Academic Policies

Policies include:

Academic Honesty Policy


No aspect of the College is of greater importance than the maintenance of the highest level of academic honesty and integrity. Faculty members, by the character of their private and professional lives, help to set standards which students will emulate. Most specifically, the tone which they set in their individual courses can help to establish an atmosphere in which probity and honesty are taken for granted. Such an atmosphere is a pre-condition for generating, evaluating and discussing ideas, activities which guarantee the pursuit of truth and which are at the very heart of academic life.

Definitions of Academic Dishonesty

Claiming others’ ideas as one’s own, failing to acknowledge their ideas or language, and engaging in other unethical practices that seriously disrupt the pursuit of truth constitute academic dishonesty, which has no place in the academy and will not be tolerated at Hartwick College. Nearly every form of academic dishonesty is a species of plagiarism, which Alexander Lindey has defined as “the false assumption of authorship: the wrongful act of taking the product of another person’s mind, and presenting it as one’s own” (Plagiarism and Originality [New York: Harper, 1952], 2). Plagiarism, cheating and other dishonest behaviors directly related to academic performance are subject to penalty at Hartwick College. The College defines these three forms of academic dishonesty as follows.

  • Cheating includes but is not limited to such in-class behaviors as copying from other students, use of books, notes or other devices not explicitly permitted, and communication of answers or parts of answers during an examination.
  • Plagiarism usually occurs in the case of reports or papers prepared outside the classroom. Plagiarism has been committed whenever a student submits as his or her own work any material taken from others–whether printed, electronic or oral; whether quoted directly or paraphrased–without proper acknowledgment and documentation. Copying the work of other students, whether in hard copy or electronic form, is included in this definition. Faculty members should indicate clearly to their classes which style of documentation is to be used for citing printed, oral, and electronic sources. The seventh edition of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (2009) is one source of instruction on how to cite both traditional documents and material taken from such electronic sources as the World Wide Web.

    While most college students understand what plagiarism is and have learned how to document properly in high school, plagiarism is sometimes unconscious or unintended. Students who feel that they do not possess good bibliographic and citation skills should speak with their professors prior to submitting written work. Ignorance may not be an excuse for violating the College rules banning plagiarism.

    When instructors permit collaboration between students in the preparation of reports, papers or other assignments, they should make clear to students just how much collaboration is permitted and whether or how credit is to be given for each person contributing to the project.

    Students who knowingly allow others to copy their work, either in or outside of class, will be subject to the same penalties for plagiarism and cheating as those defined above.

  • Other kinds of dishonest academic behavior include but are not limited to the following: falsifying or forging excuses for absence from class or for failures to complete assignments; forging the signature of an academic advisor; mutilating library materials; and submitting a paper (or two papers that are substantially the same) for credit in two different courses without prior agreement of the instructors involved. Faculty members who become aware of other forms of dishonesty that they deem directly related to academic performance should consult about whether to press charges with the person designated by the Office of Academic Affairs to serve as the academic honesty officer.

Procedure for Handling Cases of Academic Dishonesty

When a faculty member has evidence of dishonest academic behavior, he or she shall immediately speak with the student regarding the evidence. If after this conversation the faculty member has found evidence that the student has knowingly or with culpable negligence committed an act of academic dishonesty, he or she shall first so inform the student and then file a formal charge with the Office of Academic Affairs. In addition to a written explanation of the charge, the faculty member will provide the evidence that substantiates it to the academic honesty officer. Other members of the college community–staff or students–who become aware of dishonest behavior as defined above should consult with the academic honesty officer about whether and/or how to press charges.

When the Office of Academic Affairs has received the formal charge from the faculty member, the academic honesty officer will schedule a meeting with the student and discuss both the charge and the evidence. If the academic honesty officer concurs that the student has committed the offense, he or she shall inform the student of the penalty in writing.


When the first offense is related to an academic assignment–as in the cases of plagiarism, cheating and submitting the same paper twice without permission–the minimum penalty for the first offense shall be a zero for the work in question. The maximum penalty shall be failure in the course or courses concerned.

When the first offense is directly related to academic conduct but not to a specific assignment–as in the case of forging a signature–an appropriate penalty will be determined by the academic honesty officer.

In either case, any additional offenses which have not yet been reported and evaluated may be brought up at that time by the student for simultaneous evaluation. Penalties for these additional violations will not be more severe than those for a first offense.

If a student has been previously found guilty of academic dishonesty, any subsequent finding of academic dishonesty shall result in failure for any course directly concerned and also in suspension from the College for a term determined by the academic honesty officer.


The student charged may ask for a review of the academic honesty officer’s decision, the evidence upon which it was based, or the penalty within two weeks after the student has been notified of the decision and penalty. The Chief Academic Officer, the chair of the division concerned, and a faculty member nominated by the student shall constitute the Review Board. The board’s decision is final.

