As members of the UC Denver academic community, faculty and students accept the responsibility to maintain the highest standards of intellectual honesty and ethical conduct in all forms of academic work. The CLAS Academic Ethics Committee (AEC)--composed of faculty, students, and staff--is charged with establishing academic ethics policies and, when necessary, to evaluate ethics charges against students, as well as student requests to review ethics charges and penalties imposed by faculty.
Both CU Denver and CLAS require that all faculty include a component in their course syllabi reminding students of academic ethics policies (see "Syllabus Requirements, CLAS Policy" at http://www.ucdenver.edu/academics/colleges/CLAS/faculty-staff/policies/Pages/SyllabusRequirements.aspx).
The AEC has developed a template statement about academic honesty for inclusion in all CLAS course syllabi. There is a short version and a long version from which to choose, or faculty may customize one of these or write their own statement about ethics expectations. To disseminate a consistent message and support college-wide integrity standards, all CLAS syllabi must include some statement about academic honesty that directs students to the websites that define infractions and student rights.
While most student violations center around cheating or plagiarism, the Honor Code is more comprehensive and includes the following categories:
- fabrication and falsification
- multiple submission
- misuse of academic materials
- complicity in academic dishonesty
Please refer to the Definition of Academic Dishonesty for more details.
Academic Dishonesty Incidents
Faculty are encouraged to try to handle alleged academic dishonesty cases at the faculty or department level. Many cases of academic dishonesty involve miscommunications, absence of clear policies on syllabus or assignments, or cultural differences, all of which are best handled at the department level. Additionally, the College Associate Dean Marjorie Levine-Clark will work with a faculty member and student(s) in an effort to facilitate communication and to resolve the dispute before the end of the semester and the issuance of final grades.
Faculty who have evidence suggesting a student is guilty of academic dishonesty should:
- privately confront the student with the evidence,
- listen to the student's perspective and keep communication lines open,
- evaluate all evidence and circumstances,
- determine appropriate consequences (warning, zero/failing grade on assignment, or failing grade for the course), and, if you decide to impose any grade penalty,
- inform the student of the charge, decision, and penalty in writing, using the template letter linked below.
CLAS faculty have a large amount of discretion in handling ethics violations at the department level, up to and including a failing course grade. Any other sanctions (suspension, transcript notation, etc.) desired by the instructor must be forwarded to the AEC via the CLAS associate dean. Faculty have responsibilities to uphold students' rights in matters of alleged academic dishonesty.
If the faculty decision concerning the alleged academic dishonesty adversely affects the student's assignment or course grade, a letter to the student is required (see form letter below) with copies to the department Chair and CLAS associate Dean. The letter outlines the charge(s) and informs the student of his/her rights. Faculty responsibilities in alleged ethics violations that lower a student's grade are summarized below.
Initiating an Alleged Ethics Violation Charge
- Instructor provides written notification to the student using the letter template, which informs the student of the charge(s), decision, penalty, and informs the student of his/her rights Description of Student Rights
- Instructor should compile physical and eyewitness evidence in the case of an AEC hearing
- Instructor sends an electronic copy of the letter to her/his chair, the CLAS associate dean, and the Advising Office staff liaison to the AEC
- Student is allowed to fully participate in remainder of class
- Student is not allowed to drop or withdraw from class
- Should the dispute result in an Academic Ethics Hearing, the burden of proof resides with the faculty.
Frequently Encountered Situations