At the University of Southern Mississippi, we expect everyone in our community to
operate with academic integrity, holding to the highest standards of scholarly professionalism.
Our campus should be characterized by honest, responsible, respectful and ethical
behavior, and the Academic Integrity Policy reflects this expectation.
The Southern Miss Integrity Agreement
As a member of the Southern Miss community, I will act with honor and integrity at
all times. I will not engage in any act of academic misconduct, and I understand that
such acts violate the Academic Integrity Policy and Student Honor Code and undermine
the community of trust so important to the integrity of the University.
Academic Integrity Policy
The Southern Miss Academic Integrity Policy includes:
Our University’s definitions of “academic misconduct”;
Sanctions imposed for academic misconduct, including the “XF” grade;
Consequences of receiving an XF; and
Processes for appeal in cases of alleged misconduct.
Students at the University of Southern Mississippi are responsible for understanding
and following this policy. All students will be required to complete an educational
online module regarding academic integrity, and additional workshops will be available
through University Libraries for those who would like additional information.
Academic Integrity Process
If your professor believes that you have violated the academic integrity policy, you
will receive notification via your USM email address. The emailed form will offer
you a choice of dates for a facilitation meeting in which you sit down with your professor
and a facilitator and discuss the violation and sanction(s). You have three business
days to respond to the email or the sanction(s) will stand.
If, after the conclusion of the meeting, you would like to appeal the decision to
the Academic Integrity Board, you may obtain the appeal form by emailing integrityFREEMississippi.
Academic misconduct includes a range of actions including but not limited to: cheating;
plagiarism; acquiring information (like test questions) inappropriately; lying about
academic matters or falsifying information (like service hours or internship work);
stealing or defacing anything related to the academic mission of the University; submitting
your work (like a paper or part of a paper) to multiple instructors without their
permission; and/or conspiracy to do any of these violations.
Each class comes with its own requirements and assignments that have been designed
to meet the mission of that particular course. When you “recycle” work from one class
for another, you typically are not meeting the educational goals of each unique class,
and you cheat yourself out of the opportunity to learn. You should check with your
professors before re-using any content from one course in another.
Plagiarism is not just about quoting from other people. If you use any ideas from
any source without properly letting the reader know exactly where that idea came from,
it is plagiarism.
Depending on the severity of the offense, you can receive sanctions such as an F for
the assignment or an XF for the course. The grade of XF will be recorded on the transcript
with the notation “Failure due to academic misconduct.” The XF cannot be replaced
by retaking the course. Students who have violated the Academic Integrity Policy and who have been informed that they will receive an XF grade for the semester are
not eligible to withdraw from a class. Instructors and the Office of the Registrar
will deny any request for withdrawal. If a student decides to withdraw from the University
entirely, the student will still receive an XF for the course for which the academic
integrity violation occurred while receiving Ws for all other courses.
If a student has never been given an XF before, he or she may have the "X" removed
after completing an Academic Integrity Remediation Program. It is important to note
that only one "X" may be removed from a student's transcript, and undergraduate students
with three XF grades (including one that has been removed from the student's transcript
via remediation) will be placed on academic suspension due to multiple violations
of academic integrity.
Yes. All students have the right to appeal a penalty for academic misconduct, including
an XF grade. Appeals must be initiated within 5 business days of the facilitation
meeting. Students should complete theAcademic Integrity Appealform (Form C), available by emailing the Academic%20Integrity%20Officer, which should then be submitted to the Office of the Provost or emailed tointegrityFREEMississippibefore the deadline for initiating the appeal.
Within five business days of receiving an appeal form, the Academic Integrity Officer
should contact all parties informing them that a formal appeal has been initiated.
All parties must submit any written materials they intend to present to the Academic
Integrity Appeals Board within 30 business days of being notified of an appeal. An
appeal hearing will be scheduled within 20 business days of an appeal form being submitted
to the Office of the Provost. All appeals are heard by the Academic Integrity Appeals
Board, a University standing committee appointed by the Provost. Academic Integrity
Facilitators and student mentors not involved with the facilitation meeting may substitute
for Board Members when necessary.
Everyone who sees your transcript will see the notation of “failure due to academic
misconduct,” which could shape how you are seen by future employers or schools. Additionally,
students with an XF grade cannot graduate with honors. Students who receive three
XF grades will be automatically suspended; students with four or more XF grades will