03.01 Academic Integrity at Eastman – Introduction
03.02 Academic Integrity Committee
03.03 Process and Procedures
03.04 Records

03.01 Academic Integrity at Eastman – Introduction

Plagiarism: Grounds for Dismissal

Academic Honesty Guidelines

The Eastman School of Music is a community of students, faculty, and staff with a tradition of excellence and professionalism. Our high standards depend on the atmosphere of mutual confidence and common purpose which have long sustained the institution. We take pride in our membership in this ongoing community partly because of the common commitment to excellence and professional discipline which has brought us together here. This commitment is essential for the integrity of the entire educational process.

As members of an academic community, Eastman students and faculty have the responsibility to engage in honest communication. Academic honesty in the advancement of knowledge and the pursuit of musical excellence requires that all students and instructors respect the integrity of one another’s work, take responsibility for their own ideas and performances, and acknowledge the importance of others’ ideas and performances. Academic dishonesty is a serious violation of the trust upon which an artistic and scholarly community depends.

The Eastman School of Music Academic Integrity Policy seeks to provide clarity and ensure consistency when members of the Eastman community encounter instances of plagiarized, fabricated, or falsified information. The guidelines below provide a framework for faculty, administrators, and students at each stage of the process from identifying cases of academic dishonesty, through charging and penalizing offenders, to appealing verdicts and amending penalties.

Eastman’s Academic Integrity Policy is applicable to all students who matriculate in the following degree programs: Bachelor of Music (B.M.), Master of Music (M.M.) or Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.). Those students in the Master of Arts (M.A.) or Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree programs are subject to the policies on Academic Misconduct that are found in the “Red Book,” or the Regulations and University Policies Concerning Graduate Students. If students are enrolled in a combination of degrees, the more advanced degree will determine which process to be followed. For example, a MA/DMA will follow the Eastman process, while a MM/PhD will follow the Red Book process.

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03.01.01 Student Responsibilities

Students at the Eastman School of Music are admitted based on their innate talent and potential. As members of the Eastman community, they are expected to represent themselves to the best of their own abilities, and act with personal and professional integrity at all times, be it in the studio, classroom, or performance venue. Students who violate the standards of conduct may be charged under the academic integrity policy guidelines if it is a case of academic misconduct, and under the disciplinary system if the case occurs outside of the academic realm. The Standards of Student Conduct , which establishes standards, policies and procedures for the disciplinary system, can be found at the following website:, under Conduct Process. Questions should be addressed to the Associate Dean for Student Life.

Some examples of breaches of academic integrity include but are not limited to:

  • Plagiarism, or using someone else’s work without giving credit, is a form of theft. Examples of plagiarism include using ideas, phrases, papers, theory exercises, computer programs, data – copied directly or paraphrased – that you did not arrive at on your own and without acknowledging their source. Sources include published works such as books, articles, movies, websites, and unpublished works such as other students’ homework and papers or material from a research service. The risk of plagiarism can be avoided in written work by clearly indicating, either in footnotes or in the paper itself, the source of any idea, wording or information that you did not arrive at on your own. Sources must be given regardless of whether the material is quoted directly or paraphrased. If you have questions, please refer to ‘Plagiarism: Grounds for Dismissal,’ which you can find as an attachment to Section 03.01 of the Academic Policy Handbook.
  • Unauthorized collaboration is working with or receiving help from others on graded assignments without the specific approval of the instructor. If in doubt, seek permission from the instructor before working with others.
  • Multiple submission means using the same work to fulfill the academic requirements in more than one course. Prior permission of the instructors is essential.
  • Obtaining an examination prior to its administration.
  • Using unauthorized aid during an examination.
  • Knowingly assisting someone else during an examination.
  • Maliciously hindering the learning opportunities of fellow students (e.g., disruptive behavior in the classroom, misuse of library materials, monopolizing class reserve materials).

A student remains responsible for the academic honesty of work submitted in all Eastman courses, even after the student has received a final course grade. This rule also applies to students who are no longer matriculated here, including those who have graduated. Ignorance of these standards will not be considered a valid excuse or defense. If a student is ever in doubt about an issue of academic honesty, or has any hesitation about a contemplated course of action, the student should consult with his or her instructors or with an advisor in the Writing and Study Skills Center. The penalties for academic dishonesty can be very painful and can affect a student’s entire educational career.

