Cleveland State University has adopted policies concerning the rights and responsibilities of all students. The Cleveland State University Student Handbook, available through the Department of Student Life (Main Classroom, Room 106), outlines these policies under the heading “Student Conduct Code.” The handbook provides an overview of the role of the student as a participating member of the University community, defining students’ responsibilities, while protecting their right to pursue legitimate educational goals.
Student Academic Responsibility
Each graduate student is personally responsible for completing all University, College, and department degree requirements. It is the student’s responsibility to be informed of these requirements. A student’s advisor may not assume this responsibility, nor may the advisor substitute, waive, or exempt the student from any established requirement or academic regulation.
The University Policy on Academic Misconduct exists to resolve problems such as plagiarism, cheating on examinations, papers completed by someone other than the registered student, theft, mutilation of library materials, etc. The Policy, which details procedures for resolution of matters of conflict, channels of appeal, and penalties imposed, can be found in the Cleveland State University Student Handbook. Copies are available from the Department of Student Life, Main Classroom, Room 106.
Plagiarism is the act of presenting, as one’s own the ideas, opinions, writings, or work of another person without appropriate scholarly attribution. This act is a form of academic dishonesty and is a serious incident of academic misconduct.
Ideally, situations of plagiarism should be handled between the faculty member and the student. Any student who disagrees with the instructor’s decisions should follow standard channels of communication, going first to the department chairperson and then, if still not satisfied, writing to the academic dean of the college in which the course is offered. The Review Committee of the Faculty Senate decides the matter if it cannot be settled within the college. The committee is composed of two faculty members of the University, nominated by the Faculty Senate Steering Committee and elected at large by the faculty, and one student member of the University Judiciary, elected by the members of the body. The decision of the Review Committee is final. If the student is found guilty, the instructor or the committee informs the appropriate academic dean. A record of the decision is placed in the student’s academic file until the student graduates or separates from the University. A second infraction shall be cause for further action by the academic standards committee in the appropriate college.
Grade Dispute Procedure
In disputing a course grade, the burden is on the student to demonstrate that an error has occurred or that a non uniform standard was applied in the assignment of the course grade.
If a student feels that an instructor’s assignment of a course grade is improper, the student should discuss the matter with the instructor within forty-five days following completion of the semester in which the course was taken.
If resolution does not result from this meeting, the student should promptly write to the chairperson of the instructor’s department (or an appropriately designated substitute), stating the nature of the dispute and its justification. The chairperson will provide the course instructor with a copy of the student’s statement and any additional documents submitted. The instructor should promptly respond, in writing, and a copy must be provided to the student. Further statements and documentation may be collected, if necessary, by the chairperson.
Once the written record is complete, the chairperson meets with the student (and instructor if possible in a three-way conference) to try to resolve the dispute. Any student who is not satisfied with the outcome of the meeting with the instructor and the department chairperson may continue the dispute by petitioning the College of Graduate Studies Grade Dispute Committee. In such cases, the chairperson must promptly transmit a copy (paper or electronic) of all submitted documents, including the chair’s recommendation concerning the dispute, to the College of Graduate Studies Grade Dispute Committee. The Committee will:
- inform both the student and the instructor of the Committee’s membership;
- send both parties copies of all written documents received and any additional materials gathered by the Committee;
- allow both parties to respond in writing to any new materials assembled; and
- schedule a hearing inviting both the student and instructor to present their positions on the dispute. Both the student and the involved faculty member are expected to be present at the hearing.
The recommendation of the College of Graduate Studies Grade Dispute Committee, along with a copy of the entire grade dispute file, is forwarded for final decision to the University Admissions and Standards Committee, which limits its review to the determination of the following of due process. The decision of the University Admissions and Standards Committee is transmitted in writing to both the student and the instructor. There is no further appeal within the University from the Admissions and Standards Committee’s decision.