Academic Integrity

As members of the CU Denver academic community; faculty, staff, and students accept the responsibility to maintain the highest standards of intellectual honesty and ethical conduct in all forms of academic work.

CU Denver Honor Code

As a member of the University of Colorado Denver community, I pledge to:

  • Act with honesty and ethics in academia and in society by building mutual trust and responsibility as a foundation for lifelong integrity;
  • Advance learning, knowledge, generation, and the free exchange of views and ideas as the lifeblood of academic freedom and of democracy;
  • Embrace diversity and practice inclusion, showing civility, respect, and care toward ALL persons, standing up for the essential worth and dignity of every individual;
  • Take responsibility for the consequences of my own actions and share responsibility for the well-being and safety of the community by also holding others similarly responsible.

I will honor these commitments in every part of my life.

What is Academic Integrity and why is it so important?

Academic Integrity is defined by the International Center for Academic Integrity (ICAI) as “a commitment to six fundamental values: honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, and courage.” (ICAI, 2021 p. 4)

By adopting these fundamental values CU Denver’s scholarly community will thrive. Here are some examples of ways to demonstrate each value (Adapted from ICAI, 2021):

International Center for Academic Integrity [ICAI]. (2021). The Fundamental Values of Academic Integrity. (3rd ed.)

Handling Academic Dishonesty

The CU Denver Academic Integrity Committee (AIC) is charged with promoting and enforcing the CU Denver Academic Integrity Policy. The AIC is composed of faculty, students, and staff as well as a non-voting member from the Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards who coordinates the committee. There are two Canvas Classes designed to inform faculty and students regarding Academic Misconduct at CU Denver:

  1. Academic Integrity for Faculty.
  2. Academic Integrity for Students.

To disseminate a consistent message and support college-wide integrity standards, CU Denver suggests that all faculty utilize a portion of their course syllabi to inform students of ethical behavior and the Academic Integrity Policy.


While most student violations center on cheating or plagiarism, the CU Denver Academic Integrity Policy is more comprehensive and includes the following categories:

Academic Misconduct

Use of unauthorized assistance in attempt to deceive an instructor or other person who is assigned to evaluate the student’s work in meeting course and degree requirements; or actions that interfere with the ability of the instructor to fairly judge the work of the student or other students.


Use of another person’s distinctive ideas or words without acknowledgment. The incorporation of another person’s work into one’s own requires appropriate identification and acknowledgment, regardless of the means of appropriation. Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to the following, when the source is not noted: 1) Word-for-word copying of another person’s ideas or words; 2) The mosaic (the interspersing of one’s own words here and there while, in essence, copying another’s work); 3) The paraphrase (the rewriting of another’s work, yet still using their fundamental idea or theory); 4) Fabrication of references (inventing or counterfeiting sources); 5) Submission of another’s work as one’s own; or 6) Neglecting quotation marks on material that is otherwise acknowledged.


The possession, communication, or use of information, materials, notes, study aids, or other devices not authorized by the instructor in an academic exercise, or communication with another person during such exercise for the purpose of obtaining or providing unauthorized information or materials. "Authorization" is legitimate only if given by the faculty member responsible for the evaluation of the student's work. Examples of cheating include but are not limited to: 1) Copying from another’s paper or receiving unauthorized assistance from another during an academic exercise or in the submission of academic assignments; 2) Using a calculator, cell phone, or other electronic device when not permitted; 3) Collaborating with another student during an academic exercise without the prior consent of the instructor.


Inventing or counterfeiting information, such as creating results not obtained in a study or laboratory experiment.


Deliberately altering or changing results to suit one’s needs in an experiment or other academic exercise.

Multiple Submission

The submission of academic work for which academic credit has already been earned, when such submission is made without instructor authorization.

Misuse of Academic Materials

Includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  1. Stealing or destroying library or reference materials or computer programs
  2. Stealing or destroying another student’s notes or materials, or having such materials in one’s possession without the owner’s permission
  3. Receiving assistance in locating or using sources of information in an assignment when such assistance has been not been authorized by the instructor
  4. Possessing or using prior examinations or answer keys, unless authorized by the instructor
  5. Altering, forging, or falsifying academic materials
  6. Selling or purchasing prior examinations, papers, or assignments.

