Course of Action For Faculty When Academic Dishonesty Is Suspected

Academic honesty and integrity lie at the heart of any educational enterprise. Students are expected to do their own work and neither to give nor to receive assistance during quizzes, examinations, or other class exercises.

 

Click here to access the on-line form if you are familiar with the reporting process for academic honesty violations.

If your are not familiar with the reporting process, please read the information below, which pertains to undergraduate students only. Faculty with academic honesty concerns involving a graduate student should contact the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies.

 

If a faculty member suspects a student has been academically dishonest, review all information to ensure that there is sufficient support to warrant a charge of academic dishonesty. Faculty members may wish to meet with the student to discuss their suspicion. The staff of the Office of Student Conduct are available to consult with faculty members on aspects of academic honesty violations.

The original copy of the assignment, test, or examination should be kept by the faculty member. A photocopy of the work must be made available for sharing with the charged student.

If the alleged violation occurs before final grades for the semester have been submitted, the faculty member must assign the student an “I” grade to show incomplete work. This grade will remain until the alleged violation is adjudicated.

 

SPECIFIC STEPS

  1. Review the material to ensure that there is sufficient support for a charge of academic dishonesty.
  2. Contact the Office of Student Conduct to determine the student’s disciplinary history and to identify the appropriate option for the case.
  3. Choose an Option (A, B, or C).  Refer to this chart and consider the criteria for each option.  In addition, please consider:
    • How extensive is the problem?
    • How much is the assignment/exam worth?
    • Is it a major or minor assignment?
    • What does your syllabus say about how you will file cases of alleged academic honesty policy violations with the Office of Student Conduct?
    • What would the faculty member of another class section choose?
    • What is your department’s policy/stance regarding academic dishonesty?
    • Do you need to consult with your supervisor/department chair?
    • Note that any student who has a prior history of academic dishonesty must be brought in under Option C.
  4. For cases involving multiple students, you may choose a different option and/or academic penalty for each of the students.
  5. Communicate to the student that a case of academic dishonesty is pending.  Let the student know that the Office of Student Conduct ( or Office of Graduate Studies) will be in contact with the student with more information.  You do not need to go into specifics about the incident. You should continue to work with the student on course work.
  6. Complete this online form. (If accessing from off-campus or via wireless connection, a virtual private network must be established first.) Include a summary of the incident, names of those involved (charged students and witnesses) and the academic penalty chosen, keeping in mind the penalty may be different for co-charged student, depending on the extent of their involvement.
  7. Provide the Office of Student Conduct with all supporting documents for the case. (In a plagiarism case, materials will ideally be a copy of the student’s work and a copy of the text or website that the student’s work matches.  In a cheating case, the case materials will be a copy of each student’s work – the student getting the help as well as the person giving the help.)  Documents may be sent as e-mail attachment, via Campus Mail or hand-delivered. Please make every effort to provide the case materials within five (5) days of identifying the alleged violation.
  8. If near the end of the term, assign the student an “I” grade until the case is resolved.

 

SANCTIONS FOR VIOLATIONS OF THE ACADEMIC HONESTY POLICY

A range of possible sanctions exist for cases of academic dishonesty. In addition to an academic penalty (determined by the faculty member), disciplinary sanctions may also be applied.

It is important to understand that an Administrative Hearing Officer cannot find a student responsible of academic dishonesty without a reasonable level of factual substantiation of the charge. The faculty member bringing the charge is responsible for demonstrating that a student was academically dishonest.

It is contrary to University policy for an instructor to assign a disciplinary grade such as an “F” or zero to an assignment, test, examination or other course work as a sanction for admitted or suspected academic dishonesty in lieu of formally charging the student with academic dishonesty under the University’s Code of Conduct. Such an independent action violates the student’s guaranteed legal right to due process and leaves the instructor vulnerable to a student grievance, an off-campus civil suit and possible disciplinary action by the University.

Similarly, students are prohibited from proposing and/or entering into an arrangement with an instructor to receive a grade of “F” or any reduced grade in a course or on an academic exercise in lieu of being charged with academic dishonesty under the Code of Conduct. Any student who commits, aids or attempts to commit any of the acts of misconduct listed in the Code of Conduct under Academic Honesty shall be subject to action under the Undergraduate or Graduate Student Conduct System.

Listed below are the options in which academic dishonesty charges can be filed. The actions listed within each option will not preclude additional sanctions. Students with past violations of the Academic Honesty Policy will be handled under Option C and in concert with other policies.

Option A

The faculty member may require the student to repeat any work affected by the academic violation. When the faculty member chooses to have the student repeat affected work, the faculty member may impose a grade penalty on that work. If the student chooses to request an Administrative Hearing, the academic penalties for a finding of “responsible” can be no more than those initially prescribed by the instructor.

 Option B

The faculty member may issue the student a lower or failing grade on all or any portion of the work affected by the academic violation or a lower or failing grade in the course; or the faculty member may require that the student be withdrawn from the course. If the student chooses to request an Administrative Hearing, the academic penalties for a finding of “responsible” can be no more than those initially prescribed by the instructor.

 Option C

The student will receive a failing grade in the class in which the offense occurred, and an “X” will be placed next to the “F” on the student’s University transcript, with an explanation on the transcript that the failure resulted from the student’s academic violation.

The student who wishes to remove the “X” from the transcript may complete a non-credit seminar at the University addressing the academic violation and the ethical and social ramifications of violations. A student who successfully completes this course may submit a request to the Office of Student Conduct or Office of Graduate and Professional Education to have the “X” removed from his or her transcript. All costs or fees associated with the seminar shall be paid by the student.