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03.01.02 Faculty Responsibilities

Faculty responsibilities

Faculty at the Eastman School of Music are expected to maintain and uphold standards of professional conduct in all of their research and education endeavors. In order to preserve an educational environment that is fair and equitable, the following practices are expected:

  • Objective evaluation of student performance. The instructor will take no action which favors one student over another or gives one or more students advantages not available to others in his or her class. The instructor will judge student performance objectively, without attention to extraneous matters such as personality, age, race, creed, ethnic background, sexual identity, or political conviction. In general the instructor will do nothing which deprives his or her students of learning opportunities normally available to others throughout the School, and will avoid exploiting in any way the inherent inequality of the student-faculty relationship.
  • Clear definitions of course requirements. The instructor is expected to tell his or her students, during the first or second class meeting, the number and character of the major assignments and examinations in the course and the approximate weights of each in determining the course grade. The instructor should also specify his or her policies regarding such matters as incompletes, attendance, and late work, indicating any penalties that might be involved.
  • Active advocacy of academic integrity. The instructor is expected to discuss the application of Eastman standards of academic integrity to his or her particular course, indicating what resources may be used, and specifying how much student discussion or collaboration is permissible in preparing assignments outside class.

The instructor should take all reasonable measures to remove the possibility of cheating from examination situations. Individual departments must establish guidelines for how to deal with suspicious student behavior during in-class exams, and all instructors should consult these guidelines before giving tests of any kind. Any instructor who sees one or more students cheating singly or together while taking an exam should confront the student or students in question, stop their exams, secure and retain all of their examination materials for use as evidence in subsequent stages of the case, and dismiss the student or students from the examination room. After the examination is over, the instructor should follow up on the case using the guidelines below.

The instructor is expected to confront students suspected of violations and to take the appropriate steps for dealing with such cases, as detailed below. Although it obviously can be inconvenient and unpleasant to initiate such action, to do so is essential for fairness to other students (including those violators who are penalized) and for overall integrity of the academic process at Eastman. In cases in which the student wishes to contest either the instructor’s accusation or the proposed penalty, both parties are expected to follow the procedures outlined in the following sections.

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03.02 Academic Integrity Committee

The governing body that oversees issues of academic integrity at the Eastman School of Music is the Academic Integrity Committee. The Committee consists of:

  • nine (9) faculty representatives;
  • eight (8) undergraduate student representatives; and
  • four to six (4-6) graduate student representatives.

The Associate Dean of Academic Affairs provides administrative oversight to all issues of academic integrity at the Eastman School of Music and thus serves as an ex-officio member of the Committee. At the beginning of every academic year, an orientation for new members and refresher session for returning members of the Committee will be provided by the Associate Dean.

  1. Faculty representatives and Chair of the Committee The faculty representatives are appointed to three-year terms by the Associate Dean of Academic and Student Affairs in consultation with the Executive Associate Dean. This should be done on a staggered schedule to ensure that there is continuity on the Committee at all times. Given their other leadership responsibilities, department chairs are not eligible for membership on the Committee. One of the faculty members will be appointed Chair of the Committee. This individual will be identified as designate-chair from the current membership of the Committee one academic year in advance so that s/he may be oriented to serve as chair in the following year. The main responsibility of the Chair is to preside over any cases being heard by the Committee.
  2. Student representatives The undergraduate students are appointed by the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, in consultation with the Associate Dean of Academic and Student Affairs and the Associate Dean for Student Life. Ideally, there will be two representatives from each class (first-year, sophomore, junior and senior).The graduate students are appointed by the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, in consultation with the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and the Assistant Dean for Student Life. Ideally, there will be two to four (2-4) masters degree students and two to four (2-4) doctoral students on the Committee. The student members are appointed to one-year terms, but they may be reappointed at the discretion of the appropriate deans. If a student committee member is found guilty of a violation, s/he will be removed from the Committee.
  3. Hearing panels For the purposes of a hearing, the hearing panel of the Committee must comprise:
    • the Chair of the Committee;
    • two faculty representatives from the standing committee; and
    • three student representatives from the standing committee. In cases involving an undergraduate student, three undergraduate student committee members will serve. In cases involving a graduate student, three graduate student committee members will serve.

