Skip to main content Skip to search

Undergraduate Academic Integrity Policy

Yeshiva University strives to do much more than impart information and skills to undergraduate students. At the core of our educational goals include character development and preparation for graduate school and the workplace based on our Jewish tradition and values. Rabbi Moshe Feinstein zt”l ruled that if you get a job using a cheated grade, every dollar you earn from it is considered stolen. It is during college that students define who they are and who they will be after graduation. The academic integrity expectations and policies that follow are intended to help foster the traits of honesty and integrity that students will need throughout life. 

Given the critical importance of academic integrity across our institution, every potential breach of academic integrity must be addressed by formal process – without exception or special allowance. In this vein, the highest standards and expectations for integrity will apply across all of Yeshiva University’s undergraduate schools, colleges, and courses.
 

Allegations of violations will be reviewed by a university-wide Academic Integrity Committee (AIC) comprised of representatives from each undergraduate school: Yeshiva College, Stern College for Women, Sy Syms School of Business, and Undergraduate Torah Studies. The AIC will work as a single body to ensure consistent standards, procedures and penalties are maintained across the undergraduate colleges. The AIC will investigate and keep records of all reported potential violations. If the AIC finds that there was a violation, it will determine a proposed penalty.  In deciding on a penalty, the AIC will  consider such factors as the severity of the violation, whether it was a first-time offense, and whether the student acknowledged wrongdoing. Academic Integrity violations may be noted on your official record. The process chart in Figure 1 documents the existing review process which will be followed during academic integrity proceedings. 
 

A)         Cheating on Examinations 
All work submitted on examinations must represent the work of the student. Students should assume that no outside sources or aid may be used during an exam unless explicitly informed otherwise by the instructor. Instructors wishing to allow outside source materials on an examination should include guidelines in the instructions accompanying the exam.  Cheating on examinations includes but is not limited to: use of “cheat sheets,” use of textbooks, use of course notes, receiving help from another individual, posting test questions to forums, unethically obtaining an advance copy of the examination or answer key, use of messaging apps during the exam, receiving information about the exam from other students, and use of any unauthorized materials during the exam. 

All suspected instances of cheating should be reported to the Academic Integrity Committee. If a faculty member suspects that a student has cheated on an examination, he/she will submit the Initiation of Charges Form to the Academic Integrity Committee through the academic integrity website. Students or other members of the YU community may report academic integrity issues anonymously through the academic integrity website. Students who are under investigation are not permitted to drop the course or opt for a P/N grade during or after the pendency of proceedings under this policy unless found innocent of charges. Upon initiation of charges, the Academic Integrity Committee will submit a written notification of the charges to the student. A hearing of the Academic Integrity Committee will be convened according to processes outlined in section V.B entitled "For Intentional Misrepresentation and Cheating" below.
 

A)    Plagiarism
Definitions:  In defining plagiarism, this policy distinguishes between “Intentional Misrepresentation” and “Misuse of Sources”. These are two clear extremes, but this policy also recognizes that there can be a continuum between them.1

1.  Intentional Misrepresentation occurs when a student deliberately uses someone/something else's language  (including, without limitation, ChatGPT and similar tools) ideas, or other original (not common knowledge) work without acknowledging the source.

Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Assignment downloaded from an Internet source and/or obtained from a paper mill or generator.
  • Assignment obtained from someone else (including another student).
  • Assignment contains part or all of the writings of another person (including another student), without acknowledgment of the source.
  • Assignment contains passages that were cut and pasted from an Internet source, without acknowledgement of the source.
  • Assignment contains passages that were reworded from an outside source, without acknowledgement of the source

2. Misuse of Sources is the unintentional misappropriation of the language, ideas, and work of others due to a lack of understanding of the conventions of citation and documentation, including paraphrasing, quoting, and the parameters of common knowledge.

Students are responsible for knowing how to quote from, paraphrase, summarize, and cite sources correctly. However, when a student has attempted to acknowledge a source but has not done so fully or completely, the instructor, perhaps in consultation with other faculty, administrators, or an academic integrity panel, may determine that the issue is Misuse of Sources or bad writing, rather than Intentional Misrepresentation.  

