|Procedures for Filing an Accusation of Academic Dishonesty
- Any member of the academic community may bring forward an accusation of academic dishonesty
to the appropriate college judiciary committee. The accusation should be submitted
in writing within two weeks of the discovery of the alleged offense. When it is not
possible for the accusation to be made within the two-week period, justification for
the lateness should be included in the filing documentation. Instructors who suspect
academic dishonesty must report their suspicions to the appropriate judiciary committee;
they should not assign a penalty without also informing the committee. Instructors
may wish to consult with the hearing officer before assigning penalties.
When the Judiciary Committee receives an accusation, each student is notified by email
and instructed to make an appointment to come in and discuss the accusation. A copy
of the accusation and the proposed penalty will be given to all parties named in the
report of dishonesty. Those parties accused will have two weeks from the date of notification
to inform the committee whether or not they intend to appeal the accusation.
- Penalties for Academic Dishonesty in Course Work
A student who is found guilty of a first offense will have an academic dishonesty
guilty notation on their record and will typically be given a Q grade for the course,
signifying that he or she has committed an act of academic dishonesty. The Q is computed
in the student's GPA as an F. Except where the Judiciary Committee specifies otherwise;
the Q grade is removed and replaced with the earned grade including any penalty assigned
by the instructor and the AJC when the student completes a non-credit academic integrity
course (called “the Q course”).
An F for the course is considered to be an appropriate penalty grade for an act of
academic dishonesty, though a more lenient or more severe penalty may be recommended
under certain circumstances. For example, where premeditation or conspiracy (e.g.,
use of ringers or electronic devices) is involved, penalties such as suspension or
expulsion may be considered. The minimum penalty is typically a zero on the assignment
in question. In all cases a written report of the offense and the action taken by
the instructor must be forwarded to the relevant Judiciary Committee in order that
students may be formally notified of the charges and of the mechanism of appeal, and
so that students who have been charged with academic dishonesty more than once can
be identified. A course for which a penalty grade has been assigned cannot be dropped
or taken Pass/No Credit.
- The Q Course
The Q course meets for 1 hour per week for 10 weeks during the fall and spring semesters.
Space is limited, so students are encouraged to register at least one month before
the start date for the course. You may find out more about the Q course or register
for it by calling the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs Office at 632-7080.
- Multiple Offenses
If a student is found to have committed two or more acts of academic dishonesty, the
AJC or CEAS-CASA will consider recommending a penalty in addition to those already
established for the separate offenses. The penalties for a second offense include
suspension or permanent expulsion from the University, a permanent notation on the
student's academic record of academic dishonesty, and a permanent Q grade for all
courses for which the student has committed acts of academic dishonesty.
- Appeals and Hearings
- Appeals of Academic Dishonesty Accusations
A student accused of academic dishonesty may appeal the accusation to the relevant
judiciary committee. An accusation that is not appealed will be rendered as a finding
of academic dishonesty. By appealing the accusation, the student asserts that he or
she did not violate university policy concerning academic dishonesty. Students may
not appeal the instructor's penalty. Students may not appeal/request exceptions for
having a Q grade on their record or taking the Q course.
All appeals must be presented in writing not later than two weeks after notification
of the accusation. On receiving an appeal, the hearing officer will inform the instructor
or department and schedule a hearing, to be held as soon as possible after receipt
of the student's appeal. On receiving an appeal, the hearing officer will ensure that
an "I" is entered on the student's record until the matter is adjudicated.
Students who challenge an accusation for a course that is in progress should continue
attending the class and completing coursework. Any student who is granted a hearing
and is found not guilty will receive his or her earned grade in the course.
A student who is granted a hearing and is found guilty will receive penalties as described
above. These penalties may differ from the penalty recommended by the reporting instructor.
In cases where students do not appeal, the recommended penalty is applied, with very
few exceptions. NOTE: A student who is found guilty and is determined to have presented
false evidence or false testimony at the hearing may have a second accusation of dishonesty
brought against him or her by the hearing board, which would be associated with multiple,
and more serious, penalties. NOTE ALSO: Students who are found guilty of academic
dishonesty must take the university’s Q Course no later than the next academic semester.
- Hearing Boards
A hearing board will consist of a hearing officer, at least two faculty and/or professional
staff members and/or teaching assistants, and two undergraduate students. In the College
of Arts and Sciences a faculty member or professional staff member will normally serve
as hearing officer. In the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the CASA chair
will usually serve as hearing officer.
