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graduate office policy

Concerning fabrication, facilitating dishonesty, and plagiarism:

All thesis, field studies, professional projects, or any paper developed by a graduate student must comply with University regulations (574-031-0300) concerning fabrication, facilitating dishonesty, and plagiarism. Material developed by someone other than the author of a thesis, field studies, professional projects, or class paper should be clearly credited.

Internet material must be treated as published material and must be fully credited. Purchased research materials must also be clearly identified as the work of others and not the original work of the author. In situations where material was developed through study groups or other formal or informal group interaction, the author is obligated to credit others for the ideas that were developed as part of a group process.

A faculty member who believes that some form of dishonesty has occurred may take the following course of action:

  1. The faculty member may resolve the situation directly with the student or involve the Division Chair in resolution of the issue. The decision will be put in writing accurately stating the issue and how it was resolved. The student should be informed that if he/she disagrees with the decision, he/she has the right of appeal to the appropriate Dean.
    If the student chooses to appeal, the written appeal must be submitted to the appropriate Dean within five (5) business days of receiving the decision. The Dean will review the appeal and respond in writing to both the student and faculty member within ten (10) business days of receiving the appeal.
  2. In addition to the academic sanction, the faculty member may choose to bring a formal complaint of academic dishonesty to the Coordinator of Campus Judicial Affairs. The faculty member must submit the complaint in writing outlining specific details of the alleged misconduct. NOTE: This process is not required if the faculty member decides the issue has been dealt with appropriately at his/her level.
  3. If the student has evidence that an error was made in the process, the student may pursue the issue through the student grievance process. Information regarding the student grievance process can be obtained from the Vice President for Student Affairs.

A single instance of cheating or plagiarism is usually punished with a failing grade on the assignment in question. In situations where there is evidence of repeated offenses, or an offense involving an assignment comprising the greater part of the total grade, such as a thesis or professional project, could entail a failing grade for the course (Faculty Handbook, General Academic Standards) and may lead to disciplinary action through WOU’s Student Judicial System. A continuing pattern of failure to maintain a high level of academic honesty can lead to dismissal from Western Oregon University.

All students should be familiar with the Code of Student Responsibility.

Copies of the code are available from the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs.

Graduate Programs
phone: 503-838-8492 | or e-mail:

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