Academic Misconduct Policy

The faculty, staff, administration, and students of the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) consider academic honesty and integrity fundamental to the mission of higher education and promote the highest ethical and professional standards of behavior in the classroom. Accordingly, UAF has developed procedures that address academic misconduct. Students who violate these standards commit academic misconduct and shall be subject to academic and/or disciplinary sanctions.

UAF defines academic misconduct as attempting or helping another to obtain grades, grants, or class credit through fraudulent means. Broad categories of misconduct include cheating, plagiarizing, committing forgery or falsification, facilitating or aiding academic dishonesty, submitting duplicate assignments without the express permission of both instructors, stealing instructional materials or tests, altering grades or files and misusing research data in reporting results. An instructor may create special rules for a class and list them in the syllabus and/or in directions for assignments. Violation of class-specific rules also constitutes academic misconduct.

Additionally, University Regulation identifies the following as academic misconduct under R09.02.020[1]:

Academic dishonesty applies to examinations, assignments, laboratory reports, fieldwork, practicums, creative projects, or other academic activities. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  1. presenting as their own the ideas or works of others without proper citation of sources;
  2. utilizing devices not authorized by the faculty member;
  3. using sources (including but not limited to text, images, computer code, and audio/video files) not authorized by the faculty member;
  4. providing assistance without the faculty member’s permission to another student, or receiving assistance not authorized by the faculty member from anyone (with or without their knowledge); 09.02 7 Student Rights and Responsibilities
  5. submitting work done for academic credit in previous classes, without the knowledge and advance permission of the current faculty member;
  6. acting as a substitute or utilizing a substitute;
  7. deceiving faculty members or other representatives of the university to affect a grade or to gain admission to a program or course;
  8. fabricating or misrepresenting data;
  9. possessing, buying, selling, obtaining, or using a copy of any material intended to be used as an instrument of assessment in advance of its administration;
  10. altering grade records of their own or another student’s work;
  11. offering a monetary payment or other remuneration in exchange for a grade; or
  12. violating the ethical guidelines or professional standards of a given program.

Understanding Academic Integrity

The value of an education at the University of Alaska Fairbanks depends upon the quality of academic work and research completed by you and your fellow students. As students, your role in promoting and preserving integrity on campus is important.

Academic integrity might best be defined as doing one's own academic work without unauthorized assistance from other persons or resources. Academic integrity means that students take their coursework seriously and place significant value on learning and engagement in the classroom and while completing assignments and projects.

Engaging in academic dishonesty may result in consequences from the University such as a failing grade on the particular assignment or test, a failing grade in the course, and a range of sanctions from the Office of Rights, Compliance and Accountability. Current and former students applying for graduate school or government jobs may be requested by a college, university, or government agency to disclose any instances of dishonest academics for which they were found responsible for violating university policy.

Consequences of Academic Misconduct

If a student is found responsible for Academic Misconduct, the resulting sanctions will depend on the severity of the case. Additionally, faculty members and course instructors have full discretion over the resulting grades on assignments, essays, projects, and/or the final course grade.

Reporting Process:

The process for addressing academic misconduct includes an informal and formal resolution. Additionally, it is important that incidents of academic misconduct are reported to the Office of Rights, Compliance and Accountability to ensure that any repeated misconduct is addressed through the student conduct process.

Academic Misconduct Procedure:

When a staff member or instructor believes an academic integrity violation has occurred and notifies the Office of Rights, Compliance and Accountability using the online reporting form. The Office of Rights, Compliance and Accountability contacts the reporter for more information. Then, the Office of Rights, Compliance and Accountability contacts the instructor who has several choices. These options have been agreed upon by UAF Faculty Senate. Please note this process has changed and is effective starting Fall 2017.

Below are specific examples for some of the aforementioned categories. A given activity may fall under several different categories.

Cheating: attempting to give or use materials, information, notes, study aids, or other devices not authorized by the course instructor. Examples of cheating include copying from another student's paper or receiving unauthorized assistance during a quiz, test or examination; taking an examination or test for another student; using books, notes, or other devices, such as calculators, during a quiz or test, unless authorized by the instructor; acquiring or distributing without authorization copies of tests or examinations before the scheduled exercise; and copying reports, laboratory work, or computer programs or files from other students.

Plagiarism: presenting the work of another as one's own. Examples of plagiarism include submitting as one's own work that of another student, a ghostwriter, or a commercial writing service; directly quoting from a source without acknowledgment; paraphrasing or summarizing another's work without acknowledging the source; using facts, figures, graphs, charts, or other information without acknowledging the source. Plagiarism may be verbal or written and may include computer programs and files, research designs, distinctive figures of speech, ideas and images or any other information that belongs to another person and is not acknowledged as such.

Falsification: inventing or unauthorized altering of any information or citation in an academic work. Examples of falsification include inventing or counterfeiting data or research procedures; falsely citing a source of information; altering the record of, or reporting false information about, practicum or clinical experiences; altering grade reports or other academic records; submitting a false excuse for absence or tardiness; altering a returned examination paper to obtain a better grade.

Tampering: interfering with, altering or attempting to alter academic records, grades, assignments, laboratory experiments, or class-related documents without authorization. Examples of tampering include using a computer or false-written document to change or affect the grade recorded for a student and forging the signature of a University official on a drop/add sheet or other official University records.


AI and the UAF Student Code of Conduct:

Here is some information regarding AI as it relates to the student code of conduct. 

Work that is created by an artificial intelligence engine is covered by the student code of conduct. The student code of conduct  was written to address behavior, not technologies. In addition, work submitted for credit that was created by AI-engines can be addressed using the academic misconduct portion of the student code of conduct.

Depending on the provisions in the course syllabus and/or the program’s standards, portions of the academic dishonesty regulation can apply to the use of unauthorized use AI under the following examples:

  • utilizing devices not authorized by the faculty member;
  • using sources (including but not limited to text, images, computer code, and audio/video files) not authorized by the faculty member;
  • acting as a substitute or utilizing a substitute;
  • deceiving faculty members or other representatives of the university to affect a grade or to gain admission to a program or course;
  • violating the ethical guidelines or professional standards of a given program.

Student code of conduct violation determinations are made upon a finding of the evidence through the student conduct process. Student conduct administrators consider all evidence presented, however, because the reliability of AI detection tools is undetermined, findings of responsibility will not be solely based on AI detection software at this time. For reference OpenAI warns their detection software is “ not fully reliable” and  “it should not be used as a primary decision-making tool, but instead as a complement to other methods of determining the source of a piece of text.” According to GPTZero, “Overall, our classifier is intended to be used to flag situations in which a conversation can be started (for example, between educators and students) to drive further inquiry and spread awareness of the risks of using AI in written work.”

In order to determine a violation occurred additional evidence of unauthorized use of AI must be available. Examples of evidence include: other writing examples, unexplained advanced techniques, prior work completed by the alleged individual, admissions of use, etc.

If you have questions about how the student code of conduct applies to a situation, you can contact the Office of Rights, Compliance and Accountability at 907-474-7317.