Complicity in Academic Dishonesty

Knowingly contributing to another’s academic misconduct.

Academic Dishonesty Incidents

Faculty are encouraged to try to handle alleged academic dishonesty cases at the faculty level. Many cases of academic dishonesty involve miscommunications, absence of clear policies on syllabus or assignments, or cultural differences, all of which are best handled at the classroom level.

Procedure for Dealing with Academic Dishonesty

All proceedings concerned with academic dishonesty against a student are confidential to the extent permitted by applicable laws.

1. A faculty member, student, or staff may bring charges of academic dishonesty against a student.

 An individual who has evidence suggesting that a student committed academic misconduct shall:

  • Complete an allegation form online (Faculty, Other Individuals). This form will initiate the Academic Misconduct process as defined by the CU Denver Academic Integrity Policy. The instructor will need to identify a time for a meeting with the student to discuss the incident. A letter to the student will be sent mandating them to meet with the instructor.
  • The faculty/student meeting is best held in the faculty member’s office and should take place between three and five days (excluding weekends and holidays) after the discovery of alleged academic misconduct. It is suggested that the instructor may want to include a third party at the meeting. This is typically someone within your program.
  • After meeting with the student, determine the student’s responsibility for the behavior using the preponderance of the information standard (more likely than not). Responsible, if the student is accountable for the behavior or not responsible, if the student is not accountable for the behavior.
  • If the faculty determines the student to be not responsible, they need to inform The Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards (SCCS) of the finding.
  • If the faculty determines the student to be responsible, they must assign sanctions (academic, educational, advocacy, and/or disciplinary) to the student.
  • Any individual other than the instructor who has information/evidence suggesting that another student is guilty of academic dishonesty should complete the General Academic Misconduct Allegations Form. The Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards will then forward this information to the instructor. The instructor will proceed as described above.

2. The Academic Integrity Committee (AIC) will convene a hearing when

  • An accused student denies the charge of academic dishonesty brought against the student
  • An accused student admits to the ethics violation but disputes the sanction(s) imposed by the instructor
  • A faculty member requests a hearing of a particular case because they feel that a failing grade in the course is insufficient penalty for a particular ethics violation
  • A student has been found responsible for prior academic dishonesty

The AIC hearing should occur within a reasonable period of time of the request for a hearing. At least three days before a hearing is scheduled, the AIC will inform all parties, including the student by email sent to the student's CU Denver email address, involved in the case of the following...

  • The specific charges brought
  • The time and place to appear before the AIC for a hearing and a description of the hearing process
  • The student's rights regarding the hearing and appeals process

3. The hearing before the AIC shall consist of four parts:

  • The presentation of the evidence by the faculty member (or other) bringing the charge of violation of academic ethics.
  • The defense of the student.
  • Discussion and questions by the AIC panel to the faculty member(s), student and others involved in the case.
  • The discussion of the case by the AIC, formulation of a decision based on the preponderance of the evidence, and identifying sanctions.

The student, faculty member and others involved in the case shall be present for the first three parts of the hearing. The final part (discussion and determination) shall take place in the presence of only the AIC members, and no new evidence may be introduced at this time.

4. All parties to the case shall be notified of the committee's decision.

The Chair of the Committee will forward, within seven calendar days, the confidential written decision to the Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards, the student, the faculty member(s) involved, The Dean of the College the student is seeking a degree from, and the Dean of the College in which the incident occurred. The decision will be reached by majority vote of all members of the AIC in attendance, and, in the case of a tie vote, the finding will be in favor of the student since the burden of proof resides with the faculty member.

Decisions may include the following:

  • Uphold the faulty finding of academic misconduct and sanctioning as is.
  • Uphold the finding of academic misconduct and increase the sanctioning.
  • Uphold the faculty finding of academic misconduct but lower the sanctioning.
  • Reverse the faculty finding of responsibility for academic misconduct.

5. Upon receiving the Committee's decision:

The student charged and/or the faculty member who brought the charge will have 14 calendar days from receipt of the written decision to appeal the decision by completing the Academic Integrity Committee Decision Appeal form. Appeal decisions are final. ​

Academic Integrity Syllabus Statement

Faculty members, please view the proposed Syllabus Statement for the Academic Integrity Canvas course.
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