University Policies

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the foundation of the pursuit of knowledge. All members of the academic community are expected to be dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge in an honest, responsible, respectful, and ethical manner. Every violation of academic integrity is an affront to the academic community. Violations of academic integrity make fair evaluation impossible and cast doubt upon the seriousness with which students accept the responsibility of acquiring an education. Members of the academic community are expected to report all violations that come to their attention. Both faculty and administration consider it their duty, as guardians of academic standards and intellectual honesty, to enforce the policy by prosecuting all cases of violations of academic integrity to the fullest extent. Students are urged to consider that it is the toleration of violations of academic integrity, and not the reporting of it, that is dishonorable.

Definitions

Violation of academic integrity includes any act that portrays a member of the academic community as having acquired knowledge through legitimate study or research when, in fact, has been stolen. Violation of academic integrity also includes any act that gains one member of the academic community an unfair advantage over another. This includes any act hindering the academic accomplishment of another. Violations of Academic Integrity are classified by PSU into two categories: intentional and unintentional.

Examples of intentional violations of academic integrity include, but are not limited to:

    • Providing or using unauthorized books, notes, or other sources of information during an examination
    • Submitting another person’s work as one’s own: plagiarism. This includes copying during examinations; purchasing papers or taking them from online resources; copying papers, reports, laboratory results, or computer work; quoting or paraphrasing library or online sources without proper citations.
    • Doing work for which another person will receive credit. This includes allowing one’s examination answers, reports, laboratory results, or computer work to be submitted by another person as his or her own work.
    • Falsifying, through forgery or other alteration, academic documents such as transcripts, registration materials, withdrawal forms, or grade reports
    • Reading, removing, copying without authorization, or stealing any academic document, exam, or academic record maintained by any member of the faculty or administration
    • Using unauthorized assistance in the laboratory, at the computer terminal, or on field placement
    • Stealing, copying, or destroying another person’s computer program or file, deliberately preventing or depriving another’s access to the University computer system or resources, or impeding the system’s performance
    • Stealing, or removing without authorization, books or periodicals from the library, or mutilating library materials
    • Falsifying or fabricating data or results of research or field work
    • Lying in connection with an academic integrity hearing

Unintentional violations are often associated with plagiarism. Examples of unintentional violations include, but are not limited to: paraphrasing, citing, or quoting poorly or incorrectly.

Procedure

In cases where a violation of academic integrity is suspected, the individual making the discovery must initiate proceedings with the department chair or dean, and the associate vice president for the College of Graduate Studies.


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Drug-free Environment

Plymouth State University is committed to ensuring a drug-free environment. Students are required to comply with the drug-free policy, which prohibits the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, or use of any controlled substance or alcohol in or around the campus or classroom.


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A Fair and Safe Learning Environment

Plymouth State takes seriously its responsibility to provide a safe and fair place in which to learn. As such, it is the responsibility of all faculty and staff members to deal honestly, fairly, and respectfully with students, coworkers, and all other individuals associated with the University.


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Non-discrimination

The University, in accordance with federal and state laws and regulations, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, veteran’s status, or disability, in admission or access to, treatment of, or employment in its programs or activities. Inquiries regarding this policy should be made to:Vice President for Student Affairs, MSC 4,Plymouth State University, 17 High Street, Plymouth NH 03264-1595

Further inquiries may also be addressed to the Director, Office of Civil Rights, United States Department of Education, Washington DC 20201.


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Privacy and Disclosure of Academic Records

A federal law, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (popularly known as the Buckley Amendment or FERPA), establishes certain rights for students with regard to their education records. In brief, the act provides students the right to inspect their personal education records (with some exceptions), the opportunity to contest the contents of their records, and protection from unauthorized disclosure of their education records to third parties outside the University. The University is not permitted to disclose personally identifiable information from the student’s education record without the prior written consent of the student, or only under acceptable disclosure provisions in FERPA.

Access without prior approval of students is permitted to University faculty and staff with a need to access educational information, to appropriate federal and state officials with statutory authorization, to accrediting agencies and educational testing organizations, to the parents of dependent students and, in an emergency, to other appropriate persons acting to protect the health and safety of students and others.

