Faculty Course of Action 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. Student shall not give nor receive assistance during quizzes, examinations, or other class exercises nor assist other students in violating academic honesty standards of the University.

Reporting academic dishonesty

If you are not familiar with the reporting process, please read the information below.

If you are familiar with the reporting process, access the online academic honesty reporting form which pertains to undergraduate students only. Faculty with academic honesty concerns involving a graduate student should contact the Graduate College.

Steps to reporting academic dishonesty of undergraduate students

Review the material to ensure that there is sufficient support for a charge of academic dishonesty. You may wish to meet with the student to discuss your suspicion. The staff of the Office of Student Conduct are available to consult with faculty members on aspects of academic honesty violations.

Contact the Office of Student Conduct (contact form available here) to determine the student’s disciplinary history and to identify the appropriate option for the case.

Choose an Option (A, B, or C). Refer to this academic honesty criteria chart [PDF] for guidance. 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 will be brought in under Option C.

For cases involving multiple students, you may choose a different option and/or academic penalty for each student, depending on the extent of their involvement.

It is recommended you inform the student that a case of academic dishonesty is pending. This may be done in person or via email. Let the student know that the Office of Student Conduct (or Graduate College) will be in contact with the student with more information. You should not go into specifics about the incident nor allow the student to “argue” their case. You should continue to work with the student on other course-related work.

Complete the online academic honesty reporting form. 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 each co-charged student.

Submit all supporting documents for the case. Please make every effort to provide the case materials within five (5) days of identifying the alleged violation. 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 attached to the online academic honesty reporting form (preferred), sent as an email attachment, via Campus Mail or hand-delivered. The original copy of the assignment, test, or examination should be kept by you. A photocopy of all items submitted will be made available for sharing with the charged student. If you wish for the student to review, but not keep, any of the supporting documents, please indicate this when completing the form.

If using Canvas, do not assign the grade (with penalty) for the assignment. Leave blank or assign a grade of “Incomplete” if possible. If near the end of the term, assign the student a course grade of “Incomplete” 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), educational and administrative 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 burden of responsibility for all violations of the Code of Conduct is preponderance, meaning it is more likely than not a violation occurred. The faculty member reporting the alleged violation is responsible for demonstrating that a student was academically dishonest.

It is contrary to University policy for a faculty member to lower a grade on an academic work or academic exercise when a violation of the Academic Honesty Policy is suspected without working with the Office of Student Conduct or the Graduate College. Such an independent action violates the student’s right to due process and leaves the faculty member vulnerable to a grade grievance.

Similarly, students are prohibited from proposing and/or entering into an agreement with a faculty member to receive any reduced grade on an academic exercise or in the course so as to avoid being charged with a violation of the Academic Honesty Policy.

Listed below are the options under 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.

For all options, if a student participates in an administrative hearing or appeal, the academic penalty assigned as a result cannot be more stringent than penalty originally recommended by the faculty member.

Sanction Options

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.

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, may issue a lower or failing grade in the course or may require that the student be withdrawn from the course.

Option C: The student will receive a failing grade in the class in which the incident of dishonesty occurred, and a grade of “X” will be placed on the student’s University transcript, indicating the failure resulted from the student’s academic violation.

Students who wish to remove the “X” from the transcript may complete a non-credit seminar sponsored by the Office of Student Conduct. This seminar addresses such topics as academic, professional and personal integrity; University policies and sanctions; and resources for student success. Once completed, the “X” notation will be replaced with a course grade of “F”.