Academic Policies

Academic Integrity Policy

The Hartwick College community considers integrity a core value in all of its activities, holding all of its members accountable to this value. Moreover, the knowledge taught by and developed by faculty members is the core worth of the institution and the precise reason students choose to attend. Therefore no aspect of the College is of greater importance than the maintenance of the highest level of academic honesty and integrity because students’ work reflects their understanding and actualization of this knowledge. Academic Integrity is seen as the soundness and completeness of a student’s work representing their own individual capacity and effort. Academic misconduct is understood to be taking an action or actions that create any unfair precedence that misrepresents a student’s demonstrable academic abilities. Conduct that violates academic integrity is not tolerated by the college. Violations of the standard of academic integrity are serious in nature and will result in consequences and disciplinary action. The college supports a restorative justice paradigm that seeks to educate students about integrity as part of their learning process.

The Office of the Academic Integrity Officer
The Office of Academic Affairs has an appointed Academic Integrity Officer who is charged with engaging all investigations resulting from charges of academic misconduct. The officer is responsible for ensuring that a fair and judicious process is followed for cases, for disseminating appropriately the findings of the cases, and for maintaining the records of each case, in conjunction with the Registrar’s Office and Student Experience.

Academic Misconduct
Academic misconduct is defined as any action designed to create an unfair advantage that misrepresents a student’s demonstrable academic abilities.

Examples of academic misconduct include but are not limited to the following:

Plagiarism is the act of submitting another person’s words or ideas, orally, or in writing, as your own original work, without citation. Some examples include:

  • Submitting a paper written by an AI chatbot, like Chat GPT, unless faculty give advanced permission or direction to use such a tool;
  • Submitting a pre-written paper published online, whether or not it is free or paid;
  • Copying phrases or paragraphs from others’ work without citation;
  • Using facts or visual materials without proper citation, unless that information is common knowledge;
  • Submitting your own paper in two separate classes with no substantial differences in the work.

Cheating is essentially counter-fitting one’s ability on an assignment, exam, paper, project, or other forms of graded work. Some examples include:

  • Having another person take an exam for you, or allowing another person to
    submit their work under your name; this person can be known, a classmate, an
    unknown, an online source, or a friend or family member
  • Using guides, notes, and references, online or in print, when prohibited
  • Sharing answers on a test during or after you take an exam
  • Obtaining work or information from someone else and submitting it under one’s
    own name
  • Collaborating with partners on projects or assignments when the instructions are to do individual work

Falsification of Data, Official Documents, or Records
Falsification of data and records is an act designed to misrepresent the outcomes a student achieved or provide them with exceptions to established guidelines. Some examples include:

  • Manufacturing data
  • Forging a signature to change an academic record or official document

Supporting Academic Misconduct
This is defined as supporting the practice of academic misconduct through action. Some examples include:

  • Selling test answers
  • Knowingly completing assigned coursework for other students
  • Organizing cheating schemes through technology and planning

The Office of Academic Affairs takes all charges of student academic misconduct seriously. The designated Academic Integrity Officer for the college is Dr. Aaron R. Tolbert, the Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs.

All members of the Hartwick Community have a responsibility to uphold the academic integrity of the college. If a faculty member, staff member, or student believes that a student has violated the academic integrity policy, they should engage in the processes below.

Students accused of violating the academic integrity policy may not change their registration in the course once charged (e.g., drop the course). While the investigation is conducted, the student is presumed innocent. The student is permitted to continue to attend class and receive grades. However, the student may not receive credit for the course, and may not graduate, until the investigation is concluded. If a final grade must be reported for the course while the case is pending, the instructor should report the course grade as NR (no report), not as an I (incomplete). NR is a temporary, neutral grade that may be used in special circumstances where a final grade is not yet able to be reported.

All materials relating to a formal charge of academic misconduct will be kept in confidence in the Office of Academic Affairs and the Registrar’s Office with the student’s official academic record.

Faculty/Staff – Process for Reporting
When a faculty member has evidence of questionable academic behavior, they shall first document the issue on the college’s template for charges of academic misconduct, gathering their evidence and notes. The faculty member then must make a genuine attempt (recommended in writing) to meet with the student to discuss the charges and speak with the student regarding the evidence. Should a student not respond to a request for a meeting in 72 business hours, not counting weekends nor college-recognized holidays or breaks, the faculty member may proceed to forward their charges to the college’s academic integrity officer.

From there, the faculty member may choose to forward the charges to the college’s academic integrity officer, or they may choose to use the incident as an educational opportunity. If after this conversation the faculty member has found evidence that the student has knowingly or with culpable negligence committed an act of academic misconduct and chooses to proceed with disciplinary action, he or she shall first inform the student and then file a formal charge with the Office of Academic Affairs.

In addition to a written explanation of the charge on the college’s template, the faculty member will provide both the evidence that substantiates the charge and their recommended penalty for the charge.

The academic integrity officer will review the submitted charge and conduct an investigation, the nature of which is to be determined by the officer based on the specifics of the case. The academic integrity officer will always attempt to schedule a meeting with the student and discuss both the charge and the evidence. Should the student not respond to a request for a meeting in 72 hours, not counting weekends nor college-recognized holidays or breaks, the officer may proceed to close the case and submit their findings and judgment.

