The Academic Integrity System

Roanoke College is a collection of learners–students, faculty, and staff alike.  We have gathered to provide mutual support in our search for truth.  Our Statement of Purpose says that we are “dedicated to educating men and women in high standards of scholarship to prepare them for responsible lives of learning, service and leadership”; we are "committed to an integrative approach to education that strives to balance intellectual, ethical, spiritual, and personal growth.”  In order for this to be possible, we are all responsible for ensuring both an atmosphere conducive to learning and systems to safeguard the learning process. Two of those safeguards are academic freedom and academic integrity.

The College has adopted and vigorously defends a statement on academic freedom that is published in the Faculty Handbook.  That statement ensures each of us the right to speak and write the truth as we see it.  We cannot be censured for religious, political, or philosophical beliefs, and we cannot be discouraged from publishing the results of our work.  We protect each other's rights and responsibilities in learning for ourselves and sharing with others the truth as we discover it.

The other side of this freedom is a responsibility to learn for ourselves.  We are responsible as honorable members of a learning community to maintain the highest standards of intellectual scholarship and to insist that others do so as well.  We must teach each other what it means to be intellectually honest–by our own actions; by what we teach and learn in the classroom, laboratory, and library; and by our institutionalized system of academic integrity.

When some 2,000 diverse individuals are gathered together, these idealized standards of behavior will not always be followed.  There are many reasons for violations of academic integrity, ranging from not knowing what behavior is expected, to errors in judgment, to succumbing to pressures to perform, to intentional plagiarism and cheating.

When such violations occur, if we are to be faithful to our Statement of Purpose, we need to be sensitive both to our responsibility to uphold academic integrity and to our responsibility to foster the intellectual, emotional, and moral growth of our students.  That means that violations of academic integrity can never be ignored.  It means violations need to be brought to the attention of students in a way that will help them learn from their experiences.  It also means that all members of the College community must participate in the system.

Read more:  Violations