All proceedings concerned with academic dishonesty are confidential to the extent permitted by law.
A student accused of academic dishonesty has the right to:
- Admit to the charges and accept the penalty imposed by the instructor. If the student admits to the charges, the faculty member will invoke an appropriate penalty, which could include the issuance of a failing grade in the course. If the faculty member believes further action is warranted, then the faculty member may request a hearing of the Academic Ethics Committee, which will determine if further action is necessary.
- Dispute the charges or the penalty by requesting a hearing of the Academic Ethics Committee. The Committee, composed of faculty, staff and students, shall provide an impartial hearing for the charges.
- If the student believes the charges to be false or is disputing the penalty, s/he has these further rights and responsibilities (below):
I. The right to call a hearing of the Ethics Committee.
- To request a hearing the student must notify the CLAS Academic Advisor who chairs the AEC. All requests for Ethics Committee hearings shall be granted.
- The Ethics Committee hearing should occur within a reasonable period of time of the request for a hearing, not to exceed six months, unless all parties agree to a later date.
- Once the hearing is scheduled, the student has forty-eight hours to provide evidence in support of her/his case or to make a request to reschedule the hearing.
- If the student does not attend the scheduled meeting, the hearing will be held only after efforts are made to determine why the student is absent and after all reasonable accommodations have been made to enable the student to attend.
- The student has the right to have one person of her/his own choosing appear with her/him in an advisory capacity. A student who has a pending charge of academic dishonesty cannot appear in an advisory capacity. This individual will not be permitted to speak on behalf of the student.
- If the student retains a lawyer, the committee must be notified a week in advance of the hearing.
II. The right to an impartial hearing.
- The Ethics Committee is composed of faculty, staff, and students.
- The student charged has the right to be present at any portion of the meeting when evidence is heard with respect to the case.
- The student has the right to request that any person involved in the case be present at the time the student appears before the committee, but will not have the right to be present during deliberations or voting.
- The student has the right to challenge the impartiality of any member of the committee. Determination of impartiality shall be made by a closed vote of the committee members.
The hearing shall consist of four parts:
- the presentation of the evidence by the faculty member (or other) bringing the charge of violation of academic ethics. This may include statements in writing by those involved in the case.
- the defense of the student. This may also include written statements by those involved in the case.
- discussion and questions by the Committee members to the faculty member(s), student, and others involved in the case.
- The discussion of the case by the Committee, formulation of a decision and voting on the forwarding of this decision to the Dean. The student and advisor may be present during parts I-III, but not during part IV. Furthermore, no new evidence may be introduced in part IV.
III. The right to appeal the decision.
All parties to the case shall be verbally notified of the committee's decision within 24 hours (one working day). The Chair of the Committee then forwards (within three days) its confidential written decision to the Dean’s Office, the student, and the faculty member(s) involved. This decision will be based on the preponderance of evidence by majority vote of all members of the Committee in attendance. Those members of the Committee who do not concur with the majority opinion may append a minority opinion to the decision.
Decisions may include the following:
- elimination of all charges brought against the student,
- reducing the penalty imposed upon the student by the faculty member,
- upholding the penalty imposed upon the student by the faculty member, or
- increasing the penalty imposed upon the student by the faculty member.
Upon receiving the Committee's decision, the student charged and/or the faculty member who brought the charge will have ten days to appeal the decision to the Dean. The Dean's decision is final.