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College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Procedures for Faculty Encountering Academic Dishonesty


All proceedings concerned with academic dishonesty are confidential to the extent permitted by law.

  1. In order to facilitate the accusation process, it is suggested that faculty members include in their syllabi a statement concerning their policy on matters of academic dishonesty.
  2. A faculty member who suspects that a student may be guilty of academic dishonesty should react quickly. S/he should gather as much evidence as possible as rapidly as possible: e.g. gathering names of and impressions from potential witnesses, listing potential references that may have been plagiarized, or retaining any hard copies of evidence, such as "cheat sheets" or tests that might have been copied and/or copied from. S/he should commit as many details of the incident to writing as quickly as possible as details regarding an incident can be quickly forgotten.
  3. When a faculty member has evidence suggesting that a student is guilty of academic dishonesty, the student should be confronted with the evidence at a meeting, preferably held in the faculty member's office within five (5) working days of the discovery of the alleged incident. The faculty member's department chair should be present at this meeting.
  4. After the meeting described above, the faculty member should determine the appropriate penalty for the act of dishonesty. This penalty, as determined by the faculty member, may be a failing or zero grade for the assignment in question or a failing grade in the course. The penalty should be consistent with any information published in the faculty member's syllabus. If the faculty member feels that issuance of a failing grade is an insufficient penalty, then the faculty member may request a formal hearing before the Academic Ethics Committee.
  5. After determining the appropriate penalty, the faculty member should present the student with a written letter describing the alleged ethics violation. Copies of this letter should be given to the faculty member's department chair and to the Associate Dean of CLAS who will forward a copy to the Academic Ethics Committee. This letter must include:
    • a detailed description of the incident that resulted in the allegation of academic dishonesty.
    • a statement of the penalty that will be imposed on the student.
    • attachments describing the student's rights (Document 3: Description of Student Rights) to dispute charges, seek the assistance of an advisor and to appeal all decisions and/or penalties issuing from the accusation of academic dishonesty.