Role of Faculty in Academic Integrity

Faculty play a pivotal role in modeling and maintaining academic integrity on campus. Faculty are encouraged to provide opportunities for students to reflect on integrity issues within the context of the courses they teach.

Potential Cases of Academic Integrity Violations
If you suspect academic dishonesty you are required to contact the Office of Student Conduct for advice and guidance on how to proceed. If consultation with the Office of Student Conduct reveals that the offense is minor and that the student has no past record of academic dishonesty, faculty may choose to resolve the matter through a faculty-student resolution, which gives the faculty flexibility in how to sanction students and will not become part of the student's disciplinary record unless there is a second violation. More details on faculty-student resolutions and the form for documenting a faculty-student resolution can be found here.

If, however, after consultation with the Office of Student Conduct it is deemed that the alleged offense is more serious or the student has a pattern of integrity violations, the Office of Student Conduct will initiate the disciplinary process. Contact Stephen Bryan, associate dean of students and director of the Office of Student Conduct, at conduct@duke.edu or 919-684-6938.

The Duke Community Standard
The Duke Community Standard can be found here and the definitions of terms dealing with academic integrity can be found here.

History of the DCS. In 1999-2000, Duke participated in a national survey through the Center for Academic Integrity. Through responses from undergraduate students, as well as from faculty and staff, the survey assessed the climate of academic integrity at Duke in comparative context with other institutions. As a result of the findings, the provost formed the Academic Integrity Council (AIC) in 2001 by appointing representatives from across the community whose charge was and remains to review academic integrity policies and practices and make recommendations to improve the climate of integrity on campus.

An early goal of the AIC was to review the existing Honor Code, which had been in effect for the undergraduate community since 1993. The AIC determined that the Honor Code needed revision to make it shorter while embracing all aspects of a student’s life at Duke. A major element of the revision was the inclusion of the fundamental values that must inform the definition of a community of honor.

This Duke Community Standard was proposed to the faculty councils of Trinity College of Arts and Sciences and the Pratt School of Engineering, as well as to the Duke Student Government. It was approved for the undergraduate community and implemented in the fall of 2003. The Standard was also incorporated into the code of each graduate and professional school of the university and, thus, represents the values we uphold as an institution.

Duke University is committed to ongoing evaluation of principles, policies, and practices, and to lively conversation about issues of integrity. Thus, Duke participated again in a national survey on academic integrity in the fall of 2005 and in intensive discussions of academic and social integrity from summer 2006 through spring 2007. The result of these continuing and broadened discussions was a revised Community Standard, put before the undergraduate student body in a student government referendum of April 2007 and overwhelmingly approved. Implemented in summer 2007, the new Duke Community Standard differs from its predecessor chiefly in its level of commitment to taking action.

In the spring of 2011, Duke University again surveyed undergraduate students about integrity, this time expanding beyond an academic focus to additional questions about integrity in other domains (i.e., social, work, and civic) inside and outside the classroom. In-depth focus interviews were also conducted with a sample of graduating seniors. Results showed a marked reduction in academic dishonesty in three key areas that were identified as problem areas in the 2005 survey: fabricating or falsifying a bibliography, falsifying or fabricating lab data, and copying or paraphrasing a few sentences without appropriate attribution. One area of concern that emerged from the 2011 survey was an increase in reported unauthorized collaboration. There was also a gap between students’ perceptions of the prevalence of dishonesty across these multiple domains and students’ self-reported rates of engaging in dishonest acts within these domains. Duke University will continue to analyze these results and engage in subsequent reflection and action as it promotes a culture of integrity inside and outside the classroom.

Implementation of the DCS. The principles articulated in the Duke Community Standard are both aspirational and nuanced. That is, it is easier to say what is not meant by any one of them than what is intended. Respect, for example, may involve observing the inherent dignity of all people but it does not imply insistence on blanket deference to authority. Honesty may involve accuracy and truth but in some situations it may be morally acceptable, even preferable, to lie. Fairness cannot simply signify treating others free from bias because we are all biased in one way or another. Accountability captures the responsibility we take on, to ourselves and others, for our actions; how far we extend that accountability to the community as a whole, and in what ways we choose to express it, may prove more difficult to determine. Perhaps the most important aspect of this or any other honor code is that it prompts reflection on these principles, values, and expectations, leading to decisions based on thought. The actual policies to which undergraduates are held accountable flow from the principles of the Duke Community Standard and can be found here.

The obligation to act empowers students to take an active role in promoting integrity. It is not an obligation to report on peers. Rather, it expresses the responsibility for doing something if dishonorable behavior is encountered. That "something" can take various forms, and thus a student can choose an action with which he or she feels comfortable.

One of the policies revised as a result of collaboration among various organizations is the policy on short-term illness. This policy was instituted as a result of joint efforts by the Honor Council, the Academic Integrity Council, and students in a Public Policy course.

Undergraduates seeking assistance with integrity questions or concerns may also find valuable resources in the interactive plagiarism tutorial as well as the library's website on plagiarism.

All questions concerning Academic Integrity can be sent to academic-integrity@duke.edu.