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Dear Faculty:

Below is the original action guide for efforts to stop plagiarism in our college, developed by our previous dean Nancy Bagranoff. I enthusiastically support this plan and urge each of you to continue to implement it.

Gilbert R. Yochum
Dean, College of Business and Public Administration

Dean Bagranoff's Guide:

The College of Business and Public Administration is working to ensure that we help our students to become ethical business leaders. While we understand that it is not possible to know that your students will behave ethically in their careers, we will strive to do what we can. We will also do what we can to help students to behave ethically in their studies. An unethical behavior that is increasing in incidence - at all universities - is plagiarism. The Internet, pressure to succeed, time pressures, and other factors are likely contributors to this increase. Last year, I know that more than a few faculty struggled with this issue.

I would like to focus on the plagiarism problem this year and take steps to make sure that all of our students know what plagiarism is and how to avoid it. It is true that sometimes students and even faculty are not sure as to whether or not it has occurred. In fact, a recent survey of faculty showed that there were differences of opinion between students and faculty and also among faculty. Let's do what we can to be clear so that students in our college will never be able to say, "I didn't know." Some students may make poor choices even when they do know - but at least in educating them, they will know they are making a conscious decision to behave inappropriately.

At this website is a guide that I wrote with the editorial help of some faculty and also representatives in Student Affairs. I looked at several universities to see what instruction they gave and also relied on my own experience with writing to develop a short lesson on plagiarism. I am asking that each faculty member in our college attach this to each syllabus in each class. I also ask that you go over it in class as you cover your syllabus. Finally, I also am requesting that you be sure to complete the Academic Dishonesty Report form (http://studentaffairs.odu.edu/oscai/academicdishonestyreport.pdf) each time you discover an incidence of plagiarism. While faculty have some discretion to handle a case as they deem appropriate and to choose a grade penalty, it is important that a central record be kept so that one student does not violate student codes in multiple classes without that being noted. (Completion of this report does mean that a notation that the student has committed academic dishonesty will appear on the student's transcript. However, under certain circumstances, after one year the student may appeal to have it removed.) If you have questions about the policies and procedures related to Academic Dishonesty, please discuss them with your Department Chair and/or contact the Office of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity at 757-683-3431.

Thank you very much for your attention to this matter. I believe we can actually save faculty time by educating our students up front and through communication and building awareness.  Any ideas you have as to how we might improve our approach to this issue will be much appreciated! We are interested in posting guidelines and other resources for our faculty at this website. If you have materials that would be useful in fighting plagiarism, please send them to me.

Plagiarism Definition for CBPA (PDF File)

Academic Dishonesty & Classroom Disruption (PDF File)

Resources to Combat Plagiarism

The College of Arts and Letters at Old Dominion University has a tutorial available to help students understand how to avoid plagiarism. The website for the tutorial is: http://library.acadiau.ca/tutorials/plagiarism/