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College Catalog

Academic Honesty

  • Lake Forest College is committed to the highest standards of academic honesty. These standards reflect the core values of our institution and, thus, are reflected in our mission statement. The standards include integrity, respect, conscientiousness, self-discipline, and civility. Such standards are central to the process of intellectual inquiry, the development of individual character, and the maintenance of a civilized community. The integrity of academic life depends on cooperation among students, faculty, and administrators.

    Examples of Academic Dishonesty include, but are not limited to:

    • Procuring in an unauthorized manner the questions or answers of any examination or employing unauthorized aids while taking an examination.
    • Representing any work product as one’s own that was done in whole or in part by another person or in collaboration with another person without attribution or proper citation.
    • Engaging in any form of conduct or action that violates the letter or spirit of the College’s Academic Honesty Policy, including but not limited to: copying, closely paraphrasing, or using another work without explicit acknowledgement of author and source.
    • Submitting the same paper for credit in more than one course without the written consent of all instructors involved.
    • Falsifying data, citations, or other information for academic work of any sort.
    • Misrepresenting work done, including submitting a report on a performance or exhibit one did not attend.
    • Aiding another scholar in the violation of the Academic Honesty Policy.

    Responsibilities of Students

    Every student is to uphold the ideals of academic honesty and integrity. Other responsibilities of students include:

    • Students are expected to know Lake Forest College’s Academic Honesty Policy. Ignorance of the policy shall not be considered an excuse or a mitigating factor in Academic Honesty Judicial Board proceedings.
    • Students should consult faculty or staff members when they are unsure whether their actions would constitute a violation of Academic Honesty Policy.
    • In addition to the standards regarding academic honesty given in the Student Handbook, students are to heed all expectations regarding academic honesty as stated by their course instructors. 
    • Students are expected to know what constitutes plagiarism. Resources that explain plagiarism and how to avoid it can be found at the Writing Center and library
    • Student members of the Academic Honesty Judicial Board shall maintain the confidentiality of students accused of violating Academic Honesty Policies.

    Responsibilities of Faculty

    Every faculty member is to uphold the ideals of academic honesty and integrity. Other responsibilities of faculty include:

    • Every faculty member is to be acquainted with Lake Forest College’s Academic Honesty Policy as outlined in the faculty handbook.
    • Faculty is to maintain the confidentiality of students accused of violating Academic Honesty Policy, consistent with College policy and applicable governmental regulations.
    • Faculty and staff are to exercise caution in the preparation, duplication, and security of examinations.
    • No test may be given prior to its originally designated time. However, faculty may arrange for students with documented disabilities to begin an exam early if the student a) qualifies for extended time on exams and uses proctoring services, and b) has provided the faculty member with an accommodation letter that includes test accommodations as approved accommodations, and c) has a subsequent class or exam that would begin during the usual extended time. In such cases, students may be required to remain with the proctor until the beginning of the scheduled exam for the class. As an alternative, the faculty member may choose to offer an exam at a later time. The Dean of the Faculty may grant other exceptions to this rule at the request of the faculty member
    • Faculty is to take reasonable steps consistent with the physical conditions of the classroom to reduce the possibility of cheating on examinations.
    • Classroom tests are to be proctored with diligence.
    • An instructor who returns a final examination to students is to send a copy of the examination to the library, which will retain it for three years and make it accessible to students.

    Academic Honesty Judicial Board

    Composition:  The Academic Honesty Judicial Board (AHJB) is composed of a Chair and a pool of 6-8 faculty members and at least 8 students. The Chair is a faculty member selected cooperatively by the Dean of the Faculty and the Dean of Students. The pool of faculty members is appointed by the Faculty Personnel and Policies Committee. The faculty members should represent diverse divisions. The student members are selected using the following process:

    • The Dean of Students solicits nominations from students, faculty and staff during the Spring term of each academic year (to serve during the subsequent academic year). Nominations must include a brief description of the nominee’s qualifications, and be submitted to the Dean of Students by the last day of classes of the Spring term.
    • Nominations are vetted by the Dean of Student’s’ office. Nominees may not have violated the College’s Academic Honesty Policy nor been found responsible for any student conduct policy violation. The Dean of Students may make exceptions in special cases.
    • Nominees whose applications pass the vetting process are invited to submit a statement indicating their interest and qualifications.
    • The Dean of Students and the Dean of the Faculty review applications and determine which students will join the AHJB beginning in the Fall of the next academic year. There is no maximum size to the pool – all students deemed qualified may be included. The Dean of the Faculty informs students of their addition to the AHJB over the summer.


