Assembly approves ethics code

After minor revisions, the UCCS Faculty Assembly unanimously passed a motion to approve an academic ethics code presented at its Feb. 12 meeting. The code clarifies responsibilities on the parts of students and faculty members to maintain and promote standards of integrity within the university community.

“The student academic ethics code helps maintain the high academic standards of UCCS,” the document’s introduction states. “The supervision of these standards is the responsibility of faculty. However, responsibility for enforcing these standards is shared by all members of the academic community.”

The code is a document that legally defines what is acceptable and what is not acceptable regarding a student’s academic work, addressing topics such as plagiarism, copying materials, and falsifying data. It is, in effect, a contract students must follow. It defines what constitutes violation, and outlines procedures to deal with disputes.

Speaking on behalf of the Educational Practices and University Standards committee, Tom Napierkowski, professor, English,  reminded faculty members of their responsibility to be aware of the code and to make students aware. Subsequent discussion suggested that non-tenured instructors could be “out of the loop” and less informed than faculty members who spend more time on campus, but that individual departments should strive to keep instructors informed.

Reminded that the document is intended for students, faculty discussed the best ways to make students aware of their responsibility to the ethics code. The group agreed that faculty should include the document in the individual course syllabi, and that the document itself should feature on-line links to helpful sources.

The academic ethics code and minutes for the Feb. 12 meeting will be available on the Faculty Assembly pages of the campus web site by March.

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