also be sent to the Registrar’s office, the Office of Undergraduate Advisement (if the student is an undergraduate), and the Office of Student Life.
In the case that the recommended sanction is dismissal from the Institute, these findings will also be sent to the Provost. If the Provost does impose this sanction, the Provost’s decision will at that time also be communicated to the Registrar, the Office of Undergraduate Advisement, and the Office of Student Life, with the caveat that this decision is subject to appeal.
Should the student appeal and the decision be upheld, no further notifications will be necessary. Should the decision be changed on appeal, the Registrar, the Office of Undergraduate Advisement, and the Office of Student Life will again be notified.
After hearing the case, the Hearing Board is empowered to impose such disciplinary penalties, as it deems appropriate. The range of sanctions that may be given by the Academic Integrity Hearing Board includes as listed in IV below.
The decision of the board may be appealed by the respondent or the complainant. The sanction imposed will remain in effect pending the appeal outcome.
C. Appeal Board
An appeal board hears appeals of decisions rendered by faculty or the Academic Integrity Hearing Board.
1. Scope of Review
On appeal, neither party will be entitled to a rehearing of the entire case. Rather, the Appeal Board will limit its review of the Academic Integrity Hearing Board’s determination to the following three issues:
- Did the Hearing Board or the complainant conduct themselves in such a way that both parties had an adequate opportunity to prepare their case?
- Was the evidence presented at the hearing convincing enough to justify a decision?
- Is there evidence that the board or the faculty member acted in a capricious or prejudicial manner?
2. Written Appeal
The appeal must be in writing and must touch upon one of the three issues listed above and submitted either by delivering or mailing a copy to:
Chairperson, Appeal Board
c/o Office of the Provost
Pratt Institute, Main Building, 200 Willoughby Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11205
3. Time of Appeal and Review
The appeal must be submitted within 72 hours (excluding weekends and holidays) of the receipt of the Academic Integrity Hearing Board’s written decision. The Appeal Board chair will convene the Board to review the appeal as soon as possible, but no later than ten business days after receipt of the written appeal. The Appeal Board will limit its inquiry to the issue(s) put forward in the appeal and may ask either or both sides to make an oral presentation.
4. Record on Appeal
The record on appeal will be composed of the written appeal and all other relevant documents, including the written decision of the judicial board.
The Appeal Board may uphold the decision of the Academic Integrity Hearing Board, return the case to the Hearing Board or to the complainant for further review in keeping with suggestions that the Appeal Board may make, or reverse the Hearing Board’s decision and dismiss the case. In cases where the appeal board decides to reverse the decision, the faculty member will be advised of the reversal. If a grade is involved the faculty member will be asked to review the grade in light of the Board’s conclusions.
Additional notifications of the Appeal board’s decision will follow the notification guidelines listed above, in Section B.10.
D. Appeal to the Provost
The respondent or the complainant may appeal the decision of the Appeal Board to the Provost (or designate). The Provost may uphold the decision of the Appeal Board or reverse the Appeal Board’s decision and dismiss the case. The Provost’s decision shall be final.
Notifications of the Provost’s decision will follow the notification guidelines listed above, in Section B.10.
For academic violations, most notably plagiarism and cheating, the penalties range from written warning or failure in the course (rendered by the faculty member) to dismissal from the Institute (recommended by the Academic Integrity Hearing Board to the Provost). Penalties may also include other sanctions, such as those listed below:
A. Counseling from AISC Member. All first-time offenders must meet with an AISC member, for counseling and education about academic integrity. Additionally, students will be required to complete an academic integrity tutorial. Students will also be made aware that additional violations will result in more severe sanction, including a hearing before the Academic Integrity Hearing Board.
B. Repeat the assignment. Faculty member may require the student to repeat the assignment for grading.
C. Course or assignment grade of F. Faculty may issue a grade of F for the assignment in question, or a grade of F in the course, depending on the seriousness of the infraction.
D. Grade of WD or WF. The Hearing Board may give a grade of WD or WF, which removes a student from a course retroactively.
E. Restriction. Denial of the use of certain facilities or the right to participate in certain activities or privileges for a specified period of time, such as participation in athletics or holding a leadership position at the Institute.
F. Suspension. Suspension from the Institute for a stated period of time. Suspension from the Institute requires a petition for re-instatement.
G. Dismissal. Dismissal from the Institute.
H. Restitution. A student may be required to make restitution for damage or loss to either Institute or individual property. This may include forfeiture of part or all of the student’s security deposit (in the case of a resident student) and imposition of additional charges if warranted. Failure to make restitution will result in withholding the student’s transcript and/or denial of either graduation or continued enrollment at the Institute.
I. Service. A student may be required to fulfill an educational project or program.
Note: One or more sanctions may be imposed when and if appropriate.
All disciplinary matters related to academic integrity remain confidential, do not appear on a student’s transcript, but remain a part of the student’s permanent record. Such records may be referred to when a student is involved in another disciplinary action, and then only at the time of determination of sanction (not at the time of the determination of responsibility for the infraction). If a student is under the age of 18 when a serious sanction is imposed, parents or legal guardians will be notified. Serious sanction is defined as suspension or dismissal from either the residence hall or the Institute.
Adopted: Spring 2017; Revised: Spring 2020