UTM to uphold academic integrity

JOHOR BARU: Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) will not compromise against any wrongdoings that would jeopardise academic integrity.Its vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Wahid Omar said the university treats academic integrity seriously as any issues related to it can ruin the reputation of the institution as a whole.

“UTM will not hesitate to take stern action, including disciplinary action against staff or students who are found guilty following a thorough investigation,” he said in a statement here in response to a Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz’s comments about academic integrity.

In a forum last month, the former cabinet minister said it would be better to miss targets set for university teaching staff, than to forcibly ride on their post-graduate students’ work without contribution.

Prof Wahid said that in order to attend to all the complaints, UTM had put in place the Icare system, a one-stop complaint portal that is administered by a dedicated staff so the confidentiality of the complainant is assured.

He said any email or letter that was sent directly to the vice-chancellor against the university’s top management or officers will be investigated fairly and according to the university’s provision.

“Any case received about integrity, including academic integrity, will be handled by a special committee called Jawatankuasa Integriti dan Tadbir Urus (JITU), which is now known as the Jawatankuasa Anti-Rasuah (JAR).

“JAR is given the power by the university to investigate independently and fairly based on the international standard for integrity including academic integrity such as plagiarism, publication copyright either for a magazine, journal or thesis,” he said.

Prof Wahid said UTM also has the Professional Code of Ethics which outlines the Academic Regulations to tackle academic integrity issues such as plagiarism.

“If it is found that there has been a violation of the Professional Code of Ethics, staff can be punished in line with the Act 605 of the Discipline Rules for Statutory Bodies (Discipline and Surcharge) 2000.In addition to the Professional Code of Ethics, students and supervisors are bound by the publication ethics stated in the UTM Academic Regulation for Postgraduate currently in force,” he said.

Through the Research Management Centre, UTM has provided a platform for academic staff and researchers to record journal publication information whether they are the main writer, co-writer or others and this information can be referred to by all staff and students.

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