AIC Terms of Reference

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Rationale and History of AIC

In 2011, the Academic Integrity Task Force noted that many different offices and individuals within the University community had some responsibility for promoting academic integrity but there was no mechanism for them to coordinate their work, to identify problems or gaps, or to regularly gather feedback as how effective these campaigns were. As a result, the University sent mixed messages or bombarded people with the same broad messages but missed out on more subtle information that students and faculty needed. 

Equally importantly, the Task Force found that lack of information about the Code of Student Behaviour had led to misunderstandings that undermined the community’s confidence in the system and affected the way that students and instructors interacted with it. The Task Force recommended the creation of an Academic Integrity Council, a body whose meetings would give the various individuals and groups responsible for promoting academic integrity an opportunity to communicate with each other, to set common themes for education, to share resources and the results of their work, to develop a broader picture as to how effectively our processes are functioning, and to communicate to the larger community. The AIC will function as an advisory body for the Truth in Education Program of the Office of Student Judicial Affairs.

Principles

The members of the Academic Integrity Council at the University of Alberta believe that protecting and promoting the academic integrity among students is a vital interest and obligation of all of the members of our community and that:
  • The reputation of the university and of our faculty, staff, students and graduates depends on upholding the highest levels of academic integrity
  • Instructors and students play a central role in promoting and protecting academic integrity in and outside of our classrooms and they need to be supported with resources and information.
  • Academic integrity education is more effective when coordinated and consistent.
  • Communication and transparency play a significant role in fostering an ethical campus.

Mandate

The mandate of AIC is to serve as a coordinated resource which supports the promotion ofacademic integrity among students and the prevention of cheating and plagiarism in our classrooms.

Functions

  1. Information sharing and collaboration. AIC provides an opportunity for members to share information about ongoing activities, new initiatives, and issues. AIC helps units link together to formulate more effective programs.
  2. Consultation and advice. The AIC provides consultation and advice on matters of student academic integrity. This may include observation and analysis on the effects of University policy and programs.
  3. Monitoring of trends in the literature and other communities. Members of the AIC will report on trends and practices related to academic integrity discussed in the literature and at professional conferences and identify best practices through examining university wide experiences and communication with other institutions.
  4. Monitoring and reporting on trends in academic integrity on campus. The committee will review the state of academic integrity on campus each year and produce an annual report containing its observations on current trends, educational initiatives, and recommendations.
  5. Coordinating educational campaigns. The AIC, at its discretion and in conjunction with the TIE program, may coordinate the development of public information campaigns to promote academic integrity and/or develop resources that can be used by members of the community to increase the academic security of the classroom.

Members

The AIC will include representatives of the following University of Alberta units and communities:
  • Dean of Students Office
  • Student Conduct and Accountability
  • Student Union
  • Graduate Students Association
  • University Governance
  • Representatives of the Faculties of Engineering, Arts, Science, ALES, and Business (invitations will be sent to the Dean or designate responsible for enforcing the Code of Student Behaviour)
  • University of Alberta Libraries
  • Centre for Writers/University Writing Committee
  • Office of the Student Ombuds
  • Student Success Centre
  • Academic staff with current or recent teaching responsibilities
  • Students at large

Terms of Membership

Members participate in AIC within the scope of their official roles at the University of Alberta. Individuals are asked to commit to participation for a minimum of 12 months and attend two regular meetings during this period. In addition, members may be invited to voluntarily participate in smaller sub‐committees or task groups based on the relevance to the member’s home unit. Individuals who must miss a meeting or intend to terminate their membership are asked to seek out a potential replacement from the unit or organization that they represent.

Meetings

The group will meet at least once in the Fall semester and once in the Winter semester in order to provide updates to the group. In addition, meetings of either all members or selected members will be called as needed in response to requests or emerging issues.