Statement on Academic Integrity

Students and faculty at Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology are expected to employ the highest standards in the area of academic integrity, which includes avoiding plagiarism, cheating, fabrication and other practices that violate this integrity.

These violations not only call into question the character of the person who employs them, they compromise the nature, purpose, and espoused moral and intellectual values of the Saint Meinrad community in its intention of adherence to the Gospel, obedience to the teachings of the Church and its engagement in the search for knowledge. Violations call into question the individual’s readiness for ministry.

Definitions

Plagiarism is the practice of using the words, ideas, conclusions and processes of others as though they were one’s own, that is, without proper citation or documentation. This applies to written work as well as to oral presentations, including preaching.

At Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology and, in general, at North American academic institutions, plagiarism is considered inappropriate and comes with serious consequences. This is a form of theft and is to be construed as a sign of disrespect for the ideas of the original author. Respect for a source should include the full and proper citation of the author’s work.

Plagiarism includes lack of or inadequate citation when referring to the work of another, whether in direct quotation, summary or paraphrase. This includes accidental, careless or willful violation of this principle. If ideas are not common knowledge, they need to be documented with the source of the idea, that is, where one came across the idea.

Examples

Avoiding Plagiarism

When using a person’s actual words, place the words within quotation marks and in the assigned bibliographic style. Even paraphrases of another person’s words and/or ideas require full citation.

Consult A Pocket Style Manual, Fifth Edition by Diana Hacker (Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2009) for examples of plagiarism, how to avoid plagiarism and for information on formatting citations. Several common styles are employed within the School.

Procedures and Consequences

All substantive suspicions of plagiarism and other practices that violate academic integrity are to be reported to the Office of the Academic Dean. Then, in consultation with the Office of the Academic Dean, the professor in whose class the alleged violation occurred will interview the student to determine:

  1. if a violation has occurred;
  2. whether the violation was inadvertent or willful;
  3. the nature and severity of the violation.

The consequences that may accrue from the violation(s) will be reported to the Office of the Academic Dean. Repeated violations will result in more serious consequences. Consequences may include, but are not limited to, a reduced grade for the assignment, reduced grade for the course, suspension from the School. If it is determined that a violation has occurred, a note to this effect will be appended to the student’s file. The note will describe the nature of the offense and the assigned consequences.