All proceedings concerned with academic dishonesty against a student are confidential to the extent permitted by applicable laws.
I. A faculty member, a student or a representative of the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences may bring charges of academic dishonesty against a student.
A faculty member who has evidence suggesting that a student is guilty of academic dishonesty shall:
- Confront the student with the evidence. This meeting is best held in the faculty member's office and should take place as soon as possible after the discovery of alleged academic ethics violation (ideally, within five (5) working days). The Academic Ethics Committee strongly suggests that the instructor include a third party at the meeting.
- Determine appropriate consequences. These consequences may include a failing or zero grade on the assignment in question or a failing grade in the course. If the faculty member feels that issuance of a failing grade is an insufficient penalty, the faculty member may request additional consequences by requesting a formal hearing from the Academic Ethics Committee (AEC).
- If any penalty beyond a warning is imposed, inform the student in writing using the official AEC form letter. Forward an electronic copy to the department chair, the CLAS associate dean, and the Advising Office staff liaison to the AEC. Use of this letter is critical, both to inform the student of his/her rights of appeal and for keeping record of ethics charges in order to identify repeat offenders within the college.
A student who has evidence suggesting that another student is guilty of academic dishonesty should inform the instructor of the course and/or the associate dean of CLAS in writing and in as much detail as possible. The associate dean will then forward this information to the AEC. The instructor will proceed as described in 1a. above.
A representative of the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences may bring charges of academic dishonesty against a student. The chair of the AEC will be informed and will take the necessary steps to inform the parties involved and will initiate the hearing if necessary.
II. The Academic Ethics Committee will convene a hearing when
- an accused student denies the charge of academic dishonesty brought against her/him;
- an accused student admits to the ethics violation but disputes the penalty imposed by the instructor;
- a faculty member requests a hearing of a particular case because s/he feels that a failing grade in the course is insufficient penalty for a particular ethics violation;
- there is evidence that a student is guilty of academic dishonesty in more than one course, involving more than one instructor, or that a student is guilty of multiple incidents of academic dishonesty in one course;
- the Academic Advising Office has record of existing allegations against a student accused of academic dishonesty.
The AEC hearing should occur within a reasonable period of time of the request for a hearing, not to exceed six months, unless all the parties agree to a later date. At least one week before a hearing is scheduled, the AEC will inform all parties (in writing by certified mail sent to the address on record) involved in the case of the following:
- The specific charges brought;
- The time and place to appear before the AEC for a hearing and a description of the hearing process (Detailed Description of Academic Ethics Hearing Process);
- The student's rights regarding the hearing and appeals process (Description of Student Rights).
III. The hearing before the AEC is described in detail (Detailed Description of the Academic Ethics Hearing Process) and shall consist of four parts:
- The presentation of the evidence by the faculty member (or other) bringing the charge of violation of academic ethics.
- The defense of the student.
- Discussion and questions by the AEC members to the faculty member(s), student and others involved in the case.
- The discussion of the case by the AEC, formulation of a decision based on the preponderance of the evidence, and voting on the forwarding of this decision to the Dean's Office.
The student, faculty member and others involved in the case shall be present for the first three parts of the hearing, if they choose to attend. The final part (discussion and voting) shall take place in the presence of only the AEC members, and no new evidence may be introduced at this time.
IV. All parties to the case shall be verbally notified of the AEC's decision within 24 hours (one working day). The Chair of the AEC then forwards (within three days) its confidential written decision to the Dean's Office, the student, and the faculty member(s) involved. The decision will be reached by majority vote of all members of the AEC in attendance, and, in the case of a tie vote, the finding will be in favor of the student, since the burden of proof resides with the faculty member. Those members of the AEC who do not concur with a 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.
- Increasing the penalty imposed upon the student by the faculty member.
V. Upon receiving the AEC's decision, the student charged and/or the faculty who brought the charge will have ten days to appeal the decision to the Dean.