Academic Integrity

I. As a Jewish institution, JTS expects its students to meet high moral as well as academic standards. This fusion, which we call academic integrity, is at the heart of higher education as well as the study of Jewish texts. Rabbi Hezekiah said in the name of Rabbi Yermiah bar Abba, who quoted Rabbi Yohanan, "One who quotes a source and does not credit the author, of that one Scripture says, 'Do not rob the wretched, for he is wretched' (Proverbs 22:22). And one who credits the author of a quote brings redemption to the world." (Midrash Tanhuma, ed. Buber, Numbers #27)

Incidents of academic dishonesty undermine the atmosphere of learning and scholarship which the institution seeks to create and sustain.

For students, academic integrity includes:

  • Producing original work for each class
  • Accurately citing all sources in research papers
  • Maintaining the boundaries of allowable collaboration for group assignments, as defined by the professor in each class
  • Being truthful in communications with professors regarding absences or special circumstances that may affect one's ability to complete assignments on time

Faculty members can foster a climate conducive to academic integrity by:

  • Creating new course assignments and tests for each class
  • Designing assignments in ways that both require and encourage students to produce original work
  • Providing clear guidelines on proper citation of sources and the boundaries of allowable collaboration on group assignments
  • Being accessible to students to answer questions about assignments

II. Acts of academic dishonesty may include but are not limited to, those listed in the Barnard Honor Code, as follows:

Cheating on examinations or tests: the giving of assistance to another or the receiving of assistance during an examination or test from a person, another examination paper, other written material, or any source not explicitly permitted by the instructor; having access, without the instructor's approval, to examination questions prior to the administration of the examination.

Plagiarism: the submission or presentation of ideas or work in any form that are not one's own without appropriate acknowledgment of the source(s). (If in doubt regarding rules governing attribution, consult your instructor.)

Submission of the same work for more than one course without the explicit permission of the instructors involved.

Falsification or misrepresentation of data or facts in any course work.

Exceeding the limits of allowable collaboration in course work as specified by the instructor.

Altering, defacing or concealing library materials.

Participating in the academic dishonesty of another student by offering any assistance or advice that encourages such behavior.

Falsification or misrepresentation of grades, honors, or any aspect of one's academic achievement.

Misrepresentation of one's state of health or other personal situation to gain deferment of examinations, academic deadlines or other accommodations.

Forgery of another's signature on any document or form related to a student's academic life-including the adviser's signature on a drop/withdrawal slip or petition.

Submission of a paper purchased or taken from a "paper mill" or the internet.

III. The consequences of academic dishonesty, even on a first offense, range from academic warning or probation, to suspension or expulsion depending on the circumstances surrounding the violation. These consequences will affect the student's status both at JTS and at Columbia/Barnard.

IV. Process for handling suspected academic dishonesty:
An administrator, teacher or student(s) who suspects a student of academic dishonesty should contact the dean to report the alleged incident. The Dean then meets with the person(s) who brought the allegation. If the Dean determines that there is sufficient concern to warrant further investigation, the Dean meets with both the accused student and the professor from the relevant class. Both parties will have the opportunity to address the allegations.

If the Dean determines that the allegations are founded, the Dean will determine appropriate sanctions. A student has the right to appeal these sanctions in accordance with the student disciplinary procedures.

If the alleged incident occurs in a class taught by the Dean, then the co-chair of the student-faculty committee will serve in the Dean's stead throughout the process of investigation.

Sources

Midrash Tanhuma. Ed. Salomon Buber. Vilna: Romm, 1885. Portion: Numbers, section #27.

Barnard College Honor Board. "Academic Honesty." Mailing to students, 1996.

"Rules of University Conduct." Columbia University School of General Studies Bulletin 2002-2003.

Council of Writing Program Administrators, "Defining and Avoiding Plagiarism: The WPA Statement on Best Practices," http://www.wpacouncil.org/positions/WPAplagiarism.pdf. Adopted January, 2003.

Kenter, Eytan. "Academic Honesty Statement." Email to List College student body. April 10, 2003.