    When it is necessary to convene a hearing, the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs will select a panel based on availability and appropriate representation.

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03.03 Process and Procedures

  1. Suspecting a case In the situation where a case has been suspected in a submitted written document, the faculty instructor should first determine the source of the violation as documentation of proof. This may range from original source material (textbooks, websites, etc.) to a fellow student’s assignment. The instructor may wish to consult colleagues in his or her department for assistance in this regard. Note that it is possible to suspect a violation without being able to supply proof when the submitted material is substantially different from work produced previously by the same student.
  2. Identifying a case Upon identification of a violation of academic integrity, the faculty instructor has the responsibility to follow the reporting structures defined below. When the case is being brought to light by a teaching assistant, it will be the responsibility of the supervising faculty member to follow through with the process.
  3. Consultation with the Chair of the Department and the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Once a case has been identified, the faculty instructor should consult with his or her department chair to discuss appropriate sanctions for the type of violation in question. At the same time, the instructor should also speak with the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs to see whether the student in question has been guilty of a previous violation of academic integrity at the Eastman School of Music. If s/he has been, the current case will be immediately forwarded to the Academic Integrity Committee for review and sanction. Until a final outcome is determined, the student will be expected to continue in the course. The Associate Dean may also advise the faculty instructor as to appropriate penalties (see below) and suggestions as to how to manage the discussion with the student. This will ensure consistency across departments as to how cases are handled and sanctioned.
  4. Discussion with the student With documentation in hand, the faculty instructor should meet with the student and discuss his/her contention that the work submitted is not original. Penalties for the breach of academic integrity (as listed below) should be discussed with the student. It is possible that two meetings may be held – an initial meeting where the faculty instructor presents his/her suspicions to the student, and a second meeting where a sanction is agreed to.Note that a student may not drop or withdraw from a course while a charge is pending, or in which s/he has been charged with and found guilty of a breach of academic integrity.Penalties: The standard penalty for any breach of academic integrity is to assign zero credit for the assignment/paper/examination in question. In cases deemed more egregious, the penalty may be more severe, including course failure, suspension and expulsion. Should the faculty instructor determine that it is educationally valid to require the student to re-submit the work, no credit will be granted for the re-submission. The intent of the resubmission is purely educational and is not meant to offer an option to counterbalance the initial grade. In cases where the assignment/paper/examination bears a significant percentage of the total grade, the zero credit may indeed result in a failing grade for the course. Should this be the outcome, the student will face further ramifications, namely:
    • At the undergraduate level, a course failure caused by a violation of academic integrity results in a semester financial aid and academic warning.
    • Any graduate student who fails any course as a result of a documented breach of academic integrity will be placed on probation. A graduate student on probation may not hold a graduate award. In addition, a graduate student will not be allowed to use graduate award funds to pay for the cost of a course that is being taken to replace a course failed as the result of an academic integrity violation.

    Faculty must submit an Academic Integrity Incident Report for each offense. This report, along with a copy of the work in question and all supporting documentation, should be submitted to the Office of Academic Affairs.

    Upon receipt of such a report, the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs will notify the student in writing that a charge has been filed in their record, give the student a copy of the Academic Integrity Policy for their review, and in a meeting at least 48 hours later, advise the student as to the gravity of the situation as well as to the consequences of any further such actions. Students will be asked to submit a brief written statement documenting their response to the charge and indicating whether they plan to contest the incident. The Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and the student will then sign a report in acknowledgment that the meeting has taken place and that the student fully understands that any additional offense will result in suspension from the Eastman School of Music.

  5. Hearings before the Academic Integrity Committee

    Contested cases. Should the student wish to contest his/her guilt or the penalty that is being levied, s/he may do so by filing an appeal in writing to the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs within thirty (30) days of the meeting with the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs regarding the infraction. The Associate Dean will then convene a hearing at the first available notice to ensure a quick resolution to the situation. In this case, the faculty member should submit the following materials to the Associate Dean for review by the Academic Integrity Committee:

    • A summary of the charge against the student, as well as of the discussion with the student
    • A copy of the written document in question, if applicable
    • A copy of the source material(s), if applicable

    Until a final decision is rendered by the Committee, the student will be considered innocent and will be expected to continue in the course.

