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The Faculty Senate took up the issue of academic dishonesty at its meeting March 28, at the request of the Student Senate.

Faculty senators voted to recommend a change in university policy regarding notations on transcripts, in certain cases, where students have received probation for academic dishonesty.

While the Student Senate proposal favors giving students the option to petition the vice president for student services to have the "Academic Dishonesty" notation removed from their transcript if they have met certain conditions, the Faculty Senate drew a distinction between cases of probation, and suspension and dismissal.

Under current policy, a student found to be in violation of the Honor Code (Section A of the Code of Student Conduct) will have the notation of "Academic Dishonesty" posted on his/her transcript in addition to any grade penalty or sanction of suspension or dismissal.

Under the Faculty Senate's proposal, the notation can only be removed, via petition to the vice president for student services, in cases of probation for academic dishonesty, and only after the student has met the following conditions:
- Three years have elapsed since the sanction was imposed; and
- The student has successfully completed the university's "Academic Integrity Matters" seminar (an ethics course taught by the dean of students which addresses ethical bases for making decisions and the value of a strong, personal ethical code); and
- No other disciplinary violation has occurred during a student's tenure at the university; and
- There is evidence that the academic dishonesty was not a premeditated act.

In its rationale statement, the senate said, "This revision to the policy would afford (1) the faculty confidence that they can give the student a grade option or turn in a case, (2) the hearing officer and appeal panel members the option of imposing the sanction for minor infractions without stigmatizing the student for the rest of his/her life and (3) the student a
second chance [given the four conditions].

"Only those students with no other violations and who have performed the terms of the sanction will be treated well under this change."

In other action, the senate also passed a recommendation regarding the posting of grade point averages that countered a Student Senate proposal. While the Student Senate had passed a bill recommending that a policy be established whereby the GPA from a student's first baccalaureate degree would not be averaged into the GPA for subsequent baccalaureate degrees, the Faculty Senate voted to recommend upholding current university policy.

In its rationale statement, the Faculty Senate said, "Currently, students who return for a second degree at Old Dominion University must earn at least an additional 30 credit hours beyond the requirements for the first degree. Grades for all courses taken at Old Dominion University are included in the cumulated GPA and are used in calculations through the second degree.

"This provides a complete record of the academic history of the student at Old Dominion University to anyone who uses the transcript for hiring decisions, admission to graduate school, etc. Since the course work is still undergraduate work taken at Old Dominion University, it should be included in the cumulative grade point average; and, should not be treated as transfer work."

The Faculty Senate also voted to recommend that Oct. 1 be approved as the date by which a faculty member is elected by his or her college's promotion and tenure committee to a seat on the University Promotion and Tenure Committee. The deadline was requested by Provost Jo Ann Gora in order to have a committee in place in time to handle mid-year tenure cases.

This article was posted on: April 6, 2001

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