The University at Buffalo takes very seriously its commitment to principles of academic integrity as foundational to the enterprise of teaching and learning. Our academic community expects the highest ethical behavior on the part of our students in the completion and submission of academic work. Regardless of whether instruction is in-person or remote, it is every student’s responsibility to complete their work in an honest fashion, upholding both the expectations of their individual instructors as well as the university’s broader academic integrity policy. Only through these practices can students maintain their personal integrity and ensure UB’s tradition of academic excellence.
In cases of academic misconduct violations, the university will pursue appropriate sanctions subject to official policy.
The University at Buffalo (the “University”) has an interest in preserving the rights of faculty in their intellectual property, respecting the integrity and effectiveness of the educational experience, and protecting the privacy rights of students and faculty in course offerings.
This policy will establish a procedure under which faculty may, at their discretion, restrict the distribution of course materials prepared or assigned by them.
There is an emerging trend in which students are presented with opportunities to provide and sell course materials developed by faculty to companies that post and/or sell those materials without the author’s permission. Many members of the University faculty are concerned that posting and selling course materials without the author’s permission violates the intellectual property rights of the authors, and degrades educational quality and the classroom experience by promoting a lack of direct participation in coursework, and facilitating the ability of students to use the work of others to complete course requirements.
Instructors may prohibit the distribution of course materials by including notice in the course syllabus. This prohibition will not be effective or enforceable unless an explicit written directive is provided to the students in the course. Sample language is included below:
All materials prepared and/or assigned by me for this course are for the students’ educational benefit. Other than for permitted collaborative work, students may not photograph, record, reproduce, transmit, distribute, upload, sell or exchange course materials, without my prior written permission. “Course materials” include, but are not limited to, all instructor-prepared and assigned materials, such as lectures; lecture notes; discussion prompts; study aids; tests and assignments; and presentation materials such as PowerPoint slides, Prezi slides, or transparencies; and course packets or handouts. Public distribution of such materials may also constitute copyright infringement in violation of federal or state law. Violation of this policy may additionally subject a student to a finding of “academic dishonesty” under the Academic Integrity Policy and/or disciplinary charges under the Student Code of Conduct.
Students who violate this policy will be required to complete an educational sanction about the value of intellectual property. More serious and/or repeat violations of this policy may be treated as acts of “academic dishonesty” under the Academic Integrity Policy or subject a student to disciplinary charges under the Student Code of Conduct.