    The student submitting the appeal will appear before the Committee with a prepared verbal statement, explaining the grounds on which s/he is asserting his/her innocence or is contesting the charge brought against him/her. At such a hearing, the student has the right to bring an advisor who may confer with and assist him/her but may not speak for him or her as an advocate. The advisor may be any member of the University community who is not an attorney. These are not legal proceedings, so there is no need for legal aid.

    The Committee will review all materials submitted by the faculty member, as well as those presented by the student. Based on the evidence, the Committee will render a decision regarding the student’s innocence or the sanction. A two-thirds vote is sufficient to convict. Sanctions for a first offense may range from failure of the assignment, up to and including removal from leadership positions, loss of performance opportunities or financial penalties.

    The Committee will call the student to appear personally before it to hear its decision. The Chair of the Committee also communicates the decision to the student by letter.

    The Committee’s formal hearings will be audio recorded, with the resulting recording to be retained with the evidence of the case.

    Multiple offenses. The Eastman School prides itself on the excellence of its academic and performance programs. To this end, second breaches of academic integrity are considered egregious and typically result in suspension or expulsion of the student.

    The student in question will be called to a Committee hearing convened by the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. S/he will be expected to have provided a written statement for the Committee’s review, as well as a verbal statement to be presented at the hearing. The student has the right to bring an advisor who may confer with and assist him/her but may not speak for him or her as an advocate. The advisor may be any member of the University community who is not an attorney. These are not legal proceedings, so there is no need for legal aid.

    All materials from previous cases as well as from the current case will be reviewed by the Committee, and a final determination of sanctions will be made based on the evidence. This may range from loss of institutional merit aid to expulsion, depending on the severity of the charges. The Committee will call the student to appear personally before it to hear its decision. The Chair of the Committee also communicates the decision to the student by letter.

    The Dean will automatically review any case in which the penalty is to be suspension or expulsion from the School. Such penalty can take effect only if specifically ratified by the Dean.

  6. Appeals

    Grounds for appeal. An appeal is intended to provide an opportunity to consider any previously overlooked, exceptional, or unfair circumstances pertinent to a case heard by the Academic Integrity Committee. It is not intended to be a rehearing of the events presented at the original committee hearing. The only grounds on which an appeal can be made are:

    • To review the sanction in order to determine whether it was appropriate;
    • To consider information sufficient to alter the decision that was not brought out at the hearing; or
    • To determine whether errors substantive enough to affect the decision were made during the hearing.

    Process of appeal. An appeal must be made in writing to the Dean of the School within 30 days of the date of the notice officially stating the Committee’s decision. This letter of appeal will be the formal basis of appeal. The letter should state the grounds on which an appeal is made and what the appellant believes supports an appeal on those grounds. The Dean may review some or all of the material from the original hearing before considering an appeal. The Dean may consult with anyone s/he feels is pertinent to, or would be helpful in determining the appeal.

    Effect of appeal. The student filing the appeal will receive a written decision from the Dean. The Dean may reduce the penalty, or may ask the Committee to review its determination of guilt. The Dean may not increase the penalty or unilaterally reverse a finding of guilty by the Committee.

    A student dissatisfied with the disposition of his or her case at the Dean’s level may appeal to the Provost of the University. The appeal must be submitted within seven days of the Dean’s written decision. At the discretion of the Dean or Provost, where appropriate, all or some of the sanctions may be suspended pending the final outcome of the case. All decisions made by the Provost are final.

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03.04 Records

  1. Case records All records pertaining to academic integrity are kept by the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. These records will be retained for five years, after which they will be destroyed. These records do not become part of the student’s regular academic file. If a student is found not responsible following an Academic Integrity Committee hearing, no records are to be retained. However, a summary of the case and its disposition, deleting the student’s name, is retained by the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs for his or her use in summarizing the disposition of recent cases for the department chairs.

    If the student is found responsible for a violation of the academic integrity policy, a full written report of the case and its disposition is to be prepared. The report should include a copy of all available evidence as well as the recordings from the hearing (if applicable).

  2. Transcript notations Academic transcripts issued during periods of suspension or expulsion will be accompanied by a letter from the Eastman registrar indicating that the student is currently suspended or expelled from the Eastman School for academic disciplinary reasons.

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