Class Absences Policy

At Hartwick, students are responsible for regular class attendance and are accountable for all work missed because of class absences. Instructors normally list attendance policies on course syllabi that are distributed at the beginning of the term. Students should be aware that in some classes there are no excused absences for any reason. Instructors may request students to provide reasons for absences and are under no obligation to make special arrangements for students who are absent. Students are expected to communicate directly with instructors regarding absences except in the following instances:


Faculty will be notified by the wellness center if a student is admitted to a hospital facility. When a student returns home without prior consultation with the director of the Perrella Wellness Center, documentation from the attending physician must be received prior to notification of faculty. Absences for illness that does not require admittance to a medical facility are to be reported by the student directly to the instructor who may or may not count them as excused.

Medical Leave

Faculty will be notified by the Office of the Registrar if a student is granted a medical leave of absence.


Faculty will be notified by the Office of Student Affairs if a student is away due to the death of a family member (parent, sibling, grandparent). The student or a member of the family should report this information to the vice president of student affairs prior to departure from campus.

General Leave

Faculty will be notified by the Office of the Registrar if a student is granted a general leave of absence.

Other than medical or general leaves, whether or not absences are excused is at the discretion of the faculty member. As noted above, there are some classes where attendance is so critical that it may not be possible to remain in the course even though the absences are legitimate and excused.

Observance of religious holidays (as provided in the New York State Education Law Section 224-A): Students who are compelled for religious reasons to be absent on a particular day for registration, class or an examination will be excused and given an equivalent opportunity to make up the requirements, provided that the student notifies the Instructor (or the Office of Academic Affairs) as soon as the student becomes aware of the conflict and no later than one week prior to the absence.

Missed Class Policy

Rationale for College-wide Missed Class Policy

Hartwick College believes that extra-curricular and co-curricular activities are an integral part of the liberal arts and is dedicated to supporting these experiences for all students. These extra and co-curricular events include: athletics, conference attendance and presentations, registered club events, and career-related interviews.  The purpose of a Missed Class Policy is to create a consistent policy which reduces conflict between students needing to participate in extracurricular and co-curricular activities and professors and balances academic integrity and fairness for all students.  

Missed Class Policy

In support of extracurricular and co-curricular participation Hartwick College recognizes the fact that students may occasionally encounter conflicts with attending classes. If they follow the policies and procedures described below, then they will be excused from classes when they are officially representing the College in athletic competition in season, participating in club-sponsored conferences and presentations, or presenting at academic conferences or other significant extracurricular or co-curricular events. Habitual absences from class due to extracurricular or co-curricular events may jeopardize a student’s ability to succeed in a class. Therefore, students should avoid scheduling classes in times which would habitually conflict with extracurricular or co-curricular activities.

Students will provide each instructor with an agreement letter prior to the end of the first week of the semester (or by the second day of January term) notifying them that they may occasionally have to miss class for an event or competition and will work with the faculty member to complete any missed assignments. In the event that an activity is not known prior to the drop/add period the student will notify the instructor as soon as they are aware of the conflict.

In all cases and for all activities students will present the faculty member with a hard copy of a letter detailing the activity, dates of the activity and acknowledgement of the class assignments that will be missed and date for submission of any course work. Students are expected to notify their instructors in whose courses they will be missing academic work — preferably two weeks before each absence from class — due to extra-curricular or co-curricular participation. When applicable, the letter also will be signed by appropriate college personnel coordinating the event and will be accompanied by a schedule of conflicting times and will include anticipated departure times.  For athletic competitions, students will be excused from class an hour before the scheduled departure time when traveling to away games and an hour before the start of a home competition.  In cases in which a student will miss more class sessions than what is outlined in the class syllabus (e.g. 3 absences are allowed), the student will not be disadvantaged by having the final grade reduced due to representing the College as long as all missed work is completed.

All work that was due on the day of the missed class will be given to the instructor at a time decided on by the instructor. While some lab periods cannot be administered at a later time, students should be informed of the class expectations upon the first day of class for all classes with a lab component.  If expectations are clearly defined on the first day of class, students will be required to plan accordingly in the knowledge that there may or may not be some flexibility with the lab component.

After discussing the absence and the process for completing missed work or submitting assignments with the faculty member, the student will sign the agreement letter which will remain with the instructor.

In the case that a student and instructor cannot find agreement on the missed class, the student or faculty member can request a discussion with the coach, Athletics Director, Faculty Athletics Representative, or Student Life Representative in order to seek a resolution.  In cases where a resolution cannot be found, the student or faculty member can request a review and discussion by a Missed Class Mediation Board comprising one member of the faculty, one staff member, and one student. The Missed Class Mediation Board will seek to find a compromise which is beneficial to both student and faculty but does not undermine academic integrity or extra-curricular and co-curricular participation.


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