CSULB Home  •   MyCSULB  •   BeachBoard  •   Library  •   E-mail  •   Directory  


Dean’s Message About Academic Integrity

Falsehood is easy, truth so difficult.
— George Eliot

Simply put, academic integrity means that each student be honest and truthful in their studies by taking credit for only their own work. Paraphrasing George Eliot above, maintaining academic integrity is not easy. CBA students have full plates: they take courses during the day and the evening, typically work either part time or full time, participate in group projects in many classes, and often engage in student clubs outside of class. Students also compete with each other for grades on exams and assignments.

The stress and pressure of full, active lives can sometimes lead to taking short cuts that compromise academic integrity because of the lack of time or the desire to get top grades—or even laziness or dishonesty.

My main message is to always take the high road: do your best and do your part in classes and teamwork, no matter what grade you receive. I’m sure each student has heard some faculty member say that what is learned is much more important than what grade is achieved. The gains of academic dishonesty are short term and shallow while the gains of true learning are long term and deep.

Charles Lipton, Professor of Sociology at the University of Chicago, in his book Doing Honest Work in College captures the essence of academic integrity:

"Honesty is important for its own sake—it should be a central pillar of your character—and it's vital for your education. You can't learn how to write if you simply download your papers from the Internet. You can't learn calculus if you copy your problem sets from a friend or an answer book. You can't learn French or computer programming if you don't complete the assignments yourself… Even your mistakes can be valuable (and, believe me, we all make them). They'll show you and your teachers where you need more help and more practice. Correcting your missteps is a vital part of learning. That's as true in Spanish as it is in sociology or biology. Cheating denies you all that. It denies you a chance to learn. Even if you aren't caught (and you may well be!), you'll still miss what is most valuable about college: getting a real education. The only way to get that education is to work honestly. It's the high road to developing your own best values, too."

Professor Lipton offers three core principles for honest work:

  • When you say you did the work yourself, you actually did it
  • When you rely on others’ work or use their words, you quote them openly and accurately, and cite them
  • When you present research materials that involve data, documents, or the writings of other scholars, you present them fairly and truthfully

Details of the CSU Long Beach Policy on Plagiarism and Cheating

This section of my letter provides some details about academic dishonesty at CSU Long Beach and contains excerpts from the policy recommended by the Academic Senate on December 5, 1985.

Plagiarism is defined as the act of using the ideas or work of another person or persons as if they were one's own, without giving credit to the source. Such an act is not plagiarism if it is ascertained that the ideas were arrived at through independent reasoning or logic or where the thought or idea is common knowledge. Acknowledgement of an original author or source must be made through appropriate references, i.e., quotation marks, footnotes, or commentary.

Examples of plagiarism include, but are not limited to: the submission of a work, either in part or in whole, completed by another; failure to give credit for ideas, statements, facts or conclusions which rightfully belong to another; in written work, failure to use quotation marks when quoting directly from another, whether it be a paragraph, a sentence, or even a part thereof; close and lengthy paraphrasing of another writing.

Students are cautioned that, in conducting their research, they should prepare their notes by (a) either quoting material exactly (using quotation marks) at the time they take notes from a source; or (b) departing completely from the language used in the source, putting the material into their own words. In this way, when the material is used in the paper or project, the student can avoid plagiarism resulting from verbatim use of notes. Both quoted and paraphrased materials must be given proper citations.

Cheating is defined as the act of obtaining or attempting to obtain or aiding another to obtain academic credit for work by the use of any dishonest, deceptive or fraudulent means. Examples of cheating during an examination would include, but not be limited to the following: copying, either in part or in whole, from another test or examination; discussion of answers or ideas relating to the answers on an examination or test unless such discussion is specifically authorized by the instructor; giving or receiving copies of an exam without the permission of the instructor; using or displaying notes; "cheat sheets," or other information or devices inappropriate to the prescribed test conditions, as when the test of competence includes a test of unassisted recall of information, skill, or procedure; allowing someone other than the officially enrolled student to represent the same.

Students often study together or to work in teams on projects. However, care should be taken to avoid use of unauthorized assistance, and to avoid any implication of cheating, such as sitting apart from one another in examinations or presenting the work in a manner which clearly indicates the effort of each individual.

Additional Thoughts About Expectations of Student Behavior

William M. Taylor, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Oakton Community College, Des Plaines, Illinois offers practical advice on how to maintain academic integrity.

A. Preparation for Class

Come prepared for class: the principles of academic integrity suggest that you have a responsibility to yourself, to your professor, and to the other students to put yourself in a position to make fruitful contributions to class discussion:

  • Finish assigned reading before coming to class
  • Formulate questions that can be asked in class that will increase and clarify your understanding
  • Reflect on the issues raised in the assigned reading

B. Behavior In Class

The principles of academic integrity require you to take both your professor and your fellow students seriously and to treat them with respect:

  • Attend all class sessions
  • Come to class on time and not leave early
  • Be engaged in the lecture and class discussion
  • Ask questions about anything you don't understand (other students might not realize that they also don't understand, also)
  • Participate in the class discussions to contribute your thinking to the shared effort
  • Monitor your own participation so as to allow for and encourage the participation of others
  • Respect other students by not making fun of them or their ideas, and by not holding side-conversations that detract from the class discussion
  • Turn off cell phones before class or set on vibrate
  • Use laptop computers for note taking purposes only, not to search the Internet or to read email

C. Written Assignments

The principles of academic integrity suggest that you:

  • Start your research and writing early enough to ensure that you have the time you need to do your best work
  • Turn in a paper which you yourself have done specifically for this course and not borrowed from someone else or recycled from an earlier course
  • Do not be satisfied with a paper that is less than your best work
  • Seek only appropriate help from others (such as proof-reading, or discussing your ideas with someone else to gain clarity in your thinking)
  • Give full and proper credit to your sources

Michael E. Solt Signature
Michael E. Solt
Dean, College of Business Administration
Director, Ukleja Center for Ethical Leadership