Academic Dishonesty

What is Academic Honesty?

Academic honesty is essential to the educational process and serves to protect the integrity of the University community. Therefore, all members of the University community have a responsibility of maintaining high standards of honesty and ethical practice. Students should consult with a faculty member if they are not sure what may constitute academic dishonesty. Students suspected of academic dishonesty may be charged with a violation of University conduct regulations under Article III. 1. of the Student Code of Conduct.

Although instructors are responsible for taking all reasonable precautions to prevent cheating and plagiarizing, students share a joint responsibility and should report any act of academic dishonesty to the instructor.

If a faculty member concludes the student was responsible, he or she may impose a sanction which my include, but is not limited to, one of the following:

  •  warn the student
  • lower the grade on the exam, paper, or assignment related to the incident
  • lower the student's final grade for the course
  • request additional action from the Student Academic Grievance Subcommittee, such as removal from a course, University suspension, or expulsion

A complete description of the process is detailed in the Student Code of Conduct (Article V. Academic Dishonesty). However, it should be noted that a student can:

  •  agree to the charge of academic dishonesty and sign the Academic Integrity Form, acknowledging the incident and accepting the sanction
  • agree to the charge of academic dishonesty but disagree with the sanction and request further review
  • disagree with the charge of academic dishonesty and refuse to sign the Academic Integrity Form, thereby initiating further review by the Student Academic Grievance Subcommittee 

Regardless of whether the Academic Integrity Form is signed, in situations where suspension or expulsion from the University is recommended by the faculty member, the case will immediately be sent to the Student Conduct Office and forwarded to the Judicial Chair of the Student Academic Grievance Subcommittee to initiate a panel hearing. A representative from the Student Conduct Office must be present at all University suspension and expulsion hearings to serve in an advisory capacity.

In instances in which the student already has one prior academic dishonesty offense, any additional offenses will constitute a violation of the Student Code of Conduct and will require the student to undergo a Student Code of Conduct Hearing through the Office of Student Conduct.

The Student Code of Conduct is available online. A printed copy can be obtained in the Office of Student Conduct.

Academic Grievances

The Undergraduate Student Academic Grievance Procedure provides students with a formal channel through which complaints concerning academic matters may be heard. A student must attempt to resolve the complaint by first discussing the issue with the faculty member. If the complaint is not resolved at that level, the student should direct his or her complaint to the department chair and, if the complaint is still not resolved, then to the dean of the college. Complaints not resolved following a discussion with the dean will be considered by an associate provost or designee, who will serve as Judicial Chair. Upon his or her review, the Judicial Chair determines whether the complaint is grievable. If the complaint is grievable, it is presented to the Student Academic Grievance Subcommittee. This committee may mandate a grade change only in cases of academic dishonesty or when the faculty member deviates materially from the course syllabus.

Students wishing to file a grievance should contact the administrative assistant in the Office of the Provost for an appropriate referral. Further information may be found in the Academic Grievance Guide, which is available online at the Student Success homepage. A paper copy may be obtained in the Division of Student Success.