Academic Integrity

The Office of the University Provost, specifically the Vice Provost for Faculty and Strategic Initiatives and the Director of Academic Integrity, provides consultation, disciplinary referrals, educational outreach, and assistance for faculty alleging plagiarism, cheating, or fabrication in their classes. Please direct all questions and referrals to Michael Baily, Director of Academic Integrity, CAB 111, (615) 898-2715.  All non-academic disciplinary matters should be directed to the Office of Student Conduct.

The information and procedures referenced below appear in University Policy 312 Academic Misconduct, revised August 15, 2019.

Referring an Academic Integrity Case

What is an Academic Integrity Case?

Academic integrity violations may consist of acts of plagiarism, cheating, or fabrication.

  1. Plagiarism: The adoption or reproduction of ideas, words, statements, images, or works of another person as one's own without proper attribution. This includes self-plagiarism, which occurs when an author submits material or research from a previous academic exercise to satisfy the requirements of another exercise and uses it without proper citation of its reuse.
  2. Cheating: Using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or aids in any academic exercise or test/examination.
  3. Fabrication: Unauthorized falsification or invention of any information or citation in an academic exercise.

Why is Academic Integrity So Important?

An education at Middle Tennessee State University is to be valued. By violating the True Blue Pledge to be “honest in word and deed,” a student cheats not only himself or herself, but also the whole university. Further, the risks associated with damaging one’s academic reputation greatly outweigh the potential of a better grade.

What Happens if I Have Been Acccused of a Violation of Academic Integrity?

When an Academic Integrity referral is submitted, the Director of Academic Integrity sends the following message to the student via MTSU email:


Students receiving this email must click on Pick up your letter. The letter advises the student that he or she is required to meet with the Director of Academic Integrity. By ignoring the letter, students forfeit their opportunity to be involved in the investigatory process. (For more detail regarding the investigatory process, see Policy 312 and T.C.A. § 4-5-101.) Failure to retrieve the letter or attend the scheduled meeting will result in the student’s case being heard in absentia.

Depending on the outcome of the meeting between the student and the Director, the case either ends or is presented to the Academic Integrity Committee.

Students found responsible for a violation of academic integrity, either directly or indirectly, through participation or assistance, are assigned appropriate sanctions. The faculty member may assign an appropriate grade for the exercise or examination, or assign an F in the course, depending on the nature and extent of the violation. Beyond the grade penalty, other potential disciplinary sanctions may be imposed, including, but not limited to, verbal or written reprimand, probation, suspension, or expulsion from MTSU.

Plagiarism Game

The below link will take you to an on-line educational game called “Goblin Threat”. This game – developed by Lycoming College – is designed to be a new approach in Academic Integrity education.  Plus, it is fun!

The game requires Adobe Flash. A new version is being developed that will include touch screen usage. The link will update to the new version automatically when it is available.

Our thanks to Lycoming College and Snowden Library for allowing us use of this game.

Helpful Resources

Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL). This authoritative website provides guidelines for both MLA and APA Style.

How Not To Plagiarize. This University of Toronto resource helps students avoid plagiarizing.

How to Prevent Unintentional Plagiarism (And What Happens If You Don't) - IvyPanda Blog

MTSU Writing Center



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