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Frequently Asked Questions: Instructors

Students who have been found guilty of academic dishonesty and, as a consequence, have been assigned a Q grade may not graduate with University honors. Requests for exceptions to this policy for students with majors in the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business, School of Journalism, the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences and Stony Brook Southampton are reviewed by the University's Academic Integrity Officer. No exceptions will be made for students graduating with majors in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences.


I suspect a student has committed academic dishonesty in my class, do I have to report it?
Can't I simply give the student an F and not bother with a formal accusation?
How do I file an accusation?
What happens after I file an accusation?
What do I have to do if there is a hearing?
What is a typical penalty for a first offense?
What is the Q course?
What happens after the student completes the Q course?

 

I suspect a student has committed academic dishonesty in my class, do I have to report it?

Yes! Instructors are obligated to report academic dishonesty as soon as they discover it. We have a process in place for dealing with these accusations. You may be dealing with a student who has done this in other courses and who needs to be held accountable.

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Can't I simply give the student an F and not bother with a formal accusation?

No! Students must be allowed due process. Taking the matter into your own hands is against University policy and can expose an instructor to legal action without the benefit of protection of the University Counsel.

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How do I file an accusation?

Accusations are only accepted electronically from this website. Include all the information you can about the accusation, including the names of any witnesses (usually TAs) who must attend a hearing should the student appeal. Send copies of all the evidence to the proper judiciary office. Accusations must be reported within two weeks of the discovery of the offense.

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What happens after I file an accusation?

The student is notified by the Academic Judiciary office when your accusation is received and has two weeks from the date of the notification to decide whether or not to appeal. If the student does not appeal, he/she is found guilty by default and gets a Q for the course. If the student does appeal, we will schedule a hearing. The office will notify the instructor either way.

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What do I have to do if there is a hearing?

The instructor explains the accusation in detail, provides any evidence and answers questions. Hearings generally last an hour. If the student is found not guilty, the case is dropped and no penalty is assigned. If the student is found guilty, the hearing board sets the penalty.

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What is a typical penalty for a first offense?

In most cases, the student will receive a Q grade (denoting academic dishonesty) in the course and be required to that the Q course. Unless the student has committed an egregious act, such as forging documents or using a “ringer” to take an exam for him, a typical grade penalty would range from a zero on the assignment in question to an F in the course. More serious acts may warrant suspension or expulsion. In cases where the student does not appeal, the penalty is typically what the instructor recommends.

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What is the Q course?

The Q course is the University's course on academic integrity. It includes such topics as ethics, effective work habits, and time management skills. The 10-week course is held twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring semesters. It meets on Wednesdays during Campus Lifetime. A student must attend all the sessions and complete all the assignments in order to have the Q removed from his/her transcript.

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What happens after the student completes the Q course?

For a first-time offender with a minor charge, the “Found Guilty – Academic Dishonesty” remark on the transcript will be removed and the Q for the course be replaced by the earned grade with any assigned penalty factored in.

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