B)    Unsanctioned Use of Artificial Intelligence

Definitions: The fundamental principle guiding Yeshiva University’s Academic Integrity Policy is that all work submitted by students should be their own. Artificial Intelligence (AI) represents a tool that has the potential to be used either in accordance with this principle or in conflict with it. For the purposes of this policy, AI technologies are parsed into Generative AI and Assistive AI. It is the student’s responsibility to know what type of platform s/he is using and if use of that platform is allowed in his/her course.  Unsanctioned use of Generative or Assistive AI constitutes a potential academic integrity violation.

  1. Generative AI is any AI platform that has the ability to create content from user inputs. Such platforms include but are not limited to: ChatGPT, JASPER, Bard, DeepMind, DALL-E, Grammarly, etc. Because Generative AI can create content, it has a significant potential to be used in ways that are inconsistent with the guiding principle of academic integrity. As such, students should be cautious. Students should assume that the use of any platform with generative capabilities is prohibited in their course, even if the platform is used for a non-generative purpose. Instructors may choose to allow the use of Generative AI in their courses or on particular assessments as they see fit. It is up to the student to be aware of institutional, course, and individual assessment policies regarding the use of Generative AI.  Content produced using Generative AI should be cited according to the conventions in the relevant subject area. 
     
  2.  Assistive AI is any AI platform that aids the user in producing his/her own original content or refining the user’s original content without generating any substantive content itself.  Examples of Assistive AI include but are not limited to Hemmingway, MS Editor, etc. Because such platforms do not create substantive content themselves, the use of Assistive AI is not assumed to represent a potential academic integrity infraction. However, individual instructors or departments may choose to limit or prohibit the use of Assistive AI in their courses or on particular assessments. Using any technology or assistance not expressly sanctioned by the instructor is a potential violation of academic integrity.  It is the responsibility of the student to know what Assistive AI technologies are sanctioned for use in their coursework. 

C)    Other Violations of Academic Integrity on Assignments
In addition to plagiarism, other examples of academic integrity violations include, but are not limited to:

  • Assisting or attempting to assist another student in an act of academic dishonesty.
  • Providing papers, essays, research, or other work to aid another student in Intentional Misrepresentation.
  • Engaging in unauthorized cooperation with other individuals in completing assignments or examinations.
  • Submitting the same assignment, in part or whole, in more than one course, whether at YU or another institution, without prior written approval from both instructors.
  • Selling or posting copies of course materials that may be the intellectual property of the instructor. 

1Portions of this definition are adapted from The Council of Writing Program Administrators, "Defining and Avoiding Plagiarism: WPA Statement on Best Policies http://www.wpacouncil.org/positions/index.html ; Syracuse University, "Academic Integrity Policies and Procedures" https://psdocs.syr.edu/sudocs/vpcai/finalizeddocs3.pdf  and Washington State University, "Plagiarism: What is it?" http://www.wsulibs.wsu.edu/plagiarism/what.html.


All instances of violations of academic integrity should be reported to the Academic Integrity Committee. Students who are under investigation are not permitted to drop the course or opt for a P/N grade during or after the pendency of proceedings under this policy unless found innocent of charges. Faculty should file reports by filling out the Initiation of Charges Form available on the academic integrity website.  Students may report academic integrity issues anonymously through the academic integrity website. Members of the YU community may seek guidance by emailing the Academic Integrity Committee (academicintegrity@yu.edu). 

A)     For Misuse of Sources

If a faculty member determines that a student unintentionally misused sources on an assignment, he/she should report the incident to the Academic Integrity Committee and request that the matter be handled “in house” when submitting the Initiation of Charges Form available on the academic integrity website. Handling of a case “in house” does not involve a formal AIC hearing and should be reserved for minor infractions best treated as teachable moments.  Infractions may only be handled “in house” if the student admits to the infraction. If the request to handle the infraction “in house” is approved, the instructor should provide guidance on the issue that led to the charges and may impose a suitable penalty on the assignment such as lowering the grade on the assignment in question (including lowering to a grade of "F”). No additional penalty should be imposed. The AIC will maintain a record of the incident and that the student has received instruction on proper citation practice. The incident will not be part of the student’s permanent record at that time but will be used to inform whether leniency is appropriate should academic integrity issues arise with the student again in the future. If the request to handle “in house” is denied, the infraction will be processed as described below for Intentional Misrepresentation.

