Academic Misconduct for Faculty
The rules governing student academic misconduct are stated in the Blugold Code, but helpful information is available on this page.
Academic Misconduct Discipline Procedure
When you have completed the procedure, please submit all documentation to the Dean of Students office with the Academic Misconduct Report Form.
Academic Misconduct Report Form
If it appears to you that a student in your class may be responsible for academic misconduct -- for example, cheating on an exam, plagiarizing a paper, or interfering with another student’s lab work -- please promptly ask the student to meet with you informally to discuss your concerns. This meeting can be requested verbally or in writing via email. During this meeting, you should explain why you believe the student may have committed academic misconduct and give the student an opportunity to respond. It is not necessary to inform the student in writing before this meeting. However, you should give the student a copy of the Blugold Code when you meet with her/him.
While is not required, you may wish to copy your Department Chair on correspondence with the student.
Academic Misconduct Did Not Occur
If you conclude that no misconduct occurred or that no sanction is warranted, this meeting will end the matter. You do not need to keep any notes or notify anyone else. However, you may want to keep personal notes, but not in the student’s folder. Please submit the Academic Misconduct Form regardless, as it may help identify patterns in student behavior.
Academic Misconduct Occurred
If instead you conclude that the student is responsible and that a sanction is warranted, you should choose from the following range of sanctions. These are ranked as to severity, and the procedures vary with increasing severity. You may choose to impose more than one sanction.
If students not enrolled in your class are involved, if you have reason to believe the student may have been involved in other incidents, or if you feel you could not give the student a fair hearing, you should contact the Dean of Students Office and ask for an investigating officer to be assigned to the case.
The Blugold Code lists sanctions as (A) through (J). They are listed by degree of severity and procedural process as follows:
A. An oral reprimand.
B. A written reprimand presented only to the student.
C. An assignment to repeat the work, to be graded on its merits.
D. A lower or failing grade on the particular assignment or test.
E. A lower grade in the course.
F. A failing grade in the course.
G. Removal of the student from the course in progress.
H. A written reprimand to be included in the student’s disciplinary file.
I. University disciplinary probation.
J. Suspension or expulsion.
Reprimand or Repeat Work
(Level One: Sanctions A through C)
You can privately reprimand the student, either orally or in writing, and/or ask the student to repeat the work in which the misconduct occurred. Under the latter option, you must grade the work on its merits without making a deduction for the previous misconduct. The student does have the right to contest any sanction you impose, including these very mild ones. You must inform the student of the right to a hearing and you should keep some notes about the incident. The Academic Misconduct Form must still be completed for a record in case of repeated conduct.
Grade or Course Alterations
(Level Two: Sanctions D through H)
If you choose a sanction in this group, you must prepare a written report, summarizing the reasons for your belief that misconduct occurred, proposing one or more sanctions, and notifying the student that s/he has the right to request a hearing within 10 days. You may use the Academic Investigation Letter as a template for the notification to the student. You must send or give a copy of your report to the student along with a copy of the rules governing academic misconduct if not previously presented to the student. Submit everything you've gathered via the Academic Misconduct Report Form. If you have decided to remove the student from the course, the Dean of Students Office will file the course change form. After meeting with the student, you must send an updated letter summarizing the meeting and stating your determined outcome, and the student's right to appeal to the Dean of Students office.
Submit the documentation using the Academic Misconduct Report Form.
Probation, Suspension, or Expulsion
(Level Three: Sanctions I and J)
If you conclude that disciplinary probation, suspension or expulsion is warranted, the incident must be referred to the Dean of Students Office. Your report to the Dean of Students Office should include a description of the incident and specification of the sanction recommended. Send or give a copy of this report to the student, as well as submitting a report and documentation via the form. The office will follow through with the case, will consult with you and will also meet with the student.
Submit the documentation using the Academic Misconduct Report Form for the Dean of Students to follow up.
Student's Right to a Hearing
If the student wishes to contest any part of your report, there will be a hearing before an academic misconduct hearing committee which will include three faculty and three students. Note: Your role in the hearing will be that of witness; you are not obliged to “prosecute” the case or defend your decision. The committee will listen to the evidence and arguments and decide whether academic misconduct has occurred and what the appropriate sanction should be.
Academic Hearing or Appeal
If the sanction you propose is probation, suspension or expulsion from the University, a hearing will automatically be scheduled unless the student waives this right. If the hearing committee prescribes one of these severe penalties, the student can appeal to the Chancellor, who will review the decision. Ordinarily, campus decisions are final except that the Board of Regents may, at its discretion, grant a review of the record.
Tips for Faculty
Follow Due Process
It is important that all procedures are followed consistent with the Blugold Code when dealing with any academic misconduct. Failure to follow these procedures could result in appropriate grievance action against a faculty member. The individual faculty member carries the primary responsibility for resolving instances of alleged academic misconduct.
Discuss Academic Integrity
It is important to inform students about academic dishonesty and your expectations as a faculty member. A good time to do this is the first day of class when you review your course syllabus and just before the first exam or required paper.
If the writing of papers is a part of your course, plagiarism and the rules of citation should be discussed. This may be particularly important for new or young students who may not be well grounded in the mechanics of citing sources or who may not understand that plagiarism is using another's ideas without credit as well as using another’s exact words. You should make clear your position on whether students may submit work that they have previously submitted in another course.
Address cheating during exams
To reduce the temptation to cheat during exams, you should consider the conditions under which exams are given. Attention to seating, number and role of proctors, and the use of alternate versions of exams may be useful.
When group work is a part of your course, be sure to discuss the acceptable perimeters of collaboration. When discussing group work, instructors may have different ideas about what collaboration means in their respective courses. Students can more easily be held accountable when the expectation for collaboration was clearly discussed prior to the assignment.