    A faculty member may bring a charge of academic dishonesty against a student if, in his or her judgment, the student has violated the Academic Honesty Policy. The faculty member shall inform the student of the allegation in writing along with a recommended sanction. Faculty are encouraged to consult with the AHJB Chair regarding appropriate sanctions. The faculty member must allow an accused student up to five business days to consider the allegation and submit a statement admitting or denying the allegation, and agreeing or disagreeing with the recommended sanction.

    If the faculty member is unable to contact the student despite making a good faith effort to do so, he or she should submit a formal charge and any other appropriate documentation to the AHJB Chair. In this case, the Chair informs the student of the formal charge and instructs the student how to proceed.

    If an accused student admits to violating the Academic Honesty Policy and agrees with the faculty member’s recommended sanction:

    • The faculty member and student submit their respective statements to the AHJB Chair.
    • For a first offense, the AHJB simply records the violation and sanction, notifying all appropriate parties (see “sanctions” below).
    • For second and subsequent offenses, the AHJB meets to determine the sanction. The faculty member and student are invited to address the AHJB before sanctioning.

    If an accused student denies violating the Academic Honesty Policy or disagrees with the faculty member’s recommended sanction, the AHJB hears the case according to the following the procedure:

    • The faculty member and student each submit a statement and evidence to the AHJB Chair.
    • The Chair sets a date for the hearing, normally within one week of receiving the student’s statement, and notifies the student by email and by registered campus mail or registered U.S. mail. The hearing date may be postponed at the discretion of the Chair. The Chair, upon consultation with the faculty member and the student, may summon a reasonable number of relevant witnesses to the hearing.
    • Any party may consult with the Chair at any time.
    • The student has the right to be assisted at the hearing by an advisor drawn from within the campus community.
    • The hearing consists of the Chair (who does not vote) and of a jury of 3 faculty members and 4 student members from the AHJB. A finding of responsibility requires 4 votes out of the 7 voting members.
    • In the event that the AHJB members agree on the finding of responsibility but are divided on the issue of an appropriate sanction, the AHJB first votes on the most severe of the contemplated sanctions, proceeding through lesser sanctions until a sanction receives at least 4 votes.
    • Evidence must pertain to the charge as determined by the Chair.
    • The Chair notifies the student and faculty member of the AHJB’s decisions by registered campus mail or registered U.S. mail.
    • When a case arises between semesters or during Summer Session, the AHJB ordinarily defers consideration until the following semester. However, the student involved may elect to have his or her case determined by an ad hoc AHJB convened by the Dean of the Faculty and drawn, insofar as possible, from the regular AHJB, consisting of 3 voting faculty members, 4 students, and a non-voting faculty Chair.

    The judicial process outlined above is intended to provide accused students an opportunity to respond to allegations of academic dishonesty, thereby enabling the AHJB to make an informed decision about responsibility and impose appropriate sanctions. However, if a student fails to respond within five days to the attempt to solicit a plea or schedule a hearing, the AHJB Chair will note that the student has failed to respond and will schedule a hearing. The AHJB Chair will inform the student (by College e-mail) of the date, time, and place of the hearing at least 48 hours prior to the scheduled hearing. If the student does not enter a plea prior to the hearing, a plea of “not responsible” will be entered on the student’s behalf. If a student fails to attend a scheduled hearing, the Chair may proceed with the hearing without the student and a decision will be rendered based upon available information.


    The faculty member, Dean of the Faculty, Dean of Students, Chair of AHJB, and the faculty advisor are notified of any sanctions assessed for Academic Honesty Policy violations.  Furthermore, the Registrar is notified of any course failures.  Suspensions or dismissals from the College are recorded on students’ transcripts and in their permanent files.

    • For first offenses, the expected minimum sanction is zero points awarded for the project, examination, or assignment. The maximum sanction is failure of the course.  The sanction should also include one or more educational components, such as informational sessions with library or Ethics Center staff, or repetition of the assignment for no credit.
    • For second offenses, the expected minimum sanction is zero points awarded for the project, examination, or assignment, an educational component, and suspension from the College for the following semester. If the AHJB recommends suspension from the College, this recommendation is submitted to the President by the Chair along with a recommendation regarding whether the College should accept courses taken at another institution while the student serves his or her suspension.  The President then notifies the student and AHJB Chair of his or her decision by registered campus mail or registered U.S. mail. 
    • For third offenses, the expected minimum sanction is zero points awarded for the project, examination, or assignment and dismissal from the College. The Chair informs the President of the AHJB’s recommendation.  The President then notifies the student and AHJB Chair of his or her decision by registered campus mail or registered U.S. mail.


    See the section titled “Exceptions” under “Academic Policies” regarding withdrawals from courses in which charges of academic dishonesty have been brought.


    A student may ask the Dean of the Faculty to consider an appeal on procedural grounds only.

    Student Evaluations

    When a faculty member has brought a charge of academic dishonesty against a student, a note indicating that such a charge was made will be included with the student evaluations for that course.