Academic Policy

Fontbonne University is committed to graduating students who are prepared to think critically, to act ethically, and to assume responsibility as citizens and leaders (see Mission Statement). Fontbonne University expects the highest standards of integrity from its students.

A violation of academic integrity includes, but is not limited to, any act of cheating, plagiarism, fabrication, and dissimulation and any act of aiding and abetting academic dishonesty. In cases where academic integrity is in question, the following definitions and policies will apply.

Cheating is a purposeful deception in the preparation and/or submission of papers and assignments and the taking of exams, tests or quizzes.

Plagiarism is the representation of the words and ideas of another as one’s own in any academic exercise. Plagiarism includes failing to give a citation for using work from another person or source. Modifications and rephrasing do not reduce the requirement for giving a citation. This also applies to information obtained electronically, such as from the Internet.

Fabrication is the deliberate falsification or invention of any information or citation in any academic exercise, such as making up a source, giving an incorrect citation, misquoting a source.

Dissimulation is the disguising or altering one’s own actions with the intent to deceive another about the real nature of one’s actions concerning an academic exercise. Examples include fabricating excuses for such things as missing classes, postponing tests, handing in late papers, turning in a paper for one class that was originally written for another class (when original work is requested).

Individual instructors will set specific policies regarding academic integrity. In general students may expect to receive a 0 on any assignment, exam, test, or quiz and perhaps fail a course when a violation of academic integrity has occurred.

Broader incidences of academic integrity include but are not limited to:

Abuse of resources is the damaging or any resource material or inappropriately limiting access to resource material that is necessary for academic work. Abuse includes hiding library materials, removing non-circulating material from the library, hiding or stealing another person’s textbook, notes or software, failure to return library materials when requested.

Forgery of academic documents is the unauthorized changing or construction of any academic document, such as changing transcripts, changing grade books, changing grades on papers, which have been returned, or forging signatures. Other examples include completion of an application for any academic program that omits or falsifies any requested information. Such violations can result in the revocation of the application, even if approval was previously granted on the basis of fabricated information.

Sabotage is the damaging or impeding of the academic work of another student. Sabotage includes ruining another student’s lab work, destroying another student’s term paper.

Aiding and abetting academic dishonesty is knowingly facilitating any act defined above.

Violations of academic integrity have a broad impact on the University and will result in University review and action. Faculty who observe violations of academic integrity are asked to report all violations to the Office of Academic Affairs where records of violations will be maintained for five years. University review and action may include tutorials on the appropriate use of materials, academic probation, or expulsion, depending on the nature of the offense. All procedures for disciplinary action are detailed in the Griffin Scratch and Fontbonne policy manuals.

Student Complaint Processes

All students at Fontbonne University, whether enrolled in face-to-face courses or in online courses, are entitled to appropriate due process in their dealings with the university and may seek resolution to problems or concerns. Many issues fall within areas that generally are within the sole purview of Fontbonne University and its governing board. Examples include, but may not be limited to, complaints related to student life (such as, student housing, dining facilities, or student activities and organizations) and certain academic affairs (such as the assignment of grades).

Fontbonne encourages students to resolve any complaints right away through the established policies and procedures of the university. Information for appeals and reporting complaints is found in the Fontbonne University Policy Manuals.

Students who have exhausted all internal informal and formal institutional processes may seek resolution through external authorities. Students who live in Missouri may contact the Missouri Department of Higher Education (MDHE) by following the directions on the MDHE website ( Students who reside outside of Missouri should contact authorities in their home state. A directory of contact information is maintained by State Higher Education Executive Officers on their website at

Complaints concerning laws not applicable to an institution of higher education should not be sent to the MDHE or state educational authorities. Complaints of criminal misconduct should be filed directly with local law enforcement authorities. Complaints relating to violations of Federal law should be filed directly with the Federal agency having cognizance over the matter in question (e.g., violations of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act with the U.S. Department of Education).