Academic dishonesty hearing boards are normally drawn by the Judiciary Committee from
its own members, but may also include faculty and staff who have volunteered to serve
on hearing boards. In cases where the hearing officer is affiliated with the department
from which an accusation arises, he or she will not serve as a voting member of the
hearing board but will be replaced by another faculty or staff member.
Students may be found guilty of academic dishonesty on the basis of direct evidence,
circumstantial evidence, or a combination of the two. This may include, for example,
any of the following: a dramatic change in writing style, possession of accessible
notes, devices, or similarly prohibited material during an exam, observed communication
between students during an exam, or unusual similarity among exams, papers, or other
work. The standard of evidence used by the Hearing Board is “clear and convincing.”
- The Hearing
The appellant will be given an opportunity to address the hearing board. The appellant
may bring an academic advisor or witness. Advisors may counsel their advisees during
the hearing but do not have privilege of the floor. The hearing officer must be notified
of the intention to bring advisors or witnesses no later than two working days prior
to the hearing.
The board may call its own witnesses and introduce pertinent information to the hearing.
The board may bring an advisor, who may remain during the entire hearing. The accuser
and the appellant may ask each other questions, as well as ask questions of each other's
When two or more students are accused of collusion in an academic dishonesty case,
each will have the opportunity if they request it to meet with the board independently
of the other and the other's advisors and witnesses.
The hearing officer may dismiss any participant who exhibits disruptive behavior during
the hearing. The board will attempt to reach a decision on the basis of the evidence
before it regardless of the presence or absence of the persons concerned, their witnesses,
or their advisors. In cases where reasonable notice of absence for cause has been
given (at least 24 hours), the hearing will be postponed and rescheduled as soon as
Hearings normally proceed as follows:
- The person(s) reporting the act of academic dishonesty makes a statement summarizing
the case. Evidence may be presented at this point to support the charge. This statement
cannot be interrupted by questions or challenges.
- The accused student then makes a statement responding to the accusation. The student
may present evidence at this point supporting his or her innocence. The student's
statement cannot be interrupted by questions or challenges. If the hearing concerns
multiple students accused of collaborative cheating, all accused students will be
present for the instructor's statement. Each will make a separate response statement
with the other accused students not present. If a statement by any of the students
implicates any of the others, that student will be informed so that he or she can
- The members of the hearing board may ask questions of any of those present, including
witnesses. Witnesses will normally not be present for the initial statements and will
be called in to the hearing room only after initial statements are presented and the
hearing board's initial questions are answered. Their presence will normally be permitted
only during their testimony. Either party may call witnesses.
At the conclusion of the hearing, the board will make a decision of "guilty" or "not
guilty." All decisions will be made by majority of the members present (including
the hearing officer). The individual votes and tally are not divulged.
Although there is substantial variance, hearings normally are completed in about an
hour. Students and instructors will be notified by email the outcome of the hearing.
- Appeal of Committee Action
The accused or the accuser of a course within the College of Arts and Sciences, College
of Business, School of Journalism, or the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences
may appeal the board's finding to the Assistant Provost of Undergraduate Academic
Affairs. Appeals must be based on new evidence and/or errors in procedure or conduct
on the part of the hearing board. This new appeal must be presented within one week
of the original hearing board's decision. Instructions for appealing are included
in the letter addressed to you containing the decision by the hearing board.
- Completion of Cases
Once a charge has been initiated, the hearing or review procedures prescribed by these
rules will be completed whether or not the complainant or student remains associated
with the university.
All committee records of findings of academic dishonesty are confidential and are
accessible only to the committee, the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, the
dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the dean of the Marine Sciences
Research Center, the dean of the College of Business/director of the Harriman School,
the dean of the school of Journalism, and their designees, pre-professional committees
whose request for such information have been honored by the Judiciary Committee, and
to others specifically granted such access by the student(s) named in the case. The
Q grade and any relevant notation, however, are accessible to anyone with access to
the student's transcript for the period during which they appear on the transcript.
Generally, both the Q grade and notation are temporary and students can remove both
from their transcript by taking the Q course.
In a case where the committee itself determines a penalty, this penalty may include
a specific request that a statement of the committee's finding be entered in the student's
permanent academic record.
All Academic Judiciary mail will be addressed to students at the email address on
record in the Registrar's Office.