8.21.20: Academic Integrity

A message sent to members of the campus community.

As the new semester begins, we encourage you to be active in fostering academic integrity and community standards. A culture of integrity is an essential element of the Lehigh environment to promote intellectual honesty and respect for intellectual property. We strive to provide an environment that encourages the ethical pursuit of knowledge and understanding. This is one part of a broader expectation of respect for all members of our community.

As a community of learners, we know that humans make errors in judgment at times. Sometimes these errors in judgment involve academic dishonesty. Sometimes they involve actions that violate the community of trust and respect that we expect our learning environments to foster. We want to foster an educational climate that helps prevent actions that violate our expectations of respect, integrity and understanding.

This year, faculty are being asked to engage students in discussions to assist their understanding of the distinctions between appropriate and inappropriate actions. To aid in these discussions, they may consider the use of one or more vignettes made available to them through CourseSite. Greg Reihman, Associate Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning, developed seven short vignettes describing cases where student actions bring into question issues of academic integrity and community standards. These vignettes are available at http://www.lehigh.edu/lts/official/Academic_Integrity_Vignettes.pdf. The five vignettes on academic dishonesty cases are all based on actual cases that have come before the University Committee on Discipline.

Additional resources on academic integrity for students and faculty are available here. Included are sample syllabus statements for different course types that faculty can consider including in their course syllabi to outline their expectations and policies. You'll also find information about Turnitin plagiarism detection service for both faculty and students. The web resources also provide an understanding of the student Code of Conduct's expectations, ways to report violations of the Code, and the thoughtful adjudication of Code violations to which the Dean of Students Office is committed.

The Undergraduate and Graduate Student Senates have affirmed students' responsibility to uphold academic integrity by creating student statements of academic integrity (http://go.lehigh.edu/integrityresources). During orientation, first-year students sign a pledge to abide by the Undergraduate Student Senate's affirmation of the Code of Conduct.  At the first-year convocation, these student commitments are shared with Lehigh’s President. This symbolic ritual highlights the core values of honesty and integrity in Lehigh's culture. The Undergraduate and Graduate Student Senates have also affirmed Lehigh's Principles of Our Equitable Community.

We thank you in advance for partnering to demonstrate that Lehigh University is a community of academic integrity and respect for others.