Academic misconduct refers to any conduct that evidences deceit, dishonesty or fraud to obtain an unfair advantage over other students, or violation of the academic standards and policies of the University.
Academic Misconduct Procedures
- Once an instructor suspects a violation of academic misconduct, the instructor shall conduct a preliminary investigation and determine whether a violation is likely to have occurred. Adjunct and newer faculty are encouraged to consult with their respective department Chair or program Coordinator for assistance in these matters.
- If the instructor concludes that there is not sufficient evidence that a violation has likely been committed, the process terminates.
- If the instructor concludes that a violation has likely been committed, the instructor must contact the Dean of Students/designee to ascertain whether the student has a history of previous academic misconduct violations.
- The instructor, Dean of Students, or their designee may notify the Registrar of the charge. The Registrar will place a hold on registration changes to that specific course. The student will not be allowed to drop or change credit/non-credit status unless the charge is dismissed or overturned on appeal.
- The Instructor notifies the student(s) and arranges a meeting to discuss the allegations. Notification should be sent to the student through the student’s university provided email with reasonable time to prepare and respond. The student may have the Student Ombudsperson present to advise, but not represent the student at this meeting. If the student fails to respond within 5 business days, the instructor can proceed without meeting with the student and act based on the information available. At this meeting the instructor should:
- Describe the charges against the student;
- Review the student materials and information that led the instructor to conclude that a violation(s) has likely been committed;
- Explain possible sanctions that could be proposed by the instructor as result of the likely violations;
- Listen to the student(s) argument against the charge, if any, and weigh any provided documentation in the decision to proceed.
- If the instructor decides to proceed on the charge of academic misconduct, the instructor then considers sanctions and options based on the severity of the violation (see below). The instructor will email the student within 3 business days of the meeting with the sanction and information for appealing the decision. In this e-mail, the faculty should advise the student that the student has 5 business days to review the information and either accept responsibility for the violation or appeal the decision to the appropriate Academic Dean. The instructor will then complete the Academic Misconduct Reporting Form, in the Maxient judicial software system that is maintained by the Dean of Students.
The severity of the violation will determine the sanction. There are three categories for severity:
1. Incidental Misconduct
Non-intentional actions that may happen as a result of inattention; negligence of the proper ways of citation of materials; or a simple misunderstanding of the instructions of an assignment. Example sanctions for such misconduct can include: a written warning; redo of an assignment for full or partial credit; or a zero on the assignment.
2. General Misconduct
Willful and deliberate acts of academic misconduct that include: plagiarism, violations of course rules, providing or receiving unauthorized assistance, or other forms of misconduct. Example sanctions for such misconduct can include: a zero on the assignment; an additional assignment with or without credit; or an F in the class.
3. Severe Misconduct
Especially serious actions of academic misconduct that include: repeated general offenses, graduate misconduct, theft, compensation, collusion, a pattern of multiple offenses or other more severe activities. Sanctions for such misconduct can include: An F in the class or expulsion from degree program or major. These cases will also be forwarded to the Dean of Students where additional sanctions may be levied. These additional sanctions may include: academic probation; disciplinary probation; or university suspension.
The student may appeal decisions of the faculty member by notifying in writing the Academic Dean of the college of the class where the offense occurred in writing. All appeals must be in writing and must state the specific ground(s) for the appeal. The student is limited to one appeal and that decision is final. The written appeal must be received within five (5) business days from the date when the notice of sanction is issued by the instructor.
Grounds for Appeal
An appeal may be based only on one or more of the following grounds:
- Procedural error;
- Discovery of substantial new facts that were unavailable at the time of the meeting with the instructor;
- Disciplinary sanction imposed is grossly disproportionate to the violation.
- The Academic Dean may dismiss the appeal if it is not based upon one or more of the allowable grounds.
- The Academic Dean may request additional information.
- The Academic Dean may uphold, reject or modify the faculty member’s determination of academic misconduct and/or sanction.
- The decision of the Academic Dean will be in writing and will be based on a review of the record including any acquired additional information the dean requested.
- A written decision will typically be made within five (5) business days and will be sent to the student's University email address.