B)    For Intentional Misrepresentation and Cheating
Initiation of Process
If a faculty member (or any member of the YU community) suspects that a student has engaged in intentional misrepresentation or cheating on an assignment, he/she should submit the Initiation of Charges Form to the Academic Integrity Committee. The AIC will submit a written copy of the charges to the student. If the student initially admits to the allegations, the AIC will, in consultation with the faculty member, consider the circumstances and suggest a penalty. Possible penalties include, but are not limited to, dismissal from the University, suspension, failure in the course, failure on the assignment, lowering of the grade on the assignment, and/or a notation in the student's personal file. Students are not permitted to drop the course or opt for a P/N grade during or after the pendency of proceedings under this policy unless found innocent of charges. The process chart in Figure 1 documents the existing review process which will be followed during academic integrity proceedings.

Hearing
If the student denies the allegations, a hearing will be convened before the Academic Integrity Committee. The AIC is a four-person committee comprised of impartial Yeshiva University faculty. The AIC will notify the student in writing of the date, time, and place of the hearing. Students who repeatedly fail to respond to reasonable attempts to schedule a hearing will waive their right to a hearing.  The student may bring written materials and witnesses, but no advocates or advisors (including parents and attorneys) to the hearing. 

At least three members of the committee must be present for a hearing. The Committee will consider all the facts and circumstances, may ask for further information from the relevant parties, and will determine whether the student committed an act violating academic integrity. The Committee will provide a written summary of the hearing and findings along with its recommendation for an appropriate penalty (see above) to the Dean of the school in which the student is enrolled.

Decision
The Dean may accept, reject, or modify the Committee's recommendation, and will notify the student in writing of the decision.  

Appeal

Within ten calendar days of receipt of the Dean's letter, the student may file an appeal by submitting it in writing to the designated appellate Dean. No appeal will be considered if received after the ten-day deadline. The appellate Dean will consider the merits of the appeal and will consult with the Chair of the Academic Integrity Committee. The appellate Dean may interview the student but will not conduct a new hearing. The standard for review will be whether the student received appropriate notice and had an opportunity to be heard (i.e. whether there was a fair hearing), and whether the school followed its procedures. The student will receive notice of the decision in writing in a timely fashion, but no later than three weeks from the receipt of the appeal. This decision is final.

College of Student Enrolment Appellate Dean
Yeshiva College Undergraduate Torah Studies
Sy Syms School of Business Stern College for Women
Stern College for Women Sy Syms School of Business
Undergraduate Torah Studies Yeshiva College

 

Records
Copies of the final decision (after appeal) will be sent to the Deans of the undergraduate schools and the Dean of Students. The Academic Integrity Committee will keep a record of all charges and proceedings regardless of outcome. 

Readmission
Students who have been dismissed as a result of this procedure may apply for readmission after one semester of non-attendance. An application for readmission should be made directly to the Dean or Associate Dean of the school from which the student was dismissed. The application should state the reasons for readmission and include a statement of steps the student has taken or changes he/she has made to merit readmission. Any readmission may require conditions of probation and/or academic or other counseling.

C)    Penalties and Procedures for Other Violations of Academic Integrity
If a student commits an infraction similar to or listed in section IV.B or IV.C, the faculty member will report the issue to the Academic Integrity Committee by submitting an Initiation of Charges Form. The faculty member may propose a penalty or course of action, such as handling the infraction “in house” depending on the severity of the infraction. If the student accepts guilt, the AIC will notify the Dean of the school in which the student is enrolled and the Dean of Students of the infraction and action taken. Depending on the severity of the infraction, it may become part of the student’s permanent academic record. Records of all infractions will be maintained by the AIC regardless of whether they become part of the student’s academic record. If the student denies the allegations, contests the penalty, or if the infraction is severe, the AIC will convene a hearing in accordance with the procedures outlined above under the section V.B entitled "For Intentional Misrepresentation and Cheating".

Enrolled students who repeatedly and/or knowingly enable academic integrity violations by unethically providing assistance, aid, or materials to other students may be subject to punitive measures including marks on his/her permanent record, suspension, or dismissal. If action is warranted, the AIC will convene a hearing in accordance with the procedures outlined above in section V.B entitled "For Intentional Misrepresentation and Cheating".

 

Students are not permitted to drop the course or opt for a P/N grade during or after the pendency of proceedings under this policy unless acquitted of charges.

Processing of Charges
 

Processing of Charges Diagram

Appeals

 

Appeals Flow Chart

 

Skip past mobile menu to footer