At Plymouth State University, the education records of students are released to parents only upon written request by students or by the parents of dependent students with proof of dependency. Some educational records maintained by the University are not open to access by students; these include confidential letters of recommendation to which the student has waived access, the financial records that parents have submitted to the University, medical and counseling records used in providing treatment to the student, the records of University Police, records containing information on more than one student, and records in the possession of the maker that are not accessible to other individuals. This last exception includes, for instance, the grade books of instructors and the desk files of faculty and administrators.

The University is permitted to release the following “directory information” without the prior consent of the student: name, place and date of birth, enrollment status, most previous educational institution attended, campus address, e-mail address, phone number, degree, field of study, grade level, participation in recognized activities and sports, and height and weight of athletic team members. Grades are considered “directory information” to the extent of publishing honor rolls and in selecting students to honor societies or to receive academic scholarships. Students have the right to restrict disclosure or release of any or all “directory information.” Requests must be submitted in writing to the dean of student affairs within 10 class days after the beginning of fall or spring term. See the current student handbook for further information.


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Sexual Harassment

All faculty, staff, and students have a right to work and learn in an environment that is free of discrimination and harassment, including freedom from inappropriate, offensive, or harassing behavior. Such behavior violates Plymouth State’s policy, as well as state and federal law. Any faculty, staff, or student who violates this policy is subject to disciplinary action.

Sexual harassment means unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

  • such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or academic environment;
  • submission to, or rejection of, such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions affecting the individual;
  • submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic work.

It is not possible to list every type of behavior that could be considered sexual harassment. The circumstances under which the behavior occurs have an impact on whether or not it is considered or perceived to be sexual harassment.

The following are examples: unwelcome sexual propositions; graphic comments about a person’s body; sexually suggestive objects or pictures in the workplace; derogatory or sexually explicit statements about an actual or supposed sexual relationship; and derogatory, gender-based humor.

It is important to note that one cannot assume conduct is acceptable simply because an individual does not openly protest against it. In addition, some conduct may be considered sexual harassment even if it is not intended as such. In general, common sense is the best guide—treat other individuals fairly and with respect.

Any reported incident involving sexual harassment by a faculty or staff member of the University must be reported to the human resources director, a vice president, the dean of student affairs, or Public Safety/University Police. There is no right of confidentiality by any University faculty or staff member regarding this type of violation. Reporting is mandatory by law.


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Smoking

As required by law and in recognition of the health hazards of smoking and second-hand smoke, Plymouth State prohibits smoking in all buildings and facilities, including offices, classrooms and laboratories, studios, libraries, theaters and auditoriums, gymnasiums and athletic areas, and public reception areas. Smoking may be allowed in specifically designated outdoor areas. Smoking is not allowed within 20 feet of any PSU building or controlled premise, adjacent to air intake units, outside stairways, or on entrance ramps. Smoking may also be prohibited in areas reserved for events where the sponsor determines the interests of non-smokers need to be protected. Some examples are graduation ceremonies, University receptions and events, groundbreaking ceremonies, and outdoor concerts.


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Class Changes and Cancellations

Notifications of University-wide cancellations due to inclement weather are advertised on WMUR-TV Channel 9, the PSU website at plymouth.edu, and the College of Graduate Studies website at plymouth.edu/graduate. Call the PSU Storm Line (603) 535-3535 for the latest updates on weather-related issues or register for PSU Alerts through myPlymouth.

Individual class cancellations are determined by faculty. In the event of an individual class cancellation, students will be notified through their PSU e-mail address. It is important for students to check their PSU e-mail for these and other important University announcements.

Course charges, fees, and academic regulations are subject to change without advance notice. PSU reserves the right to cancel, postpone, or combine class sections, and to limit registrations or change instructors. Students in cancelled classes will be notified so they may enroll in an alternative class or receive a refund.

Please note: All room assignments and course offerings, dates, and times are subject to change. New classes are added on a regular basis. Please visit the graduate website at plymouth.edu/graduatefor the latest updates.

Plymouth State University reserves the right to cancel, postpone or combine class sections, limit registrations, and change instructors. Students in canceled classes will be notified so that they may enroll in an alternative class or receive a refund.

 

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