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. This includes incorporating the work of other students or of unpublished items.
  • Engaging in any form of conduct or action that violates the letter or spirit of academic honesty, 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, or lab one did not conduct.
  • 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 are expected to know what constitutes plagiarism. A handout explaining plagiarism is available at the Writing Center, the Learning and Teaching Center, and the reference desk of the library. 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 who are found responsible of academic dishonesty are expected to comply with all sanctions, including participating in individual educational components, such as meeting with the Ethics Center or Writing Center.
  • Students who have previously been found to violate the academic honesty policy, but have not yet complied with any imposed Ethics Center or Writing Center educational components, may not use non-compliance as an excuse in future violations.
  • 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.
  • Faculty who would like to make a formal charge of a violation of academic honesty should consult with the current Academic Honesty Judicial Board (AHJB) Chair.

Academic Honesty Judicial Board


The Academic Honesty Judicial Board (AHJB) is composed of a Chair and an available 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 pool of student members are selected through the Dean of Students’ office each fall semester and are also called to serve on the general Conduct Board. The Dean of Students’ designee solicits nominations from students, faculty and staff. Next, nominations are vetted by the Dean of Students’ office, and nominees must not have violated the College’s Academic Honesty Policy nor been found responsible for any student conduct policy violations. The Dean of Students may make exceptions in special cases. The Dean of Students’ designee will make final selections of the student pool and provide training.

The Dean of Students and the Dean of the Faculty will designate a “summer chair” and a “summer board” to cover cases arising late in the spring, over the summer, or during the first days of classes before the Board has been established.  The summer board may or may not be composed of faculty and students who serve on the regular board.


A faculty member may bring a charge of academic dishonesty against a student if, in his or her judgment, the student has violated the norms of academic honesty and integrity. The faculty member shall inform the student of the allegation in writing along with a recommended sanction. Faculty are encouraged to consult with the current 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. The faculty member will forward all relevant information and correspondence to the AHJB Chair, who will formally record the case.

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, allows them five business days to respond, 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 sanction(s). The faculty member and student are invited to address the AHJB before sanctioning, but are not required to do so.

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. Cases arising between semesters, during final exam week, or during Summer Session will be heard as soon as the Chair can reasonably convene a Board.
  • 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 1 faculty member and 2 student members from the AHJB. This jury of 3 must be present for hearing to proceed. A finding of responsibility requires 2 votes out of the 3 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 2 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.

The 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.



For first offenses, the expected minimum sanction is zero points awarded for the project, examination, or assignment. The AHJB may choose to impose sanctions other than the expected minimum. 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, along with an educational component. Additionally, second offenses lead the AHJB to consider suspension from the College for the following full semester(s) (i.e. fall or spring).  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 email.

For third offenses, the expected minimum sanction is zero points awarded for the project, examination, or assignment. Additionally, AHJB votes on whether to recommend dismissal from the College, effective the following semester. 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.

Suspensions and dismissals are noted on a student’s transcript.

Those students who are found responsible for a violation – and are assigned an educational component – will be instructed to complete the educational component within 30 days. For example, those that are required to see Ethics Center will be instructed to make an appointment with the Ethics Center Director within a specified number of days; after their initial meeting with the Director, they will have 30 days to complete an individualized academic honesty education program. Occasionally the Director may refer the student to the Writing Center for additional support. When 30 days are not practical, the student, AHJB chair, and educational component advisor will agree on a reasonable deadline for completion. If the student fails to communicate with the Ethics Center Director or fails to complete the program within 30 days, the case may be referred back to the AHJB Chair for further academic penalties, or the case may be referred to the Dean of Students to be charged with failure to comply with college officials through the behavioral conduct process. The student will notify both the AHJB chair and the educational component advisor via email once the educational component is completed.

Non-Lake Forest College students who are found responsible for academic dishonesty will not be required to meet with the Ethics Center or Writing Center.

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.


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.