The purpose of the meeting with the academic integrity officer is to allow both the officer and the student an opportunity to converse. The student has the right to review the evidence submitted, if they so choose, in advance of the meeting with the academic integrity officer. They also may present any relevant information or materials during the meeting that speaks to the charges and the case. This is the opportunity for the student to be heard and to share their perspectives on the incident. The academic integrity officer will describe the charges, review the possible penalties/sanctions, and determine the outcomes of the case.

The academic integrity officer will inform the student of their findings, and any penalty, in writing, with a copy to the faculty or staff member who raised the charge so that the penalty may be enacted. Final copies of the findings are sent to the Registrar’s Office and Dean of Students or designee.

If a student is found guilty of academic misconduct, the Academic Integrity Officer determines the appropriate sanction. Sanctions that the academic integrity officer may impose include but are not limited to:

  • failing an assignment, or part of an assignment, with the possibility of making up the assignment
  • failing an assignment, or part of an assignment, without the possibility of making up the assignment
  • a letter of rebuke
  • the requirement of writing a reflective essay
  • assignment to lessons in ethics
  • workshop participation
  • failing the course
  • a defined period of disciplinary probation, with or without the attachment of conditions, notated on the official or unofficial transcript
  • a defined period of suspension, with or without the attachment of conditions, notated on the official or unofficial transcript
  • permanent expulsion from the College, notated on the official or unofficial transcript
  • withholding of a degree, or any combination of the previously listed sanctions.

When an instructor has cause to question a student’s work based upon inferential circumstances but the student’s responsibility cannot be established, the Academic Integrity Officer may send a formal “letter of warning” to the student.

Appealing a Decision
A student found guilty may ask for a review of the academic integrity 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 process is simple. The student must write the Office of Academic Affairs, noting the appeal. Then the Chief Academic Officer, the chair of the department concerned, and a faculty member nominated by the student shall constitute the Review Board. The board is given access to all documentation of the case. The Review Board meets with the Academic Integrity Officer to understand the rationale of the officer, and then the board meets separately with the student to hear the student’s appeal. The board members vote and then issue a decision, which 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: Illness, Medical Leave, Death, General Leave.

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.

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.

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.


Expectations of classroom behavior are grounded in Hartwick College’s Core Values, which affirm integrity, civility, respect and responsibility. All members of the teaching and learning community at Hartwick are bound by these principles in all interactions.

Students are expected to treat their peers, instructors, and staff with respect at all times. Rude, disrespectful and/or disruptive behavior that materially interferes with other students’ right to learn or with an instructor’s ability to teach will not be tolerated. Any student whose behavior impedes these rights may be subject to disciplinary actions and risks being removed from a class permanently. Any student whose behavior endangers the safety of others in the classroom will be removed immediately and reported to Campus Safety. This policy refers to disruptive behavior by a single individual as well as groups of two or more individuals.

Ultimately, control over the classroom resides with the instructor, and if an instructor determines that a student(s) is interfering with others students’ right to learn and/or the instructor’s ability to teach, the instructor may:

1. Issue a verbal warning to the student;
2. Require the student to leave the classroom;
3. Have the student removed from the classroom by security.

The Policy will be enforced based on instance.

When a student is either warned or asked to leave class for the first time, that student must within 24 hours meet with the instructor outside of class to discuss the incident and proper classroom behavior. (At the discretion of the instructor, an appropriate third party may be present.)

Only after completing this meeting may the student return to class.

This meeting and its outcome must be documented on the Classroom Behavior Report form. A copy of this form will be provided to the faculty member, the student, and to the Office of Academic Affairs who will keep it in the student’s file.

The form will also be shared with the CARE and HEART Teams.

Except in cases where public safety is a concern, a student who is asked to leave a class for the first time will be allowed to return to that class as long as the above process is followed.

When a student is either warned or asked to leave class for the second time, whether during the same semester in the same class, a different class, or a later semester, the case will be referred within 24 hours to the Dean of Academic Affairs.

The Dean will meet with the student and instructor separately and recommend a resolution that outlines behavioral expectations the student must follow for the rest of the term.

This meeting and its outcome will be documented on a Classroom Behavior Report form. A copy of this form will be provided to the faculty member, the student, and to the Office of Academic Affairs who will keep it in the student’s file.

The document will also be shared with the CARE and HEART Teams.

A third instance of disruptive classroom behavior, whether within the class during the same semester or over the course of different semesters and classes, constitutes an egregious pattern of behavior and will be referred to the Office of Student Experience/Conduct.

This instance will be documented as before, and classroom behavior requirements will be reviewed by the Dean of Academic Affairs. The Dean may modify these requirements in light of the most recent incident.

Unless a threat to public safety exists, the student will return to class and be required to follow the expectations documented by the Dean of Academic Affairs as well as any sanctions imposed by Student Experience/Conduct.

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.

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.

Office of Academic Affairs

Bresee Hall Room 205